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Tristared
V4 Fan

United Kingdom
181 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2014 :  16:16:29 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Does anyone have advice for fitting copper head gaskets?

I have had enough of buying inlet manifold gaskets.

Thanks,


Ed

rsimps
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1616 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2014 :  08:07:54 Show Profile Reply with Quote
I always start by having the block and head ground finished to a very good finish. If the guy is using a miller forget it, it needs to be surface ground. I then coat both sides of the gasket with three layers of Hymolar spray gasket, leave for it to go tacky then fit as normal. Torque up in three stages leave over night and then check the torque the following morning. But I tend not to use copper gaskets as people have problems, the XP items are now made of aluminium as loads of people have trouble. I would try to get some Wills rings made, which is what I use in the 2 stroke engines. The other option is to get a small groove machined in the head to take a piano wire that will nip the gasket down around the bores.
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Borstlap
V4 Fanatic

Norway
275 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2014 :  08:35:07 Show Profile Reply with Quote
The last series gaskets that came from XP were made of brass in stead of copper, resulting in big problems for users as they were much too hard. I was told once by an engine tuner that copper gaskets should be heat treated to make them softer. This makes them more able to shape after the surfaces they get in between.

RSIMPS, where did you buy the spray gasket? I have 2 sets copper gaskets lying in wait, but I don't have spray gasket. Years ago I found a spray can type in the US, but never got to order one.

Alex.
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rsimps
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1616 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2014 :  09:23:17 Show Profile Reply with Quote
http://www.burtonpower.com/wills-ring-sohc-pinto-each-use-with-ft772-gasket-ft771.html

I think it was DemonTweeks or Burtons that I got the Hylomar spray from. Its not easy to get and it turns to carbon monoxide in the body, so use outside and follow the safety data.
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Tristared
V4 Fan

United Kingdom
181 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2014 :  17:54:01 Show Profile Reply with Quote
....hmmm - I see.

Is it Malbrads that do standard gasket opening to 94mm?

Many, many thanks as always.
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Woody
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2416 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2014 :  22:11:32 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Wills Rings info:-
http://www.tss.trelleborg.com/remotemedia/media/globalformastercontent/downloadsautomaticlycreatedbyscript/catalogs/wills_rings_gb_en.pdf

Very informative !!

"Does anyone have advice for fitting copper head gaskets?
I have had enough of buying inlet manifold gaskets."

Not sure why you have made the second comment??

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Tristared
V4 Fan

United Kingdom
181 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2014 :  12:20:46 Show Profile Reply with Quote
...you have to take the inlet manifold off to get to the heads?

Gaskets can't be used twice?
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rsimps
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1616 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2014 :  13:18:39 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Thats right Malbrads had some 94 flame ring gaskets made. I think Swedepeed were looking at using more std type gaskets as they were finding the old copper rings get so hot at high compression that they cause pre-ignition. Personally Wills rings all the way for me, if they can cope with a imp engine at 9000+ rpm they can cope with a Saab unit. You can also get away with reusing them a few times long as you dont disturb them. If anyone needs a head ringing, give my friend Andy a call at Shringley Engineering, he has the race proven tooling to groove the head
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Derek
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
1822 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2014 :  11:33:12 Show Profile Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tristared
...you have to take the inlet manifold off to get to the heads?

Gaskets can't be used twice?



With a V engine, if you skim the heads to get a higher CR, the inlet manifold should be machined to match up, as the inlet ports will be further down into the V. Not much lee way with a paper gasket.
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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2594 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2014 :  17:21:52 Show Profile Visit melle's Homepage Reply with Quote
What's the exact problem Ed, did you fit them and don't they work as they're supposed to do? I still haven't installed mine.

1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V
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Tristared
V4 Fan

United Kingdom
181 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2014 :  13:03:59 Show Profile Reply with Quote
The cooling system becomes pressurised when the engine turns over. I've detected coolant on the number 3 cylinder spark plug. This doesn't happen with all the others pugs are in, so by powers of deduction the issue lies somewhere around there...

There isn't much more to report at this time as I've yet to strip the engine down.

I suspect that the problem is that the heads were milled to correct flatness when the larger valves were fitted, and not ground flat (the inlet manifold was also dealt with accordingly).

As stated - I'll know more next weekend when I take a look.

It's all a learning curve...
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Woody
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2416 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2014 :  19:56:46 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Saab do not recommend machining the inlet manifold if the heads are skimmed, but advise that the top of the block under the manifold is machined.
Granted if you only have taken the heads off that isn't practical but you have to be sure the manifold is trued properly before machining.

When you put the heads on originally, did they torque down evenly? No grabbing on the threads? As the heads are off, wind the head bolts in until they bottom and check the distance between the face of the block and the underside of the bolt head. This measurement needs to be 2mm less than the depth of the head. Cut the bolt if too long. If they dont wind down evenly clean up the threads on the bolts and the block.
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Tristared
V4 Fan

United Kingdom
181 Posts

Posted - 09 Oct 2014 :  18:59:03 Show Profile Reply with Quote
First attempt at fitting the gaskets was dry - without sealant, this worked on first engine start up. On the second start up the left bank failed to achieve compression, even after checking and taking the head bolts up to 90lbs.

Second attempt was after the gaskets had been annealed - taken to cherry red around 650c. All the surfaces were scratch finished and coated in 4 layers of Hylomar blue spray on gasket sealant - mounted whilst the outer layers were still wet, as advised from a number of sources. Head bolts were taken up to 70lbs. Same result - start up was at first successful but then sudden compression of the cooling system, again the left head and no change after checking head bolt torque.

From what I gather the design simply doesn't like them, or at least not on a 93mm piston. I think there isn't enough material between the combustion chamber and the crescent shaped water ports.

It is my belief that the engine requires a gasket with a high level of compressibility, which of course the standard design is.

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melle
V4 Guru

United Kingdom
2594 Posts

Posted - 09 Oct 2014 :  20:21:08 Show Profile Visit melle's Homepage Reply with Quote
Thanks for sharing your experience. I for me can't say what's gone wrong as I don't have any hands on experience with fitting the gaskets. I've had 25 sets produced, but I have the impression very few have been used yet. I'm looking forward to hearing more knowledgeable people's opinions on this matter.

I can't really see how there could be more material 'between the combustion chamber and the crescent shaped water ports', but I might not understand correctly which water ports you mean. The basic shape was copied from an original gasket, this was laser cut in board for test fitting, unnecessary holes were removed and finally the outline of the gasket has been optimised for fit and for cutting.

1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V
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StefanM
Starting Member

Sweden
33 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2014 :  07:40:25 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Copper gaskets works fine if you skim the head and block to a very superior finish. It will more than likely fail if you just use them as replacement gaskets on a engine in situ.
They hare to hard to compress and there is no room for iregularitys in the surface and it does not matter how hard you tighten the bolts. They are to few to make any difference.
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Tristared
V4 Fan

United Kingdom
181 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2014 :  14:42:40 Show Profile Reply with Quote
Well, this very well maybe the case though short of having the mating faces mirror finished Im not sure how much better I could have made them.

StefanM if you have any experience and more importantly photos of fitting copper gaskets then I for one am all ears (and eyes).

Here is an image that references what I mean. On a standard gasket I assume that the flame ring must compress creating a gas tight seal whilst still allow the surrounding material to do the same to seal the coolant path ways.



This isnt a fault with the design of the gasket. I just believe that there isnt enough material between the water gallery and the chamber for a seal to work with copper.



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