This saga begins many years ago when I bought the car from a guy in Oakland for $800.
The car was bascially ok, except for two major problems. A large dent in the left rear, and the engine dumped oil through every seam and burned so much oil that it looked like I was fogging for mosquitos.
So the 2.6l 2M engine needed to come out. Then also was the fact that at 70mph on the freeway, the motor was spinning at close to 4k (if I remember correctly.) At any rate, living with a 4spd transmission in this era was less than ideal.
Time for an engine swap!