Need a total cosmetic overhaul and power window conversion - Chevy Impala Forums
Chevy Caprice General and Technical discussion for the Chevy Caprice (1965-1996), which shares the B-Body platform with the Chevy Impala.

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2019 Thread Starter
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Need a total cosmetic overhaul and power window conversion

Hi guys,

I have a 1994 caprice PPV with LT1 and it's in very rough shape except for no dents and the engine is strong and Trans was recently rebuilt.

Looking for tips on how to do a manual to power window conversion as well as replace door panels, headliner, and dash board. Mine are shot with plenty of cracks and the previous owner removed the door pull handles to close the door. I would like to restore it back to OEM if possible but I really want to add power windows and realize it might me cheaper and easier to do a universal conversion kit that an OEM conversion.

The car has leather seats from a caddy which has a heater/ac duct but it's not hooked up. Is it possible to hook up.this vent to the rear of the car? Also the seat heaters don't work but I would like to install new heating/cooling seat elements if this is possible. Anyone know of a good kit?

Does anyone know where to get the parts I need, what parts I need, and have experience converting manual to power windows and installing rear vents and cooled seat elements?

I tried to search but I guess it's brokwn because everything I tried returned no results. If thsee topics have already been addressed, a link to the previous post would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much guys!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2019
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Originally Posted by Dr.Trill View Post
Hi guys,

I have a 1994 caprice PPV with LT1 and it's in very rough shape except for no dents and the engine is strong and Trans was recently rebuilt.

Looking for tips on how to do a manual to power window conversion as well as replace door panels, headliner, and dash board. Mine are shot with plenty of cracks and the previous owner removed the door pull handles to close the door. I would like to restore it back to OEM if possible but I really want to add power windows and realize it might me cheaper and easier to do a universal conversion kit that an OEM conversion.

The car has leather seats from a caddy which has a heater/ac duct but it's not hooked up. Is it possible to hook up.this vent to the rear of the car? Also the seat heaters don't work but I would like to install new heating/cooling seat elements if this is possible. Anyone know of a good kit?

Does anyone know where to get the parts I need, what parts I need, and have experience converting manual to power windows and installing rear vents and cooled seat elements?

I tried to search but I guess it's brokwn because everything I tried returned no results. If thsee topics have already been addressed, a link to the previous post would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much guys!
Hello Dr. Till,

Not to dissuade you in any way, but you are facing a tall order with the items you wish to accomplish and for a car with little support in the aftermarket.

Your best bet would be joining this forum https://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/10-caprice/

It's specifically for GM 91-96 B bodies. There's a decent amount of activity on there due to the strong Impala SS following. They might have more empirical knowledge on new aftermarket support for the '94 Caprice.

As a side note, I've owned a '91 Caprice Classic, put 300K miles on it, then owned a '96 Impala SS for 10 years and the wife stills owns her '96 Impala SS after several years of ownership and its her daily driver still.

The main problem is age with these cars, especially pertaining to the interior. There is little to no support I have found in interior part replacements. Also GM used the cheapest plastics and even though her car is garage kept and babied the interior is just falling apart. Plastic cracks all over and more rattles than I can care to think about. Just as a comparison contrast we also have a '94 Grand Marquis LS and the interior looks brand new, no cracks and no rattles. It's quite obvious Ford used much better materials for the interior than GM did in this time period.

My advice for power windows would be to hunt down the OEM parts. Whilst my 91, 96 and wifes 96 had/has power windows I am converting my beloved '73 Caprice Classic to power windows as well as 3 late 60's full size Fords (galaxie 500XL, LTD and an XL). The aftermarket power windows (non vehicle specific) are all junk in my opinion after an extensive evaluation of popular generic kits. There are aftermarket places producing vehicle specific power window systems but typically they run around 1000 dollars or more.

I actually bought another parts car '73 Caprice Classic pile of junk that still had all its power windows in it and was able to obtain the window regulators, brackets, etc.

You may have to do the same if you want a reliable power window system.

Good Luck.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2019
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It's quite obvious Ford used much better materials for the interior than GM did in this time period.
I've had just the opposite experience with the dash on my 97 F150 - I sometimes think they made it using bakelite Seriously, they used a hard plastic that's brittle resulting in it cracking up.

Regardless of whose plastic is better, I agree that plastic parts are the real challenge on keeping any 20+ year old car going, and that includes exterior parts as well, such as the front and real body work.

In some case, I think replacement parts can be fabricated using alternative materials (such as fiberglass) but it's labor intensive and/or expensive.

Doug

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If your socket set is all the same brand, you might be a city slicker.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-29-2019 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DesertXL View Post

Hello Dr. Till,

Not to dissuade you in any way, but you are facing a tall order with the items you wish to accomplish and for a car with little support in the aftermarket.

Your best bet would be joining this forum https://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/10-caprice/

It's specifically for GM 91-96 B bodies. There's a decent amount of activity on there due to the strong Impala SS following. They might have more empirical knowledge on new aftermarket support for the '94 Caprice.

As a side note, I've owned a '91 Caprice Classic, put 300K miles on it, then owned a '96 Impala SS for 10 years and the wife stills owns her '96 Impala SS after several years of ownership and its her daily driver still.

The main problem is age with these cars, especially pertaining to the interior. There is little to no support I have found in interior part replacements. Also GM used the cheapest plastics and even though her car is garage kept and babied the interior is just falling apart. Plastic cracks all over and more rattles than I can care to think about. Just as a comparison contrast we also have a '94 Grand Marquis LS and the interior looks brand new, no cracks and no rattles. It's quite obvious Ford used much better materials for the interior than GM did in this time period.

My advice for power windows would be to hunt down the OEM parts. Whilst my 91, 96 and wifes 96 had/has power windows I am converting my beloved '73 Caprice Classic to power windows as well as 3 late 60's full size Fords (galaxie 500XL, LTD and an XL). The aftermarket power windows (non vehicle specific) are all junk in my opinion after an extensive evaluation of popular generic kits. There are aftermarket places producing vehicle specific power window systems but typically they run around 1000 dollars or more.

I actually bought another parts car '73 Caprice Classic pile of junk that still had all its power windows in it and was able to obtain the window regulators, brackets, etc.

You may have to do the same if you want a reliable power window system.

Good Luck.
Thank you so much for the reply!

So it sounds like I'm going to have to do everything custom. Looks like I'll be getting more familar with fiber glass lol.

Do you think I will need to get the wire harness and fuse box from a power window car to do an oem conversion?

I suspect the oem parts will be very difficult to find, too much money (I saw a driver side switch bezel for $200 but it was the wrong color), and labor to install, so I may just do the aftermarket kit (entire kit for $150) and see how it works. I don't drive frequently so it may suffice. Especially since I will need to make custom door panels it doesn't really make sense to use my broken door panels which gives me a lot more flexibility in the switches, etc. I think aftermarket will be the easiest option and might allow for manual operation backup (i just want this for the driver window so i can roll it down with the car off). Even at $1k the vehicle specific kits you mention will likely be much cheaper than an OEM conversion but still way out of my budget.

The car only cost me $2k so im trying to make restoration/customization costs commensurate with that. Except engine mods. Im willing to shell out relatively big bucks for power train mods but even at 180k miles (digital dash so probably way more) this engine still feels crazy powerful!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-29-2019
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Originally Posted by Dr.Trill View Post
Thank you so much for the reply!

So it sounds like I'm going to have to do everything custom. Looks like I'll be getting more familar with fiber glass lol.

Do you think I will need to get the wire harness and fuse box from a power window car to do an oem conversion?

I suspect the oem parts will be very difficult to find, too much money (I saw a driver side switch bezel for $200 but it was the wrong color), and labor to install, so I may just do the aftermarket kit (entire kit for $150) and see how it works. I don't drive frequently so it may suffice. Especially since I will need to make custom door panels it doesn't really make sense to use my broken door panels which gives me a lot more flexibility in the switches, etc. I think aftermarket will be the easiest option and might allow for manual operation backup (i just want this for the driver window so i can roll it down with the car off). Even at $1k the vehicle specific kits you mention will likely be much cheaper than an OEM conversion but still way out of my budget.

The car only cost me $2k so im trying to make restoration/customization costs commensurate with that. Except engine mods. Im willing to shell out relatively big bucks for power train mods but even at 180k miles (digital dash so probably way more) this engine still feels crazy powerful!
Hello,

Do you have a U-Pull and Pay junkyard near you? If you do, that will be your best bet for cheap window regulators with motors. That's really the heart of the system. If you can obtain all 4 doors worth you're well on your way.

If you're not going for originality I wouldn't bother with an OEM fuse block for power windows, it's way too much bother. Just run a circuit breaker feed from the battery and use a relay activated from ignition to power the windows. I wouldn't run the window current through the ignition switch. Worst case someone activates all four windows and it's a lot of amps pouring through the ignition switch.

The one piece I would actually encourage is aftermarket power window switches since you are custom making door panels. The original GM switches are poorly designed and poorly made and fail, especially the drivers main switch assembly. I replaced it twice on my Impala and I just put in the 4th one on the wifes '96 Impala SS.

Also try E-Bay for the window regulators, can't hurt. Up till a few years back the local U-Pull and Pay here had quite a few '91-'96 B body cars always in the lot. The entire complete door is 60 bucks. Now the pool of B body GM's is drying up and lucky to see 1 every couple of months.

Also I am not sure where you are located but there is a fella on Craigslist that does sell nothing but '91-'96 Chevy interior and exterior used parts, from door panels to complete dashes. You may want to try the Search Tempest website that will search all Craigslist ads in the good ol U.S.A. for the fellows posting.

Good Luck..
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