The job was not without its trials and tribulations, but I did it. I can't believe I actually managed to get the whole thing done in one afternoon. Then again, I've been routinely thwarted so many different ways with this project I was bound to have something go right sooner or later.
While it was apart I wire-wheeled all the carbon from the valves. The exhaust valves had some pitting; I pulled out the grinding compound and the lapping tool and lapped the exhaust valves: problem solved.
I had to modify my OHV "universal" valve spring compressor in order to make it work with the cramped conditions of the Escort cylinder head. I had to use the lever-type compressor for the intake side because of the dampers on them. Mom helped me with the keepers on the intake side, both removing and installing, because it took all my arms and hands just to get the valve spring compressed far enough while keeping the head from rolling away. Telekinesis would have been useful; but since I don't have that, I asked Mom for some help. Despite age and inexperience she was a big help with that.
Despite all this, I thought one keeper was gone for good: while I was trying to reinstall one it went spoingg!! and disappeared from sight--but when I was done with every other possible valve and got down to seriously looking for it, I found that it had actually landed on the workbench behind the drill press--LUCKY!
After a brief pause to thank God for that, I put the last valve in. Then I put the lifters and rockers back in; and pretty soon I had a completely reassembled cylinder head, needing only to have the valve lash adjusted.
The job took me about four hours, more or less.
Anyway, so the last real obstacle to final assembly of the engine has been removed. I expect to complete the assembly sometime in the next week or so; and then finally it'll be time to do the engine swap!
It's only been, what, six weeks now? Seven? I've lost count....