Keep Getting Header Leaks-any Ideas? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
Hotrodders.com -- Hot Rod Forum



Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Unanswered Posts Auto Escrow Insurance Auto Loans
Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Engine
User Name
Password
lost password?   |   register now

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2011, 01:46 PM
chevyrestore's Avatar
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Orange, CA
Age: 27
Posts: 232
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 2
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Keep Getting Header Leaks-any Ideas?

Hey guys, ive got a 1980 454 engine, seems like I keep getting header leaks. I put on new mr gasket performance header gaskets (the ones they sell in the performance aisle in auto parts stores) and it seems like every 6 months to a year they leak again. Any ideas on what type of gasket or brand I should use and what to do to keep it from leaking?

    Advertisement
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2011, 02:31 PM
DoubleVision's Avatar
Not Considered a Senior Member
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Heart Of Dixie
Age: 40
Posts: 10,654
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 15
Thanked 58 Times in 55 Posts
Stock paper replacement header gaskets are supposed to be soaked in water
so they expand and hold moisture. However, I stopped using paper header gaskets way back in the early 90`s. I use stock exhaust manifold gaskets which are meshed steel. Not only are these tough and really resist burn out, but they`re also slotted so they drop in instead of having to remove all the header bolts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2011, 02:40 PM
68NovaSS's Avatar
Hotrodders.com Moderator
 
Last wiki edit: Working with chromed bolts
Last journal entry: New to me T-Bucket
Last photo:
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Nine Mile Falls, Washington
Posts: 5,217
Wiki Edits: 9

Thanks: 100
Thanked 130 Times in 121 Posts
You could also check/tighten the bolts periodically, also check the flange for flatness.
__________________
Boost adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl...

Midnight Sun Street Rod Association
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2011, 03:48 PM
matts37chev's Avatar
I don't understand?
 

Last journal entry: this is only a test
Last photo:
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Shelton,Wa.
Age: 45
Posts: 2,420
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleVision
I use stock exhaust manifold gaskets which are meshed steel. Not only are these tough and really resist burn out, but they`re also slotted so they drop in instead of having to remove all the header bolts.
good heavy gaskets with metal in them
then cover both sides with a thin layer of permatex ultra copper RTV
Quote:
Originally Posted by 68NovaSS
You could also check/tighten the bolts periodically, also check the flange for flatness.
and check to make sure the bolts are tight once in a while
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2011, 03:52 PM
cool rockin daddy's Avatar
1.21 giga-watts???!!!!
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: wherever cool cars are
Posts: 1,535
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Proper gaskets and preparation along with safety wiring the header bolts or using Stage 8 locking plates.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2011, 04:34 PM
poncho62's Avatar
Out of the Loop Moderator
 
Last wiki edit: Streetbeasts links
Last journal entry: at car show
Last photo:
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Hanover, Ontario, Canada
Age: 62
Posts: 16,857
Wiki Edits: 5

Thanks: 20
Thanked 247 Times in 201 Posts
I use the stock steel gaskets too. Once installed retighten the bolts every few heat cycles for a few days......never have a problem when doing this.
__________________
Ontario Rodders

Budget RVs
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2011, 05:08 PM
kleen56's Avatar
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Santa Clarita CA
Posts: 802
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 4
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
You may want to check the surface of the header that bolt up to the heads to see if it's warped or bent. If that's the case, they gonna leak. It's a pain to check because you have to remove the header and place it on a perfectly flat surface. I used vaseline on the surface and then put the header on the flat surface and see where there is no vaseline marks, that will be the area that is not flat and probably leaking. Otherwise, I'm with the rest these guy, good metal gaskets and I use the Copper RTV like matts37 mentioned.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2011, 07:29 PM
Zeeb's Avatar
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Mandeville, Louisiana
Posts: 107
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
One thing not mentioned was "dead soft aluminum". I kept cracking and getting leaks in conventional gaskets on my SBC. Went to dead soft alum - problem solved. Did have to retighten after a couple of heat cycles.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2011, 07:59 PM
Registered User
 
Last wiki edit: General Motors transmissions Last photo:
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: near Yellowstone park
Posts: 4,217
Wiki Edits: 27

Thanks: 11
Thanked 233 Times in 219 Posts
slots ?

sometimes you can saw some slots in the header mounting flanges. the heating of the headers can cause them to want to warp as they heat and cool unevenly I ve seen guys heat the pipes 2 or 3 inches from the flange after they are torqued to the head to stress releive them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2011, 11:31 PM
DENCOUCH's Avatar
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Great Pacific Northwest
Age: 67
Posts: 409
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
I have used the soft graphite gaskets with success (expensive tho...). I used to double-up on header gaskets & install two instead of one. Sealed pretty well that way. Just my two cents on this.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 12-23-2011, 11:35 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: louisiana
Age: 51
Posts: 1
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
hedder leak

mr gasket r summit copper header gaskets with lok washers on header bolts ! it works running six hundred hp on the street!!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 12-23-2011, 11:36 AM
TurboS10's Avatar
Hotrodders.com Moderator
 
Last wiki edit: Auto Terms and Definitions Used in Modern Engine T... Last photo:
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Texas
Age: 36
Posts: 3,463
Wiki Edits: 2

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Jumping on the stock manifold gasket wagon. With the others when a bolt loosens your done. With the stockers you can retighten and go some more or drop a single in if needed.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 12-23-2011, 08:04 PM
1971BB427's Avatar
Registered User
 

Last journal entry: Latest changes
Last photo:
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Portland
Posts: 1,475
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 12
Thanked 222 Times in 193 Posts
I think it was probably 35 years ago or more when Car Craft wrote a tech article on how to make inexpensive headers seal well. I had just purchased a set of $59 headers for my big block Camaro, so read the article with much interest.
The main theme was that most inexpensive headers had flanges that weren't perfectly flat, and didn't seal well. They showed how to merely cut between each tube to spearate the flanges and allow them to individually seal to each exhaust port. I took mine new from the box and used my portaband to remove most the metal between each tube, leaving just 1/2" around each bolt hole.
When I was done I bolted them to my big block, and 25 yrs. later they were taken off when I rebuilt the engine, and still no leaks. Put them back on it after the rebuild in early 2000, and still no leaks today! Same headers for 35 years, and the cheap fi really works for me!
And all this was with the inexpensive paper gaskets made by Mr Gasket.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 12-23-2011, 11:10 PM
bentwings's Avatar
bentwings
 
Last photo:
Join Date: May 2002
Location: St.Paul, Minn
Age: 72
Posts: 1,794
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 16 Times in 15 Posts
Pretty good. i use soft solid copper gaskets. When I take them off I heat them nearly red and drop them in cold water. This anneals them back to dead soft. It helps to add a very fine copper wire intothe groove too. I usually just silicon seal it enough to keep it there untill I tighten the blots. this then imbeds into the copper. seals very well. It doesn't hurt to tighten the bolts occasionally.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 12-23-2011, 11:15 PM
1971BB427's Avatar
Registered User
 

Last journal entry: Latest changes
Last photo:
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Portland
Posts: 1,475
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 12
Thanked 222 Times in 193 Posts
I use those copper gaskets on my fenderwell headers for my Austin gasser at the collector caps. Since I often uncap to run open, I got tired of replacing the cheap gaskets that stuck and wore out.
Mine don't seal perfect, so I think I'll try your way and anneal them so they're softer. Might help the little leaks at the collector block off plate.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Recent Engine posts with photos

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name (usually not your first and last name), your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ceramic header mods ideas needed Nonhog Engine 3 07-07-2010 09:24 AM
oil leaks DeaconJ Engine 2 05-27-2010 01:22 PM
Oil Pan leaks my oldcar Hotrodding Basics 4 11-15-2009 07:43 AM
gas cap leaks cares General Rodding Tech 2 07-16-2006 07:27 AM
Header wrap on one section of header Sparky06 Engine 4 07-27-2005 10:01 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
Copyright Hotrodders.com 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.