I installed a new Z head last August using a new "regular" composition head gasket I had in stock. Everything worked fine, but I just returned from Hershey with all the parts to replace my valves and lifters and discovered that the new gasket I bought "will not work with a Z head". The advertisement by the supplier of the Z head states that a "regular" T head gasket will work. What gasket do you guys use under your Z heads? Thanks : Bruce
I used a regular copper gasket from Lang's generously coated with KopperKote prior to installation. No problem or leaks many miles and two years later.
Copper gasket with CopperCoat
Ditto. I had a composition gasket on with my "Z" head, and it failed in the narrowest gap between the cylinders on # 3 & 4, and that same gap on 1 & 2 was starting to go. When I replaced the gasket, I had the head resurfaced and told them to take off just enough to make it flat, and they took off .005 (five thousandths). It runs great now.
Thanks guys : I have a new copper gasket, but it's identical to all the others in shape, including the one that they warn you "will not work". They seem to be concerned that the "fire ring" is exposed in the combustion chamber as the gasket does not follow the contour of the Z head. I guess I'll try the copper one tomorrow with some copper coat. Thanks again : Bruce
Copper asbestos with generous amount of copper coat.
I recently fitted a copper after having 20 thou shaved off my z head and it knocked. After some grinding and still some clearance issues I used 2 steel gaskets together with all faces sprayed with copper spray. Will be interesting to see how long it lasts, so far so good.
All Aluminum Heads, no matter what brand of head, should use a copper gasket. And a very liberal amount of copper spray on both sides of the copper gasket. As Keith G. stated above, his results, with the composition or other gaskets, will usually result. Also, the torque for the head bolts should be about 45 to 50 Foot Pounds each. Good luck. Keith
Also don't forget you have to re-torque it COLD! Not hot like a cast head. I re-torqued mine four times: twice after successive runs, once after 4 weeks, and once after 6 weeks. Two years later and many miles...no problems.
I would never ever use one of those high priced composition gaskets. The slightest difference in torque will make it leak if it does not on its own accord. Besides, you can use the copper gasket over in a pinch and not have to clean up the mess that a composition gasket leaves.
I use the copper gaskets dry. It's been that way several years now...no leaks...Z heads...2 cars...280 cams...A crank in one.
I'm with Hal. Stock head, Z head, 4 Valve Rajo or Fronty I put them all on dry. Never had a problem with them. Oh wait, back in the 60's I blew a gasket between 2 cylinders on a 292 in my '57 Ford. I'm sure Copper Coat is good stuff, just ever felt the need for it.
Maybe a little grease on both sides or if you must, grease on the block side and copper coat on the head side.