Grey Car Update: On The Stand

The Grey Car: On The Stand
How she sits now

YES. So we finally got the old 403 out of the Grand Prix, and onto the stand.  Once I finally started lifting that out, it was like riding a bike.  All those times we’d done this way back in the day….

After getting the passenger side cylinder head off, I was oh-so relieved that whatever it was I thought I saw while setting the head down before, just wasn’t there.  Must have been a shadow or something.  Bad news was the gasket surfaces were all crapped over with stuff and corrosion from the gaskets that were never torqued down properly.

The driver’s side looked just as good inside, and after spending a combined total of roughly two hours cleaning the surfaces on both the block and heads, the new gaskets went on, and the heads were torqued down properly this time.  Hopefully we don’t have any issues when at last we fire this thing up.

I also got the old and original nearly 40 year old lifters out of the galley with one of those handy slide hammer do-hickeys.  Most of them came out easy enough, but a few really had issues with the tool not able to grab properly.  Problem solved.

New lifters? Yep, I’d bought a set before, and they’ve been soaking in oil all this time so they didn’t flash rust over, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t have a single glob of assembly lube anywhere to put them in with.  So, that task was put on hold.

Now, I have a list about two notebook pages long of all the stuff on this engine and in the bay that’s 10-20+ years old and is going to get replaced.  If for no other reason than its 10-20+ years old.  Stuff ranging from tires to water pump, hoses, vacuum lines, starter, carb rebuild…. basically everything.  I’m even considering doing a R134 air conditioning conversion, since the original setup leaked and I don’t feel like dealing with the R22 runaround anymore.

Not a lot of pix, but here you have it.   I figure the order of affairs will go something like this, not necessarily in this order but you get the drift:

  • Lifters installed, get the valley cleaned out along with the rocker galleys
  • Install new pushrods, clean the rockers and bosses, and install those
  • Install the valve covers
  • Replace the water pump, water neck, and thermostat.
  • Clean up the intake gasket surfaces, install the valley pan gasket and the shiny new Edelbrock Performer intake manifold
  • Remove the starter and solenoid (they’ll get replaced)
  • Degrease and clean the block and heads, then mask it and paint it good old GM Corporate Blue™
  • Clean and paint the balancer/pulleys.
  • Rebuild the carb (or send it off to get done, haven’t decided)
  • Replace/clean/paint/etc. all the other doodads on the engine, sending units, cruise diaphragm, heater control valve, etc.
  • Let it sit on the stand for a while so I can clean the bay up!

Oh that engine bay.  What fun that’s going to be.  But if I have this engine out, its going to get done.  But that’s going to be a tale for another time….


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