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Greetings all! Glad I found this forum, because boy-oh-boy do I have questions...

Long story made somewhat short: My Grandpa died in 2003 (at just 63) and owned a 1982 El Camino (Conquista). It was his baby, and I had all sorts of great childhood memories with it. In any case, my Grandma refused to move it since he passed, wouldn't even let me do basic maintenance on it. So it say in a garage for 16 years until Grandma recently moved, where she finally let me take it home. A few months prior to that, my brother tried to jump it to get it going, and after many hours of electrical tinkering, I found out via a super smart and capable buddy of mine, the fusable link had melted. Same buddy is a wizard and got it fixed and buttoned back up. Now it at least runs with a key (we hot wired it to get it home originally).

But, after 16 years, I know there's a laundry list of things to do and check. That's what I'm looking for help on, if I can beg of your assistance. Here's my list so far:

1. Change oil
2. Change coolant
3. Change tires (talk about flat spots!)
4. Change brake fluid
5. Change radiator cap
6-100...

I'm not a big four-wheel vehicle guy (I only own motorcycles) so I'm really in a haze on this big engine stuff. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I did find great records for this, thanks to my Grandmother's fantastic hoarding of receipts over her life :) It was purchased 10/1986 for $5,611 with 65,644- miles on it.
 

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Hi Grandpas82, welcome from Idaho. Glad you've joined us. That's cool to continue the family tradition with the 82. Enjoy your 82 and the forum.
 

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You most likely need a new fuel tank and sending unit. You at least need to pull the one on it down and see if there is rust in the tank. if so buy a new one with the sending unit. then clean out those fuel line and rebuild the carb or buy a remanufactured one.
 

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as long as the go pedal and the stop pedal work id drive it around town nice and easy, she will tell you what she needs, and as you two begin to trust each other more and more you can start driving her harder. once you get her nice and solid you better take grandma out for a date in it.
 

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After sitting for 16 years the rear wheel cylinders are going to fail if not already. Pull the rear drums and pull the boots back and see what they look like and/or how much fluid drains out. Should be none and shouldn't have a bunch of white chalky stuff all caked up inside the boot.
Water pump WILL start leaking after very little use.
Master cylinder is a must change.
THINK SAFETY FIRST! STEERING AND BRAKES.
 

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Belts and hoses.

Might take a good look at front brake hoses and rear one also.
 

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well, the easiest way to decide is:
-fix stuff while you drive it daily?
-or, park it and fix a lot of stuff?

one thing I don't see mention of is where you live? in the Rust belt or the dry belt? no emissions control country or California? what you fix and how you fix it will make a huge difference in your approach.

And although you said you drove it home, I don't see any mention of tranny fluid. There are a NUMBER of things that need to be gone through before driving it around. If you haven't had a qualified mechanic inspect it, that may be first on your list. You'll likely have lots of dried out rubber seals, maybe even rotor bearings, requiring lots of fresh new grease. Assume than any system containing fluids will require new seals and moving mechanical parts. What about the a/c?

Whenever I buy a vehicle I always assume the previous owner didn't do regular maintenance. This may have been grandpas82 but, geez, 16 yrs in the garage without being touched (just saying....)!

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Belts and hoses.

Might take a good look at front brake hoses and rear one also.
Would you mind pointing me in the right direction for what belts I will need? Newer cars are easy with the one big seprentine belt and all, but I see under this hood there are several, and AutoZone's website isn't real helpful with telling me which goes where or which one does what.

Thanks!~
 

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Take the old belts off and take them to the parts house and have them match them is one way. Take a picture before removing to make it easier to put back.
 

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Take the old belts off and take them to the parts house and have them match them is one way. Take a picture before removing to make it easier to put back.
I live out in the sticks and the closest Napa is quite the drive, and about the size of an ice cream stand. I'm an Amazon/AutoZone/RockAuto shopper as a result :new_xmas:
 

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Welcome from Ohio. I, too, had an '82 for a daily driver for more than 8 years. One thing I found out to do to learn more about how to work on the truck was to get the GM factory manuals. The parts manual and the shop manual. This is an extra expense but since you are getting into this truck mechanically the manuals will tell and show you much. I personally always changed out all of the belts, hoses, fluids, filters, repacked bearings, checked the brake system, complete tune-up, never had to change out the fuel tank but did drain out the fuel and refilled then added dry gas/carb cleaner. It is a definite must to change out the fuel filter and recheck for dirt after first running the motor then recheck again after a 100 miles if no problems with the fuel. I have owned 4 El Caminos so far and everyone of them has had the brake line under the driver's seat rust thru. So be sure to check out all of the brake lines for leaks. I'm sure that more fellow El Camino owners here will add more, but this is a good start. Good Luck and enjoy.
 

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I would start with the easy stuff and cheap stuff, as you are doing these repairs you will likely find other things that need attention. obviously brakes are a good place to start and yes anything rubber belts and hoses would be a good idea to replace before they break and leave you stranded. changing all the fluids would also be a good idea. welcome to the side and ENJOY driving the elco as often as you can
 
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