Hasn't been a lot actually going on with Barney in the last few days. Making lists, ordering parts, and...figuring out why it wouldn't start. It's been a bit of a trial by fire figuring out the SBC, since this is my real first time with something not import and 4 cylinders.
Due to the pinging on the drive home, I figured there had to be some sort of timing issue creating the no-start condition. After all, it was unlikely to lose compression sitting on my driveway, and not only was the glass fuel filter at the carb showing fuel, but the carb was also spitting up fuel while cranking, and sometimes this was on fire, so I was at least getting spark.
Well, long story short, it ends up being a fuel supply problem. I was focused on it being ignition and didn't bother to check for fuel (after all, it was backfiring). Cracked open the catalog and ordered a new, $200 OE fuel tank complete with boss and block-off plate for an in-tank EFI pump. Since that's where this whole thing is eventually headed, it was a no-brainer.
Going through the whole fuel system at this time, including a new pump. Changing a SBC fuel pump can be a 5-minute job if you know the trick of using the block bolt to pinch the pushrod (which falls down if you don't, and you can't push it up because it's shiny metal covered in oil). I didn't. Finally got it back in after consultations with the Internets. Boy-o...
In the good-news category, I again got to deal with Hagerty insurance. An actual pleasant experience all around, and no hassled at all getting Barney some coverage, even in modified form. $221 for 100/500 at $15,000 value.
Because when you spend a silly amount of money on a silly, trivial thing that will help you not one jot, you are demonstrating that you have a soul and a heart and that you are the sort of person who has no time for Which? magazine. – Jeremy Clarkson