I learned this week that I don't listen to doctor's orders and probably should. I'm still on a 5 lb lift limit, but my starter went out last Sunday (or was it Monday? It's all a bit hazy).
A friend came to help. He's not very mechanically inclined but the theory was I'd provide the smarts and he'd provide the muscle. Problem is, I'm not very good at explaining - my method of teaching is "you watch me". Not to mention changing my starter's not the easiest task in the world since I have headers. So I got under the car a good bit more than planned, even though I still had surgical staples in my back.
Finally we got it swapped, but I got a very fast repetitive click instead of starting. Here's where my pain pills come into play: Instead of thinking, "Well that battery I just put in a week ago is the cheapest one they had, maybe that's shorting out" I went and got a new starter cable and starter relay. Put them in. Same results. THEN I decide to swap a known good battery in and damn if it doesn't spin just like it should.
But now my problem is spark. That is to say, there is none. Not even out the ignition coil. Now, a version of me not on pain pills would've said "It's gotta be either the Ignition Control Module or the ballast resistor". But pain pill me decided first to put a coil in, then a new distributor. Still no spark. Only then did my mind think of the ICM and ballast resistor.
So yesterday I got both. The ICM made no difference but the ballast resistor did. So now I've got it running; just gotta put the front end stuff and headers that were loose still back together from the starter swap, then tune the carb and I'm good to go. So I do all that but the carb isn't giving me a consistent idle and if I unclamp the vacuum line going to the vacuum secondaries the "idle" goes up to around 2k rpm. Tried fixing my taillights enough just to get up to the gas station since I knew I was low on gas and cigs. Run out of gas at the end of my driveway. Neighbor gets me a gallon of gas and DAMN IF THE BALLAST RESISTOR (brand new that morning) GOES OUT AGAIN.
Friend gives me ride to get another resistor and while he was here followed me up to the gast station.
Last night after I got done with all that I did remember that there's no gasket under my carb or under the spacer it sits on. (The guy I'd bought it from had tossed a very worn out 4bbl Holley on it just to make it run, though it didn't very well. I found a barely used Summit 600cfm for $120) Very likely reason I'm having trouble tuning the carb. So today or tomorrow I'll get those gaskets and see if I can't get it tuned better. Just finding it hard to get the energy to do so.
TL;DR: I've done more wrenching than I should considering how recently I had surgery and the pain pills from said surgery apparently greatly impact my diagnosing abilities.