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Installing a new head gasket

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  • Engine: Installing a new head gasket

    I need some help installing a new head gasket on my '47 flat head six. Newer engines I've worked on had a guide pin to hold the gasket in place. My '47 doesn't. What have you guys done to make sure it is aligned properly? Also, the shop manual says to apply a light film of Perfect Seal Gasket Cement on the bottom of the head and gasket. Any ideas about that? Thanks

  • #2
    The top of these engines is big, flat, and level so just lay the gasket on and set the head on carefully. If you really are worried about it moving stick some pencils in a couple of the head bolt holes. Sealant on head gaskets is a contentious issue but I have had good luck with spray copper-coat sealant. However if your head gasket came with any instructions about that follow those and not the shop manual. Do follow the tightening pattern shown in the shop manual and you should not have any problems. These low-compression flatheads are actually much less likely to have head gasket problems than a modern high-compression OHC aluminum alloy head.

    Nathan
    _______________
    http://stude.vonadatech.com
    https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

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    • #3
      I have always cut the heads off a couple of bolts and screw them in a little ways and then remove them after I get the rest started.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the info, that makes me feel a little more comfortable with what I'm doing.

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        • #5
          Have the head checked for flatness, mill it if necessary.
          chase the bolt holes with a tap
          use some all thread or old head bolts with the heads cut off to help hold gasket in place and align head during install
          user aviation permatex on the head bolts that are exposed to the water jacket
          spray the head gasket with permetex copper coat (in the old day silver paint was used but I'm sure all the recent tree hugging activity has taken all the good stuff out of the paint so I'd opt for the copper coat)
          follow torque and retorque procedure.

          Originally posted by BBStude View Post
          I need some help installing a new head gasket on my '47 flat head six. Newer engines I've worked on had a guide pin to hold the gasket in place. My '47 doesn't. What have you guys done to make sure it is aligned properly? Also, the shop manual says to apply a light film of Perfect Seal Gasket Cement on the bottom of the head and gasket. Any ideas about that? Thanks

          Russ Shop Foreman \"Rusty Nut Garage\"
          53 2R6 289 5SpdOD (driver)
          57 SH (project)
          60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

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          • #6
            Yeah, I had the head milled at a local shop so it should be good to go. What do you mean by 'use aviation permatex on the head bolts that are exposed to the water jacket'? How would I tell which ones are exposed to the water jacket? Would they be the ones down the middle?

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            • #7
              here is a link showing a picture of the permatex aviation #3 sealant. Not saying buy it here you can find it locally at most any auto parts supply. http://www.outdoorpros.com/Prod/Perm...53064/Cat/1329
              take a stiff piece of wire or similar and stick it in each head bolt hole, if it doesn't have a bottome in it its going into the water jacket, easiest way I know to tell.

              Originally posted by BBStude View Post
              Yeah, I had the head milled at a local shop so it should be good to go. What do you mean by 'use aviation permatex on the head bolts that are exposed to the water jacket'? How would I tell which ones are exposed to the water jacket? Would they be the ones down the middle?

              Russ Shop Foreman \"Rusty Nut Garage\"
              53 2R6 289 5SpdOD (driver)
              57 SH (project)
              60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

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              • #8
                If you're using a Felpro gasket you shouldn't use sealer, it's already impregnated in the gasket material. Stuff a few wooden dowels in the bolt holes and voila, instant guide pins, just pull them out from the top.

                Definitely chase those threads and make sure everything is clean and flat.

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                • #9
                  I'm using the gasket from Studebaker International. Do you know if they already have gasket material on them?

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                  • #10
                    If it doesn't say Felpro on the packaging I'd use some copper-coat or equivalent. They're the only ones I'm aware of that do this.

                    When I ordered my gasket that's what they sent me. I've used their gaskets dry before, never had any problems.

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                    • #11
                      Call SI - Find out for sure what you have and what to use, if anything.
                      PaulTK

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                      • #12
                        Look into each hole (or probe with a wire). If it does not have a bottom it goes into the water jacket!
                        _______________
                        http://stude.vonadatech.com
                        https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

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                        • #13
                          and if a bolt hole does have a bottom, make sure it's clean and there's no gunk sitting in there that will cause the bolt to stop before it properly clamps the head down.

                          nate
                          --
                          55 Commander Starlight
                          http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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