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2002 Escape XLS 2.0L FWD 5MT.

Would you use a Felpro oil pan gasket instead of sealant? Ford does't seem to have an oil pan gasket for the 2.0L, instead a gasket sealant is used. But Fel-pro does make a gasket. There are 17 bolts, so a gasket seems like the simpler thing to do. and a lot less messy. hee.
 

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I am old school, I guess, as I have yet to use sealant alone to replace a gasket. Given Ford uses sealant, but they generally have machines that will follow the path of the 'pan' or 'cover', and squeeze out just the right diameter bead of sealant to make it a good, dry, non-leaking joint. I know I do not have the skill to duplicate that, so will likely continue to use gaskets as needed.
I have seen many occurrences where something is taken apart, some leaky(most), and there is RTV or sealant of some kind slathered all over the sealing surfaces. I know better than to do that, but what is the proper amount to put on to be squished out and form a good seal?
I guess in short, it depends on your evaluation of your skill at application. Also, remember there is 'cure' time, and you want the two pieces being sealed to have a bit of tension on the sealant when they are bolted tight. IOW, apply the goo, smush the two items together, put in the bolts but not tight. Squeeze the sealant out to some degree(how much did you say?) and then wait until the sealant sets up. When close to being set, tighten the fasteners the rest of the way.
I know I cannot spread it that well, evenly and in the right spot, I cannot put the two surfaces together enough, but not too much, tighten the fasteners to give an even squeeze, and then time it so the sealant gets squished and still has a bit of 'expansion' or is under compression when the bolts are finally tightened.
That is why they use machines. At least I think so. It is not brain surgery or rocket science, yes, but the reason to take it apart in the first place is to stop leaks. All the above tell me I will likely make a mess of it and have to do it again, and also have to repeat the 'peeling' of the old sealant from wherever it ends up, if I do it wrong. Or miss a spot. Or ... whatever.
Hmm. Had not really thought it out that much prior, but figure there is an answer right there in front of me.
I would use the FelPro gasket, on clean DRY surfaces. If it is a silicone/rubbery gasket, it must be dry so the gasket stays in place and does not ooze out under compression. No sealant, no goo, no adhesive, just plain metal and gasket.
tom
 
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