Engine Assembly

After thoroughly degreasing the sides of the block and the heads, I removed the valve and timing chain covers and then prepared each piece for painting by bead-blasting it, thoroughly cleaning it, or both. This was a taxing and dirty process. The parts must be VERY clean before painting, which is tough. I found that a good way to stay motivated and find the energy to keep at it was to think about what it would be like to have to do it all over again... yikes! The covers were painted with two coats of POR Engine Enamel, which I highly recommend.

During this process, I managed to get all of the exhaust manifold studs out without sheering any of them off! A few were simple enough to remove with vice grips, but I had about nine that were troublesome. Usually a moderate amount of heat with a torch got them out, but I had four that were particularly pesky. For those, I really had to get them glowing hot, then they popped right out with the vice grips. I was on the verge of buying a MAPP gas torch, but just kept the propane on it simply by not wanting to waste 45 minutes driving to the store and back. Propane worked.

Given the condition of most of the bolts that I removed, I decided to replace all of them. It's hard enough to find the right sizes at all, much less in yellow zinc! So, I've decided that it's ok to stray from originality here and I'm using regular zinc bolts to put the engine back together. Between a few hardware stores and a bolt warehouse, I found what I needed.

Finished covers back on with new gaskets. And two coatings of POR-15 in "the valley."

Getting closer...

Right side: exhaust manifold attached (with plenty of anti-seize) and new Delco 110A alternator attached.

The "valley." Further bullet-proofed with silicone hoses and a stainless steel water pipe. For whatever reason, the original one rots when all other pipes are fine. There's no point in restoring the original piece - this stainless unit is cheap and won't corrode.

Left side. Ready for the catalytic converter.