Arriving in Qc in 2016, the Caprice was relegated to full-blown DD mode. I got it rustproofed at Metropolitain (highly recommend them or their competitor Krown). I purchased a very low mile 2010 Pontiac Vibe 1.8 litre automatic for my wife. She loves the car so far.
Sadly the car didn't pass the Qc provincial inspection. They nailed the car for outer tie-rods, faulty centrelink (which started to vibrate immediately after I left the inspection facility), tire rubbing the swaybar at max steering wheel deflection and lack of daytime running lights.
I brought the car to a local shop that belongs to a friend in the military. I had relocated a large portion of my parts stash, plus all the parts jayoldschool picked clean off my brother's 96 caprice wagon before it went to the crusher. They kept the car for a month, but during that time did:
- 3.73 gears and Truetrac
- New Front upper and lower control arms and GM spindle (5/8" Balljoint)
- New ATE rotors and HAWK pads (from when Pep Boys was clearing them out for 10$)
- new front ABS sensors
- New 700# coilsprings, new isolators
- ZQ8 bumpstops
- New front koni adjustable shocks, set on max stiffness.
- PPM front end kit. The rest of the kit I bought when I lived in Ottawa, so probably 2010-ish (yikes).
- hotchkis front swaybar + endlinks
- SLP headers w/ AIR and EGR delete
- new plugs and wires
- Impala SS wheels I picked up for 200$ cdn in Ottawa from a nice guy on ISSF. Had no centrecaps but I had some stashed away.
- 235/55R17 pirelli winter tires
- GM block heater, a must-have
- new Edelbrock valvesprings + new valvespring seals
- new rear wheel cylinder
- new bearings
- replaced some vacuum hoses.
Got an alignment to upgraded specs.
Threw on a raiss intake I found in Winnipeg of all places. I'm really digging the 3.73 truetrac combo. The car has been fairly good in the snow so far. The rustproofing place re-sprayed the front end and frame for free since I changed some parts. I drove the car about 1000 miles since. I took it to the Montreal area for the holidays and got 19.5 mpg highway. Not "amazing" but not bad for a car with 3.73s and 27" winter tires and EGR delete. I was getting about 20 mpg highway (max 21) with the 2.56, which was in the summer, with 28" tall summer tires. Once I get my exhaust here, I'll probably replace the O2 sensors to see if I can recoup some MPG.
Still to come on the car:
- replace centre air dam
- Datalog and tweak the tune. I'm convinced
this car can get better mileage (by 2-3 mpg). It has returned lower mileage than any other b-body I have owned.
- upgraded 4L60e (from my bro's Caprice, built by Joel)
- 3000 rpm Edge converter
- SS hood and grill (eventually)
At this point I think I'm going to call it quits. The car is pretty much has the max amount of torque I would want on a winter DD. I don't see myself adding the 845 cam, super ram intake and AS&M throttle body. On the snow I can just feather the throttle with 2nd gear start. I guess most of you in the US are thinking "it's probably not that bad." I'll see if I can take a pic of my driveway tomorrow. We have a few feet of snow already. I wish it were a joke but people commute via snowmobile ON the roads.
A plus from being back in Qc: Gas is pretty much the same price as back in BC in my area but the insurance is about 1/8 of the price. When I called to switch the insurance from the Govt run Insurance Corporation of BC (biggest racket going) to a private insurer in Quebec, it went from about 900$/yr (that's WITH a 43% discount) to 106$/yr. Since we had the Vibe insured and had paid in advance, the amount owing for the caprice was literally a $60 check. The multi-vehicle discount was greater than the amount to insure the Caprice. The insurance lady had a good laugh.
I still having fun driving it, appreciating it for what it is: a completely paid, reliable daily driver. Yeah it uses a lot of gas, but the insurance is dirt cheap, I can haul anything I need (mainly my small dog), do some donuts in snow covered parking lots. Plus it looks really good on the SS wheels. I just had an older gentleman honk me yesterday to give me a thumbs up.
I'll drive it until I finish med school here in Quebec. Then we'll see. I'll still have the other RMW waiting for me when this one goes.