At the end of May, when I got my oil pressure problem squared away, I thought that was the last of the “new build problems” I’d be dealing with. This was an incorrect assumption.
On the shakedown cruise I noticed a bit of oil sprayed around the passenger’s side of the engine bay. I vigorously ignored it. The next time I had the car out, the bit of oil spray appeared bigger, but maybe I just didn’t remember how large it was. Then I had the car out doing some pulls, and that’s when I smelled it–the unmistakable smell of oil burning off something hot. I shut the car off and checked under the hood and saw the smoke coming off the of the right header. I saw the oil spray on the bottom of the hood and the front of the firewall. Not a-frickin-gain. I cleaned off the header with a rag and babied the car home. No more oil burning as long as I stayed out of the boost. Ugh. I parked the car and went inside to mope.
After supper I was feeling refreshed enough to at least start Googling for what might be wrong with the car. I went to the place in our home where you can get the most privacy and solitude–that’s right, the shitter. I Google for LS1 spraying oil. Every hit describes people spraying oil out the dipstick tube. And that’s when the proverbial light went on over my head. There wasn’t anyone around to yell “Eureka” at, but if there were they’d have gotten it. I didn’t have oil spraying out my dipstick tube simply because I had forgotten to put the dipstick tube back in the block. It was still laying off to the side where I had kicked it when it was in my way. And when reinstalling all the parts, I installed what was laying on my workbench, not what was laying in the dark corner next to the welder. After a purposeful and thorough wipe I was out to the garage, grabbed up the pickup tube and jammed it into the block. Victory.
I mention lifts because I have a lift. It’s a QuickJack and I’m in love with it. Keep in mind, this is definitely not a big in-floor lift like at the service center. You won’t be walking under it and it is often in the way, but for a home garage like mine it’s great. It’s light enough I can pick it up and put it out of the way when I’m not using it. It’s open in the middle, unlike a lot of the other mid-rise lifts out there aimed at home users. And it’s affordable-ish, depending on what affordable is for you. I paid around $1200 for it. You can find them here https://www.quickjack.com/. I highly recommend them. I think I can speak for Dad when I say he recommends them as well.
As for the funny people comment, my son and I had run to the hardware store in the trusty and totally reliable Fireturd. I parked it and strolled on in. When we came back out to the car, there was some lady taking pictures of it. “Smokey and the Bandit, right?” she asked while snapping more pictures. It’s funny because I drove my Corvette a lot of places in the six years I owned it. It was a great looking car. I had beautiful aftermarket chrome five spoke wheels, it was lowered almost two inches, great interior, I spent a ton of time polishing the glossy black paint. And nobody gave it the time of day. Yet here sits this crappy flat black painted Firebird with no interior and it gets noticed everywhere I take it. The Corvette was spotless and the Fireturd literally has rust holes through it, but the Fireturd takes the cake when it comes to attention. Huh.