Brutal honesty time;
I'm dragging my ass on this van engine. In part because, once again, I have more of one attribute than another.
I've got more ambition than I have money.
I bought two sets of head gaskets...but only one set of engine gaskets.
I am re-using (for the most part) the gaskets on the '94 van. I am counting on RTV silicone sealant to ensure the engine doesn't leak. The problem is, every time I do use RTV, it delays the process by another few hours while I wait (if necessary) for the sealant to dry.
I'm still not out of the woods yet...I have yet to re-install the valve covers (more RTV), and the thermostat (yet more RTV). I will still need extras for some of the smaller seals, as well. I have managed to salvage some otherwise un-usable bits that would have meant this engine could not be rebuilt. All thanks to JB weld.
I will have the van done this week. That's a fact, not just a hope. Once the engine is running and I've got the plates back on it, I'm going to be stuck driving this wreck until I can get the '95 van's engine repaired. If I can't get it running...I'm going to be riding my bike to work for another few weeks. I'll have to part out the white van...and try again with the green one.
I am assuming the engine damage on the '95 is not as severe as what I've found so far on the '94. I also assume that means the repair process won't take nearly as long. I certainly hope so, anyway.
My original intention was to give away the Eagle wagon to someone in need of a vehicle. I didn't pay for it, why should anyone else? This was before it died, of course. Now, I've got the '94 van...which has turned out to be much more of a "junker" than I had anticipated. I had hoped to keep the '94 and sell the '95, as I could get a lot more re-sale value from the '95. I would have been able to get myself a working vehicle, and made a little extra on the deal besides.
Instead, I'm going to give away the '94 when I have the '95 completed...and keep the '95 to drive. I'll probably keep it another year or two. One or two of my friends that I have discussed this situation with have agreed that I probably won't get enough out of the white '94 van to break even, expenses-wise. Might as well eat the expense and invest in some karma. I certainly don't want to keep the '94, knowing what I know about its innards, but if it can serve someone for the next year or so, at least until it finally dies, so much the better.