I want a 9C1. Tips? Opinions? Ideas? - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-23-2002, 09:45 PM
JJR512
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Hello everyone! I am new here, but not new to message boards (I run my own general & computer message board; see my sig).

For a long time, I've been interested in getting an ex-police car; specifically, a Caprice, 1995 or later because the rear-quarter window has a better shape. [img]smile.gif[/img] I've figured these are great cars to get because they have good performance, are low-cost, and are relatively easy to maintain, being a good ol' American V8 that just about any mechanic should be able to work with. I also understand that despite the typically high mileage, they are usually very well maintained by the departments, and that the engines can usually last for hundreds of thousands of miles.

What I'm wondering is what is it like in real life to own one of these. I would want one as a daily driver; it would be my only car. I drive ~14,000 miles per year, mostly suburban driving, rarely in the city. What kinds of problems, if any, will I have, and when? Are there any specific parts or systems that are known to be failure-prone? What kind of costs will I have? Will it be acceptably reliable as a daily driver? How long will it last? And what else can you tell me.

Thanks! [img]smile.gif[/img]
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-25-2002, 10:32 AM
nyuni
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Welcome to the forums! [img]smile.gif[/img]

I just recently purchased a 9C1, after having been a fan of the B-body cars for as long as I can remember. The 9C1 relpaced a 1991 Buick Roadmaster and 89 Caprice Sedan as my daily drivers. My 9C1 was an unmarked State Trooper car, but without the spotlight that many of the 9C1's you'll find for sale have, I figure it was a detective car. I got the car with 190,000 miles on it, and like you said, despite the high mileage, the car feels and drives like it just rolled off the lot. The car is a dream as a daily driver, in fact, I'd describe it downright fun.

When buying a 9C1, I'd reccomend looking for a state vehicle. When I was looking around, it seemed like they were the best maintained despite whatever mileage they had on them. I would definately stay away from county or city vehicles, as they're usually trashed and not as well maintained.

In my experience with my 89 Caprice and 91 Roadmaster, these cars have been incredibly reliable. When I picked up my 9C1, it needed a new EGR valve and Solenoid, but other than that, was totally solid. The water pump seems to be an item that is a bit flaky on the LT1, from what I read. Knock on wood, hopefully mine still has a good bit of life in it! [img]smile.gif[/img] You mentioned that you'd be doing a lot of suburban driving, and the only issue I've found with that is that in a lot of stop-and-go traffic, the car tends to heat up quick, but I'm looking to drop in a 160* Thermostat and PCM reprogram to help with that, turning on the AC (Which subsequently turns on one of the electric fans mounted behind the radiator) helps to curb that until then.


I'd wholly reccomend you getting a 9C1, granted you can find one that you feel good about. I was lucky to find such a clean, well-driving vehicle despite the mileage on it. You won't regret it.
post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-25-2002, 06:26 PM
'94XTHP
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Welcome.

Here are a few items that will be a pain if you own an LT1 b-body, in no particular order:

-Optispark distributor
-Gear-driven waterpump (which, when it fails, can take out the optispark)
-Window sliders
-4L60E tranny is kinda weak
-Rear disc brakes aren't actually doing anything until you do the brake bolt mod

There are a few others that I'm not thinking about right now. Otherwise, you can get a lot of miles out of one. Lots of power, room for 5 or 6, and relatively affordable. Do a search on any of these items, and you'll have enough to read for about a week. When you're done reading up, come on back and ask some more questions!
 
post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-25-2002, 08:30 PM
9C1Wheelies
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Hey Justin,
It's hard to find a car with better perfomance for the dollar. Reliability and mileage are good too. They're fun to drive and modify. Parts are easy to find.

The transmissions typically last 100k miles. If possible, find one with a GM remanufactured trans. An rebuild isn't cheap.

Plan on a tune up, meaning filters, plugs, wires and likely an opti if it's over 100-125k. An air pump delete would be convenient while you're at it. Many also have weak starters and batteries. It's a great time to switch to lightweight pieces.

One other weak area, the intake gasket. Specifically, it can leak oil at the rear vertical surface. Many complain of this, but I haven't seen one yet myself.

Talk to the mechanics about any car you like. They can be very helpful with researching a car's history.

Good Luck!
post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-25-2002, 10:20 PM
JJR512
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About the transmission...Just exactly how weak is it? Especially if one wants to add extra power. Will the 4L60E hold up? Can it be beefed up? Can the 4L80E be swapped in, and is it tougher? (I've heard of the 4L80E but don't know much about it, even if it would fit, but believe it's a tougher tranny.)
post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-25-2002, 10:31 PM
JJR512
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Hey, this looks good; anybody ever heard of these guys? http://www.transmissioncenter.net/4L60E.htm
post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 06:45 PM
lt1kicker
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Hmm, it didn't mention a b-body application, but I would call them and find out. It had better be a damn good transmission for what they want.
post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 08:31 PM
coolb72
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I just bought my 95 9c1 lt1 about two months ago and I really could not be happier with the purchase. I bought it at a lot here that specializes in ex cop cars for 4500 with 117k miles on it. The engine burns no oil, has no leaks yet and the body and paint looks as good as new.
When i bought the car, it ran really hot but changing out the tstat with a 160f fixed it. I have also put some new rubber all around, put in a decent stereo and some other very minor stuff.
I drive my car in city and highway driving and average about 20mpg. This car is exactly what i wanted, a big solid rocket.
I would look around and take your time looking. I spent several months looking at different car lots and drove a lot of cars before i bought this car. I know that this is a used car so when something goes wrong, i fix it and laugh at all those people paying $500 a month on car payments.
Take care of it and it will last a long time, but things do break in any car so if this is the type of car you want, then you should get it! My gf was very skeptical when i bought this car but now she insists on driving it any chance that she gets. i guess she likes having my than the 82hp in her tercel. good luck! peace
post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 09:30 PM
9C1Wheelies
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Check out this thread:
https://www.impalassforum.com/cgi-bin...c&f=4&t=002031

The 4L60E really isn't that bad unless you wind past 6000 rpm. Don't forget about a T56.
post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 09:42 PM
JJR512
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I've considered the T56 conversion, which I've read about elsewhere, but have pretty much decided against it. Part of the reason is the cost. I guess that may sound silly given the link I've just given to those customized 4L60E units (by the way, re: LT1KICKER's comments above: It may not mention a B-body application, but isn't a 4L60E a 4L60E? In other words, the B-body comes with a 4L60E, so shouldn't any 4L60E fit, or does it need to be specific for the B-body, and if so, why?). But converting to a T56 would cost a lot more.

But the main reason I've decided against ever converting to a manual transmission is it just isn't part of the "character" of this kind of car. This is a large sedan. It may have pretty good performance. Hell, considering its weight and size, we could even say it has excellent performance. But it's not a true sports car. Please don't anybody kill me for that remark. [img]smile.gif[/img] But, in my opinion, a manual transmission would be just as "wrong" in this kind of car, as an automatic is "wrong" for a car like an RX-7 or Corvette. I hope you understand what I mean (even if you don't necessarily agree with me).
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