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Outboard Head Gaskets

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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There is a direct relationship between the condition of the outboard head gaskets in an engine and the output of the engine. Without properly fitted, intact head gaskets, the cylinders in the engine would quickly lose compression, reducing the engine output. In some cases, a blown head gasket can reduce engine compression enough the engine will stop.

Though many outboard head gaskets aren't too expensive, some can cost over 100 dollars for the parts alone. There are a few ways of protecting your engine's head gaskets, though. Using the proper amount and type of engine oil can greatly reduce the friction in a cylinder that can blow a gasket.

Another way to extend to protect the life of your outboard head gaskets is to maintain your cooling system properly. By monitoring the cooling systems main water channels and ridding them of debris, you can considerably reduce the stress on your engine. Some companies also produce flooding accessories that use water pressure to clear out your cooling system's waterways, almost eliminating the possibility of a blown gasket due to internal corrosion.

Compression Tests on Outboard Head Gaskets

A compression test can tell you how many psi of pressure each cylinder is packing. A simple compression test involves disconnecting the spark plugs and using threaded adapters to connect each cylinder to the compression gauge. By using a starting button to turn the motor over, you can measure the pressure in each cylinder. If there is a pressure difference of greater than 10 percent for any cylinder, the gasket in that cylinder may be damaged.

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