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 First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner

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k gee



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Join date : 2013-10-21

PostSubject: First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner   Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:45 pm

Hello,

I'm sure a few of you have seen me over on the ISSF site for the last 10 years. First car I purchased in 2001 was a 1991 Caprice Classic sedan with about 50k miles from a guy who had just bought it from original owner for $6k. I drove that for a few years and then fixed it up real nice before finally selling it in 2006. Should have kept it, but oh well. In late 2005 I bought a 96 Caprice Classic sedan (B4U) with 100k from original owner for $1,000. It was my daily for a few months, but since then I've always had a newer daily. Motor went out a month after the purchase, so I had the motor rebuilt and replaced everything that was a wear item under the hood. I've put 20k on the car in 8 years.

Let's get to why I decided on a wagon. Around 2005 I looked at a Roadmaster Wagon but it was beat up and I wasn't sure I wanted/needed one. I recently started going camping a lot the past few years and didn't have a vehicle I could really take. I'd borrow one, but it felt like it was time to get my own. I sold an 06 Chrysler 300 SRT8 that was just a great vehicle a few months ago to purchase an older station wagon. I have been looking throughout the United States since July for "the one".

Last Wednesday night, as I was going to bed, something told me to check AutoTrader. I did and found one new RMW pop up within 500 miles. It had a lot of maintenance work recently done and seemed legit (I had come across about 5 scams for "NICE" wagons) so I immediately emailed the guy. I thought it was in a city that is about 3 hours away, but when I woke up I realized the guy was 2 hours North of Sacramento, or 8 hours from Los Angeles Shocked. I emailed the guy a few questions and he response made me not want the vehicle anymore. A slight communication error, but I had written the car off. No more than a minute after I had moved on, he emailed me again telling me he was 77 and heard it all. He thought I was a tire kicker, and told me to call him if I decided to keep the conversation going. I did, the next AM (Friday). I booked a room in Sac and rented a car one way. It happened so fast.


I get there, it's garaged (it's whole life) and when he opened it up I was Shocked cheers I love you  I knew why he didn't want to answer my questions via email. The guy knew his stuff and was on top of it.

Here are the details:
1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon Collectors Edition $4,000
120k Original owner
Receipts and repairs up the ying yang. Over $4,000 in the past 3 years. Records of almost EVERY fill up since he bought it in Dec 1996. Every city he went to, every repair written down in between (with receipts to verify). Nothing is missing. Both keys, 3 door keys, 2 wheel lock keys...etc.
Every option except heated/lumbar seats, which works for me in SoCal and due to the fact the seats always tear there.
The interior looks 2 years old, the exterior 3 years. It has some scrapes and bruises but it is the nicest stock wagon I've ever seen in my life.
He's replaced the PS fluid 2-3x, Rear diff fluid 2x, brake fluid 3x, coolant 3x, Trans fluid once per notes. It has a new AC, WP, brakes, shocks, battery, tires, air filter, alignment, and a few other things I'm forgetting all within the last year. Only thing I'm replacing is 4 new 02 sensors, PCV system, and trans fluid. It drives like it's new. Super floaty, but I wanted that experience. It's like a couch on wheels. What a Face 
To buy a better wagon you'd pay closer to $10k IMO. The floor mats look new, the rear cargo area footrest still has the factory plastic and no one has ever rode back there.
I can go on and on but this is already a lil wordy. I had folks tell me to scoop up the first LT1 wagon I found because they are rare, but I stuck to my guns and it paid off.

Here are three pictures. I need to take more.




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sherlock9c1



Posts : 1993
Join date : 2009-05-28
Location : Huntsville, AL

PostSubject: Re: First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner   Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:35 pm

And it's even the right color.  Cool 

You didn't buy a car, you bought a maintenance history.  And I can say from experience, that is the BEST kind of thing to buy.   Looks fantastic.  Nice purchase.  

My '95 tan woody looks just like yours, and it was a similar situation - LOTS of regular and preventative maintenance.  I spent nearly two hours on the phone with the phone with the seller, and when we were done, I didn't even haggle with him. I have never regretted that decision.

Yes, leave it stock for awhile and enjoy it.  I bought Koni adjustable shocks only to tighten up the suspension a tad, and a crown vic rear swaybar to corral the rear end.  Otherwise it's stock, and it's going to stay that way.


Last edited by sherlock9c1 on Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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brokecello
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PostSubject: Re: First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner   Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:37 pm


Welcome! And beautiful wagon Smile Glad you held out for something you wanted!

Chris
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k gee



Posts : 9
Join date : 2013-10-21

PostSubject: Re: First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner   Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:52 pm

It has a tow hitch, but do you think a rear sway will help as well? It sure does feel like a boat in corners. I do not want to lower it, but I'd like to improve the handling somewhat. He just put in new front shocks and rear air shocks so I won't be ripping those out anytime soon. I can live with it if I have to because it keeps me from spirited driving lol.
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brokecello
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PostSubject: Re: First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner   Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:57 pm

Well, from my expierence...putting a 9C1 or SS swaybar on the front and adding some type of bar to the rear helps. However, ditching those rear air shocks and replacing them with normal shocks will get rid of that "float".

I understand not wanting to remove new, functioning air shocks though...my Fleetwood still has them for that same reason. Float away my friend! :-)

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95BRMW

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Age : 33
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PostSubject: Re: First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner   Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:43 pm

Welcome, nice wagon Very Happy 
I did the crown vic rear sway bar mod on my 95 RMW, best mod I have ever done. It really flattened out the cornering and made it much more enjoyable to drive. It's nice that you have a hitch, you can't get those any more (if it's a class III). It won't help much with handling though, the wagons have a boxed frame where as sedans don't and can benefit from the added support.
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bigbluey88

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Location : windsor locks CT

PostSubject: Re: First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner   Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:03 pm

Wow what a nice wagon congrats!!!  Definitely a rare gem!!!
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sherlock9c1



Posts : 1993
Join date : 2009-05-28
Location : Huntsville, AL

PostSubject: Re: First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner   Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:21 pm

I personally think the best way to tighten up the stock suspension without going too far is via shocks.  I also think the factory shocks are well below the critical damping factor.  

Have a friend drive the wagon down a 4-lane road and you follow along and watch the suspension work.  You will quickly decide whether you will yank the existing shocks.   I got to pace a 27kmi RMW about a month ago and the amount of 2nd and 3rd bouncing was shocking even with that little mileage.

You might also look for a used set of Bilstein 1516/1517 shocks and try them out - they are softer than the 1104/0929 shocks that many use and won't give you the control that the 1104/929s have been should give you a bit more damping than stock.

Oh, and Crown Vic rear swaybar, without a doubt. It avoids you having to replace the factory rear control arms and installation consists of a pair of exhaust U-bolts, swaybar bushings, and swaybar endlinks.
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k gee



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Join date : 2013-10-21

PostSubject: Re: First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner   Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:28 pm

I read about the installation of the CV rear bar and it seemed more involved than just those parts. I can't weld, so I'd have to take it somewhere. A search did not provide an answer as to what year CV I need to look for either.
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PostSubject: Re: First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner   Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:14 pm

Welcome k gee and thats a beautiful wagon you bought.Sure was worth the wait wasnt it?As far as the CV swaybar goes,you can mount it then take it to your welder and be done in a few minutes.Any help you may need is just waiting for you to ask.
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Sprocket

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PostSubject: Re: First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner   Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:05 pm

Welcome Kgee, nice find and fair price  for something that clean, especially in Cali!

I'm pretty sure I know someone who was looking at that very wagon in Sacremento.  I told him to jump on it, but glad someone got it!!  It's a beauty.

I bought the CV bar right when they discontinued them.  Part numbers here:
http://gmlongroof.4umer.com/t6486-warning-crownvic-rear-swaybar-21mm-discontinued?highlight=sway+bar+discontinued
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sherlock9c1



Posts : 1993
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PostSubject: Re: First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner   Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:09 am

Welding schmelding. I didn't weld mine, I just bolted it on, drove to Watkins Glen race track and made those tires squeal like little pigs. All you have to do is slightly massage the brakelines up a bit and enlarge two existing holes in the frame braces.
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k gee



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PostSubject: Re: First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner   Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:14 pm

Sprocket, the guy said the only other person who inquired about it immediately offered $3,000 and the conversation ended there. There was a WB4 closer to Sacramento, but this was in Redding. Great little town.

I feel real lucky.
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benn

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PostSubject: Re: First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner   Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:45 pm

REALLY nice wagon! welcome to the club! Smile
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jasonlachapelle

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PostSubject: Re: First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner   Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:28 pm

nice buy
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1phastsswagon

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PostSubject: Re: First time Wagon owner, long time 91-96 B Body owner   Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:37 am

Nice score and welcome
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