The goal was to pop the valve covers, make sure I'm at TDC and then check the drive gear for the distributor. Once that was established, determine the next steps...but I didn't get that far.
I wasn't able to install the cables, however, because the spacer I'd used was slightly too thick so I'm now on a hunt to find the correct thickness. If I cannot locate the correct spacer, I may try to remove some material from the washers I bought. Nothing ever just 'fits' anymore.
During the work to check/set the valve gap, I discovered that the intake valve on the #3 cylinder was loose - horizontally. I quickly noticed that the spring washer was missing - if you look real close, you can see it on the bottom right of the image
The exhaust valves are stupid tight - which is probably why the engine was running hot and rich. Potentially why the washer broke and why I'm now having so many problems - not likely to be the distributor at all.
I'm done for a while until I find the little things that, once again, hold up my ability to drive this f%&#@ng car before I lose interest completely.
I ordered up new adjusting screws, jamb nuts, solid rocker shafts to eliminate the wavy washer/spacer things and I'm thinking about picking up an electric fuel pump tomorrow. I will then have replaced a lot of the potentially flawed parts on this engine. Ironically, the more I spend on this engine to get it functional - the more I want to yank it out and replace it with the 1904 and a rebuilt freeway flyer...but there's a part of me that doesn't want to admit defeat yet.