Gaskets &Materials of Gaskets

Cody Meeks

I am a part of our onsite engineering department. I have a passion for the automotive industry and I am an engine expert. I have been a part of the Enginetech team for 5 years.

Hello Enginetech Friends, in this blog we will discuss a little bit about head gaskets and best practices for installation.  We do offer both composite head gaskets for many of your later models and multilayer steel (MLS) gaskets for most of the newer applications.

Our Gaskets

Our head gaskets are no-retorque with virtually no loss in clamping force over time. Gasket perforation eliminates material separation and leakage. The premium silicone blend coat allows head-to-block movement and easy removal. Precise thickness gives predictable sealing and the fire rings are oversize (for oversize bores). Also, the elastomeric sealing beads meet special sealing needs.

As we all know, the head gasket seals the mating surface between the cylinder head and the block.  Therefore, it is imperative that your surfaces are adequately and precisely machined to be level and smooth.  If you do not have the machines for resurfacing, we highly recommend to find a local machine shop.  If the surface finish is not within the recommended range depending on your gasket and vehicle, it will likely result in the gasket not sealing properly and leaking or failing.

Indicator Function

Head gaskets are often the first component to be blamed when there is engine failure accompanied with a head leak. The design of the gasket prevents catastrophic failure to the engine because it fails in extreme environments. This means that they are often the first sign that you have a problem but does not necessarily mean that the gasket was the issue.  Consider the reason that you are changing the head gasket in the first place. What repairs may also need to be made to prevent any future leaks?

Installation Tips

When it comes to installation, each engine is different, and the specifications can change.  For that reason, one of the best tools for any engine rebuild is the repair manual.  You can obtain a repair manual specific to your vehicle at most local part stores or online.  This is a small investment that will ensure that you have the correct information for your vehicle.

Pay close attention to the orientation of your existing gaskets when you remove them. This ensures that you are putting the new gaskets back in the correct way.  You will also want to check the new gaskets for any indicators for how to install them.  Many gaskets will mark which end goes toward the front of the engine and/or which side of the gasket goes up towards the cylinder head.  

Head Bolts

Many engines now require torque to yield head bolts that are good for one time use only.  Not only do the bolts have to be torqued down to a given specification, they also must be tightened in the correct sequence.  Again, always refer to your repair manual for the exact specifications for your vehicle.

We hope this article helps you in your rebuild.  The three most important things to remember when installing your head gaskets are ensuring proper surface finishes, pay close attention to the orientation of your gaskets, and always refer to a repair manual for specifications.  Thank you for reading and stay tuned for our next blog article.

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