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Old 08-23-2008, 06:54 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Re: Post #26

I have thought this idea has mucho merit. There is a company in suburban DC that will convert Caprices over to T-56 manual on a turn-key basis.

B-Body High Performance Inc. - 6 speed your Impala SS!

Mate that up to GM6.5 or Cummins 4BT3.9, use Impala SS parts to lower the ride height and Viola! 35 MPG.

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Old 06-16-2009, 02:47 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Sweet! I've done more than my share of lurking in the wagon section of the impala SS forum. I was looking for one a few years ago when I needed to replace a car with something that could do some towing. Unfortunately I found a Tacoma first.

At the time I was looking those wagons seem like the perfect vehicle: room for an army, a ton of cargo (4x8 sheets of plywood!), or any combination of the two. Towing capacity of a 1/2 ton truck, but better mileage and more passenger and covered (& locked) cargo room. Only downside is the bad mileage when you're not using it to capacity.

That forum has a number of people with T-56 (6speed) transmissions, and there was one guy who put in a 6.2 diesel

Around town due to all the weight it'll be drinking it down fast. If I recall, the older ones with the tbi motor responded a bit better to mileage mods than the lt1's, but for an all highway run, 25mpg should be a piece of cake, 27 shouldn't be too hard and with a few more mods and/or slower speed 30 ought to be within reach.

Last edited by Hugh Jim Bissel; 06-16-2009 at 03:09 AM..
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:37 PM   #33 (permalink)
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My bad! BBHP is out of business but there is an outfit called F2B that makes a T-56 swap kit.

The Impala SS Forum is an excellent source of B-Body info. They helped me out with a bad digital odometer. Their fix saved me $400.

I just picked up an Impala SS (always wanted one) to drive while I mess with the truck. Excellent car! Roomy, fast and durable. B-Bodies are favorites to export to the Sandbox. They are favored for their solid suspension (able to take the rough roads) and killer A/C. Just posted my first run. I can see they are not city cars but my driving is only 35% city.

I drooled over the idea of ecomodding a ‘Vette, but the harsh reality is that you can tear a ‘Vette all to pieces and still command a price over $10,000. Tango Charlie got a pretty good-looking wagon for $2500. Now that is in the range for a project car. If you started with a tatty wagon, executing bbjsw10’s little distortion is not impossible.
Let’s think on that.

It looks like there is about 40 inches behind the C-pillar. If you have a clunker to start with (you don’t feel bad about starting with an application of the ol’ emergency grinder) you start by narrowing the tailgate by 16 inches. Narrowing it 8 inches per side is an 11 degree taper. Likewise lower the tailgate by 8 inches (holding the 11 degree taper), and maybe raise the bumper by 3 inches with a diffuser and you have reduced the wake area by 41%.

Since I haul more stuff than people, I could go more radical. Weld the back doors shut and make my breakers at the B-pillar. Now I have 60 inches to work with. I could hold my 11 degree angle (a 1-in-5 slope is 11.3 degrees) and narrow the car 12 inches on each side and 12 inches down. Assuming a 3 inch diffuser, that is a rear wake area reduction of 56%. With this setup, one would probably have to put a narrowed rear axle and relocated the wheelhouses inward a bit. This much what the old Insight did.

These cars offer a lot of scope for other aero mods.

In either case, a suitable diesel engine and a T-56 along with a 2.73 ratio would put you into drivetrain nirvana.

I think 45 MPG is doable.
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:58 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Wagons Unite!

Nice. I point out the Roadmasters to my wife all the time when ever I see one.

This last winter, we lost the Subaru Outback and replaced it with a new Jetta TDI Wagon. It is very nice and gets low 40's when I drive it, but my wife gets high 40's - low 50's.

Here is a picture:


I cannot mod it until it is paid off.

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