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Unread 01-05-2011, 02:39 PM   #1
Willy36
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thermostat housing gasket

For some reason, my Jeep has a chronic issue of very slowly leaking out of the thermostat housing no matter how I try to seal it. It's only steam, so it's a very tiny gap, but having to top it off every couple weeks is getting old as hell so I'm going to fix it for good this time. So the questions are:

1. What RTV should I use?
2. Should I put RTV on both sides of the gasket or just the non-sticky side?
3. How thick should I make the RTV?
4. I already meticulously took a razor to both surfaces, but should I hit it with Brake Cleaner too? I would just do it, but I already had it torn apart by the time I realized I was out, so I'd have to make a 10 mile trip into town in a Saturn to get more

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Unread 01-05-2011, 02:44 PM   #2
CJ7-Tim
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Any RTV should work, but they make High Temp RTV. Clean the surfaces as clean as possible without damaging the metal. Apply a thin layer of RTV to both sides of the gasket, the housing, and the block. Let it dry for 10 minutes and then put the housing on. Just snug the bolts until the TRV starts to ooze. Wait 15 minutes and bring the bolts to full tightness.
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Unread 01-05-2011, 03:13 PM   #3
egodfrey
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Some people have more success with just the paper gasket with no rtv, to each their own
But, have you considered that maybe you have a micrsopic crack in your themostat housing that is causing it to leak, a new housing is cheap
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Unread 01-05-2011, 03:22 PM   #4
98_XJ
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Autozone and Orielly Auto sell the correct RTV to use in a little "bag" hanging on a display on the counter. It is designed for coolant applications. It costs less than a dollar and you just squeeze it along. Worked perfect for my job.
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Unread 01-05-2011, 03:27 PM   #5
Cherokee-at-16
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I have to replace mine too. RTV goes on both sides of the gasket, and the block and housing. or just one of these 2 because don't they do the same thing.
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Unread 01-05-2011, 04:24 PM   #6
Carves
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I scrape and then use a scouring pad to clean the mating surfaces.

Being old school - I use a gasket .... home made usually .... then I apply a thin smear of RTV to both sides of the gasket and let it dry off ... I usually give it an hour.

Put it all back together ... let it sit overnight ... and refill the cooling system.

If you dont have a gasket ... Just use the RTV as specified in the instructions.

If its a trail repair and you need to get going quickly before the RTV has cured properly ... Its quite possible you may need to redo it once you get home.

Used this stuff last time ... seems as good as other brands Ive used.

http://www.permatex.com/products/aut...sket_Maker.htm

Theres "how to use" in the TDS file download on the page.
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Unread 01-05-2011, 05:10 PM   #7
Willy36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egodfrey View Post
Some people have more success with just the paper gasket with no rtv, to each their own
But, have you considered that maybe you have a micrsopic crack in your themostat housing that is causing it to leak, a new housing is cheap
This is my 3rd and they've all done it, so I feel like I'm just somehow putting it together wrong. Funny, I've helped my friend with just about everything on his 410whp car and it holds fine, but I can't get a damn thermostat housing to seal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carves View Post
I scrape and then use a scouring pad to clean the mating surfaces.

Being old school - I use a gasket .... home made usually .... then I apply a thin smear of RTV to both sides of the gasket and let it dry off ... I usually give it an hour.

Put it all back together ... let it sit overnight ... and refill the cooling system.

If you dont have a gasket ... Just use the RTV as specified in the instructions.

If its a trail repair and you need to get going quickly before the RTV has cured properly ... Its quite possible you may need to redo it once you get home.

Used this stuff last time ... seems as good as other brands Ive used.

http://www.permatex.com/products/aut...sket_Maker.htm

Theres "how to use" in the TDS file download on the page.
Occurred to me earlier that I may not be allowing it to dry long enough before refilling, so I'm letting her sit for a few hours then I'll fill her up and will wait til tomorrow late morning or afternoon to drive it. I might try that Ultra Grey if the stuff I used doesn't hold.

Anyways I was running out of sunlight and heat so I just did it like CJ7-Tim said with Red Silicone RTV since I haven't tried that yet. We'll see how it turns out.

ETA: Found some MAF cleaner, so I sprayed a shop towel with that and gave the surfaces a good wiping so hopefully that helps as well.
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Unread 01-05-2011, 06:03 PM   #8
KF4SQB
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I'd say a good inspection of the sealing surface on the front of the head is in order. I can't see the problems you're describing without a crack or gouge in the sealing surface. Or perhaps its actually the radiator hose or heater hose leaking, and it just looks like its coming from the thermostat housing? You may also want to check the steel heater tube for a pinhole. It could be spraying steam onto the thermostat housing in such a way it looks like the housing is leaking.
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Unread 01-05-2011, 06:46 PM   #9
XJohnnyC
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I use a gasket with a very thin layer of blue RTV on both sides. The torque value on the two bolts is not very high, so it is very easy to over-torque these bolts. Thus, it is very easy to crack the housing, as someone else mentioned
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