It’s often difficult to find the opportunity to work on the Val. On the weekends whenever I try to do much, my “helpers” are always keen to get involved. Which is great, I want them to inherit the passion, but their passion at the moment usually involves running off with bolts I’ve removed and hiding them in a sandpit or toy car, hitting the val with a tool or simply using dad as an adventure playground as I’m laying by the car unbolting things. Also it’s pretty tough to schedule in many of the jobs I have left, which is mainly body work. Most of my free time is at night, and air tools and hammering I imagine would put me at odds with my nice neighbours.
But the dream is well and truly alive, I love this old girl and I’m determined to see it through. One of things I can work on is the little jobs I have to do on the engine. I put that off for ages as I didn’t have the tool to remove the harmonic balancer. I stupidly procrastinated for a few months trying to track down a loaner, but for all the frustration, I spent 30 bucks and just got one. Balancer popped off in 5 minutes and I was off again. Have taken off the front timing cover and changed the crank seal, and also managed to pry out the old rear main. After a lick of paint on the timing cover and sump, and I’ll button all that back up and it’ll be ready to go back in the car (hopefully sans leaks). One of the wins i had was getting the old rope rear main out without pulling the rotating assembly, which is a huge job I didn’t have the stomach for right now. I was told it would be impossible, but after slackening off the main caps to drop the crank 10mm, i managed to get it out with my special home made tool, and old dipstick that i worked inbetween the seal and the block. It popped right out, woo! A rubber one was easily slipped back in.
In the quest to at least give a nod to better performance, I managed to track down a 2 barrel intake manifold, carb, and a set of extractors off a fellow local VC owner. They’ll be getting cleaned up and slapped on. Only issue is the carb is a Stromberg off a holden, but apparently they go ok. If it annoys me too much I’ll try and source a VE 2 barrel Carter from somewhere.
Body work next. Might have to take some days off work while the kids are at school/daycare to make some progress there. Aim is to do the minimum that needs to be done to get it rego’ed, then I can at least drive it to a few places for odd jobs.
Hopefully springtime brings some more progress.