we are running a 96 5.7L vortec engine in a very nice 55 chevy pickup. we are using the original FI and ECM with settings to match the non-smog configuration. runs great. however, we used the original style edelbrock water pump that is made for the pre-vortec engines and has the bypass port and is designed for v-belts, not serpentine belts. without a bypass, we had to drill a 1/8th inch hole in the thermo to get some cold water circulation. we had a light-bulb moment this week. why cant we just use the original gasket as a template and drill the hole into the block water jacket just like it existed for the first forty years? your thoughts?