PRI 2021: SCE Gasket’s Boost-Handling Cut-Ring Head Gaskets

Here at the 2021 PRI show in Indianapolis companies are debuting their latest products that can push the automotive industry to the next level. For SCE Gaskets, a tried-and-true ring design from years past is getting reworked and improved. If you’re in the middle of assembling a street or race engine with a little boost added, check out the cut-ring style gasket.

We caught up with SCE’s Ryan Hunter to get all of the details about this to better educate you on what to expect. “This is not a new product for us. We have had this going for a while, but we’re now fleshing it out,” Ryan said. “For someone who isn’t familiar with our product, they make walk up and think this is a funny-looking gasket. It’s almost as if something was missing.”

What Ryan means, as you can tell by the photos, is that the gaskets are missing the combustion seal. That is because this gasket features a cut-ring-style seal that goes on during assembly separately from the gasket body itself. “The combustion seal is missing on our gaskets because these cut rings just lay in there,” he explained. “Ideally, so the surface of the deck is flat, you would install these on an engine stand. Put the body of the gasket on the dowels and studs of the block and then set the rings down in there.”

With the flat part of the ring towards the block and the cut side of the ring towards the head, this will seal a 10-bolt LS engine to 40-45 psi. What is the design principle or advantage to this, though? “Well, the cut ring is a solid piece of stainless steel. The cut part of the ring actually bites into the cylinder head and creates a serious seal,” Ryan said. “This design is a balancing act of maximizing the combustion seal while still sealing off the coolant passages sufficiently.”

These gaskets are available right now for virtually everything. Ford’s Coyote, small-block Chevrolet, LS, LT, and big-blocks, to name a few. “These gaskets are in their wheelhouse when used in liquid-cooled, street-driven or race-style engines with boost as a power adder,” Ryan said. “We aren’t expanding into extreme applications. Copper will always be the best sealer for billet engines, exotic fuels, and unlimited boost.”

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