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copper and aluminum
Posted by: ac1948 ()
Date: February 10, 2019 04:42AM

Being a retired electrician I know copper and aluminum mated together is not advisable unless a compound such as Noalox is used. My question is does the use of copper head gaskets on aluminum heads have any adverse effect?

Jerry Murray
Charleston, SC

63 Rampside, PG,110

63 Greenbrier, PG, 110

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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: JimBrandberg ()
Date: February 10, 2019 06:22AM

I use anti-seize as Clarks suggests and have never had a problem. There was a thread here a few months ago suggesting it is not necessary but I haven't quit.

Jim Brandberg
Isanti, MN
CorvairRepair.com

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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: February 10, 2019 04:12PM

The original insructions had the use of anti-seize, which is the mechanic’s version of No A Lox.

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: Max Roeder ()
Date: February 10, 2019 04:29PM

Still trying to identify why copper anti seize is not recommended for the copper to aluminum interface. The negative shows up a couple of times in some reading but nothing definitive. Nickle anti seize appears to be most commonly recommended for the copper/ aluminum contact.

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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: February 10, 2019 07:26PM

Is there a need for copper gaskets? There is nothing wrong with using the original stock steel gaskets.

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: junkman ()
Date: February 10, 2019 07:56PM

Back in 1963, when I purchased my first Spyder convertible, which was actually built in the fall of 1962, it came with copper head gaskets. I would conservatively say that for the first 5000 miles, the head gaskets were replaced 3 or 4 times. After the last time, the installed steel head gaskets, and increased the torque on the bolts. I vaguely remember them saying something about a service memo from the zone that suggested this as the fix. After that, I never blew another head gasket. There were 2 other Spyder convertibles at school, and we were always racing each other. We were young and foolish, and thought that were where invincible, until someone flipped their car and after that, we all became a lot more conservative in our driving. My car was rear ended that summer, and totaled, so it was replaced with a '64 Impala, and more car payments.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Woodstock CT... Located on the Connecticut / Massachusetts border, approximately 6 miles from the center of Southbridge MA. About 45 minutes from Hartford CT. 1 1/2 hours West of Boston MA. Woodstock CT to Los Angeles CA 2,937.1 miles. 1 Mile as the crow flies to Big Bird's nest.

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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: 63turbo ()
Date: February 10, 2019 08:35PM

Copper head gaskets are all that I've ever used and had zero problems. I've always put anti seize on, but it seemed like all of the air cooled motorcycle engines I worked on, copper head gaskets were the most common and they didn't recommend anything, other than to torque the head down, and check/ retorque after x amount of time, which I never did, and again had no issues at all.
It is probably a difference in application, the copper head gaskets for Corvairs rely on the softness of the copper to deform (so there is probably a bit of "sliding" as it compresses), in the motorcycle application the gaskets have a built in deformation region letting the gasket deform while keeping the pressure down, so anti seize wont help. The recommendation to use Noalox in electrical applications is probably to prevent surface corrosion and give a reliable electrical connection. Minor surface corrosion between aluminum and copper is just about as bad as aluminum on steel but doesn't cause the seal to go bad unless something like water gets in to speed it up a lot.

------------------------------------

Kevin Nash
Friday Harbor Washington
63 Spyder, Daily driver, EFI read about my project here: [corvaircenter.com]
first test start on EFI here:[www.youtube.com]
first official EFI boost test here:[www.youtube.com]
My new fan! [corvaircenter.com]
engine less 62 Spyder
Canadian 64 Monza Parts car



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Re: copper and aluminum
Date: February 11, 2019 11:51AM

I just pulled some heads off of an old engine. They had copper gaskets and the sealing surface looks better than the rest of the head. I found no evidence of never-seize or anything.

1961 Corvair 700 Sedan - 3sp - Gasoline Heat - Lowered a bit - Rust in Progress
I live my life 19.5 seconds at a time.


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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: February 11, 2019 05:57PM

I personally have had issues with the copper gaskets and I have taken apart to many engines that have had bad copper head gaskets. Yes I have had bad steel gaskets but the failure of the steel as opposed to copper failures is way less.

Keep in mind that GM would not have used anything that was more expensive than was needed. What do you think cost more, a flat copper gasket or a folded steel gasket? And don't think of today's prices.

I don't care what other vehicles used, if they used copper gaskets then the engines were designed for that. The Corvair engine was not. There was mention of copper gaskets from GM. What they really were are asbestos wrapped with a thin copper outer. They worked just OK on the 80 hp engines but anything with more HP and they were junk.

Now with all that said I will use copper when I have to but that is not very often!

Just so you know its not just me these are from an engine that I only took apart.



Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: February 11, 2019 06:47PM

Yes, Ken you have worked on 100s and 100s more engine than me. I will just say so far the few engines I built with Clark's Big Bore copper gaskets have been running fine. So have the ones I built with the GM steel gaskets...thumbs up

Back in the 80s the thicker copper gaskets was how I got 110 PGs to stop pinging so much on the fuel back then. Now so many more ways to achieve the no ping results that it is not necessary to use the thicker copper.

Hey, maybe that engine did not get the anti-seize treatment!grinning smileywinking smileygrinning smiley

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: jjohnsonjo ()
Date: February 11, 2019 06:50PM

.040" or larger, copper is still a safer bet

J.O.

65 Corsa Turbo Vert
79 Honda XL 500S
69 Honda CL 160 D
2010 BMW F 650 GS
2003 Bounder 36D
2013 KIA Optima SX turbo-AKA ZIPPY (wife,s car)
69 Newport Holiday Sailboat
Baja 150 dune buggy cart
Coleman HS 500 UTV
2016 KIA Sorento SXL Turbo

Bethlehem,Pa

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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: February 12, 2019 04:53AM

jjohnsonjo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> .040" or larger, copper is still a safer bet
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

My race engines are .040 and I did use the .040 copper gaskets and had issues, thank goodness for having to tear down engines more often. I caught several potential problems before they happened. I now build the engines so I can use the steel head gaskets. Why did I have to use the copper on the race engines? It's called rod stretch! I needed the extra .008" clearance piston to head.

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: copper and aluminum
Date: February 12, 2019 04:57AM

The copper ones in the 95hp I pulled apart came out in one piece.

1961 Corvair 700 Sedan - 3sp - Gasoline Heat - Lowered a bit - Rust in Progress
I live my life 19.5 seconds at a time.


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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: February 12, 2019 08:04AM

How much clearance did you end up needing?
I like mine where the pistons just touch the head. I've had a few motorcycles that I got that close.

Joel
Northlake, TX
4 Ultravans, Lost count at 100 Corvairs...

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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: February 12, 2019 08:08AM

joelsplace Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How much clearance did you end up needing?
> I like mine where the pistons just touch the head.
> I've had a few motorcycles that I got that close.


eye popping smiley eye popping smiley eye rolling smiley eye popping smiley eye popping smiley

.
-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border,
I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
'66 Monza Coupe - 4spd, 140 Daily driver beater
'67 Monza Vert. - PG, 140 Daily driver beater
'67 A/C Moredoor Monza - 140 4-spd. driver

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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: junkman ()
Date: February 12, 2019 09:22AM

Where does "just touch the head" end, and smashing into the head begin?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Woodstock CT... Located on the Connecticut / Massachusetts border, approximately 6 miles from the center of Southbridge MA. About 45 minutes from Hartford CT. 1 1/2 hours West of Boston MA. Woodstock CT to Los Angeles CA 2,937.1 miles. 1 Mile as the crow flies to Big Bird's nest.

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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: larry202br ()
Date: February 12, 2019 09:24AM

Right after that 0.008 rod stretch! eye popping smiley

1961 rampside with a 65 / 67 110 engine, car four speed.
1965 convertible
1966 Custom two door/four door

KC0SKX
Olathe, ks
HACOA

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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: February 12, 2019 11:48AM

You couldn't hear any issue with mine but there was a witness mark on the piston and squish area when I took it apart. Perfect!
Keeps the rod from being overstressed.

Joel
Northlake, TX
4 Ultravans, Lost count at 100 Corvairs...

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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: February 12, 2019 04:00PM

joelsplace Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How much clearance did you end up needing?
> I like mine where the pistons just touch the head.
> I've had a few motorcycles that I got that close.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

As Joel mentioned there was ionized imprint on the squish area of what was written on the top of the piston. That is a little to close for me.

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: copper and aluminum
Posted by: corventure Dave ()
Date: February 12, 2019 04:15PM

I have only installed copper on a few engines that I have built for others and when they supplied the gaskets and parts. I have no idea how they performed over time.
Personally I like the stock metal head gaskets.

When it came to lowering compression in the 70's, I stacked the cylinder base gaskets, instead of thicker head gaskets. This drops the piston away from the quench area like thicker head gaskets, but did not compromise the head gasket seal. I believe the AC equipped engines had thicker cyl. base gaskets also.
I know of a few people back then who double stacked the head gaskets! Oh the crazy stuff we did back n the days!eye rolling smiley

Corventure Dave

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