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Old 11-22-2012, 03:27 PM   #1
disston OP
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Silicone Valve Cover Gasket Disappointmen

I have used these for about a year. So the valve covers have been off and back on maybe 4 times, maybe less, I don't exactly keep tract of such things. I do believe I've had them for about a year. I bought these because I wanted the thicker enrichner gaskets for my Bing carbs. Those have been great. The thicker material seems much stronger. Of course they have only been on for about a year too so not really enough time to say for sure.

Now today I set the valves and happy I did because one intake was a little tight and one exhaust was a little loose. Bike is running much smoother. Also checked the timing but that was right on. Plugs don't look too bad but a little black, not much, not the whole plug.

I went to turkey dinner and my bike made a mess in the parking lot. I wiped up the oil and reattached the right side valve cover where the oil seemed to come from. Later went home and my bike made another mess where I park. So I looked at this closer and it seems the Silicone Gasket gets squeezed out when the cover is tightened. I put the cover on the other way, I have later model covers on my R90/6. It still leaked. Finally by holding the gasket in place with a finger while I tightening the nuts I think I got the leak stopped.

I don't know if anybody else uses these gaskets. I kinda liked them until today. If this happens any more I'll go back to paper gaskets. The paper ones have to be replaced a little more often maybe, paper=10 years, Silicone=12 years?
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:01 PM   #2
mark1305
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I have the ones from Real Gasket and like them OK. BUT, given the life span of the OEM gaskets if installed correctly, its a wash. Both work. I think right now i have one type on one side and the other on the opposite side. Too lazy to go look right now - its a Holiday.

Edit: But as I think about it, I remember the silicone reusable gaskets do try and squirm around.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:03 PM   #3
craydds
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Seems like the silicone would be good, softer, seal better. But, I can see how it could squish out of shape, then leak. I have the old paper gaskets on mine, been on there forever, no leaks.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:08 PM   #4
Prutser
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I have used them on a few bikes. I noticed you have degrease the surfaces real good otherwise they squeeze out.
Now i just take them as a spare/repair gasket on trips. And use original ones.

But I do change them often as they get hard and thinner. IMO using them to long is the reason a lot of people pull out the thread from the center stud.

Does someone know the teflon gaskets for the valve covers ?
I have only seen them once here in the Netherlands. I can not find them on the internet !!
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:12 PM   #5
chollo9
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Paper for me. Put a light smear of grease on them first time, clean and maybe reapply if necessary. I really couldn't say how long they've lasted.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:21 PM   #6
craydds
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Last week I re-torqued my heads, set valves, etc. I've had my paper gaskets on since 1994! Can you believe it?
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:32 PM   #7
One Less Harley
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Since purchased I put new paper gaskets on and have 20,000 plus miles on the gaskets, valve's checked twice a year, so covers off 5 or six times, still using the same ones. No leaks to speak of.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:12 PM   #8
Airhead Wrangler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craydds View Post
I've had my paper gaskets on since 1994! Can you believe it?
Yes, I can believe it. Mine are still the originals from 1984. Still doing fine when the motor was removed from service 2 years ago.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:06 PM   #9
airheadPete
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Laugh Silicone gaskets

Are these the red-orange silicone gaskets from back east, (err.. Tennesse) somewhere? I've got a pair on my R100RS because of a persistent weep of the RH valve cover. They work great, I recognize the material from little airplane cylinder baffeling under their cowlings. These will squirm and walk unless they are put on dead dry and not overtorqued (which extrudes them). Using an electrical contact cleaner works well, but another great cleaning solvent, (our maintenance base bought it in 55 gallon drums) is 90% isopropyl alcohol. Cheap, cuts oil/grease very well and highly flammable. NO SMOKING! Garage use - buy it in the pharmacy section, pour it in a sprayer; (don't get 70%, it doesn't flash off quickly enough.) I'm also going to use the silicone for a weeping pan gasket.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:15 PM   #10
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The most recent OEM gaskets I purchased from the local dealer have been a disappointment. They are brittle and break very, very easily. They also don't seem to have the cement on one side like those of old. I cut my own gaskets out of some cork gasket material from the auto supply store. Its very old-school and it simply works. Did I mention it's dirt cheap compared to the silicone gaskets?
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:58 PM   #11
disston OP
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Yes they squeeze out. I'll try getting them clean and dry. They are the reddish orange gaskets from Tennessee. The cost is high but I had a few bucks in my pocket that day and I was ordering the thick enrichner gaskets but didn't want to pay a lot of shipping just for that or something. I meant to order the black ones but got the reddish ones. I'll try to live with 'em or get some paper ones. I may have a set of old paper ones here.

Keeping them as emergency parts may make some sense too. I guess they would last a long time rolled up into a baggie stuck anywhere. I've got them not leaking right now. I had to do the right side one three times. I'm not going to put up with that too long. I'll be careful. I'll get some alcohol.

Thanks for the advise and the experience.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:00 AM   #12
Darryl's bmw
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Every time I have my valve covers off I run the silicone gaskets through the dishwasher.

Cleans them really good.

I also clean the head & valvecover with brakeclean.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:18 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=Darryl's bmw;20102567]Every time I have my valve covers off I run the silicone gaskets through the dishwasher.

Cleans them really good.

You must live alone
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:43 AM   #14
disston OP
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They are still leaking. This is more bother than it is worth. I found my stash of NOS paper gaskets. Will put them on eventually. I'll try the washing them suggestion. Don't have the SO to object but I don't have a dish washer either. Also found I have what might be an original final drive paper gasket, the newer ones sold today are thicker. And I have a bunch of other stuff I didn't know I have.

The thicker enrichner gaskets sold by Real Gaskets seem to be holding up great.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:48 AM   #15
Airhead Wrangler
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What if you cleaned and degreased your rocker covers and silicone gaskets and stuck the gaskets onto the cover mating surface with some kind of permanent adhesive sealant?
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