While we are complaining about available components, here is another. Lase week I took my 1931 model 42 convertible coupe for a ride. It was skipping so badly that I returned home after a half block. I shorted out the cylinders and found #’s 5 and six dead. Not wanting to face reality, I moved plugs around, checked wires, all the things one does to avoid what we really think is wrong. After checking compression, #’s 5 and 6 were 0. We removed the head, and the head gasket was blown between #s five and six. This was an original head gasket that I had installed when I replaced the later head in the car three years ago. Upon closer examination, we discovered the head gasket over hung the cylinder bore slightly. I should know better, but I thought these over size gaskets were limited to the steel reproductions made by the club severl years ago; in fact this gasket was an original copper clad gasket. These gaskets that overlap the bore, the original ones, must be from 1929-31 junior series cars with the smaller displacement. Moral of the story: be very sure that the head gasket is a perfect fit to the sealing areas on the head and block. Are the more knowledgable technicians in agreement with this theory?
Most of the gaskets I have seen or purchased over the last 20 years were of poor or questionable quaility. I have even seen failures on the “good”” gaskets that are available. The best gaskets I have seen lately are Jack Passys in Ca his number is 831-728-4738.”