Head gasket '54 Hornet

edited July 2021 in HUDSON
Head gasket was leaking , so I've got the head off my Hornet and had it skim cut by a cylinder machinist. Car came with an unopened Fel-Pro 7570S. Is this an ok choice? Also, What kind of sealant should I use on the bolt theads? 
Thank you


  • schillaz
    schillaz Expert Adviser
    I can't speak for the Fel-Pro gasket that you currently have but I have used several of the brand "Best Gasket" and had good luck with them. I also use Permatex Ultra Gray gasket sealer on the threads. Several Hudson Parts guys have the Best Gaskets available.
    WABOOM Member
    Alright. Thanks. I already have Ultra Grey, so that works out. The gasket I have is 2 layers of shiny nickel looking metal with something whitish sandwiched in between. I'm probably gonna use it unless someone says DON'T. 

  • Best Gasket is the best. If you are going to use the Fel-Pro, paint both sides of it with aluminum paint, and install it with the numbers up. All the head bolts go into water passages. I use liquid teflon to seal them. Permatex sells a small bottle with a brush attached under the lid that makes application easy. After torqueing, start it and get it up to operating temp, then turn it off. If the head is cast iron, torque it again immediately while hot. Let it sit overnight, ( you want it to be cold to the touch) bring it up to temp,  and do it again. If the head is aluminum, it must be torqued cold (wait overnight). It's not unusual to have some seepage between the head and block, or around head bolts at first. With the Fel-pro gasket, you will likely need three complete heat cycles and re-torques before you are done. The best gaskets usually take less re-torques, but you can't hurt anything by doing it. I torque them as many times as needed, going through the heat and cool cycles, until going to the recommended torque doesn't move any of the bolts. It's very important that Cast iron heads are done hot, and aluminum are done cold. Then, down the road, at 100 miles, and 500 miles check them again. I typically do a head torque check once a year. It only takes about 10 minutes
  • I use aviation permatex in the small bottle to seal the threads of the head bolts
  • Ol racer
    Ol racer Senior Contributor
    Good advice above..I also spray the gasket with Copper Coat then hang to let 'set up' (get tacky). Just a foot note though, I used to use Fel Pro, Mc Cord and others in my Hornet stock car in the '60's without failure with large overbore , however these days I use a Best Permbond gasket with Copper coat.
  • I got the head gasket all done last weekend. I've had the the engine up to temp 8 times now and  re-torqued 3 times. It's holding good so far. Thank for your advice. 
  • Update on this thread. The Fel-Pro 7570S failed after a couple months in the summer of 2021 due to thread failure in the block. So I tore it all down and repaired the internal threads in the block by installing a Time-Sert thread repair insert. I also decided not to use bolts for the head. Instead I  made my own studs by cutting lengths of Grade 8 All-thread. I installed the homemade studs with Loc-Tite Head Bolt Water Jacket Sealant. This time I used a Best Gasket Graph-tite 722G head gasket. I sprayed the head gasket with Copper Kote and installed while tacky. Fastened with grade 8 nuts and washers lubricated with copper anti-seize. Torqued in proper sequence pattern to half of spec'd torque. Then the sequence pattern to spec'd torque of 60-65 lb/ft. 
    For the intake/exhaust gasket I used the Remflex Graphite gasket. It has held great now for 1000 miles for the summer of 2022. 
    Very pleased with the results.