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101Volts 12-02-2012 11:45 PM

Hi from Pennsylvania
At the time of this posting I was 21 years old who was looking forward to modifying an 84 Chevy Caprice Classic to get more than 14 MPG City. The car was tuned in late 2011 with some new parts replacing old parts, The oil replaced with full synthetic 5w30 or 5w20 and the tires were inflated to about 50 PSI.

What are some other things I could improve on? I saw the Aerocivic. Thanks for the site!

EDIT: I changed this to be more reflective of being current.

I also don't do much city driving in this vehicle, I think it would be best to reserve this car for long trips and I need new tires for it. I might as well make them LRRs since I don't plan on driving it in the winter anymore.

mackerel 12-03-2012 08:44 AM

Ouch. That's a hard place to start. What is it about this vehicle that makes you want to keep driving it? Tell me the positives about it.

Because if you're going for style (old cop car?), much of what you'll find here will probably interfere with it. If you're going for function, people will probably recommend other vehicles that will do the same thing.

My first thought is to stop using it for city driving and get something small and efficient. Save this thing for show days, if that's it's main draw. There are certainly other things you can do, but I suspect that the top thing is to change your driving style (adjust the nut behind the wheel), rather than huge vehicle changes. City driving tends to be lower speed, so aero mods will have less effect.

I'm early in my work on my own vehicle. The two things I'm doing are 1) make sure the vehicle is in the best mechanical condition I can, and 2) remove any mechanical items that rob power.

For city driving of a Caprice Classic, I doubt you'll want to pull the power steering. Depending on where in PA, what city, how hot, you probably don't want to pull the AC. So you're down to smaller things like reducing electrical load and switching to an electric radiator fan (if it doesn't have one already).

101Volts 12-03-2012 09:16 PM

Hi and thanks, Mackerel! Here are the positives about it:

It was free to my parents;
It has little rust for its age;
It's mostly been garage-kept;
It's in splendid mechanical order, Possible improvements to the design aside;
It has about 109,000 miles which is low for me.

I'm interested in modding it aerodynamically, For one thing. I don't drive it much and I thought perhaps I'd drive it more if I modified it, Plus it will last a little longer if I apply some of the modifications I have in mind to it. I thought of an undercover and a front air dam, Plus some wheel well skirts like seen on the Aerocivic.

I've tried hypermiling a bit already which has helped (I have a Scangauge II to practice with in other cars) Though I can adopt more hypermiling practices.

On another note, I thought of converting this car to run on alcohol though I haven't pursued that.

- Austin

mackerel 12-03-2012 10:52 PM

A little glancing around says that prices for a car that old are all over the place, but the lowrider crowd seems to like those things. If it was me, and the market and family politics allowed it, I'd look to sell and get something cheaper to drive. That is a big old car, and it looks thirsty. It will take a lot of effort to make it up into the upper 20s, and with that same amount of effort, you could take a different car up into the 30s or 40s.

101Volts 12-28-2012 01:27 PM

Thanks but I'm keeping the car for now; I did try to sell it a few months ago and I gave up, It doesn't seem that many people in my local rural area want one of these cars for the price I asked which was $995 even though I had it for sale for probably over a month. Since it doesn't cost much to keep it, I think it'd be worthwhile to modify it given my locale and the fact it's just sitting around most of the time plus it's not worth much and is in great running order.

Here are some modifications I have in mind:

Make the car more aerodynamic with:

Wheel Well Covers
An underbody cover
A more aerodynamic front (Clear Molded plastic to fit on with velcro? This may have a partial grill block.)

I'm hoping to preserve the car a bit more with aerodynamic modifications so I can drive it in the winter without as many worries; Whatever it is they put on the roads up here eats through cars quickly and although the car has two undercoatings I'd prefer to prevent rust from occurring as quickly.

I read that post about the 3/4 ton Pickup Truck in which the owner got over 45 MPG. I know it was a diesel truck but if he can get such good economy out of such a heavy truck, I think I can improve my economy a great deal in this car. And I will keep in mind the block heater and engine blanket mentioned in his post.

PAFirefighter11 04-05-2013 09:54 AM

Welcome, also, from PA!

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