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1) Hey fellas, so I found someone selling a 1979 V8 El Camino SS for $1500. Kinda beat up inside and out (minor rust and cosmetic problems), but apparently it runs fine. I saw the body/paint too; paint is kind of worn, body is fine (besides a few rust spots). Here is his description:


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1) yes clean title
2) a . Drives just fine,

b. Issues, Typical play in steering wheel for vehicle of that era

Rust holes in front, rear ,driver side, passenger side floor pan. ( I have replacement floor pan patch panels for the front as I just ordered them right before my wife got fed up with me messing with the car)

has 2-3 minor areas of rust on exterior body ( I typically cover with rust converting primer when I see them.)

( the front and rear window channels should be fine as I had the front re-welded due to rust damage a year or two ago, and the rear has been replaced ( year or two ago), but appears that the sealant has

come loose at the bottom, and will need to be re-sealed, but that should be rust free as well).

No AC, no installed radio( I have one of the era, just never re-installed it), weak defrost, power antenna is stuck up.

Dash connector is loose from age, so the dash lights are inconsistent, with the exception that the marker lights work perfectly as does the brake light.

The gas gauge is not currently working as a result ( the gauge is fine, it's the connector that is the issue).

Because of it being tuned for emissions ( not that it's needed any more due to age).. it does have light pinging, nothing to worry about.
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Their are three things I want in a car at this point in my life, and that's transporting music equipment, cheap, and lastly fun if I can have my cake and eat it too. Luckily old Camino's like this *seem* to satisfy all the criteria!

So what do you think? Is it worth it?

2) What's the difference between the SS and other versions? Anything different functionally, or just looks?

3) He mentioned rust holes in the floor pan. Is that bad? Guys, keep in mind I just want something that drives. I could care less about cosmetics, windows working, etc. What I *do* want is for it to drive and be street legal without me having to sink any more money into it.

Thanks so much guys!
 

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depends. will your car pass inspection with rust holes in it? I wouldn't touch it unless it is really worth saving and you have the skills for it.

there are other Elkies being sold here in a lot better shape for that kind of money.
 

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RUN away from this one, unless you are ready to do a resto, if the window channels were fixed, and the sealant is coming out, chances are they will be leaking again soon, and the floor rot is no easy task, I am doing one now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the quick advice guys. The guy picked me up so I could check it out, took it on the highways, drove fine. Some pinging if you really gun it. Turns out it was his project car, and while it still looks ****ty, he replaced a lot of things on the inside. Note that the motor was replaced with the correct motor, but the transmission is some newer transmission he says works better. I don't think there's that many miles on the tranny/engine, but honestly the shell itself is a crap shoot. The odometer apparently read 99k when he bought it, I'm trying to establish if it maxes out there or turns over. If it turns over automatically, then the shell probably has 199k. If it doesn't, then god knows how many miles. If it's something you reset by hand, then the car has at LEAST 199k, most likely, assuming that a person would still care about a car enough to turn it over at 99k.

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-turn signal switch ( goes inside the steering wheel)
-power steering pump ( remanufactured)
-Oh, the mechanical fuel pump too.
-the current car was a shell I had the engine and transmission,radiator put into. ( professionally I don't have that kind of equipment)
-I've replaced the front brake pads,
-the master cylinder,
-the alternator,
-front wheel bearing,
-shocks(front and back),
-water pump,
-distributor cap
-spark plug wires,
-Carburetor,
-had the front windsheidl channel re-welded to deal with rust,
-had the front and rear windows resealed ( even though the rear is coming loose again)
-replace the weather stripping on the passenger side and driver side doors ( the black squishy stuff the door seals against)
-replace the window felts ( the black stuff the window rubs against going up and down.
-replaced the door lock keys ( that sucked).
-replace the broken power bucket seats with full bench seats.
-re-sealed the bed with seam sealer and put in paint in bed liner to deal with water infiltration.
-put a fiberglass patch in under the inner rear passenger quarter panel ( you stand in the bed, you look at the rear window, on your right hand side is a small metal panel with a screw in it, you remove the screw and then you can see the
area where the fiberglass patch is.
-painted the top part of the car with 2 K epoxy to help save off rust.
-replaced the rubber fuel line that joins the gas tank to the existing the metal fuel line. ( previous was rotted away).
-Replaced the Heater core.
-replaced the hood release. .
-replaced the front right quarter panel.
-replaced the bulbs in the dash ( not my fault the dash connector is junky)
That's all I can think of right now.
"
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just want this car to be physically and legally driveable for 18 months, idc about cosmetics. Typical maintenance is fine (worn tires, worn brakes, even leaking oil is fine).

And the though of a muscle car project is kind of fun to me, as long as I don't have to overhaul an engine anytime soon that is out of my league :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh wait he doesn't know how many miles are on the engine, as well as the shell. The odometer just reads 99k and apparently that's the max. ****. Well, the tranny is still new.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Patty, thanks hagensen_78 :)

So the seller says the odometer does turn over. Which means the car has ?99,000 miles on it (I suppose it's a coincidence that the car is at 99k)
 

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in all honesty, run, run very far away and fast. Just from the sounds of it that car would be a bottomless pit you throw money into.


  • Some pinging? Pinging is BAD - always - pinging should never be tossed off as "nothing to worry about"
  • Replaced with correct motor? is that what he said? when was it replaced? receipts?
  • Tip: if a seller tells you the motor and tranny has been rebuilt within the last 30,000 miles, even money its a lie. In any case if he claims either is rebuilt and cant produce a receipt, then you are wise to assume its a lie.
  • replaced right front quarter? why? accident? frame damage?
  • some newer transmission he says works better? are those his words?
  • fiberglass patch? how big? sounds like a bondo mobile.
So what do you think? Is it worth it? -
Without pictures its difficult to say, my response is no Not worth it, at least $750 overpriced

2) What's the difference between the SS and other versions? Anything different functionally, or just looks?
in 78 - pretty much just looks, SS packages ceased being a performance package and became appearance packages in the early/mid 70's

3) He mentioned rust holes in the floor pan. Is that bad? Guys, keep in mind I just want something that drives. I could care less about cosmetics, windows working, etc. What I *do* want is for it to drive and be street legal without me having to sink any more money into it.
My prediction will be that this car will cost you money within a month.


Run Forrest Run....seriously....
 

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Rust is a bugger....floor pans are the easy part ..check the frame and the trailing arms at the rear end ....i bet they are ready to come loose from the frame ..... i wouldn't do it not safe ..... i've seen rust free az cars that need a little work for just a little more than that
 

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Strange, someone deleted my list of other, seemingly better options for this guy to look at in the Seattle area... well whatever. To the OP, there are better options out there, keep looking, and since I can't post links to Craigslist apparenlty :dontknow: go look there to start.
 
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