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The following comes from a recent topic on SmokStak at Various individuals started,
commented on and concluded the following bulletin board thread.

I have two Waterloo style engines, a Gault and a Majestic. They
both make the water in the water hopper bubble on the compression
stroke. I have put a new head gasket on the Gault and it still
leaks when it is running, but I have not done anything to the
Majestic. Neither of them have any cracks in the heads that I can
see, but the old head gasket on the Gault showed a bad spot that
was causing the leak. Now I cannot get the new gasket to seal
completely. How can I get the head gasket to seal, or is there a
proper procedure for this? – C.

You might try laying a straightedge across the head to see if
you have any low spots. I’m not familiar with that type of
head, but I have taken various heads and resurfaced them using a
flat piece of glass and stick-on sand paper – if it isn’t
warped too bad. Just a thought. -Sam

Be sure you are not running out of good, clean threads on your
head bolts before you are getting full clamping force on the
gasket. Be sure the gasket mating surfaces are not severely pitted
or warped. If the head bolt threads in the block open into the
water jacket they need to have a sealer on the threads. If the head
bolts have not been out recently and do not come out easily, they
are probably sealed with rust. If there is heavy rust build-up on
the studs at the block, it may be preventing good crush on the
gasket. Lubricate the threads and the nut mating surface to the
head so you do not get a false torque. – Ed

I always coat head gaskets with gun grease and let it soak in a
while. It softens them up a little and keeps them from sticking if
you have to remove the head. Never had any leak. – Glenn

I had a couple of head gaskets leak on old stationary engines.
Know what I used? High-temp silicone sealer on the gasket. I have
been running it for three years now with no problem. And yes, I do
run it until the water steams so it is as hot as it can be. I used
the blue silicone on one and the orange high temp on the other.
Works great. – Steven

I’ve also used the blue silicone on many engines, including
large oil field engines, and it has never failed me yet. I have one
engine that it has been in for over 10 years now and still no
problems. – Tom

I had a small Jaeger that had sealing problems. It had some pits
that were significant. I cleaned the heck out of things and
brightened them up with emery cloth and then used a special high
temperature epoxy to fill the pits. JB weld and other epoxies
don’t seem to work too well in a high temperature application,
but this stuff is bullet proof. I got it dead flat with a straight
edge after application and no problems since. – Bob

I’ve never used silicone, but I’ve had great luck with
Copper Coat. There are probably a couple different manufacturers of
the stuff. It’s a spray-on sealant with a high copper content.
As others have said, make sure everything’s absolutely clean so
you’re getting full clamping force. I’ve never had it fail.
– Richard

In my early days, when I had just a few dimes, I used soft soap
on both sides of the gasket and it never leaked again. Now in my
better days, I use a rattle can with aluminum spray that withstands
1800 degrees F, and I haven’t had any leaks either. It’s
worth it to try once. – John

An old timer also said to paint both sides with aluminum or
silver paint. It is also supposed to work to seal stains from
bleeding through paint. Another thing is to note if the new gasket
is too tight to the stud bolts. It can crush and bind at the bolt
creating a lump or tight spot. A slight chamfer on the head-bolt
holes will relieve that tendency and actually allow the pressure to
spread out wider from the bolts. – Lars

I just use 30 weight oil on my gaskets. Rub it in and let it sit
for a few hours before you assemble. Don’t forget to re-tighten
after the first time the engine runs. – Scott

I soak mine in boiled linseed oil overnight – never had a
problem yet. I read in an old engine manual somewhere that soaking
in water will do the same. – Nick

Thanks to everyone who replied. I soaked the gasket in oil
overnight and I put it on today. When I ran it, some small bubbles
came up through the water hopper. The more I ran it the less
bubbles. After it was hot I tightened the head bolts. Now it
doesn’t bubble at all. Again, thanks for all the great ideas. –

The above discussion can be found on the Internet at SmokStak is an engine conversation bulletin board
and is part of the Old Engine series of web sites that started in
1995 as ‘Harry’s Old Engine.’ Harry Matthews is a
retired electronic engineer and gas engine collector from Oswego,
N.Y., now residing in Sarasota, Fla.

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