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Gasket surfaces:  paint or no?


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Cleaning up salvage yard water pump & thermostat housings, I thought I'd go ahead & paint the gasket surfaces to try to prevent corrosion there.  Will they leak?  Should I wire wheel the paint from the gasket surfaces?

Does anyone have experiences or thoughts about painting those surfaces?

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Bill, I did mine a while ago, and I wirewheeled the majority of it. I then removed the studs with a stud extractor, allowing full cleaning of the surfaces, which I surface polished using a tool steel and wet n' dry paper (800, 1200, 2000) with a few drops of light oil to help keep it smooth. If you don't have a ground tool steel a piece of glass will do as it's usually pretty flat. Or maybe a slate etc.

Anyway, once I had got this far I dipped the whole thing in mild acid to loosen the inside sludge that builds up - this essentially etched the gasket surfaces too. A final thread cut for the various stud holes and temperature sender saw it all good, with a final surface polish. I then masked these and primed and painted it. A prorietry gasket sealent can be used if the gasket face is still pock marked etc.

Essentially, no don't paint your gasket faces as this can allow the paint to lift, giving the effect the gasket has failed.

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Drat all tiny voices of conscience & common sense anyway.  So much for potshots at being lazy.  
Yes, I'll clean them back off, & in thinking about it, I believe I'll use Permatex Aviation gasket cement on the water pump housing.  The one on there now was put on with bare metal gasket surfaces & Permatex Aviation & hasn't leaked since 1980-whatever, so I guess that's what works.  I did use grease as suggested on the last thermostat replacement, & it seems like it would be easier for something like that which is replaced occasionally.

JJ, where were you before I painted this thing?  You're right, the water pump housing should have been acid dipped.

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