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  • Writer's pictureDean Hempel

FELPRO Gaskets on overload

Sorting through thousands of gasket sets has become an interesting experience. When you are a mechanic and need to buy a gasket set, you have no idea of what goes on in the background. We purchased an inventory from a multi-state parts jobber that was in business for over 75 years. You can imagine the gasket sets produced over the years with the various manufacturers, models, engines, and varieties offered.

Without taking a deep dive on the technical stuff, we'll look at the gasket development over the years. Early materials were compounded with paper, cork and rubber. These were subject to becoming brittle or cracked over time and subject to failure. The science of gasket materials results in better shelf life and performance. Rolls of blank gasket material is an expensive alternative to finding a precisely pre-cut gasket to fit the job. But sometimes this is the only option when an accurate fitting gasket is not available.

While trying to sort my current inventory of gaskets, I'm finding that sets are built to fit a variety of applications. Unfortunately, some of these sets will have extras included to complete the job. However, there are smaller sets that can be the perfect fit for the job. Example being that the MS (Manifold Set) is built for the intake or exhaust. Learning the job and buying the exact set needed will save money and avoid paying for gaskets that will go unused.

Every gasket produced has an initial part number when manufactured. Unfortunately, the engine manufacturers are subject to change specifications at any time. This means that the same engine might have several different versions or series. Also, as the years roll by, different numbers could be assigned to a new version where the old version is a perfect fit. So, individual gasket numbers are sometime difficult to find when the inventory is 'new old stock'. Some of our gaskets don't even have a bar codes on them, so they are dated back to the late eighties.

For the Felpro line of gaskets, it's easy to find the right "SET" based on the leading letters. For most of the sets, they do have the applications printed on the label which makes it easier. Here's a list of the PREFIX abbreviations:

HS--Head Set MLS-Permatorque

CS--Conversion Set

MS--Manifold Set

VS--Valve Cover Set

BS--Crank Seal Set

OS--Pan Set

TCS--Timing Cover Set

SS--Valve Stem Set

TOS--Transmission Oil Pan

ES--Engine Set (Valve Grommet, Head Bolt, Thrust Plate, etc.)

Throttle Body and other O'Ring sets have both set and individual numbers. The bottom line is to check and double check your gasket specifications before opening that expensive box which typically is NOT RETURNABLE if opened. Feel free to check out our currently listed inventory at: AUTO PARTS.xlsx (

FELPRO 21-12
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