I've been chunking away at the car in small bits and pieces as time and money allow, I figured I'd write an update to keep myself honest with the progress. I took the advice given here and have been addressing the issues that could potentially injure or kill me.
I've replaced the fuel filler neck, fuel lines from the sender to the carburetor, adjusted the valves and cleaned up the engine bay. I'm impressed by the increase in 'pep' from the motor with the adjustment, and the elimination of fumes is important when driving with my 9-month old co-pilot. I also bought the LED taillight set from Blunt, I was initially upset about my impulse control, but I'm impressed by the light output and I can chalk it up to a safety improvement as well. Here is a side-by-side of the running lights, stock on the right:
A keen eye can see that the motor is running way too rich. I wanted to get the motor tuned and desmogged, and since I was unhappy with the tone of the exhaust I opted for a full change. Since it was welded together from the downpipe back, I sprung for the full Ireland kit from header to tip. I sawzalled the old exhaust off, removed the header studs and replaced with the Ireland studs and copper nuts, then wrestled it into place. I'm missing the exhaust hanger mount just past the differential, so the exhaust bangs around during starts, but it is a major improvement. I'll take it to a muffler shop for final adjustment, but I don't have to push the car into the street to start it anymore for fear of waking the baby.
I removed the smog equipment and received a valuable lesson in tuning the motor. The previous owner tuned the motor with a vacuum leak, so it was dumping excess fuel in the mix in an effort to overcome the leak. I made the vacuum leak worse by using the wrong silicone gasket-maker when installing the Intake manifold block plate, so the car would not hold idle. The carb was torn down and inspected, the jets are nearly identical to C.Diesel's prescription, so the car is finally tuned and happy - starts on the first crank and is totally transformed.
I've got Porterfield R4S pads, new rotors, rear drum shoes and stainless lines waiting in boxes on the garage floor for a free weekend. I wanted a running car to bed the brakes properly, so that will be upcoming. The tires are dated 2003 (rear) and 2007 (front), so I opted to upsize to 15" wheels before getting better rubber. The wheels are Style 10 and will be delivered tomorrow, hopefully I will be running them by next week. Sorry purists.
I found a set of E21 comfort seats locally and installed them. They do not match the interior but I now have a place to sit without getting tetanus. Finally, I got frustrated with the finish of the original paint and tried a bit of rubbing compound on the trunk lid, and... it left a clean spot. I've been working panel by panel with it, and though half of the car is in primer, I'm satisfied that the Orange is coming back to life. My co-pilot seems to like it, and my goal is to have it safe enough to drive from Sacramento to Brisbane and back next month. Cheers!