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Antique Tractor Talk Vintage farm tractors and mounted implements. Ford, John Deere, Oliver, McCormick and more.

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What head gasket compound do you use?


I will soon be bolting up the head on my JD-D. That started a conversation as to what compound...

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  #1  
Old 11-18-2009, 06:23 AM
G502 G502 is offline
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Default What head gasket compound do you use?

I will soon be bolting up the head on my JD-D. That started a conversation as to what compound each of us use on the head gasket. Some said soak it in oil and then use nothing. Others insisted on "copper-coat". So, I was just wondering what people on this site recommended be used on head gaskets?
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:16 AM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

On a new head gasket I use NOTHING. If I am forced to use a used head gasket for some reason, I use Copper-Coat. I have NO problem reusing the Metal Clad head gasket that many older, LOW COMPRESSION, engines use. Now if I was working on my 14 to 1 Modified Early Chrysler Hemi, The only way I reuse a head gasket is I have solid copper head gaskets that can be annealed and re-use when a LIGHT coat of RTV is used. If the engine is a Diesel only use new head gasket without any sealer.

Kent
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:16 AM
Kelly Tytlandsvik Kelly Tytlandsvik is offline
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

I work with a fellow from Germany. He said they used triple boiled linseed oil on head gaskets. Sometimes even using just the oil for the gasket. I have used it as a sealant for joints on steam equipment (turbines) but never for a gas engine but he said they use it all the time.

Lots of guys use aviation cement when reusing an old head gasket. Permatex sell it. We used it on the headgasket of my brothers Cletrac Diesel when we reused the solid copper gasket and never had any troubles.

If it is a new gasket and the surfaces are good you shouldn't need anything but a little aviation cement there wouldn't hurt anything.

Kelly T
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:02 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

When I rebuilt my fire department's American La-France Junior V-12, I coated one side with Permatex head gasket cement, the other side with a light coat of SAE 30 Non-detergent oil. Oil was used on 1 side to ease disassembly in the future (ALF recommends decarbonization at 20,000 mile intervals, or if the engine developed pre-ignition due to hot spots in the cylinders.)

Andrew
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:39 AM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

Okay, I'll weigh-in on the subject.

I try to replace an old head gasket in the same position (up or down and rotated) as it was when it was taken off. That way, any bumps, pits, etc. will be matched up.

Another thing I do is to be sure to have the surfaces as clean as possible. If the head or block (or both) are rough, I take a big file and carefully and randomly go over it flat to shave off any lumps.

For compound, I've used everything from gasket shellac to Permatex "form-a-gasket" (years ago!) which effectively glue the head onto the block.

For the last few years, the orange stuff works fine for me. I even use it on the 0.020" thick solid copper head gasket on the Homebrew Hvid with no problems. The Hvid has a compression ratio of around 20:1!

The nice things about the silicone are that all it takes is a bump with a mallet to loosen the head and the silicone comes off the sealing surfaces easily if mineral spirits is used for removal.

You only need to use a VERY small amount (on both sides of the gasket) for it to be effective. As long as you see ANY of the sealant squeezing out of the joint, you're fine. Too much and you take the chance of ending-up with strings of the stuff in the water jacket or cylinder.

BTW, I've had the head off of the Hvid about fifteen times using the same head gasket and haven't had the first problem with it.

Take care - Elden
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:44 AM
Tony Thompson Tony Thompson is offline
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

Hello,
It is my understanding that if both surfaces are true, or flat, and a new gasket is being used, no sealer is required.

Oil coating the new gaskets on true, or flat surfaces will facilitate future removal.

Copper Coat is very good for sealing a used gasket, and where imperfections require the use of a sealer.
If copper coat is used, future parting of the head will certainly tear the gasket to bits, as it is much like a high quality bonding agent.
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:54 AM
Nick Huff Nick Huff is offline
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

What I use I coat the gasket with 30 wt oil and install and if I am useing an old gasket 3 ply with fiber in middle I soak it in water for 3 days let dry coat with oil and install water swells up the fiber and allows for you to compress again for tight seal
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:27 PM
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Forrest A Forrest A is offline
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

The original head gaskets were supposed to be soaked overnight in engine oil before installation. I have never done this and had no problems. I have had problems when the mating surfaces are not spotless.

Most importantly, the two surfaces must be bare metal, clean and flat. The D head nut torque is 201 ft lbs (requires a 0-250 ft lb torque wrench) by the way. Use lead washers or some sort of lubricant when tightening the nuts.

Forrest A
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:52 PM
GearlessJoe GearlessJoe is offline
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

My favorite item to rub on both sides of any head gasket or ignitor gasket is neverseize the same thing you put on bolts to get them out later. The stuff seals well and you can take the head or ignitor out many times and the gasket is not harmed. I use this on engines that have piston tripped ignitors and you must remove the head to make adjustments for early or late firing. It also will give a little burn protection to the gasket if you can't always get the tough rubberized gasket material. It will also allow the gasket to move a little bit during thermal expansion of the two surfaces during heat up and cool down.
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:06 PM
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Craig A Craig A is offline
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

I have an engine rebuilder buddy who uses Hylomar exclusively:

http://valco-cp.com/Hylomar.htm
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

make sure you do use the lead washers when installing the head nuts. these arent to ease the effort of getting to the required torque values, they are used to keep the water from the water jackets from leaking past. when i bought my D they had only used a couple of the lead washers and the oil was milky as could be. these washers are available at your john deere dealership very cheaply.
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:39 PM
jht1057 jht1057 is offline
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

In the past I have used either copper coat or if there are pits in the surfaces I use copper anti-seize. Yes the copper anti-seize uses copper instead of the aluminum in regular anti-seize.

Jim
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:08 PM
Eric M. Eric M. is offline
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

Like Elden, I am very picky about making sure the gasket goes back on the engine exactly the same way it came off. I figure that the gasket has conformed to the engine in that orientation, and if it was installed some other way, the poor thing may get confused.

I don't like silicone. If I can avoid it, I will not use it. But, it will seal up some pretty nasty things, and I have used it in some places. Case in point: The hopper gasket on my Fairbanks. The old one was completely gone and rusted away. The mating surfaces were deeply pitted and rusty. It looked as rough as pine tree bark (or close to it). I put a coat of silicone on both sides of the gasket and it has never leaked a drop. Another place I have used it is on the top radiator tank of the Museum's 1934 Euclid. The gasket surface is pretty narrow, the sealing surfaces aren't great, and in some places you really cannot apply much clamping force to any gasket. The top of the core has a flange which bolts to the upper tank, and except for the sides of the radiator there is nothing but a thin strip of steel backing the copper against the tank. I HIGHLY doubt that any pre-cut gasket would be able to seal well in that situation.
The thing I don't like about silicone is that it makes a mess, it's a bear to get off old surfaces (and it makes a mess if you scrape it), and I have destroyed too many perfectly good gaskets with it to justify using it. I just put a thin coating of heavy grease on my gaskets.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:15 PM
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ssimntih ssimntih is offline
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

Also, if you've had any of the head studs out always seal the threads that screw into the block. I've had them leak right up the stud and past the threads in the nut. Alot easier to do it with the head off then when the radiator and everything else is in the way...
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:47 PM
FarmallJeff FarmallJeff is offline
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

I use aviation shellac it works the best and never had a problem with any weeping and it not expensive to buy.
Jeff
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Old 12-27-2009, 09:21 PM
Jerry Sweet Jerry Sweet is offline
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

I use aluminum spray can paint on old,new,metal,and fiber head gaskets,Put it on heavy,then torque up the bolts while the gasket is still tacky.It also helps to prevent electrolysis.
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:34 PM
Jeff Blaney Jeff Blaney is offline
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

Quote:
I use aluminum spray can paint on old,new,metal,and fiber head gaskets,Put it on heavy,then torque up the bolts while the gasket is still tacky.It also helps to prevent electrolysis.
I have heard of this method once before from an old boy I have bought parts off of.
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Old 01-01-2010, 06:31 PM
DennisFust DennisFust is offline
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

I put head gaskets on dry and torque the head.After the engine is at operating tempture I retorque the head I dont have any problems.
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

My father-in-law has been a JD Dealer since the early 1950s and usually uses a thin coat of "Indian Head" gasket shellac and new lead washers on all his 2-cylinder head projects. Everybody has their favorite!!!!!
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: What head gasket compound do you use?

I generally put head gaskets on dry except for using a thin layer of either copper-coat or permatex aviation sealer around the water passages.

If I was going to reuse an old gasket then I would paint the whole thing with one or the other with a little extra dabbed into any cracks or tears in the old gasket.
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