2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

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2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby Holeshot » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:31 pm

Hello chaps.

My first post, so please be kind!

I'm looking for advice on car choice; please let me explain (and sorry if it rambles on)

I have a young family - 2 x girls aged 7 & 9yrs.
My wife has problems driving large cars and pretty much dislikes most modern cars that would be ideal for carting 2 kids about in.
However, she loves our modern Mini Cooper which gives her confidence due to it's size and user-friendliness and has just about been OK size-wise for the kids in the back, but now they've got just too big for it & anything other than quick local trips is just too cramped.
She does absolutely love classic cars, but the problem here is that they do have a tendency to break down and not start at inopportune times. Yes, I agree, even modern cars do this too, but I hope you get my drift.

Anyway, through her reluctance to drive our Landrover Defender, I've just sold it and now have cash burning a hole.
We will also flog the Mini which will add a few £s to the pot.
The sensible choice would be a Golf, Focus or any other 4 door small/mid-sized cars, but neither of us really want this.........

Did I mention that my wife loves Capris??
Coincidentally....I love them too - particularly the 2.8i

So this brings me to the fundamental question:
Am I being wildly optimistic to think that
1 - The kids would fit comfortably in the back
2 - It would be reliable as a *'daily driver' - *bear in mind we never do more than 4000miles per year and will only use the car for jaunts at the weekend and 1-2 times dropping kids off in the week. Most of these times, I'm the driver
3 - Would be comfy/civilized to drive.

Though I've never owned one, only driven my Dad's company Capri when I was 17, my impressions are that if I get a really good, sorted/preserved one (yes, expensive, I know) then although it may be slightly basic compared to very modern stuff it will be a comfortable place to be.
Seems that the engine is modern enough and uses well proven technology to be reliable, even after 30 years. Presumably it would be universally repairable?
Unsure whether the kids will fit, so am hoping for experienced advice here.

Within reason, most shortcomings can be overlooked for the sheer bloody coolness and kudos of running an absolute icon. Each jourmey would be a like being in a TV series episode (hopefully not Benny Hill!)

Hopefully I'm not going to get flamed for any of the above and would really appreciate any advice.

Thanks in advance,

Hilton.

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby Not_Anumber » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:46 pm

Welcome to the forum and be assured that no one here would think of criticising any of the questions you have asked - both because this is a very friendly place to be and also because so many of us have been in a very similar position and made the right choice. :welcome:

The Capri is an iconic shape and many would say a very sensible choice as a classic. Construction is simple but effective, working on them is easier than on a modern car. You will have probably noticed the value of Capris has risen quite considerably in the last few years and the price of some of the parts has done also- though fortunately not all parts. 4 cylinder Capris can be bought for a bit less than a 2.8i of similar condition

Set up properly, with the right tyres, springs and shocks etc Capris drive and handle pleasantly. :drive: They can be a bit tail happy in the wet but unless you over egg it on a wet bend this will not be a problem. certainly disregard the nonsense about Ford dealers recommending owners carry a sack of cement or paving slab in the boot to keep them anchored.

Its fair to say Capris have less interior space than medium sized modern cars. Seats, windows, locks are all manually operated. Front seats are usually quite comfortable and due to the way the Recaros in the 28 cars are made it would be quite easy for anyone with basic upholstery skills to add a bit more lumbar support if required. Rear seat space should be fine for your children as the Capri is really somewhere between a comfortable 2+2 and a full 4 seater. 6 footers are though best advised to sit in the front ideally. Rear leg room gets a bit restricted when the front seats are pushed right back, so of course the secret is not to push them right back. Besides from the usual issue of having to climb into the back of a fairly low 2 door car Ive found that most average sized adults rarely complain about the rear seats in my Capri at all - whilst the same people do complain at even trying to sit in the back of my MGB GT.

Classic car insurance doesnt seem to vary that between a 1.6, 2.0 or 2.8. I cant remember what the road tax is but its not horrendous and it's now already free for some of the earlier Capris due to their age.

Like all old cars it's worth watching out for signs of rust but you will have seen from the numerous build threads on this forum that none of that is insurmountable and many a basket case has been brought back to pristine with loving attention and pattern part panels.

In saying you are particularly drawn to the 2.8i do you mean that in a generic sense - any of the 2.8 injected Capris or do you mean specifically the early 4 and 5 speed 2.8 injection cars (cloth trim, pepper pot wheels) or are you also including the later 2.8 i Special (half leather, different wheels, lsd) and the run out model badged as a 280 (mostly Brooklands green, black leather, 15" wheels, lsd ?

Chris

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby Holeshot » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:54 pm

Hey Chris,
Thanks for the warm welcome!
Some forums get sniffy about a newbie wading in and asking for something straight off but nice that this is a friendly place and I really appreciate your really considered reply :cheers:

I hoped (and suspected) that the seating in the back looked more generous that many sports coupés/fastbacks so its great to hear an experienced confirmation of that, thanks.

I had considered the later 2.8i special rather more than the generic 2.8. This is where you’ll have to be patient with me and my Capri-naivety as I may be making ill informed assumptions:
I thought the benefits of the Special would be that it is:
A) later and therefore more highly evolved, therefore most ‘modern’ & any reliabilty issues addressed?
B) Very Quick (160bhp + RWD, oh yes!!) and massive fun to drive(I know the latter applies to all Capris!)
C) More collectable and therefore more depreciation-proof, (I hesitate in using words like ‘investment’)
D) Street Cred?? Always lusted after them & the 3.0

Thinking about it, apart from the utter coolness of the Capri, the important issues for me are rear legroom (check; thanks Chris) and day to day reliability/driveabilty. As it would be our only car, I’d need it to be very sound car requiring no(or very little) work as the family takes so much time.
I’m open to all advice and opinions on whether the 2.8i special is the way to go (on my upper financial limit for a really nice one) or like you mentioned, a more generic version.
Sorry in some of this doesn’t make great sense but I’m trying to learn.

Thanks again for the nice welcome,
Cheers, Hilton

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby Paul G » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:57 pm

I would agree with what Chris has said above but remember your daughters will soon grow into teenagers and space in the rear may become an issue.

As far as running a Capri, remember it will use a bit more fuel than a modern equivilent but if you're only doing 4 K miles a year than may not be such an issue. However do remember that Capris were designed for leaded fuel so the use of an additive will be necessary or conversion work on the cylinder heads could be done.

What I would also say is are you and your wife prepared to do more maintenance and do you have some mechanical skills yourself? I would say this is necessary when running any old car,- not just a Capri - they will need things done from time to time. You will also have to keep it clean and polished, preferably garaged if possible and also to jack it up now and again and clean all the muck and salt from underneath it if you want to slow down the advance of the dreaded tin worm. Maintenance must be kept up by weekly checks of underbonnet fluid levels and a service every 3 - 4000 miles. Remember that, unlike a modern, there are no low oil, water and washer bottle warning lights! Nor ABS or traction control! Remember some parts aren't always available off the shelf as well although there are a few specialists who will get them to you by courier fairly quickly.

I see you have an E -type so I hope you agree with the above.

If you are OK with what has been said then go for it but just remember it is a 35 year old car and will not have the dynamics or expected reliability of a modern. It may pay to get a potential purchase checked over by one of the specialists before you buy it.

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby Peter-S » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:57 pm

If your kids were a little younger I would say go for it but in all honesty I don't think there's much more, if any, room in the back of a Capri compared to a Cooper and if they are complaining about that then I foresee the same complaints on the Capri front in no time. The hatch gives useful storage space, with back seats down, but as a family car with four of you in it bear in mind it won't hold the luggage for a family holiday.
I ran Capris as daily drivers back in the day and they were great but there were only ever two of us. Not sure I would have wanted to throw young teens in to the mix.

Maintenance has been mentioned - here's a thought on it. I bought a new Avensis 5 years ago. It's had a couple of odd jobs under warranty and I've done nothing to it. It just had its third mot on close to 40k, passed with no problems. All I did first was check the lights and other bulbs worked.
I run two Capris as well. At most they cover around 3,000 miles between them each year. I always give them a good going over before an mot and usually find something that needs a tweak. The 2.0 is booked in for a test this weekend so I was under it last weekend. It certainly hasn't covered 1,000 miles since last year but I had to weld a hole in a chassis rail. The rubber caps on the nearside track rod end and track control arm both had holes. The offside steering rack gaiter is only just serviceable (I hope - new one ordered) and the nearside wiper was shot. The rear washer pump had also seized. Nothing major but I've replaced all of theses parts in the not too distant past and they still need checking so if you do not have time or ability to deal with this sort of thing then running an old car regularly could get you down.
The 2.8 is easy to drive but apart from the lsd axle there's little difference between any of the 2.8s. No improved brakes or performance mods or anything like that. None of them have anti lock brakes or air bags so if you worry on a safety front then that could be an issue.
Personally I am happy driving a Capri and would use them more if the other half was more enthusiastic but she's not. There's also the days when it is absolutely bucketing down and I am happy to leave them shut away and take the modern motor out without worrying.

Horses for course of course and I do not want to put an enthusiast off but my best advice would be to post up where you are and see if anyone who owns a Capri could come by and get four of you sat in one and see how you feel as a starting point.
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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby pbar » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:10 pm

To be honest, the fact that you're asking the questions (welcome, by the way :) ) suggests that you really want to give it a go. You're only here once so go for it.

Personally I think they are a great daily car and good for a family, I wouldn't really see why not.

I used to use mine daily, and loved it, was great fun and incredibly reliable. In all weathers and all year round. I'm constantly trying to find the guts to do it again.

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby Toxcity » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:31 pm

Love the idea!

Depending on the size of the front occupants the Capri can really only be seen as a 2+2 rather than a 4 seater. For short trips it's fine but for a longer trip it's not overly comfy. I can only fit back there if I'm laying across the seat.

My only other concern would be for safety. The roads today are very different to when the Capri was widely used. A majority of the vehicles around today are far larger than the Capri and are driven by people who believe they're invincible. The thing is, with the modern safety equipment they almost are. Bear in mind the Capri has none of these features and in the event of a crash will not provide much protection for the occupants. We are obviously all still driving them but rarely with the whole family in toe.

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby andyd » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:44 pm

Better off with a 2.8/2.9 Sierra :whistle:

More room, cheaper but still a great V6 :D

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby Noel » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:35 pm

I think a 2.8i will be fine as a regular drive at the mileage you are considering.
I used mine as my only car, similarly about 4-5K a year from 97 until about 2010.

You will have to spend some money to get a good one that will not be a liability, or just be prepared to refresh the bits that fail as and when they do.
The youngest are now 30 years old, and technology wise as Peter states there are not many detail differences between the first and last 2.8s, apart from the introduction of the 5 speed gearbox and later the LSD axle.
They are all still though just a facelift and re-engine of a 1960s developed platform and expectations of ride quality, braking distances and safety equipment should consider that.
But having said that, they have power steering, are reasonably well sound insulated and well geared with a 5 speed box, so are a viable long distance cruiser. It depends how tall your kids get as to whether they will want to spend much time in the back, although average sized adults do fit!

If you are in south east of London you also have Tickover reasonably nearby who can assist with servicing and specialist repairs.
Service items are generally available, or there are aftermarket equivalents (fuel pumps, relays etc) but some bits are scarce - I'm not sure you can get the exact spec Bilstein shocks or front inserts any more, but there are plenty of equivalents.

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby Holeshot » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:58 pm


All such good and considered advice, thank you all!
What a great forum - a really warm reception for a complete 'outsider' :D

Interesting observation from Mr. pbar: It does appear I've already half talked myself into Capri ownership.

Some real food for thought in everyone's comments.

Things I hadn't thought about:
1 -The unleaded fuel issue:
Can the higher grade petrol be used or is it a definite fuel additive situation? What do you guys do?
even though I only anticipate 3-4000miles per year, this racks up over a few years.
Otherwise, how much for a head conversion do you think?
2 - Lack of modern safety equipment:
Actually I had thought about this one but maybe not hard enough so am putting it in the 'Cons' list.
The last few cars we've run(Mini excluded) have all been a bit old-school so we're not adverse to this but it is something I'll need to talk about with my wife.
Mind you, I didn't mention that it was she who was happy to ferry the little darlings around in an old Fiat 500(yes, that one!)

Maintenance-wise; though I won't be able to do an engine rebuild, I'm reasonably capable of ancillary parts maintenance/replacement, and am happy dealing with small stuff.
Can jack up and get under the car and don't mind getting stuck in......Just don't want it happening on a regular basis.
If the car just keeps failing time after time, then my (and wife's) patience will wear thin.
If it's something a bit more involved and needs some professional grade equipment, then I'm friendly with the old-fashioned garage round the corner who are kind of helpful jack-of-all trades but shy away from anything 'exotic'.
My guess is a Capri wouldn't be too intimidating for them.

I'd plan on getting something that has a thorough check thru for upcoming problems. It would have to be a very presentable turn-key example, not a sort of running restoration(nothing against those of course, sorry, as I do love these too)

Good point about the kids getting bigger(scarily fast!!).
I think as long as they're comfortable for 2-3 more years, we'll take a view on what to do then.
I'm thinking that whatever we do, a Capri will hold it's price well should the worst happen and we have to sell.

We are actually very accustomed to travelling light (due to my wife's penchance for small cars) and are forgiving of cars if they have a nice personality ...... like a Capri :D

Unfortunately, as good as Sierra may be, she-who-must-be-obeyed would dismiss that straight away as it's not on her personal 'Cool Wall'.

If I'm not being rude/nosey; Peter -S, what part of Kent do you live in?
I'm in Lewisham and you may be fairly close-by?

Lastly, I see that Stillmans in Hildenborough have a nice looking one for sale - don't know if you know of it - I think it's from the owners personal collection?
Maybe I should see if we can all fit in there and get a general impression.
https://www.stillmans.co.uk/used-cars/s ... eType=cars

I'm sure there's more to talk about, but I'd best get on with some work!!
Thanks again guys,
Cheers,
Hilton.

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby pbar » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:11 pm

Holeshot wrote:

Interesting observation from Mr. pbar: It does appear I've already half talked myself into Capri ownership.



:D When people ask questions such as shall I get a Capri and should I drive it daily, etc. It usually means that they really want to but just need a little affirmation.

Besides I can feel your excitement at the thought of it! Same excitement I had, and still get, when I drive mine, which I do frequently still.

Having driven a Capri as a daily, I see absolutely no reason for not doing so, as I said, my Laser was very reliable, handled fine in the snow and ice, is not cold or uncomfortable. And you really do get a sense of satisfaction in driving, it's enjoyable and fun, and those are qualities non existent in boring modern cars.

As regards to fuel, many people, including myself just use standard petrol, no additives. Avoid pinking and possibly adjust the timing to suit. Should the time come when that has caused a problem, and it is an IF, not a certainty, then it can be sorted out then. The money saved on not buying additives would go to sorting out the issue (valve seat recession) should it arise, which it may never even do. Or you could even get the heads sorted for unleaded now, rather than wait. Some do choose to use additives though, so the choice is yours really. Then there are those fuel cat devices which some do swear by. Personally I wouldn't be afraid of just filling her up and driving off.
Last edited by pbar on Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby Noel » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:27 pm

Unleaded wise I have been using additives for years and everything is OK so far.

Last time I looked at having the heads done properly I think its about 500 for the head work and several hours of heads off / heads back on (which you either do yourself or pay for) so if your paying about 1k inc the VAT I reckon.

That advert you've found looks like the sort you thing you need to budget for - in fact in that lovely colour and low mileage I'd just go and buy it if it is as good as it looks. Buy good, and keep it good.
But please for God's sake if you are going to use it in all weathers as a normal car - buy a load of cavity wax (like Dynax S50) and go to town spraying the hell out of it in every crevice you can find, otherwise it will deteriorate. and if you can park it under a car port or garage it then jackpot.

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby Holeshot » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:31 pm

Thanks pbar...

There is definitely a real feeling of excitement! You hit the nail on the head there.
More a question of talking me OUT of it than into it!

Thanks also for the fuel advice.
Nice to know that the engine isn't like a handgranade when filled with unleaded. Maybe the 'Ultimate' (or equivalent higher more expensive) fuel helps??

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby Holeshot » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:34 pm

Thanks Noel.

Really interested to know of a real-life owners view on a car for sale like that.
That is the sort of standard I'd like(as long as it actually is what it looks like).

Cavity filler = great advice, thanks.

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby pbar » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:39 pm

Holeshot wrote:Thanks pbar...

There is definitely a real feeling of excitement! You hit the nail on the head there.

Maybe the 'Ultimate' (or equivalent higher more expensive) fuel helps??


:D

Some people do go for that. Although I just use the normal 95. Again, I feel that the money saved can be put towards sorting unleaded head(s) in the future if needs be. Depends which option you take, but the choices are yours really.

If you're excited now (which you are), just think what it's like to jump in and drive off! I truly love it.

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby Not_Anumber » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:11 pm

Ive never worried about the heads though just to play safe i do throw in a capful of additive every few fills of the tank.

The effect of the worst case scenario from this risk would only equate to having to do exactly the same work involved in a conversion- replacing the exhaust valve seat inserts.

Spending out on an unleaded conversion really seems to me as sensible as removing all the legs on a perfectly sound dining room table and fixing them back on again just to guard against the risk of one of the legs working loose in 15 years time. :?:

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby pbar » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:15 pm

Not_Anumber wrote:
Spending out on an unleaded conversion really seems to me as sensible as removing all the legs on a perfectly sound dining room table and fixing them back on again just to guard against the risk of one of the legs working loose in 15 years time. :?:


I like it :D

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby Holeshot » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:19 pm

pbar wrote:
Not_Anumber wrote:
Spending out on an unleaded conversion really seems to me as sensible as removing all the legs on a perfectly sound dining room table and fixing them back on again just to guard against the risk of one of the legs working loose in 15 years time. :?:


I like it :D


:lol: Brilliant!....me too!

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby sheff » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:26 pm

Holeshot wrote:Thanks Noel.

Really interested to know of a real-life owners view on a car for sale like that.
That is the sort of standard I'd like(as long as it actually is what it looks like).

Cavity filler = great advice, thanks.


That looks a tidy car! Oil pressure is about right for a 2.8 on tickover with a bit of heat in the engine. The fuel gauge is not working or the car is running on fumes. But all in all I'd say its a good buy at £16k.

Would I use it as a daily driver? No way! Its far too good and you stand a good chance of getting it stolen when you park it and go shopping. Buy it to use as a weekend car and buy a cheap modern run about to use day to day, would be my advise.

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Re: 2.8i as a family car/daily driver?

Postby Jasonmarie » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:32 pm

For 16k you can get better as there is history with this car as I viewed it some years ago ( rust ) was a big issue also they have removed the after market pedals also put aftermarket speakers in also I guess it must of been resprayed at the front but the car still carries the washer Jet front bumper also there was something about the mileage was wrong .
Sorry but I would not touch this one .

Keep looking as they are out there
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