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Old 03-08-2013, 11:01 AM   #1
bpeckm OP
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Your experience with re-using head gaskets



I know, I know... but I have done it with good success on my old R50/2, which admittedly is not exactly a high-output engine.

I know it is good practice to replace the head gaskets every time you open up and pull heads, but.... does Anybody have any horror stories or other experiences to convey? It's not like it's a critical part to keep coolant from seeping into the combustion chamber....a truly-blown head gasket is probably a pretty rare thing on these bikes... or am I full of ....(fill in the blank....) ??


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Old 03-08-2013, 11:09 AM   #2
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Get a better paying job! And you won't have these weird thoughts keeping you awake at night.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:11 AM   #3
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It's snowing sideways... is it that obvious that I'm at work and bored....?
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeckm View Post


I know, I know... but I have done it with good success on my old R50/2, which admittedly is not exactly a high-output engine.

I know it is good practice to replace the head gaskets every time you open up and pull heads, but.... does Anybody have any horror stories or other experiences to convey? It's not like it's a critical part to keep coolant from seeping into the combustion chamber....a truly-blown head gasket is probably a pretty rare thing on these bikes... or am I full of ....(fill in the blank....) ??


Your right, it's not critical, but it falls under "as long as you're in there you might as well..."
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:35 PM   #5
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Re-using Headgasket

I think bpeckm wants to know has anyone done it and did it work.

Well I'll own up that it worked for me in 1972 on a Ducati single. I was a poor apprentice back then so it had to. Couldn't for the life of me tell you what the gasket material/construction was. If it was copper I would have annealed it.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:39 PM   #6
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The head gaskets on my 1000cc 75/6 have been re-used 3 times so far, all good, reason being that i dont have any spares on hand for unplanned weekend jobs. Am planning on replacing with copper though...
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:06 PM   #7
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Ask someone in Viet nam, or any third world country about re-using head gaskets.
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:38 PM   #8
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I have done it after a head rebuild. Had some noise and wanted to be sure the new larger valves were not making contact. The gasket only had a few hours on it so I don't know if this counts.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeckm View Post
It's snowing sideways... is it that obvious that I'm at work and bored....?
Ah, East Coast and The Perfect Storm II.



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Old 03-08-2013, 06:36 PM   #10
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Please Do Not Reuse Them.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:39 PM   #11
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Snowed here on Wednesday. I ran out of gas on the bike. Had to buy a can. Walked several miles. Took two hours to rescue my bike.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:17 PM   #12
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I've done it numerous times, with no troubles, on both aircooled and water-cooled engines. Heck, I did it on a WC diesel with 18:1 CR and it was fine. When I've done it, I've always used permatex copper spray gasket. That was a Norwegian SABB marine diesel. An injector nozzle had dropped off and was rattling around in the cylinder. It beat things up pretty badly, but somehow didn't bend a valve. I pulled off the head at sea, removed the chunks, reused the head gasket, put in a spare injector, and got home. We never opened it up again. Those SABB's are tough!
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:49 PM   #13
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I've re-used them numerous times with no ill effects. An independent factory trained tech in the area here says it's ok to re-use head gaskets, all but the 1,000s.
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:58 AM   #14
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Dang, so could (some of) us naysayers be picky and anal retentive? With the metal crush washers (around the combustion chamber) and (on some cars) around oil-supply passages and on our airheads, the silicone sealant around the upper (oil-supply) studs, I'd have figured that they are one-shot gaskets for-sure. Live and learn. I'll continue to replace then, but if I have to re-use in a pinch I'll do it with less anxiety...

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Bill Harris screwed with this post 03-09-2013 at 06:28 AM
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:43 AM   #15
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Another naysayer.

OK, in a pinch. I think too dangerous for water cooled engines. The anti-freeze water will destroy bearings. And it doesn't take much.
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