Nice to hear from you David and Mike! Yes, I have been derelict in my duties as safety czar. I have been extremely busy and not having much fun at all! If I can get this head gasket behind me and the new floor in the motor boat, I'll be in much better shape.
David, thanx for the tip on the valve and o-ring. I think I will pass on the valve at this time, since it is so easy to remove the cross over tube. I had the cross over tube out about a year ago to check for carbon and "adjust" the EGR valve. Bought a new o-ring at that time, and could not believe it was about $14!!! I saved the old one since it still looked like new.
Also, I think it is Jeff Sr that is really big on using Stainless Steel cap screws on exhaust manifolds. Looking at this job, my plan is to leave the exhaust manifold bolted to the head, and unbolt the "trap oxidizer" tube from the head, turbo, and egr valve. Since the trap was replaced about a year ago, these bolts should be relatively "unsiezed".
Concerning the timing chain & rails, the dealer says the chain AND RAILS are recommended at 120 to 150K miles. He also quoted $700 - $800 dollars and two maybe three days.
I am hoping some one will have the experience to advise if the rails are really required. It will add considerably to the project (time wise) and don't mind doing it if it is needed. Seems there would be a lot more info on this site if it was an issue.
I was also pleased to find out the new Snap-on triple square socket I bought for the rear axle is the same wrench needed for the head bolts!
Waiting patiently for advice before I start the project!