Great compliments from you all and thanks for the encouragement guys.
I think the hell part comes from the hellish amount of body work this car required to get it straight.
I made a mistake on the calculations for the engine parts. I still needed another 500 bucks worth of parts to complete the build but I pretty much figured that would be the case.
I've been busy dialing in the roller cam end play which required a .795 Torrington thrust bearing which I had to remove .050 from the back of it in order to end up with .005 clearance. This is not an easy thing to do as there is no way to use a feeler gauge or dial indicator for this. I used a bit of sticky clay between the bearing and the cover to dial this in. This is an area where you really need to take your time and get it right.
Luckily I had my sanding machine for this because sanding the end of the bearing perfectly flat would have been impossible with out it. I used the special Milidon timing cover with the thrust part welded on. First picture shows the timing cover.
They really needs to sell these Torrington bearings with shim washers of different thicknesses so you can dial in the end play by using different thickness shims behind the bearing. Instead they sell a few different lengths with no real method for dialing them in.
After that you need to adjust the push rod length in order to get the roller tip centered across the valve stem. I ended up with 7.2 inches for the pushrod length which happens to be the most popular size so I guess a lot of guys end up at the same length for push rods on the small block Chevy. Second picture shows the pattern on the valve stem.
On to the 4500$ pile of parts, most of them anyway.
Last picture shows water pump to timing cover clearance which required me to grind off two of the rear water pump cover bolts and had to use two water pump gaskets to make it fit without hitting the timing cover. This tight fit is all fairly standard for these engines.
I also needed to use the special Fel-Pro coated multi layer stainless .026" thick head gasket in order to get my compression dialed in at precisely 10 to 1 to run on 92 octane pump gas. These were 63 bucks EACH! They don't even sell them in pairs so now I have to get another one.
I was working out in the garage till midnight last night trying to figure out all the little parts I needed to get this working, so now I have another 500 dollar order to place which means more waiting and more pictures of the engine coming soon as it goes together.