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Note: I am NOT asking about re-using an old head gasket.

Super newbie paranoid question here! I am wondering if I can use a brand new head gasket where I opened the packaging about a month ago. The "packaging" was just a piece of cardboard wrapped in plastic. After I removed the plastic, I replaced the gasket on the cardboard and wrapped it with food-grade saran wrap (Kirkland brand strech-tite) and left it alone.

I'm 90% sure the answer is "yes" but since I've never done this before, I wanted to be sure that exposure to air or the saran wrap wouldn't somehow negatively impact the head gasket.

The gasket in question is the Fel-Pro 9701PT. I don't see anything on their website that would imply it can't be opened but it does say "Seals immediately" and "Uses no sealer" on the packaging.

Thanks!

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If there is no damage to the gasket, there are no issues. Damage can be construed as physical or environmental. If it is flat and dry as you are suggesting, there should be absolutely no issue using it. The original shrink wrap is not water tight, so any moisture in the air will get to it with or without the wrap being on it. The cardboard (along with the wrap) is there to help it stay flat and keep it from banging around in the packaging during shipment. To my knowledge, there is no shelf life for gaskets or seals. As long as they are still in good shape, they are good to use.

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  • You make a really good point about the original shrink wrap not being water-tight. Indeed, these were stored in my garage which is not climate controlled and is extremely moist. Now, they were in a plastic box and I don't see any moisture damage but given that new head gaskets are $60 and it's taking me months to disassemble and re-assemble the truck, I might just get new ones for peace of mind.
    – Dan
    Feb 23 at 20:01
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    @Dan - Really, I'd personally have absolutely NO ISSUES with using them as you describe them. I wouldn't even think twice about it. Feb 23 at 20:59

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