Glad you made it around the block! I'm due for a brake upgrade also but the original drums still do the trick for now.Nice wagon, @69nomad350!
I let the engine run for about 10 minutes shortly after my last post. The transmission started leaking out of the pan. 4L80 out of a '04 2500HD pickup with about 160K on it and no previous maintenance performed. I did research about changing the filter and adding new fluid or not. It's very inconclusive. About 50-50 do it/don't do it. So, I bought a brand new drain pan and a gallon jug. Drained the fluid into the new drain pan. Cleaned the tranny pan (lots of metal in it), reinstalled the tranny pan with a new gasket and then poured the fluid in the drain pan into the gallon jug and then back into the trans. The factory pan gasket is pretty stout and it was not apparent were it was leaking. The bolts were all tight. It doesn't leak now, though. Its a little low, maybe 1/3 quart. Got the gas pedal installed, sway bar installed, driver side fender, seat and steering wheel all installed.
I hadn't started it in several days before today. Started the engine and it was running crappy again. Vacuum leak at the intake manifold, again. Tightened it up again and it ran ok. Despite not fixing the rear brakes, I drove it around the block today. The engine does not seem to have much power. I do have 2.76 gears but even in 1st gear it felt puny. There is a slight incline into the shop from the driveway - maybe 2-3 inches and at a smooth angle (not a 90 degree). I was backing the car up with the engine just idling. It hit that incline and stopped. I probably revved it to 3 grand and it couldn't make it up that little bitty incline. Rolled forward and got some momentum and it rolled over it.
The truck manifold on the passenger side seems like it needs to go. Had to grind the flange to clear the frame. The exhaust pipe has a flange that bolts to the manifold flange. Had to grind that for clearance also. But, it seems like it still may be touching somewhere. Something is, anyway. While accelerating, there is a noise and vibration that stops when I let off the gas. Doesn't occur when the car is rolling with the engine at idle or under braking. It seems to be coming from the passenger side of the car.
The good news? It left my property under its own power for the first time in a decade!. Despite the issues, still feeling excited. Need to fix the brakes to I can really drive it.