[Vwdiesel] Headgasket--Solvents

SLATERSFB at aol.com SLATERSFB at aol.com
Sat Feb 26 12:11:47 EST 2005

I use one of those small stainless steel wire brushes with plastic handle & 
brake cleaner or carb cleaner. Leaves sort of swirly finish which I figured 
would crush microscopically to conform to gasket. Look under microscope at 
brushed surface - looks like mountains & valleys. 

Bob in NY


> Use whatever you can find, and clean it well.
> I actually CAREFULLY, shaved the head with a single edge razor blade in one
> of those blade holders used to de-paint window glass. To get some of the
> nasty gasket crap off.

    Some rebuilders are going for "ground" heads, which look like a 
    heavy bead blasting.  This surface "bites" into the head
    gasket, and prevents burnishing of the gasket surface.  The
    burnishing is thought to contribute to head gasket failure,
    by creating a smoother, sliding surface.  

    Check with the recommendations of the provider of your head
    gasket.  THe manufacturers don't want to say that their gasket
    won't work on a certain surface, but in seminars, some are
    recommending head surfaces machined a certain way.

    Having said all that, every cylinder head gasket I've installed
    on a VW cyl head, has been with the smooth surface, or a lightly
    reground surface, with appears almost mirror smooth (if that's 
    possible with Al).  The one I'm doing this spring will be done 
    the "new" way.  

    Recent gasser cyl heads have been the "new" way, and without 
    near-term failures.  The gasket manufacturers claim that the rough
    surface prep is more critical in a diesel gasket.  One manufacturer
    rep indicated that the majority of gasket "failure" complaints
    they get are on diesels, which account for less than 6% of their

> BE SURE to vacuum the bolt holes after cleaning to remove crud and solvent
> that fell in.
> I Highly recommend 2 or 3 rinses of the bolt holes with solvent,  and
> chasing the threads with an old bolt with a slot cut down the side like a
> tap.

    Also consider cutting an "X" in the tip of the bolt, to help
    loosen up stuff that collects in the bottom of bolt holes.

  Brake cleaner, and the straw that comes with the can, are
    great things.  Compressed air is really pretty handy as well.

> I had crud in the bottom of a couple of the holes in mine that I had to
> scrape loose with a screwdriver. Then more rinsing with solvent till clear.
> As my wife the nurse would say, "enema until clear"  :^)



> Sandy
> -____
> Much too much information...
> LOL!
> -James

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