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I recommend going to 0.026" head gaskets and bumping the compression while you are in there. Its one of those things that really pays off later if you ever cam it. Also, I would personally steer clear of beehives, there just have been too many failures lately. I would at least get something with a damper because if the outer spring fails, the damper can possibly keep the valve in place and not jack up the rest of the motor immediately, since these are interference engines.

I dont know if you have headers yet, but while the exhaust manifolds are already unbolted, throw on a set of used headers. 3/4 of the battle with doing headers is getting the damn exhaust manifold bolts off.

If you already have another set of heads and intake, might be worth it to do some reading, like what VIPER has been posting about, on how to port and clean up your own heads. Yea it will take about 8-12 hours, but its another one of those free-ish "while you are in there" things.

Id do the free mods while you are in there too like the throttle body bypass and the ICM cooling mod.

Dont forget to rip that opti apart and loctite EVERY SCREW. Also put a bead of RTV around the case as you put it back together.

Drill and tap out the weep hole in the new waterpump and put in a 90 degree brass fitting with a piece of tubing that will allow it to drain AROUND your opti should it ever fail. One of those things I wish I would have done while I was in there...

On your heads, its kinda simple but I would take a dremel and a little stone or cutter or a small circular file and clean up the oil drain back passages of casting flash and sharp edges.

Since all the shit on the front of the motor are already out and the manifolds, do some poly motor mounts and a poly trans mount in place of your surely sagging stockers.

Thats all I can think of right now.
 

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As long as you get all the dremel work done ahead of time you'll be fine.
 
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