The Big Day

The next morning I got to work on the valve covers. The blue gasket has to be stretched to fit on the top (do not try to set it on the bottom, it won’t fit), and getting the cover back on the valves is not easy with the gasket in place. It is a very tight squeeze, and you have to practice doing it several times without touching the gasket to finally get it to work.
I’m able to get 3 bolts into the top, but the 4th one (front) won’t go – on either side. I remove everything, and verify that the bolt does indeed insert into the threads, so I realize that it is an alignment problem. I can’t get it to work. Leo shows up with a flashlight and a screwdriver, looks in the hole, and then bends the hole on the cover with a screwdriver so that the bolt can move over.

So, now putting everything back together. The distributor after all the gaskets had been laid, also has a little gasket that comes with the intake manifold kit. I replaced the gasket on the distributor, and then did my best to try to get it to align the way it was when we took it out. It had moved a lot. I experimented with 2 different positions, but it really only went in one position. So, we left it there. Leo thought adjusting the timing would not be a really big deal if we were wrong.

The new position
I tighten the distributor cap down with the philips,
plugging in the electrical connectors that had been removed,
and then reconnected the spark plug leads using the firing sequence printed on the front of the engine,

and the numbers on the spark wires.

A few had been left in, so I knew which way the rotor turned.
I reconnected most of the cables, and mounted some of the brackets, but I was a little short on bolts. One of the really long bolts did not really fit into any of the remaining holes, so we had probably swapped a short bolt for a long one somewhere. All of the bolts had fallen out of the little holding bins that I had been using at one point into the front end of the truck, so that explains why a few were lacking. I reconnected the throttle and the transmission relay, but initially couldn’t find the clip on the transmission relay. I later found it, but we jerry-rigged the clip with a c-clip, and I left it at that. Doing this again, remember this clip is tiny, and pay attention to where you put it.
I initially passed the thermocouple wires to the carb under the filter when I put it back together (see pic which is wrong). They go outside, and mount on the filter. I had scratched the surface of one thermocouple lead to know which one goes on the right side.
The input to the water pump was very tricky, and I did not pay enough attention to the gaskets on it. The sequence in this picture leaked pretty badly when we put coolant in it, and Leo had to retighten everything up.
We rebuilt 3 or 4 vacuum lines with hose, including what I think is a vacuum splitter (I’m not sure), and stuck them together, and put the ignition coil back on in the back with the 13mm bolts. It was a little tricky figuring out how to do this, and we experimented with a few different positions.

Then we were finally ready to try to turn the engine over to check the engine timing (before we put the air filter back on). I reconnected the battery lead to the negative terminal, and the battery was low, so it initially didn’t turn over. We gave it some charge, and adjusted the throttle a little, and finally it ran. It sounded ok, so I think we got the distributor position right. No misfiring.

I wanted to air test the coolant system especially before putting in coolant and doing an oil change, but Leo was reticent. He wanted to change the oil and try right away with coolant. So, I did the oil and filter change, and then we put some coolant in, and sure enough there were 3 leaks – the thermostat was leaking (I had replaced the gasket with the one that came with the intake manifold kit, but the old thermostat o-ring that surrounds the thermostat that sits under this gasket was kind of warped. We replaced the thermostat, tightened the thermostat housing down pretty good, and then Leo went to work on the intake to the waterpump which was failing pretty badly. He eventually got everything tight there. But there was still a leak. This time we air pressure tested the system, and the leak appears to be coming from the radiator. So the radiator also has a problem.

Anyway, I was happy to have the mobility back on the truck even if the radiator leaked, and so I immediately took the dogs out for a much-needed run, and then had to work on getting insulin. I had only 1 unit left, my evening shot takes 20 units. I had $6 and my insulin costs $25. The pharmacy was several miles away in Espanola. At least I had the means to get to the pharmacy. It was also a good opportunity to test-drive the truck,and see how bad the radiator leak was, and whether the intake manifold gasket would hold.

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