HomeHome  PortalPortal  CalendarCalendar  GalleryGallery  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share | 
 

 December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:17 pm

In 2007, my wife and 12 year-old son were frequently traveling from New York to the White Mountains in NH.  We were on a quest to hike all 47 summits  over 4000 ft.  This required my packing up the necessary gear the night before a 400-mile high speed burn from Geneva, NY to Franconia NH.  My former car was a 1997 Volvo 850R wagon.  It was perfect  but for one detail.  It was just small enough that it could cause a divorce.   Packing the car was a 3-D jigsaw puzzle, always involving most of the prior day, intense negotiations, and generally involving some teeth-gritted questions: “Do you REALLY need 2 pairs of shoes?”  This was not sustainable.

And that’s how I met Fred (Ruphraxe) in Waterloo, Father of Wagonfest.  I bought a 1995 DGGM Caprice from him that year, and never looked back.  It’s been marital bliss on trips ever since.  Honey… are you sure you don’t want to take the sewing machine?  How about a few sheets of plywood and some bales of peat moss?  No problem.  Now I pack 15 minutes before any trip and just heave everything into the back.

The 1995 Caprice lasted 2 years, and then in 2009 Fred found a white 1996 RMW in Arizona with just 33K miles.  It had all of the Little Old Lady provenance: a polkadot cellophane rain bonnet in the glove box, a half-roll of peppermint Life Savers, one of those small packages of Kleenex for spit baths, and a cassette tape of Vladimir Horowitz in London.  This was the real deal.  I bought it and drove it for another 80K miles.

Fast forward to 2015, and I had an opportunity to pick up a low-mileage (55K) 1996 Caprice with Bordello Red exterior and interior from South Carolina.  And so, the white RMW was sold, and the 1996 Caprice was bought.  I wanted this one to be as close to stock as possible, and so it still bears the wire wheel covers.   There are a few mods: it has a 21st century sound system, and all the shocks have been replaced with severe service and rear coilovers.  Eventually it will get a rear anti-sway bar and some window tint (more pleasant than maxing out the AC all the time).  The interior is pretty nice.  It was t-boned in a former life, so there is some new paint and a new door on the passenger side, and a bit of Bondo under there.  Not enough that I care.  It does not go outside in the winter.

Pictures of the entire clan are on Photobucket:  http://s1379.photobucket.com/user/dmg4atcornell/slideshow/?sort=3

And that’s as far as the story goes for now.  I’m hoping to make it to Wagonfest 2016. I can literally roll down the hill from my house to Seneca Lake State Park.  However, the last week of July is precisely when I am on the road for a national convention every year.  So, I have only made it to Wagonfest twice: 2009 and 2015, both times with the white RMW.


Last edited by dmg4 on Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:26 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top Go down
Andebe

avatar

Posts : 2849
Join date : 2013-02-20
Age : 48
Location : Richmond,Indiana

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:42 pm

Nice story,how many summits have you finished?
Back to top Go down
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:47 pm

NH, VT and Maine have a total of 67 summits over 4000 ft: At this point, my wife has completed them 3 times (once alone, once with me, once with my son.. except for 3 in Maine), I've completed them twice (once with my wife and once with my son...except for 3 in Maine), and my son has those three damned peaks left in Maine (2 peaks of Katahdin, and North Brother).  We need to knock off those last 3 before our knees blow out.
Back to top Go down
MalibuSSwagon



Posts : 569
Join date : 2014-01-12
Location : NH

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:46 pm

I can't say I've hiked any of those peaks, and I've lived here in NH most of my life. Maybe next spring.
Back to top Go down
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:53 pm

You have to be at peace with feeling exhausted, chewed alive by blackflies, and in imminent danger of a heart attack. I love it. The views from the summits, on the rare occasions when it's not foggy, raining, snowing, hailing, sleeting, or blowing 70 mph are stunning. Lighting bolts on ridges add to the thrill.
Back to top Go down
Dutch Pete

avatar

Posts : 421
Join date : 2009-12-07
Age : 57
Location : Netherlands

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Fri Dec 04, 2015 6:38 pm

You sure owned a nice set of wagons, sir
Pete
Back to top Go down
stewzer55

avatar

Posts : 722
Join date : 2013-11-10
Age : 27
Location : New Carlisle, OH

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:52 am

Congratulations on LROM. Sounds like some beautiful hikes, I got my Trailblazer for hopes of heading to Hocking Hills and West Virginia for a few days at a time, but that's never come to fruition. Beautiful wagons, nice to know they work well for getting away and out to enjoy nature.
Back to top Go down
pagroundhog



Posts : 21
Join date : 2015-07-08
Age : 69
Location : Shippensburg, Pa

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Sat Dec 05, 2015 3:23 am

Nice collection, Prof. Corey.
Back to top Go down
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:21 am

Professor Irwin Corey has always been an inspiration, and the old guy is STILL alive at 101!  In fact, he'll be celebrating his 102nd birthday during Wagonfest 2016, so I hope he makes it.  Classic vaudeville.

We're in the same business, really. The only difference is that I work for Cornell and don't get as many laughs.

My professional motto: Frequently wrong, never in doubt.
Back to top Go down
silverfox103
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 2764
Join date : 2008-11-05
Age : 68
Location : Littleton, NH & St. Simons, GA

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:03 am

David

First of all thanks again for stepping up and telling your story. The slideshow is a good way of showing your pictures. Looks like you got yourself a nice low mileage Caprice. When you're in Franconia again, look me up as we're the next town over, in Littleton.

thanks

Tom
Back to top Go down
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:37 am

Winter is very late in arriving this year in NY, so I'm getting some extra salt-free days to drive it. The next week is forecasted to be in the 50s. Global warming? Bring it on!
Back to top Go down
brokecello
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 3259
Join date : 2009-05-28
Age : 39
Location : Greenville, SC

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:24 pm


Very nice!! Thank you for sharing!
Back to top Go down
http://www.ChrisPowellmusic.com
Sprocket

avatar

Posts : 5347
Join date : 2008-11-04
Location : Palm Beach County

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:01 pm

Nice story and a good looking bunch you have had.
Back to top Go down
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:59 am

I have the rear seatback out now to install headrests that I cannibalized from a Caprice at a local pick-n-pull yard (Trout's in Waterloo, NY). They have a white Olds CC and a half dozen pre-94 Caprice and RMWs that have not yet been de-boned if anyone local is looking for parts.
Back to top Go down
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:55 pm

It's back together now with the rear seat headrests installed.  Two cannibalized headrests, four 8" sections of 1/2" black iron pipe, a few 1/4" carriage bolts, some duct tape, and some black plastic grommets from Lowes, and we're in business.  I've been plowed into 3 times in the rear by texting drivers, so whiplash was a concern for the rear seat pssengers.  Not anymore! Best of all, they pull out easily when I want to lower the seatback without futzing with that bloody nuisance catch that GM stuck on the originals. 



Back to top Go down
Andebe

avatar

Posts : 2849
Join date : 2013-02-20
Age : 48
Location : Richmond,Indiana

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:35 pm

Nice touch,looks factory.
Back to top Go down
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:04 am

"Nice touch,looks factory."

Better than factory.

They are angled forward so that they are within about 1" of the back of your head in your normal sitting position. They need to be that close or their effect is compromised in a rear collision. The front seat rests on the Caprice are low and angled too far back to be of much use. If your head moves rearward more than about 1" before contacting the rest, the risk of spinal injury soars.

All manufacturers have known this for about 20 years...about the age of our cars.

A friend at our church hit some sand on a curve, did a 180, and slid backwards into an embankment at about 15 mph. He fractured his 5th CV, and was very nearly paralyzed for life. He was driving a car much like mine. That's when I installed the headrests.

The next mod will be to figure out how to modify the front rests to bring them forward about 2".
Back to top Go down
Dutch Pete

avatar

Posts : 421
Join date : 2009-12-07
Age : 57
Location : Netherlands

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:41 pm

Nice mod indeed. Will follow your front rest mods, very interesting.
Pete
Back to top Go down
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:47 am

The trick with the rear headrests is to lay and epoxy in place a piece of 1 1/4" PVC pipe in the channel at the top edge of the polymer seatback frame.  This will angle the pipes forward that retain the headrests and thereby move the headrest forward to the right position.  You can crush the black iron pipes in a vise around the support bars of the headrest for a snug fit.  The iron pipes should protrude 1.25" above the top edge of the frame to extend to just below the level of the seat covering when it is replaced.  Cut the foam away where the pipes will pass through, reinstall the seat cover, and find the top edge of the pipes by pressing down.  Cut a small hole using manicure scissors, and install the plastic caps.  Install the cannibalized headrests, and you're done.

Here are the caps I used.   You'll need to bore a hole through their center for the support bars of the headrest.  You can also grind away the ribs on the lower part, as they are unnecessary.  The caps fit tightly over the OD of the 1/2" black iron pipe.  You can get them at the hardware section at any Lowes store:  http://www.lowes.com/pd_51825-37672-884312___?productId=3228259&pl=1&Ntt=plastic+plug+black+3%2F4%22
Back to top Go down
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:21 am

Here's a simple fix for the front headrests if you find them too far from the rear of your skull (more than 1"): you can bend the bars forward just at the point where they enter the cushion about 10 degrees and it will move the cushion just slightly more than one inch forward.  That may be all that's needed, depending upon the angle at which you adjust the seatback.  There are many ways by which this could be done.  I removed the headrests from the seatback and clamped each bar in a pipe vise as close to where it enters the foam pad as possible.  I slid a 1 ft length of 1/2" iron pipe over the rod and bent each rod about 10 degrees forward.





Back to top Go down
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:06 am

New rear lower control arms from Southside Machine have now been added in anticipation of the imminent arrival of a rear swaybar from Hotchkis.

[img][/img]
Back to top Go down
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:06 pm

Finally!  The Hotchkis rear sway bar arrived and has been attached.  it makes a remarkable difference in the handling and feel of the car while cornering.  No change in the ride stiffness, but roll in cornering is virtually gone.

" />

[img][/img]
Back to top Go down
Dutch Pete

avatar

Posts : 421
Join date : 2009-12-07
Age : 57
Location : Netherlands

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:34 am

yep, that's the one, great product
Back to top Go down
Andebe

avatar

Posts : 2849
Join date : 2013-02-20
Age : 48
Location : Richmond,Indiana

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:17 am

Tucks up there nicely!
Back to top Go down
Dropkick_Eddie

avatar

Posts : 90
Join date : 2015-05-04
Age : 39
Location : West Wisconsin

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:02 am

Don't know how I missed this- Nice write up! I wish we had mountains over this way!Wink Looks like you've scored some great rides! Man, I really need to find a suspension guy to help me toss a rear sway bar on or two! Smile
Back to top Go down
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:48 am

If you have one of the 91-96 GM wagons, then you are probably aware that you have a front swaybar tucked up in there already. It's OK. It's the rear that really benefits from assistance. If you go with the parts I used, anyone with a few tools and minimal ability could handle the installation of lower control arms and the Hotchkis swaybar. Of the two jobs, the swaybar is a piece of cake to install, the LCAs less so. Of course, a mechanic with a real garage could also do the job in less than an hour, so it's also a matter of whether you want to lay on your back, grunt and spit out rust flakes, or pay someone $150 to do both jobs for you and simply reap the benefit.

If I were to rank all of the suspension mods I've ever made in order of benefit per dollar spent, maximum to mimimum, it would be this:

1. Replace all the shocks with Monroe severe service up front and coilovers in the back. There are more expensive and better shocks. But IMHO, Monroe gives the best bang per buck.

2. New but lower-priced rear LCAs (Southside Machine) and the Hotchkis or Helwig sway bar. Again, there are some very pricey LCAs out there. If you are in competition, or you have a seriously built up engine and transmission, you might want to spend more. It's a free country...at least until November.

3. All the other stuff that costs more and makes my wife question my need for a Visa card.
Back to top Go down
Dropkick_Eddie

avatar

Posts : 90
Join date : 2015-05-04
Age : 39
Location : West Wisconsin

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:55 am

Hahaha I hear ya on the wive's and their "spanish car part inquisitions" Embarassed  I had Monroe sensas on my wagon and the were junk in the back less than a year, I blame the gravel roads and mud I have drive through in ND for that;) I now have billstiens on and like them a lot so far...  Thanks for the info! I will have to make the rear sway bar my next big project! Very Happy

(don't tell the wife;)
Back to top Go down
BUICKNUTT

avatar

Posts : 110
Join date : 2012-02-10
Location : CALIFORNIA

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:45 pm

Hi dmg4,

Those pics on the rear headrest install are gone...?

It's a mod iv'e always been interested in doing

If you could post them up again, that would great!

Thanks
Back to top Go down
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:21 am

Hmmm.... I can still see them on my computer.  No matter.  Here's a picture of the same installation on a Buick Roadmaster, with headrests for all 3 rear-seat passengers. Otherwise, follow the written instructions and let me know if you need additional details.  The parts are still available at Lowes, and once you get the rear seatback out of the car and uncovered, the rest is pretty easy and obvious.  All the supporting hardware and pipe is bolted to the plastic frame for the seatback, and then the foam pad is cut away to provide some clearance for the hardware before reinstallng the pad, and replacing the cloth or leather cover for the seatback.  If you have installed the pipe supports in the correct positions, then its a matter of making a small cut in the material to install the grommets after the cover is in place, and then installing the headrests themselves into the iron pipes.

Back to top Go down
BUICKNUTT

avatar

Posts : 110
Join date : 2012-02-10
Location : CALIFORNIA

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:47 am

Great! Thanks! I have a few junk seats to experiment on before hacking into the 22k mile one
Back to top Go down
BUICKNUTT

avatar

Posts : 110
Join date : 2012-02-10
Location : CALIFORNIA

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:14 am

Also, stupid question...but how do you remove the headrests from the front seat?  I'm guilty of letting a few go to the scrapper from not knowing how to remove Crying or Very sad
Back to top Go down
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:10 am

The easiest way is brute force. Use the jack that came with the car, wedge it under the headrest, and crank it out. It won't hurt the rest at all, and it's fast and easy. There is a tool for removal, but you must be a Jedi to use it.
Back to top Go down
silverfox103
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 2764
Join date : 2008-11-05
Age : 68
Location : Littleton, NH & St. Simons, GA

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:56 am

I haven't had any reason to do it for a few years, but it's easy to do.  Take a plastic tie wrap, maybe one about 12 inches long and @ 3/16? or 1/4" wide.  Slide it down by the shaft.  Not sure what's down there, but it releases and out comes the headrest.  Don't remember if you have to release both shafts. Easy!

Tom
Back to top Go down
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:03 am

Mongo use jack.

It permanently "fixes" that damned clip by breaking it, removing the need to ever again fish around for the proper tool for the job. Much like a hammer to drive screws.

Back to top Go down
silverfox103
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 2764
Join date : 2008-11-05
Age : 68
Location : Littleton, NH & St. Simons, GA

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:31 pm

Now, after seeing your tool box, I understand why your hammer was the only thing there.

Tom
Back to top Go down
81X11

avatar

Posts : 9311
Join date : 2010-06-23
Age : 43
Location : Round Rock Texas

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:57 pm

Neat write-up! Now I really REALLY want those new lower control arms and that sway bar!
Back to top Go down
dmg4

avatar

Posts : 530
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 63
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:29 pm

Time is money. The Southside Machine LCAs save the former, are relatively inexpensive, are predrilled to accept the Hotchkiss rear anti-sway bar, and you don't have to futz around boxing or welding the stock LCAs.

And you can install them with simple hand tools, like a rock or sharp stick.
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice   

Back to top Go down
 
December 2015 Wagon of the Month - dmg4 1996 Rolling Cathouse Caprice
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Wave Survival :: 26th December 2015 :: Next Event
» Madeleine case slips into its ninth year - Portugal Press 29 December 2015
» Seeking Milk for my 8.5 month old in NoVa
» Looking for Milk for my 5 month old (Lyndon area)
» Seeking milk for 7-month-old: Central WA (or w/in 200 miles)

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
GM Longroof Forum :: The Welcome Wagon :: LROM-
Jump to: