Best Head Gasket for 12 Valve Cummins [Expert Opinion]

Best Head Gasket for 12 Valve Cummins

When at the 12 valve Cummins driver’s seat, engine safety is something you can’t deny. The excellent quality head gasket performs as the engine’s safeguard, ensuring the engine’s longevity. Besides, it sits in-between the cylinder head and engine block, allowing easy pass-through of coolant and oil.

Buying the wrong product may bring disaster, shortening your engine’s lifespan and risking your life. For this reason, no 12 valve Cummins owner wants to experience the nightmare of a blown head gasket. So, buying the best head gasket for 12 valve Cummins is vital.

Selecting the right product can be challenging since the market is full of several engine head gaskets. No worries, we reviewed the 12 valve Cummins head gasket in this comprehensive guide.

Keep on reading!


What is the Head Gasket for 12 Valve Cummins?

Best Overall: Machined Milled Rocker Arm Pedestal Assembly Kit

Best for Durability: Vincos Full Head Gasket Set Replacement

Best for Dodge Cummins Models: Dade 6 pcs Valve Cover Gasket Set 3902666

Best for Easy Installation: XOTIC CP878 Head Stud Vehicle Replacement Kit

Best Reliable Performer: Xotic Head Stud Replacement Kit

Best for Resisting Oil Leak: Vincos Cylinder Lower Gasket Kit Replacement


Comparison Chart – Best Head Gasket for 12 Valve Cummins

Product Name It’s Best for Dimension Weight Exterior
Machined Milled Rocker Arm Pedestal Assembly Kit Overall N/A 9.72 lbs. Multi-layered Steel
Vincos Full Head Gasket Set Replacement Durability 36.4�? X 13.8�? X 2.6�? 5.69 lbs. Multi-layered Steel
Dade 6 pcs Valve Cover Gasket Set 3902666 


Dodge Cummins Models 


5.9�? X 4.7�? X 1.8�? 3.98 oz. Oem
XOTIC CP878 Head Stud Vehicle Replacement Kit Easy Installation N/A 8.7 lbs. Black Oxide
Xotic Head Stud Replacement Kit Reliable Performance 


N/A 9.02 lbs. Black Oxide
Vincos Cylinder Lower Gasket Kit Replacement 


Resisting Oil Leak 


24.09�? X 14.96�? X 2.13�? 2.99 lbs. Rubber; Stainless Steel


How Long 12 Valve Cummins Head Gasket Last?

The straightforward answer is head gasket should last as long as the life of your engine. However, head gaskets of 12 valve Cummins last 100k miles when proper care and maintenance are confirmed.

Generally, head gaskets are made of durable and robust materials like machined copper or layered steel. Therefore, if you follow the correct specifications when running your engine, you will get lifetime service from the head gasket.

To confirm that your head gasket last, follow the below points,

  • Have a regular inspection performed on your 12 valve Cummins
  • Practice correct maintenance schedule
  • Follow your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations when servicing

Your car head gasket will perform at its best and deliver long-lasting performance when you maintain the above tips and use the right rtv for valve cover gasket.

Why Is a Head Gasket Important?

By gasket is using in every industry whether it is custom made or for average daily use. A Head gasket is essential for every vehicle. By doing the below functionality, the head gasket offers the below benefits.

Handles Pressure

Handling extreme pressure is the main functionality of head gaskets. Undoubtedly, both are heavy-lifting jobs. A suitable quality head gasket efficiently takes the pressure and promotes engine health. Therefore, the performance of an engine highly relies on the head gasket.

Maintain Temperature

Every vehicle engine has a coolant channel between the engine block and the cylinder head. The head gasket seals the channel, preventing wear and tear from overheating.


6 Best Head Gasket for 12 Valve Cummins Reviews 2022

If the Cummins gets damaged, then replacement of the 12 valve Cummins head gasket may be required. Here are the favorite choices which will deliver reliable service and ensure the longevity of your engine.

1# Best Overall: Machined Milled Rocker Arm Pedestal Assembly Kit

Many users agree that the Machined Milled Rocker Arm Pedestal Assembly Kit offers the best service for 12 valve Cummins. It is a complete set of rocker arm pedestals which will be an ideal part of your 989-1998 Dodge Cummins 5.9L Diesel 12V models.

Like all standard head gaskets, it is made of durable materials, efficiently resisting high loads. Premium product standards are ensured as they undergo multiple quality inspections. These are ready-made rocker arms manufactured using state-of-the-art CNC machines to specification to ease your head stud installation process.

These rocker’s arms transmit the movement of the camshaft towards the intake and exhaust valves of the engine. Moreover, they reduce the “moment of inertia,” reducing the engine to rev high with the same springs.

The installation process is pretty straightforward; your engine volumetric efficiency will increase after installing it correctly. Furthermore, these rocker’s arms are engineered to help minimize the stop and noise associated with older worn, and high mileage stock rocker arms. Overall, this product will surely improve the performance of your 12 valve Cummins.

What did We like?

  • Made with high-quality material
  • Ensure optimized strength and longer life span for the engine
  • Ready machine milled rocker arm pedestals save hassle and time
  • Undergo rigorous quality inspections for optimum performance
  • Designed to ease the installation process of head stud

What to Consider?

  • It doesn’t include head studs.

2# Best for Durability: Vincos Full Head Gasket Set Replacement

The Vincos Full Head Gasket Set Replacement features an advanced manufacturing system to meet OEM standards. Also, premium materials like multi-layered steel, finest silicone rubber, and non-asbestos materials are used to manufacture these gaskets, providing exceptional reliability and service life.


Manufactured with Fluro carbon rubber, it resists temperatures between -40° C and 250° C. At the same time, it withstands oxygen, ozone, mineral oil, and many organic chemicals and solvents. It creates a highly uniform seal than its non-metallic and metallic counterparts, offering several benefits.

Every part of this gasket is made of premium quality materials yet at an affordable price range. With this head gasket set in your vehicle, you will have to worry less about liquid leaks. In addition, once these parts are installed, the functionality and durability of your engine will be optimized.

All necessary components are available in this set for quick and easy installation. So, your valuable time and money will be saved. In addition, it will surely meet your requirements if you are looking for an efficient and affordably priced head gasket.

What did We like?

  • Premium quality construction ensures reliable functionality
  • It comes with all the necessary parts for effortless installation
  • Rubber O-ring confirms uniform seal
  • Resistance to high and low temperature
  • Offers exceptional services like

What to Consider?

  • Some parts of this head gasket set are useless.

3# Best for Dodge Cummins Models: Dade 6 pcs Valve Cover Gasket Set 3902666

Are you wondering whether the market has compatible models of head gasket for your 12 valve Cummins? Thanks to the Dade 6 pcs Valve Cover Gasket Set 3902666 is compatible with Dodge Cummins models.

This valve cover gasket set fits and exceeds most of the dodge Cummins specifications. After installing this, you won’t have to be worried about oil stains and dirt building on your components. This set ensures that the parts remain oil-free and dry from any leakage. Overall, it helps imperfect sealing surfaces. They are well-made and a good fit for the application.


Another worth-mentioning feature is the 6 O-rings for the bolts. These rings hold down the included rocker covers. As a result, every part of the set offers outstanding functionality and durability throughout its service life.

Its sealing capacity is much higher than other valve cover gaskets in its price range. As a result, it is not going to fail you anytime. More importantly, you won’t have to buy another set of 12 valve Cummins head gaskets after a few days. You will always get excellent performance regardless of the weather.

What did We like?

  • Designed to provide top-class performance
  • Highly reliable and durable
  • 6 O-rings for the bolt secure rocker covers effectively
  • Withstands different weather conditions
  • Tested for real-world performance

What to Consider?

  • Installation requires practice

4# Best for Easy Installation: XOTIC CP878 Head Stud Vehicle Replacement Kit

If you are looking for gaskets that go right for your 12 valve Cummins, you can rely on the XOTIC CP878 Head Stud Vehicle Replacement Kit. It is a leak-free kit and perfectly fits 1989-1998 Dodge Cummins 5.9L Diesel 12V. This kit is manufactured to maximize your vehicle’s performance.


It resists 220,000 psi tensile strength for its XOTIC 7200 material construction. This tensile strength is more significant than 8740 Chrome steel head studs. Moreover, threads are heat-treated for ultimate fatigue strength. Furthermore, lifting the cylinder head is prevented because of the ample clamping strength. However, this kit is outstanding in preventing oil leaks.

Installation of the head stud is easy with the instruction manual’s included diagrams. It retains cylinder seals with the help of its exceptional design, even with today’s extremely high-pressure turbo systems. In addition, these studs’ clamping force is more than the standard head bolt.

The kit includes premium quality parts that prevent dust and dirt from entering the engine. The black oxide finish provides sufficient protection from wear and tear. In addition, the hardened parallel washer offers accurate torque readings and uniform load distribution.

What did We like?

  • Indestructible tensile strength
  • Survives in high pressure and temperature
  • Easy to install with a drawn diagram
  • High-quality construction and service life
  • It prevents oil from leaks

What to Consider?

  • Be careful enough when installing.

5# Best Reliable Performer: Xotic Head Stud Replacement Kit

The Xotic Head Stud Replacement Kit is suitable for 12 valve Cummins. This company manufactures high-quality components, and it is also no exception. Due to its robust structure, it delivers rugged performance. It is a testament to the company’s high production standard.


This replacement kit is virtually indestructible with an impressive tensile strength of 220,000 psi. Many 12 valve Cummins are satisfied with its performance and have been using it for several years without showing significant problems. It means periodic replacement is unnecessary, saving valuable money.

Due to the broached design of the stud head ends, it is easy to install and remove. They maintain a tight cylinder seal despite being mounted on extreme pressure oil turbo systems. Moreover, this kit is excellent when it comes to quality and efficient functionality.

The provided clamping force is higher than conventional Ford OEM inner row head bolts. You will also love to know that the hardened nuts and washers deliver uniform load distribution, giving you accurate torque readings. Overall, the performance of the head stud will satisfy you for sure.

What did We like?

  • Direct fit replacement model for a variety of 12 Valve Cummins
  • Extreme tensile strength
  • Easy installation and removal process
  • All mounting hardware and accessories are available
  • Provides satisfactory performance for many years

What to Consider?

  • It doesn’t come with assembly lube.

6# Best for Resisting Oil Leak: Vincos Cylinder Lower Gasket Kit Replacement

Oil leaking from the valve train is quite a common problem in every vehicle. The 12 valve Cummins also shows this issue. Vinco’s Cylinder Lower Gasket Kit Replacement prevents oil leaks and blocks the entrance of other harmful materials to the valve train.


In terms of long service life, this is unbeatable. Also, its extreme durability makes it less prone to breakage. However, it would help if you made sure that the attachment was not too tight or not too loose. The gasket’s efficiency is confirmed when it is installed perfectly. All in all, it is engineered from premium materials to give your long-term service.

The manufacturer uses advanced manufacturing technology to build it. As a result, it offers optimum operation during low and high temperatures. The Fluro Carbon rubber makes it resistant to -40° C and 250° C. You will get efficient performance from it for many years.

This model is incredibly straightforward to install. Moreover, the seal will stop the escape of fluid from the components, keeping the surroundings dry, clean, and oil-free. It will also keep dust sneaking inside the parts.

What did We like?

  • Keeps harmful materials away from valve trains
  • Prevent oil leakage, keeping the component surrounding clean
  • Hassle-free installation process
  • Withstands both high and low temperature
  • Boosts 12 valve Cummins performance

What to Consider?

  • Intermediate leakage reduction


Buying Guide – What to Consider Before Buying the Best Head Gasket for 12 Valve Cummins

Before buying the best head gasket for 12 valve Cummins, essential considerations need to be analyzed and considered. Otherwise, you may end up with the wrong product.

Please read the below few points and consider them when buying the best head gasket for your vehicle.


The 12 valve Cummins do not have the same design inside. For this reason, before deciding on a model, you must ensure the head gasket fits in your vehicle effortlessly.

The interior design can be different based on the model year of manufacture and engine size.

You can avoid a lot of inconvenience by considering the compatibility at the installation time. Then, depending on the 12 valve Cummins manufacturing year, choose the head gasket.

Some head gaskets are compatible for 1989-1998 Dodge Cummins 5.9L Diesel 12V models, while other fits on 1998.5-2018 Dodge Cummins 5.9L 6.7L Diesel Cylinder 24V Models.

So, it is essential to check the compatibility before making a buying decision.

Materials Quality

The quality of the materials is another crucial aspect to consider. The quality of the materials tells you about the service life of the head gasket. A head gasket made of inferior quality materials will not deliver long-lasting performance. Buying a poor-quality head gasket means purchasing another one after a few months because of damage.

In this case, ensure your selected model is made of high-strength materials. High-quality materials will help you avoid different problems like quick wear and tear. These models provide the required sealing for your 12 valve Cummins.

Installation Procedure

The easy installation process will save you valuable time, money, and effort.

Generally, most head gaskets for 12 valve Cummins are available with the required accessories and components, allowing you to install the gasket easily. Also, the manufacturer’s instruction manual is beneficial for handling the task independently.

However, we always advise you to install the head gasket with assistance from a professional. Thus, you can avoid future complications.

Parts Quantity

All head gaskets in the market don’t come with the same parts. The design and quality levels determine the included parts number.

The head gasket installation process will undoubtedly be challenging with minor parts quantity. But on the other hand, high-quality head gaskets come with necessary parts like main parts, screws, O-ring, etc., for easy installation.

Having all the necessary parts means you will have to spend less time on the installation procedure.

Preventing Oil Leak

It is vital to ensure that your preferred model is efficient enough to prevent oil leaks. This way, the surrounding of the engine will remain clean, dry, and free from oil.

Simultaneously, the head gasket should seal perfectly to avoid harmful components in the engine. Thus, the lifespan of the engine will be promoted.

Heat Resistant

Generally, like all other engines, 12 valve Cummins also produces heat.

Although heat resistance is not a mandatory factor, this feature will let your head gasket handle high temperatures. Without this factor, the head gasket may have a challenging period of holding up over time.

So, choosing a head gasket set with a heat-resistant feature would be best.



Frequently Asked Question

How do I know if my 12 valve Cummins has a blown head gasket?

A blown head gasket of the 12 valve Cummins shows the below signs,

  • White smoke coming from the tailpipe
  • The appearance of a bubble in the coolant reservoir and radiator
  • Unexplained loss of coolant without leaks
  • Milky white color formation in the oil
  • Overheated engine

Can I replace the head gasket of my 12 valve Cummins?

The head gasket replacement is complicated and should be carried out by a professional mechanic. Even you mustn’t trust your friends with vast knowledge of vehicles unless they are skilled. A lot of experience and knowledge about different tools is necessary to complete a head gasket replacement task.

Is it possible to drive my 12 valve Cummins with a faulty head gasket?

You can continue driving, but making an immediate plan to replace the faulty head gasket is essential. While driving with a blown head gasket, don’t load extra weight; check the coolant level every day until you take your 12 valve Cummins to a mechanic shop and you might check your valve cover gasket also.

How much does replacing a head gasket of a 12 valve Cummins cost?

The average cost of replacing a head gasket of a 12 valve Cummins is $1400 – $2500.


Last Words & Top Pick

A blown head gasket is a prime reason for the 12 valve Cummins’s complete failure. So, choosing the best head gasket for 12 valve Cummins is remarkably important to boost the performance of your vehicle engine. The right head gasket will surely provide other benefits as well.

We recommend you buy the Machined Milled Rocker Arm Pedestal Assembly Kit. This kit perfectly fits the 1989-1998 Dodge Cummins 5.9L Diesel 12V models. It is durably constructed to give you many years of efficient service. Also, you can’t raise any questions about its efficiency since it is rigorously tested to ensure quality performance.