78 chevrolet been sitting 4 years

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  #1  
Old 08-25-06, 02:38 PM
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78 chevrolet been sitting 4 years

My wifes dad is giving my step son a 1978 Chevrolet Caprice classic The car has been outside and was last driven 4 years ago.
Besides the basic stuff like draining a full tank of gas and oil change and charging the battery and just trying to get it to turn over with starting fluid what else should I look forward to?
Do you think that maybe the seals have all dried out and it will leak like a faucet?
I have looked it over and the coolant looks good no signs of mice eating wires tires are ok (new) 4 years ago.
Think a transmission flush is in order after it gets started?
I have never brought a old car back from the grave but since it is old school I figure it should be pretty easy.It has a 305 engine.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-25-06, 03:14 PM
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Belts and hoses, plugs & wires, cap & rotor. Be prepared for leaks - oil & coolant. Brake fluid flush probably a good idea. Probably get some more suggestions shortly. Don't be surprised if you have to open up the carburetor for some heavy-duty cleaning.
 
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Old 08-25-06, 03:38 PM
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Talking Ok

OK thats a good idea brake flush not lookin fwd about the carb work will try it with just external spray shot down the throat and maybe the fresh gas will clean it if I get lucky.Good tips thanks.
 
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Old 08-25-06, 04:53 PM
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if the engine hasnt been ran for 4 years might be a good idea to pull the plugs and spray some oil in each cylinder and crank it over with the plugs out then install plugs and attempt to start the engine.
it could be in need of alot of work besides fluids and possible leaks brake components probably are not much count from setting around for 4 years could have sticking calipers problems or wheel cylinders that are leaking along with rear brake hardware that could be needing replaced.
would probably get it running first before you put to much money into it then you may have a better idea of what all it will need.
 
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Old 08-25-06, 07:24 PM
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If the auto has over 75000 miles and you don't know the history of the transmission service DO NOT flush the transmission without having it checked by a reputable transmission place. If you do you will be lucky if it lasts 60 days. Have a nice day. Geo
 
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Old 08-25-06, 08:43 PM
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Hello, Wife here
Just thought I'd add what I can about the car.
I do know that dad kept the car up before it was setup. I know of a great transmission guy so if it's needed I can take it there, we have a great auto mechanic that can look it over before deciding if it's worth soaking money into. All of your tips and guidance are great thank you for your help. I wouldn't drive the car without replacing the tire's, I'm sure they are dry rotted.
One of my concerns is cost and older cars are hard to come by. My son needs a good running car one that is not going to cost an arm and a leg when repairs are needed, like the newer cars. This one does have the fuel filter in the tank and we just replaced one in our 2000 Taraus so I know the cost. The body is good, needs a paint job is all, plastic is cracked and broken off around the bumpers. I haven't checked the inside so I can't tell you anything about it till I look inside.
Being this is a free car how much would it be worth getting it ready for the road?
Cause I was thinking of buying him a car anyway for 2000.00 there about knowing I might have to have a little work done anyway so add on another 500.00 or so.

Barb
 
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Old 08-25-06, 10:22 PM
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do you know the mileage on the vehicle and why was it parked to begin with usually a vehicle in decent mechanical shape would of been sold or still being used.
most parts should be readily available and probably inexpensive for the car as long as nothing major like the engine needing rebuilt or transmission needing replaced it might be worth fixing however it is not going to get very good gas mileage and if its high mileage probably will be in need of some major repairs in the near future you add to that body work or painting the vehicle it might be cheaper to buy another used vehicle.
while it has a sock in the gas tank that some what screens the fuel of any large particles that may be floating around the gas tank the fuel filter is in the carburater normally the sock doesnt ever need to be replaced.
 
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Old 08-26-06, 04:15 AM
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just sitting that long there is so much that would normally be lubricated that wasnt and as a result rusted /corroded. seals and other rubber parts that again depend on lubrication will have dried and cracked.

it might make a good hobby car for someone who didnt mind sitting by the side of the road waiting for tow guy but it would take a lot to get it dependable in my opion .

best would be to sell it ,add the proceeds to the 2.5k you where planning to spend and get something known

(BTW how come your spending 2500 to buy your son a car ? if he needs one why isnt he buying it ? thats the way its done around here )
 
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Old 08-26-06, 02:05 PM
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My dad has three cars and it got to the point were he couldn't keep up with insurance and up keep of all three cars.
The car was in great running condition when he parked it.
I looked at the sticker tag and it was in 2002 when he last drove it, what month I don't know.
My dad was ill for a year and a half so I know that it hasn't been started for at least that long.
Guess we'll just have to take a look at it and go from there if it's worth fixing at all.
 
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Old 08-26-06, 03:12 PM
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While there can be multiple problems arise from a vehichle setting unused for a long time, it shouldn't cost that much to check it out and see if and how it will run. While a larger car might not be as economical to operate, they were built simpler and stouter. And the kid can brag and say 'ya, it used to be my grampa's car'

I have an old ford flathead that I parked 12 yrs ago because it had some problems I didn't have the time to deal with, never meant to park it for 12 yrs [time flies] but recently started it up and moved it into the shop. I know it needs a lot of work but I was pleasantly suprised at how easy it was to get it running - and it still sounds good
 
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Old 08-26-06, 03:41 PM
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a lot of things will seem fine at first but fail as time goes on .

get a good towing plan if you go ahead with it ...
 
  #12  
Old 08-26-06, 07:37 PM
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The seals are no problem (of course a 78, they were prolly leaking to begin with) I've seen perfectly good cars set out to rot.....


REPLACE THE BATTERY, get a few bucks back for the old one and put it towards a new one....
I'd flush the cooling system, just have a trans pan drop (fluid/filter change)
Course change the oil..... and a little spray lube down the cylinders wouldn't hurt....
Get the tires replaced also..... and have the chassis greased. 78? more then likely has a carb... you will probablly be looking at getting that rebuilt. Replace any bad looking hoses you see.
 
  #13  
Old 08-27-06, 08:50 AM
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Buy him a newer car, 1978 is just too old, period.
 
  #14  
Old 08-27-06, 10:55 AM
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For 1500 to 2000 you can buy a 10 year old old mans car such as a Buick or Mercury that has very little mileage and has probably had at least minimal maintanence. Put another 500 in belts hoses, fluids and you'll wind up way ahead. Afraid that a 78 Chevy that needs all that work will become a money pit and the newer cars get much better gas mileage.
 
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Old 08-27-06, 01:45 PM
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With the car being older than the driver, Put some money into a newer vehicle. The Caprice Classic was a gas hog and is a big boat to float in today's traffic. It will probably never attain true classic status as many were built. It's a bad bet as a restoration, and a good bet to be sitting on the side of the road, with the hood up.
 
  #16  
Old 08-27-06, 03:26 PM
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thanks people

Mike here again I promise you that I am not going to spend a lot of money or time on the old 78 I know that it is no collectable or probbably never will be.
Plan is drain old gas put about 5 gallons of fresh gas in squirt some oil in to cylinders,remove fuel line at carb crank engine till good fuel comes out,reconnect fuel line squirt some starter fluid down throat and hope it fires up.
I will go from there.
 
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