Determining the Correct Head Gasket on Cat 3114, 3116 & 3126 Engines - Engine Builder Magazine

Determining the Correct Head Gasket on Cat 3114, 3116 & 3126 Engines

Oversized head gaskets may not be something you would normally think about when repairing or rebuilding a Caterpillar engine.

As the 3114, 3116 and 3126 (2-valve) engines age you may encounter engines that have or will require thicker (oversized) head gaskets. IPD does not offer these oversized head gaskets at the time of this publication, but our intent in our tech bulletins is to help inform you of issues within the engine ranges that we do offer products for.

Items that could cause issues include the block deck surface to crankshaft center line measurements decreasing due to machining of the deck or the line bore of bearing journals. Be aware that the last machine shop may not have stamped the block so you may need to do your own inspection to tell which head gasket is correct for the engine you have. There are a number of ways to determine whether a standard or oversized (thick) head

gasket is correct.

• Measure the block height. Cylinder block deck to crankshaft centerline.

• Measure the thickness of the existing head gasket.

 - Standard gaskets have an assembled thickness of approx 1.5mm (.060”)

 - Thicker oversized gaskets have an assembled thickness of approx. 1.75mm (.070”)

• You may be able to identify the old gasket by a remaining part number or by the gaskets profile. Standard gasket have a straight edge, whereas the thicker oversized gasket should have a series of notches cut in the area shown below.

• Look for previous machine shop stamping to indicate block height. According to OE publications, if the block has been remanufactured by them there will be a “TG” stamped on the remanufacture tag located on the upper rear corner of the block or on the center tab on the top surface of the block.

3126B – 3 valve engines are not addressed in this bulletin and to date the OE has not released oversized gaskets for those applications.

–Tech Tip courtesy of IPD

You May Also Like

Shop Solutions January 2023

Next time you have set of large journal small block Chevy connecting rods to resize, consider honing the big ends of them for a +.002” outside diameter bearing that the LS engines with fracture cap rods use.

Engine and Machine Shop Tips and Tricks


For proper block cleaning, the oil bypass valves in Gen 5 and 6 big block Chevys need to be removed. We made a couple different sized “hook” tools for a slide hammer. This tool will easily pull the valves out of the block and sometimes without damaging them.

Shop Solutions December 2022

Everyone misses occasionally, and this helps avoid dents and damage.

Jesel Certified Performance Rebuilds

Engine components are serious investments for any racer and maintaining that investment could be the difference between winning a championship and losing it.

Going the Extra Mile with Cylinder Head Porting

It’s not just the port work alone that creates spectacular cylinder head performance. The most critical areas of a cylinder head are those which pass the most air at the highest speed and for the longest duration. Your bowl area, the valve job, the throat diameter, and combustion chamber are all crucial parts. 

Tight Tolerances and Building Power

As you ascend Mt. Everest, you reach an area called the death zone. Once you climb high enough, the margin of error becomes perilously thin. That death zone also applies to engines. As the horsepower per cubic inch and rpm increase, the margin of error decreases. 

Other Posts

CNC Update: Features and Automation

Precision is key when it comes to automotive parts; the complex designs of connecting rods, pistons and rings, blocks, cylinder heads, and other parts require super tight tolerances that are getting more and more difficult to be met by hand or with other machining processes outside of CNC.

All Things Media Blasting

Engine building is a segment of the automotive industry that has always been ahead of the curve in media blasting, and no matter the engine shop, cleaning equipment is a common bond.

Engine & Hub Dynos: Necessary Tools and Additional Revenue

Being able to see the horsepower and the direct correlation to what is lost in the driveline is invaluable – dynos offer a myriad of benefits for the modern engine shop.

November 2022 Shop Solutions

November tricks and tips for the shop!