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tjthorson

Need some assistance on engine swap thoughts

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So - as some of you may remember, I embarked almost 2 years ago to restore a 1963 Riviera I had found for my dad (who originally had a 1965, and loved it).

I at that time, after looking for a year, found a 1963 in Indiana that had been parked in a garage since 1972. Very little rust, most electrical items work, 67000 original miles.

I have the 401 out and torn down, it just really needs a hone, rings, rebuild, etc. However, in the process of tear down, i have 2 "knicks" from the rod bolts on the crank journals that will need to be polished out. I have not sent the heads out yet either. I honed and cleaned the block myself. I have all the parts to reassemble at this point. The condition of the dynaflow is unknown at this time as well. I have a line on a 1964 Riviera that is running, driving, and stopping for $1500. It has some rust - not too bad - but certainly not as rust free as the 63. My plan is to get the 64, pull the engine and trans out and swap into the 1963. I have been searching all day and cannot find any detail on this as to any "gotchas" that may occur going from a 63 401/dynaflow to a 64 425/ST400. Will I need to swap drvishafts? Starters? Will the radiator and fuel tank fit from the 64 (that I am pretty sure will). Any other things you experts can help with? I *think* this is the way to go to get ours on the road faster then it is. Even if I continue to work on the 63 401 - I still need a radiator, fuel tank, etc. I would swap these parts from the 64 too. Any ideas? Advice? i really want the car running for him this year.

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This is quite a swap. The hub on the rear of the crank is the difference between connecting to a dynaflow and an ST400.

Send me a pm and I'll try to list everything for you.

Ed

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Ed,

Ill PM - but just to clarify - I want to put the entire 64 drivetrain, engine, trans, etc into the 63.....

So far I know i will need to change the shifter in the console from the 64 to the 63 as well.

One variable I cannot seem to find info on is whether I need to change the driveshaft from the 64 into the 63, and whether the rear-end yoke would be the same.....

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Hi Todd!

If you do this swap, you have the best situation as you have a complete running parts car that you can grab all the little "gotcha" parts off of. It would probably be easier to fix the 63 engine and reseal the Dynaflow, but it could be cheaper to swap the 64 drivetrain into the 63.

I don't think that updating the 63 to 64 driveline would affect the value of the car at all, so that isn't a concern.

All that being said, there are huge differences between a 63 and a 64 Riviera, many more than there would appear to be at first glance, heck the headlight switches aren't even the same!

Bottom line, do what works best for you. Verify that the 64 engine is a solid runner and won't be needing any more work than the 63 you currently have. I'm not sure that I helped by answering any questions, but at least you are aware that this is a major project whichever way you choose to go. And yes, you will have to change out the driveshaft!

Take Care,

Tim

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Todd,

I think I have the dissenting opinion on this, there's always one in the crowd. From your description you have what sounds like a pretty nice 63 with the original numbers matching drivetrain and you have already started rebuilding the engine. Why not finish the overhaul and leave it factory? I can tell you from experience the dynaflow can be rebuilt for about $1500. I do think that swapping drivetrains will affect the value of the car if you are dealing with anyone who wants a stock vehicle. Keep it all 63, just my two pennies.

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I would think it would actually be easier to take the 64 body off and put the 63 body on the 64 frame rather than messing with trying to switch the drivetrains between the cars due to different driveshafts, crossmembers and other things. The innerfenders on my '64 still have all the Dynaflow mounting pads just not drilled but I know the frame does not have the transmission crossmember holes. I think you should rebuild the original trans and use it since the car is orginal and you have no intention of majorly hopping it up.

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HI IVE DONE SWAP AND IT DOES HAVE A LOT OF GOTCHAS FIRST THE YOKE ONTHE REAR END HAS TO BE SWAPED EASY THE DRIVESHAFT WONT WORK YOU EITHER HAVE TO SHORTEN THE 64S OR SWAP THE CARIER BEARING PLATES CUTTING AND WELDING INVOLVED THEN THE 64 DRIVE SHAFT WORKS THATS WHATE I DID YOU HAVE TO MOVE THE TRANS CROSSMEMBER BACK GOT TO DRILL HOLES IN FRAME TO MOUNT GOT TO CHANGE SHIFTER AND COUNSEL AND YOU HAVE TO WIRE THE KICK DOWN I TO BOUGHT A 64 TO PUT DRIVE TRAIN IN A 63 AND UNLESS YOU ARE A RIV EXPERT YOU ARE HARD PRESSED TO TELL SO IF YOU HAVE ACCESS TO A DONNER ITS EASY ALL PARTS YOU NEED ARE THERE

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I answered your PM and addressed most of what else has been brouhgt up here. I share the opinion that if the '63 is rebuildable, do it. You'll have a more desireable car in the long run.

Ed

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Todd,

Not sure of your finances in this lousy economy, but Don has a REALLY nice 63 Riviera for sale! That would get dad rollin' in style right away!

Take Care,

Tim

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Tim,

Thanks for the plug. My car is still for sale but I'm not yet ready to give it away so I'll just keep driving it for now.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: tjthorson</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I have a line on a 1964 Riviera that is running, driving, and stopping for $1500. Any ideas? Advice? i really want the car running for him this year. </div></div>

Todd,

I understand your dilemma. Putting an engine together thats in pieces or dropping another running engine in place. The latter seems more attractive to get the car running quickly but here is a little more food for thought.

You didn't mention if the condition of the engine and tranny in the 64 has been determined. Is there an assumption being made that just because the car drives down the road that it's good enough to use as a swap project thats above and beyond straight R&R? All too often when dealing with cars such as the $1500 64 you will find surprises and they usually aren't good ones. Unless the 64 has been driven regularly and maintained by someone you trust, its better to assume it may need rebuilt as well.

If you have "facts" to show the 64 drivetrain is tight, then the option

to do the swap is a viable one. If you rebuild the engine and tranny for the 63 you will have a known result as well as maintaining matching numbers. If you are set on the 64 engine at least take the time to do a compression test in all cylinders before buying it.

Rebuilding your current drivetrain or making the 64 swap are both very involved projects requiring more money and time than you expect. If it were me I'd tend to lean towards the option that would most guarentee positive results towards having a reliable car and increasing its value. Whether or not A non-matching drivetrain would hurt the value is up to the specific buyers interests......but, we do know having a rebuilt original engine will definitely help the value vs a tired non-matching 64 engine.

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Wow! Thanks for all the replies.

i ended up picking up the 64 a few minutes ago. I see some bubbling bondo on the rocker panels. The rear quarters are iffy. Doors are solid, trunk is solid. Drivers floor has major holes under the foot area.

2 pumps of the gas, it fires right up and runs like a top. No smoke, no noises, idles smooth as glass. Trans pops right into gear. I went to go over the curb in the driveway and hit the gas a little hard and left a foot long rubber strip on the driveway. Man does that thing have torque!

Looking at both cars - I *think* what we are going to do at this point is begin body work on the 64 - and use the 63 interior pieces I bought on the 64. then, the original, low rust 63 can be sold to someone that wants to do the repair and assembly. With the 63, i still have to contend with the brake pedal that doesnt move, fuel lines that are plugged, as well as paint and body work anyway - just surface rust stuff, like under the back window. Since aftermarket rockers and floor pans are available, all i have to do is find a junkyard rear quarter lower sections and weld those in and go to paint.

So, we will have a 64, that will have 63 saddle interior - but for a fun driver for dad, I think it will be fine. And just to make it a little "custom" we will probably paint the mist green that my dad's 65 was. How's that? Thanks for all the help. After seeing this one up close, i think it will make a fine weekend cruiser. Wish i would have seen this one first - I got it for $1500.

Numbers on the 64 I just got:

VIN: 7K1027198

FB3966 TRIM: 601 ACC W FF Paint

Engine: 7K1124234

Heads: B1196914J

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Todd,

You sound like a man with a plan, I've got both a '63 and a '64. The '63's dynaflow is a great trans for cruising but it leaves a little to be desired in performance and fuel economy. I think you'll like the '64 for that as well as how the heat and a/c are controlled. You also have the benefit of a front speaker so you can hear the radio if the windows are down. Did you give Jim Cannon all the data plate info for your '63 yet?

Does your '64 have the standard (black vinyl on console, no wood on door panels) or custom interior? If it's a standard, and you need some replacement vinyl, I may have some left over from years ago.

Ed

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It must be the standard interior, black vinyl on the console - just metal plates with the buick trishield on the door panels.

But - If I am going to go with the saddle interior from the 63 that i already bought from clarks corvair (wood panels for doors, wood for console, carpet, saddle seats, etc - then I will prob use the wood panel door panels from the 63 in the 64.....

Another thing I just noticed while trying to get to the numbers on the back of the block to verify the 425 - the heater core isnt hooked up and bypassed. Also, the plastic on the front of the airbox where it looks like a vacuum switch boltsup is broken off.

It also looks like it has some sort of electronic ignition. Two wires coming from the distributor, and some sort of electric isolator or something (white, about 4 inches long, with wires attached to each end) that is zip tied to the coil. Going outside to take some pics.

I realize we may anger the Riviera purists by going with the saddle 63 interior on a 64.... Our intention (or mine at least) is to save a Riv or two from the crusher and make a nice weekend toy for my dad to enjoy while he is still young. Not to do a concours quality 10 year restoration.....Someone can buy the 63 and do that if they wish....

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Todd,

That 64 looks to be a decent ride for the money! I know people have started a restoration project with much less. Keep us posted on your progress!

Good Luck,

Tim

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