The springs we chose for this build are Comp's beehive design. They are smaller at the top which cuts weight by using a significantly smaller retainer. The beehive shape also helps cut harmonics. The result is better valve control with less spring pressures. Once installed, our springs spec'ed out at 140 pounds at a 1.740 installed height and 260 pounds over the nose (0.480 inch maximum valve lift).

We're running head studs from ARP instead of bolts because they produce more even clamping torque across the head. The only problem with studs is they can make the heads impossible to remove with the engine still in the car. Regardless of which you choose, make sure to use plenty of thread sealant because the bolt holes on Chevrolet small-blocks go right into the water jackets.

The Cometic head gaskets we're using are a multi-layer steel design (MLS) which not only seal better in high-compression applications than conventional head gaskets, but are also quite thin when compressed. The compressed thickness once the heads are bolted on will be approximately 0.040 inch, which will help keep compression up.

One trick to help eliminate oil leaks is to apply a thin film of silicone above and below the "ears" on each gasket.

Now the heads can be gently lowered into place. Make sure they fit over the dowel pins on the deck of the block.

ARP provides torque specs for its fasteners when using either oil or moly lube. But you'll get more consistent results with moly. Make sure to coat the threads and the mating face between the nuts and the washers. (Or the underside of the head of the bolt, if that's what you're using.) Don't be afraid to use this stuff liberally. Too little can mean an improperly torqued head bolt, but too much just means you've got a mess to clean up.

Torque the fasteners in three steps. Begin at 30 ft/lbs, and then move on to 55 and finally 80 ft/lbs. The final torque value for motor oil, by the way, is 85 ft/lbs.

The order in which you tighten the head bolts is also critical because a cast iron head can actually flex as you tighten it. Begin with the center stud just above the center exhaust ports. Then move down to the stud just below the exhaust port split on the left. Continue moving in an outward spiral until you've tightened them all.