Thanks gents, I really appreciate the comments! I agree that the valve covers look good as-is, but I want something a bit less subtle. I want people to see it and say, "what does that say"? I want it to be noticed. I'll give this some more thought.
Deciding I had put off "real" work long enough, I went out to the garage to brave the 107 degree heat and work on the engine. I decided to tackle the timing chain, tensioner arm and tensioner spring today.
Being lazy and not wanting to go through the work of removing either of the gears, I probably went about this the wrong way and decided to cut off the old chain. First I masked everything so metal particles couldn't get deeper into the engine.
Old chain cut:
Old tensioner and spring on the left, new ones on the right:
New chain installed:
And then the tensioner and spring:
When this was done I had gained a big sense of accomplishment and lost 75% of the fluids in my body through sweat, so I decided to pick a task that I could do inside. Time for some more finger painting with Rub N' Buff!
Front cover before:
Front cover after:
Top cover during:
It's too damn hot to even think straight, so I'm taking a break. I may head back out to the garage with an ice cold beer later tonight and do some more work. More than likely I'll just set the alarm for 6AM tomorrow and work before the heat gets unbearable. I've got the weekend to myself, wife and baby girl are out of town, so my plan is to finish the piston rings (cake), clutch (easy, I think), and main seal (never done it). That's the lion's share of the big stuff I have left (other than re-wiring the headlight bucket, which is what I'm dreading the most at this point).