so, my car was sent to the shop to change a new head gasket just a few days ago. my car is an old 2e toyota engine which I was thinking of painting it to look nice. But in order to paint it I have to open the cylinder head cover, which was just sealed up by my foreman. I'm not sure if i have to replace the head gasket again or clean and reapply a new RTV sealant

2 Answers 2


No, you cannot re-use that gasket, they are designed to crush as part of forming a new seal. So if you take it apart you will need a new gasket.

  • what a bout those copper or steel gasket?
    – Dexi
    Oct 13, 2018 at 17:56
  • Copper definitely crushes, but you could go to Will's rings...
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 13, 2018 at 18:11
  • 1
    The whole point of expensive full copper head gaskets (at least in the racing world) is that they can be reused. I don't think the OP really wants to remove the head gasket, just the valve cover [gasket].
    – SteveRacer
    Oct 15, 2018 at 1:55
  • Don’t think the op is using a full copper gasket in this situation..
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 15, 2018 at 4:32

I think you mean "valve cover gasket", not head gasket. If it is of cork variety (of this I doubt, I would not reuse it. However, it is most likely a polymer flexible gasket that can be reused if cleaned carefully.

There is no reason to remove the head (and head gasket) to repaint an engine.

  • Not sure what removing the valve cover will get you when repainting an engine, much like what you said for the head... If spraying, then “bagging” the head would be sufficient ie masking up...
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 15, 2018 at 4:35
  • It's the only way to neatly paint the block performance orange or power blue, and still get nice flat black wrinkle coat on the valve cover, which you then sand off the letters back to shiny metal and then flat clear . . . . adds 40+ hp and takes .5 of your ET !
    – SteveRacer
    Oct 16, 2018 at 3:22

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