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Old 02-04-2008, 07:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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CopperCoat vs Dry Head Gasket

I am about to install a Felpro PermaTorque Gasket on my 302 and Ive been getting some conflicting advice.

Some pretty experienced mechanics have said to copper coat both sides of the gasket before the install, others say to install it absolutely clean and dry.


I have had some sealing problems installing the gasket dry, so I am leaning towards the coppercoat advice. Are there disadvantages to using the CC?


Experience, advice...?

Last edited by HSPENCER; 11-24-2008 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 02-04-2008, 08:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: CopperCoat vs Dry Head Gasket

The last engine I assembled was a Continental G176 and I had all sorts of trouble getting the head to seal. I was cold boiling the coolant and leaking coolant out of the head surface. I retorqued. I pulled the head and retorqued. I finally removed the head, sprayed both sides of the gasket and both sealing surfaces. Reassembly was uneventful and it has run perfectly ever since. I cannot say that this will fix your condition, but it certainly could not hurt. Is there anything preventing the head from setting down? Old gasket? Blocked dowel pin holes? I would definitely spray the gasket.

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Old 02-04-2008, 04:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: CopperCoat vs Dry Head Gasket

I use the copper spray whenever I replace my headgaskets.Never had a problem.I use fel-pro also.
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Old 02-04-2008, 04:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: CopperCoat vs Dry Head Gasket

I've always use the felpros dry, Only time I've used spray in on metal shim gaskets.
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Old 02-04-2008, 04:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: CopperCoat vs Dry Head Gasket

Modern engines have tighter clearances and smoother surfaces than older parts. Some surfaces were ground a little rough years ago but a composition gasket and some cc and it was good to go. Use a modern multi layer steel gasket on the same thing and it may leak. If surfaces are correct and straight you absolutely do not need copper coat. If you have had leaks be sure you have good lubricated threads. It is also common to use 10 lbs more torque on the long bolts after you follow correct torque procedures. Mark
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: CopperCoat vs Dry Head Gasket

I have only used sealer on metal gaskets also....
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: CopperCoat vs Dry Head Gasket

Two coats of copper paint or silver-chrome paint will help seal any gasket. torquing the gasket down in 10 pound increments is a real help too. Start at 20 ft lbs and then 30, 40 up to the maximum.
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: CopperCoat vs Dry Head Gasket

I use it on every head job I do and have never had a problem. I look at it like extra insurance.

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Old 02-05-2008, 02:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: CopperCoat vs Dry Head Gasket

This is some pretty good info if you want to do some reading.
Engine Sealing Techniques
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: CopperCoat vs Dry Head Gasket

If you take the time to read the instructions with the gaskets, it says to install them dry.
With todays machining techniques the old spray paint idea is not needed.
MLS gaskets do not need copper coat or spray paint to seal correctly.

Never had a leaker.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: CopperCoat vs Dry Head Gasket

I also use Copper Coat or aluminum paint. I have done this for years on both older engines and newer engines and have yet to have any problems. I also have heard of problems associated with 'dry' head gaskets but I have yet to hear of any problems caused by using either type of sealer on them.
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