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Old 09-29-2010, 12:22 PM
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exhaust header gaskets

I have a pontiac 400 with headers. They were leaking around the middle tubes on the passanger side, no doubt due to the very difficult bolt to tighten in that spot. I'm getting close to putting the new engine in, and there are many choices for the type of header gasket to use. I dont care about stock or original, I just want the best seal I can get so I dont have to worry about replacing them I hate these header bolts! Here are the material choices:

Steel core laminate
Copper
High-temperature white
White acrylic bound paper
Compressed fiber laminate
Multi-layer steel
Carbon composite

What is the best? The site says great things about the copper gaskets..

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Old 09-29-2010, 01:46 PM
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Dead soft solid copper, not copper composite.

Vince
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:47 PM
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Are you talking about where the header bolts to the head? In that case Im using proform soft aluminum gaskets, roughly $30 at summit. they are working great! for the collector to exhaust pipe I'm using Mr. Gasket Aluminum collector gaskets, roughly $25 at summit.. Also, those locking header bolts are a bit pricey but they do what they advertise!

Just my 2 cents..

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam83
I have a pontiac 400 with headers. They were leaking around the middle tubes on the passanger side, no doubt due to the very difficult bolt to tighten in that spot. I'm getting close to putting the new engine in, and there are many choices for the type of header gasket to use. I dont care about stock or original, I just want the best seal I can get so I dont have to worry about replacing them I hate these header bolts! Here are the material choices:

Steel core laminate
Copper
High-temperature white
White acrylic bound paper
Compressed fiber laminate
Multi-layer steel
Carbon composite

What is the best? The site says great things about the copper gaskets..
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:53 PM
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yes, from header to head. So far I haven't been able to find the soft aluminum gaskets for a 400 with D port heads
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:41 PM
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I had that problem on my pontiac, ended up using fiber felpro header gaskets, they were like 30 bucks, then putting a whole lot of copper silicone on them, snugged the bolts, not a leak since.
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:05 PM
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Not sure how the header flange is on the Pontiacs, but on my Chevy, it had one solid flange covering all 4 cylinders on the head......and the flange wasn't quite flat. I ended up making 2 cuts, so the flanges bolted to the head and would snug up separately..........just a thought
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:23 PM
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I think whether you use aluminum or copper, as long as it's a solid, soft metal gasket, the performance is likely to be very similar. What prevents leaks is keeping the bolts snug. Some advocate retightening every few (running) hours. I advocate Stage 8 fasteners. They cannot come loose. And I've never seen a copper or aluminum gasket that blew out the way fibre can (does). The Stage 8 folks are a few miles up hiway 101 from here. I had an issue with needing some longer bolts to make my set proper. Back then, I sent them the (2 or 3) too-short screws, and they sent me back the correct length. Great to work with. Anyway, think about it. A gasket that won't blow out if a small leak does develop, and a fastener that won't loosen to permit that leak. Win-win.

Pat
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:33 PM
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I got the mr gasket copper gaskets. Got the surfaces of the heads and headers very clean. Got he gaskets on, got the bolts on nice and tight. BOTH SIDES LEAK LIKE A SON OF A B!TC% I'm going to go with different gaskets....hopefully summit will give me my money back
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:44 PM
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Is the Header flange flat? Not warped?
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:15 PM
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Header leak

Sounds like the headers are the whole problem not the gaskets. If you keep the same headers try Felpro gaskets and tighten again after a no drive warm up then retighten again after driving . this way at least you get a few good heat cool cycles. I still say the headers suck though.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:48 PM
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I think they were ok, I'm really going to check more thoroughly when I get them off this time. The are hooker headers, I dont know what type yet. I have never had hooker headers before, but I think they are decent, and they were not leaking like this when the old engine was running

Which felpro? the only ones I can find for my engine on summit are these: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/FPP-1424/

I dont mind the cost if it will save me from having to do this again.. I have heard that the all fiber gaskets are preferable. I have found some on summit that look interesting, they are carbon composite. http://www.summitracing.com/parts/PHP-68041/

My buddy told me that his manifolds were pretty warped, so he used remflex gaskets and hasnt had a problem since. http://catalog.remflex.com/PONTIAC_H...p/rf12-001.htm
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Old 10-14-2010, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam83
I got the mr gasket copper gaskets. Got the surfaces of the heads and headers very clean. Got he gaskets on, got the bolts on nice and tight. BOTH SIDES LEAK LIKE A SON OF A B!TC% I'm going to go with different gaskets....hopefully summit will give me my money back
Do the headers have a one piece flange or are they 3 separate pieces?

see post 6
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62
Do the headers have a one piece flange or are they 3 separate pieces?

The headers are 1 piece.
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:39 AM
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Summit is going to accept my return . Now, I measured my ports, and the dimensions are roughly 1 3/8" x 1 15/16". Most of the gaskets I've found are 1.5" x 2". Is this going to cause a problem for me?
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:53 PM
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USE REMFLEX GASKETS! Trust me they will be the last gaskets you will every buy I'm talking from experience TRUST ME. My headders used to leak at the center and outside tubes and I read an add in old car trader about these gaskets and gave them a try and haven't had a leak since. My buddy with a 400 started to have a leak and car ran like crap 2 months after he bought it and I told him to buy them and to his surprise they sealed great because he knew for a fact that his header flange was warped some. These gaskets are 1/8" thick and compress 1/16" and will fill the gap of warped flanges, pitted heads etc. The company is even known to replace a gasket if it blows out for free! Read the reviews and give them a try and you will be believer too. You can get them at amazon for a lil cheaper(35 or so) if you look up the part number on remflex website first.
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