1977 El Camino Custom

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Post by JiMi_DRiX on Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:01 am

So a couple months ago I decided that I really need a truck, something older, not too expensive, and something cool. I go mountain biking, and I need something to throw my bike in, and to haul things around. The 04 Cobra is far from a hauler, and the Monte isnt great either. The first thing I thought of were the 70-72 C10 Shortbed trucks. But after some more thinking I decided an El Camino would be pretty cool too. I started to lean more toward the Camino, and began looking. I found a lot, but most were either too nice, or too expensive. I narrowed it down to a 76 and a 77 that both looked interesting. I ended up deciding on this 77 Custom.  The guy I bought it from had only owned it for a couple months, for his son to drive, but they soon realized it wasnt for him. While he isnt a car guy, the older man who he purchased it from was. He was terminally ill, and took the Camino on as a project. Some of the car has been worked on, restored, and while far from perfect, you can tell there was a respectable effort put into taking care of the car.

It seems to be pretty loaded as well! Power locks, windows, tilt, cruise, delay wipers, AC, 350 4bbl (what else was there?) It needs some maintenance, but all in all, its a good car and a good starting point for what I was after. I've already started picking up a few nice black interior parts! Now I have to learn a new A-body. I appreciate any and all tips, advice, facts that you guys can throw at me about the Caminos.


After getting it trailered home (brakes need checked)

1977 El Camino Custom 1507850_10203610416286855_1417397543_n

1977 El Camino Custom 1891012_10203615277968394_1523865333_n

The diiiiirrtty engine compartment

1977 El Camino Custom 1655872_10203615277488382_129395899_n

After a very quick wash, and a new air filter

1977 El Camino Custom 1912385_10203615277808390_2092405784_n


I swapped the 8" rally wheels off the 73 Monte for now, this looks much much better.

1977 El Camino Custom 1911717_10203643670278184_1302308864_n


The interior isnt bad, but the custom parts dont fit my style. I'll eventually change the interior out for black.

1977 El Camino Custom 1960101_10203643669958176_1270374699_n
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Post by switchbiker on Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:01 am

Thats a nice start you got there! looking forward to following this build!
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Post by JiMi_DRiX on Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:52 am

Thanks! I really need to get on the Montes, but the Camino needs some love before I can feel good about driving it around. The power steering pump and master cylinder need replaced. I lubed the power windows, needs fluids flushed. The usual stuff. Tint the windows! Luckily the ac is ice cold.
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Post by 77mali on Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:16 am

That's G3 #4, right? Dude you are a one man museum. That Elco is awesome. Now all you need is a Chevelle for the complete Chevy stable  Very Happy 
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Post by JiMi_DRiX on Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:15 am

77mali wrote:That's G3 #4, right?  Dude you are a one man museum.  That Elco is awesome.  Now all you need is a Chevelle for the complete Chevy stable  Very Happy 

Haha. Actually it's my first G3, Montes are technically G2s 73-77! But yeah, #4. I almost have the 75 sold though. I can't afford to, or have time for that many. I would love a 73 Chevelle some day though!
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Post by dynchel on Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:22 am

i think a '77 elcamino would be a G4....case in point.  '59/'60 (gen 1) '64/'67 (gen 2) '68/'72 (gen 3) '73/'77 (gen 4) '78/'87 (gen 5) Cool
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Post by driveit on Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:20 pm

Everyone is so technical... I recently have been longing for an elcamino, I just need one. lol...
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Post by JB2wheeler on Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:24 pm

How would you manage to drive around the family if you had an Elkie instead of your 2 door? JB
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Post by 77mali on Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:24 pm

They're all third gen "A body platform".  64-67, 67-72, 73-77, nameplates notwithstanding.
 Razz 
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Post by driveit on Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:03 pm

JB, I didn't say instead or in place of. Call me greedy, but I want both. I always need to haul things, but I wouldn't give up my Chevelle for anything.
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Post by JiMi_DRiX on Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:30 pm

dynchel wrote:i think a '77 elcamino would be a G4....case in point.  '59/'60 (gen 1) '64/'67 (gen 2) '68/'72 (gen 3) '73/'77 (gen 4) '78/'87 (gen 5) Cool


I did not know that, now I do!


driveit wrote:JB, I didn't say instead or in place of.  Call me greedy, but I want both.  I always need to haul things, but I wouldn't give up my Chevelle for anything.


Same reason I got looking for a truck or Camino, I have stuff to haul, and its a pain to try and fit it into my Cobra, or the Monte. Plus, something new gives me new excitement and keeps me busy. I might have a buyer for the 75, I am soo hoping that goes through.

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Post by JiMi_DRiX on Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:04 pm

Well now that I got everything behind the doors done, I put my black panels on, and swapped out the gauge bezel for one I got on ebay. Eventually the interior will go all black. I also did a light buff/wax to shine it up a bit. Its not perfect, but its an improvement, and thats all I was hoping to get out of it! I went through the gauges, and put together one good/better cluster out of some spares that I had.

This might be a stupid question, but I honestly have no idea. What is the panel in the front of the bed for? Looks like an access panel, but for what?

1977 El Camino Custom 1237918_10203681731309686_1483732661_n

1977 El Camino Custom 1901157_10203732206451533_184149293_n

1977 El Camino Custom 1970657_10203750851877657_1692081033_n
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Post by 77mali on Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:28 pm

Looking good.

The bed panel is for access to wiring & conduits & such. Maybe this link will help.
http://www.feartheelcamino.com/ReBorn/Bed.htm
Also comes in handy for smuggling LOL.
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Post by JiMi_DRiX on Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:07 am

Did that guy seriously somehow build a sub-box in there? So if I ever remove it, I should silicone it before putting it back on? I can see silicone on it already. I need to change the rear shocks eventually, (it has coil over cargo shocks) is that easier to do through the panel? or not?
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Post by pila on Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:53 am

That's a really nice Elco !  I hope you don't modify it too much. I've had 4 of the G3 Elcos, and one was a '77 I bought new, a Classic.
 The El Camino was built on a station wagon platform, and cavity under that bed cover was the rear seat cavity on a wagon. There's normally nothing at all under the cover.
 A few things about the cover & cavity : if water can set in there, like if the drain holes get clogged, the water can seep through that seam in the front, and leak on the carpet.  Digging out all the sealant and re-sealing it is a good move, since the bed has no drains to get rid of water.
 I made drains for the bed on my current '75 Elco project, and sealed the cover good.
I also made a small access panel in the cover, since I have an electric fuel pump, and pump relay mounted under there.
  Here's a pic of one of the drains in the front, which is made from a short piece of 1 inch conduit, welded in the cover, and has a 1 inch hose on it, running out through the bottom of the cavity.  There is one in each side of the cover.

1977 El Camino Custom P1010937_zps1048a0a5

And here is the small access panel, to get at the fuel pump and relay....

1977 El Camino Custom P1011000_zpsfd333925

The El Camino has a 4 inch longer wheel base than a Chevelle coupe by the way...

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Post by Colonnade Mattie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:14 am

French Lake Auto has a decent elcamino classic with most of the trim on if you need something. Can you spot it in the pic? 
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Post by Colonnade Mattie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:29 am

I can always run out there and take pics to text if anyone ever cares. They have a 73 monte with nicer black interior than my car has..I should drag that car out of there actually but have enough stuff right now. 
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Post by 77mali on Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:46 am

Looks like there could be two? Maye the one w/ the cap is a Ranchero?

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Post by Colonnade Mattie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:49 am

I know not a good pic but there are two..the maroon one you spotted on the left actually has a green one right next to it on the other side of it.
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Post by Mcarlo77 on Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:33 am

Whoa...that pic is a little dated. They re-landscaped that entire part of the yard last Fall and they cleaned house with the crusher on most of our "A" bodies. The maroon El Camino (actually, it's a '76) is still there...less the front end, drivetrain, bucket seats/console/dash. Green one was crushed. Just to the right and over a little is a black '73 Cutlass Supreme. That's still there.

And yes, Mali...that yellow one is a Ranchero. Not sure it's still there, either.
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Post by Colonnade Mattie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:39 am

Wow I noticed most all of the mopars got crushed but figured some of that other stuff would be safe for a while yet..oh well. Gotta make room for those Kias I suppose.
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Post by Colonnade Mattie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:55 am

Here's a truly dated French Lake pic..March 1996..LS4 woody. 
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Post by JiMi_DRiX on Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:28 am

Colonnade Mattie wrote:Here's a truly dated French Lake pic..March 1996..LS4 woody. 
1977 El Camino Custom Image-36


Thanks guys. I dont have many plans as far as modifying it goes. I bought it to have a "truck". I want to slowly fix and replace things here and there, but as far as paint and body goes, its going to stay as it is for a long time. I didnt want something with a cherry paint job, and this one is just that.

The trim I would like to have the most, is the aluminum rocker panel, the front fender, door, and rear pieces, for both sides. They dont have to be perfect, but decent driver shape. some wheel well trims that are better than what I have would be an improvement, but not a necessity. I will find the black interior parts I need on ebay. I would love a 73 Laguna nose, but that is further down the road.
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Post by riddick75 on Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:57 pm

pila wrote:That's a really nice Elco !  I hope you don't modify it too much. I've had 4 of the G3 Elcos, and one was a '77 I bought new, a Classic.
 The El Camino was built on a station wagon platform, and cavity under that bed cover was the rear seat cavity on a wagon. There's normally nothing at all under the cover.
 A few things about the cover & cavity : if water can set in there, like if the drain holes get clogged, the water can seep through that seam in the front, and leak on the carpet.  Digging out all the sealant and re-sealing it is a good move, since the bed has no drains to get rid of water.
 I made drains for the bed on my current '75 Elco project, and sealed the cover good.
I also made a small access panel in the cover, since I have an electric fuel pump, and pump relay mounted under there.
  Here's a pic of one of the drains in the front, which is made from a short piece of 1 inch conduit, welded in the cover, and has a 1 inch hose on it, running out through the bottom of the cavity.  There is one in each side of the cover.

1977 El Camino Custom P1010937_zps1048a0a5

And here is the small access panel, to get at the fuel pump and relay....

1977 El Camino Custom P1011000_zpsfd333925

The El Camino has a 4 inch longer wheel base than a Chevelle coupe by the way...

when I get to that point in my build Im definitely going to steal your idea for the drains, very good idea. And for the part under the panel does anyone know what patch panels can be used if any?
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Post by pila on Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:01 pm

If you mean the bottom of the cavity, where the drive shaft hump runs through, you are on your own for metal to repair it. Cutting pieces and fitting them, and welding them in, seems the only option that I'm aware of.
 As usual, the parts for the '73-'77 are not reproduced much. and except for floor panels, quarter panels, and bed repair panels, there isn't much out there.
 It's too bad there aren't front fenders and core supports built for these years.

It's only in recent years that gas tanks became available for these years. Sending units for the tanks are also unavailable as far as I know.

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