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Discussion Starter #1
My dad bought an 80 elcamino off the show room floor and daily drove it for 15 years. He then parked it in the back yard and there it sat for about 2 years. When I was 14 I started wrenching on it getting it ready for my 16th birthday.
When that day finally rolled around a friend of the family had just retired his 85 cutless and gave it to me. My mother and father were conserend that the brake lines and the body were rusted beyond repair; I was in no position to argue with no job and no auto body experience.

So the camino was sold.

The next day I recieved an origional parts group catalogue in the mail with all the patch panels I needed... It was firm in my mind from that day on the camino was the one that got away.
Since then I've been bouncing from car to car, building them from nothing, custom body/interriors/drive train swaps ect ect...

I finally (after 15) have the oppertunity to snatch up this 78 caballero



Owner says it runs and drives, body is spotless, doors are rotted interrior is in a bad way.
As long as my luck holds out and the wold dosent end (I don't believe it will) it will be delivered the 21st.

The plan is all good things in time;
First step will be feeling her out and getting her ready to be a daily driver come spring.
Then modify her to be an all around clean low and mean mild performance street machine.
I am undecided which way I want to go;
By far my two favorite cars I've ever owned were my 89 firebird gt (350 with 305 heads for boosted compression; edelbrok cam intake manafold and carb, 700r4 trans, high stall torque converter, 373 gears) this was my first performance car ever.
And my 98 firebird formula (ls1 6 speed performance bolt ons)
I can't decide if I want to go old and simple with the SBC that's in her now, or LS swap her for a moddern performance edge..

Either way, I will be keeping this up to date with the evolution of this project.

Btw; if any one gets a black tailgate with a bunch of blue Pinstriping on it that says "shady lady II" on it, I would love to buy it (was from pappys elcamino).
 

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:nanawrench::nanawrench::nanawrench:
 

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:Welcome!:

plenty of experience and advice on here whichever way you decide to go.

Just don't listen to any texans that try to get you to paint it pink!

:poke:
 

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Welcome to the forums. Too bad you couldn't track down your dad's old Elky. As far as what to do with the engine/trans? If I had it to do over again I would have built a 383 instead of my 350. If you've got the funds to go nuts though I don't know would be hard to resist an LS swap.

Good luck with your build
Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all.
I don't hold out much hope for pop's old wreck, I was rusty beyond all reason, tan bench interrior v6 auto. Nothin really worth keeping except the trim and glass..

I'd be a little iffy building a 383;
Either I go cheap with the 350 that's in it now or go the expensive ls1 rout (however it will probably be more like a budget lq4 build than any thing else.)
I really like the LS swap because it (to me) would be the two cars I miss most packed into one (especially if I paint it the same blue/green chameleon color of the formula)

But for now, shake down and finding some good doors or patch panels for em...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
IT'S HERE!
IT'S HERE!!
:inlove:
Now where did I leave my stick? Cuz I got lots of ugly to knock off it!
Asside from that, she is solid running driving condition. The interrior is a mess, the doors are rotted beyond all reasion, the steering column definetly needs rebuilding, and the power steering needs attention; but asside from some rot around the bed corners she's a rust free body. In Michigan, that's an accomplishment!




Now I can see why she servived...



 

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Discussion Starter #8
first things first,
dash pad ordered...
I wanted to go with a gull grey but was affriad it would always look dirty and i wouldnt be able to paint-match it well enough.. so i ordered a full black dash cap... not thrilled about using a cap but i guess thats the only option.
have to address the issue with the sterring columb (feels like the steering wheel adaptor is cheap or the upper bearing is shot. tomorrow i will dig into it and see.

figgure it would be easiest to just pull the dash.
this will give me room to work on it and give me a chance to take a look at what type of hack job the dash harness is
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well dash came out easier than I though it would have..

im real happy I ordered that full cap, this one was very bad!!


Interrior is just about totally gutted, I was very happy to see the wire harness looks relitivly un-molested

I don't know much about these g bodys did they all come with the inner mounts for buckets?

did however find some nasties body wise;
Looks like some one got creative with the dual exhaust routing

These are the bits I'm most worried about; it seems the hinge area on the passingers side is totally rotted out and both striker areas have been patched badly. Also there appears to be a patch on the passingers floor... That's weird because the drivers has very little rust damage



And here is my tip of the night.
If you have any plastic bits that have been painted badly a few times, soak them in pinsol over night, it will lift the paint and in the majority of cases not attack the plastic
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sorry guys this post isn't really for y'all, but I'll explain it any way. I jump from computer to computer a lot so I like to use these forums to organize and point-source all my information.
Buddy came up with a lot of parts for me including a 140mph speedo cluster.
I started digging into it to try and identify the 3wire harness comming off the back of the speedo and found this great wire diagram site
http://www.maliburacing.com/wiring.html
At the same time I'm also trying to decide what is to be done about my warn out steering column
Apparently the rumor has it the Jeep cherokee column 85-95ish S10 and possibly f-body columns are all the same..
This really peaks my interest as a lot of the f-body's and Cherokee came with floor shift; seeing how one day I will manual swap this car might as well adapt the column now.
Especially seeing how my local yard offers a "warranty" for $20
So if I grab one column and it's no-go I can snatch a different one and exchange it even up (casheres don't know the diffrence between a strut bar and sway bar so I don't see a problem there) also if I snag a cherokee column the u joint style steering shaft could surely go with it for no extra $$
:nanawrench:

Btw
HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERY ONE!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oops, 120 mph speedo
Also
F-body 3rd pettel assembly
Thick as hell f body sway bars
And a z28 track pack quick ratio steering box

 

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Great Car

I have a 78 also. They seem to be one of a kind. Good Luck with it.

Leo
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have a 78 also. They seem to be one of a kind. Good Luck with it.

Leo
Thankyou!

I got a few seconds just now to check on the parts soaking in pinsol.
I was very happy to see that not only was the old nasty paint comming off in sheets, but the screen printing on the info center stuff looked to be in effected.
So I gave the parts a light scrubb and put them back in to soak more
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sweet, what is up with that? Is it a tar backed metal tape?
I've got patch work to be done in a few spots but that seems to be a good cheap and happy dynomatt alternative..
 

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Sweet, what is up with that? Is it a tar backed metal tape?
I've got patch work to be done in a few spots but that seems to be a good cheap and happy dynomatt alternative..


Put it this way it's the same material as Dyna-Mat at $16.99 a roll Just type in google Peel & Seal on youtube.

It's at Lowe's don't get any other brand.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Put it this way it's the same material as Dyna-Mat at $16.99 a roll Just type in google Peel & Seal on youtube.

It's at Lowe's don't get any other brand.
I'll check it out but last time I checked stuff like that is a tar based product, and dynomatt is butle rubber. Other than the flamible aspect, I have sheet metal work I'd like to do ont the floor boards one day and if that is tar based after one season it will be a bugger to remove!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
First batch out of the dip
Had no idea I was dealing with a tri colored interrior!
Lol
I'm very happy the info center wasn't effected by the pinsol every thing is still readable
I'll let it dry out over night scuff wipe it and then paint it with a quality interrior paint

 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ok, lemme be upfront.
Ive never installed a dash cap before. From what I understand (from my research) is they are very thin plastic and require lots of trimming and fitting before you glue her down. I've also seen consern that since it is so thin if there's massive dips and divets in the dash the cap will settle into them.
And that's a big issue with mine! It's got deep cracks and the center speaker location as well as the sides are caving in.

they have dash repair kits which will smooth out the cracking but how about the divets?
I decided to try building them up with long hair fiberglass re-enforced filler (bondo brand)
It won't flex and move with the dash material but at this point the dash is so baked it's basically rock hard any how and the fiberglass filler won't shrink noticibly and will give the weak parts of the dash some support.
So I used an old flap disc (pictured in the last pic) and an angle grinder and gave every thing a once over. I focused in the the curled edges if the cracks and ground away some of the stock details that would prevent the cap from sitting on the surface. I also gave all the surrounding good dash a once over to give the filler something to grab to.


then generously applied the filler.
Since this stuff comes off easy with the same grinder and flap disc I wasn't too worried about building it too high. Also used it to reconstruct an edge that was chunked out. As long as the filler dosent blow off the dash when I level it out I should be in good shape
 
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