EL CAMINO Work in progress, getting my '85 El Camino back on the road

KCP

KCP

Greasemonkey
Oct 11, 2018
230
63
Bavaria, Germany
A 800mls roundtrip through Germany later, she's home in my shop:



Time to make a list and adress different things.
The interior needs new seat belts, a new wiper/turn switch and window felts for the doors. One thing missing is the spindle nut for the steering wheel. What thread size do I need to look for?

The rear axle needs the spring perches rewelded, some shade tree mechanic booger welded the old ones into place. Other than that, new bearings, C-clips and a disc brake upgrade should do. The suspension will get new bushings, springs and shocks on all four corners anyway. Front brakes get the S10 upgrade though.

The stock 305 will be replaced by a 350 4-bolt, bored 0.60 over with Speed-Pro cam and Edelbrock Performer intake combined with the stock Qjet carb. I'm still undecided about the transmission. I'll either rebuild the TH350 with shift kit, or try to get a 200R4 for the overdrive.

On a side note, will the rear end of a '79 Cutlass Supreme fit the 85 El Camino? I could get one with LSD from a local junkyard for cheap.
 
WV CHEVY MANN

WV CHEVY MANN

Greasemonkey
Sep 15, 2018
202
43
West Virginia
That is a great looking car.. Thanks for sharing with the forum..
 
  • Like
Reactions: KCP
Gonzo1970

Gonzo1970

G-Body Guru
Supporting Member
Sep 30, 2018
500
93
Dang, that looks like an ElCam a guy down the street just bought... havent stopped with my GBody yet.

-Gonz
 
pagrunt

pagrunt

Comic Book Super Hero
Sep 14, 2014
4,042
113
Shelocta, Pa
On a side note, will the rear end of a '79 Cutlass Supreme fit the 85 El Camino? I could get one with LSD from a local junkyard for cheap.
That will work but the wheel studs are 7/16"-20 threads (1978-1981A/G's used them) as your El Camino uses 12mmx1.5 threads. You could just swap axles in the rear ends and keep the 12mm studs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KCP and Rktpwrd
KCP

KCP

Greasemonkey
Oct 11, 2018
230
63
Bavaria, Germany
Guess I'm lacking in the updates department.
Started with some interior work, installing a new turn signal switch and figuring out what the PO did. Looks like the whole car was just tacked together after paint and interior was done. Nearly every bolt'n nut I touch is loose or missing. No big deal, wouldn't it also concern things like the steering coloumn, missing sway bar links etc.
Today was speedo day. I changed the 85mph stock one to the 200km/h one I got from Collector on this forum. Turned out the 200km/h version had no provisions for the VSS, so a little combining both speedos and now I have a 200km/h unit with VSS.
Next is figuring out where to splice brake/turn signal for the rears, since I need them separated (just like the '78s were) to comply with EU regulations. This will need to add amber rear turn signals into the back up lights also.
Other than that, I'm fighting some ground issues in the instrument cluster and a non-functional fuel gauge which I assume is a bad sender or connection at the tank.
 
airboatgreg

airboatgreg

Royal Smart Person
Oct 2, 2016
1,584
113
Nice, making progress. If it is acting funky look for a bad ground
 
KCP

KCP

Greasemonkey
Oct 11, 2018
230
63
Bavaria, Germany
Time to add some more pics.
Interior:
IMG_20190112_154735954.jpg

IMG_20190112_154809020.jpg

IMG_20190112_154822082.jpg


$_57 (12).jpg


Since the whole car seems to be tacked together somehow, are these upper A-arms the correct stock ones? They look like being reinforced around the edge where the balljoints go.

IMG_20190112_154441764.jpg

IMG_20190112_154451584.jpg


I also found evidence that the 15x7" stock 2WD S10 wheels hit the upper A-arms which they shouldn't?!
Next is transmission. Being an '85, shouldn't have it a lock-up 350C? There's no electrical connector, so no lock-up, just a good ol' 350.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TURNA
ssn696

ssn696

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jul 19, 2009
3,652
113
New Mexico
It's hard to say how much is original on your car, so that might be why you have a TH350. If the lockup cable with just disconnected, it will be a four-pin 2x2 Packard connector, usually white with a green gasket.

The wheel rub may not be a problem unless it scraped off the balance weights. But those are OEM GM upper ball joints. You have to drill out the rivets and use the supplied bolts and nuts when replacing them. To judge if the ball joints are OK for now, grab the brake rotor top and bottom and wiggle it - if the ball joints are really work, you will feel movement in the spindle assembly. I rebuilt a set of control arms and stock size brakes that I will soon replace with Blazer knuckles and hub assemblies. I wish shipping was not absurd or you'd have a great deal.

Someone did an amazing job on that custom upholstery! I've not seen a 'skinned' dash covered in vinyl since the 70s Camaros. OPGI is a good source of missing bits, and I believe they will ship overseas. Your window seals have seen better days. The Forum can probably find you the missing Elco B-pillar plastic parts if you did not get them with the car.

If you are not already familiar with RockAuto.com, they do ship overseas. If you think you might upgrade in the future, don't replace your stock brakes, just turnt he rotors and replace the pads. If the brake fluid is black, flush it out with clean fluid soon.
 
KCP

KCP

Greasemonkey
Oct 11, 2018
230
63
Bavaria, Germany
The balljoints are actually bolted in, so at some point they've been changed already. The front suspension will get a complete overhaul from A-Z anyway, including balljoints, bushings, tie rods etc. I use RockAuto as parts source for many years with great success, just received some parts for my daily driver last week from them.
The brake rotors show actually no wear at all, just some surface rust. So cleaning should be enough. Pads will be replaced as well as all brake hoses and rear cylinders. As soon as I get my hands on some cheap Blazer spindles, they get in there also.
The interior is in fact a nice job, but at some point someone just stopped completing the car. That B-pillar part should be somewhere (I hope), at least it is seen in the last pic :oops:
 

Please support GBodyForum Sponsors

Classic Truck ConsolesDixie Restoration DepotMike's MontesP-S-TSouthside Machine PerformanceUMI Performance

contact[email protected]for info on becoming a sponsor