Opinions on using a used copper head gasket in good shape.
There are those who do, I wouldn't.
I would be interested in hearing about some “first hand “ experiences. I have considered it myself
Like most problems we're presented, the answer is . . . It depends . . .
Lang's has new copper head gaskets for $27.95. When I weigh the savings from re-using a used gasket against the cost of a new one and consider the amount of work it takes to change a failed head gasket, the old one loses.
Copper head gaskets can not and should not be reused.
Why waste the time and take a chance?
I don't use a sealer on my head gaskets and I have good luck reusing them.
I've done it a few times , just make sure you spray with copper coat .Have no problems , as of yet .
My old copper head gasket came off in very re-usable looking shape but I had already ordered a new one. My new one was liberally sprayed in copper coat and installed while still tacky so I suspect it will probably be damaged on removal.
I put the used '15 Maxwell head gasket in a plastic bag of water and let it freeze and thaw one winter. The idea was that the asbestos would expand some from that. It hasn't run enough miles to test it but the idea pleases me.
I have reused T gaskets as is with fine results but usually buy a new one. Why tempt fate?
You will notice that around the cylinders there is an edge which gets crimped down when you torque the head. If you use the same block and head which have not been resurfaced, it is feasible that it would work. However, it is much more likely to have a compression leak or blowout if you do reuse it.
I've reused mine several times since '76 with no issues. I clean it with solvent & apply a thin coat of grease to both surfaces & torque it down.
I have used old style asbestos sandwich gaskets over. If they come off without damage I soak them in water to make them swell, let them dry and reuse. I have never used copper coat but would imagine that makes the likelihood of success greater. That said I only,did that when I needed to. Get back on the road and did not have a new one on, hand. These days, for the modest cost of a new one, I keep one on the self just in case.
When in doubt..throw it out!
My Grandfather did reuse copper head gaskets as other T owners would do from time to time. Make sure they are in good shape coat with grease and torque down the head.
Years ago people would buy good used head gaskets at swap meets.
Nowadays we live in a throwaway society and saving good used items especially gaskets isn't usually done.
I regularly re-use copper-clad gaskets on the water outlet and the carburetor flange. I don't know what the "filler" material is on lately-made head gaskets, but back when it was an asbestos material, soaking the gasket overnight in water with a wee bit of liquid detergent would somewhat "fluff up" the filler, and expand the copper faces ensuring a good seal when torqued down. It didn't hurt to do that with new gaskets either.
If you have the best-quality gasket, and if your block and head have been surfaced, and if they pass the straight-edge test, and if you don't use a sealer (as I don't), they can be re-used once. MAYYYbe twice. I've done it and never had a leak.
My dad always put grease on the head gasket so if he pulled the head, the gasket was easy to remove and could be reused.
He may have learned about putting grease on the head gasket from reading the Dyke's manual or possibly from Royce Peterson's dad back in the late 1940s.
He probably used either NOS genuine Ford or aftermarket asbestos gaskets made prior to 1930.
I have re used copper head gaskets from other engines on mine. Stock head and compression with good coat of grease or copper coat. Head and block not resurfaced. I wonder how many people run into the problem of the surface being too smooth. If you look at and original surface, it has a bit of tooth to it, IE you can see the machining marks.
Why would you re-use a head gasket when new ones are readily available and known to be the best solution?
It would cost over $200 per gasket for me.
I often soak the old gasket in water, freeze it, maybe anneal it with a propane torch, soak it & freeze it again.
I once had a thread on here with graph or pictures, or both. It showed how much thickness the gasket gained & how much expansion it would not gain after a certain number of cycles of this treatment. It was effective up to 4 cycles, from memory. The area between the cylinders would only expand twice or so, no meaningful expansion measurable with my calipers after that.
Because not every one has one on hand and maybe the extra $$ plus shipping. We are talking about a low compression low RPM engine.
I have reused good quality copper fiber (asbestos) copper or steel gaskets many times by soaking the gasket in a cooking sheet covering the gasket with tap water let sit over night than backing for an hour at 200 deg. Let It dry for a couple days and re use. The hot water expands the fibers swelling the gasket so it's ready to be re compressed. I reused a pair of original 1929 Lagonda head gaskets 4 times with no problems. I have reused a Austin Mini 1275 with a AE940 head gasket with a 14.4 CR race motor more than a dozen times never ever had a problem, and won many Vintage car races using it. Bill
Kep, why would it cost $200? I'm in the same country as you, and they cost me $45NZ plus postage from the Nth Island.
How are you getting them in NZ for $45? Does someone have a huge stockpile of old gaskets they sell off cheap or something?