So there I was almost ready to crank her up. The engine had oil, so next up was adding coolant aka water aka the wet stuff.
Round 1: I begin filling the radiator up and everything is going smoothly, until all of a sudden a leak springs free from the hard line tube that runs into the block. I drain the water, pull the exhaust heat shield and remove the tube. Turns out the O-ring was effed. I run to Lowes and then subsequently Advance to find a new O-ring. I find one, bam, back in business. I put everything back together.
Round 2: I fill Sandy back up with H2O and this time no leaks, hurray! Now, as per my break-in procedure I need to crank the motor without firing and make sure I have oil pressure. So I pull the plug wires, disconnect the CAS, say a few prayers and turn the ignition.
Round 3: RRrrrraarrrrRRRraarrrrRRRaaaarrrrrr says the starter but my mechanical oil pressure gauge is reading zero. Hmmmm, I think to myself maybe the gauge line is damaged or blocked. After removal and inspection all appears to be well with the gauge and adapter. My next thought is the motor or oil pump is shit. Cool. I find some literature online saying the oil pump sometimes needs to be primed with either extra oil or jacking up the rear of the car so that the oil runs to the front of the pan, priming said pump. So I lift the rear and get to cranking. RRrrrraarrrrRRRraarrrrRRRaaaarrrrrr voila!!!! OIL PRESSURE!!!! Hurray!
Round 4: I say several more prayers while re-attaching the ignition components. Now I am ready for that fateful moment when gasoline and air and spark all mix together to create that sound we all know and love. I close my eyes, press in the clutch and turn the key. RRrrrraarrrrRRRraarrr KaaabbllaArAArRrRaaaRAA SHE'S ALIVE!!!! And water is gushing out of the back of the block faster than something-something-something at a frat party, so I immediately kill the engine.
Round 5: I notice there is a 1/4 inch plug missing from the back of the head. I search my old motor, find the missing part, pull it, then re-install it on the new motor. Fire up the motor again, this time no leaky! But then I hear a loud crrlarghnt crrlagnt crrlANGT CRRLANGT! So I shut the motor down again, fearing major internal damage. It seems the idler pulley had decided to come loose and try to eat the alternator belt. I spend half an hour trying to stretch the belt back into the correct position and then tighten the pulley up.
Round 6: 6 times a charm apparently. I fired her back up and basked in the warmth of exhaust fumes in a closed garage.
Next up: final prep before Sandy gets back on track