The Ultimate Classic Camaro Buyers Check List
This is a guide to help you find the perfect camaro.
Over the years I have loved the Chevrolet camaro, it’s not quite like any other car ever built, my first muscle cars was a 1969 Z/28 camaro and I loved that car, I hope to help some one else find their perfect muscle car by writing this article.
In this article I will discuss some of the things that you should look at when you go to buy a classic camaro, we’ll start off by checking the numbers on the car, and look at body, mechanical, electrical, and every other system that I can think of that will help you in the right car.
Let’s dive in to this head first if your looking to restore the car, you should never fail to decode that numbers on the car, you’ll have vin codes, RPO codes, casting numbers, and all of these numbers need to match up just right, unless you don’t care about authenticity.
The Numbers To Decode:
1.The Vin Tag
2.The RPO Code
3.The Casting Numbers
4.Engine Date Codes
Next we’ll move on to the body work on the car, you obviously want to get a car that is in the best shape possible for the amount of money that you have to spend, this is where you’ll begin to need the patience, this could take a while, you may have to look at a lot of cars.
Well do a general inspection of the outside of the car first, during this inspection you’ll bee looking for the tell tail signs of rust, and bad body repair work, these things should not be that difficult to see, you’ll be looking for bubbles in the paint, wavy body work, or cracking plastic filler.
1.Gaps should not be wider then 1/16 â€“ 1/8 inch.
2.Misaligned panels indicate that the car has been wrecked.
3.Check the hood to fender alignment.
4.Check the hood to header panel alignment.
5.Check the hood to cowl panel alignment.
6.Check the fender to door gap & alignment.
7.Check the door to quarter panel gap & alignment.
8.Check the deck lid rear & side gaps for alignment.
1.Check the body of the car for wavy body work.
2.Check for cracking plastic filler.
3.Check for bubble in the paint work.
4.Check for obvious dents.
5.Check for dull or faded paint.
6.Check for rust in the wheel wells.
7.Check for rust around the wheel wells.
8.Check for rust in the rocker panel.
9.Check the firewall for rust, if you can see it.
10.Check the trunk floor for rust.
Check The Bumper Height:
1.Make sure that the bumpers are not touching the body of the car, or sagging.
Under Hood & Engine:
First you’ll want to check the general condition of the engine, and engine compartment, check the condition of the paint, and also check the chrome surfaces for peeling, dulling, or bluing.
1.Check for originality, if your a collector looking to add a new car to your collection, this might be the most important part of the process, basically you’ll be looking for things that look out of place, or things that look like they don’t belong.
2.Check the maintenance of the car, look at all of the hoses, electrical connections, belts, gaskets, fluid levels, engine oil, brake fluid, water in the battery.
3.Check the condition of the engine, if saving money is a concern to you, you should pay close attention to this step in the process, have the owner of the car start the engine, check the tail pipe for smoke when the car fist starts, after it warms up, and when it’s revved up, listen for knocks, clunks, clicks, and rattles.
4.Check for leaks on the car, be sure to check the valve cover gaskets, check the front, and rear of the intake manifold for oil leaks, check the brake master cylinder for leaks, check all hoses for leaks, check the rear main seal this is a lot of work to fix if it leaks, check the oil pan for leaks, this is also a huge ordeal to fix, if you pay attention you can save yourself a lot of agony.
1.Check the interior for obvious rips and tears in the fabric on the seats, and the doors, look for chrome peeling, light bulbs that no longer work, gauges that are so foggy that you can’t even see them.
2.Check the center console for cracks, and mounting ears that have been broken.
3.Check all plastic items for cracking, and general sun rot, and exposure.
4.Also you should always check the rubber seals around the doors of the car, these should always be checked, I’d just replace them if it were my car.
5.Check the steering wheel for wear, such as cracks, missing areas of plastic, or it the car has tilt, or telescoping steering you need to make sure that all of those things are working right.
The Road Test:
1.Unless the car doesn’t run, you should always road test it, no matter how much the owner wants to get out of it, during this test you should check the wipers, turn signals, gauges, lights, and don’t forget to listen for bumps, knocks rattles, clanks, clunks,and the like.
2.Check the gauges for accuracy, lighting, and general appearance.
3.Mechanical check, during this check you’ll be testing all of the mechanical areas of the car, you should check all of these things first in place, and then as the car is moving.
4.Check the park brake to see if it holds on an incline.
5.Doe’s the manual transmission pop out of gear, this means a transmission rebuild, or at least replacing the synchros, does it shift smoothly, or is it hard to move between the gears, this indicate either a linkage problem, or low transmission oil, also if it’s hard to pull in to gear, you probably need synchros replaced.
6.Test the clutch to make sure that you can get it to hold the car on an incline, if not this tells you that you need a new pressure plate, at which point you should just change the clutch, pressure plate, and through out bearing, this is a big job.
7.Also check the automatic transmission if it has one of those for slippage, give the fluid the old smell test, if it smells burned, you can count on a rebuild.
This is truly one of the most important parts to your safety, you should never overlook a brake check, or think that the signs don’t mean anything, if the brake do a thing other then stopping the car, you should be worried.
1.Make sure that the car doesn’t pull to one side, or another this indicates that you have worn brake pads on you disc brakes, or a bad caliper on the side that the car pulls to, you never want to discount anything.
2.Listen to the brakes for noises, such as squealing, rattling, grinding these are all very bad sounds to have coming fro your brakes, personally I just rebuild the entire braking system on any old car, it’s just the safest thing to do, this is not an area to save money in.
At Normal Driving Speeds:
1.Listen for noises that don’t belong such as, a clunk as you go over a bump, a knock when you turn the steering wheel as you go over an incline.
2.Listen for wind blowing through the car, this always means that you need new rubber seals, this is something that I just plan to replace when I start the work.
3.Does the car shake, or shimmy while driving high way speeds, this indicates an wheel balancing issue, a bent rim, or the drive line needs to be balanced.
4.After a turn does the steering wheel return to center, if not this indicates an alignment issue, you could have a steering box on the way out, a steering wheel to shimmy can indicate suspension problems as simple as bad shocks, to much worse issues, this is not a good thing.
That’s about all for this article, I hope it helps you find just the right camaro for you to restore, you’ve got to remember I write these articles to help you find your perfect car, and to get it restored, please stop in and comment on our articles if they help you.