But am making good progress on cleaning parts. I have the _huge_ intake manifold apart and now soaking in hot, soapy water.
Also washed then lightly resurfaced the flywheel. Looks good. Also cleaned up the harmonic dampener.
The PCV's breather element, in the lower half of the air filter box, was basically dirty, gritty goo -- had to scrape it out. After washing the box, installed the new element.
Have the rusty EGR's tube's nut soaking in Liquid Wrench -- lots of warnings out there to take apart and clean out the EGR, as well as the intake, to out all the dropped valve seat parts, lest the new head/engine be destroyed too.
Installed three heater/cooling new hoses in the engine bay -- was fairly easy with the engine outta there. New thermostat fit nicely in the cleaned-up housing (remember to remove the paper covering the rubber ring's sticky surface). Old thermostat was 88C, new one from Stant is 89C.
Cleaned lots of nuts and bolts, as well as the last original piston. The new set of pistons are coming from one large state away, so they may get here before the weekend, except they do need to cross where a blizzard just hit. Highway's open last I checked though. Still a long list to keep me busy while I'm waiting, including cleaning the throttle body and SPI valve assembly (or whatever its called).
Question: I've only found about one-fifth of the valve seat so far, and they were all in the intake manifold. I'll look more carefully, but I didn't see any pieces in the catalytic converter. Maybe some were pounded into the piston? Or pulverized? Where have you found pieces in an affected SPI?