View Full Version : Some questions about a '77 Caprice 2dr

12-03-2004, 09:01 AM

My brother and I are fixing some things on his car this winter, and I assume that some questions will pop up during that time.
His car: http://home.no/caprice/ The page is a little behind on the 'update' dept, but it will get done during december.

On the 'to do' list this winter:
-Fix the floor (welding required), making mounts for bucket seats
-Change interior color to black, mount new Grant steering wheel and B&M Megashifter
-Remove AC completely, tidy up electrical system under hood, and inside dashboard
-Firm up sloppy suspension (Energy Suspension bushings, sway bars)
-Plus many other smaller thing, will update later, also pictures when something happens.

Though this won't be a "full blown" PT project, the overall goal is to improve the car in all areas, which also requires a diet! We have winter from October to April here anyway, so ditching the AC isn't a big deal.

Then, the first questions:
Body mounts: They will be replaced down the line, but noone makes any for this car (duh...), so the plan is to make some for the '94-'96 SS fit. Anyone here tried this? Other solutions? Already have a kit lying around, using time and modifying is just fun anyway, as using stock rubber ones aren't an option...

Boxing rear control arms:
This being a "make the most of what you have"-project, the stock ones will probably get welded, and fitted with poly bushings. Have heard of numerous doing this to their Chevelle's, so we'll give it a shot.
Any known pro's or con's to this?

Springs for the car:
The big problem! Have seen some using Eaton Detroit Spring, and Coil Spring Specialties, have anyone got some pictures of cars with those springs? I have seen some, and they seem to high in the front, and we both hate the "sagging rear" look on these cars. A little lower in front (NOT on it's nose though), gives a nice "agressive" stance, while level looks saggy when you put 2lbs in the trunk...

Alignment specs:
Well, any suggestions? I am shooting for as much positive caster as I can get, roughly 0.5deg negative camber and a little toe in (about 5-10 'minutes' per side, sorry - only metric otherwise over here) I am willing to try out several settings to get the right feel and high speed stability (yeah, right), and will do the alignment myself. I used to work at the local Chevy-dealer here, and feel relatively confident after an X number of Suburbans, Tahoes, Vans (a pain!) and Blazers... The car will not be used at a track, but it's next to useless in stock form even on the street, so something definately has to be done. In the future it will get som 17"/18"'s, more for the look than handling, but it will help the handling/stability anyway.

We know, it's a stupid car to do theese mods on, but it's also totally cool just for the same reason! 95oct costs over $5/gallon here, so it's very rewarding making people turn their heads and beeing politically uncorrect :) Anyway, this was what I could think of for now, exciting to see what (mixed) responses will appear... Thank you in advance for bearing with my rambling. ;)

Q ship
12-04-2004, 12:20 PM
The body mounts should work, the only thing is the hardware on a '77 is SAE, not metric-so some modifying may be required. The mounts themselves should be the same.
Boxing the control arms is not the preferred way to stiffen them, look around www.bmrfabrication.com for some decently priced alternatives. I don't care for poly bushings, but they're not as bad in the lower arms.
There's a lot of spring threads in the suspension forum at www.impalassforum.com , the rears are difficult because they are pigtailed at both ends(cannot be cut). Stock SS springs are a good low cost choice, usually can find a set used.
Can't help with alignment info, not that far yet!

12-06-2004, 12:48 PM
Thanks for replying!

The body mounts came without any hardware except 12 large washers, so most will have to be reused of the stock pieces.

Sadly, we're also informed about the quadrabind rear suspension and are mostly aware of it's shortcomings, but I (the mechanic) don't feel competent enough to alter anything from stock. This means that upgrading the stock suspension is the only alternative at the present. The most annoying thing about the car is the "wag" in the rear, so until the Hotchkis arms (or other brand) are in the car, the stock ones have to do. The biggest problem for us, that you guys are spoiled with, is that the prices over here are approx. 50-60% above Jeg's/Summit's when we import it ourselves. In the speedshops you can almost double the prices! No trick parts this year...

Regarding Impala SS springs, there are probably none here in Norway (Cost of car new: above $150 000!!! - Taxes are crazy), but Sweden has got some - and it might just happen that some springs soon will be heading this way :)

Thank you for the tips, and I must say - Nice what you are doing to your "box"! Your brakes scored high on my drool'o'meter... And manual swap! Have you gotten many comments for it "only being a 4-door"? It's the same here in Norway also, but personally I like 'em, and might get one myself later as a fun daily driver. What transmission will you be using on yours? Did you mount the "sock" on the fuel pump? I have seen several fail without it, but maybe it was mounted after the pictures being taken? Anyway, my brother's Caprice is on a diet, we hope to get it down to approx. 4000lbs, or as low under we manage (alum.heads/'glass hood/AC-delete/bucket seats replacing 6way pwr/etc in the future) We have to make a statement against the fart-cans everybody wants over here...

Q ship
12-07-2004, 06:35 AM
Hi Christian,
I saw that post by Bostic and wondered if it was you! Good luck with getting the springs, I think they will make a big difference. As far as the arms, yes we are spoiled here-boxing the arms would be better than stock. I still don't like the poly bushings but in the lower arms they wouldn't be as bad. Does the car have a rear swaybar yet?

Oh, you might be surprised about the weight-have you weighed yours yet? I weighed my car on a county dump scale(how accurate it was I don't know, but they use it to determine the charge, so...) and it was around 3800 lbs. Boxys are known to be a few hundred pounds lighter than the bubbles, so it's not too far-fetched.

Thanks for the comments about mine, I hope to have it going by next spring. Yes, I did put the sock on the pump, didn't realize that I didn't get a pic of it all together! A lot of people don't care for four doors, but there are some signs that they are becoming more "acceptable". The practicality of it for a family of 5 is hard to beat. I bought the car as a "beater", but enjoyed driving it so much that I decided to make it a little special. I will put a TH400 for a while, but the final trans will be a Tremec TKO600, along with a 383. I keep eyeing the Gale Banks turbo setup....

Oh, one thing I forgot, check out www.b-body.org . It's a new site, but there are some good tips there already.

12-08-2004, 09:56 AM
Hi Brian,
it doesn't have a rear bar yet, but I have an adjustable swaybar (Rancho i think) with uniballs at the ends. It mounts on the axlehousing the same way the 3rd gen F-body does, with the links up to the crossmember for the springs and upper control arms, that way I'm not conserned about the shaft ripping out it's bolts in the stock LCAs. The shaft actually is from a G-body wagon, so in risk of it being to small/weak - anything is better than nothing in the back! I've got the front one around too, but the chances of it fitting the Caprice are slim. I'll do some measuring and might take a picture or two so you can see them...

As for weight, with my brother and me, and 3/4 tank of gas it weighed 4365lbs, without us 3980lbs. I didn't write that the 4000lbs goal is with my brother in the car, 'race ready', which means we only have 150-160lbs to remove so far. Later, we hope to get it down in the 3700-3800 range (empty), but that would cost a lot of money here in Norway, but you never know what might happen. Maybe the 2dr body, undercoating and 'loaded' with options makes it so heavy? My old 4dr '65 Chevelle was lighter than a 2dr I believe.

Drivetrain plans for this one is somewhat similar to yours; We're collecting parts for a 383 to go in maybe next winter, and the only thing missing is a 4-bolt block to build on. It'll consist of Vortec iron heads, an Eagle rotating assy, and a Comp Xtreme energy cam among other parts that's already on the shelf. A TH700R4 is also bought, and will be mounted behind the 310cid that's in the car right now, to gain back some highway economy (It now has 3.42:1 rear gears). It has to be reinforced before the 383 though, probably won't last the first testdrive. Though a manual would be the best in our opinion.
Also on the shelf is a complete Accel DFI (gen 6) and TPI intake system, but it needs another base intake to fit the planned heads (Both the iron Vortecs and E-tec 200's down the road). Might just go for a miniram and '730 ecu, but that's quite a long way into the future.

Turbos are cool. I love a stock, flat hood, or even a cowl induction, with lots and lots of power underneath... I actually can't stand the 'blower thru the hood'-look, with gross inefficiency and everybody expecting the car to run good. Always look slower than you really are, is my motto in this case! Bling'ed cars/rice'ers can take care of the opposite, and make fools of them selves.

12-09-2004, 11:38 AM
if you need i have arear bar off a cop car(big) cheap 20$+ship if you want

12-10-2004, 09:07 AM

Thank you for the great and tempting offer, but I have to turn it down. The price is great for a part that's hard to get over here, but the cost of shipping it here will just be too much I'm afraid.... The price increase over Jeg's/Summit prices are mostly shipping, combined with taxes (the weight/volume penalty, combined with a whopping 24% on EVERYTHING!). If we find a way around this, I'll probably post under "parts wanted", but again - Thank you for the offer.

12-14-2004, 03:04 AM
You have mail!

12-16-2004, 01:40 PM
So do you!