I like this conversion... As long as the engine is bored/honed with stress plates! With that done, the higher torque figures seem to work just fine.... but I know what you are saying. No sense in stressing it any more than necessary.
I came up with this cure when I first started experimenting with nitrous... and was tired of changing head gaskets! The ARP instructions recommended not going -below- a given torque value. The instructions recommended 129ft-lbs! It was nerve racking that first time I pulled them down to 115 bottom, and 125ft-lbs top! It felt like WAY more than the old 80ft-lb setting! I guess a person could use a set of stock 351W bolts that just torque to 100ft-lbs.
Head gasket problems were a thing of the past after this mod... and I was a happy guy!
All this went down before the Loc-Wire gaskets came out. Now they might have worked with the smaller 7/16" studs... but weren't an option at the time. I didn't want to fight conventional "O ringing" the block because of concerns of leaking water. (I knew some chevy boys who were having throuble with this, and didn't want to fool with it.)
I'm going to go ahead and use the Boss 302 block that's been laying around in my basement for the next engine. It came apart way back when and busted a cylinder. I had a thick wall (1/8") sleeve installed recently, and need to get with it. (I bought the whole engine 10-15 years ago for $500... and got pulled over going 84 in a 55mph zone on the way there!)
I still need to install the oil restrictors and set it up for the larger head bolts. After that, it will go to the machine shop for boring, etc...
It will be filled with a Boss 302 crank, bushed Boss 302 rods, and Probe pistons.
I was also thinking of filling the bottom part of the block before it goes to the machine shop. I plan to torque the mains, and heads in place as it cures.
Any comments on the short block or its preparation? I haven't used block filler before. I've heard it will make the water temp go up and down more slowly, but won't necessarily make the coolant temp much hotter if it isn't filled too high. However, oil temperature is supposed to increase. Any good info out there?
Thanks, and Good Luck!
66 mustang real street
302 4-speed 289 heads
10.63 @ 129.3