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(Warning, long post.)
I just got a new (to me) 96 9C1 to use as a second car. I had a 95 ex- Texas DPS car that I bought fresh out of service in 1999 and I liked it so much I went through a 95 Roadmaster Wagon, 95 Impala SS, and even had a 96 Cadillac Brougham (Father-in-law's car). They all had the LT-1 drivetrain and were great cars but the last one was gone by 2004.

My wife and I are both retired and tried living with one car, a large crossover SUV, but that did not work too well. I have a couple of hobby cars but I didn't want to use them as daily drivers and definitely didn't want to pay what they wanted for a newer car. When this 96 popped up it was the perfect compromise so I jumped on it.

This car was also just out of service from Santa Clara County in California and has just under 95,000 miles. Its an unmarked version with carpet, cloth seats, no spots, wheelcovers, and no holes except for a plugged one in the trunklid. Its got the LT-1 and full 9C1 package, posi, base radio, power mirrors, rear defogger, and not much else. Best part, its DGGM, my favorite Impala color, with a grey interior.

It came off the truck yesterday and looked exactly as represented. A quick checkover showed everything working except the hood release! I pulled off the release lever, luckily the only problem was the cable had slipped out of its bracket. I'll be checking it over more closely and will report what I find.
 

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Nice Find

Looks really nice man! good score,

Looks like a new water pump so usually means you got a new opti spark too.. at least most people switch them out when doing the water pump


Hard to find a good clean one like that now days, I've had a clean 9C1 and miss it as much as the two Impala SS's I had.. love the column shift and digital dash on the 95SS and the 9C1's.

Good luck with "her"
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Looks really nice man! good score,

Looks like a new water pump so usually means you got a new opti spark too.. at least most people switch them out when doing the water pump


Hard to find a good clean one like that now days, I've had a clean 9C1 and miss it as much as the two Impala SS's I had.. love the column shift and digital dash on the 95SS and the 9C1's.

Good luck with "her"
Thanks. The opti and plug wires are not as clean as the water pump so not sure. I was very surprised to find this car, it seemed like they were all gone or used up. I almost wonder if some county guy latched on to this car and kept it away from the hard duty. I know before they stopped making them a lot of cities bought extra cars and stored them since the cops loved them so much compared to the Crown Vics...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I spent most of the day yesterday checking this car out. Jacked it up, pulled the wheels and spent a lot of time looking, and I'm very pleased. First I have to say how much I love any car from California. The only rust anywhere on this car is some very light surface rust on the unpainted rear axle and sway bar. No dents or scrapes on the undercarriage so it wasn't used for curb jumping. Here's the highlights:

  • New front brake rotors and pads, good remaining pad depth in back.
  • Steering linkage is tight, all suspension bushings look good.
  • Shocks look original with no leaks.
  • Minor leaks at oil cooler lines, no surprise, OK for now.
  • New fuel filter, air filter, one O2 sensor, clean oil and coolant.
  • The exhaust system is all original and looks great.
  • front air dam center section missing, sides in place.
  • Tires are 225/70R15 RSA's with about 50% tread.
  • All original paint in good shape except bumper covers are faded.
  • All the windows work without falling off the track!
I filled it with gas and took it for a ride, all the good memories came back. It runs strong, idles smooth, tracks and brakes straight and handles like it should. The only issue is some high speed shake in the steering which I assume to be out of balance tires.

On Monday I will get it inspected and licensed then it will be well used.
 

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Looks nice Don, sounds like you did get lucky.. I'm over here in Mesquite and I bet you looked all over our part of town first but you see the junk for sale around here and if its half a good car they want outrageous prices in the DFW area.

Those good ones don't come around often, enjoy it!

I spent most of the day yesterday checking this car out. Jacked it up, pulled the wheels and spent a lot of time looking, and I'm very pleased. First I have to say how much I love any car from California. The only rust anywhere on this car is some very light surface rust on the unpainted rear axle and sway bar. No dents or scrapes on the undercarriage so it wasn't used for curb jumping. Here's the highlights:


  • New front brake rotors and pads, good remaining pad depth in back.
  • Steering linkage is tight, all suspension bushings look good.
  • Shocks look original with no leaks.
  • Minor leaks at oil cooler lines, no surprise, OK for now.
  • New fuel filter, air filter, one O2 sensor, clean oil and coolant.
  • The exhaust system is all original and looks great.
  • front air dam center section missing, sides in place.
  • Tires are 225/70R15 RSA's with about 50% tread.
  • All original paint in good shape except bumper covers are faded.
  • All the windows work without falling off the track!
I filled it with gas and took it for a ride, all the good memories came back. It runs strong, idles smooth, tracks and brakes straight and handles like it should. The only issue is some high speed shake in the steering which I assume to be out of balance tires.

On Monday I will get it inspected and licensed then it will be well used.
 

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I'm jealous of those cars on the Left side of the country. :( Would be tough to find a 20 YO driver that clean on the East Coast. Can't get over how clean it is underneath.

Congrats, very nice score. It's at very nice car just the was it is. Are you planning on keeping her stock or some kind of conversion?? I started with a Black Civi Caprice with Gray Cloth interior. I see a very similar change over to a DGGM Impala/Caprice SS if you wanted. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm jealous of those cars on the Left side of the country. :( Would be tough to find a 20 YO driver that clean on the East Coast. Can't get over how clean it is underneath.

Congrats, very nice score. It's at very nice car just the was it is. Are you planning on keeping her stock or some kind of conversion?? I started with a Black Civi Caprice with Gray Cloth interior. I see a very similar change over to a DGGM Impala/Caprice SS if you wanted. :)
Thanks. No conversion planned although I may do a few things. I do still have a set of SS wheels that will wind up on the car at some point and we'll see what else comes up. It will stay mechanically stock.
 

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Thanks. No conversion planned although I may do a few things. I do still have a set of SS wheels that will wind up on the car at some point and we'll see what else comes up. It will stay mechanically stock.
A set of SS wheels would dress it up nice while still staying stock. Wouldn't take much to complete the external SS appearance if you wanted. Did mine over the course of years and when SS parts (used and new) were more easily had.

But some DGGM wheel well moldings, door handles, a grill and some blacked out chrome on tail lights, rockers and belt line trim removal and you got a good start.
Whatever you decide to do to the car, you got yourself a nice looking ride there....enjoy!
 

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I live on the WestCoast so I must say, you got lucky finding that car. It took me 8 months of everyday internet searches to find my 96 Caprice 9c1, too be honest I came across more 96 Impalas 4Sale that 9c1's. Dont get me wrong I love the 96 Impalas but people knew they would be classics one day so a lot of them got put up & taken care of very well thats why there are a lot of them still on the road & looken good but the 9c1's were not that lucky just think about how many of them were tore up & abused by the cops also you just dont see alot of them with less than 100Kmiles anymore
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If that's a beater, it puts mine in a whole new category. Somewhere below heap. Congrats.
The best beater title came from the 95 9C1 I bought in 1999. It was a Texas DPS unmarked freeway cruiser with 113,000 miles. I think the key was the freeway miles, a lot easier on the car than a city vehicle that spends more time idling than running. When they decommission their cars they repaint them in addition to taking out all the lights and radio equipment, unfortunately they use whatever paint they have lying around. Mine was a weird metallic gold-brown that I was never able to identify. I kept that car for 5 years and ran it up to 157,000 miles, even let my son drive it to school for awhile. The only major repairs it needed were brakes, opti, plug wires and a/c compressor and it ran as good when I sold it as when I bought it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I live on the WestCoast so I must say, you got lucky finding that car. It took me 8 months of everyday internet searches to find my 96 Caprice 9c1, too be honest I came across more 96 Impalas 4Sale that 9c1's. Dont get me wrong I love the 96 Impalas but people knew they would be classics one day so a lot of them got put up & taken care of very well thats why there are a lot of them still on the road & looken good but the 9c1's were not that lucky just think about how many of them were tore up & abused by the cops also you just dont see alot of them with less than 100Kmiles anymore
I agree about luck, I was surprised to see it. I had been casually looking at old police cars for a long time and the supply of caprices had dropped to very few. Being a county vehicle may have saved this one, I think someone kept it hidden for one person use. I needed a dependable car that both my wife and I could drive and leave outside without worrying about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I would like to clean the fabric seats in this car but I don't want any harsh or hazardous chemical odor left inside. Can anyone recommend a good odor-free spray fabric cleaner?
 

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I took the 96 out for a long drive today. I got a tolltag for it, we have a lot of toll roads now in DFW and it's worth it just to drive 70 mph. I also stopped at Walmart and Pep Boys, picked up some floor mats, AC oil filters and a few other things. The car runs and drives great. Pep Boys still had the old Grant chrome horn button so I did a quick home plate delete when I got back. I always liked the chrome button better than the hockey puck. Later I'll remove the home plate bracket and clean up the motor. I put an ad in the wanted forum looking for one of the old TeamSS pipes from back in the day for the first base delete.
 

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I would like to clean the fabric seats in this car but I don't want any harsh or hazardous chemical odor left inside. Can anyone recommend a good odor-free spray fabric cleaner?
Before I converted over to a Leather Interior, I had all cloth Interior and these seats.



I later sold the Cloth set to another member here and before wrapping them up for shipping, I took the time to clean them up real good. This pic shows the difference as I was cleaning them. Clean on the Left, lots of every day driving on the right.....HUGE difference.




They probably had about 100K+ on them and dont think I ever took the time to REALLY clean them. The occasional vacum over the years, but nothing special.

For this cleaning I just picked up that Spray Foam Fabric Cleaner you get at the Parts Store. I think it might have been a Turtle Wax product, but it was so many years ago I dont remember.:) Just spay it on, scrub it and vacum it off....repeat as needed. Probably quite a few products out there now to choose from.
 

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Thanks, that's quite an improvement. I bought some foam cleaner yesterday at Pep Boys - Blue Coral brand, supposed to clean and deodorize. The carpet has been replaced and the back seat looks like it was never used but like all cop cars the front seats are not pretty. I'll try this stuff, just hope it doesn't add its own odor.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I haven't done much to this car yet, we were gone on vacation for a week. I did get an aftermarket console and drop it in and have been driving the car a lot. I went on an Ebay / online shopping spree and got the following:

  • Bilstein 1516 and 1517 Shocks
  • OEM SS grille in DGGM with a red bowtie
  • New center air dam (Mine is gone)
  • Aftermarket SS wheel center caps
I'm planning to do the shocks this week then get a wheel alignment before switching to the SS wheels. I'm thinking of going to 275-55-17 tires to fill up the wells since I will not be changing springs, anyone done this on a 9C1 sedan?
 

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I started cleaning up the interior today, did the driver's seat which of course was the worst. I used Blue Coral Dri-Clean spray-on foam, sprayed it on and used the cap to scrub the fabric, then wiped it down with clean towel. This stuff is great! Easy to use, only one application needed, and the improvement is amazing. This seat looked terrible and I thought it was worn as well as filthy but after cleaning the fabric looks fine. You can see it in these pics, the top two sections have been cleaned. You can also see the removed dirt on the towel. The best part is there is no lingering chemical odor, I let it dry in the sun for a couple hours and it was all done.
 

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