Short version: engine almost ready to be yanked out, super excited to have it rebuilt.

Long version then more pictures:

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Got some good hours of wrenching in on Sunday afternoon / evening and a few this morning before work. I managed to get the intake and exhaust manifolds off on Sunday and got the last bellhousing bolts out today. All were super tricky and involved lots of universal joints, extensions and wrenching tricks. I also used a ratchet today that I’ve never had a legitimate use for in the previous 14 years I’ve owned it. It was the hero of today. There was no clearance for a UV joint or a swivel and I don’t have my stubby wrenches at home. But this ratchet let me get the tricky top 2 housing bolts. I only brought it home on a whim.

Hero ratchet!

The only hinderance to lifting it off the mounts is that the front differential and axle assembly uses the engine and the driver’s side engine mount as a crossmember. The shop manual recommends totally removing the half-shafts but that seems unnessary to me. I’m just going to wire it up and block under them and figure that should do. I’ll be ripping the entire suspension system apart while the engine is out anyway. I just really need the block out to get it remanufactured with a bigger bore, roller cam, and new Edelbrock head. I was hoping to have the engine shop plop the manifolds onto the block and install it as such. But after taking the old ones out I’d never get it bolted back up to the bell housing. So that sucks.

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BUT, once I get it back I get to rip out almost every emissions vacuum line and electrical harness and replace them with the new fuel injection conversion. Should be a lot nicer running at that point.

Old exhaust and intake manifolds:

Exhaust was leaking, gasket was cracked, intake bolted to a crappy Carter carb

New and shiny!

Just need to pick out some new headers. Will probably have to use shorties to make the required horizontal-to-sharp-downturn.

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Really hoping all this, and a newer and 1/2" bigger diameter exhaust get me close to 200 running a naturally aspirated setup. The head has WAY more flow than stock, and is much thicker, a smoother header will make quite a difference, a more aggressive cam is going to help, a fresh rebuild running clean with this injection kit is supposed to net 40-60 hp on its own... cross your fingers for me that I can get all the Jeep stuff mated to my AMC wagon smoothly! I’m pretty pumped about the potential.