plop plop fizz fizz

Oh what a relief it is to be finished putting the Subaru back together. It took me a month to do, 6 rolls of paper towels (to wipe my hands with and soak up spilled oil and coolant), several scraped knuckles, and half-a-gallon of Fast Orange hand cleaner. I finished putting it all back together late last night, but I waited until today to fill it up with oil and coolant. I didn’t want to try starting it last night only to find out that something was wrong, then end up worrying about it while I tried to sleep. When I cranked the engine over today, it started right up, but it was running rough and at a very low idle speed. I let it get up to operating temperature while I looked for oil or coolant leaks, and there were none. I shut the engine off, topped off the oil and coolant, then took it for a test drive. After a while, it started running much more smoothly–I think it needed to burn off all the coolant and other gunk that got in the engine when the head gasket blew. Now, it’s running just fine, but there are a couple of other things I need to fix now.
Two of the exhaust manifold bolt-holes (one on each cylinder head) are stripped, so I need to get some Heli-Coil inserts to fix that. Also, the exhaust flange right before the muffler isn’t sealing very well, so the car’s a little bit noisy. I broke the bolts off of that flange when I was replacing the clutch, and I think the replacement bolts I got just aren’t doing the trick. Plus, it could probably use a new gasket on that flange. The valve lash could really use some adjustment, because the camshaft on the left side is making a lot of noise. I wish I’d have done it when I was putting everything back together, but I didn’t think it was that important. Now, I’d have to take almost everything back apart to adjust the valve lash, and I just don’t feel like working on cars right now. If it gets bad enough that I can’t stand the noise anymore, I’ll fix it, but for now, I’m content to drive the car as-is.

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