1974 El Camino SS build

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1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:21 am

Thought I would start a build thread on my 74 El Camino SS.  I had a 76 El Camino in high school and wanted to get another one. Here is the 76.

 I found my current 74 in New York.  It came from South Carolina so I was in decent shape.  Here it is when I picked it up.

I did a little of my own work to it and drove it for 5 years.  Here is what it looks like now.  
The plan is to do a resto-mod type build.  I have a 73 Laguna front end for on it.  It will be receiving a 97 vortec 454 and 4L80E tranny upgrade.  Other than than that it will be a repaint white and some interior freshening up.  So far I have the engine and tranny out and will start disassembling it to se what hidden issues it has.  And before the questions start about my tow pig, do a google search of "1957 Big Bertha" and you will find it.
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by pila on Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:52 pm

Looks great just the way it is in the pic !! Very Happy

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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:39 am

It's a 20 footer paint job.  It will probably look the same in a pic when it is done but good up close in person also.
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by Hawk03 on Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:42 pm

Car looks good. After looking through your build Big Bertha thread, I am eager to how this build goes and see the finished car.
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:01 pm

Big bertha was a fun one.  I get into fabrication work and building my own panels.  This should be an easy one since I am not modifying too much.  I already sorted out my wiring harness for the vortec 454 so that is a hurdle I do not have to contend with.  I do restoration work as a side gig.  Currently I am working on a 48 dodge truck (customers), 59 Chevy Apache 4x4 (for my wife), 57 Apache 4x4 (for my son), 58 GMC semi tractor, and my El Camino. It seems like it never ends.  We have a fleet of 14 I am trying to maintain or restore.  Restoration work is my third job.  First is the day job, accountant and Second is my machine shop. Everyone tells me to ditch the day job and concentrate on the other two.  I am hoping to have the El Camino finished by end of January.
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by fasrnur on Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:40 am

Big Bertha is one cool ride sir. You do some mighty fine work indeed. I can't wait to see how your Elky turns out.

As for your 3 jobs? Keep your day job because when you do something that is fun, it probably won't be fun as a living. Been there done that. That's why I went back to driving as a delivery guy for an Auto Salvage yard.
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:45 am

I am waiting on parts for a customers car so I got a chance to put it up on the lift and check out the underside really good.  It looks pretty good.  It will need some patches in the floor behind the seat and under the bolt on panel in the bed.  Someone at some point did a bondo over pin holes under the bed panel.  My parts car was an oil thrower so the floors in it have no holes so I can get sections from it to repair mine.  Other than that nothing else has rot. I'm going to remove the exhaust and tank so I can degrees and pressure wash it.  I'll work on converting the tank to an in-tank pump for the fuel injection.  I do not have any work that I need the lift for so that will be its home for a while.  
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:37 am

I tore down the parts car this weekend.  I will have a bunch of stuff to sell.  the floor was in good shape except fro the very front two corners.  Mine is good there so I cut the pan out just after where it was rusted and up the back seat area. There is some surface rust from the carpet getting wet on the driver side but it is solid.  I am going to take it apart at all the seams and put it in like it came from the factory.  I will have two extra seams but that is better than a patch work quilt looking floor.


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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:21 pm

I was able to get some more work done on the Elky this week.  Pulled the windshield and discovered some surface rust where it had leaked and someone filled it up with sealer.  Its not bad.  I'll blast it this weekend.  I did get my engine assembled this week.
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by clanceman427 on Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:20 pm

moving right along! You don't mess around! Great progress.
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:25 am

Blasted the windshield frame this weekend.  No holes so that was good.  I did manage to catch most of the sand from getting inside by using a blanket.

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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:50 am

I found out the hard way that the non a/c firewall is different.  My heating system was shot and I had the non a/c heater out of my parts car so I figured I would swap it over.  Found out the mounting holes and the hole for the incoming air.  A little metal and the welder fixed it.

I also ordered one of the dash covers everyone seems to be against.  It fits good enough for something that gets driven but not show quality.  I ordered one for the non a/c dash so it worked out to cover the hole from the vent I no longer need.  It looks much better than the cracked dash. I did cut the hole out for the emblem.



Now on to the floor pan.  It's solid in the front pans but has holes from the front brace back so I will seam it just before the first brace.  Hopefully I can get that done this weekend.
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:55 am

It was a busy weekend.  I was able to get the body separated from the frame and get the floor cut out. The floor was in good shape from the first floor brace forward so I am just going to replace from there back.  There was a little rust in the area under the front of the bed.  I have to replace some of the lip the bed pan bolts to and patch a couple holes on the passenger side wall.  
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:22 am

I was able to get back on the Elky after a short break for the Holiday and hunting.  The floor is back in.  It was a bit tricky getting it in.  I ended up going through the smugglers hole in the bed and sliding along the tops of the rockers.  I had to use a little foot stomping power but it finally went in.  Rear corners got bent but went right back down with the hammer.  


I'll get the section of rear wall in and button the floor up tonight then that is it for the underside.  The driver quarter has a couple small holes after sandblasting so I will tackle it next.  The passenger side was not as good.  In front of the wheel about 3" up is gone, around the wheel arch is a hole and behind the wheel is pretty bad.  I was able to find an NOS GM quarter so I will be replacing that side.
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:28 am

I had to travel for work last week so not a lot of progress.  Working together with my son on a 57 Chevy truck for him is also taking up some time. Finished patching the two small holes in the driver quarter and started drilling out spot welds on the passenger side quarter.  While I was traveling for work I was able to pick up my NOS quarter.  I still can't believe I was able to find one.
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by Hs1973 on Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:11 am

Looks amazing. Im happy another one is saved. Keep it up.
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:41 am

The old quarter is off.  Only 2 spots of the inner structure needed fixed. Mostly some surface rust that I cleaned and sprayed with  zinc primer.  Should have the new quarter on this week. Then all the metal work is done.
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:43 am

Well it took longer than expected but the new quarter is on.  I had an ankle injury and I was on crutches for 2 weeks.  It only took about an hour to get it on, aligned and welded.  It is nice when factory sheet metal is available.  All the metal work is done fro the entire El Camino now on the the body work. I'm going to rebuild all the door hinges and get them lined up and marked so re-assembly will be easier.  
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by tropdeprojet on Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:17 am

Nice work!
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by thatfnthing on Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:36 am

tropdeprojet wrote:Nice work!

x2
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by builtnotbought on Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:24 pm

Great job!
I'm interested why 74 has rubber bumper moldings like 75 and dash is from 73 if I'm right. Was there an option for SS to have such things in 74?
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:50 pm

I have seen the bumper moldings on all years not just 75. Dash is the same 1974-77. SS has round guages
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by builtnotbought on Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:27 am

Yes I meant gauges, sorry
Thank you for the info!
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by S3SS on Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:10 am

Nice work!! Its a challenge to find such skilled people who take care and make it right...
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

Post by buggy5872 on Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:44 am

Stripped the driver quarter this weekend.  No real issues.  A couple of small areas of filler from some dents. There was surface rust where the original stripes were.  Confirmation it is a real SS.  I had no documentation or could I find anything.  It only had 1 repaint in its life.  It used to be brown.  I am still not sure what color I am going to paint it.  White again or black and red like the one I had in high school.
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Re: 1974 El Camino SS build

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