What is a good torque setting for the head bolts?
Generally 45 to 50 lbs. . Done in increments . 20/30/40/45.
You didn't say what kind of head you have. Above is for iron. Start up drive for thirty miles or so. Let engine cool down overbite and re torque cold engine Check again after 5 to 700 miles or next oil change.
Aluminum has a slightly different procedure. Torque to 45 only and use waters under bolt caps so head doesn't get gawked up. Retorque with engine hot.
Try to use NEW head bolts. And no lube of unyoking on the threads.
Clean out the boltholes real good.
Most important is to torque the center bolts first, in sequence.
That gasket is narrow between the center cylinders, where most gaskets give it up.
Use of a gasket sealer , like CopperCoat or heavy metallic pigment aluminum enamel spray paint is helpful for lasting results.
As for aluminum heads, makers say re-torque to setting used after motor cools down.
Yep, reverse what George posted and you will have it right.
For years I never used a torque wrench. When I was younger an old mechanic told me to make sure you start in the center and work your way out and tighten down evenly until they are 'good and tight'.
I use a torque wrench now which is the best way.
The key is tighten them down evenly and start from the middle.