Author Topic: Reusing Solid Head Gaskets  (Read 6636 times)

Offline RichardL

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Reusing Solid Head Gaskets
« on: 05.12. 2008 14:49 »
I will soon be removing my cylinder head to sort out an oil leak.

After much consideration, soul searching and advice, I've managed to make myself almost sure that I will continue to use a solid head gasket. (This, while appreciating and without disregarding certain advice to the contrary within this forum.) This time, instead of a propane torch, I'm planning on doing the annealing in a bed of fireplace coals accelerated with a hair drier as a bellows. I think I can get up to 700 or 800.F by this method and hold it there, resulting in a more even annealing.

My questin is: Is it possible or likely that a once-used gasket will have already been compressed to the point where it will no longer take to the imperfections when the head is retorqued?

Any thoughts? Maybe I'm just thinking too cheap, but it seems that one of the benefits of solid head gaskets would be reusability. 

Richard L.
Plan on signing up for the world-wide 2017 DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDE on September 30, 2018. Watch website at https://www.gentlemansride.com for details.

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Re: Reusing Solid Head Gaskets
« Reply #1 on: 05.12. 2008 17:08 »
As I understnd it manosound  the gasket will harden in use and the point of annealing is to soften the gasket and bring it back to original condition so that it will form a seal when refitted.
You are doing the right thing by managing to heat the whole gasket at once.
The other question that often pops up is wether to quench the gasket or not, apparently with copper it matters not as it does not harden when quenched

All the best - Bill
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco

Offline RichardL

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Re: Reusing Solid Head Gaskets
« Reply #2 on: 05.12. 2008 17:28 »
Bill,

I think you have said the key thing that refreshes a memory (quoted below). Annealing causes grain growth in the copper, therefore, there should be some recovery from squishing and work hardening caused by torquing down the head. That's my new thought but I would like to hear from others, as well.

Richard L. 


bring it back to original condition
Plan on signing up for the world-wide 2017 DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDE on September 30, 2018. Watch website at https://www.gentlemansride.com for details.

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Re: Reusing Solid Head Gaskets
« Reply #3 on: 05.12. 2008 18:05 »
I'm on side with all this. Get it to cherry red all over, and either leave it to cool in air (which is what I did) or quench, makes no real odds. When it's been through that, it ought to be, noticeably,  a zillion times more malleable than before you started, and will be ready to be squished again. As far as I know there is no limit to the number of times this can be done. But, like you Richard,  I am sensitive to the eloquently-expressed and knowledgeable views of the fans of the composites, even though I'm not going there myself. I've done best part of 10,000 miles since I had head trouble last year, with a reused copper gasket, and no problems and no oil leaks (which is where I started too). But it's only a cooking GF engine! After all your hard work, do hope you find your studs etc are all in perfect shape.
Have to say that my A10 has become so extraordinarily first-kick reliable that I have nothing at the moment to say except - It's great! Wish other things hereabouts were as predictable . . .
Bill

Offline RichardL

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Re: Reusing Solid Head Gaskets
« Reply #4 on: 05.12. 2008 20:25 »
Groily,

Good to hear from you and quite comforting to hear of 10,000 miles on a solid head gasket, though, I wonder if it makes a lot of difference that I am running at 9:1? SRM tells me their solid gaskets are well-annealed unless they must buy from a less-preferred alternative source in a pinch. Since I am placing an order with SRM in any case, for the now-cheaper-to-me price around GBP6, I don't think I can resist buying a new one. One thing about the old one was that I had done a makeshift lapping job on it to take away the stamping burrs. Regarding the studs, they seem to be in quite good shape. Once I corrected the washer situation, changing to Grade 8 steel, I was able to put around 38 ft. lbs. on them comfortably.

As for first kick, that was not my experience this season. I think I might have missed the timing mark by a little, for which I cannot compensate with the auto-advance pinion.

Richard L.

Plan on signing up for the world-wide 2017 DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDE on September 30, 2018. Watch website at https://www.gentlemansride.com for details.

Richard

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Re: Reusing Solid Head Gaskets
« Reply #5 on: 05.12. 2008 20:30 »
Richard
I was once told that if you quench the gasket any crud on it will be easier to clean off
Wether this is true or not this is what I tend to do, as it makes no difference wether it is quenched or cooled slowly to the annealing proccess
Richard

Offline RichardL

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Re: Reusing Solid Head Gaskets
« Reply #6 on: 05.12. 2008 20:34 »
Agree that quenching makes little difference, as the reference material indicates. However, very interesting about separating the crud, which must have a different rate of contraction than the copper and, therefore, chooses not to stay onboard.

Richard L.
Plan on signing up for the world-wide 2017 DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDE on September 30, 2018. Watch website at https://www.gentlemansride.com for details.

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Re: Reusing Solid Head Gaskets
« Reply #7 on: 06.12. 2008 00:19 »
It's good that the ole greenback has picked up a bit Richard after the artificial lows of 2008. Also good - from my point of view! - that the Euro remains strong and petrol is down from Euro 1,45 a few weeks ago to about Euro 1,04 today. Shame my old age pension will be in currently lousy pounds - but it may pick up on the bootstraps of the dollar - these things have a cyclical nature. The old pound sterling is an orphan currency now, more inclined to follow the dollar than anything else, it's just a shame that the country is close to bankrupt whatever its government might say! So it may take a while . . .
I doubt whether your compression ratio would make all that much difference to the gasket's reliability, although 9:1 is rather more than I can boast with the cooking motor. If SRM say their gaskets come well-annealed, I'm sure it's true. You'll be able to tell anyway by whether it's nice and soft. There are those who say that ANY new copper gasket should be annealed afresh to be sure, but can't comment on that. If your surfaces are good and the studs are good, it should easily seal things up at 38 ft lbs and there shouldn't be any oil leaks. As to cleaning, I'm no expert - I just cleaned mine with a modern carbon-tet semi-substitute after annealing, got it looking crud-free and shiny all over, and put it in. And no probs since  - touch wood. Check-tightened after a couple of hundred miles - but all was just fine and it was a waste of time (but well spent in my view). I chug along at 60-65mph most of the time, so not stressing the thing too much. 30-35 mph in 2nd, 45-50mph in 3rd. If I want to go mad I get the Yamaha out . . . and bore myself silly.
Bill

Offline Beezageezauk

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Re: Reusing Solid Head Gaskets
« Reply #8 on: 06.12. 2008 10:52 »
I had cause to replace a piston on my A10 whilst camping on the Isle of Man this year.  Fortunately I was using a solid copper head gasket and annealed it by warming it to cherry red using two camping gaz stoves prior to quenching it in cold water.

The idea of the two stoves was, of course, to obtain an even temperature but on the quenching argument I don't know if quenching makes any difference in the annealing process.  However, I agree that if the gasket is left to cool naturally it retains its used, black, dirty appearance but if quenched the crud lifts off into the water and the gasket looks much brighter.  In fact it goes back to an almost new appearance.

Check to see how pliable the gasket is before it is annealed and then test that the annealing process has worked by comparing the pliability of the gasket after it has cooled down.  There should be a considerable difference.

In fact I am running my A10 with 2 (yes two) solid copper head gaskets, both annealed at the same time on the Isle of Man and I will post the reason for this in the near future.

Beezageezauk.




Offline dpaddock

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Re: Reusing Solid Head Gaskets
« Reply #9 on: 06.12. 2008 23:26 »
I'm astonished at the ingenuity of our corespondents; camp stoves, used gaskets, two gaskets, etc.
I suppose when the source of gaskets and other spares dries up, we'll have to resort to these means.
Meanwhile, I suggest we subscribe to the maker's intent and soldier on; BSA engineering is still pretty damn good for our A7's and A10's. (And for the Goldie, et al.)
Meanwhile, I won't be happy to read here that welding the head to the barrel is the ultimate cure . . .
David
David
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Offline RichardL

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Re: Reusing Solid Head Gaskets
« Reply #10 on: 07.12. 2008 01:13 »
I have to think that the two-gasket approach might have been brought on by excessive head skimming. That was almost the case for me on discovering that the"machinist" had skimmed my head with a field plough. Hmmm, weld the head to the barrels? Great idea. I'm running out to the garage right now to do that. More to follow.

Richard L.
Plan on signing up for the world-wide 2017 DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDE on September 30, 2018. Watch website at https://www.gentlemansride.com for details.

Offline bezabill

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Re: Reusing Solid Head Gaskets
« Reply #11 on: 07.12. 2008 11:32 »
but can we by new ones from eney one or  is that cheting *problem*

Offline bezabill

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Re: Reusing Solid Head Gaskets
« Reply #12 on: 07.12. 2008 12:27 »
i made one out a copper boiler it wiz a bit crap?? lol

Offline bezabill

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Re: Reusing Solid Head Gaskets
« Reply #13 on: 07.12. 2008 12:29 »
it dident leek but it wiz a bit thin he he

Online bsa-bill

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Re: Reusing Solid Head Gaskets
« Reply #14 on: 07.12. 2008 12:43 »
Now then Bill how did you get four pushrods to work through those five holes

PS don't take this seriously  *smile*

All the best - Bill
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco