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#225343 - 11/26/08 12:03 am Composite or Copper?  
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Monty Offline
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Shed
Evening all,

Which is the best head gasket choice, Composite or Copper head gasket?

I've always used copper but i'm wondering if its time to try the composite.

Thanks bigt

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#225351 - 11/26/08 12:53 am Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: Monty]  
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pillgrimm13 Offline
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queensburry ny usa
i was wondering the same thing


1975 Triumph T160 Trident
1969 BSA A65t Thunderbolt
1978 Honda CB750 basketcase
#225352 - 11/26/08 12:53 am Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: Monty]  
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Mark Z Online content
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I had a bad experience with a composite gasket on my A65; maybe it was something I did wrong, but the head had to come back off after a couple hundred miles (don't remember why), and the gasket had separated and it came off in many pieces. I went back to solid copper. Now that someone has shown me the proper way to anneal, I'm going to use up the half-dozen-or-so cast-off gaskets I've collected over the years.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
#225370 - 11/26/08 2:08 am Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: Mark Z]  
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DMadigan Offline
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Copper is reuseable after annealing. Composite might work again if it is not too old. You will never blow out a copper gasket.

#225384 - 11/26/08 2:59 am Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: DMadigan]  
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AussieOn81Bonne Offline
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Copper all the way. I had a major hassle with composite - same as MarkZ - removed the head after a couple of hundred Km's and had to cut off all these solid black little pieces from the head, major pain in the A$$ - and the composite wasn't able to be used again.

So there are a coule of reasons to go for the copper.

Parko


Once was blind but now can see
81 T140E
50's T'Bird
#225414 - 11/26/08 12:51 pm Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: DMadigan]  
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hein weijers Offline
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The Netherlands..
Originally Posted By: DMadigan
Copper is reuseable after annealing. Composite might work again if it is not too old. You will never blow out a copper gasket.




Never???


Triumph Bonneville T140 1978
Yamaha XS 650 Heritage special 1982 (rephased, big bore)
#225421 - 11/26/08 1:32 pm Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: hein weijers]  
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twinspin Offline
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Unless you don't bother retorquing your head of course!


1971 T100R
1970 T120
#225429 - 11/26/08 3:43 pm Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: twinspin]  
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StillREEL Offline
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How does one properly anneal the gasket?
Do the same rules apply to copper washers?
Is it okay to use a rubber washer rather than copper on the the oil plug?
BC
1968 TR6P

#225443 - 11/26/08 5:10 pm Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: StillREEL]  
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twinspin Offline
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1.Heat to cherry red and plunge in cold water. This removes a lot of the scale. Or let cool in the air does not remove scale. Do not bend as this will harden the item.

2. The same for copper washers

3. A suitable O ring may be preferable but it depends what you mean when you refer to the oil plug. Copper is normally ok but I use an O ring in most cases where a fibre washer was originally deployed.


1971 T100R
1970 T120
#225469 - 11/26/08 7:25 pm Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: Monty]  
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Steve in Tulsa Offline
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Quote:
Does everyone use the 18lbs outer bolts and 16lbs inner allen bolts torque setting for the T140?


18 to 20 on all. ( someone will yell at me for that ) No more on the center two as they will shear easily - trust me on that one.

I have known some racers who have torqued to 25 ft/lbs but I would not on a street bike.

Quote:
Has anyone tried a higher torque setting for copper head gasket?


Copper is all I use.
HTH


Steve in Tulsa
#225526 - 11/27/08 1:01 am Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: Monty]  
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Tiger73 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Monty
The reason being, in the past i've always suffered the blow-through between cylinders, which renders the CH needing a skim, i've just enjoyed 14 years of no CH problems.


Monty,
This seems to be a real problem with the Triumph 750's due to the limited space betwen the cylinders and it gets worse when the cylinder is bored oversize. There just wasen't enough room between the cylinders for Triumph to use 3/8" studs instead of the 5/15" studs, which probably would have solved the problem.

As JH advises it is best to use the 82-2184 washers under the inner four and outer four head studs and make sure that you use the correct thickness pushrod seals that allow between .040 & .060 clearence between the head gasket and head before the head is torqued down.

I think the composite gasket was an attempt by Triumph to keep the blow-by to a minimum but it has to to re-torqued several times at different intervals and several members on this forum have had less than satisfactory results with them.

I just recenly rebuilt a 73 TR7RV and used an annealed copper gasket with copper-cote on both sides and torqued to the factory specs of center studs to 16 ft.lb and the other eight to 18 ft.lb but I don't think that 18 ft.lb center and 20 ft.lb. would really hurt anything. But, thats entirely up to you. So far I don't have any exterior head gasket leaks but I won't know if I have interior blow-by until I have to do a top-end job in the future.

If the PO you got your bike from did not follow the correct procedures then your head is probably warped in the center but skimming the head will not really solve the problem. You need to follow JH's instructions on how to straighten the head in privous posts. You may not be able to find the info because alot of info was deleted with this new comfiguration but if you PM JH he may be gracious enough to give you the info.
Regards,
Ken
beerchug

#225537 - 11/27/08 2:17 am Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: Steve in Tulsa]  
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JubeePrince Online content
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Originally Posted By: Steve in Tulsa

18 to 20 on all. ( someone will yell at me for that )


I won't yell at you.. smile

Are those specs for the parallel port head, and if so are they different from the earlier splayed (T140) heads?

Just curious as I have a head gasket leak that is getting progressively worse (and requiring re-torque of the inner head bolts every few hundred miles)....I think when I pull the head off this winter, I have a sneaking suspicion I'm gonna find those smaller inner washers pressed into the head..... mad

After I have the divots milled, I'll put the 82-2184 washers in.....

Just my rant,

Steve


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
#225545 - 11/27/08 4:22 am Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: JubeePrince]  
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Steve in Tulsa Offline
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Quote:
I won't yell at you.. smile


Thanks!

Quote:
Are those specs for the parallel port head, and if so are they different from the earlier splayed (T140) heads?


Both, AFAIK. That's what I use without problems. But I don't run them that hard anymore and maybe that's why I have no head gasket problems.
My spare parallel port head also shows divots from the washers as well. It's been on the shelf for 20+ years just waiting if I need it. I may mill it some day.
HTH


Steve in Tulsa
#225941 - 11/29/08 4:37 pm Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: Monty]  
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Originally Posted By: Monty

I used two copper cylinder head gaskets last time to cure the head blow-through on skimmed heads, possibly caused by the pressure from the pushrod tubes/seals.


Monty,

Perhaps a stuffer-plate would work better for this?

Cheers,

Steve


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
#226037 - 11/30/08 8:08 am Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: JubeePrince]  
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Blapper Offline
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If the stuffer plate is the one that goes on the cylinder base, it won't change the pushrod tube crush problem, it just lowers the compression ratio.

With all the above posts about recurring blowing across the centre, there was little mention of the extra care needed over prt seal crush after skimming. Without sorting that, I would expect problems to recur ad infinitum - in fact getting worse every time you skim. Skimmed heads need thicker head gaskets. Monty has it.

redwine

#226104 - 11/30/08 7:13 pm Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: Blapper]  
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Snakepitt Offline
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What's the opinion on using copper spray on the head gaskets?

#226113 - 11/30/08 8:04 pm Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: Snakepitt]  
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phantom309 Offline
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spfld vt
I have found silver spray paint to work much better.My dad told me that years ago and dang if he wasn't right.


Tim Joyce
sponsors
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Works shocks
Glass from the past
#226114 - 11/30/08 8:04 pm Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: Snakepitt]  
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Ger B Offline
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NL
Hey what do I see? confused
Hein posted a picture of my BSA A-65T head gasket, which blew out in april. It was mounted with a thin layer of copper grease on both sides, and the one after that (which is still alive) also is. It failed as a result of head nut failure. So never say never, Madigan wink It's failure had nothing to do with not retorqueing it. The nut was to soft for the torque applied, so one might even say it failed as a result of torqueing.
I feel better when I use copper grease, so maybe the only value is psychological.

I used a composite gasket once and only once. The deformation / compression goes so fast that you need to retorque practically 10 minutes after first start and than every 100 km (80 miles) for the first 2000 km.


Ger B

#226894 - 12/06/08 2:43 pm Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: Ger B]  
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hein weijers Offline
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The Netherlands..
Originally Posted By: Ger
Hey what do I see? confused
Hein posted a picture of my BSA A-65T head gasket


Sorry Ger, for violating your copyright, blush It seemed to me that this picture fitted seemlessly in the discussion.

BTW In the discussion about retorqueing the head I never hear anything about the fact that as far as I know the head of a car engine with composite headgasket doesn't need retorqueing at all! Maybe the quality of the Triumph composite headgaskets is just bad!

Hein


Triumph Bonneville T140 1978
Yamaha XS 650 Heritage special 1982 (rephased, big bore)
#226899 - 12/06/08 3:33 pm Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: hein weijers]  
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Ger B Offline
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You did not violate anything Hein smile. I could not write my post without mentioning that I at least knew this gasket. So don't worry. Or better... yes do worry: you owe me a cold one.
beerchug
Maybe next spring, when I want to see your CV-Mikunis and I'll show you my flat slide JRC.


Ger B

#226998 - 12/07/08 12:07 pm Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: Ger B]  
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Originally Posted By: Ger
Maybe next spring, when I want to see your CV-Mikunis and I'll show you my flat slide JRC.


Alright guys.....get a room!! laughing

Blap....that was what I meant....thanks for clearing it up.... bigt

Cheers,

Steve


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
#226999 - 12/07/08 12:19 pm Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: JubeePrince]  
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Ger B Offline
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I don't think I want to know what you mean, Jubee, but Hein and I will manage without a room. beerchug


Ger B

#227010 - 12/07/08 2:53 pm Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: JubeePrince]  
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hein weijers Offline
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Hey Jubee, be carefull, my old lady sometimes reads these posts too! grin

But how about my post about car headgaskets that don't need retorqueing at all??

Hein


Triumph Bonneville T140 1978
Yamaha XS 650 Heritage special 1982 (rephased, big bore)
#227014 - 12/07/08 3:15 pm Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: hein weijers]  
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Jack Adams Offline
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Hein, Which Aluminum-Headed, Air-cooled car engine headgaskets would that be? Jack

#227016 - 12/07/08 4:01 pm Re: Composite or Copper? [Re: Jack Adams]  
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Ger B Offline
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VW-beetle perhaps? I had four of them. Never opened them, but there is no mention of head gaskets in the Haynes manual I still keep for silly reasons.
I do not know about modern cars but comparing old aircooled motorbikes with new liquid cooled car engines is like comparing apples with pears as we say here.
I retorqued heads on diesels though, according to manufacturers instructions.


Ger B

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