Metal gaskets are frequently used in engine assembly, so being able to make your own in a pinch can be a handy skill. A basic metal engine gasket can be crafted from a sheet of aluminium, assuming you are using the same sheet thickness as the original gasket. You can check this and fabricate the new gasket with a few basic tools and some patience.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Aluminium sheet metal
- Caliper measuring tool
- Masking tape
- Permanent marker
- Industrial shears or scissors
- Portable hole puncher
Remove the old gasket from your engine when it is disassembled. Try to preserve the integrity of the old gasket as much as possible, when removing it. Place the old gasket on a solid board or old plastic cutting board.
Flatten the old gasket out to its original shape on the board, working carefully. Measure the thickness of the old gasket with a calipers. Travel to your local automotive parts supply store or hardware store and ask for thin sheets of aluminium.
Measure the sheet thickness with a caliper, to match the sheets offered to the thickness of your original gasket. Purchase the sheet that matches the original thickness best. Tape the old gasket on the new aluminium sheet with masking tape. Trace out a template with a permanent marker.
Remove the old gasket and masking tape when the template is complete. Carefully cut the new gasket shape out of the aluminium sheet using industrial shears or scissors. Use a portable hole puncher -- the same as what you would use on paper -- to remove holes where studs would go through the new gasket.
Line up the new gasket with the old one to check for any minor finishing needed. Apply the new gasket to the engine assembly.
Tips and warnings
- Wear gloves when cutting to avoid accidentally cutting your fingers. Metal sheet, even aluminium requires greater cutting pressure than paper or cardboard, and a slip can seriously injure your hand.
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