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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for "my last El Camino" and found a possible candidate but . . . there's a couple issues know nothing about and thus can't diagnose the problem. The seller tells me the car (an 86 Conquista) has a 700r4 - 4speed auto trans. He also tells me that the converter leaks when the car sits for a few days but when he starts it up and lets it run a minute or two that it will drive and shift just fine. His mechanic says he replaced "a valve" and it didn't fix it. Could it have been a modulator valve? The other issue is that the column shift lever does not "pop into" park. Could this be linkage or a return spring in the column? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I don't know anything about transmission work and even with this little bit of info trying to determine if these conditions might mean major problems or easy fixes.. Thanks a million..
 

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1966 El Camino
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Convertors are a welded, assembly, if it leaks anywhere other than the seal at the transmission pump it is garbage and has to be replaced. If its the seal, the transmission pretty much has to be removed to fix it and of course the same is pretty much true with the convertor. Though I am sure there are those who have managed to replace one without dropping the trans from teh car I assure you thats no fun (unless you have a lift) even then its not fun but its a lot easier.

700r4's do not have a modulator valve, they do have a large servo that accessed from the outside as well as a governor. My big question would be if the owner "starts it up and lets it run a minute or two that it will drive and shift just fine " how does it drive if he doesn't let it run.

The 700r4 is also notoriously sensitive to the TV cable adjustment, get that adjustment wrong and you have a doorstop in a matter of miles.

Best thing I could advise is to obviously look at the car, drive the car (and not just around the block) if you have a mechanic you trust, take it to his shop and have him inspect it.

Best of luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your insights. I had a feeling that most any ailment with a trans would mean major work. And - that's the bad thing about hunting for a car over long distances. I haven't driven it, don't live in the area (1200 miles away) and wouldn't have a trustworthy mechanic to rely on.. It's a really clean Arizona car but I guess I'll just move on to the next one I find. Thanks again for your input. Ralph
 

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1964 camino, 350 Vortec, 700r4
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Looking for "my last El Camino" and found a possible candidate but . . . there's a couple issues know nothing about and thus can't diagnose the problem. The seller tells me the car (an 86 Conquista) has a 700r4 - 4speed auto trans. He also tells me that the converter leaks when the car sits for a few days but when he starts it up and lets it run a minute or two that it will drive and shift just fine. His mechanic says he replaced "a valve" and it didn't fix it. Could it have been a modulator valve? The other issue is that the column shift lever does not "pop into" park. Could this be linkage or a return spring in the column? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I don't know anything about transmission work and even with this little bit of info trying to determine if these conditions might mean major problems or easy fixes.. Thanks a million..
The guy isn’t lying to you at least. My 700r4 did the same thing and it was brand new. If it sat for more than a week on an incline, the torque converter would drain onto the ground. Neighbors car did the same thing. Not sure why it happens. I just start my car once a week and problem solved.
But, I’ve since blown that tranny up by not connecting the TV cable and got it rebuilt. Doesn’t leak anymore, still don’t know why it did it. Long as your TV cable is correct (easy to do with the internet), then it should be fine for a long time.
Shift linkages get sloppy. Just go under the car and wiggle it around. I’m sure you’ll find lots of play which is easy to fix, either by ordering a new bushing kit, or just stacking washers everywhere until it’s tighter. The column shifter itself just freely sits there. It’s the transmission bracket and linkages that holds the actual shifter where it’s at. If you disconnect the linkage from the transmission, the shifter just falls. Everything you’re feeling when the shifter moves is the tranny itself changing gears.
 

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Regarding the leaky convertor - a new convertor seal and possibly pump bushing may fix this. The detent issue may be the shifter spring on the side of the transmission and/or the detent inside the transmission. Depending on how many miles are on the transmission, if you are going to pull it for the convertor seal and pump bushing you might as well freshen it up with a rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Vdv8 and chris32 - Thank you for your input. Your comments gives me insights into what would be involved in repairing this car. What complicates the situation is that I'm 1200 miles away and can't drive the car or crawl under it to find out more about what ails it. Regardless, if I were to buy it it would probably take pulling the engine and trans to do the job right; and I'm not sure I'm ready to go that far with my urge to buy the car. Logistics and all . . . Thanks again for your input. I really appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good luck ETx86 at whatever you decide.Keep us posted bud!
Thanks ELKYBILL. Deciding against the purchase. Car is 1200 miles away, no known knowledgeable mechanic in that area, I'd rather have the work done close to where I live which would also involve shipping costs. At the moment it just doesn't seem logistically, or practically feasible. I'll probably pass this one up. Thanks again.
 
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