is there a sure-fire way to tell if a head gasket has been replaced? everything on the top (that i can see),manifold gaskets, valve cover, and many other parts are new,(so i really have no reason to doubt their word)but from the valve cover down is still greasy.(no sign of R/R). also, does this engine have a timing chain, or belt?
I has a timing chain. The area from the cylinder head down, AKA the block, might not have been cleaned when the head gasket was replaced. I’d be surprised that the outside of the cylinder head would not have been.
Can you see the EDGE of the head gasket if you bend down or use a mirror? If it’s new, the metal parts of it should be shiny.