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Build it right the first time
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i have the normal long tube flowtech truck headers and stock 1983 350 chevy heads on my small block 383 i cannot keep header gaskets on i've had 2 sets on in the past month they keep blowing out.......what is the best header gasket to buy???????????????????????????? this is killing me i hate changing these damn gaskets out......thnks again guys
 

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gaskets

I have or had the same problem. I use some kind of copper gasket maybe made by mr.gasket im sure others make em. also maybe try taking em off and grinding the flanges. not smooth but try to make the ridge even it will help alot.
 

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I bought hooker headers for my suburban engine swap, everyone told me to use copper gaskets so I bought a set of summit brand I think, there were $30. but my motor won't be in for a week or so. a buddie that has headers on 3 vehicles 2 of witch are 4x4s and he uses nothing copper and has no problems. I am in one of his vehicles every week or 2 (we hunt a lot this time of yr) and I've helped him in a couple engine swaps, so its not a storie.







Mustangsaly
 

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The best header gasket is one that seals between two flat surfaces. If your headers are not flat, you will probably have difficulty with the sealing. I use a standard Fel-Pro gasket after I surface the header flange.
 

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Troll Hunter
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I don't use header gaskets any more, haven't for about 4 years and have had no failures on several Cobras as well as 2 428CJ Mustangs. I use Permatex High temp(copper) gasket maker. It is important that both surfaces be clean and oil free. I apply it on the header evenly but not too thick and then hand tighten the header bolts so they have some light compression on the sealant. I then allow it to set up(cure) overnight, sometimes a day or so if I'm doing other work, and then tighten the bolts to torque. It works great and eliminated the problem I had on my 351 Cleveland with having to replace one or the other gaskets every 6 months or so.
 

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As already stated, the stock repop fel pro gaskets work great and are cheap, I`ve reused the same set 3 times over about a 5 year period. There made of metal mesh and are at your local parts store, it`s identical to the factory gasket and there difficult to burn out, another good thing is you don`t have to remove the bolt to install them, just loosen the whole header and drop them in from the top. However, here`s a few more tips, if the headers are new and the bolts are new, you have to retighten them often, every few days, other wise the bolts loosen due to them not being seasoned in. Also paper header gaskets, even so they don`t say so, are supposed to be soaked in water so they`ll swell and the moisture will help the gasket last longer.
 

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KUHN: I fought that problem for years. I found the copper and aluminum soft metal to be the worse. They only seal on PERFECT flat surface. I use the ones from NAPA which are the FelPro type with high temp cardboard with soft metal mesh. BUT I coat them with high temp red sealant and let them sit overnight.... That has worked the best and is less costly... DAVE
 

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hedder gaskets

i have had no problem with that flotech hedder#10500 the problem lies in 3-hard surfaces trying to compress.25 years ago in my shop i called joe(original owner mr.gasket and he suggested putting mr.g #150/a/b/c whatever in warm water tio soften it so it would compress better .hope this helps



justin. :welcome:
 

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Race it, Don't rice it!
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If your exhaust ports are racing type the stock meshed metal ones can be easily trimmed to the port shape. I stack'em up and and hold em together with a small bolt and shape the inside with a die grinder. Do em all atthe same time takes only a few times. The one on my racecar right nowarthree years old and I have reused them about twenty times.
 

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so whats better the ones that came with my hooker headers (soaked in water 1st) or the summit $30 copper gaskets I bought ?




what should the header bolts be torqued to on a stock tbi 350 in a 87 suburban 4x4 ?


Mustangsaly
 

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onovakind67 said:
The best header gasket is one that seals between two flat surfaces. If your headers are not flat, you will probably have difficulty with the sealing. I use a standard Fel-Pro gasket after I surface the header flange.
Absolutely correct. If the surfaces are not flat you can develop a problem with any gasket. I use the standard Fel-Pro also with Hooker ceramic headers and Dart Eagle Platinum heads. The bolts don't loosen up either ! Remember the old stock SBC engines all had cast iron manifolds that bolted directly to the heads with no gaskets at all and they did not leak.
 

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GCD1962 said:
Absolutely correct. If the surfaces are not flat you can develop a problem with any gasket. I use the standard Fel-Pro also with Hooker ceramic headers and Dart Eagle Platinum heads. The bolts don't loosen up either ! Remember the old stock SBC engines all had cast iron manifolds that bolted directly to the heads with no gaskets at all and they did not leak.
lots of Ford I6's were the same way. my 200 had no gasket, from stock only certin years got them., but mine did not get them, never leaked, tore the motor down 3 weeks ago for a rebuild.
 

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woodz428 said:
I don't use header gaskets any more, haven't for about 4 years and have had no failures on several Cobras as well as 2 428CJ Mustangs. I use Permatex High temp(copper) gasket maker. It is important that both surfaces be clean and oil free. I apply it on the header evenly but not too thick and then hand tighten the header bolts so they have some light compression on the sealant. I then allow it to set up(cure) overnight, sometimes a day or so if I'm doing other work, and then tighten the bolts to torque. It works great and eliminated the problem I had on my 351 Cleveland with having to replace one or the other gaskets every 6 months or so.

I agree totally with this approach. Years ago, the guys at Dick Landy's shop clued me into just using Permatex. I have had great luck just using the red high temp Permatex sealer. The copper stuff is probably better. Even though the actual exhaust temps get higher than what the sealer is rated for, the head and the header flange don't actually get that hot. I have used this procedure on a number of blown engines with great success.
 

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Save a horse, Ride a Cowboy.
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There are blow proof gaskets available that are made like aircraft exhaust gaskets. $$$$

The premium headers with thicker flanges have less leakage problem because the flanges have less flex.

The thing that most of us overlook is the fact that that looooong header and the even looooonger exhaust system is hanging and vibrating on the gasket flanges. That's a lot of leverage back there. Build a support from the collector to the block/trans and your problems will go away (if your header flanges are flat). :thumbup:
 
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