First, let me say that I think the stud kit is the way to go, so this is by no means a dig on Jake or the stud kit, but me admitting I can't drill worth a damn, evidently.
I've got the left side of the block drilled and tapped for the stud kit. The problem is, despite my best efforts, the dang things are not perpendicular to the block. The instructions say I can tap them with a rubber mallet, or remove them, put them in a vise, and then hit them to get them "bent" enough to get the gasket and head on.
How much can one bend these studs? The worst one I have is about a 1/3 diameter off. The rest appear to just be hanging up on the threads.
I hope I haven't done irreparable harm to my block.
I had this exact same problem. Once I finally got all the studs installed, they turned out not exactly parallel. I wasnt sure which studs were crooked and by how much though. I think I had some crooked in one way and others going opposite. Anyway I did try some bending but that seemed scary to me but it worked on the right side but the left side was worse. I was able to either cut the holes in the gasket bigger or drilled them bigger...I cant remember but the gaskets were the easy part. The thing that helped me the most on the left side was drilling some of the holes in the heads bigger. Jake did this with his original design..I believe anyway..because the studs he made at that time were the same diameter all the way up and he would drill out the holes in the heads to accomodate the large diameter stud. So with the smaller diameter studs I still drilled some of the holes in the left head bigger which gave me some more allowance and I was able to slide the head on some of the way. I had to do some pounding as it got tighter and once the studs cleared the holes on the top I put some nuts on it and screwed in the rest of the way down.
Hopefully this helps because I know how you feel. I am just a grease monkey, not a professional and I was hesitant to do this job but with Jakes help and encouragement I did it and I'm still amazed that I got it all back together and it actually works. I have almost 6000 miles since I did the job and she just runs great. Hopefully it works out for you. Like Sub said it would be good to talk to Jake, he is the master.
I think I've got it. I followed Jake's instructions and tapped on several in the block with increasing force until they lined up. The two studs with the alignment thickness on them I had to remove and hold tight and tap them very hard. I did this three times (remove, hammer, replace), did a test fit with the old head gasket (lining up pretty darn good) and then tried to set the head on. It looks like it should go with just a touch of persuasion, so I'll wait until I have the new head gasket and then try again.
I appreciate everybody's input, and am especially inspired by pimpdaddycaddy91; 6,000 miles and he did it himself! I hope I've kept everything clean enough. I am afraid of something getting in there and eating up a bearing or something.
I was also afraid of getting shavings in the engine. I should have done a better job of masking everything off cause I didnt realize just how much aluminum shavings were created and that they just go EVERYWHERE. I used a shop vac and vacuumed the heck out of it over and over again and I must have got everything. I also changed the oil and filter after only about 50 miles because of the thought of just one or two shavings in the engine and all the dust from being open. So far so good.