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I just acquired at 76 2002, what should I do first?


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Hello all! This is my first post on here and I hope that you guys can help me bring this car back to life over the summer. I'm 18 and a freshman at msu, my dad has had this car for years, he did some engine work to it and it runs well but that is pretty much it. It needs a good amount of body work and interior work as there was a leak and the carpet is toast. What should I do first? I'm getting it registered soon so I can start to atleast drive it and get a feel for the car, but how should I go about restoring the exterior, it has all the trim and there isn't any rot from what I can see. Should I just strip the car now and paint it, or get it mechanically perfect first? Thanks alot, Jaden. (I also added some photos of the red 74 that my dad is fixing up)

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I'd personally go through all the hydraulic systems clutch and brakes. When I acquired my 76 a few years back it still had OEM 1975 dated rear flex hoses. If you have access to a bore scope camera, I stuck mine down through the pedal slots and checked to see if the clutch master was leaking. If the car is going to stay outside get a cover or make sure all the leaks are addressed.  

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1 hour ago, 2002kid said:

Should I just strip the car now and paint it, or get it mechanically perfect first?

Has it been inoperative/parked for a long time?

Get it running and driving well first, perfection is a dream.

Brakes, clutch, tires, suspension, steering, electrical, cooling system/heating system ect.

Wet carpet could mean a leaking heater core and that can cause rust on the center fire wall, check it out. Whatever is getting the carpet wet needs to be addressed before cleaning up the interior.

Car looks pretty good to start with

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Replace ALL fuel hoses, and coolant hoses if needed, then rubber brake hoses as mentioned.  Check brake pads and shoes for proper operation.  Then tune-up parts like plugs, points, rotor, cap, plugs, etc.  Enjoy the journey!

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Yup-

get an air filter,

change the oil (Valvoline VR-1 if'n you can find it)

change the coolant- check the hoses

change the transmission and diff oil,

do the brakes (rebuild kits in the front, new wheel cylinders in back)

change the brake hoses whyle you're at it.

 

New tires, and drive it.

 

Might make sure things like the driver's side engine mount's ok.

 

Not much more is needed- 

you may need to clean out the carb (if you can get non- ethanol gas easily, do that)

change plug wires (you need a heat shield between them and the manifold)

and set points, but if you can avoid adjusting timing at first, it'll make other

things less confusing.  

Do buy an 'advance' timing light when you get to that point.

 

And of course, fix all the s*it that's broken or is gonna break!

 

but drive it.

 

t

 

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Everything they said above.  Hard to tell from the pictures but the interior actually looks pretty serviceable; except the carpet I guess, you said that was shot.  Lots of resources for that.

 

In addition to what is said above,  a new set of tires can do a lot right away for road noise and smoothness.  Safety as well. If it has sat for a while, I suspect the tires are fairly well rotted out.  Don't let tread be your guide.  Old rubber and tread are two different things.  I have had tires with "lots" of tread, blow because they were old. And, I've replaced tires that had tread left not nearly as old but the "new" rubber made a huge difference in the ride quality and noise. Its an easy upgrade for $400.  

 

And yeah, forget about getting "the mechanical perfect."  This is a journey.  Not a destination.  Good luck.

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5 hours ago, lowniss37 said:

I'd personally go through all the hydraulic systems clutch and brakes. When I acquired my 76 a few years back it still had OEM 1975 dated rear flex hoses. If you have access to a bore scope camera, I stuck mine down through the pedal slots and checked to see if the clutch master was leaking. If the car is going to stay outside get a cover or make sure all the leaks are addressed.  

Will do! My father had worked on the car before passing it onto me, mechanically he said it is pretty good new brakes, master cylinder, etc. Definitely going to replace all the older looking hoses and will look into a cover. 

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5 hours ago, tech71 said:

Has it been inoperative/parked for a long time?

Get it running and driving well first, perfection is a dream.

Brakes, clutch, tires, suspension, steering, electrical, cooling system/heating system ect.

Wet carpet could mean a leaking heater core and that can cause rust on the center fire wall, check it out. Whatever is getting the carpet wet needs to be addressed before cleaning up the interior.

Car looks pretty good to start with

It's been somewhat parked, my dad did alot of work to it a year or two back before handing it over too me, I mentioned above most of the stuff he did. I'll check the  heater core out, he did say that the blower motor was replaced and I turned it on yesterday to a surprising strong gust of air so that's a good sign. I saw tape residue near the seams around the sunroof so that's my guess, going to seal it up tomorrow before it rains.

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4 hours ago, Son of Marty said:

Do the mechanicals first concentrating on the brakes and other safety systems then paint, you'd feel like s#it if you damaged your fresh paint reassembling some of the major parts.

Good point, do you have any recommendations as to painting these cars? Is it something I can do in my driveway or should I pay a shop to do it?

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1 hour ago, TobyB said:

Yup-

get an air filter,

change the oil (Valvoline VR-1 if'n you can find it)

change the coolant- check the hoses

change the transmission and diff oil,

do the brakes (rebuild kits in the front, new wheel cylinders in back)

change the brake hoses whyle you're at it.

 

New tires, and drive it.

 

Might make sure things like the driver's side engine mount's ok.

 

Not much more is needed- 

you may need to clean out the carb (if you can get non- ethanol gas easily, do that)

change plug wires (you need a heat shield between them and the manifold)

and set points, but if you can avoid adjusting timing at first, it'll make other

things less confusing.  

Do buy an 'advance' timing light when you get to that point.

 

And of course, fix all the s*it that's broken or is gonna break!

 

but drive it.

 

t

 

Great advice thankyou, I was going to buy a kit of liquid moly from FCP is that ok or is VR-1 the holy grail of oil for the 2002. Definitely want to learn about the timing on this car, so much different than modern ones so I'm very interested. Otherwise everything should be good since most parts we replaced a year or two before, just might need a few adjustments/upgrades.

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1 hour ago, D Seattle said:


Everything they said above.  Hard to tell from the pictures but the interior actually looks pretty serviceable; except the carpet I guess, you said that was shot.  Lots of resources for that.

 

In addition to what is said above,  a new set of tires can do a lot right away for road noise and smoothness.  Safety as well. If it has sat for a while, I suspect the tires are fairly well rotted out.  Don't let tread be your guide.  Old rubber and tread are two different things.  I have had tires with "lots" of tread, blow because they were old. And, I've replaced tires that had tread left not nearly as old but the "new" rubber made a huge difference in the ride quality and noise. Its an easy upgrade for $400.  

 

And yeah, forget about getting "the mechanical perfect."  This is a journey.  Not a destination.  Good luck.

It hadn't sat for too long but I'll definitely check them out. As for the carpet/interior (the headliner is pretty shot too) where can i get replacements for both? Also if you know, is it hard to do a "reskin" on these interiors, I really love this car in black with the chrome accents and was thinking of doing a black or darker brown interior to match(if I can, and my wallet won't hate me).  Thanks -Jaden

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