08-13-2013, 01:28 PM
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Victor-Reinz/Black-Onyx Headgaskets, Why IMHO they fail
After having experience with both selling these gaskets and in having to reinstall OE head-gaskets on vehicles that have had the "Black Onyx" gaskets installed, I decided to try and find out why the Victor-Reinz/Black Onyx gaskets fail and why the OE gaskets seem to last.
What I found was surprising.
Both brands of head-gasket consists of 5 layers of stainless(?) steel.
Both brands of head-gasket have a thinner layer (#4 up) with a folded ring that most likely acts as a fire ring*.
(*go here:ATS Diesel Fire Ring Head - 1039203278 | OC DIESEL for a picture of a fire ringed head)
Both brands of head-gasket have multiple (3) layers with a sealing(?) compound applied to both sides of the layer.
The OE gaskets use a blue sealing compound, the Victor Reinz use a black compound. Two of the three Victor Reinz layers with the sealing(?) compound on them are completely covered. None of the OE gasket layers are completely covered.
The measurements below pretty much spell out why the gaskets most likely fail in my humble opinion(IMHO). They were measured top (#1 up) to bottom (#5 up) as they would be installed on the engine. The OE gaskets were all measured on bare metal. The Victor Reinz were measured on bare metal where possible. The most notable difference was between the 3rd and 4th layers. Each brand of gasket has a built in "fire ring" on the 4th layer. This is where the layer is folded back on itself creating a "fire ring" around each cylinder opening. I believe it is the difference in thickness of the built in "fire ring" that could cause the Victor-Reinz/Black-Onyx head gaskets to fail more often. Also, the overall thickness of each layer could play a role as well.
#1 up) .010" Bare metal
#2 up) .015"
#3 up) .010"
#4 up) .007" The "fire ring" fold is .014"
#5 up) .010" Bare metal
#1 up) .010" Including black coating
#2 up) .015"
#3 up) .007"
#4 up) .005" The "fire ring" fold is .010"
#5 up) .010" Including black coating