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The saga continues. The timing cover is on, the intake manifold is firmly in place with only one "minor" problem.
Then came the distributor. The oil pump is driven off the bottom of the distributor via a small hexagonal driveshaft. The shaft is not supposed to come out with the distributor but it did. Whoever put the engine together left off the little doo-hicky that keeps the shaft from coming up with the distributor. For the life of me I could not get it back properly and the distributor wouldn't seat. So the oil pan had to come off.
What do you think I found once I got the pan off? Right, another oil pump shaft, the original one, sitting in the bottom of the pan. That little doo-hicky was on it too. One problem solved.
Every time I work on this thing either something breaks or I find something that wasn't done correctly. I can't believe the workmanship (or rather lack of) on this car. The starter, a newish rebuilt, was falling apart. One motor mount is missing one of the two bolts to the engine. It's just one thing after another. But I'm making progress.
Now that I have the pan back on and the distributor is properly seated, I can concentrate on getting things 100% bolted together. I've got a few more bolts for the water pump/timing cover to put in, have to torque down the front crank bolt, put the radiator in, etc. Then crank it over to prime the oil system and hopefully fire it up. Might not happen for a couple of weeks 'cuz we're going away next weekend. I'm chomping at the bit but willing to take my time.