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Old 12-08-2012, 06:38 PM
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I tried about every gasket known when I first started my current car. Most lasted a day or so..... maybe 100 miles. I even tried the aluminum ones suggested....they are still too hard.

Even the composit style failed as the bolts would never stay tight very long.

I finally got a set of solid copper ones with the embossed o-ring. It took a number of startup and cool downs to stabilize them but they now have well over 20k miles on them. The bolts stay reasonably tight. I do keep after them however. The collector gaskets are the only problem now and that is only because I have opened the pipes up a number of times to replace the starter and once to replace an oil filter.

I have had the main header gaskets off but I anneal them each time I do. Gradually the embossed o-ring will flatten out so you need to replace them if you keep removing them. Do not mix them up side for side or in and out.

I use SS bolts on the heads with lots of never-seize and standard gr 8 bolts ont he collectors ...again with never-seize. I don't like using the SS bolts but rust is more of a problem than strength.

It is a muct to have the gasket surface on the headers flat. I carefully filed mine as I did not have a large enough belt sander to do the job. I took a while and a new sharp file but it was worth it.

I have seen a stack of bellville washers under the bolt heads used as a spring but I have not tried this. I think the heat would get to the washers after a while. The idea here is to get a little compliance in the bolt tension to allow for the expansion and contraction of the bolt and head. You have to hold the bolt from turning however.
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