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1985 Riviera Steering Wheel Detail Inquiry


Guest BJM

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Hi Ed:

YES, the Wichita Riviera has the GM/Delco Bose Music System... The bulging speaker assembly at the bottom front of the door panel house both the speaker & amplifier (25 watt). I believe the GM order code was 'UU8'. I've enjoyed the system in my Toronado for 26 years (dealer pick-up birthday is today!). 10 or so years ago, I upgraded to a direct fit receiver with single CD player. Of course, I kept the original cassette receiver. Anybody who likes music will really enjoy the Bose system. It's that good. On my car, it was the second most expensive option (about $900) after the Astroroof ($1100 ??).

Over time, certain capacitors on the amplifier circuit board deteriorate. This causes popping sounds from that particular amplifier. The parts are easily obtainable. Fortunately, I have the schematic diagram of the amp which indicates the values of these caps. My left front amp has been popping for almost a year & I hope to get to it over the summer...

Paul

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I just talked to Thad Watters about his car in Indianalo, IA. I told him that I'd run across the ad on autotrader.com and was looking for a Riviera without a vinyl top just to get him talking. After talking with some interested party in Baltimore, he's aware of the W-15 package and that there were only 647 cars optioned this way. But it hasn't seemed to effect his price.

Trying to see where he stands with the car, I brought up the idea of a trade involving my '97 Chrysler JXi convertible. After doing some checking, he said that with him not seeing my car (and I was truthful about it) and me having only seen pictures of his car - the ones on autotrader- he's willing to trade me for $2,000. We have parent teacher conferences next Thurs. and Friday so I won't be called in to work (I'm a retired teacher and I sub now and then) and if the cars still there, I'm very tempted to drive the JXi to Indianola and see if I can drive the Riv home. It's only a 3-1/2 hour drive for me, so if nothing else, I'll have had a nice outing.

Ed

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Ed,

That sounds great. I stand behind my assessment. The interior and body are amazing, the dealer has a good reputation (as good as any dealer)

I simply could find no blemishes on the body. You know that GM rough under paint coating they used back in the day all around the lower parts of cars? It's still in place and in good shape. the seams under the car - weld ups - are fine.

Several entries back on this thread I mentioned the only rust I saw was on the bottom of the drivers door and it's incidental. Some people freak out over rust of any sort but this would be easily removed by light sanding and there is a company in Wisconsin called Tower Paints that can provide a perfect match PPG paint in a can to touch it up - none of it is visible from the outside.

Seals all seemed tight. Doors closed nicely.

I am not ready to buy yet and have no issue losing out - especially to a fellow member - but it is still on my radar.

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  • 5 months later...

Bryan,

That is just terrible about the 50 Buick! Hope there is some way that you can recover your money from them! That is just another black eye on the collector car hobby that it doesn't need.

79 to 85 Riv's are just not bringing any money at all. Even rare cars like the one in this thread don't seem to bring anywhere near what they should. A good friend had a very nice 1984 Arizona Riviera that was LOADED and couldn't get the money some crappy used Neon would bring. I have an 85 T Type with a rebuilt 3.8 Turbo V-6 that I can't get $1250 out of. The body is rough but not rusted away and you can't buy a used turbo motor for that money, let alone get a restorable car or a heckuva parts car with a ton of extra parts! Not sure what it is about the 5th generation Riviera's but they are an under valued, under appreciated car in the collector market.

Tim

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Jake,

Have you contacted the local law enforcement agency of the "seller" who defrauded you out of the money? I don't know the particulars of Texas law, but that is clearly a violation of some type of fraud statute.

The other possibility is a small claims action in civil court, which would be a little difficult to pursue from long distance, but may still be an alternative.

I can understand that if the transporter showed up to pick up the car, he may be entitled to his payment, as it was not his fault that there was no car to pick up when he arrived, but still it seems that at least a partial refund should be in order. As for the transporter, if you hired him from a Hemmings ad, I would at least fill out a Hemmings complaint form on him.

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Jake,

You never know that the police are not going to care unless you report it. If Texas law is anything like most states, this fraud is a felony. It is certainly worth a phone call to the police department to see. As long as you have the documentation available, I would urge you to pursue it. Crooks cannot continue to get away with this sort of thing if the crimes are reported. If they are never reported to the police, they can continue to do this sort of thing over and over again.

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Don't limit yourself to the local police. The trucker has to have an ICC license as well. There are all sorts of interstate transportation laws that have probably been broken here; get the feds involved. I'd bet that the Texas Attorney Generals office would be interested in any scams that are taking place in his state as well. You might be able to put a scare into the guy if he thought he were going to lose his carrying permit.

Cost very little to file a claim in small claims court. It could be that it would cost the trucker more to appear than it would for him to pay up.

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Bryan what state all this happened in is a mute point. Makes no difference, the bottom line is that although this was all out wrong it is considered a civil issue and police do not enforce those. Civil issues almost always require litigation. From my police experience in the matter the police would take a report and have to turn it into the district attorneys office for review to see if the DA would be willing to prosecute this case as a criminal matter. Otherwise you can pursue it as a civil matter. Things like this isn't as cut and dry as a police officer witnessing a speeder or going to a house where a domestic has taken place and there are all parties involved at the location.

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Jayson,

I don't know what you mean by "From my police experience in the matter".... but I just retired after a 30 year law enforcement career. In fact, I am still an Auxiliary (meaning volunteer) Police Lieutenant.

As I indicated earlier, I am not familiar with the Texas State Statutes, but I am quite familiar with a lot of cases in multiple states where crooks have been sucessfully prosecuted for similar fraud cases. I also know that a lot of crooks get away with a lot of fraud because the victims don't bother to report it to police because they feel embarassed to have allowed themselves to be victimized.

It is really important for the victim and other potential victims out there to report such crimes. Allowing these types of frauds to go unreported allows the criminal to continue to perpetrate additional frauds.

Jake,

You may or may not be able to get your money back by reporting this crime to the police. But, If you do not report it there is a 100% chance that you will not get your money back. As I posted earlier, you should report the crime.... because that is what it is!

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Your correct I suggest he make a report and go from there. My experience is years of working in a Sheriff's Office. If it was one of those situations where one party claimed this and the other said something different that got into contractual issues involving some sort of fraud etc... those were referred to the DA's office for review.

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  • 1 year later...
SOLD!!!

Interesting. I got the (original) dealer down to about $3000 retail as I recall. No one was buying this car so I am 99% sure he wholesaled it, so maybe $2000?

It was not necessarily a low mileage car at the time at around 110,000 miles but was an extremely well maintained car. It could pass for a 40,000 mile car.

Now this dealer (I believe it was an old car dealer as there are 2 in Greene Iowa and they are father and son so basically one "classic" car dealer) Offered at the price of $5995, I highly doubt it sold for close to $6000. And it could have been a different car but I highly doubt it as well.

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  • 1 year later...

I bought a w-15 steering wheels and installed it on my 89 Reatta. The problem is the horn contact plunger I got from the dealer is to short it does not have contact with the spring plate. Any suggestions or recomendations would be greatly appreciated. Thankspost-78046-143141768432_thumb.jpg

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For the AACA Forum database & those interested in '79 - '85 Rivieras or Toronados:

The Olds 307 V8 is a very durable engine. My '84 Toronado (pretty much identical running gear to the Riviera) just rolled over to 190,000 miles. I've driven it for 26 years (picked up on 2/3/1984). The only internal engine work has been the replacement of the timing gear set @ about 150,000 miles. The nylon tipped aluminum camshaft gear's teeth had disintegrated. It was not a very expensive repair & only required the front engine cover/related parts to be removed. I installed a Crane Cams double roller timing set for added durability.

The 325-4L Hydramatic is not as durable as the 307 V8 but two 'upgrades' will keep it very happy. As was mentioned, an auxiliary ATF cooler is most beneficial. Cooler ATF = a happier automatic. I mounted a small Hayden cooler (5" x 9") at the lower right corner & in front of the A/C condenser. It is plumbed in series with the factory radiator cooler's return line. The other upgrade for the 325-4L is a 'shift reprogramming kit'. I had a Trans Go Shift Kit installed during the first rebuild @ 77,000 miles. Keep in mind that a still healthy transmission can have a kit installed without a complete rebuild. Only the valve body, separator plate & servo are removed and modified (trans not removed). The 'shift points' are the same but the shifts are quickened & do not become harsh.

The relative health of a 325-4L or a 200-4R (the same mechanicals & hydraulics) can be evaluated with a test drive. The weak point in this design (IMHO) is the hydraulic control of the intermediate band. This band (the only one) creates 2nd 'gear' when it stops the rotation of the direct clutch drum. The cloud soft shifts which GM engineered for this unit create long transitions between 'gears'. This in turn generates excessive heat & prematurely wears out the band and clutch frictions. To evaluate: 1) Fully warm up the ATF with local start/stop driving for at least 15 minutes. 2) From a standstill, perform a series of accelerations ranging from gentle to moderate (1/2 throttle). 3) Pay close attention to the 'quality' of the 1-2 up shift. If it feels like a 2 part shift with a long sliding transition ending with a bump (or abrupt jolt), the band is on it's way out. With a worn band, this will be more noticeable as the accelerations become stronger. The 2-3 up shift or 3-2 downshift involve both the band and the direct clutch. Since there are timing considerations between these elements, a worn band and/or direct clutch can result in a 'flare' during either shift. If the engine appears to momentarily speed up at the 2-3 or 3-2 shift (flare), a rebuild will soon be necessary. Because the gear ratio between 3rd and 4th is close (1:1 / 1:.69), the 4th (overdrive) clutch and it's hydraulic control is less of a concern.

In my opinion, the 325-4L is a fine transmission for a Riviera or Toronado as long as it contains a shift kit & an auxiliary ATF cooler. The 307 doesn't make enough power to overwhelm this modified Hydramatic. And hopefully, owners of these fine cars prefer a 'motoring' experience. I certainly do...!:)

Paul

Paul,

Years ago I acquired a 79 SType, and it had the Olds 307 in it. I went out of my way to gain a 3.8 Turbo-charged Buick V-6 to put in it when the Olds died.....that 3.8 sat in my garage on an engine stand for years and years, and the Olds engine never gave me reason to do the swap.........I sold the car at the 254,000 mile point, and the engine separately a fews years later, engine stand and all.....

Dale

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