Daily Archives: December 13, 2012

The first start of the El Camino

2012.12.13 - El Camino (1) 2012.12.13 - El Camino (2) 2012.12.13 - El Camino (3) 2012.12.13 - El Camino (4) 2012.12.13 - El Camino (5)Today we worked on finishing up the last few things with the anticipation of having the car leave the shop tomorrow for the installation of the interior. We were cutting it a little fine, but I think every project in every shop expands to fill all available time … at least mine do … and this project is no exception.

The first photo, taken with my phone, shows the intake in place. The kit the owner bought didn’t fit so we cobbled this together. We are going to come back and wrinkle paint the aluminum tube to match the elbow we put on the car.

In the second, third and fourth photos we are once again putting this (censored) grille in the car. I hope the owner never breaks the grille on this car because he can put the next one in. Ok … not really, but I loathe this grille.

In the last photo, number 5, you can see me pouring gas into the car so we can start it the first time. The owner, who was there for the event, has been all confidence for the last week that when this time came, the car would start right up. I, on the other hand, was cautiously optimistic.

We fixed a fuel line leak, and later tracked down a loose electrical plug, but despite having not been started in 15-years, the car did, nearly, start right up. It’s hard to kill a small-block Chevy. But it wasn’t all milk and honey.

Once the car did start there was a horrible knock. I’m impressed the owner didn’t loose his composure while we diagnosed the problem. Kelly and Josh Murphy of Throwback Custom Cars came over to help diagnose the problems, most especially the knock. An hour later the cooling system was sorted, fixed by bleeding the air, the rough idle diagnosed as fouled injectors and most importantly the knock was found to be the crank bumping the oil pan.

The best guess is that the motor, having been out of a car of some time, has a slightly bent oil pan that the crank is just grazing. A little work on the pan should take care of the knock and a couple of cans of injector cleaner will, I hope, take care of the fouled injectors.

Overall, after the initial scare over the noise, it went better than I thought it would. Considering that at the moment the El Camino has a 5.7L V3 engine in it, it seems to be running pretty well.

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