I’ve been avoiding even thinking about my car, let alone actually working on it. Finally, today I cleaned out a portion of my garage and pulled my car in so I can get started tearing the engine apart. I spent several hours moving stuff around and seeing how high I could stack things before they toppled over. I crammed everything from the main section of my garage into the other part of the garage and the shed, and there’s still just two narrow paths between piles of junk on each side, just like there was before. But I’ve got a clean, dry floor to work on now, even though it’s still cold as hell. I wish I had a way to heat the garage, but I don’t want to spend a penny more than necessary to get my car running again.
I wish I’d discovered the blown head gasket before I put my transmission back in, because it would have been a simple matter of pulling the engine and pulling the cylinder heads off. But now, since I’d rather not undo all the work I did putting the car back together, I’m going to try removing the heads with the engine in the car. I’m thinking about replacing the oil pump, water pump, timing belt, and a few other odds and ends while I’ve got everything taken apart, because I’d rather not find out something else is wrong with the engine soon after I get it fixed again.

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