At the museum I volunteer for, we have a 1917 Nash Quad, and the Buda engine doesn't run like it should. I've worked on the carburetor and ignition many times in the past, but could never get the thing to run reliably. I think that it's due for a valve job in the near future. The only problem is that, as you can imagine, I can't get a head gasket for it when it's ready to go back together!
Is there a way to make head gaskets yourself, or is there somewhere to get custom head gaskets made?
Try Olson's Gaskets in Port Orchard, WA They probably have NOS in stock for you. 360-871-1207
Have you had it apart to see if its a partial copper gasket with some sort of heat resistant material made with it? Or could it be a gasket made from pliable asbestos or something like it.
If there is someplace that makes head gaskets they will need at least a pattern. Making a head gasket will be fairly easy. Lay out the gasket material over the head or block and tamp out the outlines of the cylinders and bolt holes then you can carefully cut them out with a sharp knife.
The hard part might be finding material suitable for high heat.
Check out McMaster Carr. They have just about all kinds of gasket materials. They have just about anything you can think of related to mechanical maintenance.
Gardico Gasket Company is Seattle can laser cut a gasket if you have a sample. Its cheaper than the gasket guys as you cut out the middle man.
I had new gaskets made for my 1915 Packard Twin Six with excellent results. They used a high temp modern gasket material that was flexible and conformed to both the heads and block. Been using since 1998 and still going strong.
I have had them make exhaust flange gaskets for my other brass ear car with excellent results.
Starbolt engine supply's carry's a green material that we use to make head gaskets for hit and miss engines.I don't know how will it works for this application though.
You could make your own out of soft copper sheet, probably 3/32 or so thick. Finding an economical source for the sheeting be a problem. Brass Car Guy may have your best answer. If you are lucky and careful with your disassembly you might be able to reuse your one. There was a Nash quad, restored, for sale recently try a google search and see if you can track down the owner.
If the old gasket is complete and the head and block are reasonably flat you could have the the old gasket scanned then a new copper gasket water jet cut from solid copper. The people doing the cutting should be able to find the soft copper.
Reminds me of a few years ago, when I was involved with creating a community tourist railway on a section of disused line. A couple of young chaps had an old ganger's trolley (Gandy Dancer?) with a single cylinder engine. (Oddly it had a T carburettor). Well the engine blew its head gasket, and the lads needed the machine to complete some work for the weekend. I took a sheet of heavy brown paper, from a supermarket bag, marked it against the block, and cut a new gasket from it. I covered the paper gasket with oil and bolted the head back into place. The lads, one of whom was an apprentice diesel mechanic, laughed at me and said that it wouldn't last more than one trip up the track. Two years, and many miles later, the engine was still working well and still with my paper head gasket.
If the old gasket is intact and is the copper wrapped, w/inner core type, you can re-use it. We used to do this lots when our pockets were empty.
You need to carefully give it a good cleaning and then put it in an oven (BBQ would probably work) and bake it at about 300º for about 30 minutes, remove from oven and let it cool to room temperature before re-installing.
Ken Todd is right, when I was young and broke(now old and broke) I reused many chevy 216 head gaskets with no problem. KGB
When I was a kid and broke....besides I could not find a gasket...for a BB Rajo head. I found a sheet of dead soft aluminum and carved out a gasket. Somehow I remember using a sharp chisel to make a slightly raised area around the cylinders and water ports. Worked fine.
If you can't get a replacement and if you can get the old gasket off in reasonable order, it will most likely be a copper/asbestos sandwhich. On old trick was to soak them in a bath of very hot water and leave them in it overnight.The theory is that the asbestos absorbs the hot water and swells, thus expanding the crushed gasket. You need to dry it out for a couple of days before re-using, but worth a try if you're stuck.
and use Hylomar >>> http://www.hylomarsealant.com
If you soak it in water then freeze it it expands more.
That sounds like a good idea.