Yet another endless build for me. This time on the Caprice.

Tell us about your new PPV, show us some pictures, let us know how you did what you did!
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CrashTestDummy
Posts: 1723
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:31 pm
Location: Pearland, Texas

Yet another endless build for me. This time on the Caprice.

Post by CrashTestDummy » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:21 pm

I'm notoriously-slow at build projects. They're more like 'go tinker in the shop since all your other chores are done' sort of thing. We do have the never-ending C Prepared Firebird (the gift that keeps on giving, as a friend once said) development project, and also have a restomod project going on with our 86 Mustang SVO that served us well when we first got serious autocrossing. We got even MORE serious, buying a dedicated race car, so the SVO got retired, and the restoration/modification started..... back somewhere around 2002. :-/ You can visit the SVOCA web site, in the projects section, if you want to see any of that.

So here I start another 'build' thread. It is probably a good spot to put info on what we've done to the car, and chronicle the work, so I can again, get depressed at the slowness of the progress.

To date, we've completed the following on the 2012 Caprice we got in 2015:
1. Replace all of the plugged radio antenna holes with old antennas. They seal better, and look a bit more 'official', but mainly seal better. Not sure if we'll ever get them properly-plugged, we haven't done so on the 92 B4C Camaro yet.
2. Replaced the plastic plug that was used for the light bar harness with a GPS antenna. It's not functional.... yet. But again, seals better than the plastic plug they had siliconed into place. Many thanks to Garner Ames for the old parts!
3. Replaced the rear seats with G8 units that included the pass-through.
4. Replaced the rear seat belts that were simply cut to make room for the 'perp seats'. Again, Thank You, Garner Ames for the working belts.
5. Reinstalled a working 'ticket light' that was removed by the department when they retired the car (removing that $20 light, yet leaving the $90 radio antenna on the deck lid). Anyway, I just wanted to seal the big fat hole in the headliner.
6. Installed the 'JC' handles in the rear passenger area.
7. Replaced the B-pillar panels with new ones to get rid of all the holes drilled in the OEM units to facilitate the partition. The driver's side, though, I drilled holes to fit my Texas Custom Holsters holster for my carry weapon.
8. Re-enabled the rear door latches and window switches.
9. Legal window tint.
10. BC Coilovers installed on all 4 corners. The car is dropped about 1.5"
11. BMR rear sway bar installed. Waiting to do the front one when I take the rest of the front end apart for other work.
12. Installed AEM intake tube, wrapped in DEI Insulation wrap.
13. Installed lightweight Odyssey battery in the passenger side battery tray, and moved the factory-sized AGM battery to the driver's side, replacing the flooded acid battery there. viewtopic.php?f=21&t=1768
14. Replaced the rear trunk area trim panel that was broken when we got the car.
15. Replace the headlights with Opt7 LEDs.
16. Replaced the factory steering wheel with a leather G8 unit.

That's about all I can think of, to date. It's been fun, and I still have a big pile of parts in the shop to install when I get time.
Last edited by CrashTestDummy on Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Gene Beaird,
Pearland, Texas
2012 Caprice 9C1
1992 B4C 1LE Camaro
2010 Tahoe PPV (her car)
1995 DGGM Impala SS
1996 BBB Impala SS (11-second DD)
1985 Firebird - 310 LS1 C Prepared autocross car.
And some others
Do YOU have my SPID?

CrashTestDummy
Posts: 1723
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:31 pm
Location: Pearland, Texas

Re: Yet another endless build for me. This time on the Capr

Post by CrashTestDummy » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:00 pm

Minding the gap!

I was conflicted on whether or not to put this one in the interior section, or add it here, but figured I could add it to the build thread now, and link it to the interior section later.

The plan this winter was to take off the last couple of weeks on vacation, and get many car projects completed; install an oil pan baffle in the Firebird, install the exhaust system, driving lights and LED fog lights on the Caprice, hopefully getting time to at least start the CTS brake conversion.

There were, however, other plans for us afoot. We discovered a tumor on one of our 4-legged kids earlier this month, so about once a week, we've been shuttling her around to different doctors to get opinions and come up with a game plan. The latest is a specialist who's about an hour away. So, with my wife starting her new job, I'm playing taxi driver, which means the car has to be available most of the time. I can't throw it up on jack stands and start tearing the car apart at my leisure, quitting work when I get tired, or hungry, or thirsty. So, the work will progress in smaller steps, making sure we don't leave the car down when ending a project. The current plan of action is a ultrasound at the end of this week, then surgery next week, followed up by chemotherapy. Hopefully we can get her a few more years with this.

Man plans, God laughs, right?

So I have at least one quick project I can do that won't leave the car down. When we replaced the factory seats with the G8 seats, I noticed there was a pretty good gap between the interior wall and the edge of the seat, letting you see a lot of the wiring harnesses that pass through the car from the passenger compartment to the trunk, and back:

Driver's side:
Image

Passenger's side:
Image

I'm sure the parts are yanked when the partition and 'perp seats' go in. Since the departments may have the old seats laying around, when the cars get retired, the seats go back in, but the plastic panels all get chunked. I ordered the parts:

92233195 Left side Lock Pillar Trim
92233193 Right side Lock Pillar Trim, each about $45

and, since I knew that at least one side was cut/broken, I got these:

92251774 left side Carpet Retainer about $28
92172480 right side Carpet Retainer oddly, about $55!

To replace, you pull the rear seat bottom, pull the outside seat back sections (if you still have the OEM rear seat, the entire seat back has to come out). It also helps to remove the Lower door sill panel, the 'Carpet Retainers' mentioned above. On the passenger's side, I had to maneuver the wiring a bit to keep it from getting under the lock pillar trim piece when trying to get it positioned. Couple of hits with the palm of your hand to set the clips, and they're in! There's one screw that attaches the lock pillar trim to the lower sill trim, but that's it. Replace the seats, and Bob's your uncle!

Crappy cell phone pics of the finished product:

Driver's side:
Image

Passenger's side:
Image

The look is very subtle, but it makes the car look very complete back there, and I'm no longer annoyed at the 'great gap' I saw when getting into the back of the car. I did notice that it looks like they cut a small chunk out of the lower quarter window trim, and may go ahead and snag a replacement, since they're still available, and not terribly expensive (~$55), I'll have to have another look at that area in the daylight.

Additionally, I noticed an odd plug on the rear passenger side seat belt buckle:

Image

It has a 2-connector plug on it, with blue and yellow wires. There's no corresponding harness there on our car, and I don't see any mention of it in the seat belt R&R steps or illustrations in the FSM. It's quite possible that this buckle came from a later car, but I don't remember. Anyone know what that's for? Just curious.
Gene Beaird,
Pearland, Texas
2012 Caprice 9C1
1992 B4C 1LE Camaro
2010 Tahoe PPV (her car)
1995 DGGM Impala SS
1996 BBB Impala SS (11-second DD)
1985 Firebird - 310 LS1 C Prepared autocross car.
And some others
Do YOU have my SPID?

Navy Lifer
Administration Staff
Posts: 1488
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:30 pm
Location: Canton GA

Re: Yet another endless build for me. This time on the Capr

Post by Navy Lifer » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:00 pm

GB, are you complaining?

At least those plastic parts were still available!

Pri 1 is to take care of that fur-baby - keep us posted.

CrashTestDummy
Posts: 1723
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:31 pm
Location: Pearland, Texas

Re: Yet another endless build for me. This time on the Capr

Post by CrashTestDummy » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:08 am

Bill, indeed they are. I'm buying as many 'spares' as I can while I still can.

I'm just complaining about the lack of time to get 'er done. Everyone does! But yes, the kids come first, and she arrives in style in the Caprice. NOTE: The really bad thing is the car has so much interior space that you can't reach back and rub her chin. When that doesn't happen, she'll be rolling in in a PPV Tahoe.

I'll say that the parking is sort of a shared space, and I overheard the people at the front desk trying to figure out who is parked for the Veterinarian, and who isn't. They made no mention of that 'cop car' parked in their space. ;)

And another thing, some department in the Sugarland, Texas area uses Caprices. While waiting for the 'mighty' S-class Mercedes to GTF out of my way, I saw a black Caprice pass the intersection. That Caprice was parked near the entry ramp where I got on the freeway. It had almost as many antennas as our 'porcupine' has!! :lol:
Gene Beaird,
Pearland, Texas
2012 Caprice 9C1
1992 B4C 1LE Camaro
2010 Tahoe PPV (her car)
1995 DGGM Impala SS
1996 BBB Impala SS (11-second DD)
1985 Firebird - 310 LS1 C Prepared autocross car.
And some others
Do YOU have my SPID?

CrashTestDummy
Posts: 1723
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:31 pm
Location: Pearland, Texas

Re: Yet another endless build for me. This time on the Capr

Post by CrashTestDummy » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:05 pm

Off and on, I've had some ask about my solution for the holes in the car. I simply located some old low-profile antennas, popped out the plastic plugs cleaned the silicone away, and installed the antennas. They all have a brass base, and o-ring that seals the antenna to the body. I feel these are the better way to go.

They ARE expensive, though, if you buy them new. I paid about $70 each for the two I put on our Tahoe PPV. I purchased them from radio-accessories.

For the Caprice, though, I got lucky, and a member of this list had some old take-offs of retired service vehicles. In that stash was also a GPS antenna, which is about 4" in diameter. It was needed because the hole they chewed into the roof for the light bar was about 1" vs. the 'standard' 5/8"(?) hole for the antennas. I was also lucky that the department didn't remove the trunk lid antenna when they retired the car, so it was one less hole to have to worry about.

For the regular antennas, it was a 'simple' matter of pulling the door seal out of the way and getting between the headliner and roof panel to tighten the nut that held the antennas to the car. The term 'simple' is in quotes because the headliner is a pretty stiff piece of board and there's kind of a ridge you have to snake your hand around to get into the interior. Luckily, I hadn't competed the JC handle install yet. For the GPS antenna, I had to add a large diameter washer, as the mount was the same size as the other antennas, even though it went through a bigger hole.

Anyway, here's what they look like. Pardon the dirt, we've been shuttling the pup around in the fog and rain:
Whole car:

Image

Close up of the roof antennae:

Image

For those interested, the GPS antenna is a Millennium antenna. No clue where to actually get one, though.
Gene Beaird,
Pearland, Texas
2012 Caprice 9C1
1992 B4C 1LE Camaro
2010 Tahoe PPV (her car)
1995 DGGM Impala SS
1996 BBB Impala SS (11-second DD)
1985 Firebird - 310 LS1 C Prepared autocross car.
And some others
Do YOU have my SPID?

User avatar
No Moa
Posts: 459
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:30 am
Location: Maine

Re: Yet another endless build for me. This time on the Capr

Post by No Moa » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:39 pm

I had a couple of those wide ones I pulled off when stripping cruisers, but I tossed them, not thinking someone could use them.
2014 Caprice PPV silver
2017 Ram 3500
2002 CETA trans am
1996 Impala ss (soon to be t56)
1995 9c1
1977 Trans am SE 4spd.
1978 trans am 400 4 spd.

CrashTestDummy
Posts: 1723
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:31 pm
Location: Pearland, Texas

Re: Yet another endless build for me. This time on the Capr

Post by CrashTestDummy » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:15 pm

I occasionally do get PMs of people asking where I got that antenna, so yes, there can be a small market for those, because a new antenna isn't cheap!
Gene Beaird,
Pearland, Texas
2012 Caprice 9C1
1992 B4C 1LE Camaro
2010 Tahoe PPV (her car)
1995 DGGM Impala SS
1996 BBB Impala SS (11-second DD)
1985 Firebird - 310 LS1 C Prepared autocross car.
And some others
Do YOU have my SPID?

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