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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody
new to the forum and new El Camino owner (temporary until i give it away).

I my self have always wanted an el camino among various other cars but it has never happened for me.

I have picked up a 1980 SS for my son and plan on giving it to him for his 18th birthday in October. No doubt he will be on this site shortly asking a million questions as it will also be his first car.

when deciding on his first vehicle it had to meet a few basic requirements. 1. be something cool 2. be able to haul his dirtbike to the track. I went back and fourth over trucks vs elky. my thought was a ranger would be a good first truck but lets face it a ranger is a ranger is a ranger. same with s10 trucks and dont get me started on fullsize trucks.

the car seems to be a somewhat taken care of example of a car. all orginal runs and drives fine. Interior is where the bulk of the work is needed. most of it is there, all of it needs to be replaced. it does appear to have been in a front end collision at one point but it drives stright and true.

Its killing me not to jump on it and start working on it now but the plan is to give him the keys and a whole bed full of parts, a basic tool kit and a repair manual. ill give him the once over tour of what does what on a car and let him figure the rest out.
 

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Hello everybody
new to the forum and new El Camino owner (temporary until i give it away).

I my self have always wanted an el camino among various other cars but it has never happened for me.

I have picked up a 1980 SS for my son and plan on giving it to him for his 18th birthday in October. No doubt he will be on this site shortly asking a million questions as it will also be his first car.

when deciding on his first vehicle it had to meet a few basic requirements. 1. be something cool 2. be able to haul his dirtbike to the track. I went back and fourth over trucks vs elky. my thought was a ranger would be a good first truck but lets face it a ranger is a ranger is a ranger. same with s10 trucks and dont get me started on fullsize trucks.

the car seems to be a somewhat taken care of example of a car. all orginal runs and drives fine. Interior is where the bulk of the work is needed. most of it is there, all of it needs to be replaced. it does appear to have been in a front end collision at one point but it drives stright and true.

Its killing me not to jump on it and start working on it now but the plan is to give him the keys and a whole bed full of parts, a basic tool kit and a repair manual. ill give him the once over tour of what does what on a car and let him figure the rest out.
Welcome! He should be in good hands on this site. I bought my '82 less than a year ago with much of the same questions your son will probably have and I would certainly be a good bit worse off without the advice from users on here.
 

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Hi tucaz520, welcome from Idaho. Glad you've joined us. That's a great gift for son and a cool project to work on together.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi tucaz520, welcome from Idaho. Glad you've joined us. That's a great gift for son and a cool project to work on together.
Ive got my own project hes gonna have to figure it out on his own lol..

that was another reason for the gbody elcamino. Im not gonna be worried about what he hacks up.

my first car was an 84 sunbird and as soon as my dad gave me the keys I
1. Drove it as fast as it would go.
2. Broke out the tools and starting taking stuff apart as far as i felt comfortable and then a little further
 

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It might be good to help him set the priorities.
Things like seatbelts and brakes go to the top of the list.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It might be good to help him set the priorities.
Things like seatbelts and brakes go to the top of the list.
seat belts dont retract and master cylinder leaks at the power booster so he will find replacement parts in the bed.

on brakes not sure if i want to go with the power stop upgrade kit with new calipers, pads and rotors or send him to a junk yard looking for S10 parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
for brake upgrade see this info

https://www.elcaminocentral.com/showthread.php?t=56701

for the seat belts most likely they need some Tensioner Release , Retractor like these located in the door jam

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/MLIAAOSw6w5dPir8/s-l1600.jpg
thanks for the info. lots of debate on brakes over there. one of those to much information things going on lol. I'm leaning toward the powerstop kit with new calipers and rotors. ill pay for that if he wants to chase s10 parts he can do that on his dime and time.

the original tensioner deals are there maybe they need to be cleaned since i dont see a source for new ones.
 

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Welcome from Nevada.

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Great choice for your son. A car and a truck.

And if he won't let you drive it, at least you can live it vicariously through his smiles as he drives by! :biggrin2:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I am still deciding on how I want to reveal the car to him.

there are a couple options

1 have it staged at a local auto museum and walk through the place. When we get to it strike up a conversation on how i think it would be a great car for him. Then just as we are about to walk of throw him the keys.

2 His birthday is 2 days before the Charlotte auto fair. Thinking about putting it in there and wrapping the whole thing up in paper and a big happy birthday sign. I wouldn't say anything just let him come across it naturally.
it would be really cool if i could get some vendors to go along with this and instead of all the parts in the bed have him go to each vendor and pick up the parts i bought him.

I have been sitting on this thing since April and its been killing me lol.

yes son i know eventually you will come across this post. I have been hiding your car from you since April now stop walking in my room and trying to see what im doing on my computer.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
woooo I can post pics now.
well there she is. Except for a little cancer along the drip rails her body is straight. The interior needs a complete redo but shes mechanically sound.
 

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I like the Charlotte auto fair idea. That's something he'll remember for a life time.

I did a treasure hunt for my daughter once for x-mas. She still talks about it 20 yrs later.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I like the Charlotte auto fair idea. That's something he'll remember for a life time.

I did a treasure hunt for my daughter once for x-mas. She still talks about it 20 yrs later.
Thats what I am going with. his actual birthday is the 15th so its gonna be about 2 days late but worth it. The other draw back, his car will be trapped lol.
but we will also be able to spend time at the fair looking for parts.
will be on the look out for a different seat but that will be his decision.
 

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If it's an SS, Id keep it as much original equipment as possible. It looks really nice in the pics! If he's going to haul a dirt bike in the bed, you might want to change the rear springs to the progressive type to handle the weight better. I'm going to buy mine from Summit; less than $100/pair.
 
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