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General TR Head Gasket Test Fit


Jedi Warrior
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At the risk of asking a dumb question, here goes. This is my first time replacing a head gasket. I test fit the gasket over the head studs. Everything lines up great with the exception that the four holes at the corners bind slightly on the corner head studs. This causes the gasket to lift slightly in the center and I am unable to get it to lie flat on its own.

Is this OK and will the torque of the head nuts simply compress everything into place? Or, is it safe/better to round out those holes in the gasket to allow it to lay flat (I am concerned this would compromise the gasket in other ways).

Sorry for what may be a dumb question but I'd hate to have gone through all this and make such a novice mistake. Many guides tell you to test fit but they don't tell you what to look for.


PS: do you recommend anti seize on the stud threads which go in the block. I wasn't going to


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It will flatten when the head goes on! It should not be a problem unless you think it is bowing so much that it would bend as the head pushes it...But I can't imagine it being off that much. If it gets in the way during the assembly, you can always carve a little material off the side of those 4 holes, so the gasket will lay flat. Just be sure to take equal amounts from each, so the location remains the same.

I use anti seize on all studs. The only exception is if it is a stud that I plan to disassemble a lot...like say the head stud on a race car. In that case I use loctite, so the stud stays in place during quick head changes.


Jedi Warrior
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Thanks John,

Appreciate the info. I spoke to the supplier yesterday who basically told me exactly the same thing.

So I plan to "Keep calm and carry on".



Jedi Knight
You test fit to make sure the head gasket leaves all the coolant holes open so you know you installed it "right side up". As long as both mating surfaces are clean and flat you sound as if you are working carefully enough ! I use Anti- Seize on all studs , etc. but I tighten the block studs a bit so I'm sure they are in the block the entire way and won't unscrew when you re-torque the head.


Jedi Warrior
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Not all head gaskets are made correctly.
As well as the above comments, make sure that there is no intrusion of the gasket into the combustion chamber.


Jedi Warrior
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There is no intrusion into the combustion chamber. I have 87mm liners & pistons and this gasket is for a big bore 87-90mm set up. It looked perfect on set up.
Oddly however, the gasket that came off (installed by PO) was for the stock 86mm liners/pistons and I could definitely tell there was 1mm hanging in the combustion chamber.

For years I had a crankcase pressurization problem. I always thought it may be worn rings but, maybe that was it. We'll see once I get this back up and running.

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