Diagnosing and Repairing Your Imperial's Valve Gaskets


Imperial Home Page -> Repair -> Engine -> Gaskets

Question from Richard (413):

The "LeCrown" went to the restoration shop yesterday and I am going to be asking for lots of resources and oppinions because you all are here to ask! I need all the engine gaskets, specifically looking for the intake manifold gasket. What are your oppinions on resources? Who's the best?


From Greg:

When I had the 413 in my '65 Crown convert. rebuilt, the machine shop used Felpro gaskets. Everyone I asked at that time said they were the best. Maybe you will receive other opinions but the consensus when I asked was definitely Felpro.

From Paul:

The full set of gaskets from Felpro should be available through nearly any parts house in the United States. It would contain all of the gaskets that you mention and then some.

I usually order one of these everytime I purchase a car, and then I have what I need as I discover problems and go in to fix them.

These sets can run anywhere from $65.00 to $195.00 depending on the car engine and who is selling it to you. I wouldn't think that the set for a 413 would be all that expensive.

From Steve:

All your gaskets are available at most any "real" parts store. I prefer Felpro or Victor Heinz (sp?) myself. They are available in a kit that has all the gaskets you need. The only catch will be the valve cover gaskets. If your '60 has valve covers with four bolts those gaskets will not be in the kit. You will need to order them separately. If you have the standard six bolt valve covers you will be fine with the ones in the kit. Sorry I don't know when they changed them, but I do know they had four in '59.

From Kenyon:

When re-assembling, be certain that they put insulation between the intake valley pan-gasket and the intake manifold or you'll be eating boiled gasoline vapors as your battery drains to zero when your car won't hot-start.

From Russell:

Fel-Pro does make a great gasket set but, when I worked for a Chrysler/Plymouth/Imperial dealer I liked to use factory original gaskets. They always worked well for me.

Question from Charles (413):

Are the head bolts the same for the 413 as the 440? Where is a good place to buy them?


From Dave:

I believe they are the same. You can buy a 440 set from Mopar Performance for a reasonable price.

From Mikey:

The head bolts are the same on any of the B/RB engines. You can get them from Chrysler, from ARP - a very well known fastener supplier in the aftermarket performance partsm, you can probably get them at any GOOD hardware store if you show them the bolts, specify the grade 8 and make sure the head style is identical. Id just go to Mopar Performance or Summit or any of those online parts places and buy a set. The other alternative is take a set from another engine, they generally don't wear out.

Question from Zack (1974):

I need to replace the head gaskets on my '74 Imperial. It's a 440. They slowly leak oil, only when the engine is running, and I have to put in a quart every month or so. I bought the new seals and am about to put them on, I just wanted to know of any suggestions or tips or anything before I begin. I don't know how hard this will be, I'm not a major mechanic, I'm 17 years old and the hardest thing I've done to my car so far was disassemble the steering column to fix some faulty wiring. So, I would greatly appreciate any help anyone has.


From Phil:

Are you replacing valve seals, head gaskets or both? If you are replacing head gaskets, then it's a lot easier to replace seals while you have the heads off. If you try to replace seals with the heads on, you have to have compressed air and an air chuck, to make pressure to hold the valves in place while you have the valve spring removed. In fact, if you are indeed, going to remove the heads, I'd go ahead and have a valve job done by a reputable local machine shop, that way you get your heads tanked and checked, and new sealed installed as well, and if you have a loose valve guide, they can find it, and advise you of the situation. If you are going to just change seals on the car, it's a lot more difficult, but not impossible. Just plug the holes down into the engine with clean rags, so if you drop the valve locks, they won't go down in the engine. Before you even start to compress the springs, give the spring and it's retainer, a sharp rap from the side, to break the grip of the varnish that undoubtedly has the valve keepers glued to the valve stem. Make sure you have your valve spring compressor completely in place before you start compressing, because if it comes loose with the spring under tension, parts could fly. Not a complicated job, but one that requires patience. Pull out the old seal or pieces that are there, install new seal, reverse process. This is also a good time to clean any garbage that may be in the top of the head, while apart. AND THIS IS OF PRIMARY IMPORTANCE!!! Be absolutely SURE, you have both valve keepers completely in place, when you let the tension off the spring and lock them back in place. Look and compare to a valve spring assembly so you know how it looks when they are in right. Cause if they aren't in correctly, your engine will suck a valve, and many bad things happen after that......

From Roy:

If you are driving the car on a daily basis and need to add a quart of oil every month, replacing the valve seals may not greatly improve things. A quart of oil a month is not altogether uncommon on an older V-8 depending on how much it is driven. The real indicator for replacing the valve seals is excessive smoking when the engine is first started and sometimes fouled spark plugs.

This page last updated July 21, 2004.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club