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So i'd like to do the gaskets and i'd like some pointers.

I want to use quality parts, i hate shite that doesnt work properly and ends up meaning i have to redo the job.

I've seen the likes of this:
https://www.turnerengineering.co.uk/stc-4082-v8-gasket-set-top-c2x20634423
Turners have a good name, so i'm hoping this is a decent kit, but anyone know?

Is it worth looking into any of the aftermarket upgraded bits like Cometic Gaskets or ARP head bolts? Most modern engines use MLS gaskets so they're clearly superior, but do they work properly on an old thing like this?

I also need to reseal the front timing cover and fit a new alloy sump pan, any gotchas here?

Also pondering, do i pull the engine out the car? or is it okay in situ?

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Hi Ara,
HGs must be Elring is the main thing. I got my kits from Island, similar price to your link.

No need to pull the engine, but expect some pain around the steering column/ heat shields though

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I did most of mine recently using the Turner kit - comprehensive kit and as I didn't strip the engine completely I've been left with more than one or two things I didn't need. I think the heads were Elring. I would check though that the kit is correct for your model year.

It came with a cork sump gasket - but not the right one for my 2000/2001 m/y car.

I did all you' re suggesting with the engine in place - and I'm a relative newbie to that level of engine dismantling.

As has been said the heatshields will probably be a pain. I got the pass side heatshield and manifold off without removing the inner wheel arch, but needed to pull it out for the rebuild, so if I were you I'd pull them both off at the outset.

I also had issues with my steering column and ended up taking the grinder to it.

Gd recommended the ARP studs so I went with that. Glad I did as they were really easy to fit and no worrying about the 90' torque/stretch thing.

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+1 on Elring gaskets and ARP studs. Make the job so much easier and you know the heads are torqued down properly, 35 - 50 - 65 ft/lbs.