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2005 and Earlier Chevrolet Impala

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  • shaminoshamino Posts: 60
    I was wondering if anyone knows any good aftermarket brands for headlights and foglights? I think my silver '00 Impala ls would look very cool if I could install xenon headlights and foglamps!
    Also, are there any body kits available for the impala? I want to create the visual effect of a lowered car without actually lowering the car.
    I hope some aftermarket parts company comes up with a modified rear bumper so that a dual exhaust can integrate within the bumper and not have it stick out.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Nope, neither one of those Chevrolet "Luminas" or "Caprices" are manufactured in North America. That's one of the many reasons why none of those vehicles are available in Canada, US and Mexico (What is consider to be the market region scope of GM North America)because of the "Not invented here, Not made here and not sold here" mentallity that has been plaguing 'our' GM executives for many years. If a GM car is not made in the US, these clowns either banned them from the American public or mess them up when the try to 'Americanize' them (Example: Cadillac Catera, Saturn L-Series both derivatives from European GM Opel models)

    The "Global" Caprice, Lumina, Lumina SS and the like were designed and manufactured primarily by GM's Europe division Adam Opel AG in Germany. These V-8 powered, RWD sedans are spinoffs and derivatives of the European/Latin American markets Luxury/Sports sedan, the Opel Omega.

    (See www.opel.com)

    From the Opel Omega, we Americans get the Cadillac Catera, essentially an 'Americanized' version of the Omega. This is the reason why the current Catera is manufactured in Germany along with its other international siblings. The Omega enjoys a very solid reputation for quality, reliability and performance worldwide; however, The Catera has been a quality flop (No longer, but earlier cars had too many reliability issues)because the idiots at GM North America (Who seem to be totally out of sync when compared to other worldwide GM operating units) when the car was transformed from the solid European sedan to the soft and revised version for American tastes.

    Think of the V-8, RWD Chevy cars that you showed in your link of a regular size Cadillac Catera with a V-8 engine (Lumina SS) (instead of the US V-6 spec version) and a stretch "Limo" version of the same car (caprice).

    The Cadillac Catera suffered in North America because it was a very heavy RWD sedan powered by a skimpy V-6 engine. Notice that ALL Opel Omega sedan derivatives, boast V-8 powerplants and lower trim version offer larger displacement V-6 engines for other markets).

    The regular wheelbase Opel Omega is marketed worldwide as:

    * Chevy Lumina SS 6-speed manual (Africa, Middle East)
    * Holden Commodore SS 6-speed manual (Australia)
    * Vauxhall Omega (United Kingdom)
    * Holden Calais (Lower trim version of the Commodore that offers a standard 3.8L Aluminum V-6 engine and a choice of 5-speed or 4-speed auto)
    * Cadillac Catera (US/Canada)

    Opel Omega "Stretch" wheelbase derivatives:

    (Australia/Africa and Middle Eastern markets only):

    * Holden Caprice (Australia)
    * Holden Caprice Statesman (Australia, top of the line variant)
    * Chevrolet Caprice LTZ
    * Opel Omega (European)

    The same applies for the Station wagon body style Opel Omega derivatives.

    Again, none of these GM RWD V-8 sedans were ever designed or manufactured in North America. The last North American only (See... designed here, made here, sold here..gets a YES!)similar platform was the discontinued B-body sedans made from 1991 to 1996 (Caprice, Roadmaster, Cruiser, Fleetwood).

    Why can't we get say a Chevy Lumina SS, a Holden Commodore SS or an Opel Omega with European specs????

    Simple answer my friend! GM has for its USA/Canada/Mexico large midsize sedan customers the current (But soon to be phased out) W-body V-6 powered FWD that we all are driving here today...The Y2K Impala, Intrigue, Regal, Century, Monte Carlo and Grand Prix. The W-body sedans replace the European Opel Omega derivatives as a midsize and large sedan option for North America (Until the GM large sedan 'world' car platform, Mid-Lux, debuts in our soil beginning in 2003).

    See how that GM north America philosophy appplies all over again when you analyze its North American vehicles against its true "Global" vehicles around the world?...Not made here, not invented here; therefore not sold here.

    If the W-bodies didn't exist, probably you and I (and the rest of us) would be driving around on European sourced Opel Omegas with V-6 or V-8 engines, 6-speed manuals or 4-speed autos and RWD.

    It is evident that GM North America is the main and biggest GM operating unit of the company worldwide as a whole, yet it walks on a completely different path than the rest of the world....that's why we have such lousy cars such as the J-bodies, N-bodies and the Pontiac Aztek for example. Everywhere else in the world, GM has superior cars, superior quality, superior reputation and they seem to listen to their 'global' customers...but they can't or choose not to do so in their own backyard!

    Hopefully this "Not invented here, not sold here" syndrome will be history in a couple of years when the first TRUE GM global car platforms will start debuting worldwide, including the US and Canada.

    Hope this helps.

    For further info, go to:

    www.gm.com
  • platourplatour Posts: 252
    Here is a source if you wish to pay the price!! They are for a C5 Corvette but I assume that GM lamps are similar. I would check with local/State/Provincial authorities on these as they are very bright and there may be some question as to their legality!!

    http://store.yahoo.com/corvetteforum/philhidhigin.html
  • duraflexduraflex Posts: 358
    Those big cars look great but are they any good?
    How long have they been around?

    If they're much like the Catera, I would not be interested.
    Sat in a couple of those at an auto show - ugh!
    The only thing Cadillac about then was the nameplate.
    Reminded me of the Cadillac Cimarron of days gone by.
    Nothing but a Cadillac-wannabe, but not even close.

    The only Opels I knew anything about were the
    "Buick" Opel compacts of many years ago and they
    were terrible. They were in the same loser class as
    Italian Fiats of the same vintage. Undependable rust
    buckets - of course that's way before your time.

    Even today's expensive Audis and recent Jaguars (pre-Ford)
    are not very dependable even though they look great.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Thanks for that inciteful and informative posting. It is encouraging to think that a new RWD platform is on the horizon and that it has the potential to be the basis for a number of highly desirable autombiles. Keep fingers crossed that the general doesn't screw up the American version!

    Have you seen any conceptions of the new platform - any idea of wheelbase,etc? I would hope for an Impala version on 112 inches and perhaps see Buick bring out a new Park Ave and LeSabre on 116 or so.

    I have always enjoyed the ride of my RWD cars (Caddies, Buicks, Grand Marquis) and would love to see them return to broader scale availability. It has been suggested in the Maxima forum that that car will go RWD in its next generation.

    BTW, it was I who discovered the libertyautos link while searching for Chevy dealers - a real eye opener to see what is available elsewhere. I got a good laugh when I opened the Cadillac window and saw their illustration for the night vision feature - a CAMEL on the road! Can you imagine hitting one of those beasts?

    Ken
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Most critics would have agreed with you that the current Cadillac Catera would have been a 'Great Chevrolet' but is not, however, a full fledged Cadillac sedan. I personally like the current Catera sedans....RWD, built like a tank, European flavor...too bad the V-6 in them still has a hard time propelling these heavy cars and that its past reliability (Introductory '97 and 98 models) hasn't been nothing to rave about according to Consumer Reports.

    Remember the silly Cindy Crawford/duck cartoon commercials when the Catera was launched back in '97? That was strike one against the image of this car as the Caddy that 'Zigs' for young buyers that prefer Lexus, BMW, Acura, etc...it didn't 'Zig' with them as GM would have hoped for.

    Strike two came with the myrad of electrical and other quality issues early Cateras experienced....and Strike three the car's V-6 was not enough to generate any enthusiasm or interest in the model. The Catera should have been a 5.7L V-8 powered car (Like its overseas counterparts are)offered a 6-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic, traction control, PCS (Stability system), etc.

    The current 2000 and 2001 Cateras are very good cars, reliability wise, but they can no longer make any waves in the luxury class, so GM will bring next year (2002) an all new Catera, built in North America (Production will be moved out of Germany), with RWD, V-8 a rocket. Styling cues will be taken from the Imaj show cars...let's wait and see.

    To answer your question, Dura, the current Opel Omega derivatives have been on sale in the European/Australian markets since the early to mid 1990's. These cars are sold as upscale models on GM's overseas divisions Opel (Germany, European Union, Asia), Vauxhall (A rebadged Opel for the British market)and Holden (A rebadged Opel for the Australian market). In countries were neither one of these brands are sold, these sedans are marketed as Chevrolets, hence the middle east only Caprice and Lumina ss cars.

    Notice that these vehicles are sold in countries with far more harsh driving environment conditions...Australia, Middle East...etc. For example the Omega sedan is sold in Brazil as the Chevy Omega and the car enjoys rock solid reliability in that South American nation. Most of them are also used on local police duty as well as Taxi cabs in large metropolitan cities such as Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia. Others are sold in Argentina and Chile as well. The Holden Omegas, Commodores are used in Sydney as police cruisers (5.7L V-8, 6-speed manuals, RWD)and a bunch of them cruise the harsh Australian Outback highways everyday. Others are driven in Israel, Egypt, United Arab Emmirates on desert highways. The South African Lumina SS is driven in Cape Town as well as Johanesburg.....the Cateras are driven in the streets of Manhattan as well as the Florida's Turnpike..

    So yes you can say that these cars have racked up a lot of miles/kilometers and have seen quite a bit of the world. In contrast, the W-body sedans have never been offered outside of the US/Canada or Mexico, yet they are a very good and reliable platform.

    The "stretch" wheel version of these cars are not sold in Europe. The standard wheelbase Omega sedan is already a big car by European standards, so the larger Caprice models were developed exclusively for the Australian/Middle Eastern markets. Those suckers are gorgeous inside and out...would give any lexus/Acura a good run for their money..too bad they are off limits for us.

    Current Opels are excellent cars. The Opel Corsa/Astra/Vectra are world class award winning automobiles. I have seen them in Europe and they are gorgeous GM products. I would take an Opel Corsa or Astra over a comparable Chevy Cavalier or Chevy Malibu any day of the year. Look for the 'Opel' invasion within the next couple of years when the gorgeous, Lotus Elise based, Opel Speedster will be sold in Pontiac dealers as a replacement for the Firebird/Trans Am models

    See it here.... www.opel.com

    and check out the article made by Motor Trend on the Speedster www.motortrend.com

    Pontiac is getting pretty impressive cars....the upcoming Vibe and the Speedster!

    This 'Not invented here, not made here and not sold here' nonsense will finally end when GM introduce their 'Global' platform cars beginning in 2002:

    * Delta (Next generation cavalier and Saturn S sedans.. german handling and engineering at a
    bargain price)
    * Gamma
    * Sigma (Next generation RWD catera, Malibu, Grand AM and Saturn L series...also the Saab 9-3 will be based on the Sigma)
    * Epsilon (Slightly larger version of the Sigma cars)
    * Midlux: Next generation 2005 RWD Impala, Monte Carlo, Regal and Grand Prix.

    These platforms have been developed in Germany and here in the US. The first W-body cars to join the Mid-Lux family will be the 2003 Buick Regal and Pontiac Grand Prix...so keep your eyes open for those. The Impala will switch from the W-body platform in 2005 along with the Monte carlo.

    You can't compare 1970's Opel products to current 2001 Opel products....totally irrelevant. The problem lies in that you can never turn an European tuned car into an American posh cruiser. That has caused big headaches to the main 3 domestic automakers. prime examples...the Cadillac Catera and the Saturn L series. The Saturn L series is an Opel Vectra sedan spin-off. I have seen the Opel vectra and it is 1000 times better than the American Saturn sibling. These cars lost a lot of their good qualities and character when they made the jump over the atlantic...GM should have left them as they were designed and intended to be..European tuned road cars.

    In constrast, some Europeans long to have pure American cars available in their countries. Some of them would wish to be able to own one of our 3800 V-6 Impalas or a supercharged Pontiac Grand Prix GTP sedan. Do you know that the world's biggest Buick fan is not an American but an Italian national??

    Its hard to keep everyone happy, that's for sure!
  • cookie01cookie01 Posts: 369
    Dura's facts on traffic deaths can be seen in several different ways, but to look at the global issue, of all the things you can do to yourself and endanger your life (drinking, smoking, drugs, a variety of "partners", fighting, jumping off cliffs, etc,) nothing (besides maybe smoking) puts others in direct danger more than crappy driving.

    I enjoy the "pick up" of my V6, what a thrill and convience when I'm out on the road. No matter what the speed, bad driving puts not only YOU and your passengers in danger, but everyone else on your roads as well. Teens have bad driving statistics, not always due to high speed, but just because they're not paying attention. Same with older drivers, or "impared" drivers.

    Drive smart. Doing 100 on the interstate usually isn't smart. If it's 2 a.m. on a Wednesday and it's straight as an arrow and there's no one around, you're not going to hurt anyone but yourself if you blow a tire or hit a deer. When it's 5:30 Friday afternoon and 100 of your close personal friends are heading home, even a "quickly moving" freeway is dangerous at 55.

    Right Dura? You can't get people to drive slower if they enjoy the speed. But you might be able to get them to think about where and when they gun it!
  • cookie01cookie01 Posts: 369
    Matt, the buttons on my radio are fine, but like others, I have steering wheel mounted controls and use them almost exclusively.

    Here's an idea. Re-program your favorite stations to the upper numbers (5-6) so you use them more often and not those first two. Might help them last a bit longer.
  • I tried driving in D3, but alas...I still find the accelerator to be a bit touchy to
    provide a smooth ride when speed changes are frequent (especially low speeds 0 - 30mph).
    Any other technical inputs are greatly appreciated.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Hey - do you guys realize that Teo actually gets chauffered around Miami in a vintage white Rolls? Check out the Rolls/Bentley Experiences forum.

    And here we thought he was one of us regular slobs!!

    Teo - do they have your pic in the current Rolls brochure too? LOL

    Ken
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
  • I found my first 2000 Impala matchbox for 77 cents at Target. it is series 1999 #34 of 100, series 7. Cleveland police. I have the better quality 2000 emergency service impala fire chiefs car. the trunk opens with great detail, that one was $5.50
  • platourplatour Posts: 252
    Teo,
    You obviously know the automotive industry! I really enjoy and am informed by your posts. Just a minor addition to the discusion. We in North America have to live with EPA CAFE mileage standards and of course these are fleet-wide for the manufacturers. Those 5.7L vehicles are being sold in countries without CAFE standards. And why not? The web site posted was from Dubai and I imagine that fuel costs there are very low (I have read 20 cents/gallon) and governement regs are non-existent. Now imagine if we went back to the 1970s when a Chevrolet passenger sedan had 350cid two-barrel as a standard engine and GM re-intoduced this concept for "family" vehicles such as the Impala. With computer controls and fuel injection, of course. CAFE would be skewed in the wrong direction. And there are significant monetary penalties for the manufacturers to pay for that. I do not see the V8 coming back in passenger cars for that reason. Too much volume. Even with low-production cars such as the early 1990s Corvette, little tricks were played to get the mileage in line. The infamous 1st to 4th shift on the six-speed transmission was just one. But we can dream.....
  • mcdillmcdill Posts: 180
    Hey , I got both the nypd impala , and the fire cheif for $ 7.99 a peice,from target as well,I think I paid a dollor something for the cleavland impala .thanks------mattmcdill
  • shaminoshamino Posts: 60
    Just a thought..I was thinking maybe your problems with the non linear acceleration is due to partially frozen gas lines? Or perhaps maybe the fuel injectors are clogged?
    Faulty engine control module, or fuel sensors maybe causes as well.
  • shaminoshamino Posts: 60
    Oops..sorry about previous post.
    I was wondering what the "normal" operating temperature should be during winter driving? For some reason the temperature never reaches the half way mark on my '00 impala ls. Is that normal? Instead the temperature always hovers around a few bars below the 1/2 way mark.

    I also would like to know whether anyone has added the GM supercharger to the 3.8 series 2 engine?
    I was thinking of maybe adding a supercharger of some sort so I can get more power and torque (240HP..now that sounds nice!!) :)
  • mcdillmcdill Posts: 180
    The only way i would do that would be to get a supercharged ( from the factory ) 3800 , because the factory 3800 supercharged , is much stronger inside ,than the basic 3800 series II , it has been strengthened inside to take the force of the supercharged air , and the higher rev-ing it has to do . I would get one out of a regal .
  • shaminoshamino Posts: 60
    Oops..sorry about previous post.
    I was wondering what the "normal" operating temperature should be during winter driving? For some reason the temperature never reaches the half way mark on my '00 impala ls. Is that normal? Instead the temperature always hovers around a few bars below the 1/2 way mark.

    I also would like to know whether anyone has added the GM supercharger to the 3.8 series 2 engine?
    I was thinking of maybe adding a supercharger of some sort so I can get more power and torque (240HP..now that sounds nice!!) :)
  • lrcobralrcobra Posts: 82
    How about telling me your opinion on the new T-bird that Ford is going to be selling this fall. I saw a segment on TV about it and it looks nice enough. I don't think I could ever buy a two-seater though until I am retired and the kids are gone on their own. Then I would still consider the Corvette first I think. They are supposed to showcase it in Detroit at the show this week-end.
    LRCobra
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Not only the supercharged 3.8l engine is beefed-up, the transaxle too. It would be a major undertaking replacing both.

    Not sure about other parts: half-axles, wheels, etc.
  • mcdillmcdill Posts: 180
    Thats just what I was about to post , I got to thinking , the supercharged 3800's also have , a different stronger transmission, to take the 280 ftlbs of torque .thanks------------mattmcdill
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Platour::: Excellent point regarding the EPA/CAFE regulations. I believe these requirements will prevent any further development or market presence increase of 'affordable' priced sedans/coupes/station wagons equipped with V-8 engines and RWD. I know that all automakers in order to comply with CAFE guidelines, they must meet a certain production quota of gas saving/econo vehicles to avoid paying stiff penalties to the government, hence this explains why cars such as the Chevy Metro, Ford Escort, Cavalier and the like still exist in despite of them not being very popular among consumers who favor bigger gas guzzling machines.

    Cobra:: I have seen the '02 or 03 new Thunderbird coupe up close and it is indeed a beautiful automobile. It shares powertrain and some interior bits and pieces with the current Lincoln LS sedans. I believe the car has a 4.6L OHC V-8 engine (Similar to the Lincoln LS8 sedan) a 4-speed auto and RWD. The dashboard, steering wheel and center console were pull out of the LS sedans, however the exterior sheetmetal design is unmistakable classic thunderbird. The car is a modern rendition of the late 1950's Thunderbirds and has no resemblance to the behemoths of the 60's, 70's and the downsized humdrum coupes of the 80's and 90's (Well except those supercharged versions they once built).
    The car will retail for around $40,000 but expect to pay above MSRP due to popularity (If the car develops one of its own) and somewhat limited availability. They have an upscale trim label called "Neiman Marcus" and the paint and leather quality is almost Jaguar like (Well Ford after all owns Jaguar). Also, the platform used for this car is shared with the 'entry level' Jaguar S-type sedans which are essentially Lincoln LS sedans built in Coventry, England but their V-8's are built in Cleveland, Ohio!.

    Also, at the upcoming Detroit International Autoshow (Starts on Jan 16), Ford unveiled a very cool looking retro styled coupe named the 'Ford 49' which resembles the popular 1949 Ford Coupes. The car has some very cool retro touches...here are the pics:

    http://www.autonews.com/html/main/2001detroitshow/ford/index.htm

    'Eye candy', eh?

    Check out the other models being unveiled at this event...

    What's next, a 1949 Cadillac De Ville coupe retro or a 1949 Mercury low roofline?
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    If you want a the 3800 Supercharged engine, it is easier and much cheaper to buy a car that already has it installed from the factory. Not only adding a blower to the normal aspirated 3800 is a daunting task, but the trasmission needs to be 'beefed up' to accomodate for the extra torque that it will be required to handle. Also you need to take into consideration body torsion tolerances that the car might require to prevent structural issues due to the extra power. I am not too aware of aftermarket blower conversions for the 3800, but if you want a S/C 3800 powered car your only choices are:

    * Buick Regal GS sedan
    * Pontiac Grand Prix GTP sedan/Coupe.

    While it would have been nice to have the S/C 3800 as an option on the Y2K Impala, I'd personally rather wait for the '03 SS model equipped with a 5.7L V-8 engine and 280 to 300 ponies at the front wheels.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Also forgot to include the Buick Park Avenue 'Ultra' sedan that also has the S/C 3800 as standard equipment, but remember that this H-body car is heavier than the W-body models.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    The Pontiac Bonneville SSE-I which is essentially a sportier spinoff of the Buick Park Avenue and thus much more costly than either Buick Regal GS or Pontiac GP GTP.
  • cookie01cookie01 Posts: 369
    Teo, thanks for the link, I was wondering what those are supposed to look like..

    Me? I wouldn't do it. It's just WAY too 007 for me.

    Our auto show is later this month. Nothing very cool every shows up.. but my hubby wants to test drive a turbo bug and the pressure is way less at the auto shows than at the dealer.

    I used to go EVERY year. I even bought my first new car at an auto show, back when they used to be "selling" shows. They stopped that about 3 years ago and you can only look, touch and sometimes drive now...
  • shaminoshamino Posts: 60
    I did consider the other GM products that had the s/c. I would never buy the Buick cause to me only "older" (50+) folks drive that car. No offense intended.
    I didn't like the grandprix gtp because it didn't have the heated seats for the passenger side. Also getting in and out of the rear is akward, with the roof in the back sloping down. Also I've read in the grand prix newsgroup of the various quality problems the car had.
    The Bonneville was a bit to pricy for me and I don't quite like the styling.

    When the 5.7L V-8 engine does come along for the impala, I wonder how the front wheel drive will handle all that power? The dreaded torque steer factor comes is something to consider.

    I don't understand the logic behind GM way of thinking. I don't think it would be that much harder to stuff a 3.8 s/c engine and transaxle into the impala. Afterall, all the mechanical parts are already in the existing GM inventory. All they would have to do is probably add a few extra brace points to strengthen the body of the car. I defintely would have ordered the s/c version if it was available.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    I agree re: Torque steer problems with the 5.7L V-8 engine.

    The beauty of the Y2K Impala 3800 V-6 is that you can 'punch' the gas pedal and the car is free from any sort of torque steer that plagues most foreign and domestic FWD cars with 4,5 and 6 cylinder engines. The car launches straight and the steering wheel doesn't suddenly jerk..its just there solid like a Jet Fighter yoke.. waiting for command input from the pilot.

    However, when going from 200 to 300 ponies at the front wheels, the scenario might be different. Cadillac has been building FWD V-8 sedans for years. Altough I haven't driven one, I wonder how Cadillac has worked out the torque steer problems on those powerful V-8 cars?

    If GM, upon release of the '03 SS, decides to make the LS model sort of a mid-level trim, then it is possible that the S/C 3800 might be offered as an alternative to those who don't want or are not willing to shell out the extra dough for a V-8 SS model. The hardware and pieces are already there, its just GM's call to put it into production.

    For me, I am happy with the N/A 3800 engine. Has more than enough power, without the Gas,oil and insurance penalties of forced induction engines.

    I actually Like the Buick Park Avenue. they are not that common as you see many more Regals and LeSabres..however the price of a new Park Avenue os over the $30K mark, so no I am not interested. The Bonneville is a good car but it has that Batman styling that I am not particulary attracted to. The Regal is nice but too blah and the Grand Prix is too flashy, but I prefer the latter.
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