How hard is it to put a round gasket on distriubor and keep it in time?
fairly easy, if tou know the Chevy 350 timing order. if not its clockwise 18436572. first you need to track down your #1 spark plug (witch will be driver side front plug) trace that plug wire up to the distributor. mark that plug wire 1 and follow the numbers listed above in a clockwise sequence. when your done with that pull all the plug wires off. next pull the cap off. under the cap you will see the rotor. mark the position of the rotor with a bright marker on yhe distributor base. next take the distributor hold down strap off the distributor. then pull the distributor out. replace gasket and reverse process.
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The head gasket seals the head to the engine block. Coolant and oil flow through the head. The gasket prevents then from mixing together. The valve cover gasket only prevents oil from splashing onto the engine and exposing the valve train and moving parts to the outside of the engine. No coolant makes contact with the valve cover gasket.
That is a scary situation. The best, and cheapest, thing you can do is immediately replace the gasket. You can keep driving it with a slow leak, but you will have to keep putting transmission fluid in it. Which will cost you more in the long run. If you replace that gasket now, You won't have to worry about constantly re-filling the transmission fluid.
I believe it is similar to my suzuki 500 the two side cover gaskets (clutch/magneto) are easy for someone who has experience, the crank case gasket at the center of the engine is very hard. The engine would have to be taken out and almost completely dissembled to get to the center crank case gasket, at this point it may be easier to get a used engine, or if your going to keep it for…
If you are referring to the valve cover gasket developing a leak, then, no..this wont keep the car from starting. If you are referring to the head gasket, then , yes...this could prevent the car from starting. Check the distributor cap gasket or o-ring. This could also keep the car from starting on rainy days or dewy mornings...Good luck!! ...BB