65VerdeGS

Weight of A/C and other factory options

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How much did factory installed A/C add to the weight of a '63-65? 

 

Related to this question - what did the base car weigh, without options?

 

I see several weights quoted in contemporary road tests for '63-'65 Rivieras, all ranging around 4,100 lbs. There's gross and curb weight, etc,   

 

Back in the day, manufacturers were, and maybe still are, required to publish specifications, including weights for all vehicles produced.  These were called "AMA Specifications". 

 

So, does anyone have the AMA Specification figures for the 1963-65 Riviera, and later years? 

 

I have these for the C2 Corvettes, and the weight of various options is broken out, for example, here are the figures for options on a 1965 Corvette:

 

image.png.a44f96f617a3a6577462fa4dc4125423.png

 

The curious thing is that the quoted weight for options varied from year to year.  For example, the weight for factory A/C in Corvettes varied between 79 and 93 pounds, depending on the year.  The weight of other options, such as power steering, remained fairly constant, about 21 lbs.

 

Anyone have similar figures for the weight of accessories and optional equipment for First Gen Rivieras?

 

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Just from experience as I have stripped a lot of Riviera's, I would guess AC in the 100-120lbs range. Compressor, lines and brackets add up quick. Other options, probably 3-25lbs, depending.  Power windows would add about 50-65lbs, appx. Interesting thread, I would like to hear more too.

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Agree A/C in a Riviera adds a lot of weight. At least 120lb I'd say. Weight adding options are sought after with Riviera buyers today but its not without a sacrifice in power many don't realize unless they have driven a stripped down version. My first 67 Riviera was the most stripped down bare bones Riviera. 40 years later I have only seen one 67 so bare equipped. It was also the fastest despite having a 3.07 rear (not counting my 66 DQ w/3.42). MANY competitors were humbled back in the day trying to race me.

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Dave,

 

If you'll read the blurb on the bottom of the window sticker for a 64 Riviera it tells of all of the items that are "standard" on the Riviera that are optional on other Buick models.  Some add up, but a lot are just bling.  Power brakes and power steering were standard on the Riviera as well as a bunch of other items.  

 

There's a guy in Wichita who has a 64 Wildcat 2dr with the KW engine but his car has manual brakes and steering and a 4 speed trans. Radio and heater delete.  Just basic transportation with the Super Wildcat engine as motivation.  Similar to the 63 Dodge 330 that I drove while I was in college.  I got it in 1966 from the KS Highway Patrol.  It didn't even have carpeting in it.  There was nothing to it but 335 hp and a 727 Torqueflight.

 

Ed

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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:

 

460918715_ScreenShot2018-09-27at2_35_28PM.thumb.png.1f93692f839febe8513ddc84f38eecbd.png

 

It does not give the specs for each spring.

 

 

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The specs are out there for the springs, appx 400lbs-in for the fronts if I remember right for AC application.  I sell custom 700lbs-ish springs for Riv's and the difference is night/day in handling.  The compressor alone weights easy 40-50lbs, plus brackets, lines, etc. So it adds up fast. 

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I guess my '65 Gran Sport is somewhat unusual in that it does not have A/C.  It was sold new in Seattle, so I guess the original owner didn't feel it was needed in the cooler summer climate of the Pacific Northwest.  I read somewhere that about 70% of '65 Rivieras were ordered with factory A/C.  

 

Dick Sweeney, ROA Technical Advisor, visited Vancouver this summer.  I recall him commenting something along the lines of "Geeez, that Super Wildcat sure looks good without all that A/C stuff hanging off it.".   I guess I should take that for a compliment!

image.thumb.png.d764ed09c980f8317069ba01f63045d6.png

 

 

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It also appears that the normal alternator bracket we not used. Most non A/C cars that I've seen have the big stamped bracket. The same one used on A/C cars but without the compressor mounting ears. And yes, I agree with Dick,  it does look clean without the compressor.

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Hi Ed,

 

I'm curious about your statement "..the normal alternator bracket we (was?) not used."  

 

Do you mean my car has the wrong bracket?

 

I think you're referring to the big stamped bracket seen on A/C cars that semi-encloses the alternator.  The non A/C car's I've seen have the same thin curved slotted bracket that mine does.  I'm looking at the Brookland's Books road test reprint series "Buick Riviera Performance Portfolio" which on page 54 shows an engine photo of a '65 Riviera with the Super Wildcat engine without air conditioning.  This car (exported to the UK) has the same thin alternator bracket that my car has.  

 

Might you referring to the alternator bracket used in '63-'64 cars instead?  Was a different bracket used in the '65 non-A/C cars?

 

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Yes, I believe that Ed was referring to '63-'64. '65-'66 Skylark GS's also had the slotted upper mount & lower aluminum mount to the head with 2/1/2" longer head bolts.

 

Tom T.

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My bad.  I guess that I've never really taken notice of a 65 w/o air.  Or I've just not seen that many of them.  I guess I just had in mind that 63 - 65 were all the same.  I have a set of alternator brackets off of a 66, but for some reason I thought it was a 66 only item.  Love learning something new every day.

 

Ed

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I used to own a 1969 Chevrolet Caprice. One of the reference manuals I had was the 1969 Chevrolet Passenger Car Specifications manual.

In it it had a chart of weights for several of the option equipment items. The chart provides the additional weight of the optional equipment over the standard equipment, so the "WEIGHT" column many not be the actual weight of the item.

 

While this list applies only to 1969 Full Size Chevrolet's, it may provide a rough equivalent for similar Buick optional equipment and accessories.

Options-weights.jpg.ec10119479502ee3b50507b66485652a.jpg

Edited by NC68Riviera (see edit history)

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On ‎9‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 11:38 AM, Jim Cannon said:

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.

 

Perhaps pursuant to that, when I replaced the front springs in the 64, there was a two-piece shim (like an isolator, but metal and cork(?)) in the upper pocket of the left (passenger) spring.  The springs were replaced once before, so I don't know if that was original, if there used to be one on each side and the other one fell out, or if the guy who put the new springs in installed it.  Anyway, I left it out and the passenger side now sits 1/8" - 1/4" lower than the driver side.

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I have found an all metal shim on one side but not the other in 2nd gens that I know definitely were from factory. Usually close to 1/8" thick. There was one in my 66 GS but I'd have to look to see for sure what side it was on. I want to say driver side. I reinstalled it with the factory springs.

Edited by JZRIV (see edit history)

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On ‎9‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 6:27 AM, JZRIV said:

Agree A/C in a Riviera adds a lot of weight. At least 120lb I'd say. Weight adding options are sought after with Riviera buyers today but its not without a sacrifice in power many don't realize unless they have driven a stripped down version. My first 67 Riviera was the most stripped down bare bones Riviera. 40 years later I have only seen one 67 so bare equipped. It was also the fastest despite having a 3.07 rear (not counting my 66 DQ w/3.42). MANY competitors were humbled back in the day trying to race me.

The rule of thumb for weight is a 100 pound reduction is worth 0.1 seconds in the quarter mile!

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On 10/8/2018 at 11:16 AM, JZRIV said:

I have found an all metal shim on one side but not the other in 2nd gens that I know definitely were from factory. Usually close to 1/8" thick. There was one in my 66 GS but I'd have to look to see for sure what side it was on. I want to say driver side. I reinstalled it with the factory springs.

The factory had the springs tested and sorted as to whether they were in the high or low part of the acceptable range. They then installed the springs in particular locations on the vehicle accordingly. If the ride height needed to be adjusted they used the shims. I`m quite sure I read this information in one of the factory assembly manuals.

Whether to use the shims when installing new springs obviously depends on why the vehicle ride height needed to be adjusted in the first place. I dont know if the reason was most typically the actual spring which required shimming or tolerances in other suspension components or possibly the frame.

Tom Mooney

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