I am getting ready to re-install the Z-head on my engine. Should I use a gasket sealer and if so what is the best choice. Thanks, Steve
I use the Copper Kote (sp) spray on both sides when I use copper clad head gaskets and have heard some just use grease though I do not know how that would work.
Do a fit test first! Place the new head on the block without the gasket. Then hand crank or turn over starter a few times so all 4 pistons rise and fall.
IF the head jumps, you have issue with pistons hitting, and then grind away the places in the squish area of the new alum head to relieve.
With all fine, then Copper_Coat that copper clad gasket (don't use the modern gasket with the narrow silicon seal around the pistons) and fit, 2 piston up and 2 down so the head goes on square. Torque to 45-50lbs, using the ss washers under the head bolts to keep the steel bolt from galling the top of the softer alum head. Run, let cool, then re-torque the settings.
I re-torqued my aluminum head four times after a COMPLETE cool down before it was done. Used Copper Kote (of course). Many miles later, no problems or leaks. Do it right the first time and it will be your last time.
Grease was used on gaskets so they could be reused.
I have worked with guys that greased both sides of all gaskets and never used gasket cement,sealer or whatever.
They said they did that so the next time the part came I off the old gasket could be reused.
We used to paint the top of the block and underside of the head and both sides of the gasket with aluminum paint and assemble while still wet. That was with 8 to one heads and they didn't leak.
I used Copper Kote twice during one cylinder head installation years ago...the first and the last time! While installing the head bolts one of them broke. I had to take the head back off to retrieve the broken end. I liked to never got the head back off! We had a 5 ft. pry bar in the water outlet hole of the head. I was afraid I was going to break the head. I finally got it broke lose. The gasket was totally destroyed. Ever since that time I have used silver paint.
I'm with Vern. I use aluminised silver paint and copper gaskets exclusively. by the time I brush a good heavy coat on both sides of the gasket, it is beginning to tack up. If you have to remove it for some reason, it is easily done.
Others may differ.
Allan from down under.
I've used the spray aluminum paint on both sides of the head gasket. Let it dry before installing and never had leaks even when reusing a gasket.