Tips for Getting a New Valley Pan Gasket
Gaskets are durable, heat-resistant components that are fitted between parts of your engine to ensure a leak-free connection. Your valley pan gasket, in particular, is there to seal in coolant-the loss of which can cause your engine to overheat, which in turn could result in more serious (and more expensive) problems. You should replace a worn-out valley pan gasket right away. Here are some things you need to know.
T.A.M.P.: Top four considerations in choosing a gasket
- Temperature - You must take note of the temperature range that a gasket is designed to withstand. In the case of valley pan gaskets, which deal with coolant fluids, tolerance of high temperatures is particularly important. Some rubber gaskets fail when exposed to extremely high temperatures. Composite gaskets are a good choice. Graphite gaskets and graphite-coated gaskets are especially good at withstanding high temperatures and dissipating heat. They also have very good compressibility, allowing for tight, leak-free seals.
- Application - This refers to the type of joints involved, specifically the type of flange and bolts used. Take note of the number, size, and grade of the bolts used as well as the surface area being compressed. The information will determine the compressive load available for sealing the gasket. That information will help you select the appropriate gasket material. Your vehicle owner manual should have all the details you need.
- Media - This refers to the type of fluids the gasket will be dealing with. You need to make sure that the fluid doesn't corrode the gasket. Determine the chemical composition of the coolant your vehicle uses and see if your new gasket is compatible with it.
- Pressure - Finally, since gaskets are meant to seal joints, you have to account for the internal pressure of the fluid at the gasketed joint. Again, your vehicle owner manual should have tell you the usual internal pressures you can expect on your valley pan gasket during operation.
The rule of thumb here is the thinner the gasket, the better. A thinner gasket has the following benefits:
- Less stress is needed to create a seal.
- It is more capable of withstanding stress and temperature without losing thickness.
- It has better load-bearing capacity.
However, a gasket still has to be thick enough to allow it to adjust to the roughness and irregularities of the mating surfaces.
How to Properly Replace Valley Pan Gasket
A vehicle's gasket is well-known for leaking fluids, and for that matter, it shouldn't be taken for granted. Faulty gaskets will lead to loss of coolant that will eventually cause overheating. Moreover, frequent overheating will lead to more serious engine problems that might be permanent, so better change your faulty gasket immediately. Make sure to choose a high-end valley pan gasket to keep your vehicle protected for a long duration of time. Here's a guide on how to replace a gasket.
Things you'll need:
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Vehicle owner manual
- Torque wrench
- Philips head screwdriver
- Rag or cloth
- Gasket sealant
- Replacement valley pan gasket
- Plastic scraper
- Rubber gloves
- Safety glasses
- Ratchet and socket
Step 1: Prepare all the tools and materials prior to the replacement of your Valley Pan Gasket.
Step 2: Park your vehicle in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight.
Step 3: Wear your rubber gloves and safety glasses for protection.
Step 4: Let your engine cool down first.
Step 5: Open your hood and remove the battery by disconnecting the negative battery cable from the battery terminal. You may use your ratchet and socket for this step.
Step 6: Carefully remove the air cleaner cover wing nut, air cleaner housing, and the air cleaner filter.
Step 7: You need to carefully and gently unplug the cables and connectors from the throttle body. The throttle body is located directly beneath the air cleaner housing.
Step 8: Unscrew the throttle body hose clamps using an appropriate screwdriver.
Step 9:You also need to remove the hoses, and we recommend you to put a label on them. This will help you to reconnect them correctly later on.
Step 10: Take away the throttle body mounting bolts using your ratchet and socket.
Step 11: Carefully remove the throttle body, and set it aside.
Step 12: Look under the throttle body, and you will see the valley pan of the intake manifold. Remove the valley pan using your ratchet and socket.
Step 13: Gently peel off the valley pan gasket.
Step 14: Use a plastic scraper to remove all the dirt from the mounting surfaces of the valley pan and the intake manifold.
Step 15: Gently remove all the traces of your old gasket. Wipe them off using a clean cloth or rag.
Step 16: We recommend you to put some gasket sealant to your new valley pan gasket, and the mounting surfaces of your valley pan and intake manifold. Make sure that the sealant gets sticky before the installation process.
Step 17: Reverse the process to reassemble everything.
Step 18: Make sure to tighten the bolts (as specified by your vehicle's manufacturer) using your torque wrench.
Remember that when choosing a replacement gasket, consider the temperature range that the gasket can withstand. There are some types of gaskets that easily fail when exposed to high temperature, so make sure to get an appropriate type of gasket for your vehicle's specifications. Also, one great rule is that the thinner the gasket, the better. Thinner gaskets are more capable of withstanding temperature and stress (without losing its thickness).