I got the thermostat, PCV valve, spark plugs, and water neck
replaced earlier. The stock water neck broke
while tightening it back down with the new thermostat. So I had to run back and get a new one. Fortunately
, Murray makes a forged aluminum one which is much thicker than the stock one. Overall, it fit
better, and was much thicker
. It is also pre-drilled and tapped for a water temperature sensor. I'll be installing the AutoMeter water temp digital gauge before too much longer.
I screwed up the original plugs while pulling the motor out, but replaced them with a nice set of NGK's and some anti-seize.
I'll pull them back out before I drop the motor in, so they're basically just dust caps for now.
I also Acetone'd the valve covers to get the old stickers off of the stock Ford covers. They look much better!
I realized while cleaning it up, that all of that trash around the intake manifold is innerds of a tree nut, which a squirrel broke open and ate in the engine compartment. I found 1/2 the nut right beside the driver's side fuel rail. (Take a look at the last picture in my first post, and you'll see parts of the inside of the nut)
Overall, the block, heads, and valves are in great condition
. The spark plugs were clean and looked great. I think this motor isn't due for a rebuild just yet!
The Valve cover's may get replaced sooner or later, along with the upper intake manifold. However at this point, I'm porting, polishing, and cleaning up everything, since it's not in bad shape.