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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

A 69 Caprice 4dr with a 350 engine is available in my area and I am considering buying it as a first foray into an older car. Typical story from my rural area. Car was owned by a older original owner who is now passing it along after keeping up regular maintenance all along.

I have little experience with working on cars, but am seeking one for an initial experience.

Are these relatively easy to work on, repair and maintain for a do it yourselfer?

Are parts readily available at reasonable prices?
 

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8th Gen Antagonist
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Parts shouldn't be a big issue. Working with any era of cars will have its own pros and cons, in the case of a 69, things will be pretty straight forward and easy access, but at the same time may be a pain in the ass. They used points for one thing, and points aren't really significant at all anymore, you could learn to work on them on this car and never use that skill again for the rest of your days. In the 70's they brought out HEI, and that was no longer an issue. But, they added lots of vacuum operated doohickeys and stuff that like that will also cause you a headache. Do whats best for you, get the car that makes it all worth it to you.
 

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if its a nice 69 buy it 350's arent hard to work on and either is anything chevy besides the new shiiiiiittttt,....... in other words that a good car to stat on as a easy project that anyone can work on:biggrin::eek:
 

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It will be a great car to learn about how things work and how to work on them.

You may be able to change the original distributer out for an HEI unit. If so that will make things much easier than dealing with the points and condenser.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks!

Yes, I know, if I am considering a 350 v8, I shouldn't even be asking, but what should I expect in gas mileage? It is said to be the small block 350.
 

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8th Gen Antagonist
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With it running properly, that is probably a very good estimate. Unfortunately, you are not likely to do much better with a car that heavy and brick like.
 

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Great car, I've had 2 '69's and a 68. Great mile-eaters. They all rust along the bottom of the rear window.

The main thing you could easily do to make it better would be put a HEI distributer in it to replace the old points setup, that would help the gas mileage.

Cost example: the other day I put a fuel pump in my '92 Caprice - $70. I checked prices for new cars and they varied from $160 to $600.

The '69 fuel pump is $20.

I've had maybe 40+ of these GM rear wheel drive cruisers, and turned down Rolls-Royce and found that Mercedes was a joke, and overall I'd say the full size Chevy's in the '65 - 70 era, all things considered (like the price of the fuel pump) were the best cars ever made.

It's way better than my '92's.

The 119" wheelbase is better than the '92's 116", and the frame is box, and the sheet metal was thicker. Just a better ride, period.

The main things wrong with the '69 are the old distributer (buy an Accel vac model), the seat belts are a mess and need upgrade and it needs a 700R4 trans swap to get great gas mileage, and that involves some work.

These, are of course, just my opinions.
 

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My guess on the gas mileage:

stock: 10 if you drive like a maniac, 16 if you don't, maybe 18 on the highway

w/ HEI ditributer: adds a lot of dependability, the original distributer works fine but doesn't stay in top shape all the time like the HEI does.

w/700R4 tranny conversion and HEI: maybe 22 highway

I was getting 20 on an '85 Caprice wagon with a 350 and a 1966 Rochester 4 barrel carb, and it seemed like I could add about 1 mpg by adding 2 mothballs per tank of gas (no kidding).
 

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well i dont know about the mothballs but the fuel pump is a good comparison on how readily parts are and how cheap they are i have also done the fuel pump on my old 91 and it was easy and cheap ( im sure ill have to do it to the lt1 one day ) and its the same fuel pump when i did my 93 chevy suburban ( miss that thing so much room for speakers ):biggrin:
 

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Buy it. There a several 'fixes' for the points/condenser issue. Parts are cheap and it should make a good car to learn on. I would replace 10 of those FP's compared to my '96 SS's one. LOL.
 
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