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Ok, I have started assembly on my new engine for 84 El Camino. No way i can afford to have it Dyno'd, but, with the items we are using should push close to 400hp. Main items are XE-Comp cam 274(.487/.490 lift), RPM Performer Intake, Holley carb, 50k volt HEI, Trick Flo Aluminum heads,series 40 flowmasters blah blah blah... Now I have installed a B&M street/strip shift kit in rebuilt th350, and a Hughs 1800rpm Stall convertor

Question is, I dumped all my money in the engine and tranny, now how do I make it hook up to pavement. I am searching for a posi unit in the 3.43-3.73 range, and have to replace the factory 14's with a 295/50/15 on rear, but is their somethng traction barish i can do? Never owned a non-leaf-spring hot rod, let alone one that is as light in the caboose as an El Camino. Thanks in advance.

RobRhino
 

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Rob, you haven't said whether or not you've done anything with the rear end yet. Is it all stock? There's plenty that can be done depending on how much you want to spend. Thats a pretty potent motor your building and with a 1800 rpm stall speed, your going to be putting a lot of torque to that lil ole 7.5" rearend when you traump on it. I'd look for a 8.5" rearend and some aftermarket upper and lower control arms at the very least, with a rear factory sway bar. Also I'd try to lighten up the front end a bit, fiberglass cowl induction hood and maybe some adjustable gas shocks up front also. You didn't say what you plan on using for tires in the rear either, (soft or hard compound) whats your plan there? MONEY MONEY MONEY what a dilema huh? :roll:

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Discussion Starter #3
stock rear end

The rear end is totally stock at this time, as I have been so focused on the motor. If i can get the rear high enough off the ground without air shocks, iI am just going to use a Bridgestone 295/50/15 street tire. I am not really going to be racing it as much as driving it to and from work, and street cruising. And eat the occasional "Daddy bought me a so called factory hot rod(ie, firebird, camero, and Gt Mustang)"

But I already know that traction is going to suck, because even with a 200k mile stock 305, the dang thing will spin the rear well if ya leave a stop sign or light to fast. I did locate some Trick Flow aluminum heads I am in the middle of trying to get. So much to my disappointment I am still about 30 days or so from actually sitting this engine in the car.

I haven't changed anything on the rear except i did replace the rear axle seals and brakes, and cleaned and then replaced rear in fluid. I called the number off the housing in to my local GM dealer( they have an awesome speed shop and selection) and they said it was a 2.41....which amazes me cus at 65 on highway feels like I am in low 2, I think someone has replaced the rear end gears as we saved this elkie from it's life as a a/c companies work truck.

I don't think soft compound tires are an option as i drive bout 25 miles to work, and it is all highway. Are soft Compound tires easily wore out with that ttype of driving?

Robrhino
 

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Discussion Starter #4
stock rear end

The rear end is totally stock at this time, as I have been so focused on the motor. If i can get the rear high enough off the ground without air shocks, iI am just going to use a Bridgestone 295/50/15 street tire. I am not really going to be racing it as much as driving it to and from work, and street cruising. And eat the occasional "Daddy bought me a so called factory hot rod(ie, firebird, camero, and Gt Mustang)"

But I already know that traction is going to suck, because even with a 200k mile stock 305, the dang thing will spin the rear well if ya leave a stop sign or light to fast. I did locate some Trick Flow aluminum heads I am in the middle of trying to get. So much to my disappointment I am still about 30 days or so from actually sitting this engine in the car.

I haven't changed anything on the rear except i did replace the rear axle seals and brakes, and cleaned and then replaced rear in fluid. I called the number off the housing in to my local GM dealer( they have an awesome speed shop and selection) and they said it was a 2.41....which amazes me cus at 65 on highway feels like I am in low 2, I think someone has replaced the rear end gears as we saved this elkie from it's life as a a/c companies work truck.

I don't think soft compound tires are an option as i drive bout 25 miles to work, and it is all highway. Are soft Compound tires easily wore out with that ttype of driving?

Robrhino
 

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Yes Rob, softer compound tires like Mickey Thompsons will wear faster, but they will somewhat improve traction. There has been a lot of discussion on this site recently as to how wide a tire you can stuff in the rear wheelwell, check past forums. Changing or modifying rear upper and lower control arms will also make an improvement, cheapest way to go would be to box the lower ones and use polyurethane bushings. Look for BMRs' they are probably the least expensive, I was originally planning on using Hodgkins, but they are expensive compared to the BMRs'. If you don't have a rear sway bar, look for one at a boneyard or on ebay, any from a 78-87 G-body GM will fit and improve handling. Elky's sit kinda of low in the rear to begin with and I don't like airshocks, my plan is to go with the AIRLIFT air bag system, and make them independently adjustable, I hear that way you have a little control over tuning the rear a bit for traction. You can do these mods in stages as money is available, but I wouldn't invest money into the stock original axle itself, a 7.5" rear is not going to withstand a lot of punishment very long. All the mods here are capable of being used with either the 7.5" or 8.5" rearend. When money is available, and you find an 8.5" rear, it'll be a bolt in swap with whatever mods you've made up to that point. There are some aftermarket rears that are also available for a bolt in swap, that can withstand just about any horsepower/torque you can make, but your talking $2000+. Hope this helps.

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According to one article, which made my mind up, the BFG G-Force Drag Radials are the "Second Best" tire as far as street traction behind, I don't remember who.

I have also read that the Elky has in some models actually better weight distribution than the Chevells. Knowing that there are some things that help add stick to it. For highway driving you can add a hard cover with the functional deck spoiler from Lauren Engineering. Some better sway bars, and some newer type Poly bushings.

For track, I'd say that changing to a softer tire, reducing the tire pressure at the line, changing to some springs that release your trucks energy on launch and moving it a bit closer to the ground (lowering it). Air Bags can help with the preloading the rear end at the line/track. Another thing could be changing the gear ratio in the rear end can give you a better ETY along with shucking some weight from the truck.

Just my input.
 

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if your serious about drag racing, you could get some drag springs/shocks to absorb the weight. Tires of course, maybe put some sandbags in the back (yes more weight), traction bars, and if your really serious..fiberglass front end.
 

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theelcaminofactory said:
Changing or modifying rear upper and lower control arms will also make an improvement, cheapest way to go would be to box the lower ones and use polyurethane bushings. Look for BMRs' they are probably the least expensive, I was originally planning on using Hodgkins, but they are expensive compared to the BMRs'.
I went with the BMR upper and lower arms on my '78. They fit great, look great, and are also greasable too! For all 4 it cost $283, WAAAAAAY cheaper then the Hotchkis units! So far I've only done one "hole shot" with it, (I never left the driveway as of yet :wink: ), and it seemed to hook up fairly well.
 

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If you want to get the strongest rearend in a 80's elco Southside Machine makes a control arm\adapter kit that allows you to use an early 10 or 12 bolt axle. Try Summitracing.com or Jegs.com. look under control arms. I haven't tried this yet but I understand it's mostly a bolt up deal. I think you have to relocate the spring pads with a welder.
 
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Suspension and other stuff

Hey Crawler, nice Elky, and a way cool website. I've been working on a website for quite awhile, but keeping running into things caused by computer illeteracy. :D
 
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