Restoring K10 that has been sitting for 4-5 years.

Just bought a 1988 K10 Automatic with 42k miles on the clock .

Has been sitting for the last 4-5 years but the seller did the bare minimum to get it through an MOT (welding, break lines, air filter). I bought it from them on ebay and I managed to drive it home (150 miles).

The Engine and transmission oil hasn’t been changed in 4-5 years so I think it could do with a fair bit of maintenance.

I’m a beginner at amateur mechanics (I know how to do an oil change and simple stuff) and here is a list of the jobs I’m going to try and undertake to bring it up to spec:
Phase 1
  • Replace Engine Oil + Oil Filter
  • Replace Fuel Filter
  • Replace Transmission oil
  • Replace Timing belt
  • Replace Water Pump
  • Replace Alternator belt
  • Replace Coolant
  • Replace Break fluid
Phase 2
  • New tyres
  • Fix minor body rust

I have some questions and would greatly appreciate your input with these:
  • As the oil has not been changed in 4-5 years Should I do an engine flush with a solution or is this risky for the engine? If so does anyone recommend the best flush?
  • Should I replace the timing belt tensioner with the belt or is it unnecessary?
  • Do I need a specific tool for the timing belt? The Haynes Manuel mentions a ‘Cam socket Wrench’. I couldn’t find anything when I searched. Can I replace it with my standard socket set?
  • Should I perform a flush of the Automatic Transmission fluid or is this risky? When I tested the dipstick it still has the pink look to it but also has black in it.
  • Any other advice or input on things that I might not have considered is most appreciated.
Thank you for your time


Club Member
Personally I'd be flushing everything multiple times until it comes out in good condition but thats just me.

For oil I'd drain it and flush it through with clean oil before thinking about a flush.

Never worked on an automatic so can't really comment on that.

I picked up a set of tools for doing timing belts but I honestly couldn't tell you what any of them are actually called...
Thanks St0rm91 - I'll just flush through with oil rather than using a solution. I think I'll replace it with good quality oil and filter - then replace again in a months time. Dont want to stress the engine out with a solution.

Regarding timing belt tools - what do they look like? Can I use tools from my regular kit?


Club Member
From the looks of them I doubt it but I'm yet to find the time to actually use it on the engine I'm rebuilding so thats just speculation on my part. Probably a question better answered by someone else.