The parts of the hobby I really enjoy are the actual wheelin', the designing and figuring out the build, the parts, etc that will make the rig do what I want it to do - the wrenching is a necessary sub-hobby that doesn't provide quite the same satisfaction. It's much more fun though when it's with one of my brothers and/or friends. But I'm mostly flying solo here. And until I'm pullin' in the big bucks, I can't hire much of it out. My wife is getting as sick of the tinkering as I am.
Whenever I get into one of these wrench-related funks, it seems like it's a series of issues that end up being more expensive and time consuming and worst of all: necessary.
Part infinity of the never ending 3.4 swap:
Got started on the heli-coil for the starter bolt. Had to remove the slave cylinder to make room, just unbolt and move out of the way. Still, it's extremely difficult to tell if I'm getting at the hole straight on. Long story short, I snap off the tip of the 13/32 bit I needed to use for the thread insert. I use a thin round file to smack the broken piece up out of the way, sorta...
So, side-bar - what it looks like is going on, is up in the starter bolt hole, at the end of the hole, it reduces to a smaller hole. I believe that this is what was flattening threads on my starter bolts prior. And I believe that this is what the drill bit caught when it snapped.
Moving on, I managed to use the rest of the bit to open up the hole a little, I guess? it's unclear. I however could not get the tap to do diddly, because I couldn't keep it straight from underneath. So it's kinda ruined I think. Can't tap, which means can't install the insert, which means can't install bolt. This whole thing is FUBAR, it seems.
At this point I'm looking for something to throw. I'm contemplating the 700r4 swap just to put a starter on the other side of the block. But I cool off, and then figure that I'll try mounting the old starter and run the long bolt in to see if there's any resistance, i.e., see if I can get another tap or if I need to get another drill bit as well...
I'll be damned! The sucker ran right up in there and torqued down better than ever, at least 30ft lb! Screw it, let's see what happens!
I get it buttoned up, hook up the freshly charged battery, turn the key -- and mind you, the plugs are still out -- and she's turning over fast as heck! Valve train moving like a player piano, fuel coming out of the tbi. Good sign! I pop the plugs in, attach wires, moment of truth:
Back to looking at the timing...that will have to be tomorrow at best.