How to: head gasket replacement

Discussion in '1st & 2nd Generation 1983-1989' started by hassall, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. Chris71Mach1

    Chris71Mach1 New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, Texas, United States
    Map
    how possible is it for you to take the old/bad rear head gasket and send it out to this company?
     
  2. ssajdowitz

    ssajdowitz New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The rear head gasket is exactly the same as the front head gasket except for the extra tab that has a hole in it to seal the breather.

    Currently, I have two front head gaskets on my 85 vf500f. I put an o-ring in to seal the breather. I machined a small round groove in the head around the breather hole since I had to deck the heads on the mill anyway.

    Copper head gaskets can handle higher combustion pressures, but they do not last as long (perfect for race cars that get rebuilt often, not for the guy with a full-time job).
     
  3. jmiles

    jmiles New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Map
    How long do the copper gaskets last? Or is it they type of thing where the deteriorate quickly at the most inconvenient of times?

    John
     
  4. ssajdowitz

    ssajdowitz New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's hard to say because it depends on your riding style and application.

    Copper is a very malleable material, that's why it seals so well. With the thermocycling the engine sees, the gasket goes through a cycle of changing clamp-loads. Eventually, the gasket starts to relax, causing a lower sealing force. This can be fixed by a head bolt retorque. The problem with that is the head then begins to warp dramatically (especially around the head bolts). The heads are not a cheap/easy thing to replace.

    If a MLS (multi-layered steel) or composite gasket (stock) is used, it is likely that you will never need to replace the gasket agian. I don't know if MLS gaskets are available for the VF500.

    That is why I decided against a copper head gasket on my supercharged mustang.
     
  5. JamieDaugherty

    JamieDaugherty New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,389
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Map

    That's interesting because it's exactly the opposite of what I've always heard. In fact, copper head gaskets are used in applications where 'standard' gaskets don't hold up very long (not just turbo or supercharger applications). A reason why copper parts are not used on production engines is cost.



    No, they aren't.
     
  6. ssajdowitz

    ssajdowitz New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Take a look at this link. Engine Sealing: High Performance Head Gaskets: Engine Builder


    The copper gasket has a hard time sealing coolant and oil passages. In actuality, the copper head gasket is less expensive then the MLS. I thought the MLS was not available for our bikes.

    I had coolant leaking into the oil on my bike. There is a very thin wall that is far from the head bolt clamp load. I would expect a similar leak to form in a small amount of time with the copper head gaskets.

    I've been working with a head gasket specialist on a new small engine design. We would've never made our endurance specs with copper head gaskets. We actually went with a single-layer steel with an NBR coating.

    I know how much effort goes into design and development of engines. The tested and proven gaskets for the VF500F engine is the stock gasket. The front gasket can easily be modified to use on the rear, and is readily available.
     
  7. JamieDaugherty

    JamieDaugherty New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,389
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Map

    Yes, but if you read the article it actually speaks highly of copper gaskets. The topic is the MLS type parts, so the author would have knocked down the copper parts if there was justification to do so. Sealing the oil and coolant passages is easily taken care of with some silicone sealant, just as the article suggests.


    Yes, but in a production environment the copper gasket is more expensive than the material Honda used.

    Surprising. I wouldn't have thought the NBR would have been able to take the heat. A fluoroelastomer material would have been my choice.


    Negative Ghostrider, pattern is full. Both head gaskets are discontinued, and have been for some time.
     
  8. ssajdowitz

    ssajdowitz New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's funny. I remember buying 2 front head gaskets, modifying one to seal the rear, and completing my project only 4 months ago. Musta been dreaming.
     
  9. ssajdowitz

    ssajdowitz New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  10. ssajdowitz

    ssajdowitz New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    No matter how you slice it, I did the dirty deed with a tested and proven OEM gasket. And, it cost me around $100. Its not that hard to do.
     
  11. ssajdowitz

    ssajdowitz New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  12. JamieDaugherty

    JamieDaugherty New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,389
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Map
    Let's not forget how the Honda parts system works! If your source had them in stock that would be one explanation. If a local dealer does not have inventory, they cannot get one. It's been that way for over a year now.
     
  13. goinphaster

    goinphaster New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    California
    one

    two

    PM me to remind me to check my favorites folder back home; I have already done the leg work, but don't have access at work....
     
  14. ssajdowitz

    ssajdowitz New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    That's how most part inventories work. I bought my bike from a dealer. Both of us knew the head gaskets were bad. They couldn't do it, but I could.
     
  15. goinphaster

    goinphaster New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    California
    Here you go:

    click1 It's after market but look very OEM-ish to me

    click2(kinda expensive...)
     
  16. hassall

    hassall New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    That is a valve cover gasket - not a head gasket. Wrong part - but thanks anyway. I do appreciate the effort.

    I am going to go with Lani at Copper Gaskets. I will send him the gaskets I pull off the bike and have him make me two new ones. We'll see how the copper holds up. I don't ride a ton of miles in a given year - so they should work just fine.

    Thanks everyone!

    Sean
     
  17. goinphaster

    goinphaster New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    California
    If you look closely at the picture in click1 you will see head gaskets. but you are right, there are valve cover gaskets in there too.
     
  18. hassall

    hassall New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    Head Gasket Replacement

    OK so an update on this. I was going to go with Copper Gaskets, but I was able to find a company that still had two complete engine gasket kits for the 84-86 VF500F. I ordered one of those kits and it should be shipping out tomorrow and by my house just in time for the weekend. :smile:

    Now comes the fun part. I obviously put everything back together by reversing the steps that I took everything apart. But, are there any words of advise from those that have done this before? Is there anything I should look out for and pay special attention to: other than making sure the cam sprocket markings match up and I lube everything well before putting it back in?

    Many thanks in advance!

    p.s. I also ordered a new thermostat and o-ring just in case they were the culprit of the overheating (which caused the gasket to blow in the first place). I have head some talk about placing a manual toggle to activate the fan at lower temps - is this a recommended mod?
     
  19. jrodrims27

    jrodrims27 New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    San Diego
    Map
    and the poor fella was never heard from again...

    ...and he lived happily ever after riding his vf500f in a carefree manner around the globe???
     
  20. Chris71Mach1

    Chris71Mach1 New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Grand Prairie, Texas, United States
    Map
    For his sake and the bike's, we all sure hope so.
     
Related Topics

Share This Page