Oil Pan Gasket

Rubber Gaskets

Word of potential Caution for using rubber oil pan gaskets on the 2.3 engines manufactured before 02/19/86. They have a slightly different front cover, rear main bearing cap and different size holes drilled in a few spots. Basically the only rubber oil pan gasket available is for 02/19/86-up. I used all Fel-Pro gaskets on my engines. But from calling around, I didn't find anybody who made early design rubber gaskets. Basically to use them (as I did), you have to drill four of the metal inserts in the gasket (two at front and two at back) where the larger 13mm bolts go, and I also drilled holes in the rubber where the older front cover has holes for bolts but the later design didn't (I prefered to have no bolts left over). Drilling is easiest done with the gasket bolted in place on the engine, though great care must be taken not to drill the engine 8) Trying to drill it otherwise (trying to hold by hand) is great fun as the drill catches and suddenly you have this huger rubber whip slapping you 8) 8) The other problem was that the front cover and the rear main cap have 'groves' to accept the original style cork/rubber gasket. Couple choices here. You could update the engine by getting a newer front cover and rear cap, but you would still have the two larger bolt holes in the back of the block. Alternatively, you can fill these grooves with blue to help avoid leaks. I still ended up with a leak in one '85 engine even after I filled in these grooves (I'm fairly certain this was not the source of my 1qt/60miles leak, believe it was more from the cap/rear main seal even though I carefully siliconed the cap and put in a new rear seal. Mystery yet to be solved when I have time.). However, I had no leaks in another in which I didn't even fill in the grooves (Although a bad oil pump that buckles filters can do wonders 8). Just something to be aware of for early 2.3's and the rubber oil pan gasket.

Though some people have also reported trouble with the Fel-Pro rubber valve cover gasket, other than it being a booger wanting to pop out of line up front at the cam arch, with care it will install correctly and seals very nicely. I love the rubber stuff as it makes future engine work so easy, and in my experience are much more leak-free. Reusable too, which can easily pay for the cost difference. No more cork 8) I used both Fel-Pro rubber oil pan and valve cover gaskets on my '88 XR engine when I redid it a couple years ago, and now about 4-5K miles later, they are still great. (Being a later engine, the oil pan gasket fit perfectly. The oil pan gasket also worked perfectly on my '88 T-Bird engine, so the application is fine for the 02/19/86-up engines).