Getting it running. Was told the water pump was leaking and it was in definite need of replacement so I went ahead and did that as well as the timing belt and tensioner pulley. Got it all back together and filled with straight water to flush it out a bit and check for leaks.
Oh was there indeed a leak. Looked under the car and it was nearly pouring from the middle of the engine. Jumped online and found that a common issue appeared to be the o-ring under the lower manifold so starting tearing everything apart to check that out. As it turns out the o-ring was in surprisingly decent shape though I decided to replace it anyway to be on the safe side. After further inspection I figured it was the lower intake manifold gaskets that were leaking. They seemed to have separated from the metal slightly and were hardening a slight bit. Not 100% sure if they were but was replacing anyway so it didn't really matter.
Was planning on using an HNBR A/C o-ring as I have a couple kits but checked with the dealer anyway to see pricing and whatnot. Turns out they're currently on back order. No problem, HNBR here I come! I used a ~17.49mm (can't remember this measurement exactly) x 2.5mm o-ring as a replacement. It isn't a 100% match with the stock o-ring but fit quite well and with some Permatex The Right Stuff (which should be called the best stuff, its amazing) it shouldn't ever have a chance of leaking.
Got everything all cleaned up:
I was JUST about to install the lower manifold and by absolute chance I noticed this:
Considered my options and my dad recommended just brazing it, which was definitely the easiest route to go. He used to do it a lot, been forever since I'd done it, so he got me back up to speed. They still looked terrible but work.
Got that all finished then happened to find yet another one so decided to just take the tube out of the lower manifold... which turned out to be a good thing. Accidentally pinched the o-ring a bit. Had enough silicone to not matter but would rather not risk it. Brazed the second hole, installed the pipe and o-ring differently assuring proper seal and added silicone to be on the safe side.
They did end up leaking ever, so very slightly after an hour of letting it sit at 30 psi so I just slathered them with some Right Stuff and called it good. Not likely it will ever leak again unless a new hole develops.
Now just need to reassemble everything:
Absolute favorite, best "tool" ever purchased
Next up will be changing the factory head unit for a cheap Sony that I kind of, for some odd reason, really enjoy. Possibly adding a mild subwoofer as I so miss having good bass in a car (not loud thumping but deep, rich bass). Then adding the Eibach springs. Then fixing the exterior and cleaning it up a bit. Then of course whatever other things I can think of doing as the mod bug didn't simply bite me so many years ago but has created a seemingly never ending symbiotic relationship with me... mmm... maybe even parasitic... not sure.