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This is my first time to tear down a 327 SBC engine. When removing the heads there are bolts on the lower end of the head (above the spark plugs), are they the only bolts I need to remove before I lift off the heads. There are 6 bolts under the valve covers.... do I need to remove them?
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Grab yourself a good chiltons manual and read as much as you can about engine overhaul. It won't tell you everything you might think of, but it'll give you a good start. Anything you can't find in there you can google for or ask here.
 

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If the heads are difficult to remove you need to make sure that you have all of the head bolts out. There is a chance that you can damage the heads trying to remove them if they are not all out. depending on how much crud is in the heads some of the bolts may be hidden. They are not all the same length so it would be a good idea to remember where they go back.
 

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There are 17 head bolts per SBC head: 8 are outside the valve cover, below the exhaust ports and are the short bolts, 9 are under the valvecover - 7 of these are staggered in-between the rocker arm studs and the valvesprings and are the long bolts, 2 of them are in the bottom corner of the head area under the valvecover at the oil drain area, these are medium length and sometimes will be hidden under sludge.
 
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