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1978 El Camino SS #402405
01/25/18 07:08 PM
01/25/18 07:08 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 573
Northern California, USA
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brino Offline OP
Oil Can Mechanic
brino  Offline OP
Oil Can Mechanic
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Joined: May 2010
Posts: 573
Northern California, USA
Can anyone help to estimate a fair price for a "Barn Find" (in storage since 2002) '78 El Camino SS (factory equipped with 350 V8, 4-speed manual transmission, front spoiler and other trim upgrades). Thank you so much for helping me.

Ray W

Re: 1978 El Camino SS [Re: brino] #403212
02/08/18 05:47 AM
02/08/18 05:47 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 479
Vancouver, Washington
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beachbum Offline

Backyard Mechanic
beachbum  Offline

Backyard Mechanic
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 479
Vancouver, Washington
I had the exact same year and model. I sold it to a fellow in Portland for $2000. About 2 years ago he offered it back to me for the same price. Mine was an AC car and had a Gem Top canopy. Pretty rare car, as far as I know the true 4 speed cars were special ordered and not listed in normal production info. Many 3 speed cars were converted to 4 speeds. They were Saginaw wide ratio trans. Not quite as fast as a Corvette but since they were so light pretty quick. Came with 10 bolt posi rear ends that were too light for that engine. I blew up 3 rear ends.

Re: 1978 El Camino SS [Re: beachbum] #403312
02/09/18 11:13 PM
02/09/18 11:13 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 573
Northern California, USA
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brino Offline OP
Oil Can Mechanic
brino  Offline OP
Oil Can Mechanic
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Joined: May 2010
Posts: 573
Northern California, USA
Beachbum,

Thanks for the response. What was the condition of the one you sold? In freshening up the brakes on the El Camino I discovered that the rear wheel cylinders are not bolted on. They are held in place by spring clips. Removing those clips requires a special tool, as does bleeding the cylinders because the bleeder screws are deep in a recessed hole and you can put a socket OR a bleeder tube on the bleeder screw but not both at the same time. All of this has to be done using a mirror because the adjacent coil spring prevents direct view. Fun huh? Who dreams this stuff up?

This El Camino has a crate engine from Racing Head Service, a division of Competition Cams. It's a fun one to drive. The trans is a Saginaw 4-speed and the rear posi ratio is 3.08 so it gets a solid 19 MPG cruising on the highway. It's been driven very conservatively so the rear axle has held up fine.

Also, you asked me about a couple of parts left over from the restoration of my '36 Chevy pickup and I responded immediately. Did you get my response?

Ray W

I

Re: 1978 El Camino SS [Re: brino] #403333
02/10/18 01:25 PM
02/10/18 01:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 260
ontario
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lucky1 Offline
Backyard Mechanic
lucky1  Offline
Backyard Mechanic
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 260
ontario
My dad had a 1980 Malibu. The clips on the wheel cylinders rusted away and if I recall correctly there was a recall to replace with a clamp and bolt.


have a nice day
Re: 1978 El Camino SS [Re: lucky1] #403336
02/10/18 02:58 PM
02/10/18 02:58 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 573
Northern California, USA
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brino Offline OP
Oil Can Mechanic
brino  Offline OP
Oil Can Mechanic
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Joined: May 2010
Posts: 573
Northern California, USA
Lucky1. that's really interesting. In dry California that's not a problem but where the roads are salted it's easy to imagine those very thin spring clips simply rusting away. I bought a special tool to remove them. The tool is listed for modern GM vehicles, not my 40 year old El Camino. So apparently that Mickey Mouse cylinder mounting method is still in use at GM. No wonder Ford is killing GM in sales. The F150 is, by far, the best selling vehicle in America.

Ray W

Re: 1978 El Camino SS [Re: brino] #403344
02/10/18 04:58 PM
02/10/18 04:58 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 25,143
West Allis,Wi.
Chev Nut Offline

Chev Nut  Offline


ChatMaster - 25,000
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 25,143
West Allis,Wi.
While the clip fastened type of wheel cylinder attachment , used on GM "B" body cars from 1977-1987 was stupid it is just a good example of hair brained ideas I have seen on all makes of cars in the last 40 years. Things like this were usually done to make factory assembly cheap and fast.
The Ford dealer that I call on has added extra technicans because FORD has so many recalls due to goof-ups in design like the door locks as an example.

Last edited by Chev Nut; 02/10/18 05:00 PM.

Chevgene

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