no, actually, its having had to rebuild an engine with 20.00 in my pocket and making it work.
A-4's are not a mystery engine. They are incredibly simple to keep running and take more abuse that should be possible.
Just put your thinking cap on, diagnose the problem, and they should start and run for decades (oh, wait, they have been running for decades)
Oh, additional machining type things...
On cranks, your goal is to not have oil leak excessively past the bearings, the way this happens is with "scoring" of the journals, meaning there is a clear "path" for excessive oil to fill the grooves, causing low oil pressure.
Pits on the crank aren't so bad, they'll actually "hold" a bit of lube, so its ok. Not as nice as a clean crank, but, take a look, it might make the cost differential work out in your favor..
Pits on the camshaft, are bad. Not so much for the bearing journals, as they are on the cam lobes. Pits on the cam lobes will wear out a set of tappets (things that raise and lower your valves) very fast.
any machine shop is going to boil your block. That will clean out any internal passageways. Don't take it to a shop that is NOT going to boil the block.
as long as you can maintain 15 lbs, you're good.
Under 15 lbs?
instead of 30 weight, get some castrol 20/50.
I'm not kiddin'.
Or,if that doesn't bring it up to 15 at warm idle, remove the pressure spring (I think its alone one side of the block and stretch it a little, or put some shims under it. don't arnold on it, you don't want 50 lbs of oil pressure, you'll blow the crank main seals.
remember, there isn't an oil filter and your tranny shares its oil supply with the motor, so keep your oil clean. Try to keep it clean anyway.
I think there a total of 2 bearings in the transmission. If its been under salt water for a length of time, then, they're going to be shot.
The only other item that could trip you up is the reversing "gear" assy. This thing IS a mystery to me. I don't know why it works, but it does. Make sure it moves freely (if you even attempt the tranny) and it'll be ok.