So, it wasn’t the head gaskets. Best guess is it was leaking from the timing chain bolts, which would be NO surprise, the engine is all original, as far as I can see, but there have been half a dozen chuckleheads inside it over the years, all armed with different colors of RTV and not a one of them with a gasket scraper. One manifold coolant crossover was half-unblocked so maybe that made it overheat? Tough to say. Everything cleaned up real nice and I’m treating it to a couple cans of paint. I don’t have a really good underhood “before” picture, but here’s a corner that will give you some idea. Note: the one centimeter section of paint which remains on the timing cover, the two different colors of blue overlapping on the valve cover, and standing oil on top of the intake manifold. All important details.
So I am balls deep in motor right now, I haven’t the foggiest idea how or why I worked on cars before having a parts washer. How did ANYTHING ever hold oil? Oh, right they didn’t, for the most part. This motor has been a sludgemonster for quite a while, seems to have been weeping out of the hand-tight intake manifold bolts and down from the four-different-flavors-of-RTV valve cover gaskets. Dribbling down the back of the timing cover, and out of the back of the intake manifold by the distributor. Everything is gently preserved in a quarter inch of dusty sludgegrime. Stripped and scrubbed the valve covers, the intake manifold (what a mother fucking boat anchor holy jesus christ), timing cover, and crank pulley. Used Naval Jelly to strip the rust off of the exhaust manifolds and heat shields. Scrubbed everything as best I could, and then shot it with some engine paint. I’m into her for about $120 (and $23 worth of ibuprophen) now, gaskets and timing chain along with the paint and the stripping stuff. Here’s some progress pics.
This shit is taking forever, BUT, it’ll be the last time I have to do it for a long while. I’m going to do the motor mounts (and the transmission mount) while the manifolds and shit are off, only makes sense, because I have plenty of time. Why do I have plenty of time, you ask? WELL. At the very end of the night, I tried to pull the choke shaft out of my Carter BBD to do the Idle Tube Fix ™, and lo and behold I managed to shear the heads of BOTH the screws that hold the choke butterfly on. Turned over the shaft and lo and behold my screws were staked into place after tightening. FUUUUUUUUUUU.
I doubt highly I can remove those screws, and I’d be hard pressed to tell you where to go for Carter parts in town, I could find brass screws but that shaft? Maybe if I go dig around in the pull-a-part for a few hours. Plus this carb has been a royal pain in my balls (and the balls of thousands of others, if the insanely high number of forum hits on a google search for “carter bbd issues” is any indication), and a rebuilt from the parts store is $240. Frankly, I’ll be fucked if I spend a fucking DIME on a newly rebuilt Carter BBD when I have a Road Demon Jr 625 waiting on the bench for a thorough cleaning and an electric choke, and a 4bbl aluminum “Crosswinds” intake being shipped to me like… Monday. There’s the slight possibility that the stock throttle cable and kickdown lever assembly won’t fit right with the new intake, but a fix for that (which will very nicely transfer over to the new motor when it is ready) is $150 worth of Lokar shit away, and was very much on my list for the engine swap anyways. Sigh, it’s just money, right? Anyhow it’s stuck me in a very minor carman’s funk. I didn’t actually want to spend the money on this Lokar shit (and some brackets and shit from FBO Systems), or Bouchillon but at least it pays forward.