1969 El Camino restomod - 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 08-22-2012, 07:44 PM
number9 number9 is offline
Senior Member
Master Wrench
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Name: Chris
Location: Boston, MA
Year: 1969
Model: El Camino
Region: 2 (CT,MA,ME,NH,RI,VT)
NECOA #: 13389
Posts: 481
number9 will become famous soon enough
Default 1969 El Camino restomod

You can see my introductory thread here, but this is the thread I'll be using to document my restomod.

Here's how she looks now.

I've already violated what is probably the first rule of any restoration: I'm not sure what my final goals are for the project. While I figure that out, I plan on fixing any mechanical issues that arise. Once that's done (in time for a cold, snowy winter to set in) I hope to have my goals figured out.

So far I've done the absolute basics: new battery, new fuel filters, new plugs, new belts, new thermostat, new air filter, new fuel lines, fresh oil.

Here's what needs some work sooner rather than later:
  • TH-350C has a slow leak (not sure where)
  • Speedometer doesn't work (wrong gears)
  • Gas gauge doesn't work (not sure why)
  • A/C doesn't work (compressor bad)
  • Heater doesn't work (missing relay)
  • Dome light doesn't work (door switch)
  • Headliner missing
  • Windshield washer reservoir & motor missing
Here's what will be addressed this weekend:
  • New steering wheel (Grant wooden three-spoke)
  • New tachometer (small Sunpro)
  • Inspect brakes
  • Inspect suspension
  • Drop gas tank to check sender
  • Try and find transmission leak
Here's what needs work later:
  • Dash clock is missing
  • Headlight switch is wrong
  • Front grill trim is broken on the sides
  • Passenger-side vent window won't operate
  • Window trim is bad
  • Drip rails don't work
  • It needs a real radio (and probably speakers)
  • New suspension bushings everywhere
So, there's nothing really pressing. Like I said, the plan is to try and fix the outstanding issues and then think about what I want to do with it once the snow falls (my garage isn't heated).

What it will certainly get is some new bodywork and a new paint job (hopefully Fathom Green with black trim). Hopefully it will get a relatively mild 383 crate motor, too.

I titled the thread a "restomod" because I'm not going to restore it to 100% originality. There's already some stuff that's non-original: TH350 instead of Powerglide; deep purple instead of LeMans blue; Corvette rally wheels; MSD ignition and some other things. My plan is to replace things that make sense (new-style A/C compressor; newer brakes) but keep other stuff original where possible.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0853.jpg
Views:	301
Size:	234.5 KB
ID:	3222  

Last edited by number9; 08-22-2012 at 08:03 PM.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 08-23-2012, 09:23 AM
HQDeezy's Avatar
HQDeezy HQDeezy is offline
Senior Member
Master Wrench
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Name: HQD
Location: Bay Area
Year: 1984
Model: Conquista
Region: 18(CA)
NECOA #: 22419
Posts: 243
HQDeezy will become famous soon enough
Default

You've got your work cut out for you. Nice car and good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-09-2012, 05:49 PM
number9 number9 is offline
Senior Member
Master Wrench
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Name: Chris
Location: Boston, MA
Year: 1969
Model: El Camino
Region: 2 (CT,MA,ME,NH,RI,VT)
NECOA #: 13389
Posts: 481
number9 will become famous soon enough
Default

Apologies as this update will be a little all-over-the-place. Haven't been taking as many photos as I should have!

One of the first things to do was the old, two-spoke steering wheel. I'm not actually sure it's the correct year for the car, but it's probably pretty close:



To remove the old steering wheel, there are a couple of screws that hold the large inner portion of the wheel (it's actually a giant horn button) to the wheel itself; those are removed from behind the steering wheel. Once those are out, gently pry the horn button off. Once that's out of the way, there is a large nut (3/4" I think) that holds the steering wheel to the column. Remove it. On my car, the steering wheel was stuck on pretty good, so I rented a steering wheel puller and just yanked off the old one.

It came out easily enough and was replaced by a three-spoken wooden steering wheel from Grant with a Chevy horn button:



It makes a pretty big difference! They're very reasonably priced (maybe $120 or so, with fitting kit) from Summit Racing.

Next up was the fuel system. As far as I can tell, there is a simple hard line from the fuel pump (mounted on the lower left-hand side of the block) up to the Quadrajet 4bbl carb. On my car, the hard line had been removed & replaced with some fuel hose and an inline filter. Both looked in pretty bad shape, so they came off. There's also a very small filter inside the carb body itself. If you remove the air cleaner, you can actually see <-- FILTER written on the carb body itself.





The old one was pretty gross:



Many people just remove it and go with an inline filter right after the pump, but I reinstalled mine. I then ran some new fuel hose and a new inline filter from the pump up to the carb body. Forgot to take a photo of the new line & chrome filter The old line was so bad that I had to cut it off and tear the lines in half to get it off.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-09-2012, 05:59 PM
rnhart3's Avatar
rnhart3 rnhart3 is offline
Senior Member


Master Wrench
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Name: Jim
Location: Milford
Year: 1979
Model: El Camino
Region: 2 (CT,MA,ME,NH,RI,VT)
NECOA #: 17856
Posts: 701
rnhart3 will become famous soon enough
Garage
Default

Well worth the effort... keep us posted
__________________
Jim
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

1979 El Camino, retired daily-driver,
current frame-off resto project
1986 Monte SS, mild 350, headers, elec cooling
fan,"A" Pillar gauges, subtle
modifications to transmission, #3 son is a trans tech...
1986 Monte SS T-Tops, for parts...
1985 El Camino
1986 El Camino
1991 S10 pick-up
1997 Chevrolet Tahoe 2 dr.
1981 Malibu wagon with 9C1 drivetrain...parts?...or drive?
"Too many parts cars to mention....."
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-09-2012, 05:59 PM
number9 number9 is offline
Senior Member
Master Wrench
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Name: Chris
Location: Boston, MA
Year: 1969
Model: El Camino
Region: 2 (CT,MA,ME,NH,RI,VT)
NECOA #: 13389
Posts: 481
number9 will become famous soon enough
Default

The next thing I tackled was the gas gauge. It hadn't worked in as long as I've had the truck -- at empty, the gauge read close to empty, but at full it was never more than 1/8 full on the gauge. The previous owner mentioned that he'd looked at it and determined the gauge was faulty, not the sender. The senders don't last forever, so I dropped the tank and inspected it. It looked only a couple of years old, so after running a new ground wire and cleaning up the connection for the signal wire, I reinstalled the tank and hoped for the best. Here's the old sender, cleaned up a little:



You can see it's pretty simple. There's a black sock-style filter, which hides the pick-up that sucks gas out of the tank. There's also a cylindrical foam float, which moves up and down depending on the level of gas in the tank. At empty, the sender transmits 0 ohms of resistance; at full it is 90 ohms. With a multimeter on the sender terminal, I verified that these readings were correct (which they were). I removed the old sender wire, soldered on a new one and covered it (poorly) with electrical tape. With some new flexible fuel hose to the chassis hard line, back on it went:



Then I drove to a gas station, left the accessory ignition on (so I could watch the gauge rise) and added a few gallons of gas. No dice I emailed the previous owner and he said that it took almost 140 ohms to make the gauge to go full. So, I found another gauge on eBay for about $30. It's also cosmetically nicer than my old one:



This is before installation!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-09-2012, 06:00 PM
rnhart3's Avatar
rnhart3 rnhart3 is offline
Senior Member


Master Wrench
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Name: Jim
Location: Milford
Year: 1979
Model: El Camino
Region: 2 (CT,MA,ME,NH,RI,VT)
NECOA #: 17856
Posts: 701
rnhart3 will become famous soon enough
Garage
Default

Careful with that rubber fuel hose...vibration may cause problems. I've ALWAYS hard-lined mine.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-09-2012, 06:35 PM
number9 number9 is offline
Senior Member
Master Wrench
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Name: Chris
Location: Boston, MA
Year: 1969
Model: El Camino
Region: 2 (CT,MA,ME,NH,RI,VT)
NECOA #: 13389
Posts: 481
number9 will become famous soon enough
Default

In order to test the theory that the gauge itself is bad, I planned to unplug the old gauge and temporarily wire it to the new gauge to test it. Which sounds simpler than it is! Getting the old gauge out proved to be harder than I thought. It required the removal of almost all of the gauge cluster, which is held together in two ways: Phillips-head screws that keep the gauge face to the dash pad & support, and Allen-head screws that keep the gauge cluster to the gauge face. You can see in these photos that the dash face is starting to separate from the dash pad:



Note that the headlight knob is a couple of years too new. A correct one is cheap at around $15. They're supposed to look like this:



After disconnecting the wiring harness for the headlight knob (one big connector), windshield wipers switch (one small connector) and the heater & A/C motor switch (one small connector), the gauge face started to come off leaving the gauge cluster behind:



However, it wouldn't budge until I removed the four (I think..) 1/4" Allen-head screws that fasten the gauge face to the gauge cluster itself. Once these were removed, the gauge face came out:




At this point, I noticed two things I had suspected: first, someone had removed the OEM clock (the small circular gauge between the speedometer & gas gauge). And, the gear indicator (Park R N D L) is for a two-speed Powerglide, and not a three-speed TH350C. The car was built as a 'Glide but had been replaced with a TH350C and 2.73:1 open rear-end from a '71 Chevelle. Not only was the indicator incorrect for the car, but it never worked: the cable that goes from the column shift lever to the indicator is missing. Finding a new indicator lens (Par R N D L2 L1) is easy, but I'm not sure where I'll get a new cable. Here's what a new indicator lens looks like:



They're about $25 each new, but the cable isn't included. I haven't been able to find a replacement clock, either One thing I'd love is one of these miniature tachometers that go in place of the clock:



They're about $140 new. That'll be on the Christmas list I think!

Anyway, back to the gauge cluster. Now that I've got the gauge face off, I can work on removing the cluster. It wasn't too hard. There are about 8 light bulbs behind the gauge cluster (for backlight), as well as one large connector for the gas gauge and a metal clip holding on the speedometer cable. Press down on the clip (towards the gauge cluster), and the speedometer cable pops off easily. After that, you can pull the gauge cluster out of the car. Here it is on my living room floor:



That's the bad gas gauge, though. I tested the new gas gauge and it worked! Well, it read a little high with a full tank:



My plan is to have both the speedometer and the good gas gauge calibrated before I have them reinstalled in the car. That should be cheap, at maybe $20. At the same time I do that, I'll need to visit this guide and then choose the correct speedometer gears for the truck. I'm not sure what rear-end the truck was built with, but it has a 2.73:1 on it now. I'll need to match that with the current tire diameter and then choose the appropriate gear, and put that gear onto the speedometer drive unit (on the transmission itself). Hopefully that should give me a working speedometer & odometer!

There's also some mess I'll need to clean up. I imagine it's from the previous previous owner, as the actual previous owner was pretty skilled. You can see that there's a wire that goes nowhere (the white one), a large round metal connector (that's not connected to anything), and several wires joined together with wire nuts. Those nuts are designed for 120VAC residential uses, not 12VDC automotive ones



Last but not least, the previous owner installed a Sunpro gauge set with a water temperature gauge, oil pressure gauge and battery volt gauge. Kinda like this:



You can see he tapped one of the existing backlight bulb wires (they're grey & orange) to wire the backlights for the Sunpro gauges:



(The dangling connector is for the heater & A/C motor switch). Because the truck didn't come with a factory tachometer, I bought one of these from Summit Racing to use temporarily while I decide what to do long-term:



I'll piggyback the same backlight tap he used, and run power to the fusebox like he did:



You can see the orange connector (a Delphi type 56) going into the factory fusebox. Thanks to Matty B at CAL REWIRE in Rancho Cordova for identifying it, and for providing me a couple connectors to use for the tach!

That's it for now. Won't be much more interior work until I get the tachometer & speedometer back from calibration.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-09-2012, 06:53 PM
number9 number9 is offline
Senior Member
Master Wrench
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Name: Chris
Location: Boston, MA
Year: 1969
Model: El Camino
Region: 2 (CT,MA,ME,NH,RI,VT)
NECOA #: 13389
Posts: 481
number9 will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnhart3 View Post
Careful with that rubber fuel hose...vibration may cause problems. I've ALWAYS hard-lined mine.
Which one - the one between the pump and the carb, or the one between the gas tank outlet and the chassis hard line?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-09-2012, 07:15 PM
69/84's Avatar
69/84 69/84 is offline
Senior Member
Master Wrench
 
Join Date: May 2012
Name: John
Location: Western Washington
Year: 1969
Model: El Camino
Region: 19(AK,ID,OR,WA)
NECOA #: 21702
Posts: 1,401
69/84 is a jewel in the rough
Default

Just put that steering wheel in my 84...Re-Stained the wood to match the wood grain plastic on the dask...Looks great...
__________________
"You Can Never Get Enough of What You Don't Need"

"Bad Decisions make Great Stories"



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-10-2012, 04:37 AM
464elky's Avatar
464elky 464elky is offline
Senior Member


Master Wrench
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Name: Neil
Location: 6(FL) West Palm
Year: 1984
Model: El Camino
Region: 6 (FL)
NECOA #: 8926
Posts: 4,326
464elky has a reputation beyond repute464elky has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by number9 View Post
Which one - the one between the pump and the carb, or the one between the gas tank outlet and the chassis hard line?
Between the pump and carb. The one from the chassis to the pump has to be rubber to allow for engine movement and vibration.
__________________
84 Elky with 455 Stage 2 Buick, Tremec TKO600 5 speed, 8.5 3:23 posi 98 Acura CL custom upholstered seats, Dakota Digital Instrumentation-

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

Car Domain:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

Another 3 to 9 years should finish it. In year 7 and still working on it - no end in sight.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-10-2012, 07:10 AM
number9 number9 is offline
Senior Member
Master Wrench
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Name: Chris
Location: Boston, MA
Year: 1969
Model: El Camino
Region: 2 (CT,MA,ME,NH,RI,VT)
NECOA #: 13389
Posts: 481
number9 will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69/84 View Post
Just put that steering wheel in my 84...Re-Stained the wood to match the wood grain plastic on the dask...Looks great...
Did you have any issues with the installation? I can't get the horn button spaced out correctly. It's either too far out (which means the horn doesn't work), or it's too close to the wheel itself which means it won't lock on to the backing plate. I'll take photos to better explain this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 464elky View Post
Between the pump and carb. The one from the chassis to the pump has to be rubber to allow for engine movement and vibration.
This is actually on my to-do list at some point. What's the easiest way to make a hard line? I've made brake lines before, but never fuel lines. I think I have a brake line bender somewhere.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-10-2012, 05:24 PM
number9 number9 is offline
Senior Member
Master Wrench
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Name: Chris
Location: Boston, MA
Year: 1969
Model: El Camino
Region: 2 (CT,MA,ME,NH,RI,VT)
NECOA #: 13389
Posts: 481
number9 will become famous soon enough
Default

Not much to report today. I sent the gauges off to Tachman, aka H&H Auto Electrical, who have an atrocious website but a great reputation. They're going to calibrate the gas gauge for me and check out the speedometer & odometer.

The speedometer works very intermittently, and the odometer has never really worked at all - it's gone up about 0.1 miles in the several hundred miles I've driven the car. Interestingly enough the speedometer cable is in good condition and I could see it turning when driving the car with the speedo disconnected.

The gauges came off their plastic support pretty easily:



There were a half-dozen small Phillips screws, all of different lengths and colors. I think someone's been in here before! I don't have a great memory, so I try and organize things this way:



Tachman's pricing seems pretty reasonable. About $10 to calibrate the gas gauge, and maybe $20-$40 for the speedometer & odometer. But I'll know more once he's received it.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-12-2012, 02:17 PM
number9 number9 is offline
Senior Member
Master Wrench
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Name: Chris
Location: Boston, MA
Year: 1969
Model: El Camino
Region: 2 (CT,MA,ME,NH,RI,VT)
NECOA #: 13389
Posts: 481
number9 will become famous soon enough
Default

A few days ago (when I pulled the old gas gauge) I filled up the gas tank. This morning I went outside to find that a couple of quarts had leaked out of the tank onto my driveway. I trace the leak and find that it's coming from the gas cap itself, which seems odd!

I pulled the cap off and a fair few ounces spilled up and out of the filler neck. Does this mean my tank is overpressurized somehow -- perhaps a vent isn't venting as it should? It's a relatively warm day today (maybe 70 degrees already) but the weather has been the same for the last couple weeks. After some amount of gas came out of the cap, it stopped on its own volition.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-12-2012, 02:32 PM
El Corvino's Avatar
El Corvino El Corvino is offline
Senior Member
Master Wrench
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Name: Michael
Location: 6(FL)
Year: 1984
Model: El Camino SS
Region: 6 (FL)
NECOA #: 9422
Posts: 1,154
El Corvino is just really nice
Default

The new steering wheel and gauges look amazing!
__________________
Ground up El Camino. Minitub, LT4 383, 8.5" w/ 14" baer disc brakes... the works.

More pictures coming soon... the car is a lot further than I currently have on my car domain.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.


Frame notch, rear suspension, and brakes sticky:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.


Front end sticky:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-22-2012, 02:28 PM
number9 number9 is offline
Senior Member
Master Wrench
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Name: Chris
Location: Boston, MA
Year: 1969
Model: El Camino
Region: 2 (CT,MA,ME,NH,RI,VT)
NECOA #: 13389
Posts: 481
number9 will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Corvino View Post
The new steering wheel and gauges look amazing!
Thanks!

Trying to diagnose a slow-ish tranny leak. I cleaned the tranny up as well as I could, then parked it with some cardboard underneath. Here are the worst spots. Anyone recognize where this TH-350C would be leaking from?






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
Just got my first car and it is a 1969 el camino 1969 EL CAMINO MALIBU For New Forum Members Only 30 03-21-2014 09:02 AM
66 restomod tgmcvay Document your restorations and modifications 5 09-25-2012 06:32 AM
got pix of my 1969 el camino 1969 EL CAMINO MALIBU For New Forum Members Only 9 04-11-2011 02:33 AM
1969 el camino ss 396 parting out malibuss67 Parts for sale 0 01-26-2007 09:51 AM
1969 Camino VIN EAC2001 RPO Codes 1 01-18-2007 03:59 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:12 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.