Did the machine shop resurface the head? Some times the shops just run a

Don't know, actually.

sanding block over it. Also, when you torqued down the head did you follow an established torque pattern and use that pattern to torque the head down in 3 or 4 successive levels of tightness. If you didn't torque it down using

I did a spiral pattern out from the center, in three passes.  I
don't have a manual for this motor, but they shop guys did look
up the torque values (triplet) for me.  I made up my own pattern
based upon the stuff I've seen for other engines.

this method, I would drain the water, pull out the plugs, loosen the nuts, again in the approved pattern and in a few steps, then re-torque the nuts properly. That may get it done. If it still leaks, you might try popping the head off, cleaning off any residual gasket material, and putting the head back on the block dry with no fasteners. Now see if you can stick feeler gauges between the block deck and head as a means to check for warping. If you detect warping, even with the studs in place, you should be able to get a pretty good feel for how straight the deck of the block is with a good precision straight edge. The head could easily be checked as well using the same straight edge. I have worked on engines before with studs in the block. It's kinda a pain. One of the things that took me a lot of time on those was
to clean the crud from around the base of each stud. If you missed some
material there, it might be possible that it is interfering with the fit,
not allowing the head to seat properly.

Everything was very clean so far as I can remember.  The leaks are in
the center, both sides.

-- Jim

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