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I just bought a 1984 El Dorado that looks like it just came off the Linden, New Jersey line. It has 38K miles on the odometer, in flawless, mint condition and actually looks like new inside and out. It's on the island of Kauai and I plan to ship it to California as soon as I change the title to my name. It will need a Hawaii safety check, which will easily pass (good tires, all lights working, horn working, etc) However, I'm now wondering if it's CA approved? Will I have any emission modifications I have to worry about? You know California, they don't care if your tires are bald, or you have no brakes, or the windshield is cracked in a million pieces, or none of your lights work, all they're interested in is it passes smog inspection. If I have to modify emissions, and it ends up costing too much, I'll just leave it here and enjoy it when I return (I have a home here).

I know *nothing* about this car. I do have a 1996 Seville in San Jose that is an absolute joy to drive. But I like the El Dorado design. I have seen them online for up to $15,000 that don't look as nice as mine. I paid $4,000 for it. The car has been parked inside all of its life, next to a 67 Camaro, and a 1973 Chevy SS convertible that are kept in like-new condition. All have been mostly driven in parades. I will be the second owner.

Any ideas, suggestions, or information on this model highly appreciated.


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The '79-'85 Eldorados were very nice looking cars in my opinion. Your car has the HT-4100 engine which if maintained properly, can last 250,000 miles. The first thing I'd do if it were my car is change the engine coolant. That car will use the traditional, green coolant. Mix it 50/50 with distilled water. It is imperative to use the GM supplemental cooling system sealer in the 4100, 4.5 and 4.9 engines due to the wet cylinder liners and o-rings. You do not want coolant getting into the oil. Change the engine oil and filter on a regular basis and do not allow the engine to overheat. Check the fan belt and replace it if it shows any signs of cracking or wear.

The GM supplemtal cooling system sealer is available at any GM dealer - ask for the "cooling system sealer pellets" or use the Bars Leaks Golden Seal - they are the same. Do not use the Bars Leaks Powdered Aluminum - it will plug the heater core.

I don't remember if that car has block drains on it - if it does not, you'll only get about half the coolant out of it when you drain it. You can just change it again in a year to get new corrosion inhibitors into the cooling system.

'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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  • 2 weeks later...

No block drains. Make sure your timing and egr pipes in the throttle body are clear. Make sure the egr works.

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