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Old 10-20-2012, 08:50 AM
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Oops...head gasket upside down?

I got the heads on my SBC last night and afterward I noticed the dipstick hole was half covered up. After a closer look, it would appear there is a cut out that would have lined up perfectly with the hole if I had put them on the other way. DOH! Is this going to be an issue?

These are the gaskets in question.
Clevite Engine Parts 5746 - Clevite Nitroseal Cylinder Head Gaskets - Overview - SummitRacing.com

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Old 10-20-2012, 09:32 AM
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There should have been stamping that says something like "This Side Up" or similar. Install them with the solid metal fire ring against the block and the crimped side towards the head.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:52 AM
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I can appreciate that, but what do I do now?
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:17 AM
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As long as it's not an LS motor, you should be ok. Some engine builders install them upside down for aluminum heads and right side up for steel heads or vise versa (I can't remember).
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:32 AM
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No LS, just a Gen1 SBC 350. I looked over the gaskets and did not see an UP mark or any indication like that. The holes all seem to be symmetrical and line up just fine. There is a fire ring on both sides of the gasket, but there are some other metal (?) types "plates" around some of the water and oil holes. Since these are "nitro seal" gaskets, I assume they have really good sealing around the water and oil holes though.

Some googling showed other horror stories about over heating and partially blocked oil passages, etc. Not sure if its the same motor or what though. But yes I also uncovered info that said for aluminum heads, you need to use them upside down.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Surfer View Post
I got the heads on my SBC last night and afterward I noticed the dipstick hole was half covered up. After a closer look, it would appear there is a cut out that would have lined up perfectly with the hole if I had put them on the other way. DOH! Is this going to be an issue?

These are the gaskets in question.
Clevite Engine Parts 5746 - Clevite Nitroseal Cylinder Head Gaskets - Overview - SummitRacing.com

Thanks!
The main problem will be cutting away the gasket overhanging the hole so you can install the dipstick tube.

If the gaskets were torqued down, I wouldn't recommend flipping them around. So it's run them as-is or replace.

Now, the gasket will seal OK, but after the previous issue w/the gaskets trying to stick when you did the mockup, you might as well replace it.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:47 PM
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I used those same gaskets the last time my heads were reinstalled.
There is no up side indicated like Fel Pro´s have, both surfaces are the same.
I cannot see where the dipstick issue comes in, the dipstick tube hole is located low on the block not the heads.
BTW, those gaskets have a very sensitive surface, they scratch/mark very easily.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:54 PM
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Good point. Somehow I thought of the oil pan gasket when he was posting about the head gasket. Same deal though. For a $20, replace if there's any question.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:59 PM
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The previous set I removed had done their job perfectly.
Removal was destruction of the gasket, as they stick like baby poo to
a blanket.
I also have aluminum heads, no issues there either.
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