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MG MGB Technical - Best head gasket

71 roadster. What would be the best head gasket to get as replacement for my car. The one I fitted a couple of years ago after an engine rebuild was a copper type and has had a small water leak coming from the gasket area just above the dizzy for some time, I am hoping its the gasket and not a crack. I believe the Payen composite ones are highly regarded but suspect that these are no longer available. Your views would be appreciated.
Trevor Harvey

Plenty of results from Google on Payen.

Payen composite need scrupulous cleanliness in fitting, any oil or grease will prevent them bonding which can result in leaks. There shouldn't be anything fundamentally wrong with copper, they have been used for generations. Of course in this day and age, like many other parts, there can be poor quality copper or composite.
Paul Hunt

Payen resin gaskets do NOT bond - they are microcoated which moulds to the suface.

The silver coated composite gaskets DO bond.

I normally use the Payen gaskets but have also used the composite ones without problems.
Chris at Octarine Services

Be certain to check the cylinder head just forward of #3 plug. I had one that was a vertical crack unseen until the engine was hot. It would then spray on the distributor car and stop the engine. By the time road service would show up the car would start and run well until it got well warmed up.
My daughter was ready to scrap he MGB because it was jinxed. She was the only one to take it on long journeys from college and then it would let her down.
When installing a new head gasket check with John Twist as he inserts a small bit of copper wire in that general area to help seal it.

Chris, My normal supplier of mg spares head gaskets are, as he puts it, aftermarket gaskets. I was also told by another that Payen gaskets are no longer available. can you still get them? I would prefer to use Payen.
Trevor Harvey

I haven't found any problem getting Payen up to and including my last order a couple of weeks ago. We get them from wholesalers so I'm not sure of which retailers do them.
Paul Walbran

Payen head gaskets are now made by Fel-Pro. They are still made to the same exacting standards. I'm assuming that you reused your original head studs during your engine rebuild. These may well be part of your problem. Chris can supply you with a new set of custom studs that he has manufactured for him by a local supplier for his engines. The last time I had a head gasket problem, I replaced the head gasket with a Payen unit and purchased a new set of studs from ARP. These are the strongest items on the market today and once installed, will never need any attention. RAY
rjm RAY

Hi Trevor

We know of no problem with buying in Payen head gasket sets. We usually have a box full to one side just to ensure continuing supply to hand.

Peter Burgess Tuning

The last payen gasket I bought thru Moss was made in South Africa. No problems.
Mike Ellsmore

There was a problem a while ago, but Payen gaskets are available from most of the usual suspects!
Chris at Octarine Services

This thread was discussed between 05/11/2013 and 08/11/2013

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