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Alrighty, so I just bought an 89 Camaro RS private sale. I have never owned a Camaro and have never worked on a car. It's never really been my thing. Now that I own this vehicle, though, I really want to fix it up and make it nice looking, great running, and a dream to drive.

But I SERIOUSLY didn't know what I was in for!

So far, the coolant leak and engine overheating problem has been fixed, for a mere $527 at the garage my family frequents. They replaced all heater hoses, upper and lower radiator hoses, flushed the system three times... and yet rust was still coming out. So now i'm thinking of having the radiator replaced and possibly the water pump and the fan. the fan, I was told, is after market and the wires have been spliced. I odn't like the sound of that, so I think I want to get it replaced.

THEN... I need new brakes to stop the screeching, I think. After that, I need to find out why it did not pass the emissions test and why the HydroCarbon output is 4 times the acceptable level and why it failed the pressure test. I'd also like to know why, after emissions people ran my V8 engine at ungodly speeds in their tests, there was a lot of steam coming out of the plastic coolant tank. That was a little unsettling.

After that, I don't know what my next step is. It needs a LOT of work, and I am really overwhelmed. I want to do some work on it myself, but I just don't know where to start! I have th Haynes manual for my vehicle, but it doesn't seem to be much of a help to me. Any suggestions?

Also, if anyone has any suggestions on any OTHER important things I'll need to look at or may want to replace after the coolant and emissions neccessary crap, please let me know. Honestly, I am just at a loss of a good starting place. Overwhelmed is an understatement. I need resources, suggestions, and guidance throughout this process. Thank you very much.
 

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hey bud,
i just recently bought a 90 RS, its a 6 cyl but it gets the job done. if your car is fuel injected, get new injectors. if its got a carb, get it cleaned. also, get a new catalytic converter, that should help with the emissions, that or register it out of state and go with straight pipes!! also your going to want to replace any old sensors if your car is running rough. as for the steam out of the coolant tank, make sure your coolant level is right. during your free time, page through the haynes manual, i know when im on watch and have nothing to do i just start reading, youll find out a lot of stuff you didnt know about. if your car has been sitting for a while make sure you start pulling panels and make sure that you dont have like 5 rats nests like i did!!! replace any and all bad wires. your car is 20 years old and its a V8 so im sure whoever had it before you beat the **** out of it, if its a manual have the clutch checked, if automatic, get the transmission checked!! also replace the shocks and all the bushings in the suspension and while your down there an alignment wouldnt be bad. other things to check are like the distributor cap, rotor, plugs, wires, vacuum hoses, serpentine belt, and gaskets on like the valve covers, egr valve, PCV valve, IAC valve, TPS, and those damn O2 sensors.....just to name a few. also, getting your engine pressure washed isnt a bad idea, clean off about 20 years of road scum and tar will let the air cool your engine alot. dont get it steamed, some people recommend that but steam gets into all the little electrical fittings where as just getting it pressure washed doesnt. another thing, your from arizona but if you bought your car by the coast where there is alot of saltwater around or from the north, make sure you check for rust and catch it early, if possible. most of this is stuff you can do in your driveway, some youll need to get some of your buddies over and have a couple beers to figure out. good luck and dont forget to read that haynes manual, it tells you alot.

Bryan
 

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Well, spending $500 having a few hoses replaced and a flush or 3 sounds expensive. You could have fairly easily done this work yourself with a screwdriver.

Rust could very well be that some previous owner ran water, which will get a rusty look to it and isn't the way to go.

If you plan to keep the car for a while, start reading, and learning so you can do some work yourself. Hopefully you can find a friend who knows cars to help.

One common problem with older computer controlled engines is the electrical connections get gummed up and confuse the sensors/computer.

Look at the front rotors and pads first for a brake problem, then the rear. I don't know if that year was drum or disc but it doesn't matter.
 

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we've all been there before. just take each problem one at a time, before you know it the car will be running great. use the specific sections of the forum for the questions you have, you'll get much quicker responses. good luck.
 
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