Ugh,fella. I came across the Explorer graphite gasket sets with the blue rubber rail gaskets at Rockauto for $12.47ea. I ordered 2 sets. I'm determined to make these work. I'm thinking thin bead on top and bottom of gasket,let skin then torque down. Also,we run a similiar engine combo (331,turbo,etc). Do you run a pcv or what's your setup? I'm currently running 2 a/n fittings (10a/n) on the valve covers to a vented catch can. But then you research it,it's never a clear answer. There's talk of one way check valves,but no real clear way how to install.I can help. Get a lower intake set with the cork gaskets. Lay it down in the valley and trim the ends with a razor to lay down. Get some right stuff gasket maker ( I like the can because it's reusable ). Put a bead under the cork gasket and a bead on top. You also need to let it sit for about an hour before you start it. I let mine sit over night.
The problem is that if the gap is too large back there the pressure will push the silicone out.
I had bad luck with leaking valley gaskets in the past and tried everything. I tried the blue rubber gaskets and they would leak too over time. I used to use yellow snot ( super high tack ) on the cork gaskets but found it would get hard over years and start leaking. The cork gaskets will kindof sweat oil after a couple years. Not enough to drip but enough to make the area damp.
The blue ones work sometimes. I put a set on a customers car with just dabs of right stuff in the corners. It lasted for a while but started leaking again in about a year.
Over the last 20yrs the way I do them now works the best for me.