Author Topic: making solid copper head gasket...will any kind of copper do ???  (Read 9429 times)

Offline warmshed

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There is a lot of work making one from copper, much harder than it looks to get the dimensions right. I am in agreement with the other posts buy one. If you are determined to have a thicker one then it has been known for people to use two gaskets, not something I would want to do though.  If the pushrods are too long deal with that as a separate issue.   Dave.
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Online bsa-bill

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thanks Trevor for your input, I was pretty sure that was how I had understood it.

Now as a slight diversion can I probe into your metal know how and ask why we don't use an aluminium alloy for head gaskets

aluminium - or aluminum for our transatlantic friends
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Offline Triton Thrasher

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Well I am ( or rather was ) a Metallurgist, etc.


Thanks- it's good to hear from people who actually know stuff.

Sounds like it would be worthwhile doing a trial annealing on a piece of your copper sheet before going to the trouble of cutting gasket shapes out of it.  But then I suppose you'd anneal before cutting anyway and you'd soon notice if it wasn't soft.
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Offline chicago

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cheer's for all the info fella's, i didnt know there was so much to know about copper. i went for the head gasket that came with my gasket set in the end. funnyly enough though the the tappet clearence wasnt an issue, i think its because the rocker gaskets that came in the set were thicker than the ones i made out of gasket paper. at least if anybody else wants to make their own solid copper gasket the info's on the forum for them. cheer's once again fella's, all the best, chicago.
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Offline BSA_54A10

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Quote
Sounds like it would be worthwhile doing a trial annealing on a piece of your copper sheet before going to the trouble of cutting gasket shapes out of it.  But then I suppose you'd anneal before cutting anyway and you'd soon notice if it wasn't soft.
Actually gasket makers use hard rolled ( cold rolled ) copper to cut gaskets from as in the full soft state it is difficult to cut cleanly as it tends to tear, bend or stretch.
This is why it is so important to anneal new gaskets before fitting.

Quote
Now as a slight diversion can I probe into your metal know how and ask why we don't use an aluminium alloy for head gaskets

Oft wondered that myself
They are both FCC so each has 12 slip directions so one should deform almost the same as the other
The copper has a higher conductivity but sandwiched between two lumps of C I one can not see that being a problem.
It could just be a historical thing, copper was available much earlier than Aluminium and was a fair bit cheaper.
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Trevor

Online RichardL

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I think there is a potential for hot spots in the gap and aluminim melts 400 degrees C. lower than copper.  The presense of fins on the head to increase surface area for heat dissipation is no small issue. Maybe a better question is, why don't we have copper heads, whose melting point is within a couple hundred C. of cast iron and dissipates heat very well? I think the answer must be formability.

Richard L.

Edit: ...or maybe anneals and becomes too soft. Hmmm?
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Online trevinoz

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Or maybe bronze heads, Richard?

Trev.
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Offline BSA_54A10

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Copper alloy castings are about 10 times the price of grey iron castings and much more expensive to machine.
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Online orabanda

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Too many bikes would be stolen, just for the copper head!
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Offline duTch

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 I been trying to stay out of this, but had a couple of questions, which I've now forgotten with new posts, so will just paste the piccie of the head gasket I made in the '70s when I couldn't buy one, I think it's 22 gauge(?) 'copper'-purity=copper
 Actually Trev, what is 'FCC', and the difference between CI/ Ally heads regarding ally head gasket, and would Ally need annealing, and what process...?
  (re-memory is a wonderful thing *eek*)
 Gasket pic below? I must've needed it in a hurry and never tidied up the outside
 Cheers
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Online RichardL

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Right. Difficult formability and material cost translates to high cost. I only mentioned it for amusement. Although, that corroded green hue might look interesting.  ;)  *smile*
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Offline JulianM

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Just simply ask for "Red" Copper and you will get what you need,
Heat to very dull red only, no need to go hotter than this.

Regards,
Julian
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Offline chicago

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cheers, fella's.
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Offline chaterlea25

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Hi All,
On the "idea" of a bronze head!!
Its all been done before  *idea*
Probably most famously on Rudge "Ulster" models also on prewar Triumph T100's (some of??)
The material used was Aluminium bronze,
Theres so much copper in the mix they are heavier than cast iron heads  *eek*
Theres some information about these in "Tuning for speed" (everyones favourite bedtime reading LOL!!!!)

Regards
John O R
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Online RichardL

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You mean like this, right?

Does this mean I accidently had an idea that once worked?

Richard L.
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