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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, I love these vehicles. that said, i dont have much of an idea. i just found a 78 that is great shape exterior and interior as well that im gonna go check out tomorrow evening. the asking price is 5K, it has a rolled over odometer at 68k and the main problem is the front end work is in dire repair. the tie rods as well as the ball joints need replaced. im not mechanically sound or have the space/tools to do it but im totally willing to take it to a shop to do it for 1kish more or less. like I said, I haven't seen it in person but the prices I've seen, seem like this is a good price. id appreciate any thoughts.
 

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welcome
there is a few rust prone areas to check
the bottom of the back window, the floors, check the frame mostly the back half, bottom of doors
 
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Hi Jimy camino, welcome from Idaho. Glad you've joined us.
welcome
the is a few rust prone areas to check
the bottom of the back window, the floors, check the frame mostly the back half, bottom of doors
X2 to check those areas for rust.
 

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Welcome from a member from Wesley Chapel, FL. Our El Camino members are always willing to share their experience’s with most everything you will want to do to your pride and joy. Hopefully you will get to meet others in your area who share the love of El Camino. We hope that at some point you will come out to one of your regions “get togethers” and meet like minded Camino fans. Good to see what others have done to their ride whether it is a work in progress , show car or a daily driver. We welcome all.
 

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Director Region 6 (FL) - 2017 Founders' Award Reci
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Jimy , Welcome and good luck finding your 78 . I realize most people do not do it but I would suggest paying a nearby place to put it up on a lift so that the underside can be checked out easily and if there is a mechanic there , pay them a few $ and have them go through it with you . Only takes a few minutes . We have all bought vehicles without doing this and I have questionably even bought some vehicles sight unseen . Doing this will give you a clear picture of what needs to be done and save you in the long run . Example , are the front parts just in need of replacement from age/ mileage or from an accident Sounds like a Camino that is worth looking at and wish you good luck with itt . . .
 

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Hello Jimy, welcome to ECC from Seattle, Wa., I have both a '78 and a '79.
My '78 (GMC Caballero) has well over 200k miles on it. I did upper/lower control arm bushings, ball joints, tie rods, and center link about 3 yrs ago. I don't remember how much money I spent, but it seems less than $400, it is hard to tell because I also added new springs, shocks, and sway bar due to swapping from a small v6 engine to a heavier v8 engine. I did all of the disassembly/reassembly myself, and paid $240 for a local shop to press the old/new bushings out/in.
I'm guessing that you are probably somewhere in the ballpark for a 1k-ish parts/labor shop estimate for the work you described.
Good luck, I hope that the '78 you are looking at will be to your approval.
 

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I'd agree with 5spdCab that you're in the right ballpark for getting the work done. but for $5k with all that work needing to be done it better be pretty immaculate. I'd say drop a $1000 right off the bat. pics would help
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replys so far.

Jimy , Welcome and good luck finding your 78 . I realize most people do not do it but I would suggest paying a nearby place to put it up on a lift so that the underside can be checked out easily and if there is a mechanic there , pay them a few $ and have them go through it with you . Only takes a few minutes .
Originally that's what I had planned on but after messaging the owner he says the tie rods need to be fixed before driving so unfortunately I think I'm just gonna have to get on my hands and knees and see what I can see.

I'd agree with 5spdCab that you're in the right ballpark for getting the work done. but for $5k with all that work needing to be done it better be pretty immaculate. I'd say drop a $1000 right off the bat. pics would help
At least from what I've seen since I've started looking, I generally see Caminos in worse shape going for $8-10k. that could just be my locality or when I've looked but if I can get away with spending around 7k for something that is road worthy I think thats a good deal? heres the craiglist ad so you can see the pictures: 1978 CHEVY ELCAMINO - cars & trucks - by owner - vehicle automotive... there is some definite marring on the tailgate, not sure what is up as the owner didnt post a full tailgate picture so I'll have to see it in person but other than that it appears to be pretty well kept.
 

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looks like a base model v8. after market stereo, changed the crank windows to electric, vinyl bench seat, paint is kind of flat with nose chips. I also see another elkie in the back in pic #4 with a cowl hood in that apartment complex. so who knows if he stole parts from this one for that one.
looks straight which is good but that paint in the bed is really beat up. check for rust by pulling into an oil change place with an underground pit that's not busy. slip the guys $10 for their time.

pricing is a personal thing. I got mine for several thousand less as did some other members here. I can't speak for prices in the Pacific Northwest but I'd say my pricing view puts it at no more than $4k, especially with all the work you have to do. and if it has rust? walk away
 

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I'd pass as well unless you can get it for far, far less $$$! Your talking 1K. in front end work? add the interior, paint, rust issues (because they are there) :eek: Tires most likely and the list goes on! Ad the money you will have to spend on it to buy something in a lot better condition! They are out there! The rusty looking bed suggests to me a quicky re-paint somewhere along the way. This one needs just about everything done to it. I would run away from this one and consider yourself lucky! IMHO! ;):cool:
 

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If I were in the maket right now I’d buy the ‘87 Choo Choo with the Tuned Port swap that a member has listed currently. $13.5k and needs nothing buy a happy butt in the seat.
Patrick
 

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