Best way to clean off the old head gasket?

Posted by Spoolin4Ever, Jul 5, 2011
Cylinder Head & Short Block - 4G63 cams, valvetrain, pistons, rods, stroker kits, 6-bolt swaps, hybrids, etc. Read this Forum's Strict Guidelines.

  1. Spoolin4Ever

    Spoolin4Ever Proven Member

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    Anyone know a quicker easier way to clean off the old head gasket?
     
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  2. 2gGSXEclipse

    2gGSXEclipse Proven Member

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    Is the motor in the car? Ive always found a razor blade then use head gasket cleaner or acetone with a brillow pad works good. Dont use sand paper or steel wool, seeing as its a greater chance of gettin shavings in the block.
     
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  3. Black Widow97

    Black Widow97 Supporting Member

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    You can user a razor on the block, but you should use a plastic scraper on the head, as it is made of aluminum and is softer than the steel block.
     
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  4. JamiesTSI

    JamiesTSI Supporting Member

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    Red scotch bright pads. Green will work also.
     
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  5. DSMTyson

    DSMTyson Proven Member

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    Wow, I really wish this thread would have been up yesterday. I used a razor blade on the head... I'll just get it resurfaced I guess, Its not in the best shape anyways.
     
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  6. ed1380

    ed1380 Proven Member

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    on a block I use the red and blue scotch brite disks from Harbor Freight. for the head I would just pay the $25 to have a shop surface it.
     
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  7. turboglenn

    turboglenn Proven Member

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    please take my advice, this is the worst thing you can do to clean the HG off.. i picked that habbit up as a mechanic in a shop as a teenager, then when i got to another shop a few years later i about got my head bit off for doing that. it actually will make your head/block unlevel by a few thousandths.. If ya dont believe me clean up a known good head and block then take a machinists straight edge to it and check with a feeler gauge (don't use a carpenters square though, they arn't as straight as most think they are LOL)

    I'm not trying to dog you for it, but point you towards the light so to speak. Now days i remove stubborn gaskets with a can of permatex gasket remover and a plastic razor blade that came withg my scraper.. a quick spray of the remover and 3 mintues later even the toughest gasket will come right off with little effort

    OP....... if you justscraped by hand and maybe nicked the head in a few spots that's not that bad and wont require surfacing, but if you took the blade standing straight up and rubbed back and forth vigorousely i might have it checked at least.. Check out spray can gasket remover, it's one of a mechanics favorte mistresses :D
     
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  8. ed1380

    ed1380 Proven Member

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    I understand what you're coming from and on performance builds I fully agree. But for normal daily drivers on factory boost that method has never failed me. Btw I don't go crazy LOL I know flying sparks mean metal is being removed. Therefore I never get aggressive enough to do that. Just use it to remove the small stuff the razor blade missed. And then obviously degrease it
     
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  9. turboglenn

    turboglenn Proven Member

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    I understand where you're coming from, and maybe i'm so religious about it because of the screaming i recieved by the new boss many years ago there. BUt Either way now that i've found permatex gasket remover i don't need anything but the plastic razor blade or the edge of a credit card.. you gotta try some :D
     
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  10. DSMReviver

    DSMReviver Proven Member

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    + do not use razor blade. ^^^^ listen to turboglenn.

    this will remove soft aluminum and you wont even know it. i suggest using gasket dissolver to clean the surface. At a microscopic level, the harden razor blade will acutally remove the soft aluminum and can creates uneven surface.

    If you dont believe me on this, try scraping the clean aluminum surface with razor blade and see what happened (or even iron blocks). you will notice lil flakes of metal being remove if you pay attention.

    Sometimes it will even scrape off aluminum under the dirty gasket if the razor blade is sharp /dig deep enough.

    Please do not use razor blade or any other sharp/hardened object on your aluminum heads or iron blocks.
    (first hand experience)......
     
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  11. ed1380

    ed1380 Proven Member

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    I might have to spoil myself and get some LOL


    My bad. Should have made it obvious that you do that only on cast iron.
     
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  12. Spoolin4Ever

    Spoolin4Ever Proven Member

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    Yeah I was talking the block more than the head...but it's great getting word on both.

    I have heard about the permatex gasket remover in my google searches but still have to call around to find it, Carquest didn't have any.
     
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  13. turboglenn

    turboglenn Proven Member

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    I found it at both oreilly and Autozone, i think NAPA carries it too, it's in a green labeled can with white lid, about the size of a can opf spray paint..it burns skin and will hurt paint though so be carefull where you put it LOL
     
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  14. Spoolin4Ever

    Spoolin4Ever Proven Member

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    Is it basically like paint stripper/aircraft stripper/oven cleaner? I have some aircraft stripper around here maybe I'll use that.
     
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