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Let's play spot the washer

Phill S

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Just finalising the re-assembly of my 1987 18J 2.5 diesel N/A engine and sorting out which washer goes where. Just to increase the fun, I've managed to mix the ones from the engine gasket set with the head gasket ones to form one big puzzle. Being as how most of them are quite cunningly shaped it's probably important which ones go where. Spent most of the afternoon trying to cross reference workshop manual, parts book and what came off of the vehicle - don't feel I got very far!

I believe I've got the aluminium ones sorted, all except the two shown, but then there's a sea of copper ones:


I believe the top row first two columns of 4 are the ones that go between the injectors, that the 3rd column of 4 is for the block to head oil pipe, but I'm having difficulty with the rest. And I might have those wrong anyway. Dunno what those two aluminium ones are.

One of those singletons in the second row has to be for the sump plug, but that's not accessible because I have the engine supported on wooden blocks at the moment so that the sump doesn't shift, so not been able to pin that one down. And just to clarify, this is the entire complement of copper washers from both block and head gasket sets.

Anybody bored enough to have a shot at it?

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4 hours ago, Snagger said:

Are they really copper, though? Britpart supply cheap Chinese sourced steel washers that have a thin copper plating, absolutely useless and easily identified with a magnet.

Not just Britpart - I have a Laser assortment pack of copper washers that will happily stick to a magnet :( I think these days you're very lucky to find any that are pure copper.

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In the days of copper coated aluminium wire strands and copper coated steel jaws (automotive jump leads) I accept the caution is valid, but many of those in question are 'folded' crush washers. The basic flat sealing washers also have 'deformable' as a required trait.
It will be an interesting test to see if crush and sealing washers have also become 'steel underneath'.


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Hi guys. Checked all the copper coloured ones when I opened the packs and they're all non-magnetic. Of course, I'm going to have to check again now...

The head gasket set is from Payen, and dangerously I had assumed all components would be "right". This morning I was reading White90's account of how to change the head gasket on my type of engine:

He shows the correct washers for the injectors and I see I have that wrong, so back to the drawing board on those - that guy seems to know what he's talking about and has made some excellent contributions elsewhere. If I look on the Dingocroft website and search for "injectors fitting kit" for Defender, I find tghe description mentions "steel crush washers" that look as if they just might be like the ones described in the workshop manual. All of my non copper coloured washers are flat - do Payen give you the wrong ones? Understanding a little more now of what they are supposed to look like, I wouldn't be surprised if those ones are still nestling in the cylinder head. I'll have a poke around next time I'm down at the workshop.

The gasket set for the block is from Bearmach. I swore I'd never buy any of their stuff ever again a few years ago when I had an RV8 coolant drain tap fall apart in my hands, but I assumed the gaskets and washers should be ok. I've used OEM seals on the front shafts and original Land Rover for the rear crank seal.

So - having mis-identified the injector washers, I think I'm going to have to start my process of elimination from the beginning again and re-issue the spot-the-washer challenge. 

Watch this space... 

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There's a difference between the copper and copper coated washers. We use a lot of copper coated stuff at work, particularly copper plated stainless. I'm not entirely sure on the properties and reasoning behind it. But probably just been missed by someone purchasing and thinking their supply costs can then be cheaper rather than deliberately as something that is just copper plated isn't going to seal like a proper copper washer.


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3 hours ago, Phill S said:

The head gasket set is from Payen, and dangerously I had assumed all components would be "right".

Payen gaskets are ok, the supplied washers are nearly always wrong though (as you've discovered), they also used to supply the old type orange rear main oil seal in the kits, long after it had been superseded by the newer Dowty seal.

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