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(part 3)

by Jeff Burk


When we last visited that merry band of miscreants that editor Jeff Burk had conned into working on Team DRO's '67 El Camino they had just finished the installation of the nitrous oxide kit that Burk somehow scammed out of the unsuspecting folks at Holley's NOS company. That was several months ago and although the '67 El Camino is 95% ready to drive it still isn't finished or ready for the track. Part of the problem for the delay can be blamed on excessive testing of the NOS purge system which caused several key members of the crew be placed in rehab for a couple of months. But everyone is much better now and the Camino gets worked almost daily as part of the team's work-release agreement worked out by the editor and the authorities. We continue…

While installing the headers and QA1 shocks, the team had the Camino up on a lift. While on the lift we inspected the drive train to see what, if anything, needed replacing. Amazingly the 30+ year old springs, ball joints, and universal joints all appear to be in excellent condition. One of the things we wanted to know was what the rear gear ratio was approximately and what type of rearend. Using the tried and true chalk-mark on the driveshaft and rearend housing method we determined that the gear ratio was somewhere between 2.50 to 1 and 3.00 to 1. We also discovered that the El Camino had a posi-traction rearend and, according to one of the crew who may have still been suffering from the side effects of the nitrous purge testing, it was a 12 bolt rear.

Armed with what we thought was good information the merry band adjourned to nearby O'Connell's Irish Pub to discuss the possibility of putting more gear and a bigger nitrous system in the El Camino, over a couple of jars of barley malt and Irish whisky. We came to the conclusion sometime that evening that a set of 3.73 gears was called for, which would also allow a larger jet in the nitrous system. We also came to the conclusion that, even though we would stick to treaded tires, a drive shaft loop was called for.

Once again I was given the only job I so far have proved that I can do: dial the phone and plead for free parts. And once again I found a couple of willing victims in Rick Moroso and Strange Engineering's John Mazzarella. After I promised to destroy the incriminating evidence, Mazz agreed to provide a set of 3:73 Pro Street gears from U.S. Gear and Rick allowed us to order a few parts from the Moroso catalog.

When the gears arrived at the second story offices of DRO, located high atop the Phlegm Building in beautiful downtown O'Fallon, Missouri, I immediately informed the staff that sidekick Chris Martin and I had to drive over to Bill Weckmann's Granite City, Illinois garage to work on the El Camino. As we departed the office one of the staffers was heard to mutter "If we need you, we'll call O'Connell's." Oh ye of little faith!

Upon arriving at the garage I handed the gears over to Weckmann and he disappeared into the back where the Camino was on jacks. He came back in too short of a time and uttered the words we all hate, "Well, I got your good news and your bad news. The good news is the gears are a perfect fit for a 12-bolt posi. The bad news is that obviously none of you guys can count because that El Camino has a 10-bolt posi. You guys weren't counting the number of bolts in the rear-end when we were testing the purge valve on the nitrous were you?" he asked.

Martin, myself and the rest of the group retired to O'Connell's to rehearse our alibi and salve our wounds.

While waiting for the replacement gears to arrive we've made some progress on getting the El Camino street and strip worthy. Since we are going to use NOS nitrous and have an MSD HEI distributor and MSD plug wires on the engine, we decided it would be best to replace the 1967 vintage generator and regulator to give the ignition a chance to work. We also installed a Moroso air cleaner assembly. We did have to replace the 2.5 inch thick stock air filter with a 1.5 inch replacement because the medium riser intake combined with the nitrous plate raised the carb up enough to prevent the hood from closing without the shorter filter.




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