BBC Head gasket
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BBC Head gasket

  1. #1
    Senior Member holorinhal's Avatar
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    Default BBC Head gasket

    I am doing a head change from peanuts to large oval, on a standard bore, standard deck 454, flat top, piston, .018-.020 in the hole. I already have a set of head gaskets, Fel-pro 1017-1, composite, steel core.
    Is this gasket ok to use, or should I be using some thing else, like the 1037?
    my main concern I guess is the bore size and the core material. The 1017-1 has a 4.54" bore with a steel core and the 1037 has a smaller 4.37" bore with a stainless steel core.
    The 4.54" bore just seems a bit large for a 4.25" cylinder bore size? Would there really be much of a compression difference between the two, to justify buying a new gasket?
    Last edited by holorinhal; 04-23-2016 at 11:27 AM.

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    Or Seth, either one Budweiser's Avatar
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    Not sure what the pro's are gonna say... But personally, I'd get the smaller bore gasket without question. Guessing they'll say the same.

    Not to say that I wouldn't use the bigger in a pinch, as a short term solution.

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    Senior Member holorinhal's Avatar
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    Ok so to add a little more to my confusion, I notice that the 1017 has the two coolant passages at the rear of the block, open and the 1037 has only one passage open and the other blocked.
    is a better cooling set up, or is the two passage opening at the rear, a better cooling for a daily street driven engine and a restricted passage better for a cold lake water cooled engine?

    Also, The 1037 said that there is a modification, to the block, needed, on the exhaust side, where two holes need to be drilled. Looking at my block, the extra holes are already present, so I am guessing that no mod is needed?
    I checked all of my blocks and they all have the three coolant passages on the exhaust side, so I assume that I don't have any earlier year blocks.

    I guess what I really need verification on, is that the one passage on the rear, being blocked, is ok?

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  6. #4
    Muffler City Old as Dirt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by holorinhal View Post
    Ok so to add a little more to my confusion, I notice that the 1017 has the two coolant passages at the rear of the block, open and the 1037 has only one passage open and the other blocked.
    is a better cooling set up, or is the two passage opening at the rear, a better cooling for a daily street driven engine and a restricted passage better for a cold lake water cooled engine?

    Also, The 1037 said that there is a modification, to the block, needed, on the exhaust side, where two holes need to be drilled. Looking at my block, the extra holes are already present, so I am guessing that no mod is needed?
    I checked all of my blocks and they all have the three coolant passages on the exhaust side, so I assume that I don't have any earlier year blocks.

    I guess what I really need verification on, is that the one passage on the rear, being blocked, is ok?
    It depends on what year block you are running.. all the heads can go either gasket..

    BBC engines in Gen5 or Gen6 use the gasket with the holes in the block(1037) between the cylinders.. and the gasket with the two passages in the rear are for MKIV or the earlier blocks.. if you use the MKIV gasket(1017) on a Gen5 or 6 engine.. it overheats no matter how much water you try and pump through it.. because of the blocked passage in the rear..
    I am running Gen5 heads(088) on a MKIV block and had to drill out the holes inbetween the cylinders so it would cool properly..

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Old as Dirt; 04-26-2016 at 05:57 AM.

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    Senior Member holorinhal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old as Dirt View Post
    It depends on what year block you are running.. all the heads can go either gasket..

    BBC engines in Gen5 or Gen6 use the gasket with the holes in the block(1037) between the cylinders.. and the gasket with the two passages in the rear are for MKIV or the earlier blocks.. if you use the MKIV gasket(1017) on a Gen5 or 6 engine.. it overheats no matter how much water you try and pump through it.. because of the blocked passage in the rear..
    I am running Gen5 heads(088) on a MKIV block and had to drill out the holes inbetween the cylinders so it would cool properly..

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yes, I do understand the Gen heads on the Mk block. From what I understand, the Mk blocks that have to be drilled, were pre 1969?
    My block is a MkIV block with MkIV 049 heads. My block already has all three of the cooling passage holed on the exhaust side of the deck. I am pretty straight on the drilling confusion, now after a lot of research.
    Really, my only confusion, now, is why do some MkIV gaskets have one rear port blocked off and some have both open?
    It is a question of using the 1017-1, 0r the 1037 gasket.
    1017 has both rear ports open and 1037 has only one rear port open.
    I f I can use the 1017-1, which I already have and save $100 over buying the 1037, then that what I would like to do. It is not a high compression engine, by any means.

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    If your not on the edge.......your taking up too much room......Drive it like you stole it!

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    Muffler City Old as Dirt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by holorinhal View Post
    Yes, I do understand the Gen heads on the Mk block. From what I understand, the Mk blocks that have to be drilled, were pre 1969?
    My block is a MkIV block with MkIV 049 heads. My block already has all three of the cooling passage holed on the exhaust side of the deck. I am pretty straight on the drilling confusion, now after a lot of research.
    Really, my only confusion, now, is why do some MkIV gaskets have one rear port blocked off and some have both open?
    It is a question of using the 1017-1, 0r the 1037 gasket.
    1017 has both rear ports open and 1037 has only one rear port open.
    I f I can use the 1017-1, which I already have and save $100 over buying the 1037, then that what I would like to do. It is not a high compression engine, by any means.
    My MKIV block is later than 69.. and it wasn't drilled.. with the 2 open ports in the rear, the early blocks transferred water into the head from the pump inlet to the rear of the block.. and needed both holes to cool properly.. then came the GenV/GenVI.. reduced the rear gasket opening to 1 hole in the rear forcing water to the holes between the cylinders and helped keep the center cylinders cooling more even with the rest.. all the heads have provisions for either.. does the 1017 have the holes for the center cylinders? Compression has no bearing on cooling them..

  9. #7
    Senior Member holorinhal's Avatar
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    I know that compression has no bearing on cooling, but it does have a bearing on cylinder sealing and the level or quality of gasket used.
    The 1017- 1 is more of a non performance, general rebuild gasket and the 1037 is a performance gasket with a ss steel core. with the low compression at 8.5 or less, the 1017 should be sufficient, and not have the need to buy a second set of gaskets. I am just unsure of the cooling with cold lake water, with the two rear open ports vs the one blocked off port.
    With the cold lake water cooling, I was not building any heat in the engine, before the head swap, but it had the gasket with one port blocked off on rear of deck.


    in the pic below, a 1017 type gasket on the right and a 1037 type gasket on the left.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm not here for a long time, I'm just here for a good time!
    If your not on the edge.......your taking up too much room......Drive it like you stole it!

    73 KONA Restoration http://www.performanceboats.com//showthread.php?t=10678
    '81 Spectra 20 Facelift http://www.performanceboats.com/user...-facelift.html

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  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by holorinhal View Post
    I know that compression has no bearing on cooling, but it does have a bearing on cylinder sealing and the level or quality of gasket used.
    The 1017- 1 is more of a non performance, general rebuild gasket and the 1037 is a performance gasket with a ss steel core. with the low compression at 8.5 or less, the 1017 should be sufficient, and not have the need to buy a second set of gaskets. I am just unsure of the cooling with cold lake water, with the two rear open ports vs the one blocked off port.
    With the cold lake water cooling, I was not building any heat in the engine, before the head swap, but it had the gasket with one port blocked off on rear of deck.


    in the pic below, a 1017 type gasket on the right and a 1037 type gasket on the left.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	880210
    If you have the 1037 gaskets.. I'd run them.. what temps were you getting? you got an oil cooler? water cooled headers? how is your system plumbed? pre heat the water with the headers or lake water right to the block?
    Last edited by Old as Dirt; 04-27-2016 at 06:57 PM.

  11. #9
    Some guy obnoxious001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by holorinhal View Post
    The 1017- 1 is more of a non performance, general rebuild gasket
    That is not a correct statement

  12. #10
    Senior Member holorinhal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obnoxious001 View Post
    That is not a correct statement
    Ok, Barry, I can accept that. I thought that is what I read, in one of the threads that GN had posted once, but I very well could be wrong.
    I already have the 1017-1. I just need to know if I will be fine with that gasket, before I go spend $100 bucks on another set of gaskets.
    Also the 1017-1 has a larger bore diameter than a 1037. Will that be fine as well?
    I do have an oil cooler, but the engine previously was not building much heat at all, so I took it off. river water, through oil cooler to the block, split between the headers and the dumps, but now it is plumed straight to the block. I do not plan o running water through the headers, any longer, though. Engine previously had head gaskets with the one rear port blocked off.
    Last edited by holorinhal; 04-28-2016 at 02:10 PM.

    I'm not here for a long time, I'm just here for a good time!
    If your not on the edge.......your taking up too much room......Drive it like you stole it!

    73 KONA Restoration http://www.performanceboats.com//showthread.php?t=10678
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  13. #11
    Muffler City Old as Dirt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by holorinhal View Post
    Ok, Barry, I can accept that. I thought that is what I read, in one of the threads that GN had posted once, but I very well could be wrong.
    I already have the 1017-1. I just need to know if I will be fine with that gasket, before I go spend $100 bucks on another set of gaskets.
    Also the 1017-1 has a larger bore diameter than a 1037. Will that be fine as well?
    I do have an oil cooler, but the engine previously was not building much heat at all, so I took it off. river water, through oil cooler to the block, split between the headers and the dumps, but now it is plumed straight to the block. I do not plan o running water through the headers, any longer, though. Engine previously had head gaskets with the one rear port blocked off.
    1017 or the 1037 gasket with the hole blocked off will work fine.. as you have the exhaust side holes in your block already, if you didn't have those extra holes.. you'd have to use the 1017 gasket with both rear passages open.. as far as bore size being a little big, they will still seal fine, but will drop the compression a tiny bit..

    Not sure what temps you are trying to achieve when pumping 40 degree river water through your motor.. doubt you'll see 160F if that, unless you are sitting there idling.. I'd bolt them up and hit the water.. and more importantly, keep an eye on the oil temp.. around 200F is good to get rid of any condensation in the engine..

    If it was mine..
    I would go this direction.. to help with the pistons in the hole..

    Mr. Gasket part # 1131
    - steel shim embossed head gasket
    - gasket bore: 4.370"
    - compressed thickness: 0.020"
    Last edited by Old as Dirt; 04-28-2016 at 04:23 PM.

  14. #12
    Senior Member holorinhal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old as Dirt View Post
    1017 or the 1037 gasket with the hole blocked off will work fine.. as you have the exhaust side holes in your block already, if you didn't have those extra holes.. you'd have to use the 1017 gasket with both rear passages open.. as far as bore size being a little big, they will still seal fine, but will drop the compression a tiny bit..
    There is the answer I was looking for!

    Haha, 160! I was barely seeing any movement on the temp gauge, certainly not much more than 100*
    I thought at first I had a bad gauge, or sender, but I tested them and still even bought a new sender any way.
    I even took temp measurements with a laser temp gun, and they were low. the next time out, I will have to play with adjusting and closing down my gate valve, a little more.

    I'm not here for a long time, I'm just here for a good time!
    If your not on the edge.......your taking up too much room......Drive it like you stole it!

    73 KONA Restoration http://www.performanceboats.com//showthread.php?t=10678
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  15. #13
    Village Idiot fc-Pilot's Avatar
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    I would not worry about not running the oil cooler. In our old family v-drive Hallett we never ran one and never had an issue. In my last boat we ran the water to the engine then from the engine to the oil cooler. When done with four laps of a circle race the oil temp would be 240 at the hottest. Usually we would see 210 -220 when running it hard. I would have worried if it ever got into the 280s.

    Those head gaskets will be fine. I was taught that the missing hole helped to push water through the holes on the exhaust side of the block. the bigger bore will cause a small loss in compression, but nothing you would feel, that is for sure. You could always sell them and then buy the other gaskets if you were worried about it and wanted to save cash.

    Paul
    Last edited by fc-Pilot; 04-29-2016 at 12:21 PM.

  16. #14
    Senior Member H20MOFO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by holorinhal View Post
    I know that compression has no bearing on cooling, but it does have a bearing on cylinder sealing and the level or quality of gasket used.
    The 1017- 1 is more of a non performance, general rebuild gasket and the 1037 is a performance gasket with a ss steel core. with the low compression at 8.5 or less, the 1017 should be sufficient, and not have the need to buy a second set of gaskets. I am just unsure of the cooling with cold lake water, with the two rear open ports vs the one blocked off port.
    With the cold lake water cooling, I was not building any heat in the engine, before the head swap, but it had the gasket with one port blocked off on rear of deck.


    in the pic below, a 1017 type gasket on the right and a 1037 type gasket on the left.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	00151.jpg 
Views:	88 
Size:	23.2 KB 
ID:	880210
    How thick are those? If they are in the neighborhood of .042-.045....thats gonna be a not so bueno quench if you are .018-020 in the hole.
    I have never tried to run a steel shim like Old as Dirt suggested...but I am guessin thats a better quench(if not too tight)
    Just throwin it out there....good luck man.
    Another Hot Boat refugee

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