1966 BB El Camino - Page 2 - Chevelle Tech
El Caminos El Camino & Sprint

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post #16 of 80 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 17, 6:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 BB El Camino

This may seem like a silly question, but here goes. I was installing my water pump today, and couldn't determine if the water pump bolts are installed with lock washers. I was trying to verify with my AIM but it doesn't show that detail because the engine assembly comes from Tonowanda with the water pump already installed. So do all 4 bolts have lock washers?

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post #17 of 80 (permalink) Old Jan 20th, 17, 6:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 BB El Camino

I have a pair of Delco air shocks I bought a long time ago. I probably bought them at a swap meet in the 1980's, and they had manufacturing dates from 1974. They have the exact extended length and compressed length that I needed for my El Camino.

The problem with them was that they were the wrong color. This set was sold as a retrofit for someone that that wanted to add air shocks to a car that didn't originally have them. It included the tubing and fittings to add to the car so they could be pressurized. This was an open box when I bought it, with the tubing missing. My goal was to repaint them in the factory gray that was used on factory installed air shocks in 1966. I found a can of spray paint sold by a restoration company under the "Details" label. First I scraped the labels and then glass beaded the shocks after plugging, and taping the air line connectors. The paint came off of the metal parts easily, but the paint on the rubber parts required lacquer thinner to remove the rest of the paint.

The spray can paint worked very well.

I have a set of shocks removed from a 1967 El Camino (thanks Philip) that had 1971 manufacturing dates. These showed the color and how originals were painted. I thought my spray paint was a good color match, but maybe too shiney. But then maybe 45 year old shocks might be weathered and not be as shiney as they were originally. Here is a photo of the originals with the repainted shocks. Also notice the lower shock mounts are slightly different. I am happy with the way they look on my chassis with the original air lines hooked up.


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post #18 of 80 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 17, 11:42 PM
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Re: 1966 BB El Camino

IIRC no lock washers on the water pump bolts. Shocks turned out nice, don't remember giving you the old ones but there is a lot I can't remember

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post #19 of 80 (permalink) Old Jan 23rd, 17, 12:34 AM
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Re: 1966 BB El Camino

you might want to put a bit of thread sealer on the w/p threads as a precaution, good luck!

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post #20 of 80 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 17, 7:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 BB El Camino

Thanks guys. I installed the water pump without lock washers and used thread sealer. I've been cleaning, blasting and repainting the accessory brackets and installing them on the engine. and I have been installing the power steering.


I seem to have an issue with the top brace on the power steering, here is what is going on. I will start at the beginning. I am adding the power steering to this EC, so I didn't have this stuff, originally. I bought a setup out of a pickup truck, and bought a correct remote reservoir and cap for a 66 BB Chevelle. Only later after doing research did I realize that most of the pickup stuff was not good enough. The pump housing has the return pipe going in the wrong direction and the high pressure hose was not correct at all. So I bought a reproduction housing and high pressure hose that look good.

I wanted a correct pulley so I found one on Ebay. Turned out to be a good move because the pickup pulley groove is located .150 inch closer to the pump and looks very different.

I don't like the pickup return hose either so I am replacing that, but that is not an issue right now. The lower mounting bracket that came with the pump seems to be correct. I appear to have excellent pulley alignment with the pump installed on the lower bracket.

First let me admit that I am not using a correct 1966 upper bracket (49 state version). I am using what I think is correct for 67 and 68, and 66 A.I.R. application. This brace came with the pickup stuff. The problem is that the upper brace interferes with the alternator bracket and doesn't seem to allow enough adjustment travel of the pump. The pump housing hits the alternator bracket at mid travel. There is clearance when the pump is all the way out, but seems like there should be more. Is this correct, is only the last half of the slot usable on this bracket? And the bracket still contacts the alternator bracket. Here are a few photos showing how it is installed.





Here are a couple of photos of the brace itself.


What do you think? Is this the correct brace, or is the fit and travel I have the best that is expected with this configuration?

I have another question that I couldn't find an answer to in the AIM concerning the routing of the high pressure line. Does the high pressure line pass inboard of the remote reservoir hose or on the outside?

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post #21 of 80 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 17, 9:37 PM
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Re: 1966 BB El Camino

It may be that only the outside of the slot is used for belt adjustment. Have you tried fitting a correct belt on it yet?


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post #22 of 80 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 17, 10:17 PM
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Re: 1966 BB El Camino

Very nice, wish I could have my car restored to this degree. Maybe one day.

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post #23 of 80 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 17, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 BB El Camino

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip View Post
It may be that only the outside of the slot is used for belt adjustment. Have you tried fitting a correct belt on it yet?
That picture is of a 1968, and it has a different high pressure line routing that solves some of the 1966 issues. The upper brace also looks different than the brace that I have as it gets closer to the block. Don't know if that would solve my contact problem, but looks like it adjusts to the outside like mine.

My upper brace does have wear marks only on the outside portion of the slot. I would also need to do some bending of the return line pipe where it touches the high pressure line coming out of the steering unit. It still bothers me that the brace contacts the alternator bracket. I think I could grind it in the spot that touches or relocate the hole where it connects to the exhaust stud, to move the brace rearward.

A reproduction of the correct 66 brace is available but the price is $350 for the set (upper and lower). I will get by with the 67 brace if I can get it to fit satisfactorily.

I don' t have a belt yet, but now I can understand the recommendation to buy the specified belt and get additional belts in larger and smaller sizes. The range of adjustment will be very small.

Thanks for the comment Stuart.

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post #24 of 80 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 17, 6:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 BB El Camino

I finessed a couple of parts today and have a better fit. Still limited on travel, but I guess this is as good as it gets. First, I slotted the hole in the upper bracket to move the bracket more toward the exhaust manifold. It now has a better fit with the alternator bracket and the pump housing.

I adjusted the return line pipe out of the pump housing so it would travel between the lower bracket and the high pressure line. Instead of being straight, it now curves in a couple of directions.


I still don't have the return steel line, but I attached the rubber hose and clamp to the housing return. Here is what it looks like now.


This is the limit of travel with the pump housing against the alternator bracket.

And this what it looks like all the way out.

Unfortunately, the routing of the high pressure hose is in a loop next to the alternator, but appears to be correct per the AIM.

I think the power steering is pretty much done. Also I will mention that the steering unit was rebuilt using a period correct steering box, but I swapped in the variable ratio components from a 1996 S10 steering box. It uses the 1966 input and an original power steering rag joint. The manual steering rag joint has more layers.

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post #25 of 80 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 17, 7:09 PM
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Re: 1966 BB El Camino

Nice job Bruce. It would drive me nuts to restore to the level your El Camino is getting. Too many little details to deal with.

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post #26 of 80 (permalink) Old Jan 27th, 17, 4:32 AM
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Re: 1966 BB El Camino

You're doing a great job, Bruce. I'm hoping to get back working on mine one of these days.

This is the way my hose is routed; it's been this way since I bought it in '79, as far as my fading memory can recall. Not sure if it's "correct" ...

Maybe you have the wrong hose? That big loop doesn't look right.

Maybe Jeff Helms will see this.


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post #27 of 80 (permalink) Old Jan 27th, 17, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 BB El Camino

Thanks for the compliments, guys.

I think your photo answers the question I had about the routing of the remote reservoir hose relative to the high pressure hose. The AIM says to position the high pressure hose about .6 inches from the inner fender. I think I can bring my hose down and run the remote hose over it and then it will look more like yours. Thanks for the photo. I will try that today and take a new photo from the same angle as yours.

66 El Camino 396/325HP 4-Spd
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post #28 of 80 (permalink) Old Jan 27th, 17, 1:17 PM
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Re: 1966 BB El Camino

Bruce.
l ran into the same issue with the adjustment brkt on my '66 big block.
Now...l know it's not "correct" but l used the short double ended stud in this kit Dorman Products - 03405
to mount the bracket.Installed stud,mounted brkt to stud.
It gave me just enough extra space so that it didn't interfere with the alternator brkt and
didn't change the angle of the adjusting stud on the back of the pump enough to worry about.
Hope this helps.......
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post #29 of 80 (permalink) Old Jan 27th, 17, 1:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 BB El Camino

Big Fred,
The longer stud would allow some washers to be placed behind the brace. That would help with the alternator clearance and push the bracket out for more travel, if needed. Thanks for the part number.

I have a new photo with the hose moved out. I looks more like David's this way.
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66 El Camino 396/325HP 4-Spd
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post #30 of 80 (permalink) Old Jan 27th, 17, 3:48 PM
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Re: 1966 BB El Camino

There's also this from a local "restored" '66 SS. Ever more puzzling.


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