"reusable" cam cover gaskets

A few weeks ago I decided to have tube assemblies powder coated.

The local classic car shop (Skunk River Restorations) did such a nice job that I’m now planning to have the same done for cam covers. It was recommended that “re-usable” silicon gaskets be used (Alexander Racing Enterprises). Since they don’t currently make these gaskets for a III 4.2L, they’re using my cam covers as a template to begin production. Removing the old cork gaskets has been a tedious task but I’m well on my way.

Any comments re silicon gaskets…?

Cometic makes reusable cam cover gaskets.

You also might want to ditch the yellow radiator fan.

In 23 years of owning several Jaguars with XK engines, and removing the cam covers many times, I have always used the paper cam cover gaskets from the major suppliers and I have never used the silicone ones. I have no idea how the silicone ones are better, and I have been happy with the paper ones with a very thin smear of non-hardening sealant on both mating surfaces before assembly. I have never used cork gaskets on the camshaft covers but I have used cork gaskets in other locations.
BTW, since you have the cam covers off this would be the perfect time to do a valve clearance check and add the tappet collar hold down kits. I agree with Wiggles that you should also replace your yellow cooling fan (it was originally white) because the old yellow brittle plastic fans can crack and come apart at speed and destroy the hood, radiator, and hoses in the process.


I have been providing the Cometic AFM gaskets for many years and am very happy with them other than the hassle and possible extra shipping expense of long semi-rigid parts requiring a long box to ship. We also use them in my shop. These are a similar material to the latest gaskets from Jaguar for many uses and are a proven concept. Jaguar never provided those improvements to the latest XK engine gaskets but did for the V-12s.
Silicone gaskets are very flexible and need to be captive on one side such as in the V-8 Jaguar engines. On a gasket clamped between two smooth surfaces, you will be relying on the RTV “glue” on the cam cover side to keep it from being pushed out.
It looks like that company started by making better gaskets for cars where their system is appropriate and now are venturing into a place where problems may appear.
I was also going to comment on the fan blade, which is likely failing. These should be inspected at every service so they are replaced before they fail and cause a lot of expensive damage.
I have lots in stock if you would like OE. Greg@JagUSA.com

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You can always use McMaster-Carr 45925K72
Because this expanded PTFE tape is thicker than other gasket tape, it fills the irregularities on rough-surfaced flanges when compressed for a tight seal. This gasket tape is chemically inert, except to molten alkali metal and elemental fluorine.

It works - adhesive one side.

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Pricey but interesting stuff. How do you deal with the two ends of the tape? Overlap, tight butt joint?

Pricey depends on whether you are looking at the basic cork gaskets or the composite gaskets. Ballpark at 6ft per cover. you need 12 ft. At 30’ per roll you get 2 sets per roll. I did mine - the non ribbed covers so not exactly flat about 15 years ago and need to redo them as just starting to leak a little. I cant remember how I did the joins. Probably tight butt join but on an angle. The torque on the nuts is minimal - the old shiny cam covers will deform if over tightened. So I probably made the joins at the front or rear of the covers where the studs are closer together and you get more consistent clamping force than along the sides.

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And the join on the upper side so above the oil level!

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Ahh, I was looking at the wrong tape at $104/30 ft. At $36 that’s a deal. I’ll order some just to have on the shelf. Also, were you able to make the bends around the corners with it? 3/16" width correct?