New guy! 1985 Caprice Wagon

Discussion in 'The Welcome Wagon' started by Only1Balto, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. Only1Balto

    Only1Balto Member

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    Hello all! I'd just though I'd drop everyone a line to say "hi" and post a little bit about myself. I'm currently in negotiations with a guy who's selling a 1985 Caprice Wagon- its got 59k original miles, power everything, and as far as I can tell just needs a good recharge of R12. Let me just say that although I drive a turbo'd neon :biglaugh: I am myself a car enthusiast- meaning I respect all types of cars in their own glory, and I can honestly say I had a blast driving it. He's selling the car for 1k dollars and I'm unsure of what the usual going rate is for these cars are. I went for a test drive today- and I fell in love :) Much of the plastic trimming was breaking off from being too brittle, the plastic interior was faded, it still had the original tape player in it, the engine was a bit dirty and the body had some minor surface rust on it, but the engine and transmission from the drive felt perfect- and it was amazing to drive!

    Being young and in the military I've made a few bad financial decisions in life to where I have to get rid of my little neon and buy a daily driver car instead- this is how I stumbled upon the wagon. Does the wagon sound like a good deal? What issues should I be looking for? I just need the car to last primarily, but I'd like to fix him up and give him some good'ol TLC. Any inputs would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. CapriceEstate

    CapriceEstate Yacht Captain

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    If you can get him to budge on the price at all, do it. That always helps your finances. If you're locked in, just go with it. I haven't seen the car but it sounds nice.

    Sorry you have to sell your SRT-4. A good friend of mine has one, not my taste, but definitely a quick car! We've had that thing up to around 150 mph.

    Lastly, welcome aboard!
     
  3. Only1Balto

    Only1Balto Member

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    Thanks for the welcome Caprice :) A few of my military co-worker's drive old heavy V8's (LeSaber and 1/2 ton Chevy) and I know they'll get a kick out of my wagon when they see it. It'll probably be a few days before I get the rest of the cash to come through, but I'll post pictures when I do get it. I've been scouring some of the parts websites and have been amazed at how little to almost nothing parts for these cars come to, and I'm very excited to begin work on it.

    The neon has been a blast to drive- and is without a shadow of a doubt the most fun you can have out of a 4 door FWD car. Just swapping to larger fuel injectors, a good tune and running E85 can give you up to 400 ft. lbs of torque. It was never my dream car, I'll be going with an Evo within a few years once we get settled, but until then I plan on taking real good care of the wagon as long as he'll last me :) I'm assuming because the wagon had so little miles it should last at least another 5 years with replacing consumable parts, nothing major. Hopefully at least 120k miles, I'd be happy with that.

    I'd really like to replace all the interior panels- but from looking through the parts websites I don't think it'll be too possible. Might have to take some trips to the yard.
     
  4. CapriceEstate

    CapriceEstate Yacht Captain

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    It'll last a long time. Maintain it well, you'll get another 20 years out of it!
     
  5. Only1Balto

    Only1Balto Member

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    I was very surprised at how well the car was running for being 25 years old- but no doubt it's still in need of a tune up. I can't imagine how much better it'd run with a good tune up. I myself have never worked with a carburetor- I know it can be cleaned with carburetor cleaner and that's about all I know. Anything else I should know about the carb?

    If you do the math of a 25 year old car with 59k miles on it- it comes out to about 196.6 miles a month, or 10-15 years of driving and about 5-10 years of sitting. What would be a good tune up to do? The things I'm uncertain about has a ? at the end.


    Plug
    Wires
    Belts
    K&N Drop in
    PCV

    Full flush- coolant, oil, tranny, rear diff too?
    Fuel filters- changing them out every oil change for about a year?
    Distributor Cap and Rotor?
    Radiator Cap?
    Automatic Trans Filter?
     
  6. CapriceEstate

    CapriceEstate Yacht Captain

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    Your plans for the tune up are really probably all that car needs.

    I bought my 87 for 500 bucks. Plugs, wires, cap, rotor. That's about the sum of what the car's needed over the past few years. I've put her through hell and back, snow storms, -30 weather, that baby kept on going. The worst it's ever done was needed some Gumout down the carb to start 'er up a time or two.

     
  7. Only1Balto

    Only1Balto Member

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    Dang 500 bucks? That was a hell of a deal :) I figured I was getting a pretty good deal. Do they make replacement interior panels? I'd really like to swap them out.
     
  8. CapriceEstate

    CapriceEstate Yacht Captain

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    It was a good deal, for sure. Best deal I've ever gotten on a car. I've bought other $500 cars and had to sink a ton of money into them.

    I am not sure if they make replacement interior parts, but there's still a good deal of Caprices in the salvage yards, that escaped 'Cash for Clunkers'

     
  9. silverfox

    silverfox New Member

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    :Welcome:to the wagon train, only1. Too bad you couldn't get some pix and post them up for our perusal. It's real difficult, if not impossible, to tell you what the car is worth without a series of pix. I will say, though, that the one thing that will bring any car down worse than any other is RUST! If the car is from a salt state and is rusty underneath and along the bottom of the sheet metal...walk away. Also...59K miles seems very suspicious by your description of the car (this is without seeing it). Run a Carfax on that wagon. Do it. You may find that it has turned over once or twice. May as well be sure of what you are looking at....there are others around if this one doesn't pan out.
     
  10. Only1Balto

    Only1Balto Member

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    I know- I'm sorry I didn't take any photos, I really should have. The cars primary mission is to be a reliable DD, so cosmetics isn't on the top of the to do list- It did have a bit of surface rust underneath but nothing to the point of holes in the sheet metal. Either way- the way it drove and shifted assured me that I'd be able to turn it around to resell it in a heart beat- if not for what I paid for it, a little bit more.
     
  11. silverfox

    silverfox New Member

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    Well, we are anxious to see it!(y) Post up some pix when you get it. Those GM 80's box wagons make great DD's. I have had 6 or 7 of them over the years. Most of them ended up with 455's that I dropped in.:yup:
     
  12. Only1Balto

    Only1Balto Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here's the for sale photos- the car started right up, no hesitation or hiccup. I was expecting it to be a bit louder (This being my first V8) but it was actually tamed and quiet. When I got on it though I could hear the roar from the engine :) Driving down the road with all five windows down, I sorta got the whole nostalgia of REAL cruising. Gas prices didn't matter, speed didn't matter, radio off, elbow out the window- 1985 dash/gauges in front of me. No cruise control, no stick shift- just the open road to enjoy. Hard to explain really. Maybe it was just the "new toy" feeling, either way it was very enjoyable. The car shifted quickly and precisely- no hesitation upon speeding up or coming to a quick stop. The turning radius was out of this world, like on a dime. The engine bay didn't have too much oil leakage- almost none at all. However when looking underneath the transmission looked covered in some type of black grease.

    The man selling it was retired navy- he had a lot of land with probably 6-7 older vehicles on it including bronco's and old 50's style pick ups he was working on. He used the wagon to transport hay. He said be bought it off an elderly couple years ago who could no longer drive it- and he's just tired of paying registration on and it just sitting there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  13. silverfox

    silverfox New Member

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    Car looks worth a thousand bucks from what I can see, only1. Looks good from here. Try to get him down anyway, though. The oil leak, if that's what it is, is a bargain chip. Black GREASE? Sounds like an oil leak to me. Look around where the car has been parked for signs of an oil leak if you can. Get it up on a hoist and find the leak. Could just be the pan or it could be a rear main seal, etc. Ask the seller how much oil it uses in a thousand miles. If he will tell you honestly.
     
  14. 1tireman

    1tireman Well-Known Member

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    Welcome aboard. Sounds like a good wagon...of course I'm kinda bias :rofl2: Also seen you are in military, just want to say "Thanks"
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  15. CapriceEstate

    CapriceEstate Yacht Captain

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    Looks like a winner, from here.
     

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