Having the cylinder head off you could take the opportunity to regrind the valves ... at least check their integrity by pouring paraffin or something similar down the ports and watching for leaks - this is how engine buliders test before assembly.
I suspect my intervening with the valves is just as likely to shorten their lives as prolong them. Will try the parafin trick, though.
The most important aspect of assembly is ensuring cleanliness of all surfaces, ports and bolt holes.
Took the head into the local head doctor today and - fingers crossed - will get it back tomorrow. I'm secretly hoping it will have been skimmed, as that will take care of one surface...
So... plug all my holes with grease, attack with emery cloth, clean with paraffin? Is that about it?
And where the hell do you get pipecleaners these days?!
If the new water pump is supplied with a gasket I suggest you use it.
Still awaiting a response from Motaquip. Using a cut gasket and 'gasket in a tube' doesn't feel right, somehow.
I take it you have access to the tightening torque and sequence for the new head bolts.
Start at one, end at ten, torque to some level or other, advance by a further something degrees with an angle gauge. Sorted!
As an aside, I popped into the motor factor and asked about slopping a rust killer into the block. Was informed that they require the coolant system to be running at temperature in order to work. The product of choice is Holts Radflush 2 Step.
Belt kit, which is basically belt and tensioner, is £52. I've taken the executive decision to go with just replacing the belt at half that price. For a ha'p'orth of tar, etc etc etc...
Thanks for the response, Noel. Much appreciated.