Yeah in the end I couldn't bring myself to sell it, I think I've got the MQ flu
I'll definitely go with best case scenario which is that I can use my engine, my head, new gaskets, until I know otherwise. I do have the divorced transfer that the wagon came with still here so someday maybe there'll be an opportunity, who knows? Ooh maybe that's for when electric conversions become cheap and commonplace on old cars...
I didn't know new heads were still available, not sure I'm ready to hear the cost of one though haha, if it comes to needing a new head I likely won't be getting one from Mr Nissan, even if that is the best long-term solution, just too much upfront cost for my current income. That Barra adapter definitely has me listening, seems like a cool opportunity, again depending on price.
Anyway, this is where I'm at now:
View attachment 545101
I got most of the stuff disconnected from the head, intending to take it off while the engine was still in the car to inspect it before I get an engine crane, but the day before yesterday I went and picked up a second hand 2 ton crane for $200, so not too bad in my eyes. The engine will come out first, then I'll take the head off.
On a side note, I've already found a way that I'll probably make more power just with a gasket kit:
View attachment 545102
I don't know what ebay brand of gaskets the previous owner of this engine used, but clearly the head gasket and rear main are leaking,
AND THE MANIFOLD GASKET DOESN'T EVEN LINE UP WITH THE FRIGGIN PORTS!?!?
Someone didn't do much measuring when they designed their mass-produce gasket kit 😠
Hopefully some genuine gaskets will have the exhaust freed up a little.
Man, I couldn't believe it when I saw that, the camera doesn't do justice to how much of the port is covered up, and how much of a "wall" of gasket there is just blocking off exhaust flow.
On I side note, I've now learned that the intake manifold doesn't flow nicely into the ports either, they're this far apart (elongated ones covered in silicon):
View attachment 545103
And the manifold treats the 2 ports as one, so there's not a smooth transition from the intake manifold into the actual intake ports, it just hits the wall in the middle and has to find it's own way in, so I'm considering trying to make some kind of splitter to go in the manifold that directs the air either way, doesn't have to be perfect, anything will be better than the factory setup. The other option is when I get Dats cool fab to mount up the zd turbo and make up an exhuast, maybe I can inquire about a custom intake manifold to see the price of that.
On the other hand, maybe the factory manifold design is fine and I'm overreacting, but I understand the basics of how air likes to flow and I'm thinking there should at least be a rounded edge there for the air to flow around.
Here's what's come out so far:
View attachment 545104
When I put it all back together, I'm going to try something that probably won't be too popular, but I want to give it a go anyway. When I got the wagon, it came with the radiator, which the P/O used with the 351, and it had a set of thermo fans attached to it. 1 big one taking up probably 2/3 of the rad, and 2 smaller ones taking up the rest. I want to try those out instead of the factory clutch fan.
I know a clutch fan will always bring more air than an electric thermo, but I've never had a fan shroud on this radiator, and when the thermostat was stuck open the water temps barely went over 60* around town, and didn't go much higher on my Fraser trip. So I figure this engine isn't in any danger of overheating, and given that the thermos have their own shroud they'll definitely pull an equal amount of air though the radiator to the shroudless clutch fan. On the highway I'll comfortably be able to just turn the fans off, and when 4wding I can leave probably just the small ones on. It's just something I'm going to try since I've got all the stuff already here able to be bolted on, and I'll see how it goes. I'll also have some kind of water temp sensor with a controller that can turn them on automatically when it gets to certain temps, but I've got to figure out how I'm going to do that yet.