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Discussion Starter #1
I have been changing optis about every 5K miles (due to cheap optis having bearing failure and not being able to find a decently-reliable reasonably-priced replacement). I can do the job in about two hours, but the biggest time-suck is removing the old gasket material from the water pump and the heads. I've been using the Felpro gaskets, which are paper, and which tear and stick to the metal upon disassembly. Is there a more-durable alternative, like metal or rubber? I don't care if it's not reusable as long as it peels off easily.
 

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the reason you have opti bearing failures and those pictures I SAW THE LAST TIME .. that LT4 cam is a bad cam not a hot one.. cam is pushing on the opti shaft .that will do it.
 

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Agree with Jcat on your engine having a cam issue.

On the topic at hand: coat both sides of the paper WP gasket with thin coat of RTV/silicone.
It will seal better and peel off easily the next time.

Nab
 

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Agree with Jcat on your engine having a cam issue.

On the topic at hand: coat both sides of the paper WP gasket with thin coat of RTV/silicone.
It will seal better and peel off easily the next time.

Nab
I setup a dial indicator on the end of the cam could be it is bent also ..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You guys may be right, but the short version is that I'm definitely NOT pulling the cam any time soon. So I'm gonna keep changing optis until I find one that doesn't grenade itself (just in case it is crappy Chinese junk that's failing), or until I blow the motor and need to pull it for a rebuild.

So a thin coat of RTV on either side of the water pump gaskets is the preferred way to get them to not stick or tear when being removed? And the RTV itself won't stick to the pump or heads and be a pain to remove?
 

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You guys may be right, but the short version is that I'm definitely NOT pulling the cam any time soon. So I'm gonna keep changing optis until I find one that doesn't grenade itself (just in case it is crappy Chinese junk that's failing), or until I blow the motor and need to pull it for a rebuild.

So a thin coat of RTV on either side of the water pump gaskets is the preferred way to get them to not stick or tear when being removed? And the RTV itself won't stick to the pump or heads and be a pain to remove?
What is it that is pushing out? The drive pin?
 

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I have been changing optis about every 5K miles (due to cheap optis having bearing failure and not being able to find a decently-reliable reasonably-priced replacement). I can do the job in about two hours, but the biggest time-suck is removing the old gasket material from the water pump and the heads. I've been using the Felpro gaskets, which are paper, and which tear and stick to the metal upon disassembly. Is there a more-durable alternative, like metal or rubber? I don't care if it's not reusable as long as it peels off easily.

As far as removing the remnants of the paper gasket, I've found that chucking a small wire wheel into a cordless drill works wonders. I can have about 95% of the block surface clean and shiny in about 5 minutes. There's a couple spots that are tricky to reach, and still require hand scraping, but it really cuts down on the time. Just be sure to fish out any bits of material that find their way into the water inlet and outlet.
 

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Flesh...

There is no "non stick, peel away" gasket or sealant. Permatex makes WP/Thermostat specific RTV. You will have to do some scraping to prep the surface for any new gasket.

The block & WP housing do get pitted and a skim coat of RTV on both sides of gasket is the way to go on WP.

If the core problem of killing Optis is because the "cam" is pushing against the Opti (it's the dowel pin), you can grind the pin down some.

You would have a witness mark where the dowel pin rides in Opti slot on the base of hub if pin was pushing against it
 

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well I use the OEM gaskets with permatex formagasket . this does not sick like silicone sealer. remains soft and protects the metal from leaks corrosion.. as a member stated a thick grease can also do it on the paper gaskets .. may not last as long as my permatex sealer .

you use no gasket material then IMO the cam may push even more on the opti rotor shaft .. less life. cam can be bent or sticks out too much pushing on the opti shaft will cause rotor bearing to wear down quickly .
 

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While I go along with silicon ( rub it into paper gasket between your fingers) and greasing gaskets ( same procedure )

My go to, with things that will be coming back apart ,is HYLOMAR universal Blue

Non hardening, and new will melt into minor remnants of old.
Acetone will clean it up

To add, I would be rubbing it on-into the gaskets.

Hylomar, is a trademarked name and it seems Permatex stopped selling a product named Hylomar
This seems identical in every way
https://www.permatex.com/products/gasketing/gasket-sealants/permatex-permashield-fuel-resistant-gasket-dressing-flange-sealant/

Also completely fuel proof .
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Flesh...
There is no "non stick, peel away" gasket or sealant. Permatex makes WP/Thermostat specific RTV. You will have to do some scraping to prep the surface for any new gasket.
The block & WP housing do get pitted and a skim coat of RTV on both sides of gasket is the way to go on WP.
Yeah, the surfaces are pitted. Is this the stuff you're recommending? It kind of sounds like a complete replacement for the gaskets as opposed to being added to the gaskets.
https://www.amazon.com/Permatex-22071-Thermostat-Silicone-Gasket/dp/B0007TQW60/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544731984&sr=8-1&keywords=permatex+water+pump+&+thermostat+rtv+silicone+gasket+maker

If the core problem of killing Optis is because the "cam" is pushing against the Opti (it's the dowel pin), you can grind the pin down some.
You would have a witness mark where the dowel pin rides in Opti slot on the base of hub if pin was pushing against it
Right, and you said you didn't see a witness mark in my pics.. which is why I am leaning more towards thinking that it's just cheap optis with bad bearings, not something external to the opti, that's causing it to fail.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Try a film coat of grease on the water pump gaskets. Helps in sealing and they just about fall off upon removal. I've been doing this for decades - with succeSS!
Hmm.. that sounds like it oughta work, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Last time I did an LT1 water pump, I threw away the crap paper gaskets and bought the factory ones from the dealer.
I take it that the ones from the dealer are better.. but how? Are they AC Delco brand? What kind of material?
 
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