I put the fuel tank back on yesterday and bled the air out of the fuel system. The engine started easily and without incident apart from sneezing sooty rainwater from the exhaust system all over me on the first exhaust stroke.
The engine seems to be running very smoothly, there's no obvious clattering knocking sounds which is good. Also my core plugs seem to have sealed fine as there was no more water leaking out (well only at the drain tap on the bottom of the radiator, but that's cause it was loose)
We had the Playing Field's MF35 out of the shed today (just to get at an old mower buried behind it) and it's amazing to note the difference in the sounds of the engine. My SMC engine purrs nicely chug-chug-chug, the Perkins in the 35 on the other hand sounds more like a fishing boat Tunk-Tunk-Tunk-Tunk
I still haven't received the parts I ordered from Agriline, I'll have to contact them tomorrow and see if they've sent them yet. Until I get those seals and gaskets I can't really get on any further. (All I can do is more cleaning, bleh)

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