Victor-Reinz vs Fel Pro Head Gaskets

Discussion in '6.9L IH & 7.3L IDI Diesels' started by PwrSmoke, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. PwrSmoke

    PwrSmoke Full Access Member

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    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.
     
  2. icanfixall

    icanfixall Official GMM hand model

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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....
     
  3. RLDSL

    RLDSL Diesel fuel abuser

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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 cookoo. 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.
     
  4. hesutton

    hesutton The Anti-Anderson

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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.:dunno

    Heath
     
  5. sle2115

    sle2115 NRA LIFE MEMBER Staff Member

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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.
     
  6. The Warden

    The Warden MiB Impersonator Supporting Member

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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.
     
  7. RLDSL

    RLDSL Diesel fuel abuser

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    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 LOL

    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.
     
  8. Diesel JD

    Diesel JD Full Access Member

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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.
     
  9. icanfixall

    icanfixall Official GMM hand model

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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....:eek: 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....:rotflmao 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...:angel:
     
  10. Joejohn

    Joejohn Full Access Member

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    Cant go wrong with Fel-pro
     
  11. vegas39

    vegas39 Full Access Member

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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.
     
  12. gatorman21218

    gatorman21218 Registered User

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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
     
  13. vegas39

    vegas39 Full Access Member

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    My victor set came with rubber gaskets for the valve covers, much nicer.
     
  14. cetanefreek

    cetanefreek Full Access Member

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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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