4 Apr 2020
Lizard and Headers and Engine (oh my!)

So this update really has three main things and several small things I did but they were all interleaved; I've tried to lump them together for readability.

First up: I broke out the LizardSkin coating for the interior.

First, of course, I put down a coat of epoxy primer (not pictured).  Then once that was dry (and it was warm enough outside), two coats of LizardSkin Sound Control.
It's got more of a texture than regular paint.  Sprayed easily enough with their gun.
I'd opted for the "black" for the sound control (although it was at best a grey), and the "white" for the ceramic thermal insulation.  The white is definitely white.  Two coats here too.

Never has such a rough floorboard had such nice coatings applied.
Followed up with a coat of regular catalyzed black just to protect.  Floorboards: complete!

I've mentally lumped things on the to-do list as "regular" and "really hard" based on my assessment of my own skill level and my understanding of what needs to happen.  Removing the smog equipment parts of the headers has been marked as "hard" because I am still a lousy weldor.  Doing the rear gears was marked as "hard".  Sorting the electrical *should* be marked as hard but it's not, and I'm still looking forward to it.
The header primaries are 1 5/8" I. D.  I picked up some 1 3/4" tube and it seems to match the O.D pretty well.  Let's start with this one that doesn't have to be pretty.   The 1 3/4" has been cut in half lengthwise so it can make patches easily.
Yep, this is what gets cut off.
And here it is with its replacement.
Oh.  That's not so bad, once I get through the welds it's really a small spot to weld up.
It's not pretty - I don't know that I understand what the welder was doing (even on "B", it went into spray mode quite a bit) but it looks like it'll work.
The moved O2 bung looks like it'll work too.
Filled with optimism, I moved on to the other two ports.  This is not pretty but should suffice.
And again here - unpretty but probably okay.
"I've got a great idea!  Let's use the TIG to knock down some of those bead-piles!"

-- leads to blowing through, twice.  Sigh.
The internet said "To remove the coating from Hedman hedders, you should take them to a machine shop and have them hot-dipped overnight, or sandblast".  Yeah, with the coronavirus and not having a cabinet big enough.. neither of those will work.

What I found was if you get most of the coating off with a wire brush, lacquer thinner works well for what remains.
Not all that well cleaned up near the collector, but I don't think I care.
VHT white header primer, followed by their white header paint.  If there's a leak, I should be able to see it on the white.
same thing on the other side.
The header paint cans give a heat cycling recipe to cure the paint and seal it from chemicals - 200 degrees for 30 minutes, let cool, 400 for 30 minutes, let cool, and then 600 for 30 minutes.

I don't have an oven and I certainly can't let the engine handle it.  What I do have, though, is a cheap heat gun.  You can see the difference in the finish as it warms.
On "low" I can get to ~275, and on high I saw 380.  I can't do the 600 degree final heating but it should protect some from my greasy hands.

The second pass on the second header is still pending but otherwise they're ready to put somewhere safe, as soon as I figure out where that might be.

So with the frame painted and the suspension *mostly* installed, no reason not to put the engine back in. Hopefully I'll be able to do it without tearing up the new paint.
Poof, it's back in.

No, there's no in-progress shots; between the sloped driveway, the wide expansion joint, and the lip between the garage and the driveway I had my hands full.

Did I get it back in without scratching things up?  I was very careful.  Yes.  Yes, I did.
No, wait, crap.  No I didn't.
The back of the engine is too close to the firewall for this cotter pin to clear.  Sigh.

I'll have to scuff and reshoot.  Or ignore.  Pretty sure there's a wire channel that bolts to the firewall right around here.
One of the concerns I had was if - in the fourteen years since I built the engine the cylinder walls had coated themselves with rust.

No, they hadn't.
Also as shown.

New head gaskets, new head bolts.

Did wipe them down with more oil and clean out the dirt that had made its way in.
Heads back on (not torqued yet).  Put additional orange paint on them.

A concern:

I'd mentioned back in '06 that one of the pass side small head bolts at the valley needed a helicoil.  When I pulled the head bolts this time, a small chunk of helicoil came out of one of the driver's side head bolts.  I find myself wondering how many other helicoils are on the engine and how bad they are.  Suppose it'll become obvious, one way or another.

Also there were other things that were done.
So apparently when I was doing rust repair on the pass side floorboard or on the tunnel, I got the vent tube for the transmission too hot.  This is not going to vent well.
Heat-shrink and 3/8" steel tube to the rescue.
I found the front brake hose brackets.  They were not in the same place in the garage so it's probably more impressive to me than to you that I found them.
Also I bought a set of LS-era pedals just to get the switches and these brackets, so I can add them to my pedals.
I can't add the clutch start switch until I know where the bottom of the clutch travel is - but I'll probably do something that bolts to those four holes on the left rather than try to weld it in.
Otherwise the switches line up pretty well.
Cut the protruding part of the column base off for clearance for the clutch rod.

Reckon that's it. The rest is assembly, near as I can tell, or at least I hope.

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