will 91-96 caprice suspension parts and rearends fit in my 85 caprice? - Page 2 - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 03-07-2012, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutt's37Buick
I'm looking at buying a '94-'96 Roadmaster for a donor car. I plan on using the engine, trans, steer column, modified seats, and electrical. I'll would also try to use the front steer components to do a front suspension upgrade similar to http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/w...ension_upgrade. Not sure how well the parts will work yet because the lower arms are not symetric like my old Buick.
1) Assuming I can use the suspension, is there any advantage to buying a sedan or a wagon as a donor car?
Thanks
If you ever want to do discs, 9c1/Impala SS rear brakes fit the sedan axles without mods. You can get the discs to fit the wagon, but it's just another step you'll need to take. I don't really see an advantage of a wagon axle over the sedan, they are largely the same aside from the LCA mounting further outboard on the axle, and the frame is wider in the back. I guess it depends on what car you are putting it under, and if you can see an advantage of the different track width and slightly different suspension.

I have done 3 B-car frame swaps, the most recent about 3 weeks ago. I put a 94 9c1 frame under my 79 Coupe. Reading the comments above, I did it because the new frame was a southern frame from AZ, was already repainted, and had a completely rebuilt front and rear suspension. Much nicer than the crusty frame I had under the car. It's not a ton of work, we did the swap in 8 hours, and I'll never have to touch the frame again.

You can do it with a hoist, or with some forethought, some stands made out of 2x6's and a Cherry picker.. did that twice...

Regarding 8.5" sedan axles, I redrilled the axles on one of my bare 9c1 units. The backing plates from an earlier car will fit, but the hub locator flange on the 91-96 axles is larger, so my stock 9" drums would not fit. You can get a 91-96 with 9" drums, so I did that and drilled the pattern to 5x4.75". You can do this on a drill press. I transfer punched the pattern from my redrilled axle shafts (which were done on a mill with very good accuracy), and drilled the holes to 1/2" The drum located on the center flange, and gets clamped to the axle by the wheel, so getting the bolt pattern perfect is not very critical.

FWIW, you need to be careful with which axle you use from 91-96, there are 7.5" axles on a lot of those cars, 94-96 is a safer bet, but even then some 4.3L V8 cars were 7.5. There are also 2-3 different widths. Log on to impalassforum.com, there are stickes in the driveline section that detail the widths.

Regarding springs, it's a mixed bag. The junkyard is your friend. The rates are not often that different, but the free height is, so it changes your ride height among sedans. On wagons, they definitely had stiffer rear springs AND a taller free height.

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Last edited by RunswScissors; 03-07-2012 at 05:57 AM.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 11-15-2012, 08:57 PM
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bigger brakes on the 9C1 ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnova72 View Post
True, unless the 91-96 frame is from the 9c1 police package, then it has stiffer springs, bigger anti-roll bars, higher durometer bushings, bigger front brakes. If I had the cop car, I'd probably do the complete frame swap,. If not, just a rear swap and then rebuild the suspension with poly bushings and add aftermarket anti-roll bars.
how are the brakes bigger ? Ive never heard that , I do have the factory service manuels for the 91 and 96 caprice. thanks
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:03 PM
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larger front rotors for caprice

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Originally Posted by ironindian77 View Post
I wondering if 91-96 caprice suspension parts and rearend will fit in my 85.because I'd like to put a 300 hp 350 in my 85 and I know the 7.5 won't last to long.I thought I read some were that the 91-96 caprice 8.5 rearends were a straight bolt in just they were a little wider.I was also wondering if the front and rear suspension parts would also fit.I'm trying to make a 85 caprice ss of sorts.
I had an 85 caprice , I installed wagon spindles and camaro LE1 rotors which kept the old small bolt pattern, the improved breaking power showed me the sedan brakes were way to small for a 4000 lb car.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 11-15-2012, 09:15 PM
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taller free height springs ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RunswScissors View Post
If you ever want to do discs, 9c1/Impala SS rear brakes fit the sedan axles without mods. You can get the discs to fit the wagon, but it's just another step you'll need to take. I don't really see an advantage of a wagon axle over the sedan, they are largely the same aside from the LCA mounting further outboard on the axle, and the frame is wider in the back. I guess it depends on what car you are putting it under, and if you can see an advantage of the different track width and slightly different suspension.

I have done 3 B-car frame swaps, the most recent about 3 weeks ago. I put a 94 9c1 frame under my 79 Coupe. Reading the comments above, I did it because the new frame was a southern frame from AZ, was already repainted, and had a completely rebuilt front and rear suspension. Much nicer than the crusty frame I had under the car. It's not a ton of work, we did the swap in 8 hours, and I'll never have to touch the frame again.

You can do it with a hoist, or with some forethought, some stands made out of 2x6's and a Cherry picker.. did that twice...

Regarding 8.5" sedan axles, I redrilled the axles on one of my bare 9c1 units. The backing plates from an earlier car will fit, but the hub locator flange on the 91-96 axles is larger, so my stock 9" drums would not fit. You can get a 91-96 with 9" drums, so I did that and drilled the pattern to 5x4.75". You can do this on a drill press. I transfer punched the pattern from my redrilled axle shafts (which were done on a mill with very good accuracy), and drilled the holes to 1/2" The drum located on the center flange, and gets clamped to the axle by the wheel, so getting the bolt pattern perfect is not very critical.

FWIW, you need to be careful with which axle you use from 91-96, there are 7.5" axles on a lot of those cars, 94-96 is a safer bet, but even then some 4.3L V8 cars were 7.5. There are also 2-3 different widths. Log on to impalassforum.com, there are stickes in the driveline section that detail the widths.

Regarding springs, it's a mixed bag. The junkyard is your friend. The rates are not often that different, but the free height is, so it changes your ride height among sedans. On wagons, they definitely had stiffer rear springs AND a taller free height.
when you say "On wagons, they definitely had stiffer rear springs AND a taller free height. " what do you mean? I installed wagon springs on 5 caprices and when the speings were out of the car sedan springs setting next to wagon springs, the sedans spring were much taller and the wagon springs weighted one pound more than the sedan springs.. thanks
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 11-15-2012, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topmeat69 View Post
how are the brakes bigger ? Ive never heard that , I do have the factory service manuels for the 91 and 96 caprice. thanks
The caprice 9c1 got wider calipers to fit thicker pads. No improvement in braking but the.thicker pads gave a longer service interval betweennpad changes.. fleetwood brougham limo had the widest caliper, i think the rpo for that was J55, but I will have check my notes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by topmeat69 View Post
I had an 85 caprice , I installed wagon spindles and camaro LE1 rotors which kept the old small bolt pattern, the improved breaking power showed me the sedan brakes were way to small for a 4000 lb car.
Very common mod to these cars. The wagon spindles from the 80's are essentially what all 91-96 sedans and wagons, with the exception that the 91-96 knuckles have provisions for the abs sensors, if thats important to you.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 11-15-2012, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topmeat69 View Post
when you say "On wagons, they definitely had stiffer rear springs AND a taller free height. " what do you mean? I installed wagon springs on 5 caprices and when the speings were out of the car sedan springs setting next to wagon springs, the sedans spring were much taller and the wagon springs weighted one pound more than the sedan springs.. thanks
Thicker wire in the spring (stiffer), which goes to rate. Wagon springs.are about 175#/in. The stiffest sedan spring offered was 150#/in, some as low as 125.
The sedans had a few different ride heights. 94-96 impalas were the lowest, regular sedans were trimmed have higher, and the ride height on the cop cars was the highest. Cop car and impala spring rates were both the same but the cop car free lengths were.longer so the car sat higher.

So to be more clear, wagon springs are definitely stiffer, but depending on what rear spring you compare them to, they may be shorter or longer. I have the factory spring chart somewhere, I'll have to see what the wagon free heights are.
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