How many of you take the time to neatly open a new package of anything? Now how many of you actually take the time to glance or (dare we say) read the directions that came with your new package of anything. Yeah, we didnt think so, but thats OK because we're generally guilty of the same thing. So imagine our surprise when we did take the time to look at the Fel-Pro gasket installation tips for our small-block.
According to Fel-Pro, most head-gasket failures occur between the two center cylinders. This is because the small-block Chevy locates two exhaust ports adjacent to each other between the two center cylinders. This concentrates a tremendous amount of heat in this one location, which can cause the head gasket to fail.
In order to redirect additional coolant between these two center cylinders, Fel-Pro added a large 7/16-inch hole just below and between them. In addition, the center coolant hole above the center cylinders was enlarged to 7/16 inch. To ensure that additional coolant flows through these holes, Fel-Pro also restricted water flow through the lower holes between the center and outer cylinders. Combine these changes with a high-performance water pump, such as the excellent piece from Edelbrock, and you have a much more efficient cooling system.
These modifications to the head-gasket cooling system are only found on the performance line of Fel-Pro head gaskets. The stock replacement head gaskets feature the normal coolant hole passages. If you are considering more compression, a supercharger, nitrous, or a turbo, these high-performance gaskets with the redirected coolant passages are probably an excellent choice.