I refinished the valve cover last night. Stripped it bare and did it right, and it turned out great. I'll give it some time to cure before it goes back on. While it's off I decided to adjust the valves, and I'm glad I did. Most of the valve lash was off so I properly adjusted them. Hopefully that gets rid of some of the "sewing machine" tapping sound. Though I've been told that's normal for an H series.
2 month update on the heat shield. It's still holding up nicely. I used VHT manifold paint by the way. I've had some pretty poor experiences with their products in the past but this was an excellent choice.
I'm probably 90% done with the engine bay for now. I'm still planning on dropping the trans and replacing the clutch since it still has the original. I'll have to do that when budget and schedule allows though. It's still not slipping surprisingly.
Started noticing some oil drops on the garage floor. Pulled the oil pan and the gasket is very crunchy, probably still the original. Got a new FelPro to go on. I'm installing some new exhaust hardware and gaskets as well since they had to be removed to gain access to the pan.
I'm doing a very thorough cleaning of the engine bay before everything goes back together. With the car sitting for a number of years plus the previous valve cover gasket leak = a big mess. So far that aluminum block is cleaning up nicely to be 30 years old. I also ordered a few more parts to keep things rolling. New thermostat & housing gasket, radiator hoses, throttle body gasket, TPS sensor... My goal for the winter is to have functionality and reliability at 100%. I'm finally giving it the care it needs since the service records stopped in 2016. The previous owner moved across the country to retire but I'll still be keeping him updated as promised. I'm trying to love the car just like he did for 28 years.