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Old 01-25-2013, 10:53 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infamoussmiley View Post
by swapping out the tranny to a 4 or 5 speed, does that improve gas efficiency?

Smiley
It can if your gear ratios are a proper match and you drive with efficiency in mind. Also, reduce rotating mass. Lighter driveshaft, lighter wheels, swap out the drum brakes for discs, so on and so on

To put it into perspective, I'll use my tercel as an example. with my 1.5 liter shoebox engine and a stock 4 speed manual, I can get 35mpg on the interstate if I pay attention to what I'm doing. But, by using a direct swap paseo transmission, I can bump it up to 40 no problem if I drive with efficiency in mind.

Now compound that with everything else I've done (aerodynamic and weight reduction mods) I could push 50 no problem and still have a peppy little car that's actually fun to drive and doesnt look like a gutted death trap.

When it's all said and done, I will have spent less than $3k (including cost of car) for ~50mpg by doing alot of the labor myself.

Honestly, check out ecomodder.com. You wouldn't be the first on that site to want better mpg from a bigger car.

Edit: you wont get 50mpg out of an el camino without spending STUPID amounts of money, but you can definitely do better than 10-15mpg

Last edited by Melvin; 01-25-2013 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:08 PM   #32 (permalink)
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A fuel injected small block v8 with a 5 spd. or overdrive auto and tall gear rear end wont be horrendous on gas. I have a s10 with a 305, 5 spd. and 3.23 rear. it isn't too bad.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:02 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Reality Compromised View Post
A fuel injected small block v8 with a 5 spd. or overdrive auto and tall gear rear end wont be horrendous on gas. I have a s10 with a 305, 5 spd. and 3.23 rear. it isn't too bad.
Only if it can efficiently move an el camino. A fuel injected 350, while larger, wouldn't have to work as hard to move the 3400 pounds of chevy goodness and that translates into better mpg. If you were to go with a 305, look into weight reduction, especially in the rotating mass.

The best way to get good gas mileage out of a V8 of ANY kind is to install it in a T-bucket where the only real weight IS the engine.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:47 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I only have the 305 because it was in the truck when I bought it. Once it goes a 350 will replace it. What year el camino at 3400lbs? My s10 is at a bit over 3000 right now. No weight reduction done yet. Iron block, heads and exhaust manifolds.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:54 PM   #35 (permalink)
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If the op is in California, forgo building a traditional small block and find a 5.2L LS series engine. If Hot Rod magazine is of any indication of how plentiful and cheap they are, you're looking at $1200 tops for the engine, computer, and harness. If I'm not mistaken, the engine doesn't require but one fuel line, and hp fuel pumps are made to drop in. If you do decide to try an automatic, do not chuck the manual trans parts; they are worth gold to G body owners looking to swap in a manual.

The front ends of all G bodies should fit your front end. The core supports do not differ, the fender to door jambs would be the biggest concern. A popular swap is the 86-87 Monte Carlo SS front ends. There are also kits to insert late 80's, early 90's Chevy full size truck taillights into the bed's corners, forgoing the bumper mounted taillights.

There are many companies making front and rear end suspension parts to make that trucklette handle like it was on rails. Hotchkis, Global Suspension, and Spohn just to name a few. A very popular front end brake conversion is using late model S10 Blazer floating calipers. The parts could be sourced at the junkyard; but I'd opt for new bearings and obviously discs and pads. Those breaks make a huge difference in stopping power for the heavy Blazer, and is a goto swap for S10's and G bodies.

All S10 and S10Blazers share the front end parts with the G bodies.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:27 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Reality Compromised View Post
What year el camino at 3400lbs?
i googled the phrase "how much does an '81 el camino weigh" first result was from a site called "elcaminocentral.com" with this: "my 81 weighs in at 3480lbs 1/4 tank of fuel without me or the nos bottle in it.''
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:14 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infamoussmiley View Post
The Muncie trannys... Where would I look for one in a junk yard?

smiley
In old GM's, mostly. Sadly, they are really popular, so unless you have the Mecca of junkyards near you, probably not going to find one. Still, definitely worth a try, as they're running close to $2K online (here's one). Or there's a guy making new ones that he claims have even more bulletproof gears and is lighter due to some aluminum parts, all for $2,650. I find that last interesting, that there's someone out there making new, improved Rockcrushers, not just refurbing old ones.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:42 PM   #38 (permalink)
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The front is like a car
The back is like a truck
The front is where you drive
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A cheerleader in college taught me that rhyme.
I only wished I owned an El Camino at the time.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:45 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LUKE View Post
The front is like a car
The back is like a truck
The front is where you drive
The back is where you f *ahem*


A cheerleader in college taught me that rhyme.
I only wished I owned an El Camino at the time.

Ha! The mullet of automobiles!
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:06 AM   #40 (permalink)
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My non-expert (rather, an enthusiast) opinion:

My friend owns an Elkie. He drives the tires off of it (and not just in a straight line, either). In fact, this is him and his poop colored truck. Indeed, the Elkie gets a big thumbs-up from myself.
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