Been down for a few months. Got in a hit and run motorcycle accident back in October and broke my foot. Bike is trashed. Never caught the people who hit me. Not sure if I'll get back on one for a while.
I'm hoping the doctors clear me to start walking on my bad foot soon, and that means I can get back to work on my '79 wagon which has been sitting in my heated garage for the last 2 months (can't drive stick with a broken foot!). Before I put it away, it was burning oil and whenever I shut the car off it would either violently backfire or run backwards or just have a little exhaust fart. Pulled the spark plugs and they were BLACK so I replaced them. I'd like to make it stop burning oil and maybe not leak as much.
I'm hoping it's just that the 35 year old valve seals are bad (which would explain the blue tinged exhaust) which means the heads need to come off. Car sat for a number of years before I bought it from the previous owner. He replaced the pushrods on one side of the motor because they were broken and got it running. I'm doubting it's the rings because the car only has 44k miles on it, but who knows what happens when things sit for that long.
Transmission seems a little rough...likes to make gear noise and you can feel the vibrations! Shifts okay for now, but who knows in the future. Think some fresh oil in there might help?
So, with all of that in mind, would it be worth my time to rebuild the heads on this motor, or would it be better to just find an old EA81 and a DR 5 speed and try to shoehorn that in to the wagon? I've heard that the EA71 in my car is okay, but the single range 4 speed is a piece of junk, and my swap options are limited. I don't really thrash my car a ton, but I'd like to get it to the point where it's reasonably dependable. I'm also not really interested in altering the car too much (it has 44k miles on it).
So yeah, any advice? I'm attached to the car, and I've missed driving it a ton, so I'd like to spend the least amount of time getting it running well. I'm working on sealing up the gas tank and getting a set of jackmans powdercoated this week, so it should look pretty snazzy with some new shoes!