Which intake and exhaust gaskets may be asbestos?

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John Berners
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Which intake and exhaust gaskets may be asbestos?

#1 Post by John Berners » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:27 am

Hello, In trying to eliminate carb backfiring in my 1964 C coupe, I'm replacing gaskets in the intake path--the base gaskets between the carb and the manifold, and those between the manifold and the head. The carbs are Solex 40PII, though I may go back to the original Zeniths, which I still have. Anyone know which of these gaskets may have been asbestos originally? I want to safely replace them with non-asbestos. The gaskets in the car now I installed in 1992, using replacements from the 80s and 90s. Back then I didn't wonder what they were made of, but now I do. I have some NOS Zenith and Solex base gaskets from back then that seem thick and fibery, and maybe asbestos--would they have used that material in that spot? And how careful would you be with these?
Many Thanks for any replies!
John

Martin Benade
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Re: Which intake and exhaust gaskets may be asbestos?

#2 Post by Martin Benade » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:27 am

I am pretty sure fooling with one set one time would pose a minimal health risk. Just don't remove them with a wire brush in a drill or grinder.

Robert Vaughan
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Re: Which intake and exhaust gaskets may be asbestos?

#3 Post by Robert Vaughan » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:44 am

I agree with Martin.

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David Jones
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Re: Which intake and exhaust gaskets may be asbestos?

#4 Post by David Jones » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:11 am

Having been involved with asbestos abatement in my professional life I can say with absolute certainty that unless you abrade the asbestos and create dust and inhale it you are perfectly safe handling it. When demolishing walls containing asbestos we sprayed them with water and the personnel up close and personal wore protective clothing and filtered masks.
Secondly before replacing gaskets check the base of your Solex carbs for flatness. That is one of the most common causes of carb backfiring. Run a flat file over the base and see if it looks like the picture. It only takes a few thou off to cause an air leak.
See attached picture.
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Solex base.jpg
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Dick Weiss
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Re: Which intake and exhaust gaskets may be asbestos?

#5 Post by Dick Weiss » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:46 am

John,

There's nothing to be concerned about either gasket having asbestos; Refrain breathing any dust when removing 'leftovers'.
The exhaust gasket has internal metal reinforcement and I use a little wipe of hi-tenp anti-seize including the 12mm hex nuts
including the studs and never have any problems w/stuck threads or loosening. Make sure the #2 & 4 port flanges are flat
on the exhaust system!

As mentioned about the Solex carb 'pot metal' bodies (except the 4-cam sand-cast Solex being aluminum), a file won't be
really correct to get a flat 'foot' and matching its neighbor; I finish both of them to each other w/minimum removal of
material. I torque the nuts to 15 ft.lbs. to resist 're-warping'. No problem w/either manifold.

Zenith carb bodies just need a 'touch-up' w/emery cloth on a flat plate--no machining; The iron base never warps, but a year ago, I repaired 1-which had a broken corner--a rarity!

Dick

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Re: Which intake and exhaust gaskets may be asbestos?

#6 Post by John Berners » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:48 pm

Dear Martin, Robert, David and Dick,
Thanks for your replies. Your messages are really helpful and I appreciate the expert knowledge of asbestos. I'll use care and also get those surfaces flat. Dick, do I understand from what you said that the intake gaskets may not be asbestos anyway? BTW Dick, the solid-shaft Solexes that have been on my car since 1992 were rebuilt by you and sold to me by Andy Anderson in Dayton in about 1990/91. They have been wonderful and trouble free all these years--25 to be exact. Many Thanks!
John

Dick Weiss
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Re: Which intake and exhaust gaskets may be asbestos?

#7 Post by Dick Weiss » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:48 am

Thank you John,

There's no reason for intake carb gaskets to be asbestos and I've never had exhaust gaskets check for asbestos, either.

Dick

Thom Fitzpatrick
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Re: Which intake and exhaust gaskets may be asbestos?

#8 Post by Thom Fitzpatrick » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:34 am

David Jones wrote:Secondly before replacing gaskets check the base of your Solex carbs for flatness.
I have a similar trick. I have an old junk VW bus flat windshield and I stick a piece of self-adhesive 220 sandpaper to it and rub the base of the carb on that. If I'm feeling really A-R, I follow that up with coarse valve grinding compound.
1956 VW Single Cab
1957 Porsche 356A Sunroof Coupé
1957 VW 23-window Deluxe
1957 BMW Isetta
1960 VW Panel
1963 Type 3 Karmann Ghia
1963 Mercedes Unimog 404
2003 BMW M3

Dick Weiss
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Re: Which intake and exhaust gaskets may be asbestos?

#9 Post by Dick Weiss » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:56 am

Thom,

That's a difficult situation w/Solex bodies having the injection arm/lever on the shaft being in the way, the flange surface is somewhat hollow to get a flat relationship to the body's top, and finally, to match its neighboring foot to the top!
Thusly, the 'feet' must match each other flat in both directions to the body top so the gaskets will seal correctly.
I've had several bodies warped as much as .015" to .028" which would need a lotta filing; I mill them flat to each other.

Dick

Thom Fitzpatrick
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Re: Which intake and exhaust gaskets may be asbestos?

#10 Post by Thom Fitzpatrick » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:47 pm

Dick Weiss wrote:That's a difficult situation w/Solex bodies
Ah; I've only had to deal with 26VFIS, 3xPIC[T] and 32PHN carbs
1956 VW Single Cab
1957 Porsche 356A Sunroof Coupé
1957 VW 23-window Deluxe
1957 BMW Isetta
1960 VW Panel
1963 Type 3 Karmann Ghia
1963 Mercedes Unimog 404
2003 BMW M3

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