Its just one of those things you need to have money put aside for so when the time comes. You are more than likely not going to blow gaskets if you drive with sense for a while and make WOT passes all the time
to show my hold card, I'm thinking most folks blow gaskets as a result of hard use over an extended period- as in, heads floated because head bolts are stretched as opposed to a catastrophically blown gasket.. I've yet to read about a single catastrophic blown HG here or elsewhere..
floating heads due to bad paired mating surface you can't control.. floating heads due to lack of QC of the bolts you can't control.. neither can you control if the bolts were installed and torqued correctly- but you can at least check that..
what I have seen here and elsewhere are pistons being cracked in half.. that speaks very well of OE HG's.. but honestly, I'd rather have a blown HG I can fix under a shade tree with the cab on than I would a cracked piston, which means the engine is coming out of there..
I'm thinking that HG's are blown by subtle stretches of the bolts over time, which attacks their elasticity, and allows them to stretch even more the next.. they don't have to break to cause a BHG, just enough to unseat the gasket ever so slightly..
so, this thread wasn't started in effort to help out folks that race these rigs, but instead for folks that run them sensibly..
here is where I'm going with it, and what I'm working with as an opinion-
the PCM 'shouldn't' allow you to load the cylinder pressure up enough to blow gaskets.. even canned tuning, though it presses the envelope further than OE, shouldn't toe that line either.. so, the only reason cylinder pressures will get high enough to either blow a gasket or crack a piston is if something is wrong- wrong like:
-stuck injector, which you can't help, but you can hope to prevent by using good fuel with decent additive, and removing air..
-bad torque on the bolts, maybe from the factory.. you can't help, but you can certainly check..
-bad mating surface on decks to face.. you can't help it at all..
-bad/incorrect information from key sensors, such as but surely not limited to the FRP(ICP)..
I could go on, but I'll spare y'all....
the H&S allows a pretty good range of defuels.. I know a person can't prevent all HG failures, but it seems to me these things are pretty dang tough to blow anyway.. I'm trying to amass reasons leading up to blowing them, and adjusting defuels to mitigate those.. I can't adjust for mating surfaces or stencil/shear strength of bolts, but I can adjust how much the cylinder is allowed fuel with or without proper readings from the various sensors... that, is what I'm aiming to collect by asking the question..