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1970 Chevy El Camino Restomod
503 Posts
Discussion Starter · #361 ·
Ididit Steering Column Install-28 Now the levers need to be installed. Wires were routed through the column for the tilt lever and cruise control turn signal lever. Painted black.
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Ididit Steering Column Install-30 The NSS has a tab that sticks into the OEM column and when you change gears with the column shifter this tab moves to indicate the position. The switch will only allow you to start the car in Park or neutral. So, I placed the tab into the Park position and cut it off. The Dakota Digital and PCS shifter require this switch but rely on their digital systems to detect other gears. So, the car does not start in any gear except Park or Neutral as intended.
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Ididit Steering Column Install-31 NSS tab is cutoff with switch in Park position.
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Ididit Steering Column Install-33 Since the ignition switch, NSS and firewall shield top screw are all on top, I fastened everything into position and trimmed the wire ties before placing the column into the car.
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STEP 4 – Reinstall Steering column. This step includes mounting the column and Double D linkage to the gear box.

Ididit Steering Column Install-35 New bolts come with the column, the bracket was installed on the bench. Then the column goes back into car, with the bottom end loose, fasten the bracket with the two large nuts. Then position the firewall bracket and tighten it down. Last step is to tighten the lower clamp on the firewall bracket. The column is now in position and should be tight and in the correct position.
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Ididit Steering Column Install-34 The rubber seal should be on the interior side. You can also see the indexed portion of column’s 48t splines.
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Ididit Steering Column Install-36 Final look at the inside. The position of the column is not stamped with a vertical mark like the OEM column, but you do want to align with the turn signal cam post in the 10 o’clock position.
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Ididit Steering Column Install-37 The next step is critical. The Double D shaft needs to be cut. I chose to cut the solid smaller end. I made this choice because I wanted to index the longer set screw on the bench. This paid off as it took me several attempts to drill out the larger hole to get the set screw to pass through properly to index into the inside of the hollow shaft. To mark the cut position of the shaft start by locking the large double D end into the gear box with rag joint. Screw everything down to be exact with your position. Now, on the other end, install the u-joint and set both set screws. Be sure the set screw is centered into the index on the splines by turning slowly and rocking the u-joint as you go. Line the shaft up on top of the u-joint and mark the position with shaft equal to the raised section on the u-joint.
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Ididit Steering Column Install-38 Now remove the shaft and cut it. Return to check your handy work. The rag joint and u-joint need to be loose then slip the shaft into the rag joint end then the u-joint end. If your measurement was dead on, then the shaft should fit. This method ensures you have just enough length on the shaft, but can still remove it in the future without having to move the column. Return the shaft to the bench and drill the set screw indexes. Now you can place the Double D shaft back into position for the final time and return both joints back to position and lock everything down. Be sure to use red thread locker and cinch down the locking nuts as well. This part is now done.
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STEP 5 – Reinstall steering wheel and check tilt, horn, start, turn signals, hazards, bright switch and center position of steering wheel.

Ididit Steering Column Install-39 Install horn wire.
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1970 Chevy El Camino Restomod
503 Posts
Discussion Starter · #362 ·
Ididit Steering Column Install-40 Be sure that wheels are straight and gearbox is in the position where you started. Now, line up the steering wheel or adapter. Feed the wire through and move the turn signal cam post to the proper position.
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Ididit Steering Column Install-41 Top view of adapter install.
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Ididit Steering Column Install-42 Steering wheel in place.
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Ididit Steering Column Install-45 Now reinstall the steering wheel and check that everything is correctly aligned and working properly. I paid close attention to all the realignment points and this paid off. The wheel was placed back on and properly aligned the very first time. This is the step where you need to wire up the electronics, like cruise control and bright dimming switch. I removed all protective tape and installed the hazard knob and bright switch knob. All done and ready for a test drive.

All is working well. Test drive was great and the wheel is dead center at 90mph.

Next week I will have the exhaust system rebuilt with 2.5" pipes, an H pipe and new Dynomax Turbo mufflers. The current system is a but frankenstein with the motor and tranny swap and a header change. There are too many reducers and cut offs. I also don't like the sound. Too loud and a bit droney sounding from 2000-3500rpm.

After the exhaust system install I plan to install the Classic Auto Air AC system. I hope to rewire and relocate some stuff under the dash too. It is a mess down there with all the new hardware.

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I wanted to take the time to describe the steps for this install as there was a lot that I learned including some things I omitted that made the removal of the old column much harder than
Thank you this was very helpful and informative for me.

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1970 Chevy El Camino Restomod
503 Posts
Discussion Starter · #365 ·
No Problem inverse.

So, I am having the exhaust redone for the fourth time tomorrow. After installing a new engine, tranny and headers, my pipes looked like Frankenstein pipes. I also have a bit of a drone from 2000-3200 rpm. It does not help that I have a 2500 stall converter.

I am having all the pipes redone with new mufflers and tips. Even those had a series of welds, cuts and adapters. Ugly. So, I am going with 2.5" pipes right from the 2.5" Sanderson collectors. I will have an H pipe installed right in front of the cross member (if I remember right) and dual Dynomax Turbo mufflers. I have plenty of power and a cold air intake with RAM intake, so I expect the sound to come to come through with a nice deep rumble when WOT and hopefully much quieter when just driving around.

After I get it back tomorrow I am going to gear up for some major projects. Hopefully I can complete all this in 2-3 weeks. Here is the project list:

Replace intake gaskets (slight coolent leak just above water pump)
Inspect valve covers for leaking and replace if needed.
Inspect Cold Case radiator for leaking and replace with warranty if defective
Install March pulley kit with AC bracket on right side of engine
Install Classic Auto Air AC system (need to custom cut and crimp AC hoses)
Install new AC vents
Install Lokar Emergency brake and replace cable
Install Dakota Digital Cruise Control
Rewire and relocate underdash electronics (it's a mess under there)
Replace dash speakers with HAT L3 Pro midrange speakers
Pull seats and carpet and lay down dynamat everywhere
Pull subwoofer and install dynamat in smugglers box

I will take photos and post progress as I go.


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1970 Chevy El Camino Restomod
503 Posts
Discussion Starter · #367 ·
Thanks Tom . . .having fun. But, it is hard to tear up the car for 2-3 weeks when it is running so great and the weather is awesome.

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1970 Chevy El Camino Restomod
503 Posts
Discussion Starter · #368 ·
Well, I got the car back from Muffler Magic today. Frankenpipes are gone. It turned out that I had a blend of 2.5" pipes from the collector and 2.25" from mid point and back. I am so happy to make this upgrade.

I now have a nice clean install that is high and tight so I have more road clearance. I have 2.5" pipes from the collector to the tips. Dual Dynamax Turbos and black double wall 4" round tips. No more droning and it is much quieter inside the cab from 1500-3000 rpm. It still has a mean growl and when I hit WOT it comes alive with a deep throated muscle car response. So exciting. It also feels faster, but I have not clocked it yet. I need to charge up Dragy then I will make a couple clock runs tomorrow to see if I can break into 13 second 1/4 mile time. My best has been 14.36s at 7000 feet in the summer.

So, a little play in the morning, then I am going to break her apart for the project installs.
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1970 Chevy El Camino Restomod
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Discussion Starter · #369 ·
I have been mostly derailed today. I was going to start the projects, but spent most of the time on the phone today and chasing down a couple issues I was having.

Problem # 1. I continue to have an engine leak. I was told by the last shop that it was the valve covers. I replaced the gaskets with some nice Moroso reusable gaskets. I still have the leaks, but it does not appear to be coming from the valve covers. Last night I pulled one cover on the driver side to inspect and everything leak wise looked fine. However, Cylinder #3 has a lot of carbon build up. I have also noticed an engine tick that has been getting a little louder. The intake rocker arm is also very loose. Take a look and let me know what you guys think.
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I also have this issue on cylinder #2 but I dont notice a tick, just the carbon build up.
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Here is a video where you can hear an engine tick. Am I crazy or is this really happening? It started a couple months ago and I thought it was an exhaust leak, but I had the new headers installed and I know they are not leaking and I retorqued the bolts twice and they are all good to go. So, the sound is more noticeable now and after inspecting the loose rocker arm, I am pretty sure this is the cause. Thoughts?

So I spent a long time on the phone talking to Brian from Blueprint motors. They are going to send me a new set of rocker arms, push rods and gaskets, lube oil etc. I was really impressed and did not really ask for any of this. I was really just calling to see if I should tighten up the rocker arm and whated to know how to do this, so I don't void the warranty and mess somthing up. Brian walked me through the procedure and sent me an email with detailed instructions on how to install all the new parts. It seems like I can handle this work and it does not require any special tools, just some procedures and important steps.

I still don't know where the engine leak is coming from and it is driving me crazy, so hopefully when I tear the car down I will be able to take a closer look and find it. Again, let me know what you guys think and if you have any thoughts or videos on how to install these parts and set the preload.

Problem # 2 I cleaned the Cold Case radiator and dried things up and wiped down the engine spray. After some driving today I did discover that the radiator is leaking from both side caps. I called Cold Case today and after I verify purchase details they are going to send me a new radiator. They are in stock and ready to ship. So I should get this and the rocker arms next week.
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Problem # 3 I have a new vibration in the steering wheel. This occurs from 70-80mph. That is it. As you guys likely remember, I hate vibrations and chased that one on the transmission for a long time. This vibration occurred after installing the new steering column. I called Ididit and they gave me some tips. Basically they said there is nothing in the column that would cause this as long as it was installed properly and at the column and firewall. So, the likely culprits are wheels, suspension and driveshaft. Today, I took the car in to have all the wheels balanced. Each tire was off by about an ounce on each wheel, but the vibration is still there. I called the driveshaft shop that cut and balanced my driveshaft and they will inspect it, but they said it would have to take a gnarly hit to cause this type of vibration. I also only feel it in the steering wheel. So, I doubt this is the issue. One thing I did notice is that the new rag joint vibration material is not as robust as my old rag joint. So, maybe this is lending to the vibration issue. I am scratching my head on this one. Let me know if youi have any thoughts.

Lastly, I did a test run today, but just one. No faster than before, bummer. But, I plan to fix the issues above as the next projects start and I will do some more playing when the car is back up and running again.

Here is a video tour of the exhaust system install that was done yesterday.

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1970 Chevy El Camino Restomod
503 Posts
Discussion Starter · #371 ·
Nice. Thanks for sharing. Wolfstein makes some great stuff. I will look into that.
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Discussion Starter · #372 ·
I started the break down today. Problems already. I used silicone on the AC delete box to get a good seal. Wow, that took me about an hour to remove. I also stripped a bolt trying to remove the old pully from the waterpump. :cry: I have to figure out how to remove the bolt tomorrow.

I was also brainstorming about where to mount all the underdash electronics and then I had a brilliant idea. I could just mount some of these items in a center console. Since it will be awhile before the interior upgrade I figured I would just mount them on the hump for now and find a way to hide those items and wires. Then I was just doing a basic search for ideas on how to build my own center console and I discovered a website that actually builds center console shells from fiberglass. They have all kinds and several that will fit my bench seat car for now. So, excited about this. I ordered the classic short bench console, because my wife is short and when she drives the seat goes way up. It is just temporary for now anyways, so very excited to get this and try it out. I can also mount the PCS controller in there.

Here is their website. El camino center floor console
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1970 Chevy El Camino Restomod
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Discussion Starter · #374 ·
Project Update: March Performance Black Sport Track Pulley Kit​

The first task was to remove and install the March Performance pulley kit. This was necessary since the previous Summit Racing Pulley kit, while a serpentine system, lacked the provisions for an AC unit. I also went with the March system because it was the only kit I could find that mounted the AC compressor on the passenger side below the Alternator. Since I have the Specter CAI attached to the Edelbrock Pro Flo XT throttle body, I was not sure the high mount compressor on the driver side would interfere with the intake tube. In general, I also thought the March system was one of the best looking kits and even with all the covers to make it look pretty, it still cost about half of some of the other systems. I think I paid about $700 for this whole kit with the fancy covers.

Ok, here is the photo journey so far:

March Performance Pulley Kit Install-1 Here is the starting point. Nice clean engine bay, with delete box used as a surface for the coil, ECU and some relays. This has the Summit Racing pulley kit for PS, Alt and Water pump.

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March Performance Pulley Kit Install-2 Here is another view of the Summit Racing pulley kit.
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March Performance Pulley Kit Install-6 Disassembly started. Battery and inner fender removed to create more work space and so I can reach and remove the AC delete box.
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March Performance Pulley Kit Install-9 AC delete box has been removed. I used silicone to create a seal and that took me about 1 hour to cut through the silicone in order to remove the box. What a PITA. I also have the radiator removed along with the components and CAI removed. Now I am ready to dry-fit the new March Performance pulley kit and get the belt alignment set with adding and subtracting spacers until the right fit is made.
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March Performance Pulley Kit Install-10 This is where I ran into my first problem. As I was removing the bolts for the water pump, I stripped one. This took me a good 3 hours to resolve. The screw extractors failed.
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March Performance Pulley Kit Install-11 So, I brought out the trusty Dremel and cut slots into the screw head. I had to go deep to release the bolt tension. It was very tight and this is partly how I stripped the bolt head. I did mess up the pulley cosmetics a little, but still functional.
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March Performance Pulley Kit Install-12 Here is a look at the cut up bolt. The grooves allowed me to use an impact driver to unscrew the bolt.
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March Performance Pulley Kit Install-15 I followed the instructions and part by part the March system starting going on. Again, everything here is loose and it is a dry fit. This took me a good day of putting everything on and off several times as I adjusted the spacers to line up the pulleys so the belts will run straight and not get thrown off. I don’t have any covers on the pieces yet either. This will be the very last thing I do.
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March Performance Pulley Kit Install-20 The benchmark for belt alignment is the crank pulley. This one is a fixed position and all other pulleys must be adjusted to match this one. So, I had to make adjustments to the power steering bracket and the combo AC/Alt bracket. In this photo you can see the PS pulley is off alignment. It is off by about 1/8”, which is roughly one tooth width on the pulley. This is definitely enough to kick off a belt. You can also see in this picture that the larger spacers are silver, not black. I had about 6 pieces in my kit, that were not black. So, I decided to leave the bolts their natural silver color, but I painted all the spacers and the two silver PS brackets black to match the rest of the kit.
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March Performance Pulley Kit Install-19 Once I got the spacers correct I had a perfect alignment for the alternator, water pump, PS and A/C compressor.
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1970 Chevy El Camino Restomod
503 Posts
Discussion Starter · #375 ·
March Performance Pulley Kit Install-21 Here is a full look at the dry-fit with belts on. I bought a 59.25” main belt to drive the alt, AC and WP and a 36” belt to drive the PS. This was the recommendation. But, the primary belt was too short and the PS belt was too long. I have more belts on order. You can also see the silver brackets and spacers. I wanted everything dry-fit before I painted anything.
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March Performance Pulley Kit Install-22 Here is a dry-fit side view of the A/C and alternator. I really like the low position of these parts. That compressor is way smaller than I ever imagined possible especially compared to the OEM beast that came with the original system. That compressor was at least twice the size of this new one.
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March Performance Pulley Kit Install-23 After all the small parts were painted and dried for a day I started final assembly. I am still waiting on belts so I don’t have the WP pulley in place yet. This angle also gives you a good view of how low all these components sit in the engine compartment.
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March Performance Pulley Kit Install-24 Here is another angle. I love this tiny little AC compressor.
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March Performance Pulley Kit Install-25 Here is a view from the driver side. I should also point out that the old pulley kit had a weak mount for the PS pump. I could easily move it with my hand it it always bothered me. This kit has a solid PS pump mount. This thing does not budge now.
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March Performance Pulley Kit Install-26 Final front view. Look how much clearance I have for the CAI tube coming out of the XT throttle body. There is tons of room and I anticipate no clearance issues at all. The other mounts on the market would park a large AC compressor up high on the driver side and it most likely would have interfered with the CAI tube.
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I am awaiting some belts before I get everything tightened up. I also have plans for the weekend, so the next project is to start tear down on the interior and get the dash ready to pull. I will also be laying down dynamat. So, I should have a little time starting these tasks before the weekend trip.
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Discussion Starter · #377 ·
Project Update: Oil Pan Gasket Replacement​

As I was working on the March Pulley kit install and painting some parts, I thought this would be a good time to address an oil leak that has been driving me crazy. If you folks remember, this was how everything started. I took the car to the shop to stop the oil leaks and the shop broke my motor, so I thought. They really broke the transmission, so I ended up replacing the motor and tranny and I still have oil leaks!!! And a coolant leak in two spots.

So, I thought this would be a good time to pull the pan and replace it and the gasket. I did notice and I called Bluepint and they informed me that they use the nice one piece Fel-Pro reusable gasket. However, they said they put sealant on it so it can be hard to remove. My first thought was that these high end gaskets are not supposed to be used with RTV and an overuse of that sealant is likely the reason why I have leaks.

I also recall now, but forgot when I started working on this (which was not on my damn project list and I should not be doing this at all) that I tried replacing the pan before and I also took it to the shop and both attempts to remove the pan were not possible without pulling the motor. However, I was on youtube and learned a bunch of pans, like turning the motor to TDC and cylinder one to get more rod clearance. None of these videos were on a Chevelle or El Camino, but rather trucks.

So, to make a long story short, I was wrong. There was no way to pull this oil pan without removing the motor or at least pushing the tranny back and removing the flexplate. But, I was smart enough not to go this route and admitted defeat.

The problem now is that I have a mangled pan and shredded gasket because Blue Print used RTV on the gasket. Luckily I was able to hammer the pan corner back into decent shape and after about 6 hours of on my back labor, I was able to remove the gasket and get the pan and engine base cleaned up good enough to install a new gasket.

I was hopeful that I could install a new Fel Pro one piece gasket by sliding it from the front to the back. I got almost all the way there, but could not maneuver the gasket around the oil pickup tube. So, I resorted to cutting the gasket in one spot. Not bad, considering this is still much better than using a 4 piece gasket set. I hope!

So here is the photo tutorial of this colossal screw up that was never on my list. But, I hope this serves as a reference to others if trying to decide they can replace the oil pan or gasket without removing the motor.

Oil Pan Gasket Replacement-1 After shimming the motor up 5/8” I had the false hope that the extra clearance would be enough for me to remove the oil pan without removing the motor. I was wrong. But, this extra clearance did allow me enough room to replace the gasket. I could not do that previously.
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Oil Pan Gasket Replacement-3 Here you can see about an inch of clearance from the brace to the bottom of the oil pan.
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Oil Pan Gasket Replacement-4 Blue Print uses a stock size oil pan. They also use a rail system to spread out the tension on the gasket. So, I don’t know if the RTV they used or this rail caused the leaks, but I decided not to use the rails when installing a new gasket.
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Oil Pan Gasket Replacement-6 Because of the RTV used, I had no way of easily separating the pan after all the bolts were out. This took me about 6 hours on my back work to get this gasket out and get things scraped and cleaned up. In this photo you can see that I used a blade and I just started cutting away to separate the gasket from the pan.
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Oil Pan Gasket Replacement-7 Making progress. Enough that I could get in a pry bar and pull the pan down. Then I just kept working the blade to cut through and release the gasket.
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Oil Pan Gasket Replacement-8 I also removed the flexplate cover and the starter to get more room to work.
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Oil Pan Gasket Replacement-10 This is the new gasket. It is one piece and reinforced with a metal middle. It still has a lot of flex to it and it is not as rigged as the Moroso blue gaskets, which I also love. I like this gasket a lot, but it is not designed to be used with RTV except for in four spots where the engine surface changes planes. I tried to push the gasket from the front to the back but I could not clear the oil pickup tube. So, I resorted to plan B. You can also see in this photo that Fel Pro has these handy little Snap-Ups to hold the pan in place with the gasket in the correct position. These are really great and allowed me to line up the bolt holes with precision.
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Oil Pan Gasket Replacement-11 I decided to cut the gasket only once. I chose the location on the driver side right by the oil filter. I also wanted to cut through the metal between two bolt holes. This would allow me more precision with lining up the gasket rather than cutting a section that was completely soft and did was not between the bolt holes. If I were to do this again, I would cut a notch rather than straight cut. Nonetheless, I still have the car in pieces so I don’t know if this worked yet. I did use RTV on the four corners and this spot where I cut the gasket.
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Oil Pan Gasket Replacement-12 Pan was torqued with multiple passes around the pan to a final 12 ft pounds on the middle bolts and 20 ft pounds on the four corner bolts. Fingers crossed. I will never do this again!
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Discussion Starter · #378 ·
Project Update: Rocker Arm and Intake Gasket Replacements​

I am really impressed with the customer service from Blueprint motors. As I mentioned previously, I called in for some support on tightening the rocker arms and they sent me a full replacement set with a different manufacturer that they have had better luck with. These are GM parts. Today, they called me up to make sure I received the parts and to do a check in to see if I installed them and how the motor is running. Well, parts are installed, but car is still in pieces as I have other work to do. Nonetheless, it is hard to find customer support like this. Most companies are reactive, not proactive.

I also had an ongoing oil leak and after pulling the intake manifold it appears that the oil leak was coming from the back of the intake and dripping onto the transmission bell housing. This make sense on why I had trouble locating the leak and that everything was wet from the oil pan back. I also replaced the oil pan gasket so I am crossing my fingers that these were the two problem areas.

So, here we go with the rocker arm install. I was intimidated by this project, but with good guidance from Blue Print, some instructions they shared and some youtubing, I was ready to tackle this one. After getting this done, I learned a lot and would recommend others try this project too. It was actually a fun one.

Here is the photo journey:

Intake Gasket and Rocker Arm Replacement-0 Since I told the guys I was pulling the intake manifold due to a possible leak, they also sent me a Fel Pro 1205 manifold gasket and a tube of silicone without me even asking. Gaskets are not in this picture. Here you can see new GM rocker arms, push rods, and hardware. Everything I needed to do this job. Really impressive CS from Blue Print.
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Intake Gasket and Rocker Arm Replacement-1 The first step was to pull the valve covers and start unhooking all the wiring from the Pro Flo 4 XT. It has been awhile since I worked on this and I forgot just how fast and easy it is to pull this. It also helped that all the wires were nicely loomed and tucked. So, it was just a matter of disconnecting everything. Most wires stayed inside the valley of the intake manifold. No reason to pull the sensors, thermostat housing, injectors and ports or hoses.
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Intake Gasket and Rocker Arm Replacement-2 In this view I pulled the throttle linkage and the intake is ready to remove. You can also see here that there is some carbon build up the exhaust port of cyl #2. Most people are smarter than me and since this is my journey I like to detail some things that are likely very obvious to most people. When I was talking to Blue Print they were describing the procedure of setting the motor to Top Dead Center (TDC) for cylinder #1 on the compression stroke. I was a little unsure of which valve is exhaust and which is intake. The simple trick I learned with the valve covers off is that each cylinder has two valves and the exhaust valve sits on top of the header pipe and the intake valve is lined up with the spark plug. Duh! But now I know this simple trick. The other cool trick I learned was a simple way of recognizing the compression stroke versus the exhaust stroke. Lots of videos and people talk about placing your finger over the spark plug hole and you will feel it getting blown off during the compression stroke. The easy way I discovered this is to pull the distributor cap. The rotor will be at cyl#1 when it is on the compression stroke for that cylinder. That was an extra helpful assurance as I had a hard time turning the engine by hand and keeping a finger over the spark plug hole at the same time. This trick only works before you pull the distributor and intake manifold, but in some cases you can do this job without removing those two items.
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Intake Gasket and Rocker Arm Replacement-3 The intake valve on Cyl #3 also had a lot of carbon build up and I could hear this one ticking. The first thing I did before pulling any rocker arms was to check the tension of each valve. So, I followed the procedure and turned the motor 90 degrees for two rotations to check all cylinders at TDC on compression stroke with both valves closed. As suspected, the cylinders with carbon build up had loose push rods that I could lash up and down. Cyl #3, the noisy one had the most lash. This all makes sense and it seemed all I had to do was tighten this up. But, BP wanted me to replace the set of rockers and push rods just to be safe and they have a different brand they prefer over what was used in my engine when it was built.
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Intake Gasket and Rocker Arm Replacement-4 After pulling the intake manifold I discovered that this gasket is not the best for these heads. If you look close you can see the impression where the gasket material was inside the ports. You can also see a lot of oil on the gasket, which makes me think this was the culprit for the leaks. On the front and back, silicone was used instead of cork gaskets and it does not appear to have a good bead in the four corner junctions where leaks are prone to occur. Another obvious sign is all the oil on the back by the pressure sensor. I also detected fresh oil on top of the bell housing by the TCI label on the transmission bell housing.
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Intake Gasket and Rocker Arm Replacement-5 Here you can see the RTV on the front and rear. They are wet with oil. Time to get it all scraped and ready for new gaskets.
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Intake Gasket and Rocker Arm Replacement-6 So, BP sent me a set of Fel Pro 1205 gaskets. I did not ask for these, but obviously this is what they recommend for their aluminum, H8002K heads. I did some shopping and searching online and I bought the 1206S—3 gaskets on my own before these arrived. I think the 1206 has the best match for these heads. The port openings on the 1205 cover the ports just slightly. The 1206 does not protrude over the ports. However, as you can see in this photo they line up perfectly with the blue printoseal facing up. When I went to install these I had the printoseals facing the heads and the center bolt holes did not line up so I pulled them off and used the 1205 gaskets. I did not discover my error until after reviewing the photos. Doh! But, these are what BP recommends, so they should be better than the ones used on here by the install shop which screwed up all kinds of things.
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Intake Gasket and Rocker Arm Replacement-7 Back to work. The first step is to pull all the rockers, push rods and hardware. You do not need to turn the motor for this step. The nuts are locking style so take your time and wrench them. I tried using an impact wrench and I did not like it. Too fast and too scary. Some things are better to feel to prevent stripping the studs and I preferred wrenching on and off. I got the lube in place and all the parts. I used lube generously on all the parts and hardware. This will help with startup before these parts get some oil. I put the new rockers on cyl #1 and I was going to do one cylinder at a time while turning the motor for each one to set the lash and preload. After getting my hands sticky, I changed my mind. Too much work to reset for each cylinder, so I actually installed all the push rods and rockers at this time. Each nut was turned a few turns but none were even close to putting any tension of the valves.
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1970 Chevy El Camino Restomod
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Discussion Starter · #379 ·
Intake Gasket and Rocker Arm Replacement-8 Here are the instructions provided by BP. There are a few different ways of doing this. A lot of online videos talked about doing this when the motor was hot. Not an option for me. There was also a lot of discussion about finding the lash and setting preload to 1/4 turn, ½ turn and ¾ turn past lash. Most people choose ½ turn past zero lash. I did learn that when you can move the push rod up and down (this is lash) as you continue to tighten the nut, that will stop. Be careful here. If you have tension on your wrench, it will stop the lash, but when you remove the wrench you will still have lash. So, I was careful to remove the wrench each and every time to set “zero lash.” Once I could not feel lash, I would spin the push rod and torque the nut until tension was found on the spinning. This was zero lash. Now, I turned ¾ turn. I stuck with the BP instructions. I do plan to go back and check all rockers in 200 miles with the engine hot. I hope that ticking is gone forever.
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Intake Gasket and Rocker Arm Replacement-9 Here I am inside the engine bay. I really love being here. Try doing that in a modern car. Haha.
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Intake Gasket and Rocker Arm Replacement-10 In this photo you can see that I just got done lubing everything up and installing the parts. The nuts are all loose. Now is when you start the sequence of turning the engine 90 degrees to set the zero lash and preload for each cylinder. I also discovered that my Harmonic Balancer, a PBW part had some great markings. It also has the 90 degree marks, so no need to paint up the balancer with these lines, which would certainly be off by a little bit.
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Intake Gasket and Rocker Arm Replacement-11 Here everything is preloaded and cleaned up. Ready to install the intake.
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Intake Gasket and Rocker Arm Replacement-12 I am a firm believer in not overusing RTV. I have had some excellent luck in my methods of installing gaskets, so I will share my methods. First step is to apply a very thin coat of purple Permatex gasket sealant on the front and back platforms. Let set for ten minutes. Then I installed the cork gaskets. Then I applied a ¼” bead of RTV on the four corners and let this setup for two hours. Now I come back and paint the other bolt holes with purple sealant. The sealant is very thin compared to RTV and allows the gasket to sit in place and not move when placing the intake manifold into position. That is all it is for and I have had excellent luck with this technique.
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Intake Gasket and Rocker Arm Replacement-13 OK, so once the intake goes into place, I hand tightened all the bolts and let set for 30 minutes. Then I came back and torque all bolts to 10, then 20 then 30 ft pounds. I later learned that there is a recommended torque sequence from BP. It was too late for me, but I did basically what they suggested which was to work from the middle to the outside bolts. Take your time and work this pattern twice for each torque setting. I like to go slow and do this in three steps.
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You can also see in this photo the March Pulley kit is now installed with the proper belts and covers. This really looks great and I am pleased with everything from March. I read some bad reviews about this brand, but my experience was very good and I had to call them a couple times already and found them to be polite and helpful. The only critique I have is that some parts were not black and I had to paint them myself. I am a self proclaimed paint can wizard, so no complaints from me. Painting is easy compared to some things I do to this car. J
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