Flatout Gaskets & Fabrications : Fact and Tips - Automotive and Motorsports Gaskets
At Flatout, we use our years of gasket experience to develop gasket designs that are second to none. Our gaskets fit better with accurate hole locations, smooth contours and tight tolerances. Flatout Gaskets have proven performance in race engine applications.
Flatout RCC Copper Head Gaskets
are made from 100% pure copper, annealed to the most effective hardness and are available in these thicknesses: .021", .031", .040", .050", .064", .072", .080",.090", .100" and .120". Other thickness and hardness choices are available upon request. Flatout offers a wide range of bore sizes and for no additional cost, offers custom bore sizes upon request. For clear part identification, all Flatout RCC Copper Head Gaskets are stamped with the part number, bore size, and copper thickness.
Flatout has developed an "out-of-the-box" copper head gasket, but we do recommend o-ringing of the block or head to provide an effective combustion seal. See Tech Tips. Head gaskets made with Rubber Coated Copper, RCC, assemble directly from the package, seal fluids and combustion better than any other copper gaskets and remove effortlessly with no messy clean up. The clear silicone, rubber coating used for RCC gaskets is inert to almost all fluids and solvents and can withstand the extreme temperatures produced by the hottest drag motors. This dry coating is very thin to ensure low torque loss and is durable enough to be reused in most cases.
Flatout SaberSeal MLS (Multi-Layer Steel) Head Gaskets
are made with a thin, Viton coated stainless steel layers and selective embossing techniques around the combustion seal, water and oil ports. Most gaskets are 3-4 layers and about .040" thick. Custom thickness head gaskets can be produced on a special order basis. Call our Toll-Free Techline (877) 837.9200 or e-mail us for details pricing.
Flatout offers a full line of exhaust, intake, oil pan and valve cover gaskets. See our on-line Gasket Catalog. We use a variety of gasket material solutions to seal today's demanding engines:
- Engineered Soft Gasket Paper - for simple sealing applications.
- Solid Core laminate (SC) - for part rigidity and high lateral strength.
- Graphite-on-Core (GPC) - for very high temperature applications, good for fluid sealing as well.
- Rubber Coated Copper (RCC) - for high pressure applications with good flange rigidity.
- Embossed Rubber Coated Metal or Solid Core laminate - for tough sealing problems where gasket strength is important.
- MLS - Embossed metal to metal when compressed offering excellent torque retention and outstanding sealing performance. Flatout also offers MLS header gaskets in select applications.
- Molded Rubber - Most Flatout silicone or Viton molded rubber gaskets are engineered with a steel core and compression limiters. This controls loading and insures durability and gasket performance.
Copper Head Gaskets
Why use a Copper Head Gasket?
A "copper" head gasket is used on engines primarily to seal extremely high cylinder pressures. Traditional composite style gaskets and multi-layered steel gaskets cannot withstand the tremendous combustion gas pressures generated by today's high output motors. The typical transition point is around 2 HP per cubic inch of displacement. Most nitrous add-ons, alcohol fuel and other alternate fuel engines will typically push high output engines into this HP range requiring a copper head gasket and wire o-ring sealing solution.
Other good reasons for using a copper head gasket include:
- Increasing or decreasing compression ratio
- Increasing valve to piston clearances
- Accommodation of special bore sizes
How well do Copper Head Gaskets Seal Fluids?
Plain copper head gaskets do not seal fluids very well. That's why Flatout Copper Head Gaskets use our exclusive Rubber Coated Copper, RCC. The biggest problem with a solid metal gasket, like copper, is that it does not conform well to mating surfaces of the head and block. We have developed RCC to specifically address this problem.
How do I prepare to use Copper Head Gaskets?
We recommend that all copper head gaskets be installed on engines with machined "o-ring" grooves and stainless steel wire o-rings. This groove is traditionally done in the engine block. Typical wire diameter is .041" in a .039" wide x .029" deep groove resulting in a wire standup of .012". This is used in combination with a .040" thick copper gasket (about 4 times the wire standup). For engines at or above 3 HP per cubic inch of displacement, the combustion seal should be enhanced. For this we recommend a receiver groove opposite the o-ring, typically in the cylinder heads. See your engine builder for other options and machining details.
What do I look for at time of Gasket Installation?
Visually inspect the fit of the gasket to the head and block.
Do I need to Retorque the Head Gasket Joint?
Yes, we recommend that all copper head gaskets be put through a heat cycle and then re-torqued for proper seating of the wire o-ring. The heat cycle should be done with no pressure in the cooling system. Let the engine cool and then retorque. We recommend that the bolt/nut be cracked loose and then retightened to specification following the same torque sequence pattern.
Can I reuse Copper Head Gaskets with RCC, Rubber Coated Copper
Yes. Check the Rubber Coating for scratched or damaged locations. If the coating looks intact simply reassemble. If the coating is damaged in small locations, just clean with a bio-degradeable cleaner and apply silicone RTV to the damage areas, let cure and reassemble engine. Replace the gasket if badly damaged.
Check the combustion o-ring groove in the gasket and look for clean, sharp edges. If the gasket looks good, then replace in the exact location from where it was removed. If the grooves are rounded, beat down or show signs of combustion leakage, replace the gasket.
If there are any additional questions call our TECH LINE - Toll Free (877) 837.9200 or Contact Us