Author Topic: My commuter car  (Read 8438 times)

Offline TWX

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My commuter car
« on: August 27, 2013, 12:47:36 PM »
Until a couple of years ago I'd been driving a '97 Stratus, it handled very well but a botched under-recall cylinder head gasket change finally reared its ugly head a couple years back and I'd had enough...

I'd made a list of possible replacements, most of 'em Mopars of various years, though I threw one hail-mary on, a '94 - '96 Chevrolet Impala SS, something that I've been wanting since I was a teenager.  Sure enough, I found a '95 Impala SS with about 6400 miles on it that had been part of various collections over the seventeen years of its existence.  Bought it, went to the tire shop on way home to order new tires to replace the originals, and got it into the shop to see about any other maintenance tasks...

Checked the hoses, they were firm but pliable.  The belt as shown, had no cracks in it when folded back upon itself.  Most of the fluid levels were fine.  Basically I changed the engine oil, differential gear oil and gasket, and charged the A/C, and have been driving it ever since.  I'm up to about 18,000 miles now.

These pics are from when I brought it home the first time...

Offline goodfellow

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Re: My commuter car
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 01:40:32 PM »
Great car -- one of my favorites! It's about as good a "street cruiser" as there ever was. The Mercury Marauder is a close second.

Thanks for sharing.

Offline TWX

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Re: My commuter car
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 01:48:37 PM »
I've actually looked into getting a Marauder for my wife, but until her Integra is worn out or inadequate I can't justify it.  Low-mileage Marauders appear for sale here fairly often, she'd want silver though, not black, and I don't think that she'd like the gas mileage or requirement for premium, but I wouldn't mind...  *grin*

Offline fatfillup

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Re: My commuter car
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 05:12:40 PM »
sweet car!!   I should have bought one new.  My wife test drove one and said it rode firm so I didn't even drive it.  What an idiot I was.

Those cars normally command a pretty penny, I'm a bit surprised you use it as a DD but enjoy it thumbsup2
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Offline TWX

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Re: My commuter car
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 07:04:28 PM »
Honestly, even with its extremely low miles for its age, it cost me less than half of what a similarly-equipped new car would have cost.  The only true contemporary competitor in the large-American-RWD-sedan class is the Chrysler LX chassis, which means new 300, new Charger, or gently-used Magnum, unless I'm willing to go with a lesser Ford Panther-based car or to something more expensive like one of the Cadillacs that I can't justifiably afford.  As a slightly older choice the Mercury Marauder also interested me, but the Impala SS interested me more and I'd wanted one for a very long time...

The Holden/Chevrolet Caprice is interesting, they're all made to be cop cars as-imported but some dealers are willing to sell them new private-party, but again, cost was a factor.

Had I not gotten this I was ready to head over to a dealership on the west side of town to see a red '08 Magnum RT.  It had a few more miles, around 40,000 if memory serves, but it still wasn't too bad.

Offline fatfillup

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Re: My commuter car
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 07:28:14 PM »
Well you done real well then!!  For years, they held there value probably better then any other car I know of.  And I'm sure they still do.

My wife bought an 09 Charger RT about a year and a half ago.  6900 miles.  Probably doesn't have 10,000 yet.  Garage queen.  I think the seats are hard.  Wish she would have gotten a 300,,,,,,,,,,but she likes it alot and she deserves it,,,,,,,,,,so she says lolx  Does run quite well. drivex
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Offline TWX

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Re: My commuter car
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 07:37:25 PM »
I'm weird, I don't really like overly-bolstered seats too much.  Wife's Integra's seats are about the limit to what I can stand, and she's had loaners like an MDX or something that had these AWFUL seats, the bolsters were too narrow for my legs and hips and I ended up basically sitting on the bolsters rather than between them.  Glad we didn't have to go anywhere in it...

A coworker bought a '13 300 with the 3.6L and the eight-speed transmission, and honestly, it's almost as quick as the Impala.  Certainly adequate power, though I can't deny that I did look at a couple of SRT8s when I was shopping and ultimately ended up with the Impala.  I ruled them out mainly on account of the premium fuel requirement, though they were also about double the price.

Offline pepi

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Re: My commuter car
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2013, 07:51:29 PM »
 There is a lot to be said for the older cars, less plastic, the owner controls the machine, the big plus styling Not all the same upside bathtubs with led lights.
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Offline TWX

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Re: My commuter car
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2013, 07:55:56 PM »
*grin*

New car styling in general, to me, reminds me of taking a brand new bar of soap and using it a quarter of the way.  Some of the general vagueness of the original intent is still there, but just about all bars of soap, regardless of original manufacturer, look similar.

A coworker of mine has a new-to-him Hyundai Genesis, and he's so proud of his car...  To the point that he debadged the angular "H" and replaced it with the Asian-market wing logo.  Trouble is, the newly-arrived Honda Accords look so similar in the back that whatever fleeting moment it had to be special is now gone...

I think that's why I was happy with the Chrysler LX chassis, specifically the Magnum, and why it was my second choice if this Impala hadn't worked out.

Offline Uncle Buck

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Re: My commuter car
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2013, 10:53:33 PM »
I wanted one of those from the from the time they were new. Those are real tire frying mothers, real sleeper car.  droolx
« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 09:33:45 PM by Uncle Buck »
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Offline 1977Impala

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Re: My commuter car
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2013, 06:13:24 PM »
I like em, but the 94-96 interior look like some shit that was designed by playskool. change the 3.08 rear gears to 3.73's and enjoy the ride, also , be saving up for a trans rebuild or replacement. 4L60E's in these cars don't last long. and since this one sat up alot, I'm sure the seats in the drums are getting hard,  when you start noticing its taking a bit to engage  you might as well rebuild it, the 4L60e is a piss poor transmission and is a weak link in stock form. Also be reading up on the door window slider replacement.
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Offline TWX

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Re: My commuter car
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2013, 08:49:24 PM »
Well, the window tracks are already broken, except passenger's rear, and I have the FSM, so one of these days I'll pull the door panels and change 'em.  In the meantime I haven't gone through a drive-through in ages, which is probably better for me anyway.

It was stored, but it was climate-controlled stored.  Feels strong so far, I will pay attention to transmission slippage though.  I rebuilt enough torqueflites that I'm well aware of what it feels like when the transmission starts to go.

Someone before me added some aftermarket faux wood appliques to the dash and door panels, actually looks halfway decent.  If I decide to show it I may remove them, but for the moment I'm not in a hurry to do so.

The one thing that I definitely want to do is to improve the suspension.  It wallows through the turns even with the factory lowered suspension compared to the Caprice.  I'm thinking new antisway bars and new trailing links in back to properly center the rear axle.

Offline brslk

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Re: My commuter car
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2013, 02:26:07 AM »
Pretty big for a clown car. :POKIE: stirthepot fishslap
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Offline fatfillup

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Re: My commuter car
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2013, 08:05:22 AM »
^^^^^^^^^^Given the avatar,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,that is one great line Bruce!! :))
That scalloped box end is one of the few BB features that doesn't make Elroy puke

Offline 1977Impala

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Re: My commuter car
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2013, 08:34:13 PM »
Change the shocks and you will be amazed at the improvement.
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Re: My commuter car
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2013, 08:34:13 PM »