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Caballero had a dead battery on Wednesday morning, so I drove the wife's Taurus to work. Put the charger on it overnight, but still did not start on Thursday morning. Hmmm, I am going to have to do some investigating. Drove the Taurus Thursday and Friday to work also. Looked for, and found my hydrometer to check the individual cells in the battery, and found 5 cells middlin fair and 1 cell bad. Pulled the battery out and took a trip to O'Reillys for a new one. Installed, and all is well again.
 

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I had the local shop replace the oil pan and pump. They initially said they can just lift the motor up a few inches to remove the pan. Well, that did not work and they had to pull the whole motor to drop the pan to replace the oil pump. They also discovered that the pickup tube was just laying in teh bottom of the pan and this would explain some of my low oil pressures. Nonetheless, this led to a sequence of badness. The car was returned to me with a vibration above 3000rpm. I could feel it at idle and not under load, just really noticable over 3000 rpm. They also managed to get the disptick stuck. I could not remove it to check the oil. So, I took the car back to the shop.

They thought the vibration was cuase by a bad flex plate. So, I had them just put in a new one and since the tranny was pulled back they slipped in a Hughes Torque Converter with 1800 stall. This is there Tow package converter. Well they got the dipstick out. It was a mangled mess. The vibration was still there. So, then they pulled the motor back out and discovered that there was no downtube for the dipstick. They said it was just missing. Why they did not realize this and put one in is beyond me. Why the dipstick never got wrapped around the cranshaft for years when I owned it is also beyond me. So, basically they broke my motor and they said there was already a lot of damage to the cylinders due to a lack of oil since the oil pump pickup tube was not connected to the oil pump. They said the dipstick getting caught in the crank just made things worse and caused the crakshaft to wobble and this was the cause of the vibration. I am not sure I completely believe them, but I know that if the motor gets put back together and the vibration is still there I would be upset and unhappy and would have to pay another shop to fix it or to replace the motor and the dollar signs were just rolling.

The local shop did say they felt bad and wanted me to be happy so they said if I bought a new crate motor they would install it and not charge anything extra for the labor. They other shop in town that I really like and trust has built/installed two motors for me in the past and while they are expensive, they always get things right the first time. But, I paid 5K in labor for them to drop a replacement motor in a 2002 Camaro Z28, so the thought of having this shop finish the job sounded good, unless they break somthing else.

So, that is a long-winded story to say that I bought a BluePrint 350/390Hp motor to replace my 74 Gen I with 190 Hp (about 225-250 with my modz). I have done a lot of work to this car and for under $5000 I should have a new power plant to match all the other great upgrades. I did not want a dressed motor. I bought a base model crate engine. I will reuse most of my components which are all new and have less than 3000 miles on them.

Here is a photo of the dipstick.
137071




And the crank bearing caps that they say are detroyed and causing the vibration.
137072



137073
 

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I had the local shop replace the oil pan and pump. They initially said they can just lift the motor up a few inches to remove the pan. Well, that did not work and they had to pull the whole motor to drop the pan to replace the oil pump. They also discovered that the pickup tube was just laying in teh bottom of the pan and this would explain some of my low oil pressures. Nonetheless, this led to a sequence of badness. The car was returned to me with a vibration above 3000rpm. I could feel it at idle and not under load, just really noticable over 3000 rpm. They also managed to get the disptick stuck. I could not remove it to check the oil. So, I took the car back to the shop.

They thought the vibration was cuase by a bad flex plate. So, I had them just put in a new one and since the tranny was pulled back they slipped in a Hughes Torque Converter with 1800 stall. This is there Tow package converter. Well they got the dipstick out. It was a mangled mess. The vibration was still there. So, then they pulled the motor back out and discovered that there was no downtube for the dipstick. They said it was just missing. Why they did not realize this and put one in is beyond me. Why the dipstick never got wrapped around the cranshaft for years when I owned it is also beyond me. So, basically they broke my motor and they said there was already a lot of damage to the cylinders due to a lack of oil since the oil pump pickup tube was not connected to the oil pump. They said the dipstick getting caught in the crank just made things worse and caused the crakshaft to wobble and this was the cause of the vibration. I am not sure I completely believe them, but I know that if the motor gets put back together and the vibration is still there I would be upset and unhappy and would have to pay another shop to fix it or to replace the motor and the dollar signs were just rolling.

The local shop did say they felt bad and wanted me to be happy so they said if I bought a new crate motor they would install it and not charge anything extra for the labor. They other shop in town that I really like and trust has built/installed two motors for me in the past and while they are expensive, they always get things right the first time. But, I paid 5K in labor for them to drop a replacement motor in a 2002 Camaro Z28, so the thought of having this shop finish the job sounded good, unless they break somthing else.

So, that is a long-winded story to say that I bought a BluePrint 350/390Hp motor to replace my 74 Gen I with 190 Hp (about 225-250 with my modz). I have done a lot of work to this car and for under $5000 I should have a new power plant to match all the other great upgrades. I did not want a dressed motor. I bought a base model crate engine. I will reuse most of my components which are all new and have less than 3000 miles on them.

Here is a photo of the dipstick.
View attachment 137071



And the crank bearing caps that they say are detroyed and causing the vibration.
View attachment 137072


View attachment 137073
Yep, rebuild or new engine time for sure.
 

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Yep, rebuild or new engine time for sure.
Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. A crate motor is on order. The timing was unexpected, but since I have had a couple days to think about it I realized that I have invested a lot of money in this car over the past year and a new crate motor actually cost less than the paint job and some of the other upgrades. It is one of those projects that I could not do myself, so I would always lean towards the projects that I could handle.

I am getting really excited for getting this done. If I can turn a 13 sec 1/4 mile I will be freakin stoked!
 

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Installed passenger side door panels and finished up trim. Next is the roof liner and installing my newly upholstered center console.




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Well, that's up for debate if you ask my wife. Seems like it's still hers, but I'm the one spending all the time and money on it. It's a 289 ac car, original drivetrain, and 54k actual miles on it. Her grandmother bought it new, putted around a bit, then parked it. Father in law drove it every now and then, then my wife used it as a daily for a bit. Sat parked at her parent's house for over a decade before it came to live with us.

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I started up the 78 Elk again today. It runs very nice. I just can't get it out of the garage due to the other truck is giving me problems so I can't get it out of the way.
 

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I started up the 78 Elk again today. It runs very nice. I just can't get it out of the garage due to the other truck is giving me problems so I can't get it out of the way.
Try a chain saw for the other truck. Elky wants to go out and play. :)
 

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Bled the brakes for the millionth (figurative) and ninth time (literal) on the 71. First two times, I thought I did something wrong as I got a hard pedal, realized my master had gone bad and leaked into my booster. Replaced both, bench bled and did the whole system for the third time, then it took tries four through eight to figure out how a proportioning valve works as it had closed while i swapped out mc and booster. Thought I was done but a couple weeks later noticed a puddle by left front tire—i had left the bleeder screw just cracked open which of course let air into the system every time i hit the brakes. So here I am:


Also port matched a new intake and shot it with some satin clear coat in preparation for a pending swap:

 

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I started the Elk again today. It started right up and ran great. I hope to get my F250 out of the way soon. It has a shift indicator problem.
 

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Put the airbags in the new rear coil springs and aired them up. Added a little more air to the new rear shocks. I like the stance and the rear suspension is about as stiff as the front.
[Ready for the 17" Foose Knuckle wheels (after paint)]
 

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I started the Elk again today. It started right up and ran great. I hope to get my F250 out of the way soon. It has a shift indicator problem.
Is that an issue where you can’t put it from Park to reverse or drive? Because if it is there’s a transmission interlock button that is underneath a plastic tab somewhere on the center consul that if you remove the tab and press that in with say a pen or a pencil it will allow you to shift into a given gear.


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