I moved a ton of stuff out of the garage and now have my workspace back. I'm happy to report that my new valve cover install is leak free. Dry rubber felpro gaskets and cast aluminum valve covers is the way to go.
I got back to work stripping the grill today. My wire wheel disintegrated in my face and luckily I was wearing my safety glasses, this one could've sucked an inch or two lower.
Then my angle grinder burnt up so I went at it with some sandpaper and elbow grease. I have a couple more hard to reach areas on the back to clean up then I'm gonna get some primer and paint to spray it the tan color and see how it looks.
I guess I need to invest in a quality angle grinder because these harbor freight ones aren't gonna cut it anymore, especially when I start on the tub.