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I just looked at a car listed for sale as a 1994 Impala SS. The VIN code indicates a 94 SS and the VIN code on the dash matches the one on the drivers door and the Parts Spec sheet in the trunk The spec sheet has a WX3 code, indicating impala. The build date on the door label is 4/94. Car in good condition overall. Interior very good Engine shows signs of coolant leak and looks like optispark was never replaced. ok

Now the unusual parts. The shifter was on the floor and no signs of column shift. The dash had analog gauges not digital. These seem like indicators of a '96 car but vin is consistent in all 3 locations and says '94. What am I looking at? Could this be legit ?

Thanks
 

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Odds are it's a genuine '94 WX3, that a(nother?) previous owner then modified the driver's gauges and center console to be more like a '96. It was a popular thing to do for awhile.
Ask the seller.

Backseat's still better for shenanigans anyway …
 

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Unfortunately the prior owner, who was the second owner, passed away and this is being sold by a relative. Not too much info. It does sound like a lot of work to do that swap... make a hole in the floor and add the shifter, swap out steering column, swap gauges. Is it possible that this is a '96 that someone replaced the vin parts (tag, trunk lid, driver door) on? Say the vehicle had been in an accident and another car, a '96, was obtained. Then replacing those parts to change it to the '94. How could I tell if that was the case? Not sure where else to check.
 

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It’s actually a pretty simple job to swap that stuff out. I put a complete 96 SS console/shifter/column in a 94 wagon over a weekend.

Since the 94 never left the factory with 96 parts it’s pretty much the only explanation on this car.

Does it have small mirrors or big ones?
 

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The only other thing that I noticed that was different from other 1994 I had seen was an impala emblem on top of the engine, right by the air tube.
 

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One giveaway on the dash being a simple swap is if the (at one time) popular Camaro faceplate is installed.

...... How could I tell if that was the case? Not sure where else to check.
There's other places to check. But just easier to check whether the floor hole is factory or a hacksaw job.
 

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Nobody puts '94 windows,and mirrors on a '96 though.
 
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An answer on the door mirrors would be helpful. Got a picture of the car? The quarter windows would be a dead giveaway because the 94 is a one year design.
 

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That is a 95-96 outside mirror, yes.

That said, you state the door tags are 94 serial .
While it is physically easier to change a sticker than filling 94 mirror hole in the door,,,,,
Actually obtaining the door decals would be pretty hard.
Lots of guys have changed the mirrors along with the bodywork required.

Rear quarter windows,
94 Impala had a little filler piece rounding off the back corner
95-96 Caprice and Impala the rounded off was part of the quarter.

But, again guys have welded up 91-94 cars to look like 95-96

This is a 94 impala left quarter leaning up against 95-96 impala right quarter
s-l300.jpg
 

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I just looked at a car listed for sale as a 1994 Impala SS. The VIN code indicates a 94 SS and the VIN code on the dash matches the one on the drivers door and the Parts Spec sheet in the trunk The spec sheet has a WX3 code, indicating impala. The build date on the door label is 4/94. Car in good condition overall. Interior very good Engine shows signs of coolant leak and looks like optispark was never replaced. ok

Now the unusual parts. The shifter was on the floor and no signs of column shift. The dash had analog gauges not digital. These seem like indicators of a '96 car but vin is consistent in all 3 locations and says '94. What am I looking at? Could this be legit ?

Thanks
Of course many have pointed out the A pillar mirrors and C pillar moldings but also 96 was OBD2. So look at the connector and see. Chances are very high that if it has OBD2 connection tht it is a 96 with a VIN swap.
 

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I would have started with a inspection of the floor shifter. As others have said there was a "wish" list to update the cars to the 96SS. I would get a little more worried if it had a 96 driveline with 96 firewall conector, OBDII plug, and 96 stock cluster wiring.

The VIN would also be on the engine, transmission, and inner fender as per this thread. I have never looked at my car.

 

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Is it ODB1, or ODB2? If the exhaust system looks stock, a 96 had o2 sensors on both ends of each of the catalytic converters, for a total of 4 o2 sensors, whereas a 94/95 only had o2 sensors on the 'engine' side of the catalytic converters, for a total of 2, o2 sensors. And last but not least, if it is not painted black, it MIGHT be a 96.
 

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There are quite a few visual cues on a 94
Quarter windows , abs, headliner (98% sure) the list goes on.
Not to sound ignorant, but what would be different about the headliner?
 
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