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I realize there is a lot of information out there on this subject but there are two "schools of thought" regarding putting some type of gasket compound or sealant on the timing cover gasket.
1. FordTechMakuloco has a very good YouTube video on how to do this job. He recommends no sealant or compound on the gasket. Likewise, Haynes makes no reference to using sealant.
2. On the other hand, others say to use various types of compound (Including Copper Silicone which I'm not familiar with)
It is clearly understood that we need to use sealant where the timing cover gasket meets the oil pan gasket. My gasket set came with black RTV compound for this purpose.
My timing cover is in good condition with the exception of a little corrosion above the large circular coolant holes near the top. This is what caused the coolant leak, which is why I'm doing this!
I plan to clean up all the surfaces and put some compound in these areas and I'm thinking if I'm going to do that I may as well put it on the whole gasket.
(usually I would put a thin layer of RTV on both sides of the gasket and assemble it that way but I'm interested in other opinions)
Any and all advice is much appreciated.
 

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I always use silicone sealant on both sides of the TC gasket. Really thin layer but original install didn't use it. Too much will cause problems. I did this five times but one twice, I suspect too much RTV. I also replaced the cover on two of them due to corrosion around water ports. It is such of a tedious job I didn't want to use a bad cover. Also remember to put sealant on the large bolts since they penetrate the water jacket.



I believe the gasket failure is due to the way they mount the alternator support to the back water port bolt since they rarely leak from the front port.
 
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