During this engine work I have been asking those more knowledgeable than me for advice.
More than a couple of pearls of wisdom came from Dave Harvey, so thanks Dave.
Reassembly was a repeat of strip down but with new gaskets etc. The newly rung pistons were refitted to the freshly honed bores after cleaning the crank journals with some 1600 grit wet and dry and WD40. Crank endfloat was set using feeler gauges (I have no dial gauge) and some new thrust washers. The sump which was a little lighter after removing a half inch of sludge from the bottom, was refitted. The head followed.
The front suspension was pretty much stripped to remove the sump so I changed the original drag strut bushes for some superflex ones. I also had an NOS steering column to fit replacing the original with it's knackered bearings. The bulkhead bush had been poly'd by a PO.
Once reassembled, the sump was filled with some SAE30 monograde oil to aid 'break in' of the rings.
Fire up (after getting the oil pressure up) was fuss free. As advised by Dave I let the car start without coolant and run for half a minute. The idea is to allow the head gasket to seal via some heat without the chance of water seepage. In for some dinner then added coolant once the engine had cooled. I retorqued the head now and checked valve clearances.
Start again and time to test drive. A self imposed 3000 rpm rev limit proved easy to reach, the engine feels tight but strong and very willing. The steering was better too.
This left me with the choice of trying to get enough miles on the clock before leaving for the 2000 Register National at Bamburgh in just over a weeks time or changing the oil there.
Any excuse to use FRanK saw 400miles done and the oil being changed for some cheap non detergent 20/50 the night before we left. Oil consumption in that 400miles was not enough to show on the dipstick!
My Mum and Dad had arrived on the Saturday and followed us to the National. The photo below shows me, Dad's car Cecil and FRanK in the carpark of Scotch corner services. A traditional fuel stop for us on the RBRR.
FRanK's sunroof stayed open the whole way. 163miles of following us gave Dad and Mum plenty of chance to spot any blue smoke from the exhaust, none at all was seen.
During the week of the National we travelled 640miles, again oil consumption measured via the dipstick was 'nil', fuel consumption was 28mpg and the way FRanK feels just gets better. So that's one more thing sorted ahead of October's RBRR.
I decided that a little clean and polish was in order ahead of the National 'show' day on the Saturday, I've always liked a PI in Valencia.