I changed the oil in the van again and put some good quality Millers Running-in Oil in and when I started it up, the tapping noise gradually faded away. Hurray!
I also finished wiring the rear fog and reversing lights and tested all the towbar wiring I fitted last week. There's still the heater control cable to fix (it broke last week whilst I was out driving) but I'm ignoring that for now.
So this weekend I spent an hour in the sunshine fitting the new front fog lights and driving lights that have been in a box here for over three years. I still have to wire them in but I need to work out a location for a fuse box and some relays first.
That left me half a day to go put some miles on the engine and get some serious running-in done. At least that was the plan. In fact I drove about 40 feet (the distance from where the van was parked onto the road) before it was obvious that something was wrong with the transmission. The (auto) gearbox wasn't engaging properly. It seemed to get a bit better as the engine warmed up whilst I was investigating but I ended up parking the van again as the fluid level was obviously low and that's a bad thing for an auto. box.
I'm sure the fluid level was fine when I checked it last week and there's no evidence of a leak so I don't know where it's gone. It's had a whole (US) gallon since I drained it and changed the filter. I'm hoping it's just that the level is a little low and it didn't like starting from cold. Unfortunately the ATF for this gearbox is not available from the average car parts shop in this country so I'll have to buy some from a specialist.
Whilst I was underneath looking for leaks I noticed that the exhaust silencer has rusted through and now has a hole in it so I may have to replace the exhaust sooner than I was intending too. I knew it needed doing but I was hoping it would last until I'd got the engine run in and the van fully back on the road. Yet another thing for the growing list of "things that need fixing on the van".
On the matter of the spare wheel, I've decided there's no option but to fit the correct size tyre and sort out the cover later. That'll be more expense then!
Oh, and the left exhaust manifold is leaking coolant again. I'm really fed up with things going wrong now, it's about time the list of things to do started getting shorter, not longer.