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263 straight 8 manifold gaskets

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Hi all,  having to replace the freeze plugs on my 52 super, I needed to remove the manifolds.  Both exhaust and intake had metal gasket material present. I received the 3 piece copper clad set from Cars, inc.  I’ve read where the exhaust didn’t use gaskets and also read that using gaskets is ok.  Since mine had gaskets and worked fine,  I’m leaning towards using the full set.  Am I missing something?

Thanks, Rog

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

As long as all the surfaces are perfectly flat, you don't need the gaskets.  This usually requires taking them to a machine shop and having both the he'd and the manifolds done.

 

I had good luck with the copper gaskets. I used a slurry of oil and graphite on them before torquing them down.   start in the middle and work your way out,  Do them in small increment  (10 lbs, 20 lbs etc) and then redo after running for a bit. dont torque them down all the way the first pass. I never had issues with leaks or cracked manifolds this way.

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These are my copper-clad gaskets after only three years of use (about 4000 miles). Totally fell apart.

 

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Now I use Remflex gaskets, which they make specifically for straight-8 Buicks (http://catalog.remflex.com/BUICK_Header_Exhaust_Manifold_Gasket_p/13-007.htm).

 

They don't shrink, burn, melt, or blow out, they're thick enough to compensate for some minor warpage or irregularities, they don't smell funny when they're hot, they don't get brittle, they don't crack, and they don't need re-torquing. You'll note that the kit also includes gaskets for the seal between the intake heat box and exhaust manifolds. It seemed like a long shot, but I am incredibly satisfied, particularly since my installation was a little unusual. I have also used them on my wife's 1956 Chrysler wagon with no issues after nearly 3000 miles. I am very pleased with their performance, especially on the Buick which is an application where getting a good seal is critical but very difficult.

 

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Matt: 

The Remflex gaskets look thicker than copper clad.   My 53 has power steering and one of the hose fittings comes awfully close to the exhaust manifold.   How much thicker do you think Remflex vs.  copper clad?

Joe

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Matt: 

Also forgot to ask if use mixture of oil and graphite on both sides of Remflex gaskets.   

Thanks.  

Joe 

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Remflex gaskets go on dry, no need for graphite or other sealants, although I always use a ScotchBrite disc on my die grinder to clean up the mating surfaces.. They recommend 20 ft-lb. torque on the manifold nuts so the manifolds should still be able to move around enough to prevent cracking and binding. The movement isn't extreme.

 

If your hose is close enough that the gasket makes a difference in whether it touches the manifold, I would look to move the hose. Can you reposition it? The Remflex gaskets compress down to about 1/16" which is close to the copper-clad gaskets. But even 1/16 is pretty darned close to a hot manifold if you're talking about a hose full of oil being driven by a pump. Can the hose be moved? Can you loosen the mounting nuts and re-clock the hose to a better position away from the heat? I would think that's really critical.

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Thanks for your fast response.   If these compress close to the copper clad then I should be ok.  There is no way to reroute or change orientation of the hose fitting.  53 was the first year for power steering on the series 40 although the 50 and 70 series offered it in 52 but they used the wider GM C body and in the B body things are a little tighter.  

Thanks. 

Joe 

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I too am using Remflex gaskets on my '53, and Matt is correct in saying that they are a huge improvement over anything else (at least in my experience).  I think the main reason they're so good on the straight 8 is that they're thick enough to allow movement but not break the seal.  The top layers of my gaskets are a little scrunched up, but they don't leak.  

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I have the copper clad on my 53 Special.   I hear a small leak when engine cold that seems to go away after the engine heats up.  May give the Remflex a try in fall.  Too hot and humid on Long Island just now.  

Thanks Matt and Aaron. 

Joe

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