Kawasaki KZ650 cafe-racer. About gaskets again.

And here is a continuation of  the story about cylinder head gasket. So I ordered an OEM cylinder head gasket instead of what comes with a Wiseco piston kit. The part number of this gasket is 11004-1268, and being part number for KZ750 cylinder head gasket it also superseded KZ650 cylinder head gasket part numbers. I ordered gasket from MSP webshop , which lately became my favorite source of OEM parts due to their fast shipping combined with reasonable pricing and shipping fees. Soon my order arrived. It was perfectly packed, but when I opened the box I immediately noticed that the gasket had minor damages.

They were visible through original packaging of gasket:

There was nothing in the box that could cause such kind of damage, so the only plausible explanation was that the gasket might have been damaged on the way from the parts warehouse to the MSP facility. From the type of damage I could make a guess that another part was placed upon the upper face of the gasket and it wasn’t fixed very well, therefore during the transportation it made two dents on gasket: one on the metal ring and one on the “soft” area beyond the hole for cylinder stud.

Be the metal ring undamaged, I’d considered the dent on the non metal part of the gasket as non-critical. But the ring, which is made of soft metal, seals the combustion chamber and the damage is on its narrow part, so there is a possibility that it will not seal the combustion chamber properly.  In this case it will end up in a breakthrough of hot combustion gases. Therefore, I couldn’t use this gasket.

So we wrote an email to MSP with photos of the damaged gasket attached. MSP answered mostly instantly and offered us a replacement gasket. As soon as they got a new gasket they sent it to us. We in our turn sent the damaged gasket back (return delivery was also paid by MSP). We were pretty impressed by their great approach to the business. One starts to treasure attitude like this nowadays. Thus we hope to continue to make a business with MSP.

And here is a replacement. As you may see, all is OK with this part. However, let’s take a closer look on this OEM gasket. It’s very neatly shaped and looks like a work of art in comparison to that of Wiseco gasket.

From the side of cylinder head metal parts cover the areas around the pairs of combustion chambers. From the side of the cylinder block they look like classic rings.

I suppose that the greenish stuff that covers the whole lower side and the area around the timing tunnel on the upper side of the gasket is a factory sprayed sealant.

This gasket is the last significant part in the engine jigsaw, so I hope soon I’ll be assembling the Kawasaki KZ650 engine for our project.


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