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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Being that I've done a good bit of work on my Elco over the quarantine, I figured it might be fun to share some pictures of the car's transformation from when I got it to now. I bought my 1982 sight unseen out of Dallas after having it inspected by a "reputable" shop and had it shipped to me in sunny West Palm Beach FL around November of 2018. She was definitely a lot more rough than advertised but had enough good features that it was worth holding onto. It had a ZZ4 350 crate motor paired to a T5 transmission, a FAST EFI system, Hotchkis control arms, and a leaky 8.5 GN rear end. Within 6 months of owning the car, I swapped out the T5 for a T56, did the jeep steering shaft swap, and did some much needed maintenance on the car. Since then, I've completely rebuilt the rear end, put in LS1 rear disks out of an '02 Camaro, upper and lower rear control arms, new gas tank, completely new steering system, swapped the Cragars for a set of '86-88 Monte Carlo SS 15s that I refinished, F41 suspension bits, drag bags, and an aluminum radiator and F-body fans.
My favorite change I've done to the car is in the interior though. Some Trans Am leather seats, new steering wheel, sound deadening mat, and dyed interior panels have definitely freshened up the car a good bit. I also 3D printed a new shadow box as well as a lower gauge pod to go under the radio to retrofit the Autometer gauges into a factory housing. The last major modification which is what's spurred me to make this post is completely replacing the wiring in the car from headlight to taillight, starting with a Painless harness and going through the journey of finding new connectors for everything.
At this point I think most can see why this car is now affectionately referred to in my family as the Blue Money Pit, but its been a labor of love. There have been ups such as the people in region 6 I've been able to meet and there have certainly been downs like when I set the interior carpet on fire while welding in patch panels on the back wall of the cab.

For now its going to be a fun and reliable daily but I'm definitely not done working on the car either. It'll probably get my GTO's LSA supercharged LS2 once I get around to putting in a twin turbo iron block in that car at some point. Plus the Elco definitely will be getting a repaint and a Choo Choo nose in the much nearer future. Hope this motivates some others to start working on their Elcos as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Been doing a bit more work on the car lately. What started as installing a new fiberglass front end has snowballed a bit into the Conquista trim and bed cover holes, new cowl hood, and a repaint coming up next week. Also I'll likely be picking up a Fitech unit this weekend to make the car more driveable than it is currently with the FAST EZ-EFI setup it currently has.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are you painting the same color or changing it? It'll be unrecognizable next time I get to see it :unsure:
Thanks guys. I'm looking at the C7 Corvette's Shadow Gray metallic to paint it. It already is a non-standard color so I figured I might as well paint it as I like. Haven't pictured it yet but its also getting a Holley Sniper EFI system and probably a mechanical fan setup (getting rid of my electric fans) to try and alleviate the hot engine temps I see. It's going to be an entirely different looking and driving car by the time its out in the public eye again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Its been a little while since I've updated this post. The body of the car has been completely repainted in Shadow Grey Metallic from a 2019 Corvette along with a set of SS decals. I refinished the Monte SS wheels in a hyper silver as well to look better against the new darker color of the body. I still need to finish the bodywork in the bed of the truck though. It had one of those fiberglass bed covers along with a trough in it and caused a good bit of rust in the bed and back of the cab which I've been working through over the last year or two slowly. Bodywork is the bane of my existence so its been slow going in that regard.
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive design Land vehicle
Motor vehicle Wheel Vehicle Land vehicle Automotive exterior
 

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Ministry of Broke Things
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Looking good. I like the new color. I've never been a fan of bodywork myself. The endless sanding and prepwork is mind numbing to me. But that is what separates a good job from a great job. I'm just glad there are others that enjoy it more than me.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm lucky I found a paint and body place that did a lot of the bodywork for me for a reasonable price. The body still isn't perfect but that lends to the charm of the car for me being that I still use it as a truck on occasion. For pretty much that exact reason I'm going to put a spray bedliner in it once I finish the sanding on the bed instead of matching paint so it handles the wear and tear a bit better.
 

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VERY VERY NICE !

You da man...................
 

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Wow that is awesome makes me feel like I haven't even gotten started on mine. But one thing leads to another then another then another hahaha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow that is awesome makes me feel like I haven't even gotten started on mine. But one thing leads to another then another then another hahaha.
Thanks for the kind words, its definitely been a labor of love. The car has certainly snowballed compared to what I initially had intended to do with it when purchased a little over 2 years ago. Its lightyears better than the basket case it was when I bought it but it still has a good ways to go before I'll be perfectly happy with it. The fuel tank has to come out for the hundredth time soon to replace the fuel sender again, plus the clutch master cylinder is leaking and the T56 will probably be coming out sometime in the new year for a minor refresh as reverse has been a pain for a while and the 5th gear blocker ring is shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Added a few more pics to the album in the first post. I've spent the last month or so rebuilding the 6 speed manual T56 in the truck, which was one of the most stressful things I've ever done automotive-related. It's what's considered a "stage 2" rebuild, should be good for around 750 hp which is way more than it will ever see. Luckily the gears and bearings were all good. Upgraded to carbon synchro blockers, bronze shift pads, and steel 3/4 shift fork. I also had the mainshaft welded and machined, replaced the 5/6 shift fork, reverse fork, 5/6 synchro sleeve, and new seals and bushings for the input and output shafts. They say the best cars are built in messy garages and I sure hope that's the case because it looks like a bomb went off in my garage after the last few weeks of working on this thing.

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Kyle, any parts left over?
 
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