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#342942 - 11/12/10 8:47 pm Annealing head gaskets  
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yellow_cad Offline
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I have plenty of experience heat treating tool steel but virtually none when it comes to nonferous. If it is steel and it is to be annealed, it should be heated to its critical temperature and allowed to slow cool all the way down because if it is quenched it will not be dead soft. On head gaskets (and I'm using a thicker one to make up for missing head material) I have seen that lots of people say to quench the gasket in water after heating it to red. A good source (Rabers) just said to me that if I didn't quench the gasket, it would become hard again. Metal heat treatment is not a something where everything goes so it seems to me that the gasket should either be quenched or not. Anybody have any ideas on the process?


Jim

1970 Triumph Bonneville
1973 Commando Interstate
1971 OSSA MAR
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#342946 - 11/12/10 8:54 pm Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: yellow_cad]  
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John Healy Online content
John Healy  Online Content



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Boston, Massachusetts
The copper head gasket just needs to be heated until it is bright cherry red and left to cool. It doesn't need to be quenched, but if you do it clean it up and leave a nice clean finish.


#342960 - 11/12/10 10:24 pm Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: yellow_cad]  
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choppadude Offline
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I also have a bit of experience heat treating metals and alloys having done it for over a dozen years and it never made sense to me to quench a copper head gasket after annealing.
Once the copper gasket is evenly heated to a point where you can see a pattern of blue, green colors spreading across the surface,the molecules of the copper have become aligned. Quenching will only interrupt this process and in my opinion put you right back to where you began.

#342962 - 11/12/10 10:45 pm Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: yellow_cad]  
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John Healy Online content
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While I have done it both ways, I have been part of the quench school for nearly 50 years. I just like how the gasket looks when you do it. But I can attest, that for whatever reason, it doesn't re-harden the copper.


#342971 - 11/12/10 11:23 pm Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: John Healy]  
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Norri Robertson Offline
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That's my experience too.
In my youth I was taught to quench so that's what I've always done, I don't know if cooling or quenching is better but quenching certainly results in a softened gasket.

#342981 - 11/13/10 12:32 am Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: yellow_cad]  
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L.A.B. Online content
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Originally Posted By: yellow_cad
On head gaskets (and I'm using a thicker one to make up for missing head material) I have seen that lots of people say to quench the gasket in water after heating it to red. A good source (Rabers) just said to me that if I didn't quench the gasket, it would become hard again.



A lot of people will tell you that "you must quench copper" and even some factory manuals say that (and Rabers should know better) but copper does not need to be quenched although it does no harm if you do.

#342998 - 11/13/10 3:30 am Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: yellow_cad]  
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JubeePrince Online content
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Back on the mainland!
I'm always in a hurry to get back on the road, so I quench!! Of course, I could have a cuppa and let the gasket cool....

And yes, the gasket does look nice after the scale is removed with a scotch-brite pad! bigt

Steve


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

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
#343019 - 11/13/10 10:13 am Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: yellow_cad]  
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kommando Online content
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Not only does copper not need to be quenched you do not need to heat it all to cherry red at the same time to anneal, you can do it in sections and as long as you do every section to cherry red it will all be annealled. Good to know if you are stuck with access only to a small torch.

#343022 - 11/13/10 11:49 am Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: kommando]  
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T140V-Rich Offline
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Originally Posted By: kommando
Good to know if you are stuck with access only to a small torch.


Which was a question I had about the process. So cherry red in sections still works to anneal, and then quench?

Richard


1977 T-140V
1973 T-140V
2011 Bonneville SE
Author of "Relics and Reminiscing."
#343025 - 11/13/10 12:12 pm Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: yellow_cad]  
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Ger B Offline
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If you have a small torch, let the cherry red area under the flame travel over the surface of the gasket untill all area of the gasket has been red.
It does not matter that one part is still warming up from dark to red while another part is cooling down from red to dark.


Ger B

#343120 - 11/13/10 11:57 pm Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: yellow_cad]  
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J. Charles Smith Offline
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Just put the gasket on an electric stove burner, turn it up to high, and when the burner and gasket turn red, turn the burner off and have a cuppa until it cools.

#463269 - 11/14/12 3:21 pm Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: choppadude]  
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TR6Ray Online content
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Originally Posted By: choppadude
. . .Once the copper gasket is evenly heated to a point where you can see a pattern of blue, green colors spreading across the surface,the molecules of the copper have become aligned. Quenching will only interrupt this process and in my opinion put you right back to where you began.


So, the manual says "cherry red". Like choppadude, I heated a copper head gasket till I could see the blue, green colors, and could move them around the surface. When I annealed a smaller copper washer, it actually did flash cherry red. I'm wondering if I got the head gasket hot enough with my propane torch?


'64 TR6R Plus some Twins from other countries (U.S., Germany, Japan)
#463273 - 11/14/12 3:54 pm Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: yellow_cad]  
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kommando Online content
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Scotland
I have always worked to cherry red and it works even if you do it in sections, never tried just to do the phycedelic version. All refernces I have seen say Cherry Red.

#463291 - 11/14/12 6:32 pm Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: kommando]  
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Yep! I'm thinking you are correct. I'll go see my buddy with the oxy-acetylene torch and a rosebud tip. I'd like to get this right.


'64 TR6R Plus some Twins from other countries (U.S., Germany, Japan)
#463297 - 11/14/12 7:10 pm Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: J. Charles Smith]  
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malla1962 Offline
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Originally Posted By: J. Charles Smith
Just put the gasket on an electric stove burner, turn it up to high, and when the burner and gasket turn red, turn the burner off and have a cuppa until it cools.
works every time for me.

#463368 - 11/15/12 5:16 am Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: malla1962]  
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Thanks, Malla. I'll have a go at that first. It sounds easier.


'64 TR6R Plus some Twins from other countries (U.S., Germany, Japan)
#463371 - 11/15/12 6:19 am Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: malla1962]  
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Excalibur Offline
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+1 for the electric stove method. I have been known to invert a large pot over the element/gasket to get the heat in. More recently I've acquired a LPG/propane type of torch so have been using that.

#463408 - 11/15/12 2:33 pm Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: Excalibur]  
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Tri74x Offline
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Wife says -1 on stove... I use the gas grill outside. Cleans the grill at the same time!

#463421 - 11/15/12 4:23 pm Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: Tri74x]  
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Originally Posted By: Tri74x
Wife says -1 on stove... I use the gas grill outside. Cleans the grill at the same time!

Well, yeah! But my wife has a gas stove, so I was planning to use my step-son's electric one. He's a bachelor -- should be no problemo.


'64 TR6R Plus some Twins from other countries (U.S., Germany, Japan)
#463426 - 11/15/12 6:20 pm Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: yellow_cad]  
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Wilfred Offline
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I just went to the local second hand store and got a single burner electric heater upper. Good for hot washing in detergent as well as annealing gaskets.....even heating water for tea or coffee and no -1 from the Mrs....now, if I could just find a little plug in oven for valve guides and bearings....Cheers, Wilf


"It's about the ride..."
#463503 - 11/16/12 3:07 am It does not matter if you quench [Re: Wilfred]  
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TR5T_Mark Offline
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Georgia
Just adding my weight to the it-does-not-matter-if-you-quench copper as part of the annealing process or not. Captain Obvious says it is quicker if you do quench.


Mark
#463541 - 11/16/12 1:29 pm Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: yellow_cad]  
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Ger B Offline
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This thread is like a wild fire. It was supposed to have stopped on november 14th 2010 but lights up again on the same day in 2012...

laughing


Ger B

#463559 - 11/16/12 4:22 pm Re: Annealing head gaskets [Re: yellow_cad]  
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DMadigan Offline
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ca, us
I recently softened copper head seal rings (2x2x90mm) for a Pegasso ('56 Spanish DOHC V8). Heat the copper with a carbon flame and soot the surface then heat it with a neutral flame until the soot burns off and let air cool. Mind, as soon as you bend the copper it will harden.


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