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Thread: Victor-Reinz vs Fel Pro Head Gaskets

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    Full Access Member PwrSmoke's Avatar
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    Default Victor-Reinz vs Fel Pro Head Gaskets


    In general, I have had good luck with both Victor-Reinz and FelPro gaskets. Some people seem to have a preference for one or the other on 6.9/7.3L IDIs and I would like to know why. Thus far, I am not hearing anything useful, just the usual "brand X sucx" and "brand Y is better than sex." I've got to make a decision soon and am updating my research. If anyone has any info good or bad to point me too, I would appreciate hearing it. Needless to say, I will be installing ARP head studs too.

    Last time, about 13 years ago, I went FelPro, when the engine had an external oil leak with the OE gasket (for which there were a lot of warranty fixes in that era). It may not mean anything, but in January, the engine suddenly and without warning blew the head gasket on #7, which in turn blew out the right-hand bellhousing freeze plug... which was solid and not rusty, I might add. Surprised a freeze plug blew before something else, but #7 was blowing out that freeze plug hole and making heap-big noise. When it blew, that freeze plug in the bellhousing made some noise too. Wouldn't you know it happened during a blizzard and it took two hours for the tow truck to get to me.
    Jim Allen
    The PowerSmoker

    1986 F-250HD XL 4x4 6.9L, Banks Gen 1 Turbo, C6, 4.10:1 Truetrac, 285/75R-16

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    Official GMM hand model icanfixall's Avatar
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    Either manufacture has made a great product for our motor. You wont haveany issues using either one.. I have always used felpro on every motor I have built. Even the small and big block chevy motors. Never any leaks or failures. Just never tried the victor reinz yet....
    89 SRW crewcab, Banks Sidewinder Turbo, 8 speed BTS E4OD with a Gear Vendors, Shifts smooth and positive with any load on it. Triple disc torque converter has 150 square inches of friction material, stock has just 25 square inches of material.Transcold Carrier pump helping out Moose Pump and just loven it. 4 inch Straight piped, hydroboost with a 1 5/16 inch master cylinder. 7.3 turbo upgraded motor, ported heads, intake & exhaust manifolds. ARP studs. Block sleeved on all 8. Mahle turbo pistons milled, are 24 to 26 thousands above the deck, then ceramic coated with Tech Line CBX. Line bored and balanced. Decked block. Each piston is 1/4 and 1/3rd gram of each others weight. "BB" injectors. Custom Rodney Red aluminum radiator and running cool. Now it needs my new Hypermax intercooler to help out the famous Moose Pump and a set of Moose Injecters thrown in just for giggles...Double FatMat inside of the crewcab... Nice and quiet too...

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    Diesel fuel abuser RLDSL's Avatar
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    Victor Reinz aside from being the manufacturer of the gaskets for IH ( and Caterpillar and Cummins and Rover and Audi and Mercedes and numerous others ), is on the cutting edge of high performance diesel head gasket design. THey make ALL of the high tech European diesel gaskets including the ones for those race cars that are winning everything including Le Mans 3 years in a row.
    That autozone consumer grade garbage that felpro puts out comes with this soft disintegrating coating that crumbles off if you look at it too harshly while installing leading to leaks very soon after installation. If you get REAL lucky you can get a set of heads dropped perfectly straight down onto the things with zero shifting and not tear them . I'll only use felpro in an emergency under protest and then I usually end up having to order the good stuff anyway, or use some gasket eliminator, . I've had felpro gaskets tear while properly torquing them down numerous times leaving me in a bind, and I can't imagine how hard it is to have one guy on an assembly line who puts one piece of cardboard in above and one below a valley pan to keep them from getting damaged in shipment, but most of them arrive with both pieces of cardboard on one side and the flanges bent and the things are junk.

    Back when I still had my shop open, thankfully Napa was still carrying Victor Reinz, but now the corporate office has chosen to compete with autozone for the DIY market. They decided there was more profit in chasing consumers than there was in providing quality to professionals and they dropped it for felpro except for a bunch of the independently owned napa stores who still carry the VR gaskets because they want to service the professional market and not loose it to Car Quest. Napa has dropped too many of their quality hard lines to be able to keep serious commercial accounts happy. They don't stock the parts anymore and the quality of the parts they stock is junk now. I don;t know too many guys who still use them for a supplier . It's a loosing proposition using their parts on peoples cars, too much stuff ends up coming back.
    '92 f350 cc dually, 5 sp+ 3 speed Spicer 5831 Brownie , Solid Flywheel & Kevlar Clutch, 7.3 ATS turbo, Hypermax Cowl Induction, Custom Aluminum Rodney Red Radiator,Evan's waterless coolant,Zero pressure system, MS Tech Fan Clutch, 16" & 10" electric pusher fans,Derale Electra-cool remote oil cooler, 4" exhaust,Dual Facet Duralift E-pumps, 150 Gallon bed tank from a Volvo semi, Amsoil bypass filter w/ Amsoil 15w-40 Diesel and Marine , Victor Reinz gaskets , Western Hauler bed, Warn M12000 winch, Per Lux fog Lights, Borgeson steering shaft, 1" hockey puck lift,Rear air conditioning, Air seat, Onboard air system with rear air bags with automatic level control,West coast mirrors, Bilsteins

    * Life is like a crap sandwich... The more bread you've got, the less crap you have to eat

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    Mr. "Classy" LOL hesutton's Avatar
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    I've had FelPro's on my 7.3 in the F250 for over 4 years without any leaks or issues. I've boosted over 15 psi with reused stock headbolts as well. I have no qualms about using them again. I did order a set of VR gaskets for the headgasket job on my 6.9 in my F350 just to see what the big deal was. Just looking at them, they look very similar to the FelPros.

    Heath
    1986 F250HD 4x4 7.3L IDI with '95 PSD front clip, '97 bed, 4-speed T19, and 3.55's. Dana 60/Ford 10.25 (Detroit TrueTrac Locker). Rebuilt from the frame up. Banks Sidewinder Turbo. Moose Pump and Injectors. 12 Inch Kevlar/Metalic South Bend Clutch. York On-Board Air. Isspro TTM, Banks Monster Exhaust, Boost Gauge and Pyrometer. Autometer Voltmeter. Autometer Oil, Fuel, and Air Pressure Gauges. Precharged Coolant Filter, Holley Red Pump. 16.5 x 37 x 12.5 Goodyear Wrangler's. Six Inch Lift (4 Skyjacker, 2 Body). Air Horns. Rhino Liner. "Woody Style" Filler Neck Mods, Fresh paint job. Added A/C. Push Button GP/Automatic GP on toggle. Interior redone.

    1986 F350 SRW 4x4 6.9L IDI Crew Cab "typ4" 460 ZF5, US Gear underdrive, Banks Turbo, head studs, "typ4" cam, Moose Pump/Injectors, Intercooled, Rodney Red Radiator, Transfer Flow filler necks, 331,000+ miles.

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    NRA LIFE MEMBER sle2115's Avatar
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    We sold Felpro and used them exclusively in the machine shop. I'm not sure I'd agree to Victor being any better, but to each his own. I used them once on a low compression buick v6 and had one blow less than 5000 miles later, so for me, it's Felpro. I'd guess over the years I've installed over 100 sets, in diesel and gas, pulling tractors, etc. without an issue, but like with anything, having two clean, square and straight surfaces makes more differance than what goes between them. I've always been one to err on the side of caution too, if it's ok at .005, and it's .003, it's better surfaced! That being said, I guess if you use Victor with good results, then use them...my kit set sitting here waiting for my heads to come off and studs to go in is Felpro.
    1987 F250 6.9 4X4 - ZF5 Trans, 3.73 Dana 60 Front/Ford 10.25 rear, Dual Rear Wheels, Carter P4594 electric fuel pump, Hydroboost, Restrictive air filter opened up, Firewall repair kit installed, new clutch, solid flywheel, m/cyl and pedal bracket, bushings etc.,7.3 fuel filter conversion, Solid state controller OEM (new controller and Motorcraft GP's), Headlights converted to relay system with 65/100 Watt Cold Ice bulbs, Class V Hitch (10,000lb WC/15,000lb WD), Air Horns, Cadet 7' X 9' flat dump bed, 5 ton grainmaster dump hoist.

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    MiB Impersonator The Warden's Avatar
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    FWIW I have Felpro head gaskets on my engine, and have been running them for about 5 1/2 years and 40K miles and haven't had any problems with them. I've never seen a Victor-Reinz gasket before; in fact, I had never even heard of them before people started talking about them on here earlier this year. So, I can't directly compare the two with any authority...but, I wouldn't call the Felpros junk either, based on my experience.
    Spark plugs are the root of all evil.
    1984 F-250 XLT SC 4x4; 6.9l "A" engine, ZF5 with LuK SMFW, Dana 70 LS rear, Dana 50 front, 4.10's, stock tires & suspension, bad case of tin worm/body cancer
    Mods: ATS 088 turbo, 3" exhaust (preparing for RDT-into-exhaust mod), ARP head studs, analog AIC, BajaGringo drains, E-code headlights, coolant filter for the ELC.
    1991 F-350 CC DRW 4x4, work in progress
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    Diesel fuel abuser RLDSL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hesutton View Post
    Just looking at them, they look very similar to the FelPros.
    If I was to look at a room full of poon, they'd all look the same to me, but I'd bet some serious cash that you could tell some serious difference , It's all in what your trained eyes are used to working with

    Got to remember all those engines that we've heard about that folks have had from new and run a few hundred thousand miles without having them apart, those have all been VRs. It's not just OEM quality ( which anyone can say ), it is OEM. and if ford hadn't been a bunch of idiots and had been upfront about SCAs in the first place like they should have been, there wouldn't have been any head gasket erosion issues on any of them.
    '92 f350 cc dually, 5 sp+ 3 speed Spicer 5831 Brownie , Solid Flywheel & Kevlar Clutch, 7.3 ATS turbo, Hypermax Cowl Induction, Custom Aluminum Rodney Red Radiator,Evan's waterless coolant,Zero pressure system, MS Tech Fan Clutch, 16" & 10" electric pusher fans,Derale Electra-cool remote oil cooler, 4" exhaust,Dual Facet Duralift E-pumps, 150 Gallon bed tank from a Volvo semi, Amsoil bypass filter w/ Amsoil 15w-40 Diesel and Marine , Victor Reinz gaskets , Western Hauler bed, Warn M12000 winch, Per Lux fog Lights, Borgeson steering shaft, 1" hockey puck lift,Rear air conditioning, Air seat, Onboard air system with rear air bags with automatic level control,West coast mirrors, Bilsteins

    * Life is like a crap sandwich... The more bread you've got, the less crap you have to eat

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    I hate to play devil's advocate, but if VR were OEM head gaskets, that might be a reason NOT to use them on the 6.9 and 7.3. The early 6.9 head gasket design was piss poor and that's why people had problems with the stupid external leaks. Having said that, I have VR on mine right now, and about 56,000 miles on them with reused stock headbolts. Most I've boosted is around 13 psi and it wasn't for very long. I'm NOT bragging here, cause I still think about it a lot, and hope they continue to hold for the life of the motor.
    Truck: 1986 F-250 6.9L ATS Non gated turbo, 3.55s, T-18(that's right the C6 is gone)

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    Official GMM hand model icanfixall's Avatar
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    Well now.... Thats really interesting about oem being VR gaskets... My original motor went 275,000 miles on the oem gaskets from 1989.... Actually only one side did that... I cavitated on the other bank so it was sleeved on number 8 cylinder. The shop wouldn't replace the head gasket on the passenger side bank cause it didn't need it.... I feel they figured the cost of it failing later and charging me more labor was a risk worth taking... Fooled them... It never blew... So if the gaskets were VR I guess I can stand up for them... Maybe I will use them on my next buildup thats still being planned out... A Promar stroker... My ported heads... Russ's cam and maybe a roller bearing turbo.... Gees.... I might even install one of my hypermax intercoolers too.... Shame on me...
    89 SRW crewcab, Banks Sidewinder Turbo, 8 speed BTS E4OD with a Gear Vendors, Shifts smooth and positive with any load on it. Triple disc torque converter has 150 square inches of friction material, stock has just 25 square inches of material.Transcold Carrier pump helping out Moose Pump and just loven it. 4 inch Straight piped, hydroboost with a 1 5/16 inch master cylinder. 7.3 turbo upgraded motor, ported heads, intake & exhaust manifolds. ARP studs. Block sleeved on all 8. Mahle turbo pistons milled, are 24 to 26 thousands above the deck, then ceramic coated with Tech Line CBX. Line bored and balanced. Decked block. Each piston is 1/4 and 1/3rd gram of each others weight. "BB" injectors. Custom Rodney Red aluminum radiator and running cool. Now it needs my new Hypermax intercooler to help out the famous Moose Pump and a set of Moose Injecters thrown in just for giggles...Double FatMat inside of the crewcab... Nice and quiet too...

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    Cant go wrong with Fel-pro

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    I recently bought the Victor gasket for my 95 Jetta at Napa and was very impressed with it, 2 layers of metal with a gasket in between.

    I bought the Victor gaskets for the truck at Napa last week and was dissapointed to see they were nothing more than some thin shiney looking cardboard!

    I really hope they hold up well.

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    Senior Member gatorman21218's Avatar
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    Well i dont know much about head gaskets but I put felpro valve cover gaskets on and within a year they've turned to rock and I'm back with black,oily engine
    -Jimbob-

    1991 F-250 Custom, 7.3 with factory turbo, ZF42, regular cab, 4x4 (all 4 wheels turning now - Posi front, LS rear), 10-1/4 4.10LS, Baby Moose, Hydroboost, Napa coolant filter, Reading utility bed, meyer E-47 snow plow, ladder rack, Cobra CB radio, Push button ignition- no keys required. 9 Stewart-Warner gauges.
    New front end!!! Add a leaf, bilstein shocks, bushings, bearings and Posi installed. Who said D50s are junk? Now its good for another 300k

    Rebuilt engine as of 8/12. All work except machining done by me. Bored .030 over. Flycut pistons with 202 cam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gatorman21218 View Post
    Well i dont know much about head gaskets but I put felpro valve cover gaskets on and within a year they've turned to rock and I'm back with black,oily engine
    My victor set came with rubber gaskets for the valve covers, much nicer.

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    I've had good luck with fel-pro head gaskets in my gas engines, but horrible luck with them in my cummins, not to mention at NAPA it's 4 times the cost of a gasket straight from cummins!

    anyway, just based on my experiences I'll continue to use them in my gas engines, but unless I don't have a choice I'll never put one in one of my diesels.

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