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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 10th January 2020
Ethal iron Ethal iron is offline
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Default Head gaskets

Are the hi compression head gaskets any good?I'm taking the heads off to clean them up and just wondering if I should use stock gaskets or try the 0.020
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Old 10th January 2020
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High compression thin (0.016) copper head gaskets will bump up the compression ratio about 1/2 a point. For the later emission engines that came with lower compression pistons. Works on all Ironheads. Nice thing about copper head gaskets is they are reusable after you anneal them. I'm running 0.016 copper gaskets in my 77 with 9.0:1 pistons.
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Old 10th January 2020
Ethal iron Ethal iron is offline
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Are they more prone to blowing out?
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Old 10th January 2020
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Originally Posted by Ethal iron View Post
Are they more prone to blowing out?
What? Are you putting nitro in it?


Not a very common failure. I've never had one leak.
Clean stuff properly and check for straight.

And I prefer the copper because it transfers heat very well.
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Old 10th January 2020
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Any of them will blow out if they aren't torqued down correctly of the faces aren't flat.
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Old 10th January 2020
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Thanks, I'm ordering them today
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Old 10th January 2020
RicThompson RicThompson is offline
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While the heads are off if you are concerned with compression you could cc the combustion chamber to verify they are identical. Then you could have head gasket surface refinished to ensure no warp. If jugs are pulled you could also have that surface cleaned up. I've also seated the head in place on cylinder without a gasket and used a feeler gauge to see how much space there was for gasket.
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Old 10th January 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicThompson View Post
I've also seated the head in place on cylinder without a gasket and used a feeler gauge to see how much space there was for gasket.
this is very good practice.no surprises after you start the motor up.even better if there is no gap between the cylinder and head.
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Old 10th January 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucstoudt View Post
this is very good practice.no surprises after you start the motor up.even better if there is no gap between the cylinder and head.
Ideally when the head is properly torqued to spec you should get the required crush on the gasket before fire ring on cylinder contacts the head. Fire ring should fit in head snugly but not bottom out before gasket has been sufficiently compressed to do its job.
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Old 10th January 2020
Ethal iron Ethal iron is offline
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I'm taking it apart tomorrow. Gaskets are on the way. Thanks again
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