Copper Head Gasket Reuse

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Copper Head Gasket Reuse

Post  blown473 on June 1st 2013, 4:38 pm

Anybody have an experience with heating & reusing copper head gaskets? I ordered a new set which have now been on back order for 7 weeks, so I'm considering the reuse of my old set which seem to still be in perfect condition. Anybody done this?

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Re: Copper Head Gasket Reuse

Post  Frank Merkl on June 1st 2013, 7:31 pm

thought that was the reason for using copper head gaskets as you could reuse them
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Re: Copper Head Gasket Reuse

Post  cool40 on June 1st 2013, 11:14 pm

I reused mine 4 times but never heated them.
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Re: Copper Head Gasket Reuse

Post  jones on June 1st 2013, 11:33 pm

I've used shim steel head gaskets and we just clean and re-apply a coat of silver spray paint. I didn't think copper and shim steel was much different.

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Re: Copper Head Gasket Reuse

Post  blown473 on June 2nd 2013, 12:19 am

I thought I saw a past post where they heated them up before reuse, not sure if the idea was stress relief, or to install them hot & torque while still warm. Just thought I'd see what past practices have been tried & if they worked ok.

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Re: Copper Head Gasket Reuse

Post  jones on June 2nd 2013, 12:29 am

Sounds to me that is just removing any temper that the copper might have. (softing the copper) Is the old head gaskets channeled any where?

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Re: Copper Head Gasket Reuse

Post  blown473 on June 2nd 2013, 12:47 am

I've used 2 different brands, Milodon and ICS/SCE Titan. It's the ICS that I'd be re using. Both have spots around unused water ports that are blocked by the head (not drilled through) that have dimples from the copper being drawn down into the water passage. This seems to be a normal event on BBF since both brands did the same and were installed correctly. I run blown, using either 11 lbs street trim on pump gas with booster, or 20 lbs boost on race gas. One note is these gaskets were used on my old 060 over 460 block, and would now be going on a 030 block. The gasket bore is 4.440, so it's larger than both bores. Since these are 2 completely different blocks the block surface machining is bound to have slight finish differences, the heads are being reused.

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Re: Copper Head Gasket Reuse

Post  cool40 on June 2nd 2013, 1:00 am

Do a google search on annealing copper head gaskets.
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Re: Copper Head Gasket Reuse

Post  jones on June 2nd 2013, 1:02 am

Personally, I'd just clean them up and spray some copper head gasket spray and be done. Some folks feel like you really need to have the same bore HG. (Theory is your allowing the combustion pressure to get between the head and block).

Maybe someone with more experience will chime in.

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Re: Copper Head Gasket Reuse

Post  cool40 on June 2nd 2013, 1:09 am

Mine always leaked at some point but i only had the O-ring on the block without the groove in the head.the best thing i used was copper coat.2 heavy coats and let them hang overnight.JMO Smile
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Re: Copper Head Gasket Reuse

Post  jones on June 2nd 2013, 1:20 am


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Re: Copper Head Gasket Reuse

Post  GT300TD on June 2nd 2013, 10:45 am


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Re: Copper Head Gasket Reuse

Post  blown473 on June 2nd 2013, 1:30 pm

The can on the SCE page was K&W, available at most Napa stores. I might just try that, and a tiny amount of sealer around the water holes.

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Re: Copper Head Gasket Reuse

Post  jones on June 2nd 2013, 1:48 pm

I'd just spray the entire thing.

One thing we would do if we had any doubts about the sealing surface is spray the gasket and install wet, torque cylinder head down like normal then remove the head and look at the pattern.

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Re: Copper Head Gasket Reuse

Post  jones on June 2nd 2013, 1:52 pm

blown473 wrote:The can on the SCE page was K&W, available at most Napa stores. I might just try that, and a tiny amount of sealer around the water holes.
As far as I know they are all serve the same purpose, heck we used silver spray paint at times. (higher metallic content) Back then the autoparts stores didn't stock the copper spray like they do today. (this was on a Alky injected SBC)

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