I reworked the starter connection, installed the charged battery and she started on the first tap. Took is for a little test drive (10 miles) and everything is as smooth as can be expected for a car with 235,000 miles.
I will keep an eye on fluids etc. From just the short drive, it won't surprise me if I have to pull the valve cover and use more silicone around the edge.
Beyond the basics of keeping things marked and in time when installing the new belt, I offer three helpful hints that I would have liked up front.
1. Breaking the crank bolt loose can be a challenge. I ended up using a standard door hinge at the flywheel. It is just the right size and when partially opened (hinge to the top), it locks the fly wheel up enough to stay in place and let you break the bolt loose.
IF YOU ARE REPLACING the timing belt as part of the service, a large wrench (approx. 25mm or 1" worked well) on the cam shaft would do the trick as well. I tried briefly using the pulley bolt on the cam shaft, but after tighting it a quarter turn or so, I was worried I would break it before getting the crank bolt loose. Thus, ended up using the hinge as shared above.
2. Maybe I didn't look in the right spot or read carefully enough (Haynes manual), BUT, when removing or replacing the middle timing belt cover, it is impossible to do with the timing belt tensioner and water pump pulley in place. I wasted mucho time figuring that out. In hindsight, just a visual inspection should have been enough, but wasn't for me.
3. If you don't know the last time the valve cover was removed, assume all the plasitc pieces are harder than sh*t and will need replaced. spark plug tube seals, valve cover washers (rubber on bottom), PCV valve & grommet. Brittle, brittle, brittle.
Last edited by NWMO 95 Prizm Lsi; 12-10-2012 at 10:58 PM.