Carcass Featured Projects

Carcass Builds

Parts Used In This Episode

Detroit Steel Wheel
Delray Wheels
P.O.R. Products
POR 15 Top Coat: Direct to Metal Rust Preventive Paint

Episode Transcript

(Jimmy)>> You're watching Powernation!

(Jimmy)>> Today on Carcass we take a break from our Road Course Camaro to start working on a new project. It's big, bold, and full of rust and crust.

(Jeremy)>> We'll start tearing into our crud covered carriage to make way for some new and improved suspension, giving you helpful tech to get this old piece of iron back on the road. [ Music ] [ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Jimmy)>> Welcome to Carcass. The newest project for Jeremy and I is something that's a little bit different and something that we've wanted to do for a while, and now it's finally time. I know you guys are probably used to us building one or two-seat race cars, which we do love, but this one is quite a bit different. The car itself is a lot longer, it's a lot heavier, it seats way more people, and at first glance it might remind you to take your family on a cross country vacation. This is our 1984 Chevy Caprice, and this car is absolutely massive. It's about 18 feet long, seats eight people, but it does have some bells and whistles that for its time made this thing really comfortable to drive. This car in particular just has a 305 small block Chevy, overdrive transmission, hydro-boost brakes, and because it is a wagon it came with bigger brakes from the factory. Some cool stuff that it does have, cruise control, a/c, power door locks, things like that that just make this car really nice to drive and you can haul all your friends and family.

(Jeremy)>> Like Jimmy said, this is a 1984 Caprice. So this makes it a box Caprice. They ran this from 1977 all the way up to 1990, and they only went through a couple of changes within those years. They went from quad headlights down to single headlights, and they did a couple of bumper changes as well. This isn't the bubble Caprice that everybody's building currently. That's '91 to '96. You have the Roadmasters in there. You also have the Impala SS, which is a car pretty much everybody wants to build right now, but this is what Jimmy and I kinda fell in love with. We fell in love with the boxiness of this Caprice. The big plus to this is it actually shares some suspension components with the bubble Caprice. So we've got a very good avenue on what we want to do underneath this car, which leads us to the fact that we do want to lower this thing. Kinda set it down to the ground a little bit. We are gonna touch underneath the hood a little bit, kinda spruce everything up. We have some wheels that are gonna go on this thing, and we actually already have those. So we're gonna go grab them. We'll show you guys where we're gonna start so we get a good idea how it's gonna look. So for the wheels the guys over at Detroit Steel Wheel sent us a killer set of 20 by nines. This is their Delrey wheel, and it's finished in an antique white. You guys may notice that this looks a lot like a wheel you would find on a mid-'80s C-10 truck, and that's for good reason. So the truck and our Caprice wagon actually share the same bolt pattern as far as the wheels go. This is a five-on-five bolt pattern with a four and a half inch back spacing. This is kind of a centerpiece of the vehicle. So we really wanted to use this design and this style to make the car look a certain way, and they're really gonna look good on our Caprice wagon. We do have a lot of work to do before we can get these things mounted up. So we're gonna go tear the car down, tackle some of that suspension work, get these things mounted up on some tires, and see what they look like. [ drill humming ]

(Jimmy)>> Get this hood out of here so it gives us a little more room to work.

(Jeremy)>> Probably gonna weigh like 100 pounds! [ drill humming ] [ Music ] [ drill humming ]

(Jeremy)>> Alright, we're free! [ Music ]

[ liquid sloshing ] [ Music ]

(Jeremy)>> So if you guys are working on a vehicle that has air conditioning one thing to remember is that these systems are under an extreme amount of pressure. For us it's not that big of a deal solely because these lines are already loose. So we know there's no pressure on the system, but for any other vehicle these are under a very high amount of pressure. The correct way to go about doing this is to hook up a machine and evac the system, pull all the freon out. We don't want that going up into the ozone. But for us, again, it's not that big of a deal just because everything was loose. We're gonna get these lines out of the way so we can get the radiator out of the way. Then maybe at the end of this we'll try to get the a/c working again but I'm gonna highly doubt it's gonna work. We're not too concerned about having air conditioning anyways. [ Music ]

[ Music ] [ drill humming ] [ Music ]

(Jeremy)>> A little tight in here. [ Music ] That moves a little bit. That water pump is beyond shot. I'm surprised this thing didn't leak and that it actually still had coolant in it. That gives us a bunch of room up front and it gets us one step closer to getting this engine out of the way. Want to know what 30 plus years of road grime and no maintenance looks like on a car? We'll give you a sneak peek as we remove the drivetrain of our '84 Caprice wagon.

(Jeremy)>> So we're deep into our Caprice project here. We're getting ready to pull the engine and trans. We do have the cooling system and some of the a/c stuff out of the way. We've got a couple more things to button up up top here. Then we're gonna get the car in the air, tackle the exhaust, maybe drain the transmission fluid out of it, and then come back up top, throw a chain on it, get this thing out of here. We'll take it outside and get it washed. [ Music ]

[ Music ]

[ Music ] Got like a thousand zip ties holding this stuff together down here.

(Jimmy)>> Figures. [ Music ] Here we go! [ mechanical humming ]

(Jimmy)>> Pretty crusty!

(Jeremy)>> She's nasty underneath there. Look at all the oil. Let's grab some stuff and we'll get the exhaust out of the way, and work on the driveshaft too. [ drill humming ]

(Jeremy)>> No way! That one actually came apart. [ drill humming ] [ metal clanging ]

(Jeremy)>> There goes the heat riser valve. See if I can do this. Simple enough. [ Music ]

[ Music ]

(Jimmy)>> Alright, let's get this thing out. [ Music ] [ drill humming ]

(Jeremy)>> I'll remove the starter so I can access the torque converter bolts. [ Music ] [ drill humming ]

(Jeremy)>> We'll also remove the transmission crossmember. This can be a little tricky because you have to slide it out a certain way, but we found it to be a little bit easier to remove the transmission mount as well to give us more room to finagle it out in between the frame rails. [ Music ] [ metal clanging ]

(Jeremy)>> There we go! Just crusty! [ Music ] [ drill humming ]

(Jeremy)>> Wiggle that guy a little bit. There it goes! Cooler lines, keep going. Kick down cable. Okay, we're good. Now we'll go up top and we'll block the motor up somehow. We'll go up top and then we'll pluck it out of there. [ drill humming ]

(Jeremy)>> Look at that. That's literally just sitting in there. It's actually nice to have a heavy car on the hoist.

(Jimmy)>> Goes faster! [ Music ]

(Jeremy)>> Just a little 305 and we are making a giant mess.

(Jimmy)>> Seems like it always happens that way.

(Jeremy)>> You just can't win. I would have to imagine this has never been out of this car.

(Jimmy)>> This thing is disgusting.

(Jeremy)>> The inside of the car is worse. Engine compartment's trashed. [ Crowd - Aaawww!! ]

(Jeremy)>> So we have the engine and transmission out of the car. The plan here is to clean all this up, but there's so much filth, and grease, and oil, and everything on the crossmember. I don't want to take it outside and make a giant mess out there. So we're gonna clean it all up in here. I've got some plastic down on the ground. I've got some scrapers. We'll start scraping everything down, and then we'll head outside.

(Jimmy)>> We remove the suspension and start the rebuilding process of our family friendly cruiser.

(Jeremy)>> So we have the engine and transmission out of the Caprice. We did take this thing outside and cleaned it the best we could with the pressure washer. It's kinda hard to get to these tough to reach spots, especially when you have wheels on it, but we did clean everything up. So the idea here is to take all this apart in big chunks. We're gonna work getting the spindle, the brakes, the caliper, everything off in one big chunk. Upper and lower control arms off in one big chunk. We're not gonna bore you guys with every nut and bolt that gets this car apart. One thing that we've noticed. We thought this car was super clean but it has definitely spent some time in the rust belt. So it's gonna be a little bit of a challenge to get some of this stuff apart, but me being from Minnesota I'm kinda used to that. So it's nothing that a big hammer, a torch, and some big wrenches can't handle. So we're gonna go ahead and strip all this down. Then we'll work on getting all the new parts on this thing. God dang! [ Music ] [ torch hissing ]

(Jimmy)>> I played with fire as a kid, which was sketchy because living in the desert there are wildfires. Somehow I didn't catch my neighborhood on fire at any point. Pretty lucky, not very smart either.

(Jeremy)>> That one didn't even go kaboom! [ fireworks popping ]

(Jeremy)>> Oh no, is it spinning? Darn it, how long are these ball joints! I see you got yours off already. Showing off?

(Jimmy)>> Already done! Slow boating it over here. [ metal clanging ] [ Music ] [ drill humming ] [ Music ]

(Jeremy)>> Fine, go that way I guess. That's how you want to come out that's how you're coming out. We're gonna make sure we are as easy on ourselves as possible. We're not gonna worry about replacing bushings. We're just gonna replace the whole lower control arm instead. Well this car's rusty, but hopefully this comes apart a little easier.

(Jimmy)>> Yeah, it's a little more nasty back here. [ drill humming ] [ metal dragging on the floor ] [ Music ] [ hammer tapping ]

(Jeremy)>> So much dirt piled in there you've gotta bang the bolts. Look at all the dirt.

(Jimmy)>> Let me see that punch.

(Jeremy)>> I'm gonna try to get the top ones out too. [ mechanical humming ]

(Jeremy)>> Ready? [ Music ] So back up front we're gonna start installing all of our new suspension pieces. We did take the time and kinda cleaned up the chassis a little bit more now that everything's out of the way, and we hit it with a fresh coat of paint. Now as far as all of our suspension parts that we're gonna be installing, we got all of this stuff from Duralast, and they have a bunch of advantages to running Duralast stuff. Now when it comes to upper and lower control arms one of the big advantages here, the fact that they have the bushings already installed and they have the ball joints already installed. If you guys have ever tried to put bushings in lower control arms you know that they are a real bugger. These come coated from the factory. So we don't have to worry about these things rusting at all. They meet or exceed fit, form, and function, and it should restore the ride quality of our Caprice, which is exactly what we're going for but before I install these we're actually gonna install the motor mounts for a very specific reason. The reason why we're doing this is because GM, when they designed motor mounts, crossmembers, and such they did it so you actually have the nuts or the bolts buried in the crossmember itself, and they're a bugger to get to unless the lower control arm's out of the way, which it's awfully helpful that ours is out of the way now. So now's the time to do this before we put all the suspension back in it. [ air drill humming ] [ Music ]

(Jeremy)>> So as far as the overall stance of the Caprice we're actually gonna be doing that with the coil spring. This is a stock coil spring, but it's for a '91 to '96 bubble top Caprice, which basically looks the same but the spring rate's a little bit different, and it's gonna collapse a little bit more, hence lowering the car, and that's what we're going after. I'm only going to install it about this far. We're going to go to the other side, get the other side to this point, then we'll put it all together in one shot. Use the weight of the car to compress both coil springs. We'll get this side buttoned up. The front buttoned up, and then we'll go to the back.

(Jimmy)>> The rear end of our Caprice has seen a ton of miles. We give it some much needed maintenance and a new lease on life with a fresh coat of paint.

(Jimmy)>> We've been making some really good progress on our Caprice, and while Jeremy has been working on the front suspension and getting those components replaced I've been working on the rear axle. I started cleaning up the housing and I've gotten most of the components off of this thing. So now it's time for me to get some new parts on it and get it painted, and back under the car, but before I got it to this point this thing was looking pretty rough. There was a pretty obvious axle seal leak with all the dirt, grease, and brake dust caked onto the backing plate. Even when we took the brake drum off we saw even more signs with the brake shoes being glazed over, and everything looking like it was wet with gear oil. We'll definitely be putting new bushings and control arms on this axle because we saw the old ones were all dry rotted and cracked. That's pretty standard and easy to do with the axle all the way out of the car. Other than that just a simple clean up to get some of the rust and other crusty junk off the axle. Then we'll hit it with some kind of coating to protect it in the future. And now my job is pretty simple from here. I'm just gonna put some new axle seals in it. I'm gonna be rebuilding the entire brake system. And then I just have to reassemble, coat it with something to protect it in the future, and we'll be good to go. [ hammer tapping ]

(Jimmy)>> How many hits, five! [ hammer tapping five times ] [ drill humming ]

(Jimmy)>> Get the axle back in here. Make sure you lubricate the seals before as well. [ Music ] Now when you're putting these clips in, when you have the axle out of the car they're pretty easy to do by hand cause you just get to drop them straight down. But if you're doing it under a car they tend to be a little more tricky because they want to fall out. So if you use a magnet you kinda get it set in place, and then pull the axle to release it from the magnet. Now I'll put this center pin back in here with the bolt, which does have a little bit of thread locker on it. Tighten it down. Now we'll get some r-t-v on here to seal it up. Now I'll get them tightened down. Last thing I'm gonna do here before I get the brakes back on the axle is coat the entire thing. We just want to protect it for years to come, and I've gotten what I could off in terms of surface rust and I've degreased the entire thing. So we're just gonna spray i9t down and let it dry. [ aerosol can hissing ]

(Jimmy)>> To coat our axle we're using POR-15's Top Coat DTM paint. This is a direct to metal coating that works well in areas that are susceptible to corrosion. Now priming is needed, which makes this perfect for our application, and it's easy to lay down with the aerosol can. It's a great way to protect metal surfaces and make them look good in the process. [ aerosol can hissing ]

(Jimmy)>> Our axle looks pretty good and we have everything coated, and now it's time to rebuild the drum brakes. To do so we've got some Duralast parts including this drum brake all in one kit, which includes all the springs, and the pins, and everything you need to rebuild them. We also have their wheel cylinders. What's great about Duralast parts is they have an o-e fit and finish, and they also meet or exceed o-e standards for quality. So we know we're getting a good product and our car is gonna operate better than it did before. Just put a tiny bit of grease here on the flat spots on the back plate just to make sure the shoes can slide and operate like they're supposed to. [ Music ]

[ Music ]

(Jeremy)>> The axle's looking pretty good.

(Jimmy)>> Yeah I got this side done. I'll put the brakes on the other side, and then we still have to put bushings and control arms on this thing but we'll be pretty much wrapped up after that.

(Jeremy)>> Once we get this buttoned up we'll clean up underneath, make it a roller again. That's gonna button it up for us today. So we'll check you guys out next time.
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