Thanks for the compliment. As Ray said most times the switches can be cleaned without the need to replace them. As for the Squarebirds reliability I've owned many different Ford and GM cars over the years and I don't think it's any better or worse than other cars from that era. Regarding your ballast resistor it's always a good idea to carry a spare with you. You can also just connect the two wires together and it will get you home should it fail. I'm not sure what type of ON-OFF switch was installed in the cooling system. All you need to do is put a hose from the water pump to the intake manifold to bypass the heater core.