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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looks like I need to change my head gaskets, I found out they both are starting to weep a little, no liquid coolant yet but I see the telltale sign of dried coolant going down the cylinder block. No idea if they have ever been changed before, I don’t know the history of the bike.
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Last year I bought a generic gasket set to do the quadruple bypass the engine needed. It included 2 head gaskets. From what I read here it seems like anything but OEM or the Joe Hovel ones that Murray sells would result in failure. Some of those threads date back a decade. Looking at the gaskets I have, I don’t see anything that looks really suspect.

Am I losing my time if I use the ones I have? Is it that preparation needs to be perfect for the generic gaskets to hold? What are your good / bad experiences?

The gasket set came from 4into1, and all other gaskets and orings in it fit good, I had no problems.
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The inferior gaskets don't look like they won't last, they just don't.

But before I started taking things apart I would make sure what you are seeing is actually coolant leaking from the gasket. Those tracks are right below the spark plug well drain holes so they could easily be water that came from the holes when you rode in the rain. Or parked outside in the rain. Or even washed it and it took a while for water that got into the wells to make its way out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The inferior gaskets don't look like they won't last, they just don't.

But before I started taking things apart I would make sure what you are seeing is actually coolant leaking from the gasket. Those tracks are right below the spark plug well drain holes so they could easily be water that came from the holes when you rode in the rain. Or parked outside in the rain. Or even washed it and it took a while for water that got into the wells to make its way out.
Bob,
Nothing has been dismantled yet. I can confirm 100% it is coolant, I have wiped them clean and they reappear after a ride. Can't be water from the plug holes, bike sleeps in the garage, I did not ride in the rain recently and I have not washed it in a while. The tracks have a yellowish color just like the coolant I have and it's not the first time I've seen coolant leaks in vehicles. I don't know if those are the original gaskets or if they have been changed before.

If the consensus is that those gaskets are problems waiting to happen I'll just order the ones from Murray. Not in a hurry, it'll be a winter project... It's just that I had those gaskets on hand and was wondering if the mentioned failures were really a quality problem or bad installation practices, not retorquing them or something else.

If you repeat something enough times, even if not true or not relevant anymore it gets to be a dogma that people accept without questioning. I'm just there to question it!
 

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Hi Danroy
Looking at the picture and thinking
Coolant from the Plug drain hole ?????????????
looks like the head gasket is seeping around the head and the block

For the head gaskets that is aftermarket gaskets I can't comment on
How ever the gasket is made to stick to the surface of the block and the head
Coating the gasket is not a normal practice in the world that I work in (My world waiting for comment)

the way I do head gaskets is wipe with acetone and make sure its clean
Install and torque to spec (re torque if needed ) I have not don re torques before
Put many HI Horsepower engines together over the years and no problems

Good luck with the project

TLD 🇨🇦 🇩🇰
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Danroy
Looking at the picture and thinking
Coolant from the Plug drain hole ?????????????
looks like the head gasket is seeping around the head and the block

For the head gaskets that is aftermarket gaskets I can't comment on
How ever the gasket is made to stick to the surface of the block and the head
Coating the gasket is not a normal practice in the world that I work in (My world waiting for comment)

the way I do head gaskets is wipe with acetone and make sure its clean
Install and torque to spec (re torque if needed ) I have not don re torques before
Put many HI Horsepower engines together over the years and no problems

Good luck with the project

TLD 🇨🇦 🇩🇰
Like I told to Bob, the coolant is really seeping from the gasket, I verified it.

I usually install head gaskets dry too and as you said I take the time to prep and clean the surface meticulously.

It’s just that I’ve seen many warnings about aftermarket head gaskets here, hence the question whether I could use those gaskets or if they’re doomed to fail…
 

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Hi
Looking at the picture
Gasket material is made in the US
I would use them in a hart beat
they look good to me

TLD 🇨🇦 🇩🇰
 

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Murray (who has probably replaced more head gaskets in CX family bikes than any of us) recommends applying copper gasket spray and letting it dry before assembly.

I also recommend reading this
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's food for thought Bob... I had not found this thread before. It'll be a few months before I can work on this, I still have time to change my mind a few more times on this...:rolleyes:
 

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the specs on that material looks good let me know how it goes
on the subject of the copper spray while it does help with sealing it also lets the head float a bit
the heads grow and shrink as they are heated or cooled
and at different rates than the block so the copper spray helps a lot with that movement and preventing leaks
while honda put in the manual to use a liquid sealer with the 500s they did not with the 650s as by then a graphite impregnated material was used in the originals
and it allowed for the movement
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
To follow on Murray's comment about the material, here is a data sheet on this gasket material:


From the link:
"NI-2098 is a heavy-duty cylinder head facing material that is used with both solid and perforated metal cores. It is a non-asbestos material with nitrile butadiene rubber binder, and is compatible with most polymers used in bead printing processes. "
 

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i am still looking into this material
the questions i still have un answered are its ability to withstand abrasion from expansion and contraction
and movement between the block and head
the common cause of seeping
the best gasket to use is a mls one like cometic makes but it means resurfacing the block and head to get a perfect seal
i use them on performance and rebuild engines
but i always look for better material and gasket material is always changing and Improving
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update, I finally pulled the heads over the weekend. Gaskets have already been changed before on this engine, I saw some scraping marks on the heads.

Here is a comparison of the old gaskets VS the gaskets I have from the gasket set. I see that the fire ring on the old gaskets are about 4 - 4.5mm wide while the ones on the new gaskets are about 3mm wide. Murray, would this concern you?

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Hi Danroy
Show us both sides of the gaskets
Also look for cracks in the fire ring .to determine where the compression goes in to the coolant
The new gasket say made in the US that's a good sign
for the fire ring being a bit narrower would not concern me as long as it fits around the cylinder
lay the gasket on the cylinder block and take pictures so we can see the placement of the fire ring

Wait for Murray's answer he has the experience we need

TLD 🇨🇦 🇩🇰
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Danroy
Show us both sides of the gaskets
Also look for cracks in the fire ring .to determine where the compression goes in to the coolant
The new gasket say made in the US that's a good sign
for the fire ring being a bit narrower would not concern me as long as it fits around the cylinder
lay the gasket on the cylinder block and take pictures so we can see the placement of the fire ring

Wait for Murray's answer he has the experience we need

TLD 🇨🇦 🇩🇰
TLD, the fire rings had not failed on the old gaskets. I’m replacing them because they started to leak coolant externally, see the pictures at the top of the thread.

The gaskets fit correctly on the block, everything is at the right place.
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
that gasket does not fit well and i dont like that fire ring how thin and retreated it is
Well, I have to admit my picture is not really great... Looking at the photo it looks like the holes don't line up but it is only because it wasn't lying flat, the gasket has a little curvature. If I push it into contact all holes line up perfectly. I'll take a better picture tonight.

About the fire ring I can't argue, as I told before, it is not as wide as the previous gaskets (of which I don't know the origin, I only know that they had been changed before). I'll recheck but the ID of the ring is really close to that on the old gaskets.
 

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that gasket does not fit well and i dont like that fire ring how thin and retreated it is
The upper bolt holes appear to be misaligned because it's standing proud of the block there. I agree on the fire ring, though.
 
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