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Discussion Starter · #261 ·
Hiking day planned for tomorrow and when I return home I am hoping the parts arrived so I can get the tranny back together and go out for a test drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #262 ·
I have an update to share.

I finally got all the parts to repair the front servo and install the shift improver kits from TransGo and B&M.

I went for a few test drives before calibrating the governor. I had a 1-2 shift at 4000rpm and 2-3 shift at 3200rpm.

I made two attempts so far on the governor tuning. I tried a total 12g set of inner weights with lightest two springs. This produced a 1-2 shift at 6000rpm and a 2-3 shift at 5400rpm.

I then tried a 13g set of weights with the second and third lightest set of springs. This produced a 1-2 shift at 5800rpm and a 2-3 shift at 5100rpm.

The Transgo kit included parts to change the 1-2 shift feel in the valve body, but I was not expecting the 1-2 shift to be higher than the 2-3 shift. Is it possibel to fix this with teh governor calibration, or do I need to do somthing else???


The info above will help with my learnign knowledge, but it is a moot point. After three great days of driving and testing with about 150 miles, yesterday as I finished a joy drive where I got a 1/4 mile time of 15.1s (still too slow for me), 0-60 in 6.6s and speed of 97mph, the car started blowing white smoke out of the right side. I also noticed the temp creeping up to 210 degrees, where I am normally 180-190. The car was also revving funny. It felt like it would rev up to 3000rpm while driving abotu 30mph before the car would engage and move forward with power. Then as the car downshifted to first for a stop, it was stuck in first and would not move into any other gears.

I was totally bummed and flet defeated last night. Today I called the shop for some advice. What to me seemed like a blown headgasket, the shop thought otherwise. They thought the vacuum modulator may have failed and ATF was being sucked up into the line and this would have caused the smoking pipes. They suggested I pull the vaccum line from the vacuum modulator to determine if there is ATF fluid there. Shure enough, a puddle of fluid came pouring out. This is alarming and yet a relief. At least my new motor is not blown.

So, I think it is time for a new transmission. I still have the vibration and I think a new trans and TC is the right step.

Any thoughts on this? Any thoughts about vacuum modulator being the cause of the trans stuck in first gear? I don't know if the trans failed and this blew the seal in the modulator or if the modulator failed and this is causign the trans to be stuck in first. Thoughts?

I did check the linkage and everything is intact and the trans is in fact moving the lever to change gears. I don't know if it is actually still connected on the inside or not. My guess is that somthing internal failed. Afterall, I did the valve body work. And, well, I did the valve body work. :)

Tow truck in the forecast for tomorrow
 

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Sorry Scott that the trans modifications might not have gone as you hoped.
 

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Sorry to hear about the failure Scott!! I know that can be frustrating. I'm still having some issues with mine surging in reverse and smelling the clutch after every run. Even if it's just to back out of the garage.
Wish I could help with insight into your trans issues, but alas, I have no experience there.
Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #265 ·
Frustrating indeed. $18 failed vacuum modulator cost me $400 tow.

I spent ten minutes to replace the modulator, blew out the vacuum line and went for a test drive. No smoke and shifting beatifully again.

Now I have fear again. I feel like i need to drive around with a backup modulator for the next couple months until I regain trust. I still may have a new tranny in my future.

On the bright side, before I blew the modulator I was able to get some nice golden lighting with a recent sunset. I snapped a few photos.


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I can't offer anything helpful, but those pictures man! I've followed your journey while I'm waiting for my own car to be ready for collection (new purchase TX import to UK) and you've created an incredibly beautiful machine. I'm in awe, seriously.
 

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Frustrating indeed. $18 failed vacuum modulator cost me $400 tow.

I spent ten minutes to replace the modulator, blew out the vacuum line and went for a test drive. No smoke and shifting beatifully again.

Now I have fear again. I feel like i need to drive around with a backup modulator for the next couple months until I regain trust. I still may have a new tranny in my future.

On the bright side, before I blew the modulator I was able to get some nice golden lighting with a recent sunset. I snapped a few photos.


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Scott you elky is beautiful. Keep going!

If your looking for a transmission GM Turbo 400 Performance Transmission Level 2 - Gearstar Performance Transmissions

It took me three rebuilds with my T56 to finally have confidence in it. Now she has 4K miles trouble free. Patience pays with the old trucks.




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If you want a hard cover for the gen 5


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Frustrating indeed. $18 failed vacuum modulator cost me $400 tow.

I spent ten minutes to replace the modulator, blew out the vacuum line and went for a test drive. No smoke and shifting beatifully again.

Now I have fear again. I feel like i need to drive around with a backup modulator for the next couple months until I regain trust. I still may have a new tranny in my future.

On the bright side, before I blew the modulator I was able to get some nice golden lighting with a recent sunset. I snapped a few photos.


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Those headlights are super sexy man. Damn they look good!


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Is it right they bolt right in with no drilling?
No. I had to drill two holes to mount the hinge bracket but that was it.


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Hello,

It is definitely frustrating but still, you got off quite inexpensively. My last transmission difficulty cost me over $2100 for a complete rebuild after the 3-4 clutch pack frictions wore out at a little over 150,000 miles.

And it is a lesson that we all must learn around here that 50 year old vehicles MUST be driven to discover and then de-louse solve those problems. There is no way around this if you want it to eventually become a dependable ride.

And the color scheme on your car should still put a smile on your face no matter what happens. Very nice.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #275 ·
I can't offer anything helpful, but those pictures man! I've followed your journey while I'm waiting for my own car to be ready for collection (new purchase TX import to UK) and you've created an incredibly beautiful machine. I'm in awe, seriously.
Thanks for following, I hope you enjoy your new ride!
 

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Discussion Starter · #276 ·
RJ, your build is looking great. I am really liking that custom center console! Nice work.
 
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RJ, your build is looking great. I am really liking that custom center console! Nice work.
Thanks.


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Discussion Starter · #278 ·
In the midst of adding the shift improver kit and governor calibration, I also installed a Lokar kickdown cable. I learned that this is needed to actuate the detent solenoid. This is a unique feature of the TH400 and it is required to kick down from 3rd gear to second gear when at higher speeds and WOT is engaged.

Here are a few photos.



Lokar Kickdown Kit Install-1 The Lokar kit includes an electronic box mounted at the tranny. I chose the black kit to match everything else and the existing Lokar throttle cable kit. The Edelbrock Proflo 4 XThad linkage built for a kickdown cable, so this part of the install was seemless. The cable length was just barely long enough. I did not have to cut it at all. These kits are typically installed with carbs with linkage on the left side of the engine.

The kickdown cable comes with a pin that is mounted to the bottom hole of the throttle linkage lever. Then the cable is placed into the holder on the bottom side. When WOT condition occurs, the cable is pulled and this actuates the electronic device that sends a 12v signal to the detent solenoid through the fitting on the side of the tranny.
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Lokar Kickdown Kit Install-2 The Lokar connector is attached to the pin and the cable is run through it. Then I wedged the throttle pedal into WOT. Then the cable end lock is spipped into place.
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Lokar Kickdown Kit Install-3 I left a good inch of cable in case future adjustments are required. Then I crimped on a bike cable ferrule for a finished look. It fit perfectly.
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Lokar Kickdown Kit Install-4 Here is a look at the electronic switch and the wire that is connected to the case spade terminal connector.
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After a test drive today, I was very impressed with how well it worked and how much passing power I have.
 
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Discussion Starter · #279 ·
I am officially giving up on the TH400. I continue to have problems. Now the shifting is very poor in reverse and the 1-2 shift. I also seem to get some overheating and after an hour I have trouble getting into third gear.

The tranny is the last major appliance that has not been replaced, so now is the time. Of course nothing is available, but I should have a new tranny in a couple months.

I decided to go with a TCI Streetfighter TH400 with 9" tail. This should be a direct replacement. I am also going to install a TCI Breakaway stall converter. This is 2200-2400 stall. The tech support thought it shoudl be around 2400 with my setup and that is what I am hoping for.

The shop will also be replacing the motor mounts and looking at a couple leaks around the oil pan and starter. I hope to have a leak free car after all this. And still trying to get a 12 second car.

I also continue to make those small upgrades. Recently installed a Valentine radar detector so I don;t get a ticket while testing the car. I have been nervous lately as I have seen more cops on the roads. I also replaced the DD gear sending unit and upgraded to the GSS 3000 model. Unfortunately, the OD light will not work. I called to verify this with DD and they confirmed it.

I still need to check the oil pressure with external gauge. I occasionally get 10psi at idle after warm and this is bothering me. I replaced the oil pressure sensor and there was no difference.

The PCS steering wheel display is still problematic and triggers off frequently. Since the DD gear selector is now working great, there is less of a need for the PCS display. Plus, the PCS is very bright at night and it is distracting when it power cycles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #280 ·
I have some time this weekend to work on some small projects. I plan to install a new system wiring for the charging system and install a few distibution blocks in the engine bay and under the dash to permit future upgrades and cleanup the existing wiring.

I also hope to try another solution for the PCS steering wheel display so it does not cut in and out with power.

This may be the weekend where I can install the Lokar emergency brake. I have had this for over 6 months now and the task seems daunting to me, but I am probably making it a bigger deal than it really is.

Lastly, I bought a Dragy. I am really excited to try this out and compare this race timer to the built in timer on the DD gauge cluster. I also recognize now that my horrible 0-60 and 1/4 mile times are likely poor becuase I am running these test drives at 7000 ft. dumb arse. Nonetheless, the Dragy can be used in any vehicle and I have a few, so I am really excited to try this out in a few other applicatoins where I cannot move the DD system for obvious reasons.
 
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