So, after I finished the carb rack, I decided to try and get the valves back in the head... Here she is with the new valve stem seals, ready to have them go back where they belong:
It was like 10:00 at night, and the only tool I had was that crappy valve spring compressor I rented. My own impatience won this one, and I decided to see if I could make it work. And I it did...in the same sense that yes, you can build enormous pyramids out of stone blocks even when the only tools you have are soft copper chisels and hammers made from other rocks. It works. But, that doesn't mean those are the best tools for the job...but, when it's all you've got I guess you go with it.
Here it is:
It's designed for removing valve springs without pulling the head...and honestly, it's really kind of a piece of garbage. The hooks down at the bottom don't have anything to keep them from sliding off the spring--in fact, because of the way it was made, the edges are beveled so that once it starts to slip, it just lets go. You basically have to take one hand and squeeze the bottom jaws together really hard so they don't slip off and launch a bunch of parts/pinch your fingers/make bad things happen, while chanting a mix of four letter words and prayers that it doesn't let go while using your other hand to crank it down and try to get the keepers into position. I had it pop off a bunch of times, which was aggravating, but yes...I did eventually get all four sets of springs back on.
Next time I'll just try and find the right tool to begin with. On the bright side, once I return it I get my money back making it free...well, except for the damage it did to my left hand I guess lol.
So, onward and upward...just need to replace the missing exhaust stud and swap the cam and rocker set over. I guess I could put the head back on sans the pulley and backing plate, and just add them after I get the gasket. Might get more accurate torque on the head without that plate in the way anyway. Carbs can go back on pretty much any time after the head is installed I think.
I also got a pretty start on restoring that valve cover...I'll probably have an "after" picture by the end of the weekend.
Up next: Final assembly and install of head, and carb rack. Clean out the fuel pump, rebuild petcock, and restore fuel tank...
Also starting to think about pulling the rear wheel so I can rebuild the rear brake system, inspect the bearings, and lube everything back there. Of course, while I've got the rear wheel off, it would only make sense to replace the tire so I'll have to budget for that.