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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, wanted to try out a small build thread to keep me motivated working on my car.

The car in question is an -86 El Camino SS that I recently got into my possession. During the spring I assembled a mild 383 stroker with my father as guidance, since him being a mechanic with 35+ years of experience. Got the engine in during the summer and running nicely, the transmission however needs to get an overhaul or swapped along with some rust that needs to be taken care of, so the car will not see the road until next summer which makes for a good opportunity to start a thread.

Haven't found any pics of the car before I started working on it but here's a picture of it in the garage with the 383 in it:


Pic of the engine:
https://s6.postimg.io/yk0oi200h/IMG_20160901_203803.jpg

The El Camino had the original SBC 305 in it which was pretty worn. I have no intentions of keeping the car all original.

The plan for the winter:
- Fix rust + paint job
- Rebuilt transmission
- Overall clean up
- Increase coolness factor

Feel free to comment, question and criticize. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Started working on the rust this weekend.
Forgot to mention I am both cheap and have the economy of a homeless person.

Lots of rust beneath the trim:


Since I like more work and saving money and don't mind not getting it perfect I beat some sheetmetal into a patch panel (no english wheel yet, just different sizes of pipe and a sandbag+hammers):



A few weeks back I welded my exhaust system on the cheap using some very low budget mufflers, homemade header adapters, and left over pieces of exhaust pipe:


And yes, it is loud. Probably need to add two additional smaller glasspacks up front or change mufflers. Turned the exhaust out the side because of time and money savings. (And coolness)
 

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More for Less Racer
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Nice looking ride, I like that body style. Looks like it is nice an clean for the year, here in Michigan one that clean is a real hard find(Road salt in winter :pain: ). Yeah, that wide lip trim sucks, don't it?!

I thought the SS ElCo's had the Monte SS style aero nose on them?? Or was that just '83-85?? I know the '80-82's were the flat nose, did they go back to flat nose in '86-87??

If your serious about performance you'll want to plan on swapping out that weak 7.5" 10-bolt rear axle for something stronger, either an 8.5" from a Grand National or Hurst Olds/Olds 442, or an 8.8" Ford or 9" Ford swap.

Thumbs up on the 383 swap tho' :thumbup:
You may want to consider a better flowing air filter, those triangular screen jobs are know for being poor performers.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the reply!
Not sure about the Monte Carlo nose, I thought those were only the "Choo-choo customs" version?
Might also be some previous owner removed the front.

Yes a Ford 9" is on the to-do-list, ;)

The engine is very budget minded and quite mild for a 383:

- 4-bolt marine block (one piece rear seal)
- Eagle stroker kit (.30 over, 3.75 stroke)

- 882 heads with 1.94 and 1.5 valves, self-ported intake ports and polished exhaust ports (flow tested for free just for fun: result was just over 200cfm intake flow which was an around 10cfm overall increase in intake flow against the unported head). Dad had the heads laying around in great shape and with new valve guides so no expense there.

- Performer RPM intake
- Edelbrock 2102 cam (torquey and maybe a bit undersized)
- Edelbrock 600cfm carb

Engine was enough to make the th200r4 or converter start slipping so transmission upgrade comes before more performance. ;)

Gonna try out your advice on the airfilter!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Did some work on the car recently and during the weekend. The bottom side of the car is all rotten and has been repaired with the "50% filler and 50% rust" - method so Istarted cutting out the panels and replacing with new sheet metal.
Don't have an English wheel yet so just rolling/bending the metal to shape over pipe and using dolly and hammer to get a decent fit.

Here's some pics:


Other side:


If money was no object, replacement panels would of course be the way to go but since I live in Europe all US car-parts costs at least 1/3 more. I'm just looking to freshen the el camino up a bit and fibreglass filler is my friend in getting the car smooth for paint later..

English wheel is planned for the near future.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks!

Made another panel today for the back right quarter. Getting better at shaping but still lacking tools..
Here's a pic:
https://s6.postimg.org/nxs52ggi9/IMG_20161001_151817.jpg[IMG]

The bulge behind the bumper took some beating to make.
[IMG]https://s6.postimg.org/cb811bt75/IMG_20161001_152125.jpg[IMG]

Appreciate the feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Got the quarter done. Is there btw a way to edit posts? Three posts on a row here instead of just one..

Welded in:


Grinded flat:
 

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Grand Prix user
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That's looking good especially considering that you've made your patches. But you sure missed a good chance to patch the wheelhouse, what's up with that?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I patched it from the inside up to the point where my patch panel ended. Gonna patch the rest of it once I have an English wheel before I make the wheel well edges on the outside.
 

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Aw! That's cool. Where I I live, they aren't as rusty yet. I bet you could form the areas around the top using a shrinker. Nice to see someone making stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Great metal work! I've done similar work myself and forming steel is a very satisfying job.
Thanks! It is fun, at least in between all the small mishaps, burns and grinding/cutting rust etc.

Made an identical but mirrored panel for the left side today:


Welded in:


Thank you for the feedback.
 

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That's remarkable! Nice patch panel, man. I bet it's very satisfying indeed to have those areas patched and your money still in your pocket. It will be fun to watch the rest come together.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That's remarkable! Nice patch panel, man. I bet it's very satisfying indeed to have those areas patched and your money still in your pocket. It will be fun to watch the rest come together.
Thanks! Pretty tight budget considering I am studying but at the same time it's kind of meditating working on cars and as probably everyone on here knows, it gives a nice feeling of accomplishment getting stuff done on your own.
Will try to post progress regurarly
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Didn't get too much done this weekend except finishing and cleaning up some welds. But I did redo the driver's side panel in front of the wheel well since I wasn't really happy with the fit.

Bought myself a budget-oriented english wheel and had a lot more control to make the curve of the panel. Turned out alright but not 100% pleased with the fitment on the lower side where I spot welded it in place. Bit of the edge was rusted so had to make my own. Not a 100% great repair but will do for me!

Also did some patching on the fender flares but didn't take any pics.
After I have done the other side I have some lower door skins to think about as well...looking forward to it with a bit of worry of how rusty the doors might be on the inside :rolleyes:

Here are some pics:


Welded in place:


Thanks for watching!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Have done a bit of work this weekend and monday.
Fixed a hole under the door (not sure what it's called in English) and also realized that the passenger door was a masterful bondo job that had seen its better days.

Didn't have a car inner tube to put on the English wheel but I used maskingtape and ducttape instead to not get so much crown in the door skin panel. Worked alright.

Here are some pics:



Came out pretty good. Had to hammer and dolly the edged so they got some dings and marks but it will do. Made the "mid-edge on the door also since it was made of bodyfiller before.
 
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