I am pretty confident that the intake manifold is sealed up but it is definitely worth checking before I start messing with the valves. I used some Edelbrock intake gaskets with high temp black RTV on the ends. The block was milled slightly to zero deck the flat top pistons but the clearances seemed to be very consistent when I set the intake in place prior to final installation. Thanks for all of the input.
Any pros and cons to having bronze valve guide sleeves installed if excessive guide clearances are indeed the problem?