Jim Smart
March 30, 2007
Photos By: Benton Jackson

Other leak-vulnerable areas are the front main seal and the pan gasket. Marvin believes in modest amounts of sealer and only at areas susceptible to leaks. Where pan gaskets meet, end gaskets need silicone sealer. End gaskets need a super-thin layer of silicone to both stay put and keep oil inside. The same can be said for valve-cover gaskets. Use a thin film of sealer between the gasket and valve cover only-never between the head and gasket.

Another troublemaker is the camshaft's block plug in back. Again, apply a thin coat of silicone sealer around the perimeter, then ascertain security before installing the engine. Few things are more deflating than discovering a leaky cam plug once the engine is installed. Permatex's The Right Stuff is a terrific sealer, guaranteed to eliminate leaks. Try it on your next engine build. If you want to guarantee leakage, overtighten the valve covers, timing cover, and oil pan, which will distort the part and cause leakage. Always follow torque specifications.

Oiling System Priorites
There's a lot of urban legend surrounding Ford oiling systems. One basic truth holds our attention: Crankshaft main and rod bearings need more oil than cam bearings. MCE Engines installs oiling-system restrictors to cam-bearing journals at mains 2 through 5 to reduce oil flow, increase the flow to main/rod bearings, and reduce the flow to cam bearings. This increases the oil flow to main and rod bearings while still maintaining liberal oil flow to the cam bearings and valvetrain. Do not install an oil restrictor at the No. 1 main journal. Tap for oil restrictors during the block-machining process, which eliminates any chance of metal trash in the oiling system later on.

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