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My Name Is Earl 1973 El Camino to sell on Barrett-Jackson.

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Post by Limey SE on Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:32 pm

cees klumper wrote:Hi
- figure out how to properly secure the ignition distributor; it's kind of loose and can be turned by hand easily. I have the shop manual so will work that out
I am sure we'll have years of fun with it.


Cees you need this for the Distributor hold down to keep it from turning goes onto back of manifold over the dist flange on shaft once you get the part you will see where the flange is

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Post by cees klumper on Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:37 pm

Thanks a lot Limey - perhaps this widget is in fact installed just not tightened. At least I now know what to look out for ...
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Post by Limey SE on Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:40 pm

No problem buddy I am glad she arrived safe to you !!! Looks pretty sweet and yea dry rotted tires didnt really to them as on set no major miles were gonna be put on ............

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Post by bigredlaguna on Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:28 pm

The ticking noise you describe may just be a loose rocker arm. If the engine has hydraulic lifters and you don't mind a little bit of oil splash, you can just take off the valve cover, start the engine and tighten the loose rocker until the noise stops. Should be pretty easy to figure out which one(s) is/are loose with the cover off.
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Post by cees klumper on Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:43 am

Thanks! Sounds like this could well be it. I will give that a try once I get the car back from the import agent (dropping it off with him this morning).
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Post by 74Malibu383 on Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:43 pm

Keep in mind an exhaust leak can sound like a loose rocker arm as well. While you're in there checking the exhaust manifold/header bolts wouldn't be a bad idea.
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Post by cees klumper on Sun Jul 31, 2011 3:12 pm

Short update.

The car was presented to the Geneva DMV for its technical inspection, so I can put it on Swiss title. A few things will have to be addressed:

- the driver's side door's dent has to be smoothened out (there is a sharp edge that is a bit dangerous I suppose). I told the body shop they have to correct the dent as little as possible, just to pass the inspection. Bet it's the first time this body shop has received the instruction to fix a dent 'as little as possible'

- the engine ID plate is apparently missing - not sure what can be done about that

- some shims in the shock absorbers need to be removed (?)

- there is some rust in the floor pans and rear door. So much for the idea that film cars are in tip-top shape!
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Post by bigredlaguna on Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:07 pm

So these things are what the DMV wants fixed?

A hammer, file, and a spray can of primer would fix the door in about 15 minutes. This type of repair wouldn't be out of character for the car as presented on the show.

Do they want the engine to be numbers matching? If the original engine had ever been replaced, this will be next to impossible. If they are talking about the sticker that shows spark timing, vacuum routing, etc. then I'm sure that another one can be found.

Maybe the shocks are too short.

Rust can practically be expected, do they really expect this to be fixed just to get it titled?
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Post by cees klumper on Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:57 am

Hi Bigredlaguna,

I am waiting for the quote from the garage but if it's excessive (which it just may be, considering the way Geneva 'works') I will fix the door myself like you suggest. I'm sure they don't require the original engine but I guess they'd at least like to see what type of engine should be in there. Then on the rust, yeah, they want that fixed - I suppose anything that is part of the structure needs to be in good enough shape. Does this model (4th gen) still have a separate chassis or is it a unitbody construction? If it's the latter, I should be able to get by without fixing the floor pans.

The importing agent thought the DMV would be much more critical BTW ... The list is this short because, for a foreigner like me, the requirements are much less strict. There aren't a lot of old cars here, say, more than 10 years old!


Last edited by cees klumper on Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:58 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos)
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Post by bigredlaguna on Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:32 am

Your car has a full frame. I can perhaps understand them wanting the floor pans being fixed, but the tailgate is just ridiculous. There is no structural purpose other than perhaps to keep the sides from flapping in the wind.

Post up the VIN and someone here should be able to decode it and find a proper sticker for the engine bay.
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Post by cees klumper on Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:13 am

Thanks - the VIN is 1D80Y3Z403211. From what I understand that does indicate a big block 454 which is supposedly in there, but I still have to note down the engine number so can't confirm yet.
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Post by cees klumper on Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:40 pm

Well I finally got the quote from the fancy garage here in Geneva - they estimated that replacement of the floor pans, and taking out the air supports that are apparently sitting in the rear shocks, would run me about $11 thousand, give or take. I said thank you, and let me get a second opinion on that. So I have ordered new sheet metal and one of my neigbours in France, who used to own a garage, will take care of things for me for probably a fraction. If I had some more experience welding, I'd do it myself (I watched a guy on youtube do this job in his home garage in a day or two). I will treat the door as birgedlaguna suggests, Flintstone style and I'm sure that will work out just fine.

Good news is at least I took the car back from my agent (who basically took two months just to get it checked by the DMV and have this gold-plated garage do their estimate) and now I can at least enjoy, driving it again. I got new shocks which I will be installing this weekend to hopefully cut down on the 'roll and bounce' a bit. I'll report back on how that works out.

When I drove the car across the Swiss-French border last week I was asked some questions, had to show the paperwork but it was clear the border patrol guy was just fascinated with this beast, and all was well.
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Post by cees klumper on Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:00 pm

Today I put in the new rear Monroe air shocks. What a pain it was getting those top nuts and bolts undone/done! What could have been a one hour job sure took a lot longer. Anyway, I got it all done and took the shocks up to 40 psi. A couple of hours later the pressure was still at that level, so I think the connections/seals are all ok. The new shocks are a lot better than the old ones, so this was definitely a good idea. I will be picking up a stash (around 1,000 lbs) of tropical hardwood in Holland in a few weeks' time, so having these air shocks functional again is just in time.

While I was down there, I noticed one of the three short fuel hoses that run between the fuel tank and the fuel lines is old and has a crack near the connection, which is probably responsible for the gas smell right after filling up. So new ones will go in there.

I also cleaned up a bunch of stray wiring near the trailer hitch (no doubt these were the trailer wires at one point).

Also tinkered a bit with the ignition timing, 'by ear'. Holy smoke, what a difference! This car really can move Very Happy .

Finally, I put a license plate frame on the rear: "I'd rather be watching My Name is Earl'.

Tomorrow's tasks are replacing the front shocks and setting the timing properly, with a timing light.
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Post by yogreasygramma on Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:47 pm

Hey dude! Congrats on purchasing your first Chevy and putting it to good use. I'm sure you'll love this vehicle (I've never owned one, but plenty of Monte Carlos, which are in many ways similar). You're lucky in many respects that your car is a true 454 car, to which the Y in the 5th position of the VIN attests. That should be more than enough to satisfy even the most demanding customs officer or DMV bureaucrat. And that's all you need, no stickers are needed to prove what you have or what you should have in there. The VIN proves everything. If you need a second opinion on this issue, just go to a certified car appraiser/expert and have them write you an opinion and apply the ever-important stamp. I can imagine if your car had a VIN code for a small block, they could give you endless trouble. However, your El Camino is a true-blue Y-code big block car, so no need to worry. Oh, and if the bureaucrats can't tell a big block from a small block, shame on them...LOL.

It seems you imported the car into Holland? How does that work if you're a resident of Switzerland (non-EU country)? You'd still have to clear customs in Switzerland, right? So you didn't in fact import the car into Holland, did you? I assume you're a resident of Switzerland and will have the car registered there.

Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing!
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Post by cees klumper on Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:49 pm

Hi Yogreasygramma - thanks for the tip on the VIN / engine number thing.

Actually I am a resident of both France and Switzerland (but have Dutch nationality). I had my pick of Switzerland or France and ended up choosing Switzerland because they have a system whereby you can have two cars on one title simultaneously (you get one set of plates: the idea is that you drive one car at a time and the other one sits plateless in a garage. When you want to drive the other one, you just move the plates from one to the other). The main advantage to this system is that you only pay one road tax bill a year (the tax is dependent on the fuel economy and weight, both of which on this car would be very high: think upwards of $1,500 per year) and only one insurance policy.

I really do like this car, and my wife considers it the most fun of the 4 cars we own. The history that this car has makes it all the more special, plus it's very practical. I'lll see if I can enter it into next year's calendar photo contest.

By the way, are there any other famous El Camino's - because someone famous owned one, it was in a movie, or whatever?
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Post by HDHugger on Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:01 pm

My first '75 had a bad lifter, and this one has a manifold leak. They sound pretty much the same.

Cees, it sounds rather expensive to drive an older car over there. I'm glad we don't even need emission testing on these old cars over here!

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Post by yogreasygramma on Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:36 am

I know in many western EU (or European) countries they heavily tax or otherwise discourage people from owning used cars (the older they are, the more onerous the taxes). I'm sure one of the main reasons for this is to support the new car lobby (manufacturers/dealers) to force people to buy new cars every few years. Thus, it becomes financially impossible to keep your older car on the road unless you're rich. The politicians usually cloak their justifications for this in the usual dogma of "saving the environment" or whatever, but in fact older cars represent such a minute percentage of all cars on the road, it's rather disingenuous to claim that by keeping these older "polluting" cars off the road, they are "saving the environment". So older cars are taxed into obsolescence.

However, there's another way to do it in all countries I'm aware of, and that is to register the car as a historical/antique car, which enjoys special privileges under the law. I don't know what the exact details are in Switzerland or France, but it would be worth investigating. In some EU countries (once again, Switzerland is not, but France is), the law provides for much cheaper registration of these vehicles older than 25 or 30 years. In some countries there's only a one-time (lifetime) car inspection, which makes it much less burdensome than having to bring your car in every year to subject it to the vigorous inspection process which most countries have. I'm a resident of Poland and all of my antique vehicles are registered as historical vehicles, and the cost of insurance is even much lower! I pay about $100 per year per vehicle for liability insurance, and there's no yearly inspection, and only a one-time fee ($75) for that initial inspection. No fees for yearly registration either; the initial registration of the vehicle costs about $100 as well. So in general, the costs are relatively low for antique vehicles.
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Post by HDHugger on Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:48 am

We had a "Cash for Clunkers" here, so they could try and get older cars off the road and into the scrap yards. Almost 700,000 cars were taken out of circulation. People got a $4,500 voucher for their cars, to use towards the purchase of a new car. That was a way to make people buy new cars, to boost new car sales in a sluggish economy. Now we are starting to see the backlash. Apparently, there aren't enough used cars for people to buy because so many people took advantage of the program, whether their cars were clunkers or not. Used car price will be on the rise. Maybe I should sell my Kia soon....

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Post by Biomedtech on Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:37 am

cees klumper wrote:

By the way, are there any other famous El Camino's - because someone famous owned one, it was in a movie, or whatever?

Some interesting Info....

http://www.chevelles.com/elcamino/ec_tv.htm

and

http://www.imcdb.org/vehicles_make-Chevrolet_model-El+Camino.html
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Post by cees klumper on Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:42 am

Yes, The Netherlands, France and Switzerland all have the 'historic car' qualification. I'm most familiar with te Dutch provisions, which are exemption of road tax, technical inspection every two to five years, rather than every year, and insurance companies offer much cheaper insurance packages than for new cars - so a classic car is actually cheaper to run than a modern car. Except for the cost of fuel usually, because older cars tend to consume a lot more gas than new cars.

I replaced the front shocks today; no noticeable improvement there. Also, it seems the front springs are too short as the front sits very low, and someone has already put a couple of spacers between the coils to keep the nose from being even lower. So I think I will be looking for a set of new springs (for the 454 AC combo).

The highlight of today was that I tightened all the exhaust manifold nuts - many were pretty loose. Now the ticking engine sound is gone, thank goodness. Thanks for the tips! Car is getting better all the time.
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Post by bigredlaguna on Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:39 pm

I LIKE THIS!!

[img]My Name Is Earl 1973 El Camino to sell on Barrett-Jackson. - Page 2 Race_e10[/img]
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Post by cees klumper on Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:43 am

Back with an update: got replacement springs and shocks for the front, and new floor panels. Not too soon either, here are some photos of the 'before and almost after' (half the floor is now done and has been painted in anti-corrosion paint, ready for new mats to go in):

Before:
My Name Is Earl 1973 El Camino to sell on Barrett-Jackson. - Page 2 P1100432

New metal ready to be welded in:
My Name Is Earl 1973 El Camino to sell on Barrett-Jackson. - Page 2 P1100462

So after that the new springs and shocks, and a new turn signal switch (old one cracked) and a new speedo cable (old one came apart). Then back for Swiss DMV test and, hopefully, new Swiss registration and new adventures...
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Post by cees klumper on Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:51 pm

So the new springs made a huge difference in the ride + handling department. The old ones were very tired.
I just put in 3-point seat belts, rain gutters, new weatherstripping. And fixed the heat (cable had slipped off the control lever and was frozen up also).
Turns out the engine is the original (number matches the VIN) 454, and gets good mileage to boot.
Now back to the Swiss authorities for a final check and then hopefully a proper Swiss registration. Been driving with California plates long enough now ... Looking forward to new adventures with the Earl Camino.
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Post by cheaterxav on Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:13 am

Hello
I live in Geneva and I also ride a 1973 elcamino
I saw your camino at dmv
Contact me
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Post by cees klumper on Fri May 04, 2012 12:41 am

PM sent ...
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