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Should I replace my head gasket?

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  • Should I replace my head gasket?

    Only on the starter side of the motor the gasket sweats when I get temperature changes in my garage.
    Car is kept just above 32 degrees garage temperature but when I heat garage temp to work on my other car l notice moisture along the gasket seal. It’s winter where I am . Never seems to be a problem in summer time heat.


  • #2
    Try doing a retorque
    3~ Tudor's & 1~ Coupe
    Henry Ford said,
    "It's all nuts and bolts"
    "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

    Mitch's Auto Service ctr


    • #3
      The gasket is weeping coolant thru the material that is sandwiched between the copper layers.
      This was even more of a problem with the old-time gaskets that had an asbestos center, which is why, although available still as NOS, these gaskets are not as desireable.
      You don't see it in the warmer weather because it is evaporating off. It is a very very slow weeping

      I'd first try a re-torque of the head

      Mitch has the quick fingers


      • #4
        Did retourq set click at 55 lbs and no movement in head nut . Reset torque at 60 again no movement.
        would you chang gasket? Got my engine outa my 63 vette for a cam change and rebuilding headlight motors ,so don’t feel like doing a gasket unless necessary.



        • tbirdtbird
          tbirdtbird commented
          Editing a comment
          try it when it is hot. In the Service Bulletins Ford specified hot, anyway

      • #5
        I'd try a bottle of coolant sealer before I'd change the head gasket for that minor problem.

        I believe some of the older copper gaskets had the copper wrapped around the coolant hole edges. Today none do, that I know of.


        • #6
          Summer is on it's way so just put a depends on it during the winter

          It does not seem like it's a priority at this point if that's your only symptom
          3~ Tudor's & 1~ Coupe
          Henry Ford said,
          "It's all nuts and bolts"
          "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

          Mitch's Auto Service ctr


          • #7
            Fred,did you just set the torque wrench and try to turn? If you do that you have to overcome the stiction of the nut on the head and stud.Try setting the wrench on whatever value you want,take note of the handle position,then back it off a little bit.Then with one motion turn it until it will find it clocks in a completely different position than when you started.I've shown people how their head nuts wouldn't break loose at 70,but if I backed them off a quarter turn I could get another half turn on them at 55.some will tell you that's impossible,that stiction doesn't exist,but hands on experience shows me different.I really don't think you have a problem anyway,it is just something you see on old cars.It won't hurt to retorque the head though.


            • Mitch
              Mitch commented
              Editing a comment
              That's good info especially on nuts that have been unmoved for a long period. I do like to drain the coolant down below the head gasket surface, before backing any nut off even for a second. I have been bit by getting coolant in the oil a few times. Now I'm OCD about it

            • Beauford
              Beauford commented
              Editing a comment
              yes, Mitch...sounds very familiar.

          • #8
            If you change the gasket get one with silicone sealant around coolant ports.


            • #9
              That particular gasket sure has curb appeal. Here at the Dallas club, tho, anyone who tried it was soon replacing it with a standard non-silicone gasket; they all said the same thing, they leak like a sieve. Seemed like a good idea......


            • #10
              Guess I might have got lucky so far. Been running one past two summers with no leaks.


              • Mitch
                Mitch commented
                Editing a comment
                Stick with what works for sure

            • #11
              I am using an "as is" well used engine I bought years ago, and after it went through some engine overheats, I figured the head gasket should get replaced. Someone must have assembled it with dirt to make those small pock marks in the copper. I cleaned it up and sprayed a couple coats of Copper Coat on both sides, and reinstalled it. It's working fine. I coated the studs with anti-seize.
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              This gallery has 4 photos.


              • #12
                Should the motor be warm or can you do it cold? I want to re torque mine this spring.


                • Mitch
                  Mitch commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Try both, this way you cover all the angles

              • #13
                Just one (1) humble opinion from years ago:

                I was told 60 years ago by "professional" vintage mechanics that when installing a Model A head gasket, if one did not have the normally recommended tube of "lubricating", non-hardening, Permatex No. 2 available, as a minimum, grease both sides of the head gasket with axle grease to assist the gasket to move horizontally and evenly when incrementally tightening the head nuts and later during initial head gasket expansion, contraction, and settling-in.

                The head gasket is the only engine gasket which has extreme internal combustion intermittent chamber pressures which witnesses intense "combustion" heating and cooling cycles with expansion and contraction.

                The Model A head gasket moves similarly to a "slip sheet" provided below bitumen membrane roofs over wood decks, and/or "slip sheets" provided below thick-set ceramic tile over wood floors which allows for differential temperatures and horizontal movement.

                This non-hardening Permatex No. 2 allows the head gasket to adjust and settle in horizontally where differential compression is applied by concentrated head nut tightening and where differential compression forces are applied by the head/block mating surfaces where either surface may not be exactly "dead-level".

                My Bratton's, silicone gasket was installed by applying Permatex No.2 to the block, head, and both sides of the silicone head gasket.

                My head was a Police HC head installed with new "regular" non-high-strength head studs and nuts, and incrementally torqued to only 55 ft.lbs.

                After the engine was warm, I re-torqued once again to 55 ft.lbs. and had no leaks in 12 years.

                Something tells me if I have to remove this adhesive silicone type of head gasket I will not need dynamite like that experienced by others because the Permatex No. 2 will not allow forceful silicone adhesion to the porous cast iron metal.


                • #14
                  The gasket on my engine when I bought it was a copper sandwiched gasket. The worst was the studs were heavily corroded and that was what was holding the head. It showed signs of leak externally as well around the studs. I replaced the head with a Snyder head and used the recommended silicone head gasket properly torqued from instructions provided. 500 miles later it was weeping all around. When it was removed 2000 miles later, some of the studs were rusted. I replaced it with a Best graphite gasket torqued to 60 lbs. 2,500 miles later not a single weep or sign of leak anywhere.


                  • #15
                    FWIW: Parts are from where?

                    Does anyone know if all Model A silicone head gaskets are all alike, from one (1) single manufacturer?

                    Or, could it be possible that Bratton's head gaskets are different from that of others ..... or have they changed design in 12 years?

                    I remember the everlasting repeated Forum "Non-functional headlight socket stories" years ago ...... for years,heresy was to only use "originals".

                    For at least ten (10) years Bratton's was offering wonderful, functional Model A headlight sockets while everyone else offered Model A headlight sockets that functioned equally to small scale empty potted meat cans which fit Model A headlight bulbs like nylon socks on a rooster!

                    His 2040 tire carrier plates today for example are made and stamped from Ford's shop drawings ...... other parts places offer the non-embossed, flat "me-too" inaccurate version.

                    Good to know that some different parts places have access to different newly offered parts from different sources.


                    • #16
                      "FWIW: Parts are from where?

                      Does anyone know if all Model A silicone head gaskets are all alike, from one (1) single manufacturer?

                      Or, could it be possible that Bratton's head gaskets are different from that of others ..... or have they changed design in 12 years?"

                      Not knowing at the time when I ordered my cylinder head who actually made it, I ordered it from Bratton's as well the recommended silicone head gasket and grade 8 studs. So I would say the silicone head gaskets are the same from Snyder's and Bratton's. The cylinder head bought from Bratton's was in a box that had Snyder's printed on it.
                      Last edited by Dennis; 02-26-2018, 03:43 PM.


                      • #17
                        Every sincere Model A experience and response like yours in #16 above is always most educational and very much appreciated.

                        We sometimes wonder why the same Model A things work for some and not others.

                        Thanks for sharing.


                        • #18
                          After changing the gasket you need to retorque after driving it several times until all nuts stay torqued to specs. Never hurts to check it couple of times a year after that.


                          • #19
                            HL the silicone gaskets are made by Felpro


                            • #20
                              Thanks. I threw the head gasket wrapper away 12 years ago and did not remember who made these. Even had I kept the wrapper .... I probably could not find it today. LOL


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