How much payload in the bed can you carry in a 1987 el camino
I beliefe they are a 1/2 ton pick-up.
Where did you get that? The only reference I found was that they had the same capacity as a regular malibu which is probably 650lbs.
Pick-up trucks, which this is one, are 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton or one ton. Like in Ford, F150, F250, or F350. Look at all the pick-up trucks and the actual rated capacity does not match that designation. It has a lot to do with the springs, shocks, and driveline and rear end and engine output not to mention gearing. The Ford and Chevy car converted to truck had a car frame so the actual weight was less because of the suspension.
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