Mill the heads are no? And which head gaskets?

Zero Signal

Active Member
Feb 24, 2003
Tucson, AZ
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I'm removing the stock heads since I think I have a blown head gasket. I'm gonna take the heads into the machine shop to have them cleaned in their oven/acid steam bath thingy.

Should I bother spending the extra $60 to mill them for flatness? I didn't pull the motor, so I won't be getting the block done. I'm just going to clean the deck surface. If I go ahead with that, what is the cutoff (mill depth) for requiring shorter push rods? I really don't want to buy new push rods or lifters. I'd rather just not mill the heads at all than buy a bunch of parts.

Lastly, what is the best head gasket for a stock engine? I was thinking of just the regular Fel-Pro stuff you can get at the local parts places.

BTW, Hondabond HT is the best sealant ever. I needed a 24" pry-bar and about half an hour to get my water pump off. The glue was stronger than the gasket itself. I've never had that kind of bond with any Permatex stuff.
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May 16, 2005
Mesa, Az
I wouldn't worry about getting them milled at all man, the performance would be minor. On a side note, I found this Porting page for the stock lower the other day that would probably be worth taking a look at while you've got the motor torn down some


10 Year Member
Jul 19, 2007
Vernon BC
I would think that if you have blown a head gasket there is the possibility of having a warped head. The machine shop should be able to tell you if they are true or not.


Apparently my ex-husband made that mistake.
15 Year Member
Jun 14, 2004
Acworth, GA
If the head is warped, then it has to be milled. If it's still straight, then it doesn't need to be milled. You really don't have much choice in the matter. Not sure how far you can go before you need to change pushrods. I would think if you were just milling it because it was a little out of whack, then it's going to be negligible anyway.

I'd just use a factory replacement Felpro. Go to Head studs if you can swing it. It makes the torque on the heads more consistent, and easier.