When I decided to start getting my 1500 Ghia roadworthy again about three years ago – the first step in starting a proper restoration – I had no idea I would still be working on the engine rebuild at this point, but here I am. When I had to tear the engine down again to address a piston clearance problem in the summer of 2007, I decided to take care of a few things that I had neglected the first time around, among them clearing the intake manifold's blocked heat riser. I took the piston clearance problem that thwarted the initial rebuild as a sign, and this time I would do everything right. No shortcuts.
If you want to lose momentum on a restoration project this is the way to do it. Since the manifold is a one-year-only rarity finding a good unblocked one wasn't going to be easy, so I spent many hours that year trying everything I could to clear the blockage, about 12 inches of solid carbon buildup. I was nearly there when the wire rope I was using broke off inside, and there was no way to retrieve it short of cutting the manifold open. I then searched for another good used manifold and found one, also blocked but less severely, and not long after that, in early 2008, BerT3 contacted me offering an NOS manifold for sale. This is the way rare parts searches seem to unfold: just when you find an acceptable compromise something much better comes along, and you have no choice – you have to buy it.
Unfortunately all of my time in 2008 and the beginning of this year was consumed by my job and freelance work projects. I'm only just getting back to the Ghia now, and the first task, other than clearing all the junk out of the garage for work space, was refinishing the NOS manifold, which had too much shelf wear to use as is.
After an extensive wet sanding and many coats of Zynolyte Hi-Temp 0642 Machinery Gray it's ready to install.