I'm thinking about getting an aluminum Z head for my 1923 touring/pickup conversion to help it climb the hills around my area. What is the best head gasket to use with an aluminum head, is the copper gasket still ok, or should I try to find a newer, composition gasket?
Cooper works fine on the 5 I had installed.
What's the contact info for "Cooper Gaskets"?
I've used the copper gasket, sprayed with Permatex copper gasket spray, retorqued after short run and haven't had a problem. Go for it ! "Z" head is a great improvement with better combustion. Stayed with the 1/2 inch pipe plug thread.
Thanks, I also plan to get the version with 1/2 inch pipe plug thread so that I can re-install my Champion X plugs. Does the head come with hardened washers to put under the head bolts, or do I need to scrounge some up?
Mine came with stainless washers.
Comes with the washers. Ditto on the copper gasket with the copper spray, plus re-torque after one heat cycle. Good ones from http://www.antiqueautoranch.com/
You might want to consider a set of stainless steel bolts to go with those washers for the same reason.
An off the shelf set of stainless steel 3 1/2 inch bolts is about $45 from the Vermont company.
The $15 set is plated with stainless steel and offers some protection.
I have removed 3 aluminum heads that had steel bolts twist off, due to excessive corrosion.
Anti-seize compound on threads and under cap will help
Copper, not cooper.
Tom... we saw thru your mis-spelling.... bben theyre, done thawt !
James, I will disagree with you about the stainless bolts as I have had to drill out to many that were factory installed in modern ford heads to attach the manifolds. They can and do seize up in cast iron. KB
Erich mentions to re-torque after one heat cycle, that would be after it has completely cooled down, a cold re-torque for aluminium.
Indeed, ordinary steel bolts react less to aluminum than stainless steel. Also, I would use the white composition gasket. Copper gaskets will react to aluminum, although not too badly because I think the heads are generally cast from 2024 alloy, which is a copper aluminum alloy. In any case the graphite gaskets cause lots of reaction, the white asbestos coated steel gasket would cause no reaction.
Cast iron and aluminum are very close in terms of free electrons, so they do not cause much reaction in regards to dissimilar metal corrosion, particularly not in contact with a reasonable mixture of ethylene glycol (green anti freeze) and water.