Engine Builder Shop Solutions: March 2012 - Engine Builder Magazine
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Engine Builder Shop Solutions: March 2012


Transferring Gaskets For Intake Port Matching

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I have found an effective way to transfer the gasket to the intake manifold without losing the “port location.” First, have the completed long block with the heads and its ports finished. Next, do all the pre-fitting of the gaskets and manifolds or “mock-up” work. Make any machining or gasket alterations prior to installation and cleaning.

Then, take very thin blue painters tape and tape the gasket to the head. The idea is to line up the ports, not the bolt holes. You make have to practice doing this a few times to keep the gasket from moving down. In some cases I raise the gasket slightly and then apply the tape.


When you are 100% satisfied with the location, use a magic marker and line the outer edge of the gasket and head. This will let you know if the gasket has dropped.  

Use just a small “dot” of weatherstrip adhesive and place it in an open spot on the gasket manifold side. I usually do this just above a bolt hole away from any intake or water ports.

Now bolt the manifold down and torque to proper specs and sequence. Double check your marker lines again to make sure the gasket hasn’t dropped. If it has, start over.


When you are satisfied with your marker lines, take the magic marker once again and put a line on the manifold where you put the small dot of glue, for reference later. Also make marker lines on the outside of the manifold. The idea is to have the manifold bolted to the heads the exact way it will be used when running.

Wait for the glue to set up and then cut the blue painter’s tape with a razor. Unbolt the manifold from the heads and remove it. The gaskets will now be stuck to the manifold. Take the magic marker once again and mark the gaskets left and right.  


Now look at the marker lines on the manifold side to make certain that the gaskets didn’t move.

Next take a fine tip marker or sharp awl and mark the ports using the gasket as a template. Be sure not to move or cut the gasket! When finished, take a razor knife at the glued areas and carefully peel the gasket away from the manifold.

You are now ready to port match. After the manifold has been ported and cleaned, it should be ready to install.

Jeff “Beezer” Beseth

BeezerBuilt, Inc.

Newtown Square, PA

A digital camera and tripod should be part of every machinist
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