SBC Oil Pan Gasket Differences
Ever ran into the headache of an oil pan gasket that doesn’t quite fit your timing cover? Well, like every problem, we have a solution; or a tip rather, that will save you the extra run to the parts house. On a small block Chevy engine, some oil pan gaskets are a bit thicker than others (about 1/8-inch) and this can cause a problem where the gasket seals inside the timing cover grove. Some timing covers (like Speedway's 910-11040) have a thin grove, and others are thick. Fel-pro specifies a thick gasket at 3/8-inch, and a thin gasket at 1/4-inch. The images below compare the problem found between a thick and thin gasket.
Photo A: In this photo we installed Speedway’s billet timing cover onto a small block Chevy 350, which is intended for a thin-style oil pan gasket. Notice the width of the groove where the oil pan gasket should seat inside of.
Photo B: In this photo we installed a one-piece gasket similar to Superseal’s 910-10223, which is intended for a thick-style timing cover.
Photo C: If you look closely, the gasket is too thick to fit down inside the timing cover groove, which won’t allow the oil pan to bolt up. Trying to bolt the oil pan on could damage the gasket and cause leaks.
Photo D: In this photo we installed Fel-pro’s premium three-piece gasket that is intended for a thin-style timing cover. You can see how the front seal fits down inside the timing cover grove perfectly.
Photo E: Notice the difference between this photo and photo C, the oil pan will now bolt-on and properly seal. Aftermarket and factory timing covers can vary, so it is best to measure your timing cover width before buying a replacement oil pan gasket.