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Old 03-16-2013, 10:04 PM
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Have you ever reused a head gasket?

I was reading a few threads on another site about this gasket issue and I was wondering if you ever reused a head gasket or any other sensitive gaskets. I just want to know from people who actually tried to do it, doesn't matter if it worked, failed, whatever.

If you done it tell me the results, what type of gasket it was, why you thought you could do it without incident, the type of vehicle, and how long it lasted.

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Old 03-16-2013, 10:17 PM
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Back in the day. Used solid copper gaskets over many times. Doing quick checks between rounds at the drags.
Also have used steel shim and Fel-Pro blue gaskets over on SBC engine in dragster. Never a problem. I had a gasket engineer tell me Chevys can be sealed with almost anything because of five bolt holes around the cylinders.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:24 PM
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fel pro blue is that like their regular gaskets or is that special material?
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:57 PM
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My shopmate is a one of the few top fuel owner/ drivers left. Yes they still use copper gaskets with wire o-rings in the heads and reuse the gaskets as long as their condition allows. I have not ever reused any other type of gasket. Maybe it will work but I wouldn't know.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:58 PM
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Yes, a honda 3.2L v6. It was the factory cometic head gasket. It is composition of metal plates and you can torque it again.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:34 AM
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Well I am mostly curious just about the results with gaskets that arent known or said to be reusable.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:52 AM
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I run Cometic MLS on the blower car, and talked to Cometic about reusing, they say yes if it was sealing when last assembled. Even at over $100 per side I don't reuse them, but then I don't pull my heads that often.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:22 PM
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I have head studs and it simply is not worth the effort to have to pull the motor out twice to replace the head gaskets. For the $ 100 or so for a pair of head gaskets it's just not worth the risk.

The Funnycar we reuse the solid copper gaskets all the time. We have sets from .060 to .100 by .010 that are changed to alter compression ratio. Once in a great while a head will get a gouge burned around the o-ring groove under the gasket. It doesn't trash the head but it means a trip the head rebuilder for welding and machining that we can't do. I don't recall ever burning the new aluminum blocks this way. Lost a couple cast iron hemi's in the old days however.

To answer the question, I don't like to have to re-do motor stuff so I'd say don't reuse.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:01 AM
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Yes many times.

Coppers work no sweat. Just flame them with the torch and they can be reused as many times as needed.

Normal head gaskets can not be resued once they have seated up. If you ever had a head off you know the gasket is trashed during removal. as half of it still needs to be scrapped off the engine.

I have resued motor cycle gaskets. and a few cars. but most cars leak oil after reuse. The compression part will seal up casue the heads are bolted down tight enough but the oil seals leak like crazy. Motorcylce use o rings for most oil passages.

Always get a new gasket if at all possible.

As far as paper gaskets with no sealer that just come loose I reuse them in the past without much trouble. but i also always seal them up first. Pizza box has also worked in a pinch along with felt or paper gasket sheet for custom gaskets.

FYI any blue or none metal gaskets or multi layer where the part touching the head is not steel can not be reused. Most felpros are one time use casue the have gasket sealer that sets up when the engine gets hot the first time. The blue coating is not going to be there when you get it back apart.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:13 PM
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On some smaller old motor cycles. I didn't have the head gasket so I used a film of silicone.

How long did the pizza box last?
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinn View Post
On some smaller old motor cycles. I didn't have the head gasket so I used a film of silicone.

How long did the pizza box last?
An amazing amount of time but not as a head gasket. but sealed up just fine for holding back oil.

I have lapped 2 stroke heads to use no gaskets to raise the compressions ration a few points. But not needed these days with the thin gaskets you can buy.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One to Remember View Post
I was reading a few threads on another site about this gasket issue and I was wondering if you ever reused a head gasket or any other sensitive gaskets. I just want to know from people who actually tried to do it, doesn't matter if it worked, failed, whatever.

If you done it tell me the results, what type of gasket it was, why you thought you could do it without incident, the type of vehicle, and how long it lasted.
Only in the case on MLS, shim and graphite or Teflon coated composition gaskets and the engine has not been run nor gasket goo of some sort been used. I never reuse these type gaskets once the engine has been run. I typically end up reusing head gaskets when doing assembly mock ups where the engine may come together one or two times to measure dimensions such as valve or spark plug to piston clearance, etc. Certainly the higher the output or end use of the engine plays a role, high end builds for street or competition only leave the shop with virgin gaskets.

In the case of copper or aluminum with cylinder O rings these can be cleaned and annealed then reused in their original locations when there is no other choice this being an in the pits maintenance thing. A new build, rebuild or a service tear down and inspection always gets fresh gaskets.

Bogie
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:55 AM
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Back in the flathead days I would reuse the copper head gaskets. I have also reused the performance level Fel-Pros, but only if I haven't filled the engine with water, then fired it and run through a heat cycle.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:42 AM
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yea Ireland's Child i have a ford i put the head gasket on, tightened down but never wet or heated up so i wasnt sure if the head would correct anything altered by the thing being torqued down. its a fel pro.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One to Remember View Post
yea Ireland's Child i have a ford i put the head gasket on, tightened down but never wet or heated up so i wasnt sure if the head would correct anything altered by the thing being torqued down. its a fel pro.

There are several levels of Fel-Pro gaskets. The ones I've reused are the HiPo Perma-Torque versions, i.e. Q1011-1 or -2(which I'm currently using). Their standard OEM level gaskets, i.e., Q9333Pt1 probably I would not reuse, are fairly inexpensive, though these are almost as good as the HiPo's for performance use without nitrous or supercharging
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