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Head gasket instructions; There aren't any instructions!
Topic Started: Jul 18 2017, 04:33 PM (142 Views)
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I'm ready to install a Victor Reinz composite head gasket #1023K. Typically head gaskets come with installation instructions but there were none with this gasket. I think the gasket is to be installed "dry" but I'm not sure and I'd appreciate advice from those who've been down this road. Many thanks.

Charles, sorry I didn't include the model of my Dispatcher when I gave you its serial number - it's a hard-top.

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I'm limited on experience with head gaskets.  My only one used a high performance solid copper type on some 'worked on heads', dry as I recall, except for a little Permatex non-hardening sealer just around the bolts, not on the flat surface.  I also remember, never oil or grease the threads of the studs as it distorts the "torque values" and can 'stretch' the bolts weakening them.  I hope I never have to replace my L-Head gasket.  I see different thread lengths showing on various studs fearing the PO may have 'stretched a few'. Good Luck!
62 Dispatcher
South Florida
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Since I only knew what I did to mine I checked with our group before answering. Colin Peabody has a unbelievably rare aluminum 'Hickey' prototype head on his DJ3A along with a dual carb arrangement that he set up himself. There wasn't very many of those Hickey heads ever made and there's more than a few Willys jeep guys that would like to get their hands on one!

My point being though with that rare of a head a person certainly wouldn't want to ever run the risk of blowing a head gasket! Here was his full response to my email.

Quote: Colin Peabody. "We have had good luck using the blue Fel-pro gasket, check it against the block and head surfaces to make sure all the coolant holes match up , then sprayed with copper gasket sealer on both sides. Let it get tacky before sliding over the studs. I would recommend using new studs since the old ones may have become stretched over the years. Use sealer on the bottom threads as several of those studs end at water jackets.

I for sure hung my gasket up and sprayed it with copper coat too but I don't remember what brand gasket it was. I just know mine had been stored in a shop somewhere in Ohio for reportedly 30 years or so along with a bunch of other DJ3A parts. Enough new parts still in their boxes to rebuild my entire motor!!

My thoughts: Get the mating surfaces on the block and head clean enough to eat off of. And no matter what brand head gasket you use follow Colin's advice about spraying with copper coat.

Later tonight I'll try to find and link to torque values and tightening sequence for the nuts that go on the studs in case anyone else ever reads this while working on their DJ3A l-head motor!

Charles Tate....North Mississippi

1956 WILLYS DJ3A Convertible
Doing ground up nuts and bolt restoration by almost entirely reconditioning original used or a few NOS DJ3A parts.

1962 WILLYS DJ3A Convertible. (For research and parts only)
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Thanks to steveK, PapaC, & Colin for their thoughts and advice. I'll be able to tackle the installation of this head gasket now with confidence.

Thanks again.

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