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Thread: annealing copper head gaskets

  1. #51
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    rural eastern South Dakota


    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    The absolute simplest fool proof method is to lay it on the eye of an electric stove. Put it on high until it glows ,then turn it off and let it cool. Just like boiling water. The ONLY problem with this method is you must be single. WARNING Do NOT attempt this if you have a wife!!!!!
    The "eye"??? do you mean the "burner"?? If so, I'm a sorry sack, for scrapping out the burners on my shop oven. Saved the rheostats, but .... oh well, scrap stoves are a dime a dozen around here.
    Now, if so, rosseau (how bout a rhyme?), yes, that would be simple, and would take less effort to assemble than gas. Just couldn't fry eggs at d-port without some juice.
    Wauseon's got juice!
    I did get another set of coppers in the mail today, and they're pretty stiff. Spendy lab rats there. I don't know.
    Bosch, thx again for your assurance.
    I wouldn't have expected to string this out 5 pages. But we're still not finished. We have electricity on the farm.

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Apr 2015


    When using copper head gaskets, don't expect them to work miracles. I have had them blow-out when using them on engines that have poor cylinder head to cylinder surface matching. I now lap my cylinder heads to the cylinder top surface and I have had zero head gasket failures - regardless of the type gasket used. To lap the head to the cylinder, I use valve grinding compound and though hand lapping can take an hour or more per cylinder, the results are superior. I lap until I get 95% perfect matching of the two surfaces - especially the area around each head bolt.

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Central Illinois, USA



    I used a "Polish Mill", which is the side of a very large grinding stone (attached; beneath tabletop is a 42" Cincinatti Milicron, coarse 24" upon it).
    With criss-cross swipes, it quickly levels cast iron, and the coarse one is dedicated to aluminum and lubed with WD-40.
    Note that with composite gaskets, a mill profile is desireable to hold it.

    This would probably be a heat barrier for copper however, so I would suggest reducing the mill profile on finer and finer abrasive discs stuck upon as thick of glass plate as possible (second attachment).
    I have one piece of glass that I etched by ALOX blasting to hold Clover compounds, and have managed to grind two 17 1/2 lb. lapping discs to where they wring together such that one can be picked up with the other. I then used them to lap my scarred mill table and inspection plate.

    Low tech rules.

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  4. #54

    Default Annealing copper head gaskets

    I don`t know for sure that I accomplished much, but I have annealed my thick copper head gaskets for my 48 Chief by putting them in the oven. I`m thinking I set the oven for 500 degrees, & left them in there for 10 or 15 minutes. It worked, I guess because I didn`t have any problem, and I put a LOT of miles on it!!! The ol`lady wasn`t too happy about the smell, but it worked, so it was worth that bit of a setback! Ross

  5. #55


    Now thatís funny

  6. #56


    An idea that I've seen in older pictures (Kohler flathead, no data): using a small carbide ball end cutter, trace a thin shallow ditch mid-way between the gasket inner & outer lines. Bolt torque will extrude copper into the groove.
    Interesting idea, I don't know if I'm that brave.

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