Lost a bit of motivation over the last few days. Some personal stuff has effected what I’ll do with this project long term and I’m really not sure where it’s going to go in the long run. Spent too much time trying to think through a lot of different potential scenarios and almost none of them can I control. So yeah. Kind of in a bit of a funk right now.
What doesn’t help are these rear brake backing plate. They have fought me for months now and it’s just gotten another step worse. The machinist who did the last bit of work on it mangled up the heads on the allen bolts and I can’t remove them. I can drill them and put new hardware in. Just another step in a process that I should have completed a long time ago. Just frustrating.
Back at it tomorrow for a few minutes…..will try and find a little bit of light at the end of this dark tunnel I seem to be in right now. Bah!
Posting pics of my 67 Chevelle has drawn some attention. I get it. It’s a cool car! While I’m enjoying this 1967 El Camino build, it’s no Chevelle. Had a few questions about the car and what I’m doing with it.
I bought it in 1989. I grew up in Kansas City and my friend in high school had grandparents who lived in nearby Lawrence, KS (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!) who owned the car. They bought it new and I think it might have been their first car. Nothing special. 283, powerglide Malibu. Super low miles on when I bought it. 67,000. It didn’t get driven much. Just around town in Lawrence where they retired. It was a very well taken care of old Chevelle.
When I bought it, I drove it with the 283 for a while. When I decided to pull it in favor of a 377ci small block I built, it kind of started a bit of a snowball effect. It’s had quite a few different engines and transmissions over the years. Mostly big blocks. Last was an LS and a T-56. One thing that stayed consistent for half its life is a manual transmission. M-20s, Super T10s. Grenaded most of them! The Viper T56 was to be the last one in, but I sold it to pay for a few things that life through my direction.
So what am I doing with it now? Its sitting in storage back in Kansas City until I find a permanent place to live. Right now renting a house from an owner who isn’t too excited about that kind of work being done on his property didn’t seem like the best situation for bringing the car out west. In due time. Eager to get back to work on it. In the meantime, I started this El Camino project to keep me occupied. It’s been fun so far.
The Chevelle was torn down almost 15 years ago to bare chassis and rebuilt from the ground up. Could pictures from that process. It’s the only car I’ve ever kept and I can’t think of a situation that would make me get rid of it!
Met a gentleman today who is building an inline 6 for his 63 Nova. Had a fun discussion with him on what he is going to do. I gave him a few leads on some companies who still make product for these old engines. Clifford Research and Offenhauser come to mind. Plus there is a company in southern California who specializes in inline stuff. Forget the name.
Reminded me of the one I scrapped out of this 67 El Camino. Good stuff! Would be fun to build one if I can ever find the time.
Here ya go James! Hopes these images are useful to you. Best of luck and hopefully we’ll see you and the car at the Good Guys Puyallup show.
Well it arrived today and I’ve had a few minutes to work with it. Built another fixture to hold the backing plate so I can mill it down. Not exactly happy with the quality of this X-Y machine. I bought a $100 one in hopes the quality would be a bit higher but its not. I “think” it will do the job I need it to, but if it were something that I had some very fine tolerances that I was trying to meet, this one would not be the one I’d want. Everything is just too loose for me and no way to tighten it down. Its just very cheaply made. Will give it a go tomorrow.
While I wait for the new tool to arrive so I can get the brakes milled up and mounted, I spent the evening just doing a few little things that I have neglected. Nothing major. Really want to stay focused on t he brakes and then get back on the EFI system install before I jump into something else time consuming. Just a few random shots from tonight. Hopefully the tool arrives tomorrow, but I’m not confident as of this moment until the UPS tracking updates and gives me that awesome “out for delivery” notice.
I ordered an X-Y cross slide vice to use with my drill press. Given the material I’m using is aluminum, I don’t have any concern that I can chew through the material easily and mill off the proper amount of material to get the spacing correct on the brake shoes. Will be here in a few days and I’ll put it to the test!
Yup. Back on this to hopefully find a finish.
Part of the problem was settling the gap on the shoes. It led me to find that the calipers are offset enough that it needed to be shifted outboard by quite a bit. The easiest way is to mill a few thousandths off the mounting pad for the caliper to move it out. Easy enough, but I don’t have a mill. Started looking at some that I might be able to buy used or even some the cheap crap from Harbor Freight. I’ve been scanning for a few months but have yet to find one used that wasn’t a professional one that was several thousand dollars. So I looked at the HF ones online but the stores around here don’t carry them. Not sure its the best use of a good amount of cash, but its difficult to say.
I bought the mill set bits at HF and decided to see if I could use them on the drill press I have. Its going to take a bit of work to build a fixture and a way to manipulate it easily to mill off the amount that needs to come off. Started playing with that this evening but ran out of useful ideas on how to do so. Will stop by Sears or HF again and see if I can find something inexpensive to make it happen. In the mean time, I’ll see if I can make due with what I have and build a fixture. I’d really like to get this thing all settled in…….
Hopefully a solution is discovered tomorrow. Happy New Year!
I posted a couple pics of the Chevelle and got an email from someone who was looking at the pictures over on that site asking what suspension I was using. Specifically, the sway bars.
Back in the late 80s early 90s, Herb Adams was the king of suspension. At the time he sold his product direct through his own company but also sold through Moroso. It helped him reach a little broader market and I think helped his brand out a little.
Those are what I’m using on the Chevelle front and rear. The fronts were a little revolutionary at the time in they had heim joint ends. They were MASSIVE bars. It was thought at the time that it was the best and easiest way to get the roll under control on these big heavy A bodies. Very cool stuff. Not sure how much longer they will be on the car. Most likely the suspension will get upgraded on the next upgrade for that car.
For now. A couple pictures.
Going to get the Chevelle site updated. Its been a few years since I’ve done anything with it and over the past couple of years I have actually gotten a few things done when I have been able to get back to where its stored in Kansas City. If you get a chance, check it out!
It never ceases to amaze me. On this lovely 1967 El Camino or any other car I’ve built from the ground up. The seemingly endless amount of wiring that has to take place. One exciting thing about where I am now. There is light at the end of the tunnel. The engine side is really done other than running the hot and ground wires. All the rest will occur when I’m ready to finally button it all down for the last time after the new engine goes in.
The interior is another story. There are some connections to be made. A hot that needs to be run through the bulkhead and to the battery. Some connections to be made and some zip ties to cinch it all down with.