Copper gasket spray on deck side of permatorque headgaskets? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 06-28-2008, 05:06 PM
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Copper gasket spray on deck side of permatorque headgaskets?

In the course of keeping heads (loose on dowel pins) on the decks of my old 412, my NEW #8364PT felpro's got a slight bit of rust-staining from the blockdeck surfaces of the 412 to keep sealed as best as possible. I now have it's replacement, a freshly assembled 406 {the blockdeck was milled .010", as well as heads flymilled .0015" to assure flatness}. I cleaned the unused but slightly stained headgaskets up well with 91% Isopropyl and softcloth, which got them pretty clean, but it DID take away a slight amount of the bluing sealant of the headgaskets themselves-although only on the blockdeck side(s). I had several people including one from cyl.head mfr. look at them and they thought they would be alright, and I inquired if it might not hurt to give JUST THE BLOCKDECK SIDE a spray of the copper gasket spray. Of 2 pretty knowledgeable people that I checked with, one said it shouldn't be a problem at all and certainly wouldn't hurt anything. The other states that his brother-an engine builder- ALWAYS coats the blockside of all headgaskets, regardless of wether they are a MLS/composite type or otherwise, and that he also would see no problem with it. I would just like to know what the rest of you think about this, and if yourselves, or anyone you know has done this (used copper gasket spray on blockdeck side of headgaskets that are normally installed "dry"). Please give me your thoughts on this. Thanks,-Jim.

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Last edited by j.d.brown.042964; 06-28-2008 at 05:08 PM. Reason: punctu'ation
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Old 06-28-2008, 05:12 PM
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I have seen it used many times, but I have never used it myself.
Felpro doesn't recommend it, so I don't use it.

I've even pulled apart engines that someone put RTV on the head gaskets.

I had the opportunity to clean Felpro gaskets last week to clean rust dust off and just used soap and water and air dried them. (The heads had been set on a gasket on the block and no bolts installed, and got a little surface rust)
The engine is running now.
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:32 PM
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That's how mine got the rust on 'em, -trying to protect the shortblock {from excessive moisture into bores} so as to make engine builder's life a bit easier, since he was swapping with me for new shortblock. (Long story...) Anyways...Anybody else have thoughts on this?

{I know I ought'ta just pony up for a new pair, but the wallet looks like
the fuel tank lately; "Runnin' on Empty"} -Jim
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j.d.brown.042964
Of 2 pretty knowledgeable people that I checked with, one said it shouldn't be a problem at all and certainly wouldn't hurt anything. The other states that his brother-an engine builder- ALWAYS coats the blockside of all headgaskets, regardless of wether they are a MLS/composite type or otherwise, and that he also would see no problem with it. I would just like to know what the rest of you think about this, and if you.
These guys are not as knowledgeable as they would like you to think they are. Using a sealer on a coated, permatorque type of gasket in any use is not recommended. It can cause uneven pressure areas on the gasket and can also attack some of the sealant coating used on MLS gaskets. The best source of information as to what to put on gaskets is the manufacturer themselves and if they don't recommend using a sealer, take the hint.

tom
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:16 PM
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Tom, that's exactly why I threw this question out here-to get a larger reference base from which to draw conlusions. I appreciate your input and respect your experience. Anyone else out there got some input on this matter? {Did it but it caused problems, etc...?)-All opinions respected.-Jim
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Old 06-29-2008, 02:35 AM
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Dry...no sealer.

You don't need it.

Anything you put on the gasket will affect the bond between gasket and head/block surfaces. When you pull these gaskets out used you will see they actually stick to the metal and leave an imprint in the pores of the machined surfaces.

Clean em well, soap and water is as good as anything and you won't risk dissolving the gasket coating like a solvent might. Clean the head and block surfaces just before you assemble with paint thinner or brake cleaner and torque em down. If they have been installed once before you probably won't need to retorque them...but I always check anyway.

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Old 06-29-2008, 09:13 AM
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I ordinarily would've put on dry and not even asked this question, (As I am aware of the fact that they are normally installed dry and rely soley on the composite sealing) but due to trying to clean the minor rust staining/debris well enough to ensure that no garbage was left impregnated into the gasket surface, Isopropyl alcohol and soft rag was used, so I did end up removing a bit of the blue {tacky} coating in the process. Not a great deal of it, mind you -but enough to raise my concerns, and NO this gasket set was never under torque. Only sat loose under the heads resting on dowelpins on the old (412) block for a few days, -just long enough for minor surface rust staining and pitting to occur on the blockdeck side of the gaskets.(Alum.heads so no problem on head-side) In order to be certain that the surface of the gasket had no irregularities that could be felt by the fingertips, I had to go a bit stronger cleaning than dishsoap & water, thus the least harsh solvent I could think of was the rubbing alcohol. (I really thought I had explained all these points earlier, but I suppose it's easy enough to miss a thing or two during the read). Anyways, to be safe I guess I'll just go deeper into the plastic debt for a new set ($40) and be safe rather than sorry. Don't want problems on the new 406. My original point was if anyone had ever heard or known of anyone dressing the blockside of this type headgasket (for ANY reason) and how it worked out. Sorry if I didn't make that clear enough from the outset. Anyways, Thank you all for your input so far, and I'll feep you all posted on how the fire-up and break-in process goes. It'll feel good to have the rusty old sleeper prowling the local roads again. -Jim

Last edited by j.d.brown.042964; 06-29-2008 at 09:16 AM. Reason: punct'uation;
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:36 AM
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Jim
On further thought I remembered some pertainent information.

On newly machined block surfaces and head surfaces, the machine shop supposedly puts the proper amount of texture on the gasket surfaces. And gasket companies require a particular surface texture for proper sealing. Felpro is very forgiving.

On used blocks and used heads that someone has scraped off old gaskets, used wire brushes or scotchbrite wiz wheels, the surface gets somewhat smoother and polished, minimal as it might seem at first thought.

Most of these guys using some type of sealer are reusing home cleaned heads and blocks, so maybe sealer is a confidence builder for them. Maybe it helps, maybe not. This is a carryover idea from the pre 60s?

I've seen enough blown head gaskets to come to the conclusion that not all blown gaskets are caused by warped heads or blocks on NA engines, so maybe the metal texture is a significant concern on old stuff.

Oh, and I have NEVER reused a head gasket, although I have seen it done by others who never had any problems later. I just don't want to have to do the job over again. It is not worth the aggrivation.
ScoT

Last edited by ScoTFrenzel; 06-29-2008 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 06-29-2008, 01:25 PM
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Spraying copper paint (or silver) to both sides of solid METAL head gaskets and installing them BEFORE the paint dries is/was common years ago. The copper or metallic particles suspended in the wet paint will fill and help seal very small scratches and imperfections in the block and head surface areas. The gaskets were usually "dead soft" solid copper.

This process is not recommended or used with the head gaskets that are manufactured today with the exception of full metal gaskets (sometimes referred to as "shim" gaskets).
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Old 06-29-2008, 03:31 PM
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I guess it is just the luck of the person, because I have seen a buddy use a head gasket that had been used then hung on a nail for years. And he just bolted it back on his Ford 302 and the engine is still running good after 3 years. And he didn't even wipe it off he just used it the way it was, and wiped off the heads with a dirty rag. If that had been me it would have blowed the gasket as soon as I started it.
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:19 PM
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Well, all good information. Those I was referring to are new, unused, and never torqued. Only had sitting on (old/412) blockdeck for a few days. Just lost a bit of the tacky blue sealer upon cleanup, due to Isopropyl (soap & water not quite strong enough-tried that first.) Anyways, took an old pair and test-sprayed with the copper sealant and looks like nice, reasonable build-up (not excessive), sort off what you might compare to build quantity of primer-sealer (Not primer-surfacer).
Will observe how they dry and make judgement if still a feasible idea to try or not. So far looks as may be alright, but only test-sprayed on pre- compressed pair (originals from the 412 build, removed and stored indoors). Block deck on the NEW 406 and head surface are fresh. Will post ongoing of the "getting-ready-to-fire-it-up". New stall converter arrived today and weather is wonderful for outside work.!
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:09 AM
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I had a problem with a s10 engine 2.2 not sealing and I was using fel pro gaskets. The head was resurfaced and still not sealing. The block itself was damaged due to some moron using a wiss wheel to clean the surface of the block well as you can expect it created an un even surface. I used cooper spray on the gasket (both sides) and bolted it down and it has been a year now and no leaks.

So take your pick, You said that you wore off some of the coating well I would get a new set.
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