After the paint dried overnight I got to tear into it again this morning.
I know the timing chain is stretched because even at full adjustment the timing is still off on the truck. It's running fine for now, but still not perfect. It wreaked of raw fuel and since I had assumed it was loading up on fuel at the carb I didn't notice a small crack in the rubber line that slowly leaked under pressure until I took it to the gas station to get some more fresh gas on a second tuning run since I fired it up.
SO, I replaced both lines this morning and boy did that make a difference. Low fuel pressure was most likely causing my idle issues and it wanting to die without constant pedal fiddling. The smell also disappeared. It looks like the timing can be done later, and even though it needs to be done, the fuel mileage and performance of the engine should go up.
After fixing the fuel lines I decided to take the brand new B&M Z-Gate shifter that I had bought a few years ago to put in my Cutlass and put it in the truck since I would have to modify the factory linkage anyway to accommodate the body lift.
It mounted up perfectly beside the Transfer Case shifter and is at the perfect arm's reach with the factory bench seat. (which at the request of my wife we are keeping - Sorry for all you bucket seat fans) The black housing will require a bit of modification to fit the factory hump and the mounting plate for the TC shifter boot. However being that I have experience working with ABS plastic (former Certified Mobile Audio Tech), it shouldn't be that hard to make it look like it was factory installed.
Shifts nice and smooth, locks into gear nicely and feels much more secure than the old sloppy column shifter.
I also grabbed my Auto Meter Tach that I had for my Cutlass and Threw it in the truck as well; I'll wire in the tach later, for now it's just mounted in a comfortable location.I plan on replacing the factory gauges with matching Silver faced Auto Meter gauges using the factory dash plates. I would like some suggestions however on this because I would like to know if anyone has converted their factory plastic housing to auto meter gauges without having them stick out. (I'd like the gauges to fit in same locations but flush with the dash, not sticking out)