Replacing the head gasket on my 1917 Maxwell. It has 14 7/16 fine thread bolts and is very similar to a Model T. I plan to torque it to 55 lbs. Here's my question, it was totally rebuilt during the early 1960's but never run. I noticed the rebuilder put heavy flat washers under each bolt head and according to my Maxwell spare engine and the parts book, Maxwell used just the bare bolts. Should I leave the washers off? If I do use them will it change how the bolts react when torqued?
I don't know how the washers effect the torque, but I'd check the bolt length and the hole depth (head and block combined) to be sure the washers aren't intended to compensate for bolts that are too long and/or crud in the bottom of the holes.
If the head and or block has been planed then you have to either use washers or grind the end of the head bolts. NOTE always no matter what engine you are putting together you should always put the head on WITHOUT a head gasket and see if the bolt goes all the way down. If even ONE bolt does not go down then I always grind the end off each bolt.
Also what Henry Petrino says is correct you must make sure that there is nothing in the bottom of the bolt holes.
When you clean up the bottom of the bolt holes and blow them out with compressed air, crud will go flying, so please cover the top of the engine and wear goggles!