66 El Camino center link question - El Camino Central Forum : Chevrolet El Camino Forums
El Camino Central Forum : Chevrolet El Camino Forums
 
Ground Up
Notices

User Name
Password

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-20-2008, 10:34 PM
mycatz2fat mycatz2fat is offline
Junior Member
NooB
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: 19(AK,ID,OR,WA)
Year: 1966
Model: El Camino
Region: 19(AK,ID,OR,WA)
NECOA #: 11075
Posts: 6
mycatz2fat will become famous soon enough
Default 66 El Camino center link question

I'm building a 66 El Camino and I'm wondering if anyone here can help me with a solution for the steering.

The engine I built for it http://www.mycatz2fat.com/resources/66ele.jpg has a hamburger racing pan on it. To make it fit I had to notch and box the crossmember which wasn't a problem. But the center link is because it sits too high and the inner tie rod ends hit the front of the pan at 1/2 turn of the wheel. (if you ask me the stock center links on these things are way over engineered to fit the stock pan!)

To fix the problem I was going to make my own pitman arm and an idler arm bracket to lower the whole unit. Both of which aren't a problem for me to do but...

I was just wondering if any of you fine folks knew of a company that made a center link I could buy that would solve the problem for me. Not to make it easier on me (I love to make my own parts btw) but to make it easier for the next owner of this car to replace the parts when the time comes.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 02-21-2008, 03:24 AM
OCTO13ER OCTO13ER is offline
Senior Member
Motor Mouth
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 10(IL,MN,WI)
NECOA #: 10422
Posts: 122
OCTO13ER will become famous soon enough
Default

I've got a Moroso 8qt. under my CBB with solid mounts that fits. You may need to either change the mounts or change the pan. Looking at the pic the Hamburger pan doesn't look any different so I'm wondering if your mounts are sitting lower than mine? Is that pan scraping the ground? I've got 4" ground clearance to my pan and didn't modify the cross member at all.

I think that if you get into any aftermarket parts on the steering linkage you may open a can o' worms that will make things really rough on someone (possibly you?) in the future. Even if the parts are available now who's to say anyone will still make them ten year's from now if it needs replacing?

The only other thing I can think of is if there's a compatable factory part, like from a camaro or nova, that may work. Not sure but I have resources and will see if anyone has come across this before.

Adrian
__________________
Elwood, IL


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-21-2008, 04:06 AM
OCTO13ER OCTO13ER is offline
Senior Member
Motor Mouth
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 10(IL,MN,WI)
NECOA #: 10422
Posts: 122
OCTO13ER will become famous soon enough
Default

I was looking at mine and I see what you mean by "over-engineered". That is a nice fit. Someone put a lot of thought into that!

I searched around and the best I can find is Howe Racing. They make them '68+ specific but I'd call them to see if they have anything for our application.

Do you have any pics of how you modified the crossmember? Maybe if we see that we'll have a better idea of where the centerlink needs to go. Not having the engine in the car (me neither!) doesn't make it any easier, but from what I can tell you're not the first one to run across this problem.

We'll figure something out.

Adrian

P.S. Welcome to the forum!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-21-2008, 10:03 PM
mycatz2fat mycatz2fat is offline
Junior Member
NooB
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: 19(AK,ID,OR,WA)
Year: 1966
Model: El Camino
Region: 19(AK,ID,OR,WA)
NECOA #: 11075
Posts: 6
mycatz2fat will become famous soon enough
Default

Actually Howe was one of the first calls I made. They couldn't help me tho.

Only the front of the pan sat too low because it was square and not rounded like the stock one. It didn't sit on the crossmember it just prevents the inner tie rod ball joints from traveling under it. The stock pan was shallow and round so they could and even then it was a tight fit.

The problem with the sump part of the pan was the length (from back to front) of it. When the motor was installed the back side of the crossmember was touching the front of the sump. That's why I notched and boxed it. I've built a lot of cars over the years and it's a common problem with a lot of racing pans on many different types of cars. So modifying crossmembers is something I've done many times. (heck,I could probably do one while asleep by now lol) I just got done cutting out all the pieces today and I'll be welding it all together tomarrow. So I'll take some pics and show you what I did. When I'm done it will actually be stronger than a stock crossmember.

I know what I can do to solve the steering problem I was just looking for an alternative solution.

I appreciate you welcoming me to the forum Adrian. Nothing beats a big howdy do at the door ya know?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-22-2008, 07:26 AM
OCTO13ER OCTO13ER is offline
Senior Member
Motor Mouth
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 10(IL,MN,WI)
NECOA #: 10422
Posts: 122
OCTO13ER will become famous soon enough
Default

No problem with the howdy, I try to remember to do so when talking with new members. I forgot to compliment you on your big block though. That's a good looking build. Is that a 9-quart pan? My Moroso 8-quart on my 454 with solid mounts fits like stock.

Just kickin' around some ideas on this:

Maybe we're looking at it from the wrong angle: How about changing the engine mounts? What happens if you move the engine back closer to the firewall? Is there room? Are you using solid mounts? Are you using engine plates (maybe a good idea if you're getting too close to the firewall)? I read somewhere about using 307 engine and frame mounts would move a big block back in the engine bay. I've gotta' find where I read that and what the application was. I've not tinkered with small block mounts so I don't know how that would work.

And it's probably too late but; what happens if you notch the front of the pan? If it's new you shouldn't have a problem welding it but if it's had oil in it I think that impairs weld penetration.

Making a couple of mounting brackets to drop the idler and pitman is sounding better and better. How will that affect your tie rod angle?

Adrian
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-22-2008, 08:18 PM
mycatz2fat mycatz2fat is offline
Junior Member
NooB
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: 19(AK,ID,OR,WA)
Year: 1966
Model: El Camino
Region: 19(AK,ID,OR,WA)
NECOA #: 11075
Posts: 6
mycatz2fat will become famous soon enough
Default

Thanks for the compliment on the engine. I try to make all my engines look as good as they run. Actually that's a 400 4bolt main Lunati block with a steel crank. I'm trying out one of Edelbrocks new rolling thunder retro fit roller lifter setups in it.

Here's a pic showing you the mod I did to the crossmember. http://www.mycatz2fat.com/resources/66elcm.jpg Once I clean up the welds and paint it it'll look tits up. The reason I notched the crossmember instead of messing around with engine location is simple. If you move the engine back or up you run into problems with the tranny hitting (or not fitting at all) because it's such a tight fit. I don't like cutting up floors and firewalls on classics just to make an engine and tranny fit. Not only that but then you have to mess with the tranny crossmember,tranny mount and the driveshaft also. It ends up being a whole lot of work and costs too much money when you can just notch the crossmember and be done with it. Then you can stick just about any engine you want in it.

The pan has trap doors in it so modifying the pan is out of the question.

Changing your tie rod angle doesn't affect anything. As long as your centerlink is the same length and the idler arm and pitman arm stay in line it doesn't pose any problem. As a matter of fact there's too much angle on these tie rods as it is which puts more stress on them. When I get the steering problem solved I'll post some more pics to show you what I did,ok?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-22-2008, 08:44 PM
OCTO13ER OCTO13ER is offline
Senior Member
Motor Mouth
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 10(IL,MN,WI)
NECOA #: 10422
Posts: 122
OCTO13ER will become famous soon enough
Default

That's cool. I'm seeing it now.

Yeah, make the brackets! What are you askin' me for? Only what about the centerlink hanging lower than the crossmember? Would there be any safety issues if the car bottoms out? I guess if it drags that hard it's takin' the pan with it so it won't go far, but losing steering could really suck.

You should see the welds on my header's that we fab'd. Believe me your welds look wonderful! Nothing a sanding wheel on a mini-grinder won't fix but those collector's are a pita to weld. I'll be doing a pressure test on them next week sometime when I'm done. Wish me luck on that action! I'll have to get some pics up for you guys on them. They are practically new but the car's been sitting just long enough for the surface rust on them to start pitting. I've got a local guy that's going to coat them for me but I've got to at least clean up the weld chunks and spatter first.

Okay, gone off topic, sorry. So what do you think of that centerlink hangin' low? I'm guessing you've got an obvious answer but it's not jumping out at me right now so I thought I'd go ahead and ask. I get the feeling you've done this once or twice.

Adrian
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-23-2008, 07:07 AM
awest's Avatar
awest awest is offline
Senior Member
Master Wrench
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mi.
Year: 1983
Model: El Camino
Region: 9 (IN,KY,MI)
NECOA #: 10900
Posts: 271
awest will become famous soon enough
Default

May I ask as to the function of the water lines from the thermostat housing back to the rear of the intake manifold?
Function, purpose, gains and so on, plz.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-23-2008, 06:42 PM
mycatz2fat mycatz2fat is offline
Junior Member
NooB
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: 19(AK,ID,OR,WA)
Year: 1966
Model: El Camino
Region: 19(AK,ID,OR,WA)
NECOA #: 11075
Posts: 6
mycatz2fat will become famous soon enough
Default

I don't mind one bit,you're more than welcome to ask me all the questions you want.

They're for better (and more even) cooling of the heads. Think about it for a sec,ok? The front of your intake has a coolant crossover but the back doesn't. Then the front of your heads are getting air blown on them from the fan but the back is sitting up against the fire wall. This means the back of the heads can actually be 20 degrees (or more) hotter than the front.

But it also improves the performance of the engine by allowing for a more accurate fuel delivery. A cooler fuel delivery is more dense and like wise a hotter one is less dense. So if the front and back (of the heads and intake) are running at different temps the fuel mixture is uneven also.

Not only that but it helps to prevent head warpage and gasket failure. If you're running aluminum heads that should be the first mod you make.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-23-2008, 07:42 PM
mycatz2fat mycatz2fat is offline
Junior Member
NooB
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: 19(AK,ID,OR,WA)
Year: 1966
Model: El Camino
Region: 19(AK,ID,OR,WA)
NECOA #: 11075
Posts: 6
mycatz2fat will become famous soon enough
Default

It's not going to be hanging below the crossmember. I cut that lip guard off the front of the crossmember so it was flush. When I got done there was a square hole about 7 1/2" wide by 2 1/2" tall in the front. I used that hole to get inside and weld the backside of the previous mod and added extra support pieces. Then I made a cap and welded it on the front. I only need to drop the centerlink 1 1/4" so it will still be protected by the crossmember.

I've been working on cars for over 40yrs. so you could say I've done just about everything atleast once or twice. I grew up on a farm in Colorado so my dad was sticking a wrench in my hand as soon as I was able to pick one up! I was an ET in the navy so I know my way around computer systems and even make my own wiring harnesses.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need Center console 1980 El Camino RogerD Wanted Items 0 12-02-2007 08:50 AM
Torque specs for center link? savrenovations Suspension & Steering 4 08-30-2007 09:58 AM
'73-'77 el Camino Center Console Hinge BAS-Sr Interior Restoration 2 03-07-2007 08:30 PM
Center Cap link for Blue79 GatorsElky Ebay / Craigslist Alert 1 02-07-2007 08:31 PM
stupid question (77 center console) elkyfreak General BS Topics 4 11-30-2004 02:33 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:22 AM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners. Comments are property of their posters, the rest 2001-2009 by me



Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.