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From time to time, vehicle engines will need to be disassembled for work to be performed. Whenever this happens, it’s necessary to replace several internal seals, known as gaskets.



What Is a Conversion Gasket?

Conversion gaskets are a specific set of gaskets that are required during a rebuild process on any vehicle’s engine. They are not to be confused with the main (or upper) gaskets required for a rebuild when the cylinder head is being worked on.

How Does a Conversion Gasket Work?

The gasket provides a seal in between various parts of the engine. As the engine does not come ready-made as one complete unit and as it does have to be mated with other components, certain parts must be bolted together. Invariably, the internal workings of these parts or components need to be lubricated with oil or cooled with a water composite and there is a considerable risk that these fluids could leak under pressure when the vehicle is in operation. Consequently, gaskets have been developed that provide a tight seal between these various components and parts and help to avoid this issue.

It should also be remembered that when two parts are mated together, they are not always perfectly smooth and often contain irregularities along their surface. Gaskets help to account for these irregularities by providing a tight seal under pressure. Whenever an engine needs renovation or rebuild, it will need to be disassembled and the old gaskets should always be discarded and new ones fitted. These typically come in a conversion gasket set or kit to make the job easier.

How Is a Conversion Gasket Made?

Gaskets are made by forcing a master template onto a sheet of the original material, to “punch” out the gasket itself, complete with holes for lubrication, etc.

Typically, gaskets come in a variety of materials including rubber, cork, graphite or fiber and a conversion gasket set will contain pieces made from two or more of these varied materials.

Usually, a set will include replacement gaskets for the sump, water pump, timing cover and main seal.

How Does a Conversion Gasket Fail?

  • Deteriorates with use
  • Overheats

What Are the Symptoms of Failure?

  • Leaking oil
  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Smoke emanating from the engine
  • Engine overheating

What Are the Consequences of Failure?

  • Poor vehicle performance
  • Engine failure in worst-case situations

Conversion gasket sets are made by a variety of different manufacturers and are vehicle make and model specific. It’s important to replace with the best quality gaskets every time an engine is dismantled.

If you have questions or concerns about Conversion Gaskets or any of your vehicle’s components, come into your local Pep Boys where we can answer any question, help you find any part, or perform any vehicle service you might need.