Are you restoring a vintage car that you recently bought? Read on and discover some of the key considerations that you should have in mind when selecting replacement cylinder head gaskets for the engine of that car.
Some gasket sets need to be re-torqued after installation while others don't need to be re-torqued once they are installed. The process of re-torqueing gaskets is time and labour-intensive because one has to disassemble the engine in order to access the gaskets after the initial installation. It is therefore better to buy gasket sets that do not need to be re-torqued so that you reduce the amount of work that you will have to do as you restore the car.
Combustion Pressure Rating
Cylinder head gaskets are designed to withstand different magnitudes of combustion pressures. For instance, those that are designed for diesel cars normally withstand at least twice the combustion pressure that petrol engine gaskets can withstand. The same size of gasket can therefore be ill-suited to an application depending on the fuel source of a given engine.
Gaskets keep vehicle fluids from reaching where they shouldn't. For example, engine coolant should not enter the combustion chamber. However, some older designs of cylinder head gaskets may be unable to prevent those fluids from seeping through. This is because the newer fluids have additives and detergents that may cling onto the gasket material. It is therefore imperative to select the latest gasket design so that the fluids can be prevented from reaching the delicate parts of the engine where they should not reach.
Effective gasket sealing may be inhibited if the selected cylinder head gasket set is unable to withstand the scuffing forces that are generated by flexing, vibration and shifting of the cylinder head during combustion cycles. Each engine model has a known magnitude of these scuffing forces. The gaskets that you buy should be able to keep those forces at bay.
Chances are high that the engine in your vintage car will be operating at higher temperatures than it did when it was still new. That high temperature can put a strain on gasket life. It is therefore imperative that you buy gaskets with the highest temperature rating possible for that size of engine.
So many technical factors play a role in the selection of the right gasket set for an application. This technical task should therefore be left to the experts so that you avoid the expense and inconvenience of having to take apart that engine in order to replace the inappropriate gaskets that failed soon after installation.