We never took the heads off our previous 350 bomber, but felt obligated to go deeper into the 454 considering the money we’d spent. We found the Rat was 0.060-over, which meant 468 cubes but no chance of an inexpensive rebuild in the future. The good news was that there was no ring ridge, the cylinder crosshatch was still there, and the block had been decked so that the piston height was around 0.008 in the hole. With flat-top pistons, compression was about 8.8:1 once we scraped all the carbon off. The engine was reassembled using a complete Fel-Pro gasket set from PAW. Don’t forget that big-blocks require thread sealer on the head bolts.