Frame & floor pan restoration on a 1970 Chevrolet  El Camino

 

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017  

I just pulled this very solid 1970 Chevrolet El Camino into the shop.

The front clip and engine was previously removed. The customer is requesting we separate the body from the frame and inspect both for rust, rot and damage.  That will require a near complete stripping of the body and installing the body on a rotisserie for access to the bottom of the car. 

The rocker panels and bedsides are very solid and rust free.  I'm hoping this is an indication that the body mounts and other fasteners will come free with minimal effort.  Probably not that lucky though!

The plan is to sand blast everything and then powder coat or paint the frame and suspension components, install new front disc brakes and new brake and fuel lines.  Of course new body mounts and finish the bottom of the body nicely. 

As always we really don't know what we'll find until we get it taken apart.

It's going to be a lot of work and time but the end result is guaranteed to be amazing!


 

Disassembly

8/25/17





Fresh off the trailer 





Doing a walk around, it is remarkably solid, a great candidate for restoration 

It's been stored indoors and the condition really shows it.





The car has been in the clients family for a very long time.  The owner wants to start with the frame, suspension and bottom of the car restored.






Decoding the data plate gives us some interesting information on the car: 

ST70 13680 = 1970 Malibu Series El   Camino

KAN = Body was assembled in Kansas City, Missouri

TR 764 = Metallic Medium Blue coated fabric bench seat

25 A PNT = Astro Blue with White vinyl top


Time to get dirty

The plan is to lighten the car as much as possible by removing the tailgate, bumper, fuel tank, strip the firewall, doors and seat before separating it from the frame.
 
 





Three bolts at the bottom attach the hinge hinge to the body





...and 3 large screws hold the hinge to the tailgate





After the six fasteners and the back up light wiring was removed the tail gate came free and was set aside for the time being.










After A LOT of heat, knucklebusting and eating a pound of old dirt and rust the rear bumper and fuel tank finally came out.  Now it's time to see how cooperative the body mount bolts are going to be.







I needed to cut and peel back these two areas to gain access to the rear body mount nuts that were rusted solid and spinning.

The remaining body bolts were removed, some came out, some put up a fight.

Overall they came out pretty easily.
 

 





Moving to the front I need to remove the heater and fan assembly, brake booster and master cylinder.  In addition there is some shift linkage, parking brake cable and the steering shaft to separate prior to lifting the body off the frame.








 




 









After a few hours all the connections between the body and the frame have been removed



 

One of the locations a VIN is hidden is behind the heater box near the blower motor.  It can be useful to verify the VIN tag is original to the vehicle.



 





Now that the front and rear have been stripped I'm moving to the doors and interior to shed some weight.

Removing the doors will remove an incredible amount of weight.  There are six bolts on each side holding the hinges to the cowl.




 




POOF!  Just like that the doors are off.  Next the bench seat needs to be removed.






A whole lot of stuff accumulates over 47 years! Luckily no rodents or remnants of any were found.






Cleaned it all out and removed the old carpet.  Nothing reusable here!



That's really all that needs to be removed at this point.

There's a pile of parts and a full garbage can.

Time to take the body off! 





  Lots more to see... Next Page 2

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