Originally Posted by rjgilligan
Burning Oil/Leaking (white smoke? seals?)
So, top-end rebuild. Several hundred $$$. The nice thing is that you'll have a new headgasket, and it'll be relatively easy for him to do the timing chain at the same time. Ok, so maybe $1k on this job?
Transmission slips from park; losing fluid. "Needs overhaul." (?)
That's a biggie money-wise...a tranny rebuild will be expensive. Might be worth looking into sourcing a used tranny with a warranty from somewhere like Silverstar Recycling, depending on your long-term plans. Figure $300-$400 for a used tranny, and another $300 for the labor.
Front end needs "a lot of work".
Another expensive area to fully refurbish. All of the tie rods, ball joints, and control arm bushings, and shocks. On the hubs, the wheel bearings and brakes. The bushings need special tools to do, and there is a lot of time involved in changing all of these components. The good news is that you wouldn't necessarily need all of this done before driving it back to PA - the brakes are obviously the most important. If you drive carefully, who cares if you bob and wander a little bit driving it back to your local shop?
Rear differential leak and bushings worn out.
Pinion seal - inexpensive part, not a lot of time in labor to replace. That would get you on the road.
Possible water pump replacement/ fan belt.
Part is around $60, labor would be a killer because of the front-end disassembly. But if the same guy is going to do the headwork, he'll have most of it disassembled anyway.
Front brakes (just pads).
A few questions for you folks who, like me, get attached to cars and then don't want to sell them but instead continually throw money into them until you and the car end up in some gutter....
a) Is that work going to really cost upwards of $7000?
b) What is/is not needed to do a drive across the country.
A. It'll cost whatever the lowest-priced, *competent* mechanic will charge you to do the work. I can easily see $7k in what you listed. It's why these cars are such a 'bargain' now - restoring them is an expensive proposition. I've budgeted around $10k for my '73 280 project, and people are laughing at me for my naivete.
B. You can probably get by with some burning oil and a bobbing rear end. It's only a few thousand miles - when you think about it, it's not that much. If you are trying to make it back on a shoe-string repair budget, I'd at least make sure you do an oil change, flush the cooling system, have a trans filter/fluid change (use a 'forgiving' fluid like redline), do the brakes...and then be prepared for something to happen on the way. Carry extra water, oil, a cell phone, and your AAA card...