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Everything posted by dcdpgh

  1. I successfully used the "foil tape" which is actually the very sticky foil duct tape you've probably seen in home improvement stores. As mentioned in another post, it was a bit tricky to apply to the curved surfaces of the reflector housing. After much trial and error cutting and fitting, I was able to get sufficient coverage. I did not get 100% coverage, but I got "most" of the inner housing wells covered. The other important step in this process was cleaning and polishing the red tail lenses. It was amazing how dirty the inside of the lenses were when I disassembled them. After a good sudsy cleaning and drying, I used Maguire's Plastix lens polish on the outside surface of the lenses (can't do the inside - they're all dimpled). That process removed 90% of the surface scratches and gave the lens a fresh shiny look. Once reassembled, the combined effort was quite noticeable. I now have bright tail lights.
  2. I used 3M spray adhesive as well when I replaced the under hood insulation on my '68. Absolutely necessary on the large center piece. I sprayed a bit for the smaller pieces as well for good measure. I did that job back around 2008 or 2009, and it has held just fine.
  3. I like this generation as well, you don't see enough of them - meaning never. This appear to be a nice survivor, although I think I see incorrect center caps on the chrome road wheels. This one appears to have the large ribbed cone center caps which would only be correct for '66 thru '70. I think the "flat" silver caps with the stylized R would be correct for this car.
  4. My spring start up routine consists of nothing more than what has been stated here. My car sits for 5+ months during winter hibernation, and I've never had any issues with the spring start up. I'll second the idea of not starting the car until it can be driven a good distance and brought to full operating temperature. Starting a stored vehicle just to let it sit there and idle to"warm up" does more harm than good from what I've learned.
  5. Exactly. How many Rivieras (and other full size Buicks for that matter) do you see at shows and cruise nights wearing wheel covers? I would venture to say that many of these remaining cars have "upgraded" to chrome road wheels at some point in their life.
  6. I'm pretty sure 1969 was the first year for the electric fuel pump for Riviera. If stock, 1967 would be mechanical, like my '68.
  7. Sounds like a bad ignition switch or starter solenoid. I had a recent experience that resulted in replacing the ignition switch and having the starter rebuilt. I still do not know if a bad ignition switch "did in" the starter solenoid, but the starter was beginning to exhibit signs of failure anyway (I would get the dreaded "click" when engaging the starter the first couple attempts). Eventually I got the car started, but then could not shut off the running engine in any key position (the starter was disengaged at that point). That behavior is usually diagnosed as a bad ignition switch. Eliminate the ignition switch as the source of "permanent" voltage to the starter as Tom suggests, and go from there. Depending on the eventual diagnoses, I believe replacement ignition switches are available for that model (1969) for less than $50.. I was not so lucky, as the 1968 is a one year only switch - another story. If the starter is the culprit, your options are replacement or rebuild. My opinion would be to have the original rebuilt if you can. I have talked with folks who had repeat failures of over-the-counter replacement/remanufactured starters. I had mine rebuilt by a local alternator/generator shop that specializes in starter/alternator repairs. The cost was about $150, and that included labor to remove and reinstall. (I was able to get one more start of the old one and drive my car there). They even "refinished" the casing, so it looked new on the outside as well. Might be worth seeing if you have a shop like that in your area. Sorry I could not be more helpful on diagnostic tips, but hopefully the cost information from my ordeal helps your decision process.
  8. Jason, I am having success with Sta-bil Marine Formula (the blue stuff). I had always used the "regular" red Sta-bil to keep the gas in the tank from going stale, but switched to the marine formula/blue stuff a couple years ago when the ethanol epidemic surfaced. For full disclosure I should also say that I am running with a restored carburetor with updated seals and soft rubber parts designed for modern fuel blends. I usually only put in about 1/2 tank of gas (10 gallons) at a time, doing so when I'm on about a 1/4 tank. I drive the car frequently in the summer months (almost weekly), so the gas does not sit in the tank long. I would say at most I'll go three weeks between trips to the gas station, certainly no longer than a month. Now, I treat winter storage differently. I store my car from late October to April, so it sits idle for 5+ months. Before putting the car up for winter storage, I will run the gas gauge as low as I dare to and fill up with ethanol free gas. There is a station reasonably close by, but not close enough to use all the time. I just add the regular red Sta-bil to that fuel-up before parking for the winter. I have also read good things about products called Star-tron and Mix-I-Go, but I have no experience with those. Hopefully others will respond with their experiences.
  9. I have attended this cruise in the past, and got the same vibe Keith is referring to, hence you don't see a picture of my car in the first post. Support is a two way street.
  10. Silly question - the radio buttons in my '68 do not have B-U-I-C-K on them like I see on most every other late sixties Riviera (and other Buicks for that matter). I suppose a previous owner could have swapped out the original radio at some point. So the question is, what year(s) did these radios not say B-U-I-C-K on the buttons? My car's interior is rather unmolested, and it's an early build '68 (September '67) if it matters. I know, not the most pressing question of the day, but I'm still curious.
  11. Thanks for the complements Brian and Keith. Being a Riviera only color in '68, you almost never see it. I've only seen one other in person. Brian - those paint samples sure can be misleading, especially when you look online as you say you did. I have an original 1968 Buick paint color brochure, and I can tell you even in person the Buckskin paint sample is slightly off from my car's paint. Either the pigment in the sample has deteriorated, or the paint on the car has changed over time, but likely both.
  12. This same question was posed in a duplicate post in the Riviera sub-forum which I responded to, but I'll respond here as well since this thread has taken off. I have a Buckskin '68 Riviera. The paint code on the body tag is "X2", the "X" is the paint color (Buckskin) and the "2" is the top color (black) vinyl. No disrespect intended, but the car in Centurion's post #8 does not look like Buckskin, at least it does not look like my car. '68 Riv Buckskin is not a metallic color, it is more like a coffee color, that looks light tan in sunlight. See picture of my car attached.
  13. I used 3M spray adhesive when I redid the hood insulation on my '68. That was about 6 or 7 years ago, and it's still holding like the day I installed it.
  14. Hey Chris, I have a '68 Riv in Buckskin. I don't have a picture of the body tag handy, but I know the paint code is "X2". The "X" is the body color (Buckskin), and the "2" is the vinyl top color (black). Riviera paint colors are identified by letters, so it looks like it does not translate to the Electra body tag you're looking at. The interior codes seem to use similar nomenclature though, as my interior code is 683, which is a custom Strato-bench vinyl interior - Buckskin.
  15. I encountered this exact situation this past weekend, and it prompted me to come here to see if this had been discussed. While on my way to an old car event, I was passed on the road by another car which had a vintage plate from another state on it's rear bumper. Since I "went vintage" I tend to be more observant of the plates on other old cars. I even commented about it to my wife who was in the car with me at the time. I was hoping to find the car and talk to the driver once we arrived, but was unable to find either as this was a rather large event. To make the story even more strange, the other car was a 69 Ford, and it had a black and yellow California vintage plate on it....
  16. dcdpgh


    It was at least thru '68, as my car has that same key arrangement. Perhaps '68 was the last year for this as GM went to locking steering columns in '69 from what I recall. It seems to me from '69 on GM went to square key for (column) ignition, and round key for doors, glove box, and trunk.
  17. Bryan, I have seen this show too, albeit only a couple of times. It is either on Speed Channel or Velocity thru my local cable provider. I enjoy watching it when I happen to catch it. Seems a little more real world than the other "reality" automotive TV shows which depict riduculous restorations or buy/sell/flip themes.
  18. No problem. I just happened upon this thread, and realized when looking at the subject photos that something looked very familair. Took me a few moments to put it all together, and finally realized what I was looking at. Not too often you see your hometown represented.
  19. Those photos were taken in Pittsburgh, PA. Massey Buick was a Pittsburgh dealership, and the bridge the parade is crossing is most definately one of three bridges that cross from Ft Duquesne Blvd onto north side (now referred to as North Shore, where PNC Park resides.
  20. Thanks for all the insightful responses on the full radiator w/recovery tank vs. air space in the radiator w/o recovery tank discussion. Lots of good info to ponder.
  21. Thanks Jim for the insightful reply. I guess the part I am struggling with is the notion of what normal/design operating pressure is - is it really the 15 lb rating of the cap? By my thinking that is the maximum pressure. In researching my 1968 Buick Factory Service manual, I found this passage in the Coolng System and Water Pump section which describes the function of the radiator cap - "The pressure valve is held against it's seat by a spring of pre-determined strength which protects the radiator by relieving pressure if an extreme case of internal pressure should exceed that for which the cooling system is designed". What caught my eye was the word extreme (was not italisized in the manual BTW). That passsage made me second guess what normal operating pressure is considered, and is the 15 lb normal, or the extreme case when it's time to relieve? To answer the so what? question, I think about putting undue pressure on 44 year old motor (head gaskets, etc.). I did a litle experiment with my '68. A previous owner retrofitted a recovery tank on my car. I've been running it like this (full rad cold, extra coolant in the recovery tank) and noticed that once the car was up to operating temperature and upon returning home and idling in the driveway, the radiator hoses are rock hard (let's say that represents the 15 lb condition). Note that I have replaced the thermostat, radiator cap, hoses, and coolant during my ownership - so I believe the system is functioning properly. The next time I took the car out, the following weekend, I emptied the recovery tank and drained some coolant out of the radiator, down to the factory fill level leaving about two inches of air space above the coolant level in the rad. Again took the car for a drive, got it up to operating temperature, and returned home to the driveway to find the radiator hoses much less than rock hard, in fact I was able to squeeze them (although not for long as they were hot!). And there was no coolant in the recovery tank, all of the coolant expansion had occurred in the radiator. So in this operating condition I concluded the system was functioning at something less than 15 lbs, because I could squeeze the hoses and the cap had not lifted. I got two different pressure conditions in the two scenarios, that's what got me wondering if operating at the 15 lb condition 99% of the time is such a good thing on a car that did not leave the factory with a coolant recovery system.
  22. Let me ask about retrofitting coolant recovery tanks in cars not originally designed with them. I understand the enviromental benefit of captuering overflow coolant, and the functional benefit of having the ability to visually monitor coolant level in the overflow tank, rather than waiting until the car is cool to remove the radiator cap to check coolant level. But doesn't this change (raise) the operational pressure of the cooling system? Say you have a pressurized system with a 15 lb radiator cap. Without an overflow tank, your radiator starts out cold with the coolant level a few inches below the fill neck. After starting the car, the coolant warms and expands (and if the engine is operting correctly) expands in volume within the radiator, so the cooling system never exceeds the 15 lb rating of the radiator cap. It operates somewhere between 0 lbs and 14 lbs. Only in an "overheat" condition would the pressure exceed 15 lb rating of the cap, and allow coolant to be relieved. If we introduce a recovery tank, and fill the radiator to the neck when cold, the pressure builds almost immediately upon start up, as the coolant warms and expands. The 15 lb cap lifts almost immdiately to allow the cooant to expand into the recovery tank, where the coolant level rises. Essentially we are now operating the cooling system at a constant 15 lb state, rather than somewhere between 0 and 14 lbs. I realize you need to use a radiator cap designed for use with a coolant recovery tank to make this work, but the pressure discussion is still valid. What am I missing?
  23. I mailed my vintage plate form in and received my new registration card back in two weeks. 10 business days mail box to mail box to be exact, hard to complain about that.
  24. I am curious as well. This act became law in mid April, and should be administered within 120 days (4 months). It has been three months...
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