I pulled my 20 year old Mercruiser 7.4L (454) out of the boat today. It is in need of a top-end rebuild (valves and head gasket), so I thought it would be easier all-round if I pulled the engine.
Here is a photo of the engine safely on the ground ready for tear-down. I did a leak test to see where the problems were prior to pulling the heads. Cylinders 1,2,8 are OK . . . 3,4,7 are leaking via the intake valve . . . 5,6 are leaking via the exhaust valve.
I still need to remove the exhaust manifolds prior to pulling the heads off. Lots of rust on the exhaust bolts, I will need to drill the heads off a few of them.