I haven't had a problem with Felpro's steel shim head gasket. Remove the dowel pins, spray surface with WD-40, and "hone" with a Norton honing stone, a new one. Both the heads and block. Clean with lacquer thinner.
If reusing the dowel pins, take them to a bench grinder, and grind a flat spot, approx .030" wide top to bottom and install in block. This slot is an air relief to allow air in the hole to escape so block won't crack on the other side.
I myself throw away the OE pins and use .25 inch dia stainless steel rod, and make them have a .001-.002 inch slip fit.
Give a man a rescued dog for the health of both their souls. May 2017 ROTM Winner - Thank you!
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CUBS - 2016 World Series Champions - Thank you, Joe Madden … enjoy your next chapter.