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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

And away we go on this rebuild thread. Its a blue, 1970 model with a 307 motor, PS, PB and AC. It has a brown interior and the remnants of what appears to be a white vinyl top which all seems to an odd set of color combinations. Must have been a special order car???

The RPO code tag is missing but the Fisher Body tag is clearly visible. I will try to ake some use of its codes soon.

I knew the car was missing its AC compressor, the power steering pump and the radiator. But I noticed tonight that the harmonic balancer is missing and the passenger side exhaust manifold has a large crack in it. I can only guess that the engine got extremely hot to crack that manifold. The fuel pump is also long gone. So I still have no idea if this engine is locked up or not.

I tried to drill out the ignition key lock tonight and eventually gave up after trying six different drill bits. That metal from 1970 is some tough stuff!! I'm borrowing the steering wheel puller and compressor tomorrow to finish this the correct way.

The floors are rusty and perforated in quite a few places but the rockers at least appear to be solid. I will get the car up on jack stands soon when I can finally steer the car into the shop.

More to follow but it's going to be cleanup time here for the foreseeable future.

Rick
 

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Welcome Rick, It sounds like you have got your work cut out for you, but it also sounds like you have a good feel for what you up against. This is the place to get all questions answered. The guys here will help you with whatever comes up. Good Luck and keep us posted.
BTW - You can put a few start up pics in your garage so we can see what you are working with.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I will try to post a few pictures later today. But my post count is low so that may not be possible. I realized last night that I also can't edit my posts.

Rick

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk
 

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BTW - You can put a few start up pics in your garage so we can see what you are working with.
I will try to post a few pictures later today. But my post count is low so that may not be possible. I realized last night that I also can't edit my posts.

Rick

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk
Rick, da "Garage" referred to is up above in "User CP". You can posts pics there from da get-go. Editing comes after 25 posts.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hello,

Still no pictures but I will try to take a few tomorrow and post them here. I spent about an hour this afternoon removing the ignition switch so that I could use the steering to maneuver the car into the workshop. I got no key with this purchase so I had to round up both types of steering wheel tools to get it off.

I will put the car up onto jack stands tomorrow and get under it for some poking around with a sharp screwdriver to see if the tin worm has attacked things much in terms of rust. I also plan to apply 12 volt power to the car with my large variable power supply to begin bringing the car out of its coma. I want to see what works and doesn't work as far as lighting, etc goes. No radio - somebody removed it. This power supply is not big enough to crank the engine but it will still be revealing. Hopefully, all the smoke will remain inside the wiring harness but I will not have much more than a fifteen amp fuse in the power supply line so nothing dramatic should happen here.

The last valid registration sticker on the plate ended in October of 1984 for this vehicle so she's been dead quite a while. The odometer shows 69xxx miles so I'm not certain if that would be 69,000 miles or 169,000 ish miles.

More to follow.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello,

I was able to get the car up on jack stands earlier this morning and I'm happy with what I have found so far. No structural rust, just surface rust. With the rear wheels removed, I can see that the frame arches above the rear axle are solid - no problems there. The frame rails along the sides are also solid as well as the rocker panels on both sides. Since this was a Texas car for apparently all of its fourteen year life in service, this is to be expected - no winter salt on the roads.

The car is equipped with rear air shocks (obviously aftermarket) and what appears to be glass pack mufflers so that motor probably sounded good back in the day. The air lines to the air shocks are cut so I have no idea if they still hold air though it probably does not matter anyway - they need to be replaced.

I also finished pulling out the driveshaft. My car is now a roller in both directions!! I think I counted ten bolts on the differential cover - not a 12 bolt rear differential.

The car has definitely been hit in the rear. The bed door has a large crease in the metal that has been filled with Bondo a half an inch deep in places - way too much body filler. I'm not sure if I will be repairing this bed door or not because that metal is very strong and probably won't do well at being pulled for dent removal. The rest of the rear of the car does not look too bad but the bumper has a ding that can probably be hammered out or bent back into place. I need to remove the bumper to get a better look at things.

I was able to clean the dirt away from the engine identification area on the passenger side of the block at the front of the engine. The last six digits match the VIN under the driver's side windshield so that is the original engine. But there's still a mystery about what engine is actually in there - 307 or a 350. The VIN decodes to a 307 and this engine has a 2 barrel Rochester carb on it just like a 307 should. But the car has a small "350" badge on the passengers side front fender. The full serial number of the engine is:

V0109CNN 10X 152xxx where the upper case "X" is uncertain - not stamped very deeply. Could possibly be a "K" . . . . ????

What do these numbers say about this engine? Is there a decoder around for it?

Many thanks,

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hello XLCHJoe,

Thank you very much and it looks like I have a 350 even though other things had led me to believe it was a 307. A two barrel carb is on it and that corresponds to a 307 but who knows what has happened since 1970 in this car. That it is a 350 is very good news.

I got my my seat out today but it was not easy. The bolts are rusted into a very rusty floor so I had to use a reciprocating saw to get the whole thing out. Three out of four of the seat legs had to be cut loose with my reciprocating saw. I drilled the head off of one of these three stuck legs and I'm still working on freeing the other two leg pieces. Once I get all three unstuck, it will be a simple matter to weld them back onto the leg stubs.

Once I got that seat out, I vacuumed up a ton of dirt and specks of rusty metal, an old McDonalds coffee stirrer etc, etc. It was a real mess but at least I now have a clear view of my rusty floor problem. I have also pulled out the sun visors and most of the headliner.

I also sanded a little on the roof and a rusty area on the rear quarter panel. There's plenty of good metal under that rust.

That's about it for today.

Rick
 

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Hello XLCHJoe,

Thank you very much and it looks like I have a 350 even though other things had led me to believe it was a 307. A two barrel carb is on it and that corresponds to a 307 but who knows what has happened since 1970 in this car. That it is a 350 is very good news.
Da "2" at da end says da 350 came with that 2bbl.

CNN 1970350 tur 350- 250 2
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Pictures Finally

Hello,

I finally got around to taking pictures yesterday and getting them uploaded to Photobucket this morning. I like Photobucket because it saves the disk space and bandwidth belonging to whoever is hosting this El Camino web site:

http://s1144.photobucket.com/user/b52bombardier1/library/1970 Chevy El Camino?sort=3&page=1

As previously discussed, yesterday was mostly a day for de-construction. The seat is out and I am now struggling to get the cover off of the smuggler's compartment. The bolt heads for the cover that are closest to the front of the truck bed are rusted away and likely seized anyway. But there's not a lot of rust under there that I can see so far. I need to get the plastic out of the way that protects the spare tire.

Later today, my air powered cutoff wheel will make short work of what remains of the compartment bolt heads and I will also use it to notch out the metal holding the shafts of it's seized bolts A little fabrication with some un-galvanized bar stock and a welded in blind nut to replace the notched out metal should make for a good repair.

I will also use the cutoff wheel to free up the remaining seat post that is still stuck to the rusty floor. I don't know why I didn't think about using the cutoff wheel yesterday but it is probably good that I didn't. It throws sparks that could have set the seat foam and materials on fire. Now that the seat is out of the car and upside down, I can protect the seat from welding sparks with wet towels as I tack the leg pieces back on.

I think my next job is to remove the fuel tank.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hello Again,

It took longer than I thought but the cutoff wheel eventually got through the two forward bolt heads on the smuggler compartment cover. After vacuuming up the dirt and other filth and removing the spare tire cover plastic, yes, there is some rust that will need taking care of. It could have been a lot worse though. The cover also needs to have a crack in the metal near the right front forward hole welded and repaired.

The cutting wheel also got through the last head on the seat post remnant thus freeing it up. These now loose seat post pieces need to be cleaned up a little before the get welded back on and painted. I know that I previously mentioned that my next big job would removing the fuel tank but I think the re-welding of the seat posts might be more important - I don't want to lose them.

I keep looking at my now clean though rusty floors and some work will be needed here for new metal but I'm thinking less and less that a complete replacement of the floors will be needed. The drivers side rear floor is completely solid and probably needs nothing. I'm still assessing and I will definitely make sure to mark thing from below with drill holes to avoid the cross members when sawing from above. That was absolutely great advice from my intro thread.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Hello Again,

I got a few things done yesterday and today. The stubborn passenger side door panel finally yielded yesterday. I could not see that the main window crank still had the clip installed. Things happened pretty fast after taking the clip out.

My used, internally balanced harmonic balancer, crankshaft bolt and washer came in today - it was all missing on this car until now. After cleaning out the mud from the wasp nest in the balancer bolt hole and running a 7/16 - 20 tap through to further clean out the hole, the balancer went on (sort of, tight fit over the crank snout) and the bolt tightens easily. I did not snug the balancer up yet for worry that it might not come off again without a puller.

But the big news for today is the fuel tank came out tonight. Those two forward strap bolts were too rusty to loosen and finally just spun. But a fresh blade on my reciprocating saw made short work of those two bolts and with the tank cap strap bolt out and the rear strap bolts out, it dropped onto my vertically stood up concrete block with a tinny, empty thud. I clipped the rotted fuel line, a thin ground wire and the sending unit wire and she slid out easily. But alas, I had hoped the build sheet would be laying on top of the tank but . . . no such luck.

The really good news about the fuel tank is that I removed the sending unit and no kidding, it's as clean as a whistle inside. There's a little yellowed fuel sloshing about but not much. Really clean. It's amazing but every other 70's fuel tank I've touched has been a mess on the inside needing the complete POR 15 urethane liner treatment but not this one. I will stick my small TV camera inside maybe tomorrow but I'm not worried at all here. I need a new sending unit because the black sending unit sock is shredded and tattered but overall, this tank would be fine if I had to reinstall it. This fuel tank has sat empty, with the tank cap removed for maybe 34 years and it has no rust. Amazing.

Tomorrow, my goal is to continue removing window trim and assessing the rusty floors.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hello,

As of today, my car has officially begun coming out of the coma it has been in since roughly the first Reagan administration - I applied 12 volt power to the red battery wire and ground. But this was no miraculous recovery. The absolute only thing that turned on was the red "generator" light on the dashboard. No lights, no horn, no wipers . . . nothing. It's gonna' be a long road to recovery but at least the smoke stayed inside the wiring harness.

I also got the windshield wipers off, did a little body sanding and removed two spark plugs to see if the engine last ran oily . . . . it did not. At least not on these two cylinders - plugs were a little black but not sooty. So I'm still hopeful that I can get the engine to restart in the not too distant future.

Rick
 

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Hello, I too have a 70 El Camino too, I ended up swapping the whole steering column with wheel for a new one, follow my build, if you have any Qs ask away, while i still have it apart ill do my best to help with what i can :D
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I can't wait for that test drive day to get here but it's a long time off . . . someday.

My oldest son and I got the broken and bent hood removed and got the back glass out intact. This exposes the rust in the corners of the back windows so that it can be removed and replaced with new metal.

But nice job on getting it running.

Edit: I finally got around to popping the top off the brake master cylinder. No wonder the brake pedal goes to the floor - both chambers of the master cylinder have no brake fluid. What was in there has evaporated away to a solid mass.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hello Again,

I carved a piece of 20 gauge sheet metal off of my derelict hood with the broken bones and used it to make my first sheet metal repair on my car late this afternoon. This hole was not from rust but was a repair to a perfectly round drill hole for a CB radio antenna behind the driver's seat. The antenna mount also required three bolts so I filled those holes as well.

It took far longer to trim the roughly one inch sized patch to tightly fit the hole than to do the actual MIG welding. I had to go very slow with the grinder to get it to fit. I also used some strong magnets to keep the patch fixed into place while I tapped it in with a small hammer.

I did not use new patch metal for the bolt holes but it is obviously not possible for weld metal to stick to air on the back side of the hole. So, using my magnets again, I tightly held a piece of thin copper sheeting up to the back side of the hole as a backer that the weld metal would not stick to but would allow a good fill to take place. And indeed, with the magnets removed, the copper sheet fell away . . . did not stick to the repair.

I shined a light through my repair and it looks like I still have just a little porosity that I will need to take car of tomorrow but I think I will eventually have a good repair after a little grinding and primer.

Rick
 

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Sounds like you have quite a battle in front of you. But it appears that you are up to the challenge. And luckily the aftermarket serves the 1970 model well.
But ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE, WAR AND RESTORATION!! Good luck.
 

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Proceeding in a positive direction. Good going, Rick!
 
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