Thanks guys, I couldn't find the tungsten carbide bits locally so I bought a variety of rasps, stones etc and brought them home to try. I tried a rasp first and chucked it right in the garbage. I went right to my little cut off wheel and followed it up with a stone on my die grinder, done in 20 minutes! I'll return all the unused stuff tomorrow. Here's some pictures....
Installed the dash and steering column today, it's really starting to take shape. The two extra gauge holes interfere with the upper defroster duct so I removed it. I'll figure out a way to cut a hole in it and plastic weld a sleeve through it to slip around the gauge that's going there....or I just won't reinstall it like I did on my 79'. The steering column seems to sit a little high in the dash cutout, I may need to adjust it down a bit. Here's a few shots....
Started on the clutch linkage install and quickly realized that I didn't account for the 1" body lift because the pivot end brackets for the linkage aren't on the same plane. I also discovered that the hole in the clutch pedal that the rod connects to is oblong and is going to cause a lot of slack in pedal travel (forgot to look at it when I tore it down even though the rod was worn half way through). Luckily I have a spare that I can strip and paint to replace it. Not sure what to do to solve the other misalignment problem though. Should I make a bracket to drop the firewall mounted pivot down or raise the trans up 1" (which would throw off current driveline angles).
I'm thinking a piece of 3/8 flat bar to connect the factory firewall mounting location to the body mount bracket below it so I can drill and remount the bracket 1" lower, with a 3/8 flat bar piece as a spacer between the bellhousing bracket and the bellhousing to keep it aligned.
I went ahead and used my old bench seat bracket to make the new clutch linkage bracket to account for the body lift. 3/8's flat bar was too thick and the seat bracket was 1/4". I used a section of the seat bracket where it was doubled up as the bottom of the new bracket. This worked to fill the offset between the firewall and the body mount . The rest of the bracket was 1/4". I also made a 1/4" spacer for the bellhoising pivot mount. It's all lined up and rotates smoothly. Now all I need to do is bend the clutch rod to meet the hole.
My HEi came and I am unsure if I should swap the distributor gear for an old AMC original one off an old points unit. The speed shop says that I won't have any issues with my cam gear because it is a fresh engine with a new cam. That the problem comes from using a newer distributor gear on an older cam that has been run and matched to the old one. That's great if it was a Chevy, any thoughts?
My other retired partner 'Carmine' enjoyed some time in the garage with me.
I straightened the clutch rod and rebent it in a different spot to fit. It works but ideally it should be lengthened because the clutch pedal sits about an inch lower than the brake pedal. I should cut, sleeve and weld it to make it longer.
Onto the HEI, I tried to swap the gears but the roll-pin holes are at different heights on each. The factory gear sits too high because the roll-pin hole is lower and it contacts the housing causing it to lock up. So I'll have to take the chance on the gear that came with it.
Well that was quick and painless, hope it actually works. I drilled another 3/16" hole through the gear about 1/32" higher and reused one of the factory washers after I filed the inner lip off of it. Worked like a charm!
In the pictures the chinese gear is in the left. The washers are chinese (left), factory (middle), modified (right). The last picture is of it installed, we'll see if it gets eaten up.
I ran out and bought a bunch of fluids today with plans to fill the trans, transfercase, diffs and to bleed the brakes. I bought the wrong gear oil (80w140) so all I got accomplished was the brake bleed.
I found four leaks total and was able to fix two of them just by tightening the connections. The other two are where the front brake hoses connect to the calipers, I tried to tighten them a little more and they won't stop leaking. I don't want to strip the threads out of the calipers so I stopped while I was ahead. Did I put these on wrong?