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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.


Ford OE:

#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


Victor-Reinz/Black-Onyx:

#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
 

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Very nice Observation Ken:thumb:


You guys surprise us with your knowledge every day:nod:

Well not really surprise anymore as we all know you guys are the best:woot
 

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I made a post not too long ago asking this. Also glad you posted, reminds me that I need to call John and see if you got my oil cooler back yet. So thanks twice
 

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Great post, Ken. So if I'm reading this correctly, the total difference between the two is only .005 and the fire ring fold is .004 with the Ford OE being thicker, which I am assuming your point is that it would allow a more forgiving sealing surface.
 

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Absolutely fantastic to get this detailed assessment.

Past posts were pretty clear that there was a thickness difference, but to know "where and why" is certainly appreciated more than can be expressed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great post, Ken. So if I'm reading this correctly, the total difference between the two is only .005 and the fire ring fold is .004 with the Ford OE being thicker, which I am assuming your point is that it would allow a more forgiving sealing surface.
Correct and I think the thickness of the "fire ring" is important also. The thicker the "fire ring", the more clamping force is applied at that location.
 

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They do appear nicer or better since they have more sealing compounds than the oem buti guess that's not gonna cut it
 

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can anyone answer this question for certainty? Are VT365 headgaskets identical in thickness to what we get from Ford?

Someone (another diesel tech) told me that the medium duty truck gaskets are thinner to increase compression and low end power.
 

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The Silent Service
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Thanks for this piece of information.

Sinner6.0L brings up a valid question about the International version of these gaskets, if someone has the specs on those we can get posted I'd appreciate it.
 

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Glow Plugs Only
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The following I cut and pasted from an advertisement on the internet which sold me on VRBO gaskets. Being new to the ORG at the time and not aware of all the failures with the VR gaskets I subsequently purchased them in a bundle along with the ARP studs. Being held up by a shoulder injury and unable to start the project I had lots of time to read and for my own piece of mind it was a godsend because I eneded up bighting the bullet and purchasing OEM head gaskets as well. Just the extra .004 on the fire ring makes the statement below suspicious, so do they exceed factory specs of the OEM gaskets? JMHO take it for what it worth!!!:dunno: For all the real believers in VR gaskets I have them if you wanna buy em :wink[3]:



These kits include the Black Onyx gaskets. They are made by a major automotive aftermarket manufacturer and they exceed factory specs. We have been installing these gaskets for several years with and they work great!
 

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That is some great information. I'm glad that I went with OEM gaskets.
 

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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.


Ford OE:

#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


Victor-Reinz/Black-Onyx:

#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
There is nothing wrong with the BO gaskets if you prep for them ( shave pistons to lower compression ) , what people don't realize is they are thinner than the factory gaskets and there for raise compression and that's why they don't last as long.
 

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shaving pistons sounds like a convenient step in a head gasket job
Didn't say it was, just stating that's what it would take to run them reliably for a long period of time. Racers use the BO all the time but they have also lowered their compression. Its not the gasket I would go with just letting people know its not the compound or material that makes them fail, its the fact that they are thinner and raise your compression so more cylinder pressure equals more likelihoods of blowing the HG's.
 
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