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Piston-to-head clearances should always be checked to keep from destroying something when you fire it up. If the clearances are too close, the pistons can contact a valve, and something will give. Piston-to-head clearance on our Hemi is .050 without the gasket, and piston-to-valve clearance is .230 on the intake and .125 on the exhaust. We have more than enough.