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Installing Head Gaskets

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I have been told by several reputable Small Engine repair facilities when they install a new head gasket that they spray High Temp Aluminum spray paint on both sides of the head gasket and install when still wet. This makes for a better seal durring installation. Allways of course use the proper torque specifications and sequence when tightening head gasket!

Duke

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In little-British-sportscar-land a copper spray is used in a similar fashion.

Chip

Several companies still market the copper spray. It has been used in the old car restoration hobby for years, as it was used originally on a lot of old engines. It's high temp., and fills small voids in the mating surfaces.

If the mating surfaces of your head and block are within (or pretty close to) spec.s with no bad gouges, etc. then the standard gaskets are more than capable of holding a seal.

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I also use the "Copper Spray"--I think by K/W..and let it sit for a few minutes until tacky.....I torque the botls (I always use new GR-8) :banghead: ...just 'cuz it make ME feel better....

Run a few hours--let cool off--the re-troque...Maybe a third time after running a few more under load...

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Well where I was born and raised up for all of my first forty some years we had a company that made finger nail polish or paint now the greyhound buses use it on all there gaskets NO they didn't pay for it because it was the colors that didn't match what the wanted rather than through it away they gave it to greyhound and the city buses used it also.

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I keep a can of aluminum paint and never shake or stir it then

dip a little blob of that aluminum paste out of the bottom

and apply a nice coat to both sides of the gasket with an acid

brush. Never had one leak yet if installed properly with good flat surfaces,

Works on race engines with very high commpresion ratio's

Just dirt cheap insurance. JIM in Texas

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I have been told by several reputable Small Engine repair facilities when they install a new head gasket that they spray High Temp Aluminum spray paint on both sides of the head gasket and install when still wet.

I'm not certain that you should need to do this with a new gasket and good flat surfaces but......

I think the high temp aluminium spray mentioned is what we would refer to in the UK as weld primer or weld through primer - the stuff you can spray on to steel sheet to protect before panels are spot welded together.

It's a trick used when dealing with really old obsolete engines small or otherwise when the only head gaskets you can get are unused but very 'old stock' and have started to rust. Obviously the rust needs to be cleaned off but the use of weld primer then overcomes any minor pitting.

Hope this helps.

Andy

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I have been told by several reputable Small Engine repair facilities when they install a new head gasket that they spray High Temp Aluminum spray paint on both sides of the head gasket and install when still wet.

I'm not certain that you should need to do this with a new gasket and good flat surfaces but......

I think the high temp aluminium spray mentioned is what we would refer to in the UK as weld primer or weld through primer - the stuff you can spray on to steel sheet to protect before panels are spot welded together.

It's a trick used when dealing with really old obsolete engines small or otherwise when the only head gaskets you can get are unused but very 'old stock' and have started to rust. Obviously the rust needs to be cleaned off but the use of weld primer then overcomes any minor pitting.

Hope this helps.

Andy

Andy, The Weld Through Primer is not the same as Aluminium VHT (very High Temp Paint). Weld Thru Primer is Zinc Based (85%+). VHT Paints are possibly a good method to assist gasket fitting/sealing as the residue is Ali and ceramics.

Apart from the obvious uses, I also use VHT paint to seal the Mating faces of Exhaust connections to make them easier to dis-assemble. I have never used it on Gaskets, but I may give it a try.

Having said that, I don't know if the Zinc based Primer would do the same job on Gaskets.

Regards

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My choice would be the copper spray.I've been an auto mechanic for over 20yrs and have used copper spray on EVERY head gasket I've ever done & never had a single problem.Permatex makes a good product and for the 7 or 8 bucks a can it's cheap insurance to have good seal. Just my .02 Jim

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I just put the gaskets in dry.... A big mis-step for most is not to re-torq the head bolts after 2 or 3 heat cycles.

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i also put new ones in dry. retorque and never have problems. it really helps if the deck of the block and head surface are flat too. i always need to resurface the heads, not one engine that ive pulled down for the first time has had a flat surface on the head. they are all warped, some very minor but still not dead flat. find a flat surface and with a sheet of 100-220 grit paper on it, place the head surface on it and work away at it until its shiny from the paper all around the whole width of the gasket area.

ive had good results from the aluminum spray on used gaskets in a pinch when i didnt have a new one on hand. one was on there 6 months like that and when i pulled the head to rebuild the engine it was still sealing well.

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:text-imsorry: :rs:

Well im way behind. I took the head off mine like 3 times this weekend and put it on dry every time and never re torqued after the few heat cycles. I feel ashamed lol.

From what im reading I need a new head gasket and some copper spray.

Great post! Not every one knows this kind of stuff. But you got to start somewhere.

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Keep in mind that the replacement head gaskets ( on the K-181s anyway} do not have the fire ring as the orignal Kohlers had.I have used the copper in a can with good results. Every little bit of insurance helps imho

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Boy, is this a blast from the past or what? :jaw: I clicked on the last poster and started reading from the bottom up and things started looking familar... :eusa-think: And for good reason.... :handgestures-thumbupright: then I got to the TOP.... :eek: Jeesh, over 4 years old, reminds me I need to change my shorts. :hilarious: Oh, and more good info, Ill hafta try the Copper Spray. :eusa-whistle: No not in my shorts, but on the Head Gasket! :text-nocomment:

~Duke

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:twocents-twocents:

Duke, if you've had the same shorts on for the past four years...you're definitely gonna need some spray.

:ROTF:

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:) Duke, that brings back memories. My Father and Grandfather taught me that trick many moons ago when they were working on the old Ford flatties engines in their race cars. Thank you for the memory. :flags-usa:

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Keep in mind that the replacement head gaskets ( on the K-181s anyway} do not have the fire ring as the orignal Kohlers had.I have used the copper in a can with good results. Every little bit of insurance helps imho

I agree..the replacement head gaskets aren't as good as the original. I used a Cub muffler and made a stack, as to displace more engine heat, (let's not rule out the cool factor as well). I didn't use any spray, but I did lap the head flat. Doesn't leak after 3 years. The spray is pretty interesting though.

OOHHH...and I agree...I hope Duke bought new shorts!!! :ychain:

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I like to lap the head lightly with 180 grit on a piece of glass, it's about as flat as you can get without using an expensive granit or cast iron surface plate. no sealant is necessary because their is the metal fire ring around the combustion chamber and the rest of the gasket material is just to stabelize the head on the block,since no liquids are present like in a water cooled engine their is no need to glue the gasket to the engine.

shorts

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I just put the gaskets in dry.... A big mis-step for most is not to re-torq the head bolts after 2 or 3 heat cycles.

Have you noticed substantial "movement" when you re-torqued your heads after running the engine several times, like you had suggested?

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Paint in your shorts?....at the Blue Moon Motel in PA?.....time to re-torque your gasket?...geez, a full moon causes all kinds of strange stuff!!......thanks for the laugh, Bob

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