I just bought a 72 Impala... Need some advice and help!!
I just bought a 72 Impala 4 door... it has a stock 350/350 trans with 70,000 miles on it. It runs and the trans seems alright. The problems with it is that the gauges interior lights and headlights do not work and it has lil surface rust on the top and in the trunk area and also at the bottom of each wheel well, but its not that bad i can send pics to show. O and another thing no head liner and a rip in the driver seat. I wanna know whats the first thing i should do to start. I do not want to do a full restoration on the vehicle i just want the car to be clean and mechanically have no defects.
You are asking what is the first step... but you have actually already
started it....... do some research.
But don't stop here, continue doing searches until you find some good parts sources and be sure to pick up a few repair manuals and read through them to familiarize yourself with the workings.....
Now I suppose to answer your question of what to repair first. Everyone will give you different answers, and there really is no wrong way to go about it. All depends on where you plan to go. But since you do not intend to do a complete restoration I'd say to tackle the mechanical issues first. Start with the things you know are wrong, and then move to the safety items (lights, brakes, etc...) then drive it and work out the bugs.
As much as you may want to tackle the interior and cosmetic things..... you should wait. No use having a car with a new seat cover if it will leave you stranded on the side of the road.
To address a specific problem.... I suspect that the gauge lights and the head light problem is related to the light switch.... check to see if you have power (blown fuse, loose wire, etc.), if this checks out suspect a bad switch.