i decided to take a day off, and work on my el Camino.
just to review i got it about 8 months ago with no engine or
transmission...then about a month ago put in a engine from a
truck and transmission from a camaro...then 27 days ago ruined
the engine. the main pulley came off on the highway...which
caused a whole bunch of problems...like overheating and blowing
of gaskets and warping of engine heads...when i got it home
the engine sounded like a coffee can full of rocks. for
you non-car types, that is bad.
was pretty disgusted and hadn't touched it since. but my
buddy Al found a nice deal on a remanufactured engine. 200
dollars, not bad for a chevy v-8...the catch-it is in a 1982 van
and the owner wanted the front and rear bumpers the transmission
and the rear doors. the plan-pick up the van bring
it to my garage use a torch to cut off all the crap the guy
wanted...cut a giant hole in the front of the van, yank out the
engine, roll the van into the alley and call the scrap yard to
pick it up.
guy was originally asking 800.00...but Al, the master of
wheeling and dealing, got him down to 200.00 and as many parts
as he wanted back that he could then sell to make up the 600.00
difference....apparently he felt that two doors, two bumpers and
a 15 year old transmission would bring him 600.00...it must be a
nice world he lives in...in any case i pictured in my minds eye
what a 800.00 van would look like...it would look crappy, rusty,
drive fine but have an exhaust that sounded like a crop duster.
i overestimated...a lot. the man who shall remain nameless
was asking 800.00 for a 15 year old van with the following
windshiled with enough cracks to pass it off as a mosaic.
spare tires (all flat)
self adjusting steering colume( meaning everytime you hit a bump
paint job...it look just like a pepperoni pizza!...no wait
that's just 4 dozen golf ball sized rust holes.
fully functional brake warning light...i know it works because
it never went off...because the breaks were almost non existant.
was a death trap. 4000 pounds of steel with no working seat
belts.(which is okay because the windshield was so cracked i'm
sure i could go through it uninjured.) questionable brakes, a
hole in the floor and four tires with no tread, and belts that squawked
loud enough and at a high enough pitch to shatter glass. i
get home with out much of a problem because i've driven worse,
the key is not to panic. one day i'll tell you about the
time my brakes went out in my 62 chevy bel air while going
downhill at 40 mph into a four way stop. or maybe i'll let
my editor tell you, he tells it better and was in the passenger
seat, sleeping soundly when i nudged him and said
calmly..."we don't have any brakes...hold onto
the van is home we begin the process of gutting it with a torch,
some air tools and the will to get the job done that only true
cheapskates have. FYI here are the following things the
EXPERTS tell you to do for safety that we proved were unnecessary.
the back tire
the gas tank
sure you do not use the torch near trans fluid, brake fluid,
not use one jack stand placed in the middle of the front
crossmemebr to support the ENTIRE VAN.
not lie underneath the van while it is supported by a single jack stand.
not lie under the van while it is supported by a single jack
stand and a 250 pound man is inside moving around.
not do all that while the two of you yank back and forth on a
transmission that may or may not be completely disconnected.
hey the only way you're ever gonna know if you disconnected
everything is to try to yank it out and see if the whole vehicle
come with it.
from Al getting shocked and burned and me getting cut up a bit
the chopping went fine. got it all done in time to pull
the ruined engine out of the el camino. the next step
clean off the engine paint it all pretty put it in the el camino
and be more careful with it this time.