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My '95 Caprice Classic STW, "Sally"

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  • Arquemann
    replied
    Got new front brake stuff ready, waiting on a good day and less irons in the fire to install. New discs, pads and wheel seals. Hopefully the hubs have new outer bearing races in them as I didn't feel like buying new bearings. What I already noticed is that the cheapo pads don't have any retainer clips attached to them, like ones that hold the pad to the piston...

    A friend of mine picked herself up a cream puff Caprice wagon last week, so at yesterdays cruise night we just had to park the big booties side by side. The body's been off the frame, repainted, frame dipped and epoxied, not a spec of rust (except in the rear glass latch, which is rustier than mine) Has a nicely rebuilt and slightly hopped up 305 which runs like a clock. Note the EU-spec lights; amber turn signals in place of reverse lights and an ugly plastic wart added for a reverse and fog light. Side indicators in the fenders. Fronts are just amazon garbage, it would've had yellow parking lights, separate indicator bulbs and no marker lights.

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  • Arquemann
    replied
    Decided it was time for summer tires, so a few "while-at-its".

    - I've had quite a bit of brake vibration from the beginning, so before ordering new discs I decided to check and go through the front brakes to make sure there's nothing else causing the vibration.
    Everything was quite crusty, one slide pin should really be replaced, but nothing was completely seized or problematic. Some wire brushing, filing and a bunch of copper grease later, everything should be free and fully functioning. Did not improve the brake vibration, but definitely did not do any harm. I think I'll replace the pads and discs before selling the car, the vibration is kinda obnoxious and the discs are toast.

    - Should really replace the front sway bar links, but for now I just tightened them.

    - Greased the front suspension, minus one lower ball joint, I must've hit the control arm on something and the grease fitting has snapped off.

    - Ziptied up the wiring for an O2 sensor that was hanging down under the car, loom clip had broken off.

    Did get the summer wheels/tires on finally, a quick trip to check the tire pressures, the bing chilling ching chong tires and crappy wheels vibrate way less than I remembered, nice!
    I am officially shopping for an economical daily driver to replace the Caprice, the voice of reason in my head is slowly getting louder. I've had a few realizations along the way.

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  • Arquemann
    replied
    After about 10 hours of work and ~50€, the car is in about the same condition it was a month ago. Now with a slightly less holey exhaust and firewall.
    The joint behind the muffler to the tailpipe where the clamp broke is so thoroughly rusted that I could budge the slipfit even with a kick, structural rust!

    Last time I dried the carpet and insulation, I sprayglued some of the insulation to the floorpans. I had to do it because I had to slide the carpet under the dash, but this time it really sucked because I had to rip it all out to dry.

    Unless the Caprice throws another curveball at me, next job ought to be switching to summer tires.
    Towards the next disaster!
    Last edited by Arquemann; 03-26-2024, 08:33 AM. Reason: kebabroll

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  • DerekTheGreat
    replied
    I'd be pissed too. Sometimes I wish I had different hobbies. But that's not the way I'm programmed. As a result, I find life too short to drive boring cars. I'll drive my low MPG garbage and enjoy V8 rumble until I can't afford to. At that point and if it comes, I'll either park the things until better days arrive or yeah, self-terminate after gifting them to people.

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  • Arquemann
    replied
    Originally posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    24mpg is damn fine.
    It would be fine, if that's what this damn fat moses actually got for mpg. But that's what it gets when I baby it at 100kmh. My average mpg is around is 18, and that's what's not good enough.

    Originally posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Looking like you need to find yourself a lightweight econobox.

    Yeah, and that's what pisses me off.
    I've gotta get something fun with tolerable fuel mileage, or a genuinely efficient econobox, which aren't usually that fun.

    For the money I'd likely get from the Caprice, I could buy a Golf that'll touch 60 mpg. But a Golf is as vivid and fun as a gravel parking lot, Id' rather spend the money on hookers and blow and off myself in the end. End result would probably be the same.

    Just for some perspective; I'm on unemployment and a full tank for the Caprice is about a quarter of what I get per month.

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  • DerekTheGreat
    replied
    Right, that's what I said.

    24mpg is damn fine. Looking like you need to find yourself a lightweight econobox.

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  • Arquemann
    replied
    Originally posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    If it's got ~175ft-lbs of torque
    Ahem, it's 188 ft-lbs! And however much the replacement Borgwarner turdbo adds to it. It's gonna be a gutless dog anyways.

    As "fuel efficient" as the Caprice is with its ~24 highway mpg, it's not good enough. So I'm not getting anything with any damn 350, 305, 307 or 302 as a replacement.
    24 average mpg is fine if it's something somewhat fun, but it's gotta do around 30 mpg highway. Regular gas is ~8 dollaridoos a gallon.

    Unless my situation or my expected situation changes alot, I can't be driving a V8 boat around.

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  • DerekTheGreat
    replied
    Originally posted by Arquemann View Post

    The Parisienne has a Nissan SD33T in it, kinda garbage but would probably do okay in fuel efficiency.
    If it had an Olds diesel, I'd want it even more!

    I don't have much bad to say about gm B-bodies, other than it constantly falling apart I really like my Caprice, more than I would've expected.
    If it's got ~175ft-lbs of torque like Wikipedia says it does, it'll be a turd in that big ass car. Might do OK fuel wise, but you'll hate how slow it is. Those cars look cool and have comfy interiors, but that carbureted 307 Olds engine and the 200R4 trans are junk IMO. Might as well skip right to a 1990-1992 Cadillac Brougham with a TBI 350 and save yourself a lot of grief.

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  • sly
    replied
    Yeah... but at least the Nissan SD33T will run. Not so certain with the Olds diesel.
    As for the B-bodies... the falling apart thing is the problem. I had a 85 Parisienne with the Chevy 305, q-jet carbed, 700R4 and I ended up having the left rear cylinder blow out (head gasket, block, head... I have no clue... but something blew out the back of the engine) and started dumping fuel, oil, and coolant on the ground. And yeah... I do still miss that car but just because of the Brougham interior. Those pillow-top seats were comfy.

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  • Arquemann
    replied
    Originally posted by sly View Post
    If the Parisienne is the GM Diesel from the 80s... you probably wanna pass on that. If it's a swap to something more local (like parts are actually available), might be an interesting beast, but it is another b-body... so there's that.
    The Parisienne has a Nissan SD33T in it, kinda garbage but would probably do okay in fuel efficiency.
    If it had an Olds diesel, I'd want it even more!

    I don't have much bad to say about gm B-bodies, other than it constantly falling apart I really like my Caprice, more than I would've expected.

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  • sly
    replied
    If the Parisienne is the GM Diesel from the 80s... you probably wanna pass on that. If it's a swap to something more local (like parts are actually available), might be an interesting beast, but it is another b-body... so there's that.

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  • Arquemann
    replied
    It would seem that the leaky spots have been sealed. Certainly not the prettiest job, especially the ac drain, it was a real bugger to seal up and I'm still not quite sure if it's sealed completely.
    The inner fender was an absolute bitch to reinstall, impossible to do without violence. When a part is bigger than the hole it's supposed to go through, things get interesting.

    I initially replaced all but 2 of the U-nuts holding the inner fender, and ended up breaking one and stripping out the other. Fun to fish those out and new ones in when the inner fender was mostly bolted in already. While disassembled, I sprayed any rusty spots, the battery tray and the topside of the inner fender with cavity wax. I wish we had black stuff like you, everything is brown or beige.

    Still need to reassemble the interior, the bundles of wires and connectors behind the front kick panel will require some tucking in, I had a hard time getting behind that stuff previously.
    While the battery was out I removed the LED bar and its harness, it's pretty much summertime so I haven't needed it much recently.


    Now that the Caprice might not leak anymore, my conscience is clear to sell it to the next dumbass. There's a pretty Sierra and a TD Parisienne for sale close by. The Sierra isnt a wagon and the Parisienne isn't a Ford, tough case.

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  • Arquemann
    replied
    Well well well, it still leaks.
    MORE BROWN!

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  • sly
    replied
    insert Mr Regular (regular car reviews) "BRRRROOOOOOOOooooowwwwwnnnnnn"
    Whatever works. I probably would have slathered RTV all over it.

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  • Arquemann
    replied
    Originally posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    I'd do the same thing, not like anybody sees it and you're not entering it in a concurs style auto show.
    Shit, the only thing I'm attending with this hunk of chevy is a parking lot meet at dusk. Once I get this thing buttoned up again, only way you'll see my sins is with a flashlight and your face planted on the core support. Knowing my friends, it might just happen, but without the flashlight and the face planted on the closed hood instead.

    The goop I used says it'll cure in 24 hours @ 23C. Since it's about -2, I think I'll give it about 2 days before I go leak testing again. I think I'll install the cowl in the meantime.

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