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Discussion Starter · #421 ·
Ok, another update to share. I have a good 500 miles now and no problems or noise with the valvetrain. Whew! I need to retorque and pull the valve covers to check out the rockers and retest all the tensions. I did get the new BPE guideplates and tempted to change these out, but not sure it is necessary. I will look for the rocker tip wear and if uneven I will change the plates for sure.

I love that. You're a skilled fella.

Thought about adding the word "up" to your "lighter" engine start button? Light 'er up 😃
I tried two sets of letters. These have the perfect height but are a little wider and taller then the stock letters. Overall, happy.






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Discussion Starter · #422 ·
After stuggling to get voltage levels over 11.5 volts on my Promaster 150A one wire alternator, I finally did some research and discovered that the size of the alternator pulley diameter makes a difference on the rate the alternator spins.

More spin, more voltage. So, larger pulley is underturning and has lower voltage but less wear on alternator. Smaller pulley is overturning and produces more turns and more voltage. So, I found that March performance has a nice black small pulley and even a nice looking fan blade. So, I installed these and the problem at idle is solved. Does even better at higher rpm.



I would get about 10.5v at 750rpm and driving at 2700rpm I only had 11.4v.
Gadget Font Multimedia Electronic device Screenshot




At idle I now have 11.9v and around 2500rpm I have 13.5 volts. Big improvement.
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This is the oversized pulley measruing 2 3/8" diameter with Promaaster ugly fan blade that I painted black.
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This is the oversized pulley measruing 1 11/16" diameter and billet alum fan blade. Better performance and better looking.
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Discussion Starter · #423 ·
The TMI door panels also arrived. TMI does not offer the molded door panels for the El Camino. They only have the flat panel. I talked to CS and they said the Chevelle molded door panels may fit, but some customers had fit problems with the vent windows. I have the vent windows, but really wanted the molded panel look over the flat panel. With AC I was willing to leave the vents closed all the time. But, not necessary! The price difference was only a couple hundred dollars too, so if I was spending that kind of money I wanted that custom look that the molded panel offers over the flat panels.

When they arrived I was impressed. I won't lie, I had to do some modz to make these work, but not that bad and with some time these work!!! Most of the modz I did was to cut back the top edging to fit the door frame and I had to dremel the fiberglass around the cranks to create more room for the Lokar knobs to fit.

I am still working on this install, but here are a few photos to share. Really happy with the look. The vent windows open 7/8 of the way without any rub then the last 1/8 they rub. I can still open all the way, but the friction will likely tear the vynil over time.


Photos



Very good instructions with this kit. The door lock knob retainer and this handle cup have silly chrome plating. So, I am rubbing this off and painting.
Light Font Gas Corn on the cob Auto part




When shopping on the TMI site I stuggled to find good photos of these molded panels. The angles did not show the hole for the handle. I figured I had to cut these out, but that is not true. This angle really helps to see the molded arm edge and handle. The door lever actually goes in front of the molded drop section. It is not hidden like on the OEM panel behind the armrest.
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Here is the backside of the panel. It is a multi-piece fiberglass shell with fabrics. The white styrofoam is covering the push fasteners. These panels include a template and you have to drill new holes in teh door shell. You will not reuse any of the factory holes. After the debockle with the shitty template from CAA on the AC kit I was scared. But this template was perfect and all the fasterners fit into the holes as they should.

You can see the cutouts for the window cranks. The door crank hole is also cutout, but it was too small and in the photo it is hiding behind a piece of vynil right in fron tof the armrest downward bend.
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Here is the OEM panel with Lokar hardware. You can see the door handle hidden behind the armrest.
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I made several cuts on the door edge that is closest to the front of the car. I did not trim the rear edge at all. This was necessary to fit the panel. It is stiff and does not bend as esily as the cardboard OEM panels. I inserted the rear part first, lined up the door lock screw then pushed in the front of the panel. More modz made to the door frame to make this work. Detailed next.
Hood Automotive tire Wood Automotive design Gesture




This bracket is required to keep your door panel tight. I could not get the TMI panel to slip over this bracket, so I had to rebend it and add some spacers to push it out about 3/8" away from the window.
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A look at the spacers added behind. I also bent the bracket outward too.
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The other mod was to use a dremel and cut back that hill in the door frame. The panel must fit over this hill and slide down and forward. There is also a piece of metal behind that hill and I had to dremel that off too. Once I got this trimmed (about 3 hours of slow work) and moved the bracket outward, the panel moves into position and has a very tight fit. Just the way I was hoping it woudl turn out.
Hood Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive tire Automotive design





Panel in place and all the fasteners in place. The panel is tight and looks fantastic. Now I have to feel for the handle cranks and cut the vynil to put the cranks on. The door handle goes where that little piece of white foam is located in the picture just in front of the molded armrest.
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Hood Automotive design Vehicle






Once I got the window cranks in place I realized that the door handle did not fit so I had to pull the panel off and trim out some fiberglass so the crank fits better. I widened the other holes too for a better fit.
Motor vehicle Hood Vehicle Automotive tire Automotive design




I did not finish this install before having to head out of town for work for the week. So, this weekend I hope to have more time to get this finished. I will post more photos later.
 
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Ok, another update to share. I have a good 500 miles now and no problems or noise with the valvetrain. Whew! I need to retorque and pull the valve covers to check out the rockers and retest all the tensions. I did get the new BPE guideplates and tempted to change these out, but not sure it is necessary. I will look for the rocker tip wear and if uneven I will change the plates for sure.


I tried two sets of letters. These have the perfect height but are a little wider and taller then the stock letters. Overall, happy.






View attachment 148028
Love it! Looks great.

Glad your valvetrain woes seem to be behind you too.

Looking forward to the next installment?
 

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Discussion Starter · #425 ·
Made some more progress on the door panels. Passenger side is done and driver side is going much faster, but need another day to finsish.

Door panel is done and all the hardware is on. Blackened the lock knob bezel and trim on the door handle cup.
Tire Vehicle Car Automotive tire Motor vehicle




It really matches nicely.
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Door closed. Could not be happier.
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Discussion Starter · #426 ·
Okay the driver door panel is in. Here are a few photos of the interior. I plan to replace the CTC console once I get all the parts in stock. I have to have ths vinyl wrapped too.


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Amazing job Scott!!! 😮
 

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Discussion Starter · #428 ·
Thanks, it is coming along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #430 ·
I grabbed a couple photos and a walk around video today.






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Yeah baby! I bloody love what you've done with it. You've got a great eye for detail, and an awesome skillset. You must be very pleased with how it's turning out!

One other thought: on the slam panel where you have "1970" and "El Camino", how about a Bowtie emblem in front of the "1970" to balance the look a little?
 

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Discussion Starter · #432 ·
Thanks!

When I ordered the show panel they only had a few options to choose from. I don;t recall them having the bowtie available, but I do like the idea. I hope to start doing a few speed runs in the next couple weeks. I really want this to be a 12 second car, but not sure she is fast enough. I need to get down to sea level to see how fast it really is. I turn low 14s in the 1/4 mile at 7000ft.
 

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I'm confused. I thought your wife's Dad's dog rides in the floor. Didn't the console remove that opportunity?
Will the new console have a better place for his dog to ride with less heat from the exhausts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #434 ·
Unfortunately, Dorado died last year. So, sad his weiner life came to an end. He had cancer too.

We miss him. No more El Camino rides and besides he slept on the floorboard usually alone, with no passenger. He would often crawl over the hump and try and sleep under my feet while driving. It was very scary. I would actually put stuff on the hump to prevent him from doing that, so the center console would have acutally been nice to have back when Dorado was with us.




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Discussion Starter · #436 ·
Getting ready for two weekends of car shows in a row. I ordered a Retractable Show Display from Vengeance Graphix. It measures 3' x 6' tall. Chris whipped out thje design over the weekend. He sent me one proof, I asked for a few adjustements and approved this today. I hope it arrives in time for the first show.

He did a great job of featuring the car exterior shots while integrating some of the finer details, like motor, interior, dash, subwoofer, etc. He also did some magician work with my photos by removing the garage shots from the background. He used the pavement and some smoke to transition between shots. Really, really impressed with his work and speed.




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Discussion Starter · #438 ·
Excited to head out to the Route 66 Car Show in Williams tomorrow and Saturday. It should be a big turnout this year.

I am off work tomorrow and it will be a big day for the Elky. Tomorrow is a casual sign in and get a parking spot then I am going to drive down to Phoenix to visit Baer brakes to pickup the rear disc brakes and other parts. I hope to tackle that project before the end of June, but that may be tough.

I should put in a good 300 miles tomorrow and it will be a true test for the AC performance. I don't think the blower is strong enough and only has 3 speeds. So, good trail day tomorrow with Phoenix temps projected at 113 deg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #439 ·
Oh, and the signboard wont arrive until tomorrow afternoon if UPS is able to do their job, which has not been so good lately. They are almost as unreliable as American Airlines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #440 ·
Well, I had a horrible drive to Phoenix and the entire car show was a disaster.

When I arrived at registration Friday morning, they did not have me registered even though I paid. They verified that I did pay and gave me a new registration number, #428. There was about 500 cars this year. They made me redo all the paperwork again and then when the lady wrote out my car tag, she did not assign my classes even though we discussed it. On Saturday no one judged my car and I finally discovered that it did not have a class on the window sign so I tracked down two different judges and they both told me they woudl get ahold of Charlie and he woudl call me and get everything straightedned out. There was about an hour of judging time left at that point. No call, no judges. I left shortly after that. Horrible!


On Friday I drove down to Phoenix and it was hot! At least 110 and it was projected to be 113. The AC was barely keeping up on high speed and I was still a little sweating. The AC temp was about 35 deg, but just not enough air volume. The big problem is that the Promaster alternator rated at 150amps was only making 10.1 to 10.5 volts with AC on High. I have been having promblems with my alternator and recently switched out to a smaller pulley and this did not seem to help enough. Actually, I think the alternator is a lemon. It is only 2 years old or so.

I made it to Phoenix without a problem. However on the drive back up to 7000 ft to Flagstaff the car died three times and I had some electric power outs. I also had a spark plug wire pop off and I thought this was the issue, but that was only the result of the first time the car died. The two other times, the wire was intact and it seemed to be more of a power failure from the low voltage. It was quite strange. Once I got up to 5000 ft it was cool enough that I could roll down the windows and drive home without AC. Car made it home about 50 miles with no problem.

The next day, Saturday, I went to the car show. On top of all the logistical problems, my sign board pole broke in half with a wind gust, so I could not use the sign for the majority of the day. Then on the drive home about 40 miles, I got into town and the car just flat out died and lost power. Some components worked like the radio but the PCS shifter and ignition did not. I called my wife to bring tools and when I was testing the fuses I noticed that there was power on the left fuse bank and nothing on the right side. So, there was batt power, but no power to ignition or accessory switches. So, I hooked the acc and ign wires up to batt and the car started right up and I drove home.

The car is truly broken and in this state now. Not sure what is happening. I checked the two fusible links in the engine bay and both were good for batt power. I think I must have fried a wire on the back side of the fuse box. Today, I just took the day off and worked on other projects. Does anyone have ideas? My next step is to pull the fuse panel off and check the backside connections. Somehow, nothing on the right side of the fuse panel works and the three spades in the middle are BATT, IGN and ACC and only the BATT has power when the ignition switch is on. I am also going to see if maybe sothing is wrong with the Digital Gaurd Dawg device since this taps directly into the IGN power and wiring. Maybe that alarm box is not passing the power through.

All and all a horrible weekend for the El Camino. I have a car show next weekend too, but not sure I will make it or have a replacement sign pole by then either. I did muy a new Mechman alternator, so I am hoping this solves my power struggles with the AC on. I really need this to work as it should.
 
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