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Old 06-23-2004, 05:20 PM
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Valve Cover Gaskets for a 350??

I went to Auto Zone and also to Pep Boys yesterday, looking to buy heavy duty, high performance valve cover gaskets for my mid-70s 350 sbc ... it was like a serious trip into the Twilight Zone!

First, I don't know what it's like where you live (I'm in New Jersey), but half the guys working in these places barely speak english, much less know anything at all about automotive anything ... all they seem to know how to do is punch up a year, make and model on the computers, find a part number, and go get it out of stock! You know ... like the average idiot is capable of doing at Wal-Mart.

Am I crazy? Or is this the most ridiculous situation ever??

None of these guys had any idea of what I was looking for when I said "heavy duty" or "high performance" ... so my question is, HOW do I know which valve cover gaskets to buy for my engine?

I wound up buying rubber valve cover gaskets for a 1969 Camaro with a 350 sbc ... they're about 1/8" thick.

So ... what do you guys do for parts like this?

Alan (totally pissed)
54 Chevy Pickup

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Old 06-23-2004, 05:29 PM
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Valve cover gaskets

I go to NAPA and ask for cork gaskets, they're higher, but I can reuse them, and tighten them down if they leak. The rubber one get hard from the heat of the engine and start leaking. I don't have to reuse them much anymore, I went to hyd. lifters and adjust them less. My solid cam called for 20 & 30 th. but I run 12 & 20 to get more action.
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Old 06-23-2004, 05:30 PM
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I'd take them back!

Use Felpro #375-1604 valve cover gaskets. They are 5/16 thick with a metal shim between cork. They will not leak! I glue them to the valve covers with clear RTV. Nothing on the head side. Just have the heads good and clean. I also use "spreader bars" under the valve cover bolts and tighten the bolts fairly snug but not over tight. That is the part number from Jeg's catalog but you can get them at any good auto parts store. I believe the correct number is Felpro-1604. Auto Zone and Pep Boys should also carry them. Ask for them by the brand and part number.
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:34 PM
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The real secret is to go to a REAL Auto parts store. NAPA stores are usually good. I try to go to parts stores where the owner actually oversees the operation and the guy behind the counter is him, or somebody older than 20, that cares about what he sells and knows cars.
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:39 PM
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Fel pro has a gasket that has steel backing and is blue silicone they absolutely don't leak and can be reused .I use them on all my circle track stuff. Part#1628.





mike
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Old 06-23-2004, 09:03 PM
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You guys are the BEST!

I have spreader bars ... now, I'm gonna have the right gaskets, too.

THANKS!


Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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Old 06-23-2004, 09:13 PM
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Ditto the FelPro blue silicone gaskets, they are the best valve cover gasket yet for the small block Chevy. I have had a set on my 90 model truck for going on six years now. Had an occasion to pull a valve cover a while back to replace a rocker arm and the gasket was a pliable as when installed.

Vince
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Old 06-23-2004, 11:59 PM
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Re: Valve Cover Gaskets for a 350??

Quote:
Originally posted by horvath
I went to Auto Zone and also to Pep Boys yesterday, it was like a serious trip into the Twilight Zone!

First, I don't know what it's like where you live (I'm in New Jersey), but half the guys working in these places barely speak english, much less know anything at all about automotive anything ... all they seem to know how to do is punch up a year, make and model on the computers, find a part number, and go get it out of stock! You know ... like the average idiot is capable of doing at Wal-Mart.

Am I crazy? Or is this the most ridiculous situation ever??

None of these guys had any idea of what I was looking for when I said "heavy duty" or "high performance" ... so my question is, HOW do I know which valve cover gaskets to buy for my engine?

I wound up buying rubber valve cover gaskets for a 1969 Camaro with a 350 sbc ... they're about 1/8" thick.

So ... what do you guys do for parts like this?

Alan (totally pissed)
54 Chevy Pickup

[color=lightblue]Doc Here!

Dude!! Your post Cracks me up... SIMPLY Because it is so true!

Here in Sunny Over Rated, Over Inflated, Californication <---misspell but I like it so it stays...) The Problem is the Same IF not worse... I like to refer to these Autoparts Supermarkets As the Radio Shack of Automotive.....


"You Got Questions?"

"We've Got......"
  • Cup holders
  • Fragrance Trees
  • Hurst Shifter Knobs
  • Floor Mats to match any interior (except yours)
  • Fuzzy Dice
  • Yosemite Sam Mud Flaps
  • BigAs*ed Speakers
  • Neon License Plate Frames (which are Illegal here)
  • Full length roof Mount Rear View Mirrors (So you can get the big picture when you pull outta here looking for a REAL auto parts store)
  • 1 million candlepower Fog Lamp kits
  • New batteries (which you'll end up needing for your new fog lamps)


  • PARTS COUNTER GUY:
    "EGR Valve for a 1980 Corvette?"
    "No Comprendo Dude...Say's here They Didn't make one..."

    MY REPLY:
    "And I suppose This is a Flashback from my rather obscure lifestyle the sixties I'm, like holding in my hand?"

    PARTS COUNTER GUY:
    "Uhhhh , Dude , must not be an 80..."

    MY REPLY:
    "Jeeze...was when I bought it in 1980..."

    PARTS COUNTER GUY:
    "Are you Sure it's fur a Vette?"

    MY REPLY:
    "Was last time I insured it..."

    And so it goes.......

    What I Do to avoid these "Parts Guys From Planet Alpha" Is find a local Mom & Pop type auto parts store or Speed Shop, You'll Pay a little more But just think of all the money you'll save on Prozac, lithium, Basket weaving kits, anger management Classes...

    Every once in a while I'll need a part after 5 PM and be forced To visit these showroom infomercials Called "BIG Auto Parts Stores" So what I Do is go to the CSK website, this covers the big 3 here (kragen, Checker , Autozone) and look up my own part, make note of the part number and price, check to actually see if it is in stock at my local store, then go get it....

    I feel like a "Bank Robber"... Just slip them the note...

    "Fill the bag buddy, and no one will get hurt..."

    When asked : " How Can I help you today..?"

    I usually reply...

    "I'm A. Viet Vet, with PSTS, Lifetime member in the NRA and avid gun collector, Whose Wife just left me for my brother, and just got fired from my lifetime position at the post office...and my car won't run......Just how CAN you help me today...Care to phone a friend?"...Fill The Bag Buddy..."

    Those FelPros are the Best bet for your Valve Covers, And The Spreader Bar type hold downs too..If you don't already Have them..Get rid of the rubber ones , tributes to the OPEC nations annual income.

    Regards,
    Doc

    Where The Sky is always a
    Different Color in my world!

    ========================
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    It is also the only one that can be mass
    produced with unskilled labor." --
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Old 06-24-2004, 12:14 AM
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Well, while I do occasionally work for Autozone I wont apologize on their behalf as its their own damn fault for hiring idiots. However I am sorry you had a bad experience there. Should come over to good ol Forest Grove Autozone. We have the most ASE certified techs at this store than any other on the west coast.

Spectre makes a thick rubber gasket with a metal insert. I use weatherstripping adhesive on the side that attaches to the valve cover and nothing else on the head. It works great.
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Old 06-24-2004, 12:18 AM
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LOL! It really is so true.

The guy at Auto Zone couldn't find valve cover gaskets for a '75 El Camino on his computer ... so I got the "they don't make 'em" syndrome. Next an english speaking guy gets on the computer and he's punching through the various parameters ... gets to the "350" ... and says "do you have a two-block or a 4 block?" YIKES! I replied, "I have a 4-barrel ... did you say BLOCK???" He says, "Yes. I'm sorry, it's been a long day." To which I chuckled, "You know, you guys really worry me, bro'!"

There is a Speed & Sport shop fairly close by me ... I'm gonna have to start going there from now on.

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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Old 06-24-2004, 12:29 AM
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Well as in most cases, Autozone is gettin what it pays for in its employees. They get lucky in some cases but the turnover rate of this company is unbelieveable. Either they steal or are too stupid and get fired. Or they are too smart and realize its not worth the money or effort.
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Old 06-24-2004, 12:35 AM
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Parts wizards.....

[color=lightblue]Doc here:

Dude! You know your in the wrong place when the parts guy say's...

"Would you like Fries and a shake, With those Piston Rings...??"

"Next window please..pay the cashier..."

In all fairness, I have found about an average of about 2 outta 10 guys that actually are knowledgeable and work there. (and not just raggin' on just autozone either..)

Doc
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Old 06-24-2004, 01:15 AM
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I only use cork valve cover gaskets, I coat them in vaseline and press it in to let the gasket absorb it, I`ve used good gaskets, fel pro and the like to the cheapest bent up gaskets you can think of, this trick tends to work on them all, it keeps the gasket from getting dried up due to heat soak, I`ve been able to reuse them many times this way.
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Old 06-24-2004, 02:07 AM
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FelPro makes a thicker version of their stock 5/32" cork gasket that is 7/32" thick. The part number is the same, but with "CS" or some pair of letters after the number. It's on the AZone computer screen when they look them up.

Edit--here's the part number: VS12869AC
(senior moment on the pair of letters )

Last edited by jimfulco; 06-25-2004 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 06-24-2004, 02:26 AM
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Yeah we have a mom and pop auto store thats been there for 40 years right behind my house. I go there so much im pratically family.

I love going in to a place and the first thing they do is ask how my day is and what can they help me with (by first name might I add). If I say I need a waterpump gasket for my Nova and within 30 seconds there it is... the ar great and if they dont have what I need they will pull out the books and find what I need.

I hate using places like Auto Zone or Advance Auto unless I have a part number. I know that there is no reason they need to know if my car has A/C when purchasing spark plugs.
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