1974 el camino 454 big block

I just purchased a 1974 el camino ss with a factory 454 big block engine … what a find at $3500 i haven’t seen it and bought it sight unseen on ebay this morning so ill post pics when i finally make shipping arrangements. i will welcome all advice in building this car into a wood powered fun car! I can’t wait for this build its going to be awesome! ill need some sizing info for the massive 454 engine. if this thing isn’t over powered i don’t know what is. :smiley:


The chart calls for a big big tube. The problem is tar with the larger gasifiers. You will make tar at low rpms because you need the restriction so large to make enough gas for that engine. Ordinary gasifiers don’t have the turn down ratio to deal with what you want to do. You will also suck oxygen right through the grate to the bottom of the gasifier.

still waiting on the elky to arrive … ill post pics as soon at its here :smiley:

John, What state is it coming from ?? They are all pretty much rotted and gone here. I sold my 79 malibu to a fella with the same year el camino. Most all of the parts were interchangeable. The steering box rotted right off the frame. I cobbled that back together for a while but eventually the camshaft problem happened so I sent it away. I replaced the metric transmission with a 350. I’d assume yours will have a turbo 400 ?? Consider a trailer for it rather than hacking it up simply because of it’s collector value. Mike L

The bed is the body too, right ? There are photos of gassed out El Caminos in Vesa’s book, I think I saw a couple on the web too in case you have not seen any pictures of one with tanks, etc (BIG stainless ones…)

I will be following your progress on the new build because my project car has about the same size motor. Are you planning to use the same dimensions that Mr.Keith used for his v10 ?

heres some pics of the elky … still waiting on it … ill see it in a couple weeks most likely … can’t wait to see it! I’m actually thinking on using two fire tubes it it to get away from the high tar content of one big tube and I’m thinking it will supply enough gas at 3000 rpms … I’m not sure about this one but I’m building it in my head… has anyone made one that can use cordwood size firewood? whay wouldn’t that work? just curious.

I have owned several el’s over the years and the first thing I always looked for was to see if the frame over the left rear tire was rusted out. It is common enough that there is a commerical fix made just for that problem. With all that power, good luck trying to keep your rear end behind ya. My 396 SS always lost contact with the road…lol. Good lookin ride Have fun with it.


How much time and money would you save if you only had to build and operate one gasifier? I can’t imagine driving and tuning two gasifiers. Large gasifiers for large engines are being built and shown in the builders discussion area right now. One for a V10 Dodge and one for a large Ford dually truck.

Hi woody! no i was thinking one gasifier with two smaller tubes in it kind of an oval shape and then the restriction would have two openings instead of one … both tubes in the 4" range … most likely it will be a bridging nightmare but i was just thinking to avoid the tar content at idle… but i wasn’t worried about this since wayne is using a v-10 and figured it was possible. an earlier post in this thread got me thinking of the tar. ill check out the page you suggested thanks!

ps this build is going to take a while since i don’t have any free time now :frowning: you all may have noticed my lack of input all of a sudden…


Wayne shows a video with the V10 truck idling for about 20 minutes with no tar. His gasifier is different than anything you will see in the books any where in the world, that’s why it produces higher hydrogen content and does not make tar at idle, even for a 454. You can save your self a million in headaches for fifty bucks for the book and the support. Two hearths will never produce the gas you need for that engine I am confident in that. Once you log on to the builders site you will see what I am talking about.

isn’t the book not done yet?? if it is yes of course i want a copy … i thought it was at least a year out of being printed.

John, send an email to Chris and he will hook you up to the premium side of this site. You can log on now and see the videos of the builds by Wayne and pictures by others. All the info is already there to get started and you will get all the support you need during the build. The book will make a nice shelf piece on a book shelf some where. Part of the premium sign up deal is a pledge not to reveal Wayne’s design on this part of the web site. All building details remain in the premium side. Don’t worry, you haven’t missed a whole lot yet and since you already have on unit under your belt, this build will go easy for you.

oh ok i was wondering where you were speaking of since i couldn’t find any specific information … thanks ill send chris a note .


I’ll be getting some time to start working on the elky soon :smiley: