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In the parts manual for the engine I'm rebuilding (Skoda Estelle/120, RWD, rear mounted engine) I see they list washers for all the head bolts. I have changed the way to secure the head against the block by means of studs instead, so the block (which is aluminum) won't have the threaded holes damaged by future works involving removing the head. In the manual they are described as "washers", the illustration looks like flat washers. I also see them in the Haynes manual.

My question is: Should I still use washers under the nuts there? This engine had none!

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TL DR: Use the flat washer.

As @SolarMike said, one of the functions of the flat washer is to spread the load. The other function of a flat washer is to ensure the bolt (or nut in your case) doesn't gall (dig into) the aluminum (EDIT: I did misread the question a little. As the OP and Zaid pointed out, this is an aluminum block with a cast iron head. This makes the washer a little less of a need due to galling because it won't happen as easily). If the nut was to do this, you won't get a clean torque on the fastener which can cause issues (as I'm sure you're well aware). An uneven torque across a head is a blown head gasket waiting to happen.

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    Correct, although this engine is aluminum block/cast iron head... – Aram Alvarez Apr 11 '17 at 18:48
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    It's less critical to have that washer if the head is cast iron – Zaid Apr 12 '17 at 14:53
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Yes, part of the function of a washer is to spread the load. If the manual or parts list lists them then they should be there - someone in the past may have made a mistake and left them out...

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If you bought a stud kit it should include the washers.

If you just found some studs that fit, you may have problems getting the proper torque, since you have dramatically changed the clamping system.

Either way, I would use the washers.

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