I'm almost embarrassed to put this out there, but my frustration level has overcome the embarrassment. I recently took the valve cover off my L-head to adjust the tappetts and can't seem to get the valve cover back on. The bolts on the crankcase ventilator and the accelerator linkage don't seem to be long enough to reach into the threads, which is crazy because they certainly came off. All I did differently, was cleaned it, and put one coat of primer and paint.

The only thing I could figure out was that the new gasket was too thick, so I took it off and went metal to metal just to see if I could get them started and still could not - what am I missing?

I did not take off the exhaust manifold, I'm just working around it and have plenty of room, I just cant get the bolts started.

Just need some more elbow grease??