Since I have been on the subject of Shovelheads lately (drag racing stories) it came into my mind to give a tip on torquing Shovel head bolts. This is a trick that was taught to me by Dick Conger over 25 years ago while I was working for him in his Harley dealership in Pueblo Colorado. If you are sharp you may note that is somewhat similar to the factory torquing sequence for Evolution head bolts, but Dick taught me this before the Evolution was even born!
I say that it is similar to the evolution torque pattern, in that it tightens down on each side of the oil drain hole first and then goes to the opposite side. The idea is to put a good tight squeeze on the drain hole first, since that is generally the source of head gasket failures on a Shovel. Of course it is far different from the Evolution sequence in respect to torque steps, as the Evo sequence is more concerned with cylinder distortion.
A little lube on the threads as well as under the head of the bolt will help keep your torque readings accurate. And don't forget, you also want to reach the torque setting of your wrench while it is still moving, because it takes more torque to start a bolt moving than it does to turn it. For that reason it helps to plan ahead so that you don't run out of room to "swing" your torque wrench just before you reach the full torque reading.
I know some will say that you don't need a torque wrench for Shovel headbolts. I even talked to a tech at S&S recently (who will remain nameless) that said he doesn't use one for Shovelheads. My only answer would be, that of the thousand or so Shovel engines I have torqued using this method, the failure rate has been zero, or very close to it. Happy wrenching!