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1978 Elcamino base 305
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93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Rear is back in and assembled. 3.23 gear set made a world of difference in drivability. Dropped over 500 RPM @ 60 MPH. Now 2500 rather than well north of 3000.
Rear is quiet and all is well. 2 more wheels to clean up and on the the body work.
 

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1978 Elcamino base 305
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93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Been awhile for an update: Enjoying the ride, just kind of cruising around with no problems popping up. got about 1500 miles on it at this point.
Polished wheels holding up well and even went to a "Classic Car Social", 1980 and older, one evening and I wasn't the rustiest, crustiest vehicle there. Lots of Chevy's but only 1 Elco.
So on to the body work. Got a deal on Left side lower quarter patch panels. both front and rear for under $100 shipped. Starting with the left forward, cut out the rusted section and working on fitting the panel just right. After practice on some scraps will weld in the new stuff.
Got some clean up and prep to do before installation.
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Sleepy78, you did a great job resurrecting your 78. I had very bad rust on both sides of my 87...yours are not as bad as mine. Besides the skin, in order to repair this area, the job required removal of 5 layers of body panel pieces (that were spot welded and sealed) before I could get to solid areas where replacements could be welded. I believe some prior owner of my 87 launched boats since submersion is the only way water could seep and get into and cause rust in this particular area. I also ended up swapping my whole frame with one from an 84 El Camino.
 

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1987 GMC Caballero, 400 HP 350, Holley Sniper EFI, 200-4R
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344 Posts
Wow! This was certainly an extensive project. Great job. Congratulations
 

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1978 Elcamino base 305
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93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Had to call a "Time Out" on this project. Too Hot and Humid here in South Carolina to work.
Had to "Modify" the work area so I could continue.......
 

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Deputy Regional Director, Region 6
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I can associate with the ac.
 

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1978 Elcamino base 305
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93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #48 ·
So now with a comfortable work space I managed to fit the patch panel

Practicing welding on scraps before committing to weld it in place.
 

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Be patient and TAKE YOUR TIME! Jump around as you make your spot welds and continually be mindful of heat buildup in the metal. Good luck!
 

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1978 Elcamino base 305
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93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Be patient and TAKE YOUR TIME! Jump around as you make your spot welds and continually be mindful of heat buildup in the metal. Good luck!
Thanks for the advice! It works!

Diesel Technician by trade, some stick welding ages ago, You Tube/Self Taught with decent results.

Still need to fill holes and fill in some spot welds but overall it is straight and no waves
 

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1978 Elcamino base 305
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93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Body worked and a cover coat of paint for now.
(Shadow below the body line is from the reflection of the seam in the floor on the door and panel)

On to the next panel soon.

I'm sure not going to make a living as a body man at this pace!
 

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1978 Elcamino base 305
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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
So we have started the next panel.
Cut out and fitted the replacement.

Anyone have any idea what the reason is for the "wire" I found secures inside the inner panel?? Highlighted with chalk so it would show up in the image.

Held in place by two tabs, solid (sort of) wire. Maybe some sort of sacrificial anode??
Any ideas appreciated.
 

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Your guess is as good as mine; I had no clue when I saw the same thing! However, don't let it hold you up and press on. To be honest, I can't remember what I did.
 

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Deputy Regional Director, Region 6
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I envy you folks
(y)
 
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