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Antique Engine Archives All archived posts from 1999 to 2004 when SmokStak was on EnginAds. This is a read-only board.

Antique Engine Archives

Reusing Head Gaskets

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Old 08-01-2004, 07:05:59 PM
Larry Kastens
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Default Reusing Head Gaskets

Old timers often reused head gaskets, after they painted both sides with aluminum paint. What properties, if any, does aluminum paint have that helps to seal head gaskets? What else is recommended when reusing head gaskets? Thanks.
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Old 08-01-2004, 07:15:28 PM
Mac Leod
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Default Re: Reusing Head Gaskets

Anti seize Should work...I coated my head gasket with it incase I have to pull the head again. There should be no problem with useing it.

My thoughts.

Mac Leod
Old 08-01-2004, 07:28:42 PM
John Hammink
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Default Re: Reusing Head Gaskets

I used many times that old fashion liquid sunlight soap on both sides, you never will see a leak.

"Sixm" John
Old 08-01-2004, 08:42:35 PM
Jim Tremble
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Default Re: Reusing Head Gaskets


The old paint had aluminum particles in the paint. Don't know about the new stuff.

When sprayed on both sides of the gasket, it was actualy making a new, thin gasket.

Old 08-01-2004, 09:44:21 PM
Patrick M Livingstone
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Default Re: Reusing Head Gaskets

I have always used grease on both sides of a head gasket when replacing it (even when using a new one). I have used this method on numerous engines and old cars and some of the head gaskets have been removed and re-used many times. This method was told to me and my father by my grandfather
Old 08-01-2004, 10:21:57 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Reusing Head Gaskets

I use a copper coat spray from an aresal can made especially for that purpose available from some auto stores,its very tacky and seems to work well. The reason supposedly for aluminum and copper is heat transfer from the block to the head or vice versa. Jan Yoder
Old 08-01-2004, 10:44:49 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Copper-coat

When I got my Witte diesel, it was in pieces, & one of them was a used but good-looking head gasket. I gave it a good spray of Copper-Coat gasket sealer, & it has never showed a sign of a leak. This engine has about a 16:1 compression ratio, so I figure that was a pretty good test...
Old 08-02-2004, 04:49:06 PM
George & Helen Myers
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Default Re: Reusing Head Gaskets

George has wanted me pose this question, now this seems like a good occasion to do so. He has found some head gaskets made of sheet lead. Would this have been original or was installed later?

What would the advantages or disadvantages be? One thought he had was that it may be advantageous on an engine(like some of the Ottawas) where there is very little "meat" around the head bolts.

He was referring to 2 1/2# sheet lead which is 1/24" thick. Having been in commercial roofing, he said there is a lot of circular scraps from installing roof drains which may be available if this would work. He did say it can not be cut with snips, you must use a knife. Of course, a punch would work for the stud holes.....Helen
Old 08-02-2004, 05:56:41 PM
Harvey Teal
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Default Re: Reusing Head Gaskets

Lead will work fine but you must pay good attention to torquing. Also, make sure to reinstall the gasket in the same position every time you use it. Use grease on both sides. Older gaskets can be used as long as they last, don't forget to use grease on both faces. Obviously if they are blown don't try to use'em again. I use a Teflon/fiberglass composite that can be re-used indefinitely, especially good for larger show engines with lots of gasket area, because the Teflon "squishes" into the shallower parts of the block & head, and will seat well with lower headbolt torque.
Old 08-02-2004, 06:04:21 PM
Andrew Mackey
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Reusing Head Gaskets

Is he sure that they are head gasketd and not pipe flanges? I have never heard of lead being used for head gaskets! Andrew


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