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Project 65 Rivy, A Step by Step Journal


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OK, being that I thoroughly enjoy reading and browsing other folks restoration and build threads, I figured I'd start mine, as I am beginning to embark on a new journey.

As most of you know, last year I bought a 1965 Riviera GS, with intentions on restoring it. Well, that car has been put on hold for the moment, as I am embarking on the frame off restoration of another 1965 Riviera (non GS) I purchased this past summer. I wasn't really in the market for another car, but this deal kinda fell in my lap, so I jumped on it. The original intention with this car was to freshen it up, and just drive it as is. Well, the deeper I got into this car working and tinkering with it the last several months, the more solid it looked for a nice restoration job. This truly is a remarkably solid, non molested, and complete car. So, I've decided to do it justice, and give it a frame off restoration. Here are a few pics of the day the car arrived this past July.

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As you can see, it is a mostly original car with about 80% of it's original paint. Never been in an accident, and never taken apart. I'm the third owner.

Been stripping the car to the bare shell the last couple of weeks, in prep for removing the body from the frame.

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Tagging and bagging every single part, piece, screw, bolt. Taking lots and lots of pictures and videos for documentation.

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This weekend, I will be building a body platform. Then I hope to round up a number of guys to lift off the body, set it on the platform, so I can then strip down the frame. After that, frame goes to the blaster for blasting.

I'll keep updating this thread as progress continues.

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Here's the body stands I built today to hold the body high enough so I can safely work underneath it. That's a buddy of mine checking out my work.

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We have lift off. Got together myself and five friends of mine, and we lifted the body shell off of the frame. Went very smoothly, and I didn't forget to disconnect anything.

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The Rolling chassis.

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Awesome Rob!

yeah keep em coming, that X Frame is so cool looking without the body, I love that!

Ive only been around this forum for a short time but you guys have totally got me back into my Gran Sport!

I dig seeing what you are doing here Rob!

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Rob,

Having spent some time with the previous owner of your car, I am aware of the back story and I know how much he wanted to see this car restored in memory of his late brother. You are certainly doing it justice and I hope he has a chance to see this thread and get a feel for the commitment you have made to the restoration of this Riv. Great job! Looking forward to the rest of the story.

Ron

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OK Rob: What ever you do, especially with all that work on such a good car, Please, for me, put it back to power windows! Mitch

That's the plan Mitch. I have most everything I need to add power front and rear windows so far. I also will be adding power seat, and if I can find the parts, I'd like to add power vents, power Antenna, and AM/FM Radio.

Since I have a parts car that was fairly loaded, I'm sourcing a number of parts from it. I also have a complete remote trunk release system from my parts car that will be going on this car as well.

Luckily my GS is fully loaded, so I won't need these parts for it, when it get's restored in the future.

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Rob

Awesome pics and congratulations on the professional job. You've inspired me to post a few pics of my project.

One question though...that dude that's standing by the body stands...is that Ted Nugent?

LOL, he does sort of look like him. He's not Ted, but he is a musician. He's the lead singer for the Dashboard Saint's. He's also my workout partner/spotter at the gym.

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Pulling out the engine. She's dirty, except for that freshly rebuilt by Tom Telesco carburetor. Can't wait until the rest of the engine looks this clean.

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Dirty transmission. I found an ID tag underneath almost 50 years of gook.

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Hooked up to the cherry picker.

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She's out. What a breeze to pull an engine with no body on the car.:D

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Quite a loose timing chain if I don't say, and pieces of broken plastic teeth fell out when removing the timing cover.

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Engine goes on the stand next, and tear down begins. More to come.

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Thats the way to yank the engine Man! I dig that cool sling Rob! Mine is little more than a glorified chain with a couple tabs to bolt the engine onto......

great pictures, You got your money's worth out of that timing set!:D

Im wondering what your distributor drive gear looks like, mine was knife edged and chipped up. totally shot.

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Mitch, after much debate in my own head, I've finally decided on the original Arctic White, however I'm changing to the Fawn Cloth and Vinyl Interior. For wheels, a while back I bought a set of Rally wheels, so those will go on this car. I'm not a huge fan of the hub caps. I will, however, have to get the wheels re-chromed, and there are not many chrome shops doing wheels these days, so I may have to ship them to a company over your way in Cali that does wheels, and that's going to cost some coin. BTW, don't you sell the wheel "R" center caps? I need a nice set of those.

This is the look I'm going for Mitch.

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Edited by Rob J (see edit history)
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PA is a little closer than CA

I've used a company in FL to chrome some plastic for me

If they are as good at metal as they were with plastic, you would do fine:

Universal Electrocoating, Inc. Triple Chrome Plating on plastics

Their galleries show some fine work and the folks there were great to deal with.

That company is 5 minutes from my house. Been meaning to check them out, Not sure if they do metal.

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Hey Rob,

I liked your engine sling so much I bought one just like it off amazon. Got it yesterday! Im a sucker for tools! :D

Hey, tools are just like women, you can't ever have enough of them. :D

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All,

I had my 65 Riv wheels rechromed at a place in California called Southbay Chrome a subsidiary of Classic Components. Chrome Plating Company |Chrome Plating Service | Chrome Plating Shops | Classic Components

I called several places before I found them and no-one wanted to rechrome steel wheels. I paid $200.00 a wheel a few years ago plus shipping to and from. I just have to say the chrome job was excellent and would send other parts to them. Gerry

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Update. Got the engine out and on the stand, and have started to tear it down and go through it. After lots of tedious work in finding a machine shop that is familiar with Nailheads, I finally found a guy in Ft. Lauderdale (Thanks to some kind folks over at V8Buick) that has worked on a number of them. Engine goes off to him in the next couple of weeks.

Frame is stripped to the bone, and I pressure washed it yesterday. It goes to the media blaster soon, then epoxy prime followed by chassis paint.

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Wheels:

Original Muscle Wheel

Gary McLean is the guy I used with great results. I talked to Jimmy (son) and am sending some off for rechroming.

They (Gary & Jimmy) have my 5 wheels right now. I sent them on Teds recommendation (no pressure Ted!) plus they are an advertiser in the Riview. Three of my wheels weren't in very good shape (moderate rust pitting on the face) and I couldn't find same date coded rust free replacements. I contacted them and talked to Jimmy. He said no problem they could restore my rusty originals for $225ea. Shipping was painful but felt it was worth it to send them to someone who's business is wheels only plus they already have experience doing big Buick wheels which is a big plus. Knowing the starting condition of my wheels, if these things come back satisfactory they will be heros.

Getting wheels rechromed isn't a cheap venture no matter what so having them come back and be anything but excellent is not an option. I wouldn't even want to consider the cost and hassle of doing it over. So....I'm keeping my fingers crossed and going to church.

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I Have tried to attach before and after photos of my wheels, but for some reason I keep getting errors. Can some one point me in the right direction. Thanks Gerry

Gerry, e-mail me the pics, and I can post them. Thanks for the referral on these guys, as I have two sets of Buick wheels I need restored.

Jason, please post pics when you get your wheels back.

my e-mail is robert@digital-artsav.com

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The wheels dont rechrome well. The platers usually grind/buff out the parting line between the painted center and chrome rim and the rechroming process leaves the wheels looking "wavy". It`s pretty easy to pick off the replates. I have two cars with replated wheels (done by previous owners) and I have found they dont hold up nearly as well to the moisture and temp cycles of the midwest. They have a tendency to pit/rust much more quickly than the originals. Perhaps that is due to a nickel/nickel /chrome plate as opposed to the original copper/nickel/chrome. I dont do show cars so ultimate luster is not my priority. I try to find the best originals I can and properly maintain them. The `66-`67 wheels were very poorly plated as new and are the hardest to find in excellent original condition. Even then, the chrome often has a grainy appearance and lacks the luster of the original `64-`65 plate. Say a prayer the replates are being done in Mexico

Tom Mooney

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They (Gary & Jimmy) have my 5 wheels right now. I sent them on Teds recommendation (no pressure Ted!) plus they are an advertiser in the Riview. Three of my wheels weren't in very good shape (moderate rust pitting on the face) and I couldn't find same date coded rust free replacements. I contacted them and talked to Jimmy. He said no problem they could restore my rusty originals for $225ea. Shipping was painful but felt it was worth it to send them to someone who's business is wheels only plus they already have experience doing big Buick wheels which is a big plus. Knowing the starting condition of my wheels, if these things come back satisfactory they will be heros.

Getting wheels rechromed isn't a cheap venture no matter what so having them come back and be anything but excellent is not an option. I wouldn't even want to consider the cost and hassle of doing it over. So....I'm keeping my fingers crossed and going to church.

I'm sending a pallet of wheels to them - mostly 66 style cores-I could not remember why I had pulled apart my piles of wheels but it was too look at the date codes for Jason :) They did a great job last time. I need a set for my 65 project and the cores I pulled for that are pretty weak. (rust).

@ Tom- my experience with the rechromed ones from gary is totally good- none of the problems you mention have come up on my set.

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Hi Ted,

Gary or whoever is plating them probably has the proper fixture to do wheels. If they regularly do wheels then they are setup up and taking the time to do them properly. Nickel/nickel chrome or copper/nickle/chrome?

Tom Mooney

P.S. Still have that breather?

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