Excuse the size of the pics below, but with Photobucket now gone I'm testing IMGUR for hosting the pics and it doesn't seem to resize as nicely.
Since the last post I've gone over the new heads and pulled all the springs so I could clean up around the valves. Most seems good after that a couple were still seeping a bit. A little lapping with a very fine lapping fluid seems to have gotten them sealing perfect or good enough for me anyway.
Now that that was done I started taking apart the engine on Sunday to get ready for the head swap. Pulled off the altenator, took off the clutch fan (for access to turn the crank later) drained the radiator and and took off the top radiator, and heater hoses. Fluid was good looked a lot cleaner that I was expecting. Even found the slight mystery leak on the left hand side was actually coming from the drain tap.
Next started on the Dizzy. Tried undoing the tach cable and found it was really stiff to turn. Didn't remember it being this tough 7 years ago when I put it on. Turns out it didn't want to separate and actually unscrewed the entire tach drive gear unit from the dizzy!
Unplugged the wires at the spark plugs, and left them on the dizzy as I removed it. labelled the wire seperators so I knew which wire was which for later. It all looked in ok condition as it came out. After it was out I did notice the oil pressure tube fitting looked to be leaking a bit so there's one more thing to add to the list of things to replace. Also as I was pulling wires i knocked the vacuum line off the wiper door actuator. As some oil seeped out I'm going to have to figure out how that got there (although I am guessing the loose vacuum connection I found may have been sucking oil mist from under the hood for a long time). Actuator still worked well under vacuum so at least it's not too much to worry about.
Next up pulled the carby off, and unbolted the intake manifold. It was held on with about a metric ton of solid grey RTV at both ends but using a putty knife I managed to get through it and separate the ends and eventually pull it off. Seems to have super thick intake gaskets on it as well.
Most of the intake gasket seals looked like they were ok and not actually leaking into the ports, although the amount of oil residue in the intake runners was about what I expected given what I expect to be poorly sealing valves, and from when the PCV was actually blowing oil mist through back into the carb.
Started pulling bits off the intake and the water neck came off easy as it had a sweet reusable gasket under it sealing everything up. Unfortunately Bubba had had his way with the thermostat and there are 8 large holes drilled in it. One I have heard off for letting air bubbles bleed through, but 8?
Leaving that I headed back to the heads. Removed the left rocker cover and started pulling the rocker arms and pushrods. Most were ok, although on one I'm picking there must have been a bit play than there should be as it looked like the nut had started cutting into the pivot. Pic doesn't show it but there was a little loose material in between them.
So by this stage I have an engine that looked a little like this, so I thought while I'm here I'll check on the lifters.
And at this point is where things start going downhill in my quick and easy head swap plans. Pulled the lifters and they turn out to be solid roller lifters and not hydraulic like I thought, based on the fact I can't get any movement at all out of the pushrod seat on them. That's not really too much of a problem. What was is that on Cylinder 3 they looked like this with a bit of marking on one of the rollers (exhaust side).
Then I pulled the lifters for Cylinder 5, they looked sweet. Next Cylinder 1's lifters, not so much. Roller is toast which was the best part of the problem. First pic is what I found in my sump 3 years ago and always wondered what it was. Second pic is it's source
All I can say is that in the last 3 years I am glad all those little needle bearings didn't manage to escape and grenade the whole engine, especially on some of the full throttle runs around Lakeside raceway earlier this year!
So at this point I'm thinking I'm now up for a a new set of lifters and probably a new cam as peering down the #1 lifter bore I can see matching etching on the cam lobes. So next I go to remove the last set of lifters and.... nope.
The back exhaust port lifter on cylinder 7 will only pull out some of the way before it catches. Tried a little bit more force but no way it is coming all the way out. All I can think is that maybe something like the roller pin has backed out a bit and it stopping it coming up through the lifter bore.
So now I think my quick head swap has turned into pulling the whole engine and trying to get the cam and stubborn lifter out, getting it rebuilt by someone else, or looking for a 2nd hand replacement. However with a wedding coming up in just over a month it's probably gonna be next year some time before I can save up the $$$ again for any more parts let alone a new heart for the vette.