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#853396 07/09/21 8:06 pm
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Kevin E Offline OP
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Hi all,

Has anyone had experience with using Permatex Copper Spray on their copper head gaskets? If so what are your thoughts and would you recommend, or any alternative?

Cheers,

Kev E

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I've used it and it has worked well. It dries slowly so you don't have to hurry at all but then it tends to ooze out the edges and leave little blobby lumps.

I have also used silver spray paint. It works well too.. But bear in mind, these sealing methods won't make up for warped or damaged surfaces. And, the copper head gasket should be annealed to the dead soft condition by heating it dull red and dropping it, all of it dull red, on edge, into cold water. Sometimes it takes two rounds, and seems to work better with a used head gasket.

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What difference does a micron of paint make? I don’t see it. If the surfaces are as they should be, then the head/gasket/barrels joint will seal just fine, just as they have on these bikes for decades.
Flat surfaces, a soft annealed gasket and adequate even clamping pressure is all that is required.

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3bond super sealer. And it's recommended rather than surfacing heads on some motors. These can be surfaced or you can use bearing blue to test before fitting a gasket. You can also sand to fix a complete sealing, then the gasket has equal pressure.

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I use Indian Head, shellac, on virtually everything.


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hylomar sucks.... thats the blue crap you see there. totally inappropriate for a head gasket situation. in fact, I quit using hylomar years ago. it sucks, there are better preparations for most everything. it was made for Rolls Royce jet engines, good for that, otherwise I hate it. hard to apply evenly, hard to get a thin enough layer, and hard to deal with the excess that WILL ooze out. 40+ years as an aircraft mechanic, I am not a newb to these things.

Last edited by Mitch; 07/10/21 5:21 am.
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I agree with your thoughts on blue hylomar, but I don't think that's what Mark is showing in the picture, instead, it's simply engineers blue being used to highlight any sealing issues on the faces.

I've sometimes used Loctite 5990 copper high temp silicone in very small quantities around the oil drain holes to stop leaks and it seems to work well.

I wouldn't have a problem using Permatex spray-on copper and if it does what it says on the tin (help heat transfer, fill irregularities etc.) then it must be good.


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Kevin E Offline OP
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Thanks for the comments guys.

I’ve always fitted copper head gaskets (many, many times to single and twin cylinder motorcycle engines) just as they come out of the gasket set.

In the past I’ve never given a thought to annealing them and have never done so. Ever since I put my first motorcycle engine together (C15) back in 1972, I've never had a problem with a head gasket.

Maybe I’m guilty of reading too much and thinking too deeply but I like to learn and although I’m confident about my mechanical engineering skills, I’m always willing to obtain advice from someone who knows more about a specific subject than I do.

I’ve annealed the brand new copper gasket that I’m about to fit and I’m happy that the cylinder face and cylinder head are flat and unblemished. I just wondered about the Permatex, having read about it, and wanted to know if it might just give me a bit of extra ‘insurance’.

Years ago I would have been more than happy to keep pulling my engine down to sort a problem. These days I don’t want to engage in it so much.

Cheers,

Kev E

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I've used that copper spray on forklift engines in the past with good luck. But they didn't have a copper head gasket. I've got a few cans still and have used it on paper/steel head gaskets. Never used it on a bike but I don't see how it could hurt. I should help with sealing if there's a slight irregularity. Gene

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Originally Posted by Kevin E
Hi all,

Has anyone had experience with using Permatex Copper Spray on their copper head gaskets? If so what are your thoughts and would you recommend, or any alternative?

Cheers,

Kev E

Yes. I've put new copper gaskets coated with Permatex Copper Coat on two different heads and had no leak results. If I take them apart again I will clean off the old, anneal the Gasket, coat it again and re-install.

With a new copper gasket I wipe it down with lacquer thinner, spray both sides and hang it up to dry. Also I clean the barrel surface and the head surface with lacquer thinner also. I've let it dry over night. And I've also let it dry till tacky in the afternoon and assembled. Both have worked. YRMV.

Good luck.

Aside - I didn't think I needed to anneal a new copper gasket. But after reading everybody else's comments I will probable due so next time. I've gotten in the habit of annealing copper washers removed from the bike before reinstalling. It's so simple it silly not to...

Last edited by Semper Gumby; 07/11/21 1:46 am.
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Originally Posted by koan58
What difference does a micron of paint make?.
Maybe it's just habit for me, I've been doing it that way for years, but 2 or 3 coats of paint with metal in it does seem to stop black oil weeping from a solid copper head gasket. IMO, tiny defects are sealed up by the metal in the paint. But the annealing you mention is very important also.

But then I've been known to use Hylomar too. I stumbled upon some really old NOS Permatex brand Hylomar at a hot rod swap meet a few years ago. It works and spreads much better than some of the newer versions. Go figure.

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Being an old fashioned type, i use welseal, bloody marvellous gear.
Wipe it on fag paper thin, let it dry for an hour or so, away you go.
I've had the same tube for over 20 years and it still has around 50% left in it.

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by all means, anneal the copper gasket. even a new one. copper work hardens when bent, or under pressure (also through vibration). when the copper sheet is made it is work hardened, so if you want the maximum "flow" to conform to cylinder, the gasket needs to be annealed. they can be re-used many times if not damaged.. there was a time when every engine had copper head gaskets

as for the copper coat spray. I use it.

as stated in my other post.... I hate Hylomar

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I use the Permatex Copper Spray on all of my HG's and to date, have not had one fail. Of course making sure the mating surfaces are flat is extremely important.


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