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Thread: Standard vs Silicone valve cover gaskets

  1. #1
    rsbeemer 22600's Avatar
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    Standard vs Silicone valve cover gaskets

    1978 R100rs 46k
    I know this has been hashed over before but I can't remember what the consensus was or if their was one.

    It's time for a head job; there's not much adjustment left and I can see that the valves are recessed some or maybe a lot. This will be the first time the heads are off. I'll be shipping the heads off soon to TP and then I have to decide which to order, the standard or silicone valve cover gaskets that come with the top-in gasket kit.

    Any feedback on your experience with the silicone would be appreciated as I have none. They have never leaked and I don't want them to start now but I feel they will need replacing since they been on there for years and then again maybe not.

    As I've been writing this I have answered some of my questions. I have decided to use the same ones that are on there now and then if they leak at least I'll have a spare. So now I guess my question is, which would make a better spare gasket, the standard or silicone?

    DW
    1978 R100rs MOA#22600 125cc Kymco , 180cc Kymco Racing King
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

  2. #2
    Registered User jad01's Avatar
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    I bought silicone gaskets when Ted Porter did the top end on my RS last year. I think they are so much better than the BMW gaskets, I can't even believe it. Especially if there is any imperfection to your heads or valve covers (my left valve cover is very slightly warped).

    I had read a couple of posts here indicating that they could be difficult to work with whenever you pull the valve covers off and reinstall them, but I haven't found that to be the case at all- they are every bit as easy to use as the stock gaskets, and 100% leakproof. I also like that you don't have to torque them down very tight to get a good seal.

    Ted sells gray ones that are comparably priced to the BMW gaskets. I like them so much I bought a set for my /7 and installed them just last week.
    Last edited by jad01; 05-13-2015 at 08:28 PM.
    Jim
    '78 R80/7 and '84 R100RS (Blues Brothers), '86 K75C (Icy Hot)
    '90 and '93 Mazda Miatas (Jelly Bean and Red Hot), '97 Nissan XE PU (Mighty Mouse)
    '96 Giant Upland (big Kendas, baby!)

  3. #3
    Registered User Guenther's Avatar
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    We talk about the red colored gaskets?

    In my case the silicone gaskets were slightly squeezed out and I had some oil film around the gaskets. And this after only a few thousand miles. I never had a problem with the OEM gaskets in 150 tmi. But I do change the valve cover gasket whenever I change the head gasket.

    /Guenther

  4. #4
    I found that the silicon gaskets get mushy over time and sometimes expand and get like a rubber band.

    I still like the original gaskets, but I use a slight film of silicon sealer to fill the gap - works great!
    "The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't change every time congress meets." - Will Rogers

  5. #5
    I have replaced the OEM valve cover gaskets with the orange silicone valve cover gaskets. I make certain that the gaskets are clean before applying (or re-applying). I believe that the torque specs are quite low (around 3 or 4 ft-lbs) for the nuts securing the valve cover. I think that I've been using these for nearly 20 years on some bikes - no leaks when the gaskets are cleaned before re-applying. I think that mine all came from Stan Smith when he ran Rocky Point Cycle in Xenia, Ohio.

  6. #6
    P Monk
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    silicone gaskets

    I use them because I barely have threads on the center bolt and don't want to tighten up too much. The silicone gaskets don't leak, but as I rememer you are supposed to wash the gaskets with soapy water and let dry before reinstalling them. I also bought silicone carb bowl gaskets. Their instructions are to let them dry overnight before reusing them. That wouldn't work very well on the road, so I removed them and went back to cork gaskets from Bing.
    P. Monk
    74 R90/6 (the Black Hole), 2011 R1200RT.

  7. #7
    Just to remind everybody - they originally made thick silicone gaskets for the oil filter housing too. Think about that now, on the bikes with donuts and shims. After a few folks had rather severe losses of oil pressure those gaskets disappeared from the market. But, just perchance somebody has one or a few lying around, throw them out.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  8. #8
    rsbeemer 22600's Avatar
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    Thanks

    I appreciate the advice, comments and overall replies. It seems that their were different outcomes with the use of the silicone gaskets; some working great and some not so great.

    But, from what I understand from the replies is that, if I use them they need to be dry and the valve cover and head surface needs to be clean and dry before they are installed. Plus they don't need to be torqued to specs. I can see that if they had oil on them or the valve cover or head had oil they would slide around and not stay put.

    I think I'll just put my old ones back on ( I don't glue them or torque, just snug em) and see what happens. And, I'll order the silicone gaskets for spares and hope I don't need them, especially if they're orange.

    Thanks again..
    1978 R100rs MOA#22600 125cc Kymco , 180cc Kymco Racing King
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

  9. #9
    MonoRT MonoRT's Avatar
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    When I only had my dealer work on my bike, I kept stripping the left center stud to stop the oil drool caused by the fairly common slight left head warpage common in the day (mine is an 85). All my dealer said was to stop tightening that center bolt so much, but if I'd a-wanted a Harley, then I'd have bought one. I eventually found out about the red silicone gaskets - not as neat as the adhesive paper ones, but they sealed in the oil with very little clamping pressue. Been using silicone over a 100K miles with no leaks.Will buy grey next time.

    Only reason I see for using silicone is to get around warpage or a nick that prevents a good seal.

  10. #10
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonoRT View Post

    Only reason I see for using silicone is to get around warpage or a nick that prevents a good seal.
    Exactly ... and the only reason I've used them.

    Oil pan gaskets, however ...
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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