This page shows upgrades to the El Camino from

In July 2006 the car got a name: 'Elkenstein'
There are so many parts on it now, from all sorts of different vehicles. Even though it dies once in a while, it keeps coming back to life.

Click on the pictures to see larger views.
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See this page for a year in the life of Elkenstein.
January 2006 to February 2007 (This Page)
Blown head gaskets, blown engine, new engine, electrical melt downs, computer swaps, catastrophic failure of the new (rebuilt) engine at 1000 miles.
March 2007 to November 2008 The rebuilt engine, rebuilt again, small tweaks, new rear end, gear change after that.
January 2009-December 2010 Surgery slowed down progress for a couple years. Back at it now and making progress.
Projects in 2011 New lights for the turn signals, headlight upgrade, Serpentine system swap, New body Mount Bushings and Fuel pump.
Projects started 2012 New Overdrive Transmission.
January 2006 - Blown Head Gasket. Installed 350 heads to replace unknown worn out heads.
Page 1 - Page 2
Compression Check 1/8/2006 - Still not running right after installing new heads. Me thinks it poor compression. See this page
June 2006. the engine developed a knock, and wouldn't run at idle, or even driving down the road. Trying to gold plate the electronics didn't help with the compression so low. it was pronounced dead, and the search for a new motor was on.  
July 2006 Purchased new engine. 275 HP (est.) 350, roller cam, 1 piece rear main seal. Built as a Marine engine.  
This is the old assembly. The gooped up TH350C and the dead Four Star rebuilt motor. Good riddance...... It never ran smooth, in nearly 50K miles.
Another angle.
I spent a lot of time cleaning this, while I waited for my brother to arrive with the new motor. I wanted to get it in there so bad, and time was critical, so no pictures of the cleaned one.
Poised for removal. Brother jim gets all the parts.
This is the number on the Torque Converter. Anyone know what stall speed this might be?

I assume it's stock. But then, I am told that the El Camino's didn't come with a 350C. This is a lockup style.
I took a lot of grief from the El Camino List, about getting Grandma to help, and to get going on the project. So here she is! Ruth Tipton, 93 years young, working the cherry picker, to get the old engine in to Jim's van.
Another one.... She's determined!
This is my new power plant. All nice, clean, and fresh .030" over bored. With an RV style cam. Can't have much with the fuel injection.
This shot shows the engine in the hole. All the lines, drive shaft, and exhaust are hooked up.
Everything is hooked up, but I had to get a new adaptor plate to hook up the TBI unit to the spread bore intake.

Click on any of the pictures to see larger views. Click on this one to see the specs it was born with. I think we can bump the HP up a bit, with the bore and cam upgrades.

Casting numbers on the block are 14093638
Casting numbers on the heads are 14096217

Aug. 1 2006    It's running again.

I have some clearance issues with the linkage, and air cleaner. Looking for a stock truck or F body TBI manifold to correct the issues. The fuel lines are really cramped next to the vacuum lines too.

Nice to have it back on the road though.

For more updates on the TBI updates,
go to this page - TBI Conversion Page 4

After the melt down of the fusible links, I used a wire nut to connect the wires. This is a lot fancier wire nut. Thanks to Mike Huber for this part. About $28 & shipping. I only found 100 and 40 amp maxi fuses on my initial run. Mike had some recommendations, but I don't have them handy. More later.

See the 18 ga copper strip that has tabs running in to 3 terminals to connect them to the hot wire. This hot goes to the top post on the battery, that was not used until now.

This is the finished installation.

You can see the fender ground wire with the minus sign right next to it.

Right now it's Ignition power and MSD on the first one, lights next, then the heater - A/C fan. The one on the right is the starter wire. It's in line with the small post on the remote solenoid.

These wires are in the convoluted tubing all the way from the firewall connector, running above the engine instead of below it.

 2 pieces of Part Number 563565 was procured from for the huge sum of $1.84 for both of them. They bought a dozen to fill my order. These are for the selector on the 350C Transmission. Mine were not even really there any more, and there was a lot of slop in the linkage.
Here you see the re furbished linkage, with new clips and spring from Ace hardware.
I had used a rubber hose for a temporary fix, but this is really nice, and a perfect fit.

 9-2006 finally got the dedicated Aluminum TBI intake installed (eBay purchase, $25 shipped)

See this page for reconditioning of the intake.


Catastrophic Engine Failure.
I heard a knock in the engine on the way to the store. When I came out with the groceries, and started the engine, there was a big BANG, but the engine kept running. I looked under the car, and there was oil spraying out, so I shut it down.

Under the car was a big pool of oil, and 2 broken bolts. The front main bearing cap had come loose, and the crank caught it and blew it right through the oil pan.

The El Camino is out of commission untl at least January, when I can get a new long block.

If you click on the picture, you can see the main bearing cap poking out of the passenger side of the oil pan.


3 months after the event, the motor came out again. I have all the top end cleared away in this picture. You can see the front main bearing cap sticking through.
Everything disconnected. letting the tranny fluid drain a bit more before pulling it.
Cindy came out and helped be push the car back, as the engine came up, and I guided the tail away from the front of the car. Here it is on the work stand.
A picture of the extracted bearing cap.
A view from the tranny so I could remember where the brackets go.
This is the passenger side with the head off. Looks good.
Still fresh.
Here is the drivers side
First look at the bottom. Everything turns, although still tight, doesn't look like any severe damage.
The following are just more views.
Stampings on the crank. .010 + & -
Casting number on the crank.What does this mean???
The crank was rotated 180 degrees for the following pictures.

All ready to load out to the machinist.

More to come......


I visited the machinist today, and he had the engine back together. He reconditioned the whole thing, and put new bearings and rings in it. Looks good.... see picture.

I dropped off the heads and he is going over them to make sure everything in OK before I put it all back together.

  See the next page of continuing work here

Projects January 2006 to February 2007     March 2007 to November 2008  January 2009-December 2010  Projects 2011   Projects started 2012