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Mechanics: do you treat head gaskets?


KY2674
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Building a 6 cylinder isuzu diesel and all the parts are no-name foreign pieces. So far its gone together well but I'm at the head gasket now and wondering if I should use something like the copper gasket spray or anything else. Neither the block or head have been machined.

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I never used any kind of dressing and never had an issue. I only did maybe a half dozen head gaskets or so on mostly older engines.

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1 hour ago, KY2674 said:

Building a 6 cylinder isuzu diesel and all the parts are no-name foreign pieces. So far its gone together well but I'm at the head gasket now and wondering if I should use something like the copper gasket spray or anything else. Neither the block or head have been machined.

,,not going to talk about head gaskets ....but have had considerable experience with Isuzu diesels.....they are seriously good engines...

...the old Hitachi  Excavator  is running a 358  cube Isuzu   (6BDT),,,up to 18000   engine hours...just starting to show a slight 'haze' from the exhaust..Had several of those engines...They last forever

Mike

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22 minutes ago, mike newman said:

,,not going to talk about head gaskets ....but have had considerable experience with Isuzu diesels.....they are seriously good engines...

...the old Hitachi  Excavator  is running a 358  cube Isuzu   (6BDT),,,up to 18000   engine hours...just starting to show a slight 'haze' from the exhaust..Had several of those engines...They last forever

Mike

That's exactly what this engine is out of. A 200 ex series 1 no idea the hours on it. Been a really good hoe but started with serious blowby last summer. I run a 300 kobelco now that doesn't seem to be as good a machine as the old hitachi. My 16 year old runs the hitachi a few months in the summer now stockpiling topsoil to higher ground .

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I have used the copper spray with good luck. Chrysler 230 industrial engines have very little meat between cylinders, I started using it there, have used on other inlines, the more sophisticated engines seem to have more sophisticated gaskets, so i have not . either way its good stuff and I recommend it in general. 

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VT is right on. Some newer engines/gaskets cement is a no-no. Old timers would use silver spray paint which may or may not have any metal in it. If it's a engine/gasket that wants it, the copper gasket spray is probably the best. I've used it and had good results but whether it was needed or not, I'll never know. Makes more sense to me than silver spray paint.

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Manufacturer's statement:

Permatex Copper Spray-A-Gasket Hi-Temp Sealant is a fast-drying, metallic copper sealant that helps dissipate heat, preventing gasket burnout and improving heat transfer. This high temperature sealant spray sealant instantly and fills hot spots and surface imperfections and resists all types of automotive fluids.

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When I redid my SMTA I used copper coat & had issues. When I redid the head gasket an old time IH mechanic recommended using aluminum spray paint. So far no issues. That was 6-7 years ago.

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3 hours ago, boog said:

When I redid my SMTA I used copper coat & had issues. When I redid the head gasket an old time IH mechanic recommended using aluminum spray paint. So far no issues. That was 6-7 years ago.

The old IH mechanics around here recommend the aluminum paint for the older tractors.  I think two coats let dry and then install while the the third coat was still tacky.  Did it on my 560D a few years ago so far so good.

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7 hours ago, KY2674 said:

That's exactly what this engine is out of. A 200 ex series 1 no idea the hours on it. Been a really good hoe but started with serious blowby last summer. I run a 300 kobelco now that doesn't seem to be as good a machine as the old hitachi. My 16 year old runs the hitachi a few months in the summer now stockpiling topsoil to higher ground .

....The Hitachi I mentioned was one I brought, very well used,in fact it looked as though it had been cast out of a Hercules  at 10,000  feet ...but that is what Forestry does to old Excavators. I had several prior to that  and those Isuzu engines are great,  The early EX200 /1    excavators featured in a lot of Gold Mines in our greater area...Some did 22, 000   hrs before being replaced..I had a EX200 /5 which I lost to the predators of the fiscal world , after I had ''helped out '' a good friend ....That machine had completed 8000  hrs and I just put new chains on....sure pissed me off ...(   "Friend'' did a runner.....cost me  dearly....)

Those   engines have  chrome liners....that must help the  huge  hours they can achieve....

Your old EX200/1  is one worth keeping....our old 200/3  is giving a lot of computor related issues....which requires  diagnostic equipment  to locate the fault...and all that comes with a hefty account a couple of weeks later.....

Mike

IMG_0900.JPG

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Looks like a twin to mine, even missing the left side panel 🙂 Found a few broken rings in this one. Somewhere on the door it says total electronic control or something but none of that works although the bucket keeps going up and down 👍

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I use carb cleaner or brakleen on both the head and block before placing the gasket on the block.

Any oil will prevent the gasket from sticking to the block or head.

I never touch the head gasket either for fear of the oils in my skin getting on the gasket.

Is this overkill, perhaps.

But I know if you don't want something to stick, put oil on it and I want the gasket to stick!

What you put on the gasket is your call as long as it is not slippery.

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I usually wipe the sealing surfaces with clean cloths wetted with acetone. Leaves no residue behind. 

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Depends on the engine reputation and the type of head gasket used.

If an engine has a reputation for the head gasket failure of combustion in the cooling system, copper coat or similar is probably not going to help much. If the failure is external coolant or oil leakage, it may be just what the doctor ordered.

Then, is it a metal gasket, or a composite? I'm more apt to seal coat a metal gasket than the gray asbestos rubber material. 

I can understand the thought process behind the silver paint technique used by many old timers. The make-up of that paint probably had a healthy dose of lead and silver or aluminum flake in it back in the day. I would question whether modern "health conscious" paint retains any qualities that made it work.

Modern gasket materials have come a long way. A new gasket for an older engine has most likely improved from original design. Meaning, an engine, historicaly prone to head gasket issues might not have a problem with an updated gasket. 

Most head gaskets are intended to be installed dry. Unless you have an engine is having chronic problems, I would follow whatever instructions the manufacturer provides. 

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As Cattech says, modern gaskets aren't your grandfathers gaskets. I know the last few I've got from them said no cement, paint, etc. Here's what they say:

https://www.felpro.com/technical/tecblogs/clean-dry.html

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