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Yep, I had six guys remove the body off of my frame. This car is no joke. One was my 275 lb. body builder cousin, and it went rather smoothly and effortlessly, but as you said, I'd not want to attempt a body removal with anything less than six guys. Congrats, now enjoy the fun of ripping the chassis all apart.

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Chris,

Congrats getting the body off. The only problem I see is your garage is way too neat and clean! That makes me look bad.

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The garage is clean its the storage room and back yard thats a mess ;) Gotta store all these parts somewhere

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Chris:

On a 63 Riviera: Do you (or anyone) know if it's possible to just take out a couple of the body bolts on the right side only to lift the body slightly so that the CHP can see the hidden chassis number that's stamped on the top of the frame rail? I can't finish the registration process until I can do this. The CHP in El Cajon CA did not have enough room between the top of the frame rail and the underside of the body to even get an inspection mirror in there to find and see the number. Perhaps it would be a good idea to replace whatever body cushions/bushings/bumpers are there at the same time.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks very much!

Colin

San Diego CA

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I am not familiar with the frame number, so I dont know where to find it on the frame. So I cant say that I would or would not remove the body bolts to lift the body. Let me do a little home work and i"ll get back toyou.

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AND......50 thousand dollars to put it all back together.......been there , done that....it is fun though !!!

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Chris:

CHP told me where it is, just need to know if I can raise the body just slightly on the passenger side. The number is on the top of the frame rail between 20" and 30" aft of the first frame bolt.

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Which 'First frame bolt' are you refering to? The body bolt for the inner fender? Thats gonna put 30 inches just behind the spring perch. 30 inches aft of the first main body bolt is just in front of the cross. Ive checked my frame and I dont have a number in either place so far.

I'm leary about just saying yes remove the body bolt and lift the body a 1/4 inch to access it because depending on how far back you you are talking there is alot of things that will flex if the car is together and I dont want to see your fenders get out of alignment. There is enough flex in things like the fuel line, brake line, coolant and wiring to allow for movement but I wouldnt take a complete car body bolt out to access the top of the frame myself, especially if its to access the middle. Once I find my frame number I can give you a better guess where to look for yours.

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Chris:

On a 63 Riviera: Do you (or anyone) know if it's possible to just take out a couple of the body bolts on the right side only to lift the body slightly so that the CHP can see the hidden chassis number that's stamped on the top of the frame rail? I can't finish the registration process until I can do this. The CHP in El Cajon CA did not have enough room between the top of the frame rail and the underside of the body to even get an inspection mirror in there to find and see the number. Perhaps it would be a good idea to replace whatever body cushions/bushings/bumpers are there at the same time.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks very much!

Colin

San Diego CA

Here's a link showing the VIN on a '65. I agree, trying to raise the body will cause more problems than it's worth. Why won't the CHP accept the VIN on the cowl tag? Yours is the only story I've heard about this.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/1965-Buick-Riviera/149461030162#!/photo.php?fbid=149477575162&set=a.149475630162.123126.149461030162&type=3&theater

Dave had to hit this hard with a pneumatic scaler and a wire brush wheel in order for it to show up. You might be in the right place and be able to see it 'as is' if you can get 49 years of crud off of it.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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RivNut: Because it isn't there any more. Someone took it off. And someone changed the engine without updating records with the DMV so that can't be verified either. It's the hidden number or nothing. But I appreciate all your input!

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On my way out the door today, I checked my drivers side near the crossmember and there is something there. I didnt have alot of time to really clean it but its definitely something stamped there. Now I have a 65. You have a 63, you may want to check drivers side near the trans crossmember.

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R..Bear

I'm sorry that I didn't tell you where to look; the description was in the caption with the picture. Here's another picture from a wider angle that may put it into a perspective as to where it is on this '65 chassis. Right where the trans crossmember bolts on. But, the transmission mount in your '63 is a little farther forward because the Dynaflow is shorter than the ST400.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=149477575162&set=a.149475630162.123126.149461030162&type=3&theater#!/photo.php?fbid=149477565162&set=a.149475630162.123126.149461030162&type=3&permPage=1

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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Not sure about the Riviera, but on most GM cars this number is in two places. One as pictured about under the front drivers seat, and another forward of that. On the drivers side frame rail between the firewall and the upper control arm. Again, can't swear the Riviera is the same, but that is the case with most all other GM frames. You should not have to pull the body to see this one, if it is there. Maybe Chris or Rob J can look at their frames and confirm.

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Havn`t payed much attention to the frame numbers, especially here in the rust belt, but off the top of my head (dont have any pics or docs) it is my understanding the VIN number on the `63 Rivs is on the passenger side.

Rivierabear- I`m not sure I would want to see the confidential number if the original VIN tag was missing...cant the DMV assign a replacement VIN number?

Tom Mooney

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Tom:

They'll do that as soon as the California Highway Patrol sees the stamped chassis number on the car. Really like the Facebook story of the 65's rebuild. Looks like a lot of fun.post-51448-143139161698_thumb.jpg

Colin

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Im working on finding the numbers. I found the one at the transmission crossmember on the drivers side. If there is another I will let you know, but this was after only an hour. You can imagine how long this will take me ;)

post-86247-143139161704_thumb.jpg

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Starting ripping the engine apart to make sure its worth my time shipping to my son for rebuild. So far so good

post-86247-143139168811_thumb.jpg

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Starting ripping the engine apart to make sure its worth my time shipping to my son for rebuild. So far so good

Where have I seen that face before!

Chris,

It looks pretty clean inside. Awesome engines!

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Im confused....what face?

My nail head is sitting on a stand right now, so when I saw your photo yesterday it reminded me of my engine. :)

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Got the heads off today. The engine is as good as the rest of the car. The engine actually still had some coolant on the drivers side bank. There is no corrosion in the block or heads. The car was obviously running rich, but it turns smoothly, no scoring in the cylinders. Only issue is its been bored about .040 already. Once I get it to my son they will be able to check wall thickness and we'll see where we really are. Right now its a 408, so we have room to play with we think since the 425 comes from the same blocks. The website is updated with more pics as well. Welcome to the Home of Ali'N'I

IMG_1036.JPG

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Well I havent done alot over the past two weeks but I have made progress. I'm currently at 61 hours of work so far. I had to spend about and hour cleaning the garage floor. I have the engine and trans all unbolted and attached to the hoist. Tomorrow a buddy is coming over to help get it off the frame and disconnect the two major components. We may get the engine crated and ready for shipment, but it wont actually go til later this month. Nothing really cool to take pictures of, spending alot of time cleaning the frame. The stuff is either 1/2 inch thick tar or 1 inch thick dried caked dirt. I'm scraping and chiselling. But we're getting there.

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Only issue is its been bored about .040 already. Once I get it to my son they will be able to check wall thickness and we'll see where we really are. Right now its a 408, so we have room to play with we think since the 425 comes from the same blocks.

Even though the 401 and the 425 used the same casting numberss, there's not enough meat in the walls to turn a 401 into a 425. It takes a 0.125 over bore to get that. Your walls are not that thick. Most of the guys I know who are running 0.060 over bores on their nailheads have some overheating issues. I think that after you've done a sonic check, you'll find that you MAY have another 0.020 to play with which would give you maximum overbore of 0.060 and 413 cubic inches. Not trying to burst any bubbles here but before ordering any pistons, you'll want to make sure.

Here's part of an article written by Darwin Falk, Trustee and Tech advisor for the ROA, on the identification of a 425. Pay particular attention to the statement I've highlighted in the article.

Sometimes, the codes have been found to be missing or incorrect. Sometimes the casting number can be either a 401 or a 425. How can you tell which it is!

Well, finally some answers on this topic instead of more questions... We had 2 owners of '66s that had MT code engines... an incongruity that needed explaining. Were these mismarked 425s, or 401s that shouldn't be in the car? The engine stamping/markings were almost certainly factory correct in appearance.

I bundled up all the information accumulated on this topic and mailed it off to Denny Manner, the absolute expert on all things related to Buick engine manufacturing. His reply follows (what's in quotes is his direct words, the rest is my understanding/ communication of it).

I was pretty sure that this bump (per talking with Denny back in '95) indicated a 425, but wanted to be sure. (For frame off reference, this is a closeup of the area right next to the transmission housing on the driver side, towards the top of the engine. You can see the back of the valve covers in the photo...

Denny confirms that the 'casting rectangle unique to 425 blocks was there to identify in the machining line that it was a 425 casting for larger bore. The locator was used for the boring equipment to automatically adjust for the larger bore'. 'The rectangle measures about 9/16" by 1"'. Denny pointed to the little J or L hook part at the top and said that part is an insignificant 'boss'... it's the taller part lower down that was used by the machine...

This makes sense to me now. I can easily imagine a boring machine that has a feeler on it to check for the casting bump... and then the machine using that to determine what the bore size is. Pretty slick. Therefore, one must conclude that if the block went down this normal machining production line, it would've automatically been bored for 425.

Denny further states that his 1966 has a block casting number of 1364704. He said it's possible that there could've been other casting numbers in previous years. He reminds us that 'the service/parts books do not list the casting number... it would list a machined block ready for assembly or service repair that a dealer could order'.

Denny further states '401 and 425 castings were different- the cylinder wall castings were in different locations adjusted for the bore size'.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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