Answer: The need to pump the gas pedal after the car has sat for some time is generally considered to be normal, and there’s not much you can do about it. While the car sits unused, the gas in the carburetor evaporates. As you crank the engine, the fuel pump replaces the fuel in the carburetor. Once this fuel has been replaced, pumping the gas pedal gives the engine the fuel that it needs to start.
I have one tip regarding the replacement of the passenger side exhaust manifold gasket. Don’t do it! You’ll thank me for it later. These manifolds are notorious for leaking and cracking, and they are amongst the most difficult ones that I’ve ever had to replace. I rarely discourage hobbyists from performing repairs on their classic cars, but this is a repair that is best left to the professionals. The cylinder head will most likely need to be heated with an acetylene torch in order to loosen the bolts enough so that they won’t snap off. If just one bolt snaps off, it will be necessary to remove the cylinder head in order to remove that bolt. Trust me…I’ve done it. Make sure that you trust the mechanic that does the job, because you don’t want to blame him or her if they end up with one or more broken bolts.
Let’s be optimistic and jump to the part where the manifold has been successfully removed with no ill effects other than a few skinned knuckles. Be sure to install the manifold with a high quality copper gasket that is embossed around the exhaust port openings. These work very well and you certainly don’t want to have to do this again.
Now I’m going to give you the last tip, which I will deny if ever asked about it. “I’ve heard from some mechanics” that a thin coating of “furnace cement” (available at any hardware store) on the cylinder head and exhaust manifold will go a long way in making sure that the repair is successful.