Jim Cannon

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About Jim Cannon

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    '63 Riv Tech Advisor

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    Young Harris, GA


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    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. I don't think it's the jets/rods. Damage to them would be quite obvious. Make sure the carb bowl gasket is not interfering with either float. Make sure you are measuring the float height at the correct place. Make sure there is no fuel in either float. Shake it and listen for liquid sloshing around in it.
  2. OK, well then I guess you should add a proportioning valve to the setup and dial the pressure back on the rear axel a bit. You need to test on the road, on dry surface, with hard braking. That shifts the weight forward off of the rear tires, so you need less pressure back there.
  3. Yes, the solenoid is mounted to the side of the starter. If it was bench tested, then the solenoid should have been attached. It throws the starter drive gear out to engage with the flywheel ring gear. The starter solenoid is installed near the exhaust manifold, so it gets hot. The grease inside the solenoid cylinder dries out with time. So when the starter is rebuilt, it is a good idea to clean and grease the plunger inside the solenoid cylinder so that it all slides freely. Your rebuilder should have done that. HTH.
  4. Any time an electrical connection (like the battery posts) get hot when in use, that is a sign of high resistance at that point. So you need to look at the battery cables, possibly need to replace them. Clean the cable ends. Clean the battery posts. Tighten the clamps. Tom was also implying, but you may not have understood what he was saying, that your new starter may, in fact, be a piece of junk and it may be drawing an excessive amount of current when you are cranking the engine. That will also make the cable ends get very hot. And it will draw the voltage down that is coming off of the battery and going to the coil. This gives you a weak or no spark. When the engine is being cranked over by the starter, use a volt meter and read the actual voltage that you are seeing at the coil + post while cranking. Report that here.
  5. Rich- The point gap on GM vehicles is set with a dwell meter. You open the little sliding window on the side of the distributor cap and inset the allen wrench into the points. Start the engine and adjust the points to get the desired dwell reading. You need to systematically trouble shoot your ignition. Don't just start throwing parts at it. Make sure you have power to the coil with the key on. Make sure you STILL have power when cranking the starter. If not, bad key switch or burned out wire in harness. Make sure the wire from the distributor is connected to the negative post of the coil. The power feed to the coil goes on the positive post. They are labeled - and +. Pul the wire out of the center of the distributor cap and hold it close to a piece of metal while someone cranks the engine. You should see lots of sparks jumping from the end of that wire to the ground. If not, no spark and the engine won't run. But if you have a spark there, then you need to figure out why no spark at the plugs. Bad or missing rotor? Severely out of time? It is possible for the timing mark to be used and have the rotor 180 degrees out of position. Make sure you have compression on #1 cylinder as your rotor is coming around to the #1 plug position of the distributor cap. NOTE: #1 plug is in right front of engine, by the alternator. It is possible previous owner timed to wrong plug. Good luck.
  6. Frank- You do not really need to add a proportioning valve to the rear brakes. Are you experiencing overbraking on the rear wheels now? Or just anticipating the potential problem? I wrote the detailed instructions that were posted above. Let me know if you have any questions.
  7. It helps to tell us the year of your Riviera. First-generation Rivieras used biased ply tires when new, at 24 psi to give a very smooth ride. In fact, there is a Dealer Service Bulletin that specifically addresses new car owner complaints of "harsh ride": Step 1 is check tire pressure. If over 24 psi cold, reduce pressure and instruct owner to not go above that. So soft tires were designed into the overall ride comfort of the day. Buicks were known for their comfortable ride. I now have radial tires on my '63. I have increased the tire pressure to 31 psi front (engine weight up there) and 29 psi rear. The higher tire pressure improves fuel economy. You do not want to go above the pressure on the side of the tire when cold, which is 32 psi on my tires. I remember as a child when radial tires first came out and everyone put the original factory tire pressure in them, they "just looked low". It's because of the tire design, compared to the old bias ply tires. We got used to the new look. Later the factory tire pressures were increased to improve fuel economy and we got used to that look. Tires with lower pressure run hotter. YMMV.
  8. Henrik- You have an amazing car! I can walk you through the data plate: The upper left corner, 11B means the body was built during the second week (B) of November 1962. My car was made the week before. The FB number FB 7632, is the sequence number for this body, 7,632 out of 40,000 made. The TRIM 798J2 means Saddle Leather with a power drivers seat and the deluxe trim with walnut veneer and the long arm rest with the second door opener handle on the end.. The PAINT code SS means it left the factory painted with Bronze Mist -- pretty rare, only 3,077 painted this color out of the 40,000. Then the accessory line ACC means: D = radio (exact model radio not specified) I6 = tinted glass all around N2 = air conditioning SU7 is a combined code: S7 is for the outside mirror on the driver's door; U7 is for power windows but not power vents. Z4 = remote trunk release Other options don't need to appear on this plate, only the ones that Fisher Body needed to know about when they built the body. Your early car has the "smooth dash". Later cars have a "ribbed dash" veneer.
  9. Welcome, Henrik! I am the ROA's '63 Riviera Technical Advisor. Feel free to reach out to me with questions by email at 63Rivvy (at) gmail (dot) com I also maintain a database of all of the '63 data plates on the firewall, above the power brake booster. If you put a picture of that plate here, I will decode it for you and also add it to my database. There were 40,000 vehicles made for the '63 model year; I only have about 240 in my database, so I need more! If you don't mind having the information in the public, i suggest adding your location (city, country) to your forum profile. You will be surprised to learn that other Riviera owners might be near you! All the best.
  10. Zimm, or anyone else that needs them, I also have a couple of NOS bezels and speedo lenses. These are 1963 only lenses, but the bezels will fit '64. Email me. .
  11. Zimm, find a drive shaft from a parts car. Easiest way. .
  12. This could also be a problem. How long has it been since the carb was rebuilt? Do you know? The leather piston on the accelerator pumps do wear out. They also dry up if the car sits for extended periods of time, and not seal well. And does the engine stumble on acceleration out on the road if you really stomp on the gas pedal, instead of a gentle press down? There are little check balls and things in the carb that can get a bit of dirt or other crud on them to make them leak. When they do, you don't get a good initial spray of gas for the first part of the stroke. So stumble with small gas pedal movement, but no stumble when you really press down. Or the piston could leak a bit on initial press, then seal and pump beyond that. I was really just answering the question about "why can I see a spray when the engine's not running, but don't see it when it's running".
  13. Red herring. When engine is running and you open the throttle the air pulls the enrichment fuel off of the accelerator jets faster than you can see it. I would look for a vacuum leak somewhere. For example, clean or replace the PCV valve. Check all vacuum hoses to PCV and to brake booster. Check that carb mount bolts are snug, that carb gasket is good. Do you have the stainless steel plate under the base of the carb? My engine hesitated once warmed up and it was because I did not have this plate.
  14. Does this vehicle have A/C? If no A/C, then no fuel return line and no "Riviera rattle".