Jim Cannon

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About Jim Cannon

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    '63 Riv Tech Advisor

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    Young Harris, GA


  • 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. Welcome to the Riviera Forum, Chris! You will find the answers to all of your Riv questions here. I specialize in the '63s.
  2. The problem is the mechanical actuating cable that runs from the top of the steering column down to the switch, but only if you have a car with a tilt steering wheel. The outer housing of the cable breaks.
  3. Take it off the car and work on the bench. You can gently open it up and figure out what's wrong. Clean it up inside, look for stray bits of junk that got in there and plugged it up. Work the plunger with your fingers and observe operation.
  4. Trip odometer reset knob. It is supposed to have a black plastic knob pressed onto this metal shaft. It cracked from age and fell off.
  5. Did you remove the cover piece from the underside of the column? It is a ribbed half cylinder held on by 2 screws. Once you do that, it slips right out.
  6. The Phillips head screw at 4:30 holding the red tab down is what you need to remove. Then slip the actuating wire off of the plastic pin.
  7. A voltage regulator mounted to the metal body should pick up its ground from the mounting screws in the body. I'm surprised that Buick added an external ground wire. (It's not on the '63.) I guess they came up with some odd charging behavior and decided that a better ground was needed. Talk to your guys at NAPA. It might not be listed for your '65 explicitly, but I am pretty sure that they sell battery ground cables with an extra wire molded in. You will just have to do a bit of detective work. That will give you the original look.
  8. Bob- Put the temp sensor on the suction line as close to the evaporator as you can. It is designed to sense when the evaporator is getting too cold (close to freezing) and cycle the compressor off.
  9. The vacuum switches are hard to find new. Look for a good used one. As a temporary fix, spray a quick shot of silicon lubricant spray into the switch vacuum port and operate it a few times with your finger. Now hook it all up and see if you don't have vacuum again. This has worked for me.
  10. The butterfly valve in the passenger side exhaust manifold is part of the "heat riser" system that sends exhaust gasses up through the intake manifold on a cold engine. This helps cold engine drivability by warming up the manifold directly under the carburetor. See the shop manual for more information. It is common for them to be frozen. If you get a new '63 passenger side manifold, (it will be a good used part, not new) it should have this valve and a bimetallic coil spring that closes the valve when cold. You really don't want to drive the car with this valve partially shut. It sends a lot of hot exhaust gases up into the intake manifold, which will cause pinging really badly on a hot engine under load. It also boils the fuel out of the carb when you shut the engine down. With the warm weather that you have in Tampa, you don't really need this valve. I cut mine completely out.
  11. Rodney, I've been looking into these LEDs a bit more. Did you put a red LED in the "hot light" position and green LED in the "cold light" position? To accentuate the color? Did you use the LED replacement bulbs with a single surface-mounted LED chip on the end? Especially for the indicator lights? Or one of the replacement bulbs that has 5 LED chips mounted on it (end and sides)? Anyone else who has done this want to chime in with what they used?
  12. I'm thinking of going to LEDs in the instruments. Who did you buy the LEDs from? What part number or equivalent bulb number did you order for the instrument lights? You said you chose amber color. Those look really yellow (orange) on the websites I have seen. How orange does it look in the car? Buick put a blue finish inside the instrument panel so that the yellow-ish bulbs combined with it to look green-ish in the dash. Perhaps the warm-white LEDs would mimic that? I'd like to replicate that. Perhaps use green LEDs? Too green?
  13. Same here. In fact, if you turn your head 1/4 turn left or right with the polarized lenses on, you will see the blotches change.
  14. I don't have an answer to your glass color question. Sorry. I have always used glass that came off a parts car. Original glass fits. I am not aware of a '63 mid-year parts change in the window glass. I try to track all mid-year changes in the '63. Please send me a picture of your data plate above the power brake booster.
  15. Your car is not a show car where you are concerned about the details of an original single circuit MC compared to a double. Put a new dual MC in now and be done with it. If you have ever driven a car with a single circuit brake system and had it fail while driving (I have!) you will quickly understand the benefits of the dual MC. The parts are not that expensive to go to a dual MC. You are rebuilding everything anyway, so the labor is the same. If you start out now with all new parts, the dual MC, and DOT 5 fluid, you will never have to mess with brakes again, ever. Do it right and do it once.