I pulled the plugs and completed the compression test on Friday, which turned out to be mostly good news. The plugs came out looking good–clean with no fouling. Their was no indication of a blown gasket, though there was slightly higher than normal variance between the highest and lowest readings.
Overall, I certainly didn’t find anything that would make me want to pull the engine and take it apart this summer. (In a year or two, maybe.) I’ll be returning to my regularly scheduled plan of action for this summer, rebuilding the dashboard and (if there’s time) replacing the bushings in the rear springs.
I will, though, be keeping a closer eye on the coolant than I had. Checking it early this week, it was completely full, even after a couple of longish drives, including some stretches at speed on the freeway. For now, I’m assuming that the overheating I had was simply a case of a hot day and lots of time at idle. An electric fan would likely solve the problem for good, and it’s something I’m considering.
Before that, though, I will be replacing the harmonic balancer. Mine is old, and there were far too many stories on-line showing overheated cars with the balancer in pieces.