yesterday I took the engine (1500) out of the car to prepare for the final part of the full chassis restoration (and body tub welding as it turned out as well...). While it is out have decided to give it some fresh paint and change a few leaking seals. Engine runs great so I am tempted to not open it up more than absolutely necessary to be sure that at least one thing of the car is still working this spring
Today I did a check on the end float since changing thrust washers would be best to do when it is out of the car anyway. I got the float to 0.010". Mr. Haynes says 0.006 to 0.014" but the factory workshop manual says 0.004-0.008". Interestingly enough Haynes use the latter value for the earlier smaller displacement engines. Which one should I trust?
I did check the float using a dial gauge against the crankshaft pulley (base attached to the timing cover). First I pushed the crankshaft back all the way from the front and zeroed the gauge. Then from behind the engine I used a flat prying bar against the end of the crankshaft levered against the engine stand to give it a slow but determined push forward. There is an audible click when it stops in its forward motion but repeated measurements always says 0.010". Is this method accurate enough the measure the condition of the thrust washers?
One more thing. The oil leaks I plan to fix is the sump (easy I guess?) and then maybe the timing chain cover. Is the last one fairly simple to do for someone that never really opened up an engine. Is it also a good idea to take the head off for a general clean up/valve re-lapping or can that be left if the engine works fine in general?