Think I may actually make some notable progress today. It's been tricky to sneak out in the garage with a 13 week old daughter around.
Got a bit done yesterday. It's just been lots of cleaning, and not the type of cleaning that makes you go "wow, look at how clean that is". More the type of cleaning that makes you go "ugh, finally its clean enough to not cause problems!"
Here is an example of what I've been dealing with. There are a few things that must be swapped from the AXK Eurovan motor to the BDF Jetta motor. Things like the valve cover, oil pan, oil pickup tube, oil cooler, oil filler neck (start to see a pattern here?) I have to swap over a bunch of oil system parts from a motor that had an oil system problem. So everything must be cleaned to a fault to make sure to not contaminate the new engine.
Here is the underside of the valve covers. Note that the one on top has already been media blasted once and I've spent about 2 hours with various degreasers, even soaked it over night and lots of scrubbing.
I finally got it clean enough to see that the black plastic end piece was removable. (I wish I would have taken a picture of this when I started, you couldn't tell the black plastic end piece was a different material than the Aluminum cover. How crazy is that?
When I removed the cover I discovered a whole new valley of crud. Took quite awhile to get it clean enough to install.
The interior angles, hose mounts and oil filler mount are totally different on the Eurovan valve cover. Which is why it had to be reused.
There was no way that nasty old cover was going over this new valve train!
Once the parts were finally clean enough (no picture), I filled the motor with new Mobile One oil and pulled the oil pump drive and primed the pump with an air ratchet. Normally I'd do this a bit later in the process but the oil pump drive lives under one of the headers. Which means to access it you must have the intake and header off.
Then the valve cover was finally ready to go back on with as many new parts off the new cover as possible. (And a bunch of other stuff magically hopped onto the engine too)