Taylor Cable Products Explains: Not All Gaskets Are Created Equal

If the name Taylor Cable Products sounds foreign to you – either you’ve been living under a rock, or you just don’t do cars. Either way, you might be in the wrong place. But, if you are into cars, and you do know the name, you surely know the company for its role in producing some of the baddest ignition components for anything on four wheels.

What you might not know is Taylor also offers a line of exhaust and other gaskets. It donned on us that many people don’t realize there is a difference between gasket types and materials. It’s understandable, like most things, gasket technology has progressed rather quickly over the last decade or so, and certainly since the time most of us bought our first set of headers. So, we reached out to the head-honchos at Taylor to find out everything there is to know about Taylor Gaskets.

Like a screwdriver, hammer, or a pair of pliers – gaskets should be chosen with a “right tool for the job” mentality. Not all are created equal, and some are better than others for specific applications. To accommodate the needs of all its customers, Taylor Gaskets has six gasket styles.

When we asked the experts at Taylor Cable Products, what Taylor’s line of gaskets consists of, he broke it down for us. “The line actually consists of multiple product lines. Seal-4-Good header and collector gaskets, XX Carbon header and collector gaskets, Graph-Flex header and collector gaskets, HTR header and collector gaskets, EMR (Extended Memory Rebound) no-stick reusable carburetor baseplate gaskets, and standard baseplate gaskets.”

With so many options to choose from, of course, we had questions. The foremost being, what are the differences between all these gasket types, and how do customers know which is right for them?

They expounded on the merits of each gasket line.

Seal-4-Good:

The experts at Taylor told us, “We recommend installing the Seal-4-Good with the cupped side toward the cylinder head and rounded side toward the flange, but they will work fine either way.”

“Our Seal-4-Good line is made up of reusable multi-layer aluminum gaskets. This is our most popular material. The .06-inch-thick exhaust manifold gaskets are comprised of six-layers of dead-soft aluminum, while the collector gaskets are solid 1/8-inch dead-soft aluminum, and include grade 8 fasteners. These gaskets work best with high-quality headers.”

The dead soft aluminum thickness is important because it is designed to compress and fill gaps, warps, or other imperfections in the cylinder head or header material. Doing so provides an air-tight, leakproof seal.

You might think high-quality headers shouldn’t have any of those problems, but if you plan on removing your headers and reinstalling them with any frequency, it becomes more of an issue. As exhaust gasses from high-performance engines heat the headers, they expand and subsequently contract, causing warpage. Even on a minuscule scale, it can cause leaks if you aren’t using a quality, reusable gasket. This is something copper gaskets just can’t do.

The folks at Taylor also mentioned an essential factoid about installing Seal-4-Good gaskets. “Only snug the bolts with a wrench (do not torque). Start the engine. If a leak is present, keep snugging the bolts until the leak stops. Periodically, check the fasteners and tighten if needed.” This also applies to the Graph-Flex line of gaskets (See below).

XX Carbon:

“Our XX Carbon gaskets are made of a proprietary 2,000-degree carbon-felt material with a steel core that is priced competitively.”

A high-temp gasket like Taylor’s XX Carbon is designed to dissipate heat to prevent hot spots. The center exhaust ports on a small-block are notorious for causing warpage of the header flange, which will inevitably be accompanied by a leak and blow/burn-out.

Because of the heat-dissipation properties the XX Carbon maintains, it is a clear alternative to copper but at a lower cost. It also has the added benefit of conforming to even the worst flange surfaces – making them perfect for nitrous, turbo, and supercharged engines.

Graph-Flex:

“Graph-Flex is 100-percent graphite facing, with a perforated stainless steel core, and is 1/8-inch-thick. These work best on problematic applications where the flanges are warped or pitted.”

Taylor advertises the Graph-Flex line as “the end all header leak problem solution! The Graph-Flex gasket seals header flanges when nothing else will – even warped or damaged flanges.”

Taylor offers this “ultimate repair gasket” by using a 100-percent graphite body with a stainless metal core. So, while the outside has a soft, pliable, imperfection-filling surface, the core is made to dissipate heat and prevent blowouts.

HTR Gasket:

The HTR (High-Temp Replacement) line from Taylor Gaskets is made of a reinforced metal fiber. “These are OE replacements that work best with stock exhaust manifolds.”

Touted as a great budget option for general-purpose sealing, HTR gaskets are still a cut above other factory-replacement options. For example, they are rated at 1200-degrees and are designed for strength and performance.

The gasket experts also mentioned, “we do not recommend using any sealer or adhesive with our gaskets except for the HTR, which may benefit from using a copper sealer.”

EMR Reusable Baseplate Gaskets:

Taylor Gaskets’ line of EMR (Extended Memory Rebound) gaskets are manufactured using a special polymer of the same name that “allow the gaskets to “rebound” from torqued compression.”

If you’re the type to swap your carb setup often, this is an option to consider. Instead of tearing and replacing countless fiber gaskets when inspecting, repairing, or removing your carburetor, get one you can re-use. Taylor Gaskets has the solution.

Standard Baseplate Gaskets:

Taylor Gaskets’ line of standard baseplate gaskets is precisely what it sounds like – a basic product that performs a necessary function. “The standard baseplate gaskets are made from recycled-fiber material with an added binder to provide a “controlled swell” for sealing. As an added benefit, they are available in a bulk 10-pack, so you’ll always have a replacement on-hand.

How And Where They’re Made:

We asked about Taylor Gaskets’ production methods as well. While they couldn’t go into too much detail due to the proprietary nature of some of the materials and production practices, he did tell us “all of Taylor Gaskets’ products are stamped on a press at our location in Grandview, Missouri.”

There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with outsourcing production, especially in this globalized economy of ours. But, it is nice to hear about American owned and operated businesses creating jobs for Americans. If they happen to do so by manufacturing a product the whole world benefits from – all the better.

And we mean that, with its vast line of gaskets, Taylor caters to a broad range of vehicles.

Applications:

In fact, we asked them to touch on that very subject. “We have header gaskets for most popular domestic applications including small-block and big-block Chevrolet, Ford, and Chrysler. We also offer gaskets for late-model GM LT1/EcoTec3, GM LS, Ford Modular, Ford Coyote, and Dodge Gen III Hemi’s.”

Basically, Taylor Gaskets has got you covered no matter what domestic vehicle you’re driving. If you’re in the market for new gaskets, it’s important to remember a few things.

Whatever brand or material you land on, a high-quality gasket should conform to imperfections, effectively sealing the two surfaces being fastened together. It should also maintain a level of flexibility to work with the different expansion and contraction rates of the cylinder head and exhaust manifold/header material. Additionally, it should provide tension on the fasteners which mate the two surfaces together. Lastly, depending on the application, it should be able to stand up to extreme temperatures without failure.

With all of the technology used to create Taylor’s new lines of gaskets, we have no doubt anyone of them will perform to those standards. Now that we’re all armed with extensive gasket knowledge, we can make an informed decision when it comes time to purchase a set for our rides. If you have any questions or you’d like to check out Taylor Gaskets for yourself, head over the Taylorvertex.com.

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About the author

Vinny Costa

Fast cars, motorcycles, and loud music are what get Vinny’s blood pumping. Catch him behind the wheel of his ’68 Firebird. Chances are, Black Sabbath will be playing in the background.
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