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1958 Limited Four Door Riviera


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Guest BJM

Again, a show of support. I have owned maybe 100 cars in the past 14 years. Get started lose interest, run out of money. I am 46 years old now and my initial "plan" was to be cruising in the cars I bought 10-14 years ago!

And no one car from the past stands out, they all get blurry. I have owned some pretty neat ones....but all in #5 condition requiring total restoration.

You are much younger then my 46, so if you KEEP what you have you will have quite a collection in years to come. The 58 can become a 10 year project and you would still be pretty young to enjoy it.

I need to be very careful now because if I jettison the 5 Buicks I have purchased in the past few months, then that simply delays the enjoyment of the finished cars.

This hobby is uber expensive now, so keep the Centurion, don't regret the engine rebuild and pick the 58 up when you can. Life is about balance more then anything.

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  • 2 months later...

hah! Yes it does...

I'm sure there weren't mice living inside the rockers, trunk body brace, and heater box, either. That was really the downfall of my car....with the exception of the complete lack of any usable interior parts:rolleyes::D

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  • 4 weeks later...

That black one looks more solid than mine, but I have a feeling it's hiding some uglies.

The seller does have quite a bit of 58 stuff on ebay all the time.

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Aside from work completely draining my will to live this season, I've been trying to make a couple extra bucks doing some stainless steel and aluminum polishing. A former BCA member and friend Crin (our51super) runs an upholstery and painting business, so he's been throwing some work my way. The first project was a 55 Chevy. If I didn't know better, I'd think the stainless trim was run through a garbage disposal, and then run over...twice. Everything came out ok, though. I also repainted the accents on all the trim. I'm not sure why I didn't get a finished photo of the spears...oh well.

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The next project was a 67 Barracuda convertible. He is only doing the interior on this car, so he gave me all the bucket seat trim (which is not stainless....hmm) and some other random stainless trim. There was one piece that was aluminum and was anodized. Anyone ever have to remove that stuff? What a pain! I don't think he was real careful when he removed it...lots of grind marks where he ground the heads off the screws to get it off...and bent to hell. Check it out. I found out that it's the convertible boot retainer that goes along the back seat...soooo I had to make it look good.

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Hours and hours later.....(can't get a good shot of it)

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Here's the rest of the stuff from that car..

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Needless to say, I'm getting lots of practice for the 58. Anyone have any stainless they need done?:cool:

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Hey Adam,

Not sure if you mean by the "summer draining the life out of you" you mean the heat but if so totally agree with you! See I work outside too cleaning windows both residential and high rise. Even up here in Canada (across from Detroit) the humidity from the lakes along with 90 degree plus heat has had an effect on me this year. Can't be that I'm getting older!?

Anyway, my choice in life so have been told not to complain too much.

As to your polishing of stainless, yes I have some that need fixing. You might even want to do this for practice on yours as one piece I have is the rear quarter side sweep molding that goes from the door to the wheel opening on my 58 Ltd two dr. I would imagine yours are in about the same condition as this one being that it seems to stick out at the right amount for the driver to glance something if not carefull. Mine is flattened a bit and has a fairly deep scratch but not opened up.

Never have had this work done before so not sure what to expect in the way of costs but have only come across one nos piece which I bought reasonably many years back. This one is the other side and completes the trim which is everything on a black car especially. If you would like, pm me to discuss it further or you can email me at cinddoug@mnsi.net.

Keep cool, Doug.

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It has been hovering around 100 degrees here for the last couple weeks...and 7000% humidity. It doesn't make working outside too pleasant. It is supposed to break this week...can't wait!

The left rear door sweep on my Limited was flattened, the right one was ok. I worked for a few hours on the left side, and put it away because I was out of some of the finer grit paper. I just got it back out to look at how I was doing, and it looks better than I thought it did when I put it away the first time.:D

I'll PM you about the work.

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It was a nice October / November day here today...about 55, windy and drizzly. Between Ames and the weather we got initially after getting home, I've had enough of heat too, but standing on the sidelines of a football game today may have been a bit too much. I don't mind that, but I'd rather see the rest of the summer first.

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105 isn't summer to most of us up here...it is a precursor to Hades :D:rolleyes: I have experienced it myself though...so long as it is dry, it isn't too bad.

We're supposed to be back in the 80s again by the end of the week. Today is a fine October morning.

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105 isn't summer to most of us up here...it is a precursor to Hades :D:rolleyes: I have experienced it myself though...so long as it is dry, it isn't too bad.

My oven is nice and dry too but it will cook you just the same 105 is 105 and its hot as hell.

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lol! Humidity still makes it seem twice as hot. I'll take 100 with no humidity over 90 with St. Louis humidity.

Back on subject - I'm taking the heads to the machine shop tomorrow! WOOOO!! Finally getting started on the engine work. I hope to have it and the transmission completed and mounted on the chassis by the end of the Winter. Lofty goal, huh?:rolleyes:

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Ahhhhhhhh.....progress. Feels good.

I'm on vacation this week (staycation, I hate that word) so I've been putzing in the garage most of the week. I took the heads, valve covers, valley cover, oil pan, intake, and rockers to the machine shop on Monday. They told me they had to boil the parts twice to get the sludge off...I'm not surprised.

Good news - I knew at least one exhaust valve was bad, so I was prepared for a whole laundry list of crap to be wrong with the heads. He called yesterday and told me everything was pristine:eek: with the exception of the one valve. He also said this is the nicest set of nailhead heads he's seen go through that shop. I reminded him of Hank's 401 heads that needed a boatload of work, and those were supposed to be good running heads. I called Jeff at CARS and he overnighted a valve. I wanted them done this week so I could pick them up today. Once I go back to work, it would be virtually impossible for me to get back there in good time. Hindsight says I should've just ordered the damn valve ahead of time.

Next on the list is engine disassembly, (is that a word?) then another mass purchase of engine parts. I know it's going to need to be bored, so new pistons and rings, rod and main bearings, cam bearings for sure. Gaskets...I only ordered a head gasket kit from CARS, so I'll need to get a timing cover gasket, front and rear main seals...etc. I already have an oil pan gasket and freeze plugs. Oh yeah, oil pump kit...:rolleyes:

I'll still need to have the exhaust manifolds milled flat and cleaned up. That's $85 each.

I'm glad I love this hobby.

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I will have to call Carmen to see if I can just pick and choose what gaskets I want...also pistons, rings, and bearings.

Bummer I missed the regional, but I just took a week off of work...and it was the best thing I've ever done. I did NOTHING that was scheduled, except a side trip over the weekend to see someone;) and it was a total breath of fresh air to be able to relax and have no engagements for an entire week.:cool: I've never done that before.

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The block is completely disassembled now. All pistons look good, but I'm still unsure of the possibility of having the bore the block to get rid of the ridges. I will need to bring it to the machine shop sometime (whenever I can find time, ha!) and see what he says. All the rod and main bearings looked decent with only some minor scratches and wear. With the exception of the ridge in the cylinders and the horrid sludge, this engine was in good shape. I was halfway tempted to just put it back together when I checked out all the bearings. But I have to keep torturing myself somehow...

Crank looks good.

I started to clean up a couple things that came off the engine tonight, but ran out of steam about an hour into it. The downdraft tube and steel vacuum line from the oil pump are clean and painted.

I drove the Centurion for the first time in a few weeks today, and it felt good! I've been working on the paint of my daily driver 95 Yukon (black!)...looks like a brand new truck again. I had to give the Smartin touch to the paint. It was looking sad after 15 years of scratches and bumps.

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Adam, just spent the last 2 hours reading your amazing journey on this 58. WOW! You have unbelievable stamina and focus on this project. Lesser individuals would have given up long ago. Your preserverance on this is truly an inspiration to me to get to work on my 57 Special.

On a technical note, how did you know what colors to paint or finish what on the chassis? i.e., brake backing plates, sway bar, steering gear box, etc. Is there a publication or something that tells the finish? I have been trying to get info like that for refinshing my engine compartment and front frame but little exists. Any insight would be appreciated.

Good Luck my friend. Keep up the good work, especially since the weather is perfect for this work now.

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Thanks for the kind words, Jim.

As far as colors and such, I've crawled under lots of cars and looked at countless photographs of these cars. Also, this forum has led me to the right answers a lot. Sometimes, I just have to use my best judgment based on what I see or have seen in hte past.

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  • 1 month later...

Hey Adam,

Just wondering, any progress with the engine? Or???? Hope it is work that has kept you from posting.

Just need a 58 Buick fix I guess since mine has been in storage for quite a while.

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Sorry, no updates on the engine. I need more side jobs to pay for the machine work:D

Anyone have work that needs to be done to their cars? Stainless polishing, mechanical work?:rolleyes:

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  • 4 weeks later...

ADAM, I've been enjoying wading through the recorded progress of your hugely ambitious restoration of this even more huge car. My own project, a '57 Roadmaster, is also a work in progress. A major difference is that much of the work was progressed before you were born! If you're ever feeling the guilt of procrastination, just think of me and remember - keep them dry and old cars will wait forever.

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  • 3 weeks later...

...waiting on the word from the machine shop about the block.

I added up everything I need to get the engine done. I should probably go find a second job:rolleyes::D

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Trophy husband jobs are hard to come by, though...

This is where I need a tongue-biting smiley :D I managed to land one...only problem is that expenses always rise to meet income...if it isn't a toy, it's a toy box, or fixing a toy or.... The way it works for me is that essentially my income is the gravy for the toy fund, so long as I also sometimes put funds where She wants...or I'll be living in a Buick, which isn't all bad, but not as nice as what I have now.

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