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 Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.

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SpringerNC

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PostSubject: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:09 pm

I have been reading learning and stalking for some time now. I am very close to a purchase but need some help/guidance.

Here is my situation.

I am a financially extended High School teacher, with a solid shade tree mechanic diploma (I am not scared to attack most jobs but smart enough to leave some alone)

I am about 1k away from the prices of most LT1's I am seeing in my budget(3k). I would love to find a LT1 Roadmaster, just because I think it's really cool and would love to be able to tell my students I am rolling a Corvette engine!
However there is a TBI car down the road from me that needs some cosmetic help but I may be able to get for a good deal, he is asking 1800, but it he's had it for sometime.

I have read many opinions, but I just want to know. Is it really worth holding out for me to find a LT1 car, or just go after the TBI and save some money. I need a DD and a cruiser to get me and the kids back and forth from grandmas this summer.
I am only working with around 3000 at my best, and am questioning the value of saving for the LT1 or getting the TBI and saving some serious money, though I would have to fix some window switches and the glass has jumped out of track on one door.

I am very impatient, because I always think the car I find is the last chance to find one, but at this point I am willing to hold out a few more weeks for the right car.

I don't need the extra HP and I know the TBI will sound cool too but in the long run as far as efficiency and up keep I want to make sure I am making the best call.

I appreciate the feedback.
Thanks for your time..

Preston in NC

2 volvo 245 wagons in my back yard if anyone wants a project for a good deal, I am 100% GM longbody man now.....


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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:45 pm

Save for the LT1 car, uness the TBI car is an Oldsmobile.

Sincerely,
TBI owner.

And the windows probably (99%) just need new rollers. Not hard at all.
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SpringerNC

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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:43 pm

I did just find a nice looking 1991 Custom Cruiser for 2300, Is there a reason I should want that over a caprice or roadmaster?
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silverfox103
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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:20 pm

The Custom Cruiser was made only in 1991 and 1992, so I guess it makes it somewhat rare and maybe more collectible to certain people.

Tom
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:39 pm

Slightly more agressive look imo...
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BigBlackBeaSSt

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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:40 pm

The TBI cars are not as powerful as the LT1 (of course) but fuel mileage is markedly better. Oldmobile Smoldsmobile, really matters not for a car that is not a pristine collector car. TBI's are said to be more dependable and a bit simpler as they have a traditional distributor on them.

That being said you should be able to find a 94' LT1 car for about the same money as a TBI car.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:41 pm

Besides who doesnt think a 442 wagon is cool?
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piranah



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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:01 pm

Just make sure the car has documentation if they say this or that was replaced. I am dealing with that with my car. Prior owner supposedly took good care of it, but stuff keeps breaking.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:26 pm

I keep waiting for a "wise one" to chime in,.. Laughing 

There's a few wise ass's here,. is that sorta the same thing?
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Olds Weighty Eight

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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:04 pm

I'm positive I'd enjoy increased power but I have to say that my TBI OCC gets the job done every day very reliably. I do have the 5.7 liter though. Be aware that 1991 wagons had 5.0 liter engines and the 5.7 became an option in 1992.

If I have the need for speed, I can always hop in my black, six cylinder Buick.  Wink
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bamalongroof

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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:42 pm

You should find LT1 cars well below 3K if you have not used Search Tempest this site will help you locate them.
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SpringerNC

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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:19 pm

Thanks for the "wisdom" I have found a few really nice looking TBI's but no LT1 in my range that I are not 300+ miles away. I am going to see my folks this weekend in Raleigh and have found a 13 year owned caprice...nothing fancy ugly carolina blue, but seems well taken care of...every second I lean towards just finding a nice 350, someone says get a LT1.....drat...seems the response is buy one and start saving for the other....

The Olds does look cool. and has a red leather interior....but its at a dealer and I'm sorry but I don't trust them.....the caprice I found in clean and was owned by the same guy for 13 years....that's great...

Maybe I need to find some friendly person on the forum with a great deal who will shoot me straight and meet be at the bus station and I'll make a fun road trip with one of my high school students.....

keep the "wisdom" coming!

thanks so much!
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:39 pm

TBI cars are good if they have the 5.7. For a DD, the TBI car will eventually cost you less (the starter for a 350 is about $20 less than the 305), unless you get the "Mod" bug. For $2k I would look for a 100K or less car, just to keep the wear at a minimum. Stay away from rust belt cars!!!! You can get a Florida, Texas, or Arizona car for about the same as a rust belt car. Getting cosmetic work done on them can get expensive quickly. Make sure you have a good mechanic look it over before you buy it, and check Carfax, so that your emotions do not get in the way. $50 of prevention can save you $1000 in repairs. The engines are good for at least 250K. The trans can last that long, but have seen their demise on occasion at 100K. The LT1s do not have any advantage there. The interior is the hardest to find parts for, so if something breaks or wears out, you will have to look far and wide for good parts. The junk yard is your new second home, because you will want to stock up on fragile parts. BTW, the 94-96 RM door panels are the most fragile of all.

Some of the other options I would look for in a TBI are; 3.23 rear, and posi. If you get a Caprice, it will not have Electronic Climate Control, and may come without remote locks. Some of the Caprices and OCCs have crank windows, and manual seats. You can find cars with all sorts of combinations of upgrades, so look them over carefully for the accessories you want. The LT1 cars tend to have a few more upgrades standard, but the Caprices will not have Electronic Climate Control, although the LT1 cars never have crank windows to the best of my knowledge.

No matter what year and model you buy, this forum, and the impallassforum are the best places to get information, and, in case you need them, parts. There are also some fun get-togethers with other wagon nuts available as well.

The lowest production numbers are the 96 Caprice, 92 Olds, and the 91 Olds, in that order. The most rare car is the gold 91 OCC with the gold cladding.

If you get the mod bug, it can get crazy. You can even stuff a big block in them.
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buickwagon

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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:31 pm

The LT1 is sexier but the TBI 350 is a solid performer and much easier to maintain. The engine out of my 95 RMW lasted me 17 years, hauled everything I ever asked of it (including a 35' house trailer) and now resides in my son's plow truck. That said, there was also a TBI 305 in the early cars (91 RMW and Olds, up to 93 in the Caprice). The smaller motor was only about 10 less peak HP, but about 50 less ft-lb of torque. Ok for hauling passengers, probably not what you want to haul heavy cargo though.

The following is somewhat subjective based on my observations over the years: Engine aside, GM seemed to cheap out a bit on the later (LT1-equipped) interiors; at least in the Roadmaster line. Cheaper plastics more prone to cracking, less substantial folding centre row seat, less instrumentation. However, exterior corrosion protection seems better in the later versions. The early RMW roof rack was neater and better streamlined, but the later cars came with two.
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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:44 pm

I have owned all engine combos offered on the cars, you can check the SPID code inside the tailgate:

L03 - TBI 305
L05 - TBI 350
LT1- Multiport 350

That said my DD is a 260K 305 Oldsmobile. Whiy? I like the way it looks and has the best paint of any of the ones I have. The TBI cars won't win drag races but they cruise comfortably and get a mile or two better mpg than the LT1 cars.

At highway speed, anyone them is in the fat part of the torque curve and will get up and pass a car easily. If you wanna go fast hold out for the LT1.

As for finding a car, there are some pretty nice LT1 cars that pop up in FL for around 2500. Fly in, drive home. We do have our own support network, lol.
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SpringerNC

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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:43 am

Great stuff thanks...I really feel good about any car at this point though I plan to stay away from the 305 for sure.

Is there any reason that not having electric climate control is bad? One of the caprices I like seems to be the base model...ac controls look like what we had in our 84 caprice....is that a bad thing? Seems Luke simple is better with older systems to me? An I missing something other than a bit more up to date?

Thanks again for the time I really appreciate it...just verbally sold my Volvo project so I just added 500 bucks to the stash! I'm getting dangerous!
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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:45 am

TBI Caprices don't have electronic climate control period. None of them did.

That didn't happen until '94.
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bamalongroof

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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:57 am

Here are a few with the aid of search tempest...

http://winstonsalem.craigslist.org/cto/4366744875.html

http://columbia.craigslist.org/cto/4392188549.html

http://asheville.craigslist.org/cto/4352079171.html

http://memphis.craigslist.org/cto/4338389618.html

http://knoxville.craigslist.org/cto/4370609883.html

http://huntsville.craigslist.org/cto/4363515066.html

I like the ones in Asheville and Huntsville (my back yard). Jeff
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SpringerNC

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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:03 am

Seems like a heck of a deal in Huntsville....wish it was closer!
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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:09 am

phantom 309 wrote:
I keep waiting for a "wise one" to chime in,.. Laughing 

There's a few wise ass's here,.  is that sorta the same thing?

If anyone knows what a wise ass is,its you Nick! lol! 
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bamalongroof

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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:13 am

Like you said just a flight or bus ride.. I've driven cars when purchased back from Houston, Michigan and St Louis. I'm sure one of us here in Huntsville can look at that car for you. Jeff

Are you in NC?
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bamalongroof

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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:24 am

Ok... one more in my backyard but if you buy this OCC and you sell it down the road you must give me first chance to buy it. Jeff

http://huntsville.craigslist.org/cto/4348720048.html
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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:30 am

SpringerNC wrote:
Great stuff thanks...I really feel good about any car at this point though I plan to stay away from the 305 for sure.

Is there any reason that not having electric climate control is bad? One of the caprices I like seems to be the base model...ac controls look like what we had in our 84 caprice....is that a bad thing? Seems Luke simple is better with older systems to me? An I missing something other than a bit more up to date?

Thanks again for the time I really appreciate it...just verbally sold my Volvo project so I just added 500 bucks to the stash! I'm getting dangerous!

With manual climate control, you have to reach all the way over to the dash and adjust things manually to maintain your comfort.

Electronic climate control is great when it works -- which is most of the time, as they have proven to be pretty reliable. It automatically maintains a set temperature (well, it varies a bit based on input from the sun load sensor) and varies the fan speed to maintain as required. However, the automatic climate control does not consider the comfort of the passengers in the third row seating. You have to reach all the way over to the dash and adjust things manually to maintain their comfort.
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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:20 am

Plus with the the auto climate control you get a nice little diagnostic read out of all the sensor/ecm readings, which can help when trying to identify problems/issues.
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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:04 pm

I like the two in Huntsville...
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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:02 pm




with your budget i,d go look at this one and negotiate it down,. TBI cars are easy to fix,
and this one looks exceptionally straight for the miles,.
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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:02 pm

Fred Kiehl wrote:
The LT1 cars tend to have a few more upgrades standard, but the Caprices will not have Electronic Climate Control, although the LT1 cars never have crank windows to the best of my knowledge.


Actually, there are some Caprices out there with crank windows. I know because I had a 94 with no power windows, locks or seats and the front was a straight bench, not even a split bench. AC was standard as was the LT1 and 4 speed auto. What else do you really need!?
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SpringerNC

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PostSubject: Re: Eager buyer needs advice of the wise ones.   Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:24 pm

Thanks all. I am currently hot on the trail of a RMW. I will let you know how it turns out. Really looking forward to the friendships here! I really appreciate the kindness! I hope to have a thread of my own very soon!
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