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Head Gasket Sources nowadays?

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So I am about to begin assembling my motor which is a refresh/rebuild of a F54/P90 that will be boosted, has new cast balanced pistons with balanced rods, clevite main/rod bearings, ARP hardware, new timing kit, seals and gaskets.

 

I have two new head gaskets but I don't particularly want to run either of them. I have the Fel-pro-FP8799PT and a NOS Nissan L24 gasket which has some water holes different than the P90 head. This engine/car is basically getting a full resto/mod and everything on it is going to be new or completely reconditioned. I don't want to run a MLS gasket right away as the car is going to have to be broken in/tuned with Megasquirt for the first time and I like the theory that some of the guys have mentioned about a non-mls gasket usually being the first thing to go if I experience heavy detonation.

 

My question is this: Where are sources to get new quality head gaskets for the L6 motors nowadays and for a somewhat reasonable price? (re: not <$75+). I know the head gasket thing has been covered in older threads, but a lot of those mention using gaskets that are NLA. I kinda wanted to start this thread for current opinions on the head gaskets available nowadays and see what people recommend or prefer and why.

 

Do any of you more experienced turbo guys, engine builders or parts hoarders know of anywhere that might have a NOS Nissan P90 correct head gasket? Is the Ishino head gasket mentioned below truly identical to the original Nissan gaskets in quality & design?

 

You can get the Fel-pro anywhere, but I hear a lot of mixed info on it. Courtesy no longer has any except for the Nismo 0.6mm gasket.

Black Dragon sells a head gasket here, but I have no idea who makes it. MSA has a few different head gaskets including this "stock" one (maker unknown) and of course the absurdly overpriced Kameari one. Top End claims to have MLS head gaskets in 1MM or 2MM for $199 (again, expensive as hell).

I have heard minimal things about Ishino head gaskets (P/N A8100-29194) that are supposedly identical to the NLA Nissan head gaskets...but I can't find a reputable place that sells Ishino.

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Get a Nissan OEM gasket. Last time I bought one they were around $75 from Courtesy Nissan. Unless you are going forged pistons and boost levels over 15psi, the OEM gasket is best. Courtesy doesn't have any OEM head gaskets left?

 

I have also used ITM gaskets in NA builds. The head gaskets look to be very close to OEM in quality. The oil pan and valve cover gaskets are cork (suck).

 

You can buy A complete Ishino set from thepartsbin.com

 

W0133-1632596

 

http://www.thepartsbin.com/catalog/?N=9285&Nr=OR(AND(make:Nissan,model:280ZX,year:1983),AND(universal:1))&Vi=1684+11381+4294966708&y=1983&mk=Nissan&md=280ZX

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MSA's head gasket is excellent, with the correct factory water cutouts/blockoffs and outline. I run 12psi daily and have no problems with it, even under light pinging. During heavy pinging or actual knocking it'll blow out the manifold side and keep all the water passages intact, allowing the engine to run like normal (other than the psh psh psh) without ingesting any coolant.

 

Whichever gasket you get (save for an MLS gasket), make sure the outline of the gasket on the manifold side follows the fire ring like this:

 

P1030095.jpg

 

So that it can blow out the side like this:

 

P1020793.jpg

 

If the gasket just follows the side of the block like this:

 

P1030024.jpg

 

Then when you have heavy pinging, it won't blow out the side to act as a safety fuse, it'll just let coolant in from the adjacent coolant passages like this:

 

P1030093.jpg

 

(The first two pictures are of MSA gaskets, the last two are of a "Stone" gasket I got laying around at work.)

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I know that many OEM subaru parts are Ishino brand, and I also know that older subarus and datsuns are first cousins.. the IR 60 amp alternator from my 87 GL-10 soobie looks identical to the externally regulated 50 amp from my 280Z, except for a minor shift in clock positioning.

 

Sorry it isn't a more direct answer to your question on the Ishino L6 headgaskets, but since no one else had chimed in about those..

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