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1975 Camino Royale

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  • 1975 Camino Royale

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    This rebuild has been a long time in the works, but it is finally seeing progress. This is my first vehicle, which I inherited from my grandfather. I drove it for almost 10 years, but stopped after engine issues and general maintenance issues that I didn't want to correct at the time. I purchased a used solid lift engine about 5 years after receiving the vehicle, experienced a broken rocker stud, swapped in a hydraulic cam without changing the springs (doh!!!), wrecked the replacement cam and assembled parts and engine for a rebuild.

    10+ years ago I had a mechanic take it, with parts in boxes, to rebuild it at his leisure. Not long afterwards, he developed an issue which required a stent that drained fluid from his brain. I got married not long afterwards, worked full time and finished college. The mechanic towed the Camino back unrepaired, after a few years. At this point the car sat uncovered, until my in-laws built a cover for my birthday/Christmas gift. Next, we moved away so that I could enter graduate school. Fast forward to just over one month ago, when we move the vehicle and parts to my current residence.
    2 flat tires, 3 wheel bearings tightened and 2 bruised fingers later... Don't let the pictures fool you, it's paint is as flat as flat can get. We cleaned out the parts, swept out the bed and gave it a bath. The mold came off ok, but it has some really stuck on gunk that might require a magic eraser. Oh yeah, flat tires all the way around. Stole the spare from it and with only tire will hold air for a few minutes. My plans this weekend are to borrow a couple of wheels from my truck, so that I can move it over and back about 8 feet.


    I'd forgotten how many parts I'd purchased (10+ years ago), however I had sold the rebuilt engine. Really all I need to get it moving, minus the tires, are the following: intake manifold, camshaft, gaskets and a battery. That is supposing that I simply button the current 350 short block up and see if it holds together. As it sits now, the lifter valley is open and has been the entire time. I was planning to drop my other engine, thus I never worried about the elements. As we unloaded, the rear air shocks gave out and dropped the rear. That just added to the ghetto lean, because the springs are virtually unsprung now. The hood springs are no longer wanting to comply when closing the hood now. And don't get me started on the rust.... Will have to pull the bench seat and attack the floors one day, along with the fenders and doors and bed. Oh yeah, the steering wheel and arm rests have turned to goo. It reminds me of the fly strip glue. That will have to go soon. I'm sure I will find more items to repair.



    I opened the boxes inside:

    trans mount
    engine mount
    rubber brake hoses (front and rear)
    all hoses
    all 3 belts
    2 wheel cylinders
    master cylinder
    brake booster
    radiator
    shift kit for the 350 Turbo
    header bolts
    Copper collector gaskets
    air filter
    rebuilt distributor
    rebuilt alternator
    Holley 600 cfm carb - purchased prior to 2000



    Prior to shutdown 10 years ago:
    New pads and rotors
    New rear pads and drums
    2 flowmasters
    3.42 Richmond gears
    driver's window off track, so it would not roll down
    A/C levers stopped moving

    Other than that it's just like new


    Current Plans:
    Take a few minutes each day to fix something/anything
    Put it up on jack stands or blocks
    Give it another bath
    Get the current 350 engine and trans running: Summit Cam/Jeg's Intake/Fel-Pro gaskets/Fluids/Battery/Tires


    Future plans (way off into the future and in no particular order):
    500 Cadillac engine without paint except Ferrari Red valve covers
    Fuel injection
    5 or 6 speed
    275/45 tires on 17s painted Gray/Green (more Gray than Green) or dark NIckel
    A/C
    Red carpet
    Buckets
    2" lowering springs
    Move bumpers in 2"
    Better Brakes/Suspension
    Find and repair all rust
    Window Tint
    Remove radio - enjoy engine stereo instead


    As always, plans are subject to change....

    Updates:

    I finally got tired of looking at the rusted bed floor, so I sanded the bed and sprayed rust inhibiting paint. It's not beautiful, but I can easily remove it later on.

    I cleaned the steering wheel and arm rests with soap/water, acetone and finally steel wool. I also cleaned the carpet and seats with a soap/water mixture.

    I oiled the door and hood hinges, vacuumed the cobwebs and leaves from the engine compartment, then reconnected the transmission linkage. How nice it is to simply pull the handle, instead of reaching underneath the vehicle. Although, I forgot that I've never seen the indicator work (even when I was a small child). Oh yeah, the lap belts don't pull out. Add those to the to-do list

    One pound of dirt removed with rags and soapy water. It's nice to see multicolored wires, instead of light brown ones.

    Flat black for the master cylinder and brake booster. Bench bleeding and re-assembly are next in line. Slow and steady wins the race.

  • #2
    Welcome to the site
    Love the Elkys!

    Comment


    • #3
      welcome, I took my driver's test in on that my dad owned... such memories
      Doing it all wrong since 1966

      Comment


      • #4
        Keep us posted! Looks like a good start. And let me add my "Welcome" too.

        Dan

        Comment


        • #5
          If it is getting wet behind the seat... Reseal the big plate in the front of the bed..

          Comment


          • #6
            great build...don't give up!
            Patrick & Tammy
            - Long Haulin' 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014...Addicting isn't it...??

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Deaf Bob View Post
              If it is getting wet behind the seat... Reseal the big plate in the front of the bed..
              It certainly is, so I'll be following your suggestion.


              I'm planning to tear apart the suspension and replace the rubber components with polyurethane, over the winter. So, a Harbor Freight hydraulic press may be in my future.


              Thanks for the well wishes, everyone. It may take a little time, but it will be nice when finished. I've got something unique planned for the bed, you'll just have to wait and see.
              Last edited by Cammin; September 19, 2015, 10:52 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have the 12 ton HF press and it work OK. I kinda wish I'd gotten the 20 ton unit - the 12 has it's hands full with bending 1/4" steel plate like I did for my scattershield. I've toyed with welding the frame together - it does distort under load. Of course, there goes the powdercoat but a can of Chevy engine orange would fix most of that.

                Dan

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DanStokes View Post
                  I have the 12 ton HF press and it work OK. I kinda wish I'd gotten the 20 ton unit - the 12 has it's hands full with bending 1/4" steel plate like I did for my scattershield. I've toyed with welding the frame together - it does distort under load. Of course, there goes the powdercoat but a can of Chevy engine orange would fix most of that.

                  Dan
                  Thanks for the info, I'll take that into consideration. I've got access to a 80 ton press, but it's a 2 hour drive away. Anyone have suggestions for replacing bushings with a small press vs. a medium press.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I used a 12 ton HF press to replace all bushings & ball joints in my wagon without any problems. I made several tools to keep the pressure where it belonged too.
                    http://www.bangshift.com/forum/showt...n-block-wanted

                    http://www.bangshift.com/forum/showt...-Blue-Turd(le)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      http://www.harborfreight.com/12-ton-...ess-33497.html

                      http://www.harborfreight.com/ball-jo...les-60827.html

                      These two and a couple home-made special tools is all I used. If you only plan to use then once it is pricey but I've replaced bushing & ball joints on at least five vehicles so the tools have paid for themselves.


                      I take an old drill bit and drill through the rubber part of the bushing. The reduces the bond of rubber to metal sleeve making it easier to knock the middle of the bushing out. Some aftermarket bushing companies require the use of the old bushing shell with the new bushings. In that case use a small wire wheel on a drill to clean out the inside to of the bushing shells.
                      Last edited by 68scott385; September 19, 2015, 05:05 PM.
                      http://www.bangshift.com/forum/showt...n-block-wanted

                      http://www.bangshift.com/forum/showt...-Blue-Turd(le)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 68scott385 View Post
                        http://www.harborfreight.com/12-ton-...ess-33497.html

                        http://www.harborfreight.com/ball-jo...les-60827.html

                        These two and a couple home-made special tools is all I used. If you only plan to use then once it is pricey but I've replaced bushing & ball joints on at least five vehicles so the tools have paid for themselves.
                        Nice! Thanks for your help. Pricey at the moment for me, so I will ask around for help.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've done the front ends of several Ford trucks with the 12 ton. I'm with Dan in almost wishing I had bought the 20 ton but it's all good. The press works fine. The frame is more substantial on the 20 ton and thinking about it after purchase, I think the work height was more comfortable with the bigger press.

                          The trick on the GM A-arms is getting support in between the edges so they don't collapse or pinch the bushing on it's way in or out - what Scott is talking about. I had hell the first side I did on a '72 Elco. A visit to the local scrap steel place for some "coupons" of varying thicknesses, maybe 1/8, 1/4, 3/8 at a minimum and several inches in stack height, and some schedule 80 pipe of various diameters and lengths from maybe 2" - 6" and a couple of different heights of 4 to 8 inches or so will make life with a press a lot more fun.
                          Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            spend some quality time googling other people's builds - while McGann a Car Craft's build wasn't low-buck, he did point out issues and ideas for solutions. Believe it or not, the suspension under your car is pretty good and can be made to handle on a pretty limited budget. What got me to comment, though, is your idea of poly. For the front suspension, that is fine, but poly only works well in 2 dimensions so the rear arms, when they twist, will have issues and make the handling unpredictable.

                            Doing it all wrong since 1966

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SuperBuickGuy View Post
                              spend some quality time googling other people's builds - while McGann a Car Craft's build wasn't low-buck, he did point out issues and ideas for solutions. Believe it or not, the suspension under your car is pretty good and can be made to handle on a pretty limited budget. What got me to comment, though, is your idea of poly. For the front suspension, that is fine, but poly only works well in 2 dimensions so the rear arms, when they twist, will have issues and make the handling unpredictable.
                              Thanks for the tip, I've never considered the dimensional constraints of the polyurethane. I'll check out McGann's build for sure.

                              Comment

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