Finally got the engine running last night, and with fresh gas, discovered the top of the engine is fine (starts instantly on turning ignition), but there's a huge knock in the lower block. Blown crank/bearings or oil starvation from not running for too long. Find out today...
Otherwise, find alternate transportation to tow utility trailer. Go, no-go date is Saturday.
I hate to say this, but you are most likely doomed. I would be searching now for alternate transpo. Check with rental car places?
Car rental from Eastern Canada for two to three weeks with trailer hitch. No go for cars with hitch. Passenger vans are already all books for people's holidays. Cargo type vans are booked for moving and students to university/college. Not to mention cost. Had a neighbour offer his Blazer with hitch if I rent him a car for the duration (may have to do that).
Surprise success on the engine today!!!
Turns out it was oil starvation due to sitting a few years; takes a while for the oil to get pumped through again. On advice, did "start/run-for-45-seconds/stop, heat-soak/oil-seep for ten minutes" cycles until the noise dropped significantly (took three cycles). Then "low-rpm run-up to operating temperature and leave to cool for an hour" cycles. Took two of those to get the engine to normal noises, except for a tappit on one of the six lifters, but that's fairly normal for this type of engine (Jeep I6-258). Will change the oil & filter tomorrow (too chicken at this point to flush).
Bad news is I lost a day.
Also for tomorrow: weld the front clip back on (weld, seam seal, rust coat), new master brake, caliper lines & bleed all, re-install rad, alternator, belts & a/c (already off for welding), align caster, camber & toe-in (level & tape measure - gotta love the early technology), build and install a battery tray, bolt on fenders, hood, front bumper and install the light assemblies. Then it's drivable and I get to see if the transmission works
Friday is fix the trailer, get plates, finish my bike build and pack.
Parts for DIY bucket swamp cooler have been drop shipped for pickup along the way.
No leisurely tourist drive, and I'll miss Monday and Tuesday, but I'll be there. If it works out...
If I make it, I'll need someone to pull the horse shoe(s) out.