15 Jun 08

Trying something different today - using an HTML editor instead of just Notepad.  Maybe it'll be prettier.

Most of the remaining bits for the suspension have shown up.

The SPC UCAs are very pretty.  However, if you'll note here, they're assembled wrong.  The welded part of the UCA mount should be towards the front, and all the bolts should be facing down.  I should have noticed this before I assembled, for here one of the UBJs is in upside down.  Not too hard to correct, but I'm surprised they came as two rights (shrug)
In order for the UCAs to clear the gussets, the gussets need to be cut back on the leading edge (here, shown by the silver paint)
In this picture, the driver's gusset is cut back but I haven't cleaned it up yet.
Here is after the cleanup on the passenger side.  I have not repainted the parts that got stripped yet; there's more paint damage on the frame to come, I expect.
Once the gussets were ready, the next step was to mount the LCAs.  I don't like how much effort is required to move the passenger side arm -- it was a bear to even get the bolt holes to line up.  It does move, but I don't know if it gets me the equivalent of a higher spring rate on that side.
I suspect that when I got the LCA mount reattached 8 or so years ago, they didn't quite get it in the right place.  They sure didn't make any pretty welds.  I am not sure what I will be doing about this; for now all I've done is not reinforce the LCA bracket -- if it needs to move, it'll come free, I reckon.  It's likely that it was "close enough" with the old rubber bushings, I guess we'll see how well it takes to the new ones.  If it tears free again, I'll weld it again myself using the new bushings as a guide.
I also cut more of the firewall away for the day that I install the engine again - it appeared to have some interference with the top of the transmission; that won't be a problem now.
Here it all starts to come together -- the spring adjusters with the Pro-Coil springs (I believe they're 750lb springs), the SPC uppers, and the AFX spindles with C5 brakes.  The adjusters are set to roughly half their travel and have been lubricated with a Molybdenum Disulfide grease.
These are the same brakes I was planning on using when I had the tall spindle setup, the rotors have got some surface rust but not a lot but I don't know what the white speckles all over the abutments are. I do not have the pads installed yet, I figure I'll do that waaaay down the road.
I've bought a new heater core, so time to start tearing down the AC box to install it.  I don't really know what all is involved in this other than replacing the seals, and the rebuild kit I bought years ago doesn't really have much in the way of intstructions.  I expect that it'll just be to sandblast what's rusty, lubricate what pivots, and paint what's raw.
Here's the tub where the heater core goes.  A hose and some scrubbing here, I reckon.
Heater core mounts here.  Not sure what the straps do; I took the wrong screws out first apparently.  It'll probably become self-explanatory soon, they probably wrap around the core so you don't directly screw into it.
This will be the hard part of the evolution.  It might be easiest to find a replacement suitcase, or at least this part of it.  Current plan is to use fiberglass to repair, and then to paint the suitcase.

I still need to find some replacement hose for the interior -- mine is old, and shot.

The rest of the front suspension is on hold.  While I've got a new idler arm and a new center link (not yet installed), and as you saw in the last update, the tie-rods are ready, I do not have a steering box - I don't plan on using the original, 40 year old box; and I haven't bought a replacement Grand Cherokee box yet.

I also no longer have the tires that go on the front wheels - the unfortunate side effect of them being the same size as the Camaro is that when the Camaro needed tires, the El Camino gave its up.  I have one damaged tire from the Camaro that could be put on the Camino's wheels, but the other blew out and was discarded.  Not sure what size wheels the car will end up getting, so I'm not so interested in buying a new tire.  I'll need to start shopping the local used tire places looking for one more tire.

I've ordered the polyurethane body bushings, they're expected to arrive next week.  I won't be installing them until after the Camino is on its wheels -- I don't like using the type of force I expect to need to break bolts (or break bolts free) from underneath it when it's just on jackstands.

The rebuilt dual-disk McLeod clutch has returned and sits, still in the box.  Still got a ways to go before mounting the engine though; I want to get the excess holes on the firewall filled in first - the only extra I know of right now is the fuse box, I'll have to get things bolted up first to know for sure. 

Still need to get a replacement shifter for the transmission -- B&M's "lifetime warranty" doesn't apparently cover them if you don't have the receipt and they aren't interested in sending me the two dollar plastic ball to fix it.  I'll call them one more time, and if they don't step up, I won't be buying anything else from them, ever.  Also need to get a reverse lockout solenoid -- both of these items were on the Camaro, and the El Camino appears to be a convenient donor for when the other car needs specific parts.  The AC compressor falls in the same category, sort of; the one from the Camino was tried but also didn't work... so I know it's bad.

So what do y'all think about me using the HTML editor?  It looks to me like I put more words in this time, but it might just be a side effect of what's happening with the car.

Go back to the previous day (8 Jun 08)