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Showcase cover image for Duggeroo's 1979 Chevrolet El Camino

General Information

El Camino
Code 11 White
Factory V8, 4-speed
I've had this car for about 10 years and it's been a great driver and extremely handy. It's a factory 4-speed car with the 4.3L V8. I stopped driving it a couple of years ago because it smoked so badly. Last month I replaced the tired 4.3L with a Tuned Port Injected 5.7L and swapped out the 4-speed for a World Class T-5. It required a trip back to the upholsterer to clean up the notch I had to make in the bench seat frame to clear the shifter. I replaced the cracked dash with a perfect specimen out of an '84 El Camino. I'm struggling with the wiring similarities/differences as I write this. As soon as the dash is in place I'll start the body work. I'm going to redo the stock white with a pair of rally stripes on the hood in black. I installed the factory A/C from the donor car as well. I'll see if I can add some pics. This is shaping up like it's going to be a pretty awesome swap. It's running but needs to have the exhaust modified before I can take it to town. I'm looking forward to meeting some of you other owners.
1979 Chevrolet El Camino (Code 11 White)


I wanted it to look stock with the large air cleaner box and rubber bellows. I had to stick the chrome valve covers in there to give it a bit of sparkle. The air cleaner and the tight 90 degree bellows just off the throttle body both came from a late 80s - early 90s BMW 735i.

I scavenged the A/C from the donor car in the salvage yard. I'd like to do a better job with the upper radiator hose but I'll have to take my time at the parts store some weekend. I couldn't use tubing headers because I chose to use a Camaro/Firebird bell housing and the hydraulic clutch that came with it. The bell housing has a mount for the clutch slave cylinder that prevented me from using the headers that had been on the car for some time. But then, using stock exhaust manifolds made the A/C compressor mounting easier.
I've replaced the cracked dash cover with a nearly new unit, repainted it Dk. Camel along with most of the interior plastic. Since the 5-speed has the shifter located 8" further back in the transmission tunnel I took the carpet from the donor car which had an automatic trans. Since there's no hole in the floor, I'll be able to make the only hole in the new shifter location.

Since the new engine is fuel injected I had to find a good location for the ECM. Usually, I put it under the passenger seat, but the donor car (an '84) had an ECM (although carbureted) and it was located in a really nifty molded plastic kick panel box near the driver's feet. I used it and painted it along with the other interior parts with SEM plastic paint/dye. I think I'm getting carried away: I'm considering disassembling the factory bumper jack and detailing it and then remounting it. Sheesh!
I'm going to repaint it Code 11 white with a set of rally stripes on the hood in black. The body is stock although I had to replace the core support and the passenger fender.
The engine is a '90 5.7L with an '87 Corvette Tuned Port Injection intake. I used the bell housing that came with the 5-speed which tilts the tranny 17 degrees toward the driver ( to place the shifter closer). I had to cut the floor for the new shifter location and patch the original location. Then, to make it work well, I cut the shifter off quite low and turned it so that it would make room for the bench seat, which I also notched for clearance. The use of the World Class 5-speed required shortening the driveshaft 3". The rear axle gears ratio is 3.08:1 so the new gear ratio provided by the tranny will help with a powerful takeoff.
Air shocks in the rear.
Wheel and Tire
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