I quickly painted and installed the heads so that I would stop messing with them. Now I'll have to justify wasting brand new head gaskets if I want to pull them off again.
After that I was kind of unsure of what to do next because I needed more parts to show up. I figured I'd pull the old Powermaster box out and see if the parts unit I bought was worthwhile.
I'm not sure if I had mentioned any of this in previous posts, so I'm sorry if I'm repeating anything. The master cylinder was rebuilt back when I could still buy that seal kit and the accumulator was nearly brand new. Right before I did the one night vacuum conversion I diagnosed the issue as the pump being worn out. The motor ran continuously and and the brakes were iffy. When I rigged a pressure gauge in with the switch, I found that there wasn't nearly enough pressure to turn off the switch. FAIL #1
Maybe a year or two later I figured it was worth trying to find a pump and motor that was still functional. For what it's worth, I've hated everything about my vacuum brakes since the day I did the conversion. The booster is noisy, I can't hold the car on the line, it looks dumb under the hood, and I just miss having that conversation piece. When I came across an ad for a $75 complete unit in unknown condition, I snagged it fast. This was a steal considering cores were worth $125 at the time. I robbed the EH pump off that, installed it on my unit, and then let it sit for another few years because I had bigger fish to fry despite my complaints. Let's be real, the vacuum booster will always work.
I know you all will read this thinking I'm insane for wanting to remove a vacuum conversion for a Powermaster, but I'm hard-headed and enjoy tinkering. I cleaned up some of the bracketry, scuffed off the rust on the motor, and slapped it back together. Satisfied with the appearance, I decided to finally fill the thing up with fluid and finally use the bench testing equipment I made.
I even caught the first power up on video so that you can point and laugh at me.
It's pretty obvious that there is something wrong with the motor on this one. I would have tried pairing this pump with my old motor, but I foolishly took the old motor apart years ago and broke some things in the process. My analysis concluded that these motors are not exactly serviceable for a guy in his garage. It doesn't mean I didn't try though! Here are my brushes being held in by a couple wires while I attempt to install the body and armature.
This trick helped, but the permanent magnets on the body are always trying to suck in the armature. After fiddling with this for a while I made a new discovery that kind of sealed the fate of my future with Powermasters. That little bushing that the the armature rides in had come loose which in my mind means I wouldn't have seen a very long life from this motor. The armature would have likely dug into the body, seized up, and caused a power brake failure. Quick research shows that all the Powermaster motors are getting to the age where they need to be rebuilt if they haven't already, and I'm not okay with paying Kirban/Castle $1500 for a complete unit when all I need is a good motor/pump.
In conclusion, I'm satisfied. I'm accepting failure as an option here which is kind of a win in a roundabout way. While there is a respectfully priced EH assembly from a rebuilt Powermaster for sale on Cotton's ebay, I think I'm going to pass on it. As much as I like the idea of having a Powermaster back in my car, complete rebuilds of the EH assembly appears to not be a standard practice in remans. In my mind, this means that even a $1500 reman is a crapshoot since it could have been good on arrival. I've seen, heard, and learned enough about these to be a bit cautious. No thanks. I'm going to try hotrodding the vacuum setup instead.
ANYWAY. That was a fun little experiment. Moving on...
Last weekend, I made a trip to see my family in the Chicago area and picked up another major piece for my rebuild.
I'll first to say, "MAN is that ugly!" The busted heater line bolt boss kind of sucks too, but I think I did a good job here overall. The cool seller sold me everything you see here for $150. I degreased it as best as I could, dried it off, and blasted it with aluminum oxide for a few minutes. Surprisingly, that gross tan stuff did not all come off, but I intended to paint it regardless.
The main purpose of buying this is to put my original intake aside until I sell it because it's ported and I don't need that or I buy ported heads because I'm nuts. However, the big ports on my intake going into the stock heads was probably WORSE for performance than leaving it alone. Turbulence is not just for planes! A stock intake is the easiest fix.
My machinist buddy is baking the intake, building up some weld on the heater pipe bolt boss, re-tapping it, and milling off the EGR tower. Once I get it back, I am debating the idea of drilling a hole directly under the back plenum bolt so that I can run my booster hose back there instead. At least then my complaints about looks will be addressed.
Yesterday, I got my order from TA. It was a breath of fresh air to finally get a complete order in one package in a timely manner. Rocker shaft rebuild time!
It took me a bit to figure out how to install the new buttons, but it was a piece of cake after that.
New pick-up installed.
Tonight I think I'm going to remove the remaining paint from the timing cover, bolt it to the bock as shown above, and figure out the oil pump rebuild and booster plate. If I make good enough progress, I might even install it permanently with a fresh coat of paint. I'm still waiting on my oil pan gasket to arrive from Full Throttle, but I suspect that it will arrive with the poly mounts I ordered with it which are currently back ordered. The waiting game continues!