Composite gasket , which way round?

Using a composite head gasket for the first time . There are no markings to differentiate between top or bottom . Does this mean it can be used either way round ?

I would think that it definitely has a top and bottom. Are the holes for coolant passages identical on both sides?

Mine was marked TOP as well. In my case this meant that the side of the gasket with the steel gusset continuing between the cylinder fire rings was facing down.

I just took mine off again , prior to fitting the head , for a closer look . No markings , and both sides are identical . It came from Wilkinson’s here in the UK . So I guess it doesn’t matter which way round it goes . Anyone else come across this situation ?

To Mike’s question, the water passages are the same size/shape on both sides of gasket? If so, it would seem there is no “top”. You want the larger water passages, (IF it has that design), on the exhaust side since that is how/where the coolant enters the head.

Yes they are identical either way , so that answers the question , thanks guys .

I bet they are different at the fire rings. See earlier answer on same point. The fire rings are folded over and are continuous on one side but have an edge seam on the other, meaning it is impossible to be the same both sides.

Hi Peter . Photos show both sides of the gasket , looks like there is no difference .

Correct. Never seen one like that. The Payen composite ones I’ve used have siamesed fire rings on one side. From memory it’s the bottom where the gasket covers the grooves on slotted XJ blocks.What brand?