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1978 Elcamino base 305
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114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Finally starting a build thread..
This was a project started some 15 years ago. Previous owner bought many if not all the parts to modify the vehicle. Some are even custom made specifically for it. It is basically a "kit" that I am assembling adding only what is necessary to make it legally run and drive.
Vehicle : 78 El Camino base
305 CID 2 BBL / THD 350 Updated to 600 CFM Holley on Edelbrock Cyclone Manifold
Rear Axle Ratio changed from 2.41 to 4.10 Posi
Hooker Headers / 2 1/2" Pypes Exhaust
Born 61U Camel Beige Exterior / Camel Tan Interior 1st owner repaint Black w/ Charcoal Int
Hotchkiss Lowering Springs 1" drop 15" x 7" American Racing wheels.
Full Compliment of Stewart Warner gauges in a Custom Made Wood Dash
No A/C
Link to Introduction Post
Will update soon
 

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1978 Elcamino base 305
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114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So... once it was running and driving, time to evaluate......
FRAME ROTTED Beyond repair

Pics were taken after old frame was cut up on it's way to scrap.
Body was lifted off frame with drivetrain still in it.

Body Lift details to follow.....
 

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1978 Elcamino base 305
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114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Body Lift/ Frame Removal:
After researching various methods, here is how I did it.
Materials used: 4) 4X4X8, 3)2X4, 1)2X8, 12) Cinderblocks 1) 3 ton Floor Jack.
Obviously disconnect all lines (Fuel/Brake) all wiring and front clip.
Steering Colum, trans linkage, park brake cable, driveshaft and cross brace.
Distributer Cap and wires removed incase of firewall clearance
Fuel tank was already removed as a replacement was on order.
Frame supported on 4 Jack Stands. (rather than sitting on suspension)
Removed all body mounts. Previous owner had replaced half of the mounts with Poly, remaining were seized and broken during removal.
Cribbing was fabricated to support the rear at the fuel tank supports projecting below the fragile rear fender pinch welds.
Cribbing fabricated to support the cab floor at the driveshaft tunnel just behind the trans tail shaft.
Raised the body from the frame and shimmed with 2X4 and 4X4 blocks a little at a time.
Once high enough a 4X4 was placed under the cab and cinder blocks used to support.
Cribbing in place to support the cab floor and the pinch welds to avoid crushing the rockers.
A second 4X4 was placed under the cab just for extra safety.
Rear was set up to fit between the frame rails at the mounts just behind the rear axle.
Raised up alternately and evenly one 2x4 at a time until high enough to clear.
Rear axle was to high to clear the front 4X4 so rims only were swapped to gain clearance.
Frame and drivetrain then rolled out front.
 

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1978 Elcamino base 305
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114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Replacement Frame:
Located a decent 1980 frame for $300. (no as received pic)
Pressure washed, wire brushed etc and prepped frame for paint.
Rustoleum "Rusty Metal" primer followed by Satin Black. (I know there are other, better products but this is not a show restoration. Plan is a decent, respectable driver, then see where it goes from there.

Drive train components were removed from the old frame, cleaned up, painted, and installed in the replacement frame.



Suspension had already had Poly bushings installed. All new Moog steering components, new brake system along with stainless brake lines (previous owner parts)
All body mount bolts were freed from their seized home in the captive nuts with PB Blaster and heat. All original Captive Body Mount nuts were salvaged!
Reunited Frame and Body reversing the lift method above.
NOTE There are some 5/8" diameter alignment holes at the Left (drivers side) body mounts. 5/8" rod, 12" long were used to guide the body to the frame. Then shifting the right side (slotted guide holes) to get the body & frame square.
 

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1978 Elcamino base 305
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114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Windshield & Back glass:
New windshield had been installed previously however it was not 100% sealed and there was rust (imagine that) around the frame.
Front glass was removed, channel cleaned up, small pin holes along the top. Removed headliner, treated back side of frame with rust reformer and filled the holes with PC 7. Self Etching Primer was applied followed by Epoxy paint around the perimeter.

After some research it was more economical and practical to have the local auto glass company install the windshield ($75)

Back glass top and sides were still sealed and in good shape. After researching found it was advisable to reseal in place. Cut and scraped out the lower seal. Cleaned and primed with Self Etching primer, followed with Epoxy paint. Packed the channel from the inside with Butyl Tape sealant until it oozed out the bottom.
All glass is now leak free!
 

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1978 Elcamino base 305
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114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
EDIT:
DO NOT WASTE TIME OR MONEY TO USE RIT DYE. IT DID NOT LAST AT ALL!!!


Interior:
Floors were TEMPORALLY patched by pop riveting plates over the holes.
"New" carpet and Curtin had been sun faded real badly.


RIT DYE to the rescue ! Cheap fix, will it last?? We will see .WASTE OF TIME DID NOT LAST, FADED WITHIN A MONTH
Pressure washed and dried. Prepared Super hot mix of dye, let it dry a few days and repeated the process. Then used the Rit Fixative to lock in the color.



Power Leather seats from a 2003 Acura have been up fitted to replace the long gone split bench.

The Custom Made Dash with SW Gauges has been wired and installed in the refurbished dash pad.

More to follow....
 

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WOW! I can appreciate the amount of work it took to do this restoration. AND YOU KEPT THE DRIVEWAY CLEAN!
 

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1978 Elcamino base 305
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114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well everything works to make it street legal. Lights, wipers, horn, gauges, etc.
Latest additions, new 225 60 r 15 tires and the steering wheel off an S-10
 

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Deputy Regional Director, Region 6
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1,608 Posts
Sleepy, I am envious of both your talent and your garage. Talent and ability definitely surpass mine and I don't dare let my wife see your garage pictures. You da man......................
 
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