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Restoration Journal

October 1, 2001

Got everything from the steering knucke to the wheel installed on the right side.  I won't give details; it was obviously the same process that occured on the left side.

The car is sitting on nothing but rubber for the first time in months!

October 2, 2001

For some reason, I didn't install the left front shock when I was bolting on the steering knuckle.  So that was tonight's task.  I removed the wheel, and bolted the shock in place.

While I had the wheel off, I also removed the hub from the spindle for a couple reasons: a) I wanted to re-install the grease seal, as it was slightly tilted, and b) to make sure I had packed the bearings properly.  There was a message posted on the email list today about how to do it.

My seal puller got the grease seal out easily, and I'm happy to say that I had sufficiently packed the bearings.  I worked a little more grease through them just for the hell of it, put them back, and re-installed the grease seal (this time nice and flush with the inside of the hub).

Bolted everything back on the car.  Except for the sway bar and packing the torsion bar receptacles with grease, the front suspension is done.  What's more, I think I did everything right!

October 4, 2001

I've been having trouble getting a hold of my engine builder, and I want to get it assembled, so I've decided to bolt the heads and intake on myself.  Folks on the mailing list say it's something I can do myself, and I've got the FSM and another book on small blocks to guide me.

Didn't actually work on the car tonight - just did some reading on head/intake assembly, so I can formulate a plan in my head.

October 5, 2001

Tonight's task was making sure the ports on the heads were clean. The valve compressor at Napa was a little pricey for one-time use, so I came up w/ my own compressor - a big C clamp and a pry bar. I placed the pry bar on the block side of the head, which acted as one contact point for the clamp, allowing the valve to open.

It worked well. I opened each valve on each head and got everything cleaned out. The heads are ready to go now.

Spent the rest of the night degreasing about half of the head bolts.

October 6, 2001

Back out to the garage. I installed the sway bar, steering gear box and the idler arm.

Also, Keith, my engine builder, got back to me. We scheduled Tuesday night for finishing off my 340, so I won't be doing that myself after all. I'm relieved to tell you the truth. I don't think I would've screwed anything up, but it will be great to have somebody experienced there to make sure.

October 7, 2001

Finished degreasing the bolts and rocker arms. Much to my surprise, the original lifters were not with the other hardware that I received from the shop when I picked up the short block, so I'll have to buy new ones.

I want to wire-wheel the old paint off the heads of some of the bolts, but otherwise everything is ready for the final build.

I pushed the car out of the garage so the sun could shine on it. Scott said that would help the paint cure. Took some photos:


Here's a shot of the left front suspension. Compare this image to how it looked before the restoration.

October 8, 2001

Packed the cross memebers where the torsion bars insert with grease. It wasn't that bad. Just had to keep pressing in grease until it seemed like there wasn't room for any more.

I then turned my attention to the 318. Time to see what I can scavenge from it for the 340. I removed the flywheel (I needed the bolts for the 340), and the oil pressure sending unit, and the temperature sending unit. Then went into the basement to degrease them and clean them up.

Keith also gave me a call and pushed back the head/intake assembly to Thursday.

October 9, 2001

Picked up a new fuel pump and a new water pump on the way home. I then removed the pump from the 318 to a) see if they were the same and b) harvest the bolts for use on the 340.

The issue w/ the water pump is that the inlet switched sides sometime between 68 and 73, and although I have a '73 motor, I want it to look like a '68. The timing marks on the '73 timing cover are on the driver's side, where they would be hidden by the pump inlet.

So, I removed the timing tab from the 318, and I'll bolt that onto the 340 water pump. That will also require that I make a new mark on the damper for the timing tab.

October 10, 2001

Picked up the last couple items from the body shop; the front valence and license plate bracket. Also paid the balance of the bill. I won't state the number here, but it's a big one.

Picked up some pipe plugs for the intake on the way home. There are 7 (!) 5/8" holes in the intake, and I'll only need to use 2 of them. Not sure how I spent the entire evening; just getting ready for the head/intake assembly. Realized I must've left the intake bolts at Bear's place, so I cleaned up the intake bolts that were originally in the 340. Also cleaned up the intake a little more.

October 11, 2001

Keith came over to help me install the heads and intake. He took one look at the intake and said "we can't install this". After my heart stopped pounding, I asked him why, and he said one of the holes for the thermostat housing needed to be heli-coiled. Whew! I thought it was some kind of fundamental mismatch. He took the intake with him, and he'll fix it this weekend.

Bolting on the heads went without a hitch. He talked me through the process as we bolted them on, and then he walked me through the valve train installation. Not too difficult, but it sure was nice having somebody there with experience. I feel I could do it myself now. The only thing we couldn't do was confirm the clearances of the lifters. I didn't have a large enough socket to turn the crank, so we'll do that when he comes back over to install the intake.

As long as I had the digital camera in hand, I took a picture of the car:

October 13, 2001

Again, I'm not quite sure how I spent my 3 hours on the car this afternoon. Getting things ready for the intake to be installed, the engine painted, and installed in the car is turing out to be many little tasks. Degreasing bolts, derusing parts, painting, etc. I keep borrowing parts from the 318, also.

I also did a little more painting under the car. The front frame rails had a couple bare spots where the car was sitting on jack stands when the undercoating was applied. I painted those, and touched up the sway bar.

The car cover was delivered, so I put that on the car. Fits very nicely, and it should for the price I paid. I spent the extra dough and got one from California Car Cover. Should last very long and never harm the finish.

October 15, 2001

Picked up some new engine paint on the way home. The stuff I had been using is very thin, which makes it very hard to apply without puddling/runs. The new paint is also a deeper red than the other stuff - looks closer to the color of the 318, which is what it should be.

Painted the timing tab, distributor retainer, and the dip stick. Buffed the damper for the 340, and wire wheeled the crank shaft pulley. Also painted the pulley black. Looks pretty good.

Assembled the engine mounts (bolted the rubber mounts to the brackets) with new bolts I picked up on the way home. Derusted/degreased other various bolts and pieces.

October 16, 2001

Degreased the valve cover bolts and put another coat of paint on the crank pulley.

October 17, 2001

Bear and Keith came over to bolt on the intake manifold. Keith brought the repaired manifold with him - he had to heli-coil one of the holes for the thermostat housing, as well as one of the carbeurator stud holes.

The installation went smootly. We used Permatex Ultra Black on the side gaskets, just around the water passages. Otherwise they were dry. My engine gasket kit included cork "end" gaskets (would go between the intake and the block), but we didn't use them. Keith just put down a bead of Permatex instead.

We then torqued down the intake bolts, and we were done! Before going to bed, I taped over all holes, instead of putting a plastic bag over it.

October 18 - 26, 2001

Out of town for vacation/work.

October 27, 2001

Installed the pipe plugs in the intake manifold, using some thread sealant. Also installed the valve cover gaskets, and torqued the covers in place. FSM says they should be 40 in-lbs; I have no idea how that little torque feels. Hopefully their snug enough to keep the oil where it belongs.

October 28, 2001

Took some fine sandpaper and roughed up the intake manifold in preparation of paint. It had been polished, and the paint probably wouldn't want to stick to it in that condition. Also used a utility knife to trim some of the tape covering various orifices, so that things are masked properly for painting.

October 29, 2001

Keith had suggested using a little more Permatex on the intake to make doubly sure that I won't have any oil leaks in the future. So I added a bead to both the front and back of the intake, and smoothed it with my finger. I also put a bead where the oil pan meets the block.

I then bolted the water pump on. I was going to torque it down, but realized that I'd need to remove bolts down the road for installing the alternator brackets. So, I just snugged them down for painting purposes.

October 30, 2001

Bolted on the oil filter adapter. I still don't have the torque specification, so like the water pump, I just snugged it down for painting.

I then used some Simple Green to remove any oil residue from the block, and then the rest of the nice was spent masking/plugging holes for painting. It was tedious and took quite a while, but she's ready for paint now.

October 31, 2001

Took off the afternoon to paint the engine, as the temperature was in the 60s. I put 3 fairly light coats on it, waiting about 30 or 40 minutes between coats. I'm happy w/ the results!