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Username Post: Ruth's "Daily Driver" BB El Camino        (Topic#333982)
BBLemond 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 53

Reg: 03-15-16
04-06-17 02:00 PM - Post#2685283    
    In response to BBLemond

I made sure to make all the new Chassisworks suspension arms the same length as the stock arms but I still thought it would be a good idea to make sure the rearend was centered. To get it right I jacked the El Camino up and put it on jackstands making sure it was level.


I also put the rearend under stands at ride height. I disconnected the Chassisworks Varishock coilovers and then just got it to the right height.




With everything in place I used a plum bob to make marks on the garage floor so I could take the measurements. For the center point in the front I used a bolt and threaded hole that was in the frame in the exact same spot on both sides. I just let the plumb bob drop and rest and then marked the point on both sides. I let the string run down the rear of the bolt on both sides so I wouldnt be off by the width of the bolt






I used tape so I wouldn’t mess up the floor and then for actual spot I just pressed the plumb bob down into the tape making a hole in the tape


Once I had the two sides done I took the tape measure and just split the middle and that was my center spot




 
BBLemond 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 53

Reg: 03-15-16
04-08-17 01:25 PM - Post#2685628    
    In response to BBLemond

I needed a spot on each side of the rearend to measure from so I took the plumb bob and strung it around the axle flange. I figured that it wouldnt matter how the rearend was rotated since it should be perfectly round there.


I measured the distance from each side of the rearend to the center point and adjusted the rearend position accordingly. The first adjustment I made was to get the lower arms the same length. Im not quite sure how I got that wrong but I guess thats why I went through this alignment process


Adjusting the rearend side to side with the upper arms attached was impossible so I removed both uppers and got it centered. Then I set my pinion angle with a floor jack and reattached the upper arms. I made sure the bolts slid into the rearend bushings easily so they wouldnt cause the rearend to get misaligned. Having the upper arms off for this part made it go much faster but once its all assembled having the Chassisworks double adjustable arms will make it much easier to adjust the pinion angle in the car if I need to make small adjustments. I will just have to adjust each arm a little bit at a time and go back and forth so they are adjusted the same amount


For the pinion angle I set the rearend almost exactly the same but opposite as the transmission. If I had leaf springs I would have set it a degree or two down but I don’t think the pinion should change much or at all under acceleration with this suspension configuration.






 
BBLemond 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 53

Reg: 03-15-16
05-31-17 09:28 PM - Post#2693783    
    In response to BBLemond

So my brother bought a truck out here in CA so Ruth and I drove it back to Georgia for him. We made it a nice long vacation. If I remember correctly someone had asked if the big block would fit under the hood. Unfortunately it does not fit with the air cleaner I had on it. So I made this flat top out of cardboard for now so I can drive it around until I find a new aluminum flat top to replace it. The flat top fits fine under there without hitting the hood.


Not sure if I've mentioned it before but I have an 8 second Chevelle that I race. I've been running Evans Coolant in it for years now and love it. So I bought some more to go into the El Camino and figured I could save some money on the flush if I put it in before starting the engine in the truck.


I still had to make sure the block was dry so I pulled all the plugs out months ago and just let it sit at an angle on the stand so all the water would drain out. I rotated it the other way too so both sides of the block would drain. Also at the beginning, I used a shop vac on reverse to blow out the majority of water. Then before I put the 454 in I blew it out again and no water came out so I think my plan worked. On the Chevelle I had to use the flush which was the same process but with the added work of adding the flush and removing the flush and blowing it all out again and hoping for the best. It was definitely easier with the engine out.
I had Ruth take a pic of the back of the bottle because this pretty much sums up the benefits of a coolant with no water. I havent been using it long enough to verify some of the benefits I've read about like water pump longevity but I have seen in the Chevelle that there's no corrosion building on the cylinder walls or anywhere else for that matter. Also, I havent seen any evidence of electrolysis on the heads which is a big deal. I've literally had a head blow a head gasket because electrolysis corroded the aluminum all the way to the combustion chamber. Thats what got me interested in Evans originally and I guess I havent looked back since.
I've had the engine out twice so far and everything looks perfect in there.


I bought a refractometer to check the water content just to make sure I did it right. One more tool in the tool box Before on the Chevelle I just followed the instructions that came with the Evans Coolant and went for it without verifying the water content. The way I figured it even if I didnt get it perfect the system would still be much better at cooling the system then a standard water based coolant. However I thought it would be good to make sure its right since Ruth will be driving it around town and the cooling system will be seeing a lot more abuse or use . Also, Im thinking since its a big block with A/C it may run a little warmer than I'd like so with the Evans I shouldn't have to worry about it starting to boil if it gets a little warm.


I used some of the Evans coolant straight from the bottle to calibrate the refractometer to 57 brix and then checked it from there. The instructions recommend that the water content be less than 3% or 55.7 brix. On my refractometer it showed 56.8 Brix so I think that means that theres very little to no water in the system! I remember when I first looked into Evans I was confused by the Brix scale in relation to the water percentage but fortunately every bottle came with instructions on how to use it and how to measure the water content.




 
BBLemond 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 53

Reg: 03-15-16
06-15-17 08:51 AM - Post#2696012    
    In response to BBLemond

So the local muffler shop was just too expensive for me to have a custom stainless exhaust put on the El Camino so I ordered this Magnaflow stainless 3" exhaust kit. Its designed to fit the el camino and uses slip fit joints with clamps to connect it all together which ended up working out really well.




I had to clearance the crossmember to make room for one side of the exhaust. Once I clearanced the crossmember the pipes lined up really well with the Hedman hedders.


The kit came with frame mounts and bushings that were designed to go into factory holes on the frame so those bolted up fairly easy. I used a pair of claw grip pliers to guide the bolt into the frame back by the gas tank. Im not sure how I would have gotten that one in otherwise












One of the challenging parts of the install was getting the mufflers and pipes sitting the same from side to side. Since you can see the mufflers from the back I thought it was pretty important to make sure they looked right. That proved more challenging once i started getting the pipes over the rearend in




 
BBLemond 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 53

Reg: 03-15-16
06-21-17 12:23 PM - Post#2696904    
    In response to BBLemond

I needed to hold the pipes in place while I fiddled around with getting them lined up correctly. I used a spaced between the quarter panel and the tail pipe and used clamps to gentlykeep them in place.


The pipes that go over the hump are slighlt different from side to side.




I've had this tool for quite a while and haven't had many opportunities to use it. It leaves a decent edge and no mess like my cut off wheel. I only needed to trim a few pieces to get the fit I liked




All the pipes fit and effect each other from the headers to the tail pipes so they all needed to be attached to finalize the fitment. Since everything but the hedder flange is a slip fit style clamp it wasnt too much of a problem to get it loose and all assembled.


The magnaflow x-pipe is connected to the long tubes that run under seatstowards the mufflers. I thought this helped keep the mufflers somewhat centered side to side


My tig welds aren't too bad for an old guy that cant see






 
BBLemond 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 53

Reg: 03-15-16
06-21-17 12:35 PM - Post#2696906    
    In response to BBLemond

One thing I like is how the clamps are slim and tight to the pipes so there's no flanges hanging down to catch speed bumps. I think it makes this bolt in kit a little nicer and more comparable to a muffler shop that welds it all in


Here's the passenger side tail pipe. Now I just need to figure out if I want to try and polish the tips or get polished tips to go over them. Im not sure if this grade of stainless will polish up nice so it may be easier to just get some tips




 
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