Removing paper gasket residue from engine surfaces

Problem

I recently replaced the water pump on my car, and found the existing paper gasket clinging solidly to the pump face on the head. I needed a very quick removal method, as it was getting dark and the car had to be driven 30 minutes later, so I searched around for something hard, flat, but not likely to damage the surface. I found an old Stanley knife blade and tried it, but it wasn’t very easy to hold while scraping the papery crap off.

Solution

In the end I found a blunt hacksaw blade, snipped it in half with some tin-snips – making sure the cut was flat and neat – and ground off the teeth on the chopped-off end. This gave me a very hard, flat tool with which to scrape the paper off.  The ‘half-blade’ could be held in both hands at a good angle to avoid scoring the gasket face. Soaking the gasket paper residue in some detergent helped the process along also. 5 mins of careful scraping around the 3 studs saw the job done. New gasket and pump fitted in another 5 mins, jobs-a-good’un!

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