I took the car, original-style heat shields and bolts to a local muffler shop and asked them to seal up the exhaust leaks. Two days later, the car is back and quite literally transformed. Quieting the engine completely changed the character of the car from “old Ford in decent shape” to “luxury vintage Thunderbird.” She purrs.
I’m a little sorry now that I didn’t get this done a little sooner, though not sorry at all to have it professionally done. One bolt was missing and two had to be extracted when the manifolds were removed–not exactly a job I’d like to tackle in the driveway.
The plug wires–less than a year old–were burned and split in some locations and had to be replaced. With the correct heat shields now installed, that should not happen again.
As for the fuel pump, new fittings did the trick. I installed them on the pump I had only to have it crack again (outlet side this time, though). Swapped it out under warranty–pump number 5, total, for those keeping score–installed the brass fittings, put the pump in and all was good.
New shocks this weekend!