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Sherlock9C1 builds a wagon

13073 Views 144 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  MWP
[editor's note, I'm migrating this over from GMLongRoof forum, so some of this may be repetitive from my Impala build thread]

Hey guys, it's about time I posted up my wagon project. I've owned B-bodies since 2003, but in late 2013 my fourth Roadmaster wagon sadly caught fire a week after I bought it and was a total loss. I had just moved 1000 miles south and with a new job, three young kids and a whole new city, I needed to simplify. So I sold all three of my B-bodies and just drove minivans for 5 years.

My dad suddenly passed away in fall 2017 and the next summer I ended up inheriting his '96 Impala SS (Dark Cherry, the car I always wanted). It was drivable but needed a lot of work. I was going to sell it, but shortly after I got it to my house the buyer flaked out, so I just drove it and remembered why these cars are so fun (especially compared to minivans!). My wife and I decided to sell one minivan and make the SS my daily driver (which you can do in the Southern US), so I started disassembling it to restore. (That build is over here).

Four months later, while looking for parts, I located a 96 Roadmaster wagon project about 2 hours north of me. The owner had started to build it but hit some snags and health problems and it had been sitting partially disassembled for two years. I figured SURELY he'd be willing to sell some parts from his stash, but no, he said he wanted to sell the whole thing together, and he made me an extremely compelling offer. So I did what any self-respecting guy would do, I told him I'd talk to my wife and call him back.

We talked it over and decided to go ahead and take a good hard look at the wagon. It was dirty and neglected, but other than a hellacious battery acid leak and an unfortunate rainwater accumulation in the left rear quarter, it was rust free and in very good condition.

So we loaded it up with parts, loaded my minivan full of parts, strapped down the powdercoated rear axle and the 383 he had acquired for it (on a specially designed radial transport fixture) and he trailered it to my house.

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Awesome, and tuned in.

Those shots of the internals make me immediately think of blasting media and ceramic and stuff. Not saying that's what happened, but I've just become paranoid.

You just reminded me...

I knew a guy back in the day who had a really nice IROC. He got a DUI, lost his license, and the car sat for a few years. While the car was sitting, mice ate the wiring. He ended up buying another car, and the Camaro just sat for years until somebody showed up on his front door saying that he restores 3rd gen F-bodies, and that he wanted to buy the car. My buddy said no, but took the guy's number.

Eventually he realized that he wasn't going to get around to the project, and time wasn't going to do the car any favors. He called the guy up and the guy came back with a trailer and $1500. The guy wanted to bring the car back over after he restored it, and my buddy declined. It was just too emotional for him, and he didn't want to see it again.

The previous owner of this wagon likely isn't that crazy, but like I said, you reminded me.
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Why people still use carbureters baffles me.
What is so baffling?

There are guys who have been building race cars a certain way for their entire lives and are now 70 years old and have never used a computer for anything. (Yes, 95wagon, there are also guys who this does not apply to).

If you are an expert at one thing and a noob at another, it's understandable that some would prefer to stick with what they are good at. My good friend is still running a carb'd SBC in his Caprice, and the car sure as hell doesn't need to be any faster. He has no reason to learn how to tune. "Efficiency"? That's cute.

Why does everyone swap LS motors? The intake port.
I can't tell if you are being completely serious here, but the head flow numbers are just the beginning.
I don't take myself too seriously. Maybe you take me more seriously than I do.

The question wasn't how serious you take yourself. The question was how literally that particular comment should be taken.
You forgot to block out buddy's hair. Much more distinguishing than any potential face.

sherlock9c1 said:
Here is the Crankshaft Position Sensor (CKP) reluctor that GM added in '96.
I just realized that I should have asked you about this a long time ago:

What can you say about the crank sensor?

I sold a 95 LT1 to my friend to replace the engine in his 96 SS. I told him that I believed it was okay to leave this sensor unplugged, and then just tune out the code. Accurate?
I'm not great at estimating anything between 0.002 and 0.003 with it
You should use it to burn down a GM plant.
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Now that you know for sure that your gas tank does not seal properly, you should add that to your list.

(edit: unless it came from the gas cans)
@Caddylack I don't think any B-body fuel system is fully sealed given the rotted-out EVAP hoses up front and the EVAP vent line that always breaks over the rear axle. This particular car sat outside in the humid south for two years before transferring to my garage for the following four.
Good point.

I'm not sure how the vent hose functions, but I assume it isn't just an open hose. B-bodies do have noticeable "suction" at the gas cap, yes?
I’ve had good luck with white vinegar, at least better than this video shows. I didn’t see him scrub any parts, which is when the vinegars results show up. After 24 hrs soak, I give it a brief scrub with a metal brush and then rinse, most parts except the worst offenders usually look pretty decent. Hard to beat considering the price.
I do about 72 hours and it all just falls off. Vinegar rocks.
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