Jim Cannon

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About Jim Cannon

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    '63 Riv Tech Advisor

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    Male
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    : Houston, TX (winter) Hiawassee, GA (summer)

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  • Biography
    I learned to sail when I was 10 years old. I am an Eagle Scout. I have always had The Knack for repairing things mechanical and electrical. I learned Spanish on the streets of Miami from the children of Cuban refugees. I can tread water for hours with my hands and feet bound. I am a recognized expert on the 1963 Buick Riviera. My hands work independently of each other, allowing me to do two things at once with them (such as remove or tighten nuts or bolts).

    I once constructed a "bicycle built for two" with the riders sitting back-to-back, just to show it could be done. I spent a week traveling up the Amazon River by boat. I swim with piranha. In my spare time I build model bridges with wooden match sticks. I love to teach science to Second Graders, and tutor Physics and Calculus to High School students. I played golf twice and decided it was not very challenging, so I dropped it. I cook award-winning Churrasco.

    I collect music from the 20s and 30s on original 78 rpm records and play it on my three vintage Victrolas. I don't perspire. I can throw playing cards across the room with deadly accuracy. I was the 11th caller, and I could name that tune. Jimmy Carter and I built houses together all over the world. I successfully kept hummingbirds in my aviary; zoos consult me on their care.

    I restored my first horseless carriage when I was 14 years old, something that I enjoy to this day. I learned to drive a car with a clutch on a 1929 Ford; the car sits in my garage to this day. I'm completely ambidextrous, which allows me to paint a house in half the time. Despite rumors to the contrary, I have never infiltrated a secret Russian air base outside Moscow. I hunt quail on the pampas of Uruguay. My work was instrumental in understanding how much damage had occurred during the accident at Three Mile Island. To entertain myself, I recite Burns aloud. I am no longer welcome at the Palms in Vegas.

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  1. Jim Cannon

    Oil & Filter

    Yes, there is water and unburned fuel (especially on our cars with carburetors). When any hydrocarbon fuel burns, like gasoline, it produces a lot of water (plus things like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide -- CO2) and some of the water vapor gets into the crankcase and condenses to liquid. Especially when the engine block is cold from sitting all night. Short trips are the worse because the oil never gets hot enough for long enough to vaporize the water and drive it out of the oil and crankcase. I recommend you drive the car on the road for 20+ minutes, 10 to 20 miles, before changing the oil. And when you start it to "keep it running", go drive at least 20 minutes. 5 minutes of idling in the garage is worse than not starting it at all. You should also only check the automatic transmission fluid after at least a 20 minute drive, to get the fluid hot, or else you will overfill it.
  2. Rodney- I had the same problem. I went back to 6*BTDC. He says he ended up at 5*BTDC. So I suggest you go back to 8 or 9 and see how it does. You may need to go even lower. Don't ping the engine. It will really tear it up.
  3. Jim Cannon

    Oil & Filter

    No, oil does wear out. It breaks down. Especially with heat. It's an organic molecule. Plus the additives are consumed over time and miles by their action doing what they were put there to do. Corrosion control, scavengers, etc. Multi-viscosity oils have viscosity modifiers in them to help keep them a bit thicker when they get hot than they would otherwise. These modifiers break down with heat and time, allowing the oil to get too thin when hot. So, no, I would not recommend you just change the oil filter and top it up.
  4. Jim Cannon

    Oil & Filter

    I agree 100% about the cost and this is why I only tried it this year for the first time. There may be benefits that we are not aware of in the old engine.
  5. Jim Cannon

    Oil & Filter

    Increased leaking at seals has been a problem with synthetics since the earliest days. It's because of how they are made and what they contain (chemically). Unlike distilled conventional oil, which has a broad range of hydrocarbons in it from light weight to heavy, the synthetic oil is a narrow distribution of molecules all the same (because that is how they are synthesized to be). The lighter molecules in conventional oil help keep the seals soft and even swell a bit, so less likely to leak. (The heavier molecules in conventional oil give you carbon and sludge -- the big advantage of synthetics.) You don't have the light molecules in synthetic oil to soften and swell the seals. The oil guys have put in more additives that are designed to help with this problem. I don't know how successful they are. I put Mobil 1 fully synthetic 10W40 oil in my '63 Riv for the first time last month. I have not had much opportunity to drive it since then, but I will. I will report back if the slight oil leaks that I have (front and rear main seals, mainly) get worse or stay the same.
  6. OK, so tell us, using a timing light to check it, per normal tune up process (vacuum advance disconnected, at low RPM) how much initial advance did this process give you? You can read it right off the indicator up front by the crankshaft damper. For 1963 only, the factory spec is 11*BTDC. How close to that did you end up by the vacuum method? I have a lot of carbon build up in my heads, so my compression is higher than stock and it will ping at 11 degrees of advance when hot under a moderate to heavy load. So I backed my initial advance down to 6*BTDC and it does not ping. That's my main concern about setting timing at idle by vacuum, that it could be too much under a moderate load. Listen for the png and back off if you hear it.
  7. Yes, it is just pressed on. I used an internal gear puller under the lip of the metal cover and gently worked it up and off. There should be a pin on the underside of the steering wheel that cancels the signal by hitting a piece on the turn signal switch. If the pin is there, then the plastic parts of the switch have probably broken. The original tool is in the picture here. It slips under the lip of the cover. Then you thread bolts of a gear puller into it.
  8. There is a switch inside the motor that controls the wiper parking operation. It quits working. It can be cleaned up and the motor will start to work again. There are detailed drawings in the '63 shop manual of the motor. Some of the drawings move the numbers around on the electrical contacts on the motor, to make the drawing simpler. Look at the labels carefully. Some are 1-2-3 and some are swapped around, like 1-3-2. The drawings are correct for the points as labelled..
  9. The original factory shop manuals are the only way to go. Readily available. On eBay, look for the listing for 1963 Full Size Buicks. That will include Riviera. If you look for 1963 Riviera, the same book will be $10-20 more! Just for having the Riviera name in the listing! I also have the '63 Dealer Service Bulletins on CD ($10) and the '1963 Buick Master Chassis Parts List on CD ($10), plus $6.50 postage for both in the same mailer, if you want them. I'm not selling them to get rich at these prices, just to help other '63 owners out. If you want them, please email me at 63Rivvy (at) gmail (dot) com Have fun with the car. If you have not already, post a few pix! Oh, and I'd like a photo of the data plate on the firewall, above the power brake booster, to add to my collection. Thanks!
  10. The weight of the A/C was enough in a Riviera that Buick carried 2 different front spring part numbers for the car, one with A/C and one for no A/C. The following is right out of the 1963 Master Parts book: It does not give the specs for each spring.
  11. Bernie is right. At the temperatures and pressures that we run the automotive A/C, saturated R-12 has a volume difference between vapor and liquid of about 35:1. One cubic centimeter of liquid takes up 35 cc of volume when a gas. So the 70 cubic inches of hot gas in that muffler (my volume estimate -- anyone want to go measure it more carefully?) becomes 2 cubic inches of liquid, which is 1.5 ounces of liquid R-12. When the charge is given in pounds, this would add less than 0.1 lb, to the system and the engineers knew that was in the round off. As I said in my other post, that moves the hot gas to liquid transition a few inches down the condenser. Not a big deal. Isn't Thermodynamics fun?
  12. I do not remember seeing anything about a change in the charge volume in any of the Service Bulletins. This part of the system is filled with hot gas when running. That volume is peanuts, compared to the liquid side out of the condenser and up to the expansion valve. I would not worry about it. All you have done is move the gas/liquid boundary a few inches down in the condenser. As long as you still have liquid coming out of the condenser, you are good. As Tom Telesco said, you watch the pressure gauges, they tell you when you have it right. Most guys overcharge the system anyway.
  13. The ignition resister that you need is built into the wiring harness of the Riviera. Do not get a coil with a resister built in, unless you plan to rewire the car to bypass the resistor wire in the harness.
  14. Buy me an airline ticket from Atlanta up to Detroit and back, and I'll go check it out for you.
  15. The condenser reduces ignition noise on the radio while the engine is running. I would consider it optional until you get the car running well. Then pick one up from NAPA and install.