What Should I Look For - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 09:33 PM
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I'm going to be going to a place to look at a few Caprices they have. They claim they are 9c1's, but you never know. Anyway, I am wondering what I should look for when I go to this place. I know I want an LT1 (94-96) , but other than that it's in the air. I need to have a reliable car for now (with the intention of adding a T56 in the future, and other mods) so I am wondering what I should look for as far as mileage. They have a Caprice (don't know if 9c1, but as all the others are I would assume it is) with 85,000 miles for $3,500. Does this sound reasonable as far as price-mileage is concerned? Also Could you tell me what I should look for on the spid label? And if VINGuy reads this, if I get the VIN's for some of the cars I look at will it be possible to get some of the info for them from you? Any other advice will be greatly appreciated .Thanks for all your help.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-01-2003, 08:48 AM
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On the SPID label on the trunk, you'll be looking for the obvious:

9C1 - Self-explanatory.
G80 - Posi Rear
LT1 - Self-explanatory.

There are many other option codes for various SEO equipment, but I can't remember them off the top of my head.. I'm in the middle of class without reference to my 9C1 materials on my desktop computer (Gotta love wireless internet.) I would reccomend you take a look at 9C1.com and the brochures they have on the 9C1s, they have a listing of all the Equipment option codes and descriptions so you can look them up on the SPID to determine how the car is outfitted.

And of course, VINGuy will give you the complete rundown on a specific car.

I also reccomend you do a search on the forum, as this has been covered many times before.

post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-01-2003, 11:09 PM
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85k on an LT1 aint even broke in.....theres guys takin them apart with 150k still with cross hatch on the cylinder walls
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-02-2003, 11:09 PM
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Having just bought a 9C1 for the first time a few months ago, I can give you some good advice.

First, most police depts retire their cars around 120k mi - I'm curious why these have less. Were they local cars? In that case, check the suspension real good to make sure the cars aren't worn out from around-town work. They may also have crap interiors, and if you (or your wife) care about a nice interior, that's an issue because nice interiors are expensive to retrofit. Mine was a '95 9C1 with 122k on it, runs perfect, is extremely quick, has no rust and a near-perfect interior and I paid more than $3500 for it, so you're on the lower end of the spectrum but the cars you're looking at may not be top-notch either.

Second, CHECK EVERY SINGLE THING ON THE CAR BEFORE YOU BUY IT. If the guy gives you a hassle about how long it's taking, tell him to shut up or you're leaving. The two things I didn't check - front brakes and front tire alignment, ended up costing me close to $400 for new brakes, tires and alignment. That's 10% right there I could have talked him down, but didn't cuz I didn't know.

Third, what to look for: 9C1's were used for several different things: marked patrol, unmarked patrol, administrative (DMV, detective, FBI, etc.) or non-police (fire, medics, etc.) and each car has been treated differently - you can figure this out (I listed from hardest to easiest). They were also appointed differently - some have all vinyl seats, some have cloth, some have rubber floors, some have carpet. Decide what you want, because it gets expensive to change it later.

Fourth - my own experience:
1. rubber floors are waterproof, clean easy, unbelievably easy to run stereo cabling underneath and don't transmit any more road noise than carpet (a concern for me).
2. You will miss POSI (G80 option code) if you do a lot of stoplight racing or drive a lot in the rain without good rear tires. My buddy in a Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited loves to mess with me when it's raining, because my right rear will spin with the slightest amount of gas coming off of a stop. On the highway though, I smoke him .
3. Print out and be familiar with the complete RPO code list before you go look at the cars. This tells you what you're getting AND gives room to negotiate.
4. CRUISE CONTROL - if you drive much highway, you will miss this. The LT1 will creep up way beyond the speed limit before you ever notice it if you just lock your foot and go. I just bought the whole cruise setup out of a '95 Buick Roadmaster wagon for $75 and installed it myself, so you can go that option, but it's a lot easier if it's already on the car.
5. BRAKES - check the brakes good, because new pads and rotors for this car are $$$$.

Dang.. it's 1:03am.. I need to get to sleep. I'm in the middle of mod-o-mania:
stereo, remote starter, cruise control, Blazer overhead console, Z28 cluster, Fleetwood trunk carpet, bonneville seats, dual hood lights, summit mufflers, Kumho Ecsta STX 255/60R15's, my own homemade RAISS intake... where will the madness end????
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