All the gasket surfaces on the heads looked like they needed to be prepped for new gaskets and reinstallation, so I took a very fine wire cup brush on a Dremel to gently clean off any stuck-on residue from the previous gaskets. I wanted to be really careful not to mar the surface at all, and the Dremel did just the trick.
There was also a lot of carbon build-up on the valves, so I did the same thing there—careful not to do anything more than remove a little bit of the carbon. At the very least, they look a little cleaner.
The exhaust gaskets looked pretty nasty and as you can see in the photo above pretty much shredded to pieces as I pulled them out. I used a hooked pick to get some purchase and pull it out careful not to scratch anything inside the head. To be honest, I don't know if I needed to be as careful as I was, but I figured I'd be better safe than sorry.
When I was done I blew the head out with air to make sure there wasn't anything inside and wiped it all off to make sure it was ready for the next steps. I did this with both heads.
Little by little, we're making progress.