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Old 08-23-2016, 11:50 AM   #1
SCOTI
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Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

While building my dually, I started helping my buddy/co-worker/upholstery guy w/his oldest sons first ride. He wanted something cool, mild (nothing race car fast), dependable, & classic. After searching a while for something that fit within his TIGHT budget, he came across a 70 El Camino SS clone. It was a 20-footer but a decent start for the investment.

It screamed mid-80's high school parking lot era.....
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 08-23-2016, 11:59 AM   #2
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

We did a once over to assess the immediate & not-so immediate needs.

The immediate needs:
Ignition system/wiring (scary birds nest going on)
Worn front & rear suspension
Wheel & tire combo
Detail clean-up & assessment

The not so immediate needs:
Upgrades to the suspension while rebuilding
Wider (more safe) wheels & tires
Roof repair (poorly patched sunroof covered over w/a shoddy vinyl top)
Floor pans
Engine compartment refresh
Clean/re-route wiring for safety & aesthetics
Interior makeover/conversion (bench to buckets w/console)
Tailgate repair (had been rear ended)
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:12 PM   #3
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

We started w/removing the ignition wiring & replaced it w/some parts I had sitting on a shelf prom previous rides (a common practice throughout this build). Ignition upgrades weren't really pic worthy but the mix-mash of parts were replaced w/a GM HEI dizzy that had an MSD conversion kit (external coil + 6AL amp box) as well as streamlined the power supply & grounds.

Next was rebuilding the suspension starting w/the rear. This thing moved around so much going down the road it was SCARY! Inspection revealed the bushings were worn & some were even partially missing. While re-working things, I boxed in the control arms & built some simple shock relocation brackets that would be needed to clear some wider rear wheels. The gearing was left as is for now but needs to be upgraded once the budget allows so just the bushings, fluid, & seals were serviced....
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....

Last edited by SCOTI; 08-23-2016 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:41 PM   #4
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

More rear end pics....
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:48 PM   #5
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

It was a HUGE improvement just upgrading the rear so we knew the front was going to be even better.

New ball joints, bushings, brake hardware, & tie-rods were installed. A 1.25" sway-bar from a 2nd GEN f-body was added & a coil was cut from the springs for starters. Ideally we need higher rate springs but they just weren't in the budget & we couldn't find any used so we opted to trim what was there & spend the money toward adding the larger sway-bar. We also purposely didn't lower this one aggressively since the driver was just starting out.

Everything was cleaned & detail painted as we went....
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 08-23-2016, 01:03 PM   #6
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

The drop was just right. Next was upgrading to some additional wheel & tire width. I had multiple sets of GM car rally wheels to choose from. My buddy initially was set on going w/a staggered 7/8" set-up for safety. I knew something more aggressive was warranted & it took some persuasion to change his mind.

We were sticking w/a 275mm rear tire regardless but I felt the 275's on a 10" wheel would really fill the wheel-well up & look aggressive from the rear. He didn't feel there would be a notable difference so we broke one of the 8"/275 Centerline wheels down & swapped it over to a 10" Rally. I rolled the 8' & 10" 275 combo's side by side & it was unanimous @ that point.

He sold off the Centerlines to pay for some appropriately sized BFG front tires. Now we're looking classic w/some aggression....
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 08-23-2016, 01:09 PM   #7
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

Looks good so far!
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Old 08-23-2016, 01:50 PM   #8
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

Subscribing,...
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Old 08-23-2016, 03:13 PM   #9
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

10" wheel in the rear most definitely looks 'right' Lucky kid for sure.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:32 PM   #10
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

With the suspension freshened up & the necessary funding reached, it was decided to do some rust/sheet-metal repairs before other items.

This thing had a sun-roof installed @ some point in it's life. Like most things w/a hole on top that sits outside for any length of time, eventually it's going to leak. So, someone crudely patched up where the sun-roof was, wiped over the sheet-metal patch w/bondo (no primer anywhere) & then threw a poorly installed vinyl top over the mess.

The roof skin was done by a shop that has done work w/my buddy's dad before (his dad is a long-time local upholstery guy). The guy was able to get to it quickly & the price was very fair. I just told my buddy to go by there frequently to ensure the quality of repair was what we were shooting for.

The guy removed the old rotted metal, installed the new skin, & metal worked things allowing us to ok the work before any top-coat was applied. We wanted proper metal work here & no hidden shoddy work. We got it....
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:38 PM   #11
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

After priming/sealing, my buddy & his dad sourced new quality black vinyl material & got the new top installed. I lobbied for paint because it seems vinyl tops love moisture & I felt a 'simulated vinyl top' would work w/o future risk. They opted to keep it traditional. Then another old school local guy came out & installed the glass...
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 08-23-2016, 05:04 PM   #12
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

Our plan was to tackle the floor boards next. The Camino was then stripped of what remained of the old interior. It was @ this time that an offer came about & plans changed.

I've never done an entire floor. I've done patch repair but this thing didn't have much remaining to 'patch'. The existing damage to the floors wasn't repaired much better than the roof. it had the standard sheet-metal squares hammered in to fit where the rot diminished, screwed in place, & then slathered in sealant. They then threw cheap carpet over it @ called it good. What a mess.

So the change of plans was one of the neighbors where my buddy's family shop is does sheet-metal repairs for a living @ a local body-shop & does side work. He said he could do it right, quickly, & offered a good deal. You know the old saying.... Correct, Fast, & Cheap: You can pick two out of the three. So what seemed like a good idea to allow a pro go @ it & quickly move things along turned into a big delay. Yes he did a good job as priced. But instead of weeks, it was months (months). The guy also wound-up installing a tailgate skin for us as well since there was a delay (the old gate had ~3/4" of bondo on it in some areas).

While not happy, there was no harm as it allowed time for replenishing the funds.
As my buddy would say, it is what it is....
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....

Last edited by SCOTI; 08-23-2016 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:30 PM   #13
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

That is a nice looking Elky .
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:40 PM   #14
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

Great project, specially having the boys involved. Will be tagging along.
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Old 08-25-2016, 07:48 AM   #15
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

Thanks guys!

The drivetrain was back in but now the accessories & wiring had to be finished out. Once again the process was slow (it was hard to align the multiple schedules, logistics, & ma-nature).

We cleaned-up & used some 3/4 length Headman headers I had sitting on the shelf to address our previous low header collector issue. I vetoed utilizing the mis-matched pulleys from before as we were definitely on track & I did not want them to stick out like a sore thumb (the billet water-pump pulley was the wrong era & paint would never stick to the chrome crank pulley well). I ordered a set of replacement OE steel pulleys & cleaned/painted them for installation.

We also started really sorting through the wiring. We wanted to streamline & 'hide' what was possible as well as correct the internal alt upgrade that wasn't exactly done to standard. Trying to pin-point what wires were what took some research. Splices, faded colors, & inconsistent web sourced schematics had us going over things multiple times. We continued to push forward & eventually got things figured out.

The External regulator wiring is now properly spliced in place w/extra wiring corrected. The alt wiring was re-routed for better visual appeal. Exposed engine compartment wiring on the driverís side was hidden where possible & routed for better visual appeal. Maxi fuses have been installed for circuit protection as well as inline fuses where necessary. The headlight wiring was cleaned-up & better routed. New custom made battery cables & better grounds were installed & routed for better visual appeal.
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 08-25-2016, 07:57 AM   #16
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

Plug wires, heater hoses, & engine-monitoring gauge lines were routed for optimum visual appeal. The fan shroud & radiator were prepped & painted to match the new radiator cover. We used the same type of flanged hardware everywhere possible for consistency. Dylon's birthday came along, so I got him some classic muscle-car engine compartment 'bling'.

The remaining engine compartment items are to replace the booster, master cyl, & brake lines. They're functional but not very pretty. Regardless, it definitely left my shop looking MUCH better vs when it arrived....
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 04-09-2017, 03:15 PM   #17
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

So back to this one. I was hoping to have some better pictures of the 'original' interior but we didn't have many saved. To show a true comparison of where it was vs the revised, look closely @ the pass side door panel. The original interior quality was very similar to this door panel. Crudely put together w/o much attention to visual appeal.....
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 04-09-2017, 03:16 PM   #18
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

Here is the 'after' version....
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:01 PM   #19
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

Wow, a lot going on with the ElCamino. It came out very nice...anyone would be pleased to drive that one. Too bad about the damage though repairs came out nice. Did the owner help?

Where did the door panel come from? Looks really good!
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:10 PM   #20
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

I had a similar issue with a Q-Jet, my issue was a fuel pump that was putting out ~14lbs pressure. Put a new correct one and it ran better and fuel economy improved tremendously.
Just a thought.
I love Elco's and you have a nice one there!!
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Old 04-15-2017, 01:31 PM   #21
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

Scoti. Great thread. I suspect that I know one of the previous owners of that car. Back in 1991-1994 I went to A&P school in Fort Worth with a guy that had, I believe, that car. Sunroof and everything.
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Old 04-16-2017, 02:59 PM   #22
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shady Rascal View Post
Scoti. Great thread. I suspect that I know one of the previous owners of that car. Back in 1991-1994 I went to A&P school in Fort Worth with a guy that had, I believe, that car. Sunroof and everything.
Very possible then...
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:31 AM   #23
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Re: Time Out: 70 El Camino Side Project

Time for updates....

It seems there was more going on than just the generic Holleys issue. It was not just the carb. Turns out the el-cheapo notebook paper thin carb to intake gasket blew partially apart @ one point (most likely during one of it's backfires). It was actually split @ 3 different points.

Unfortunately, after swapping the Q-jet over, it still didn't seem to have the power I/we expected. It ran.... but not like a typical 350 should power wise (my 245k 6cyl/5spd 90swb had more acceleration get-up & go). After playing w/things we ran out of time so left it as is to think it through.

A buddy of mine suggested another pass through the ignition circuit. This was where we found the other items. It turns out we weren't getting any advance from the distributor. The vacuum advance canister was dead & we found the mechanical advance cams stuck. A new adjustable advance canister was swapped in place & I cleaned up the advance cams + added new springs.

What a difference. Now it pulls like a 350 should. It still needs other items addressed to be optimum but for a DD it's running the best it ever has. Future 'wants' are 3.42 or 3.55 gears, possible converter change, & an OD trans.

Last exterior item addressed was the bed area. It had a vinyl bed cover @ one point. But when the pass rear quarter was replaced, the snap bases were removed. The debate was clean up the drivers side & go w/a nice 'in-bed' solid frame cover or drill the new quarter for new snaps. This was a tough decision but ultimately the budget dictated another vinyl cover.

My buddy whipped it out over a weekend & right on time for Senior pictures.....
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Building a small, high rpm engine
with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive...
like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol....
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