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alini
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I know how lucky I am but it wasnt completely rust free. I did have to do two small patches on the floor, but a majority of it was simple hole fills with the welder. I do have some rust started around the windshield and rear glass that will require treatment, but didnt need anything more than that. Im even more fortunate that I only have three dents to worry about, one drivers side right where the sail panel comes down. One on passenger side rear quarter, where the previous owners allowed something hard to hit the side of the trunk and pushed it out and the right rear corner has a small dent, like they backed the bumper into something at sometime. Other than that, the car is factory straight. I should be spraying primer next week.

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I know how lucky I am but it wasnt completely rust free. I did have to do two small patches on the floor, but a majority of it was simple hole fills with the welder.

I should be spraying primer next week.

Hello Chris, looking good. Thank you for posting.

Congrats on the rust repair I wish I were in your shoes right now. But I am grateful that you and Rob J are a few steps (more like A LOT lol) ahead of me on our builds because I am the least experienced one & you guys (well everyone here) are great at sharing...thank you

I also have small problems on my floors & had to cut out a section on the driver side (first time, never done anything like this before)....I will be posting that experience on my build thread

Did you have any problems filling the holes in your floor boards with the welder? Did you have to wire wheel away the surface rust before zapping it? My inexperienced welding is looking pretty shabby on scrap metal but still determined to learn.... I thought I could fill the holes also & I was told welding the holes in won't work?? How do you advise??

Also, did you weld in the unused factory holes throughout the floors or did you leave them alone? I found these holes had not been plugged up they only had the thick factory tar paper over them. One 5/8" hole is right where your right heel would rest while your foot is on the accelerator pedal...one 1/2" hole at the top of the trans tunnel positioned underneath the console towards the rear...the last two 1/4" holes are under the back seat (one on the left and one on the right...these both had a mountain of seam sealer over them).

For reference, I tried your website looking for the pictures of your welding patch work & hole fills. But I couldn't find them, I may have just overlooked them. Would you mind posting those pix here or on your site if they are not there already?

Lastly, when laying your primer, will you be doing that in the garage?

thank you so very much...keep up the good work...

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My holes were not even 1/2 inch, The bottom two circles in the picture I was able to just tack weld shut. The metal around the holes in the upper circle had deteriorated alot, so I cut out a square of sheetmetal and welded it in. My welding sheetmetal skills isnt that hot but with alot of patience I got it done. The metal kept melting as I went because the rust had weakened the surrounding metal a bit. I am doing rust encapsulating paint all through the trunk and passenger area, and glass mounting flanges tomorrow. I will post pics once its all done, the grinding marks make it hard to see clearly.

Note to you and Rob make sure you look at the underside of your trunk (inside the quarter panels) I have a TON of surface rust along the 'roof' of the trunk and at the tops of the wheel wells. Places you dont see without making an effort. I spent three hours today with a wire brush sand paper and a wirebrush drill attachment stripping it and Im still not 100% ready for paint yet.

Once the rust encapsulating paint is down I will be ready for primer on the body.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 9 months later...

Didnt realize I havent updated this with the paint. So here ya go

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So the car has been painted. My son moved back to Vegas, now that his school is done and been focused on his new job. All the parts are here and all machine work has been done it just needs to be assembled. Im focused more on getting the car back together right now, with the rear windows completed and the doors needing to be rebuilt.

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Due to the Vegas heat we pretty much didnt do anything since May, but the past few weekend have gotten some smaller stuff knocked out. Had to take my wife to England to see her mom before she passed away (which hit the time line and budget abit...but worth it) Passenger door window install tomorrow.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gotta love being back in the garage. Passenger windows done, took alot of tweaking to get them aligned right. New fuzzies installed on exterior trim and trim installed, door skin back on and fender is hung in place. Needs some wet sanding to get to the finish of the rest of the car. Passenger side exterior should be complete tomorrow.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Passenger side is complete, drivers side window on hold for a new seal for the window frame. The afternoon sun all those years in the desert dried out the drivers side channel seal so bad it fell apart when I put the window in. We started the engine rebuild, I identified that the #7 & 8 cylinders have been sleeved. #7 threw a rod sometime in the past and it broke the skirt of the #8 wall too, but this sleeve work was done ages ago and it worked well with the previous owner, who had no clue. Bottom end is together, heads should go on next weekend.

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I also updated my website with pics and added some interesting family history.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Im almost done with the engine rebuild, but we just took a huge step backwards. Putting it together the way it came out of the car, I just identified that the timing chain cover is not a 65, but an earlier 50s model. There are no timing marks on the cover, so no way to time the engine once its running. Luckily I havent torqued the balancer on yet, so removing the cover wont take long at all. Glad I caught it now and not after I was ready for a first crank in the car.

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  • 1 month later...

Been doing a little at a time as I have spare time. Alot of family issues hit, which got in the way of wrenching. Engine is built up, Tranny is broken down, need to order rebuild kit and some bushings (waiting on budget) I did get the front fenders on and headlights in this weekend. Did some wiring repairs, tomorrow I am removing the factory AC wiring, since I am going aftermarket. Hoping to have engine and trans back in the car by first week of March

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  • 1 month later...

Ive been slinging wires, the interior is all routed around. I have three plugs behind the dash that for the life of me I dont know what the connect to. The wiring diagram card off Ebay is garbage. Half the wire colors arent right. I can account for the things that count, and the dash will be mounted in the car in a few days. The wiring itself is pretty basic, four major harnesses in the interior. Windows, dash gauges, misc power for radio, AC console lights and then the rear section. I ran continuity through the harnesses, wrapped/heat shrink some bare sections. Carpet and headliner arrive Wednesday. So I should only have door panels and seats left in the interior. Need to get some stuff done before May gets here and the garage turns into Death Valley.

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What color are the wires, what kinds of ends are on them, and what are they close to. When you say "...behind the dash" - instrument cluster? Radio/heater? glove box? - just exactly where are they? You should also be aware that the Riviera came with a harness for all options. If your car didn't have those options, you'll have unused wires.

Ed

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I can identify a few of them as cruise control for the signal amp and brake disconnect switch. I obviously don't need them because I mounted the gauges today and I don't have anything to connect them to. It took me a bit to figure out power antenna and courtesy light wiring but I think I have it figured out enough to get me going. Im really just happy to be getting some more done, had alot of other issues that have kept me from working on her.

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  • 2 weeks later...

website updated with shots of Clarks Headliner and carpet. I intend on doing complete review of the door panels when they arrive. Supposed to be here Tuesday. The carpet is good, but I think I would have gone with molded, not cut and sewn. I will see better once I get to install it, for now just been setting in place so it doesnt get screwed up. The headliner was quite easy just need some patience. They supplied the glue and enough fabric to do the sail panels, but mine needed to be replaced anyway.

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Got word from Lee Sulis, my package tray will be here on Tuesday. All the door skin pieces will be here Tuesday. The transmission shop should have the tranny done Monday. I'm getting close. My parts storage space is getting empty. And I can see the top of my work bench for the first time in about a year.

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Got my transmission back from a shop, played the safe card and had a pro do it. Mated the trans to the engine this morning and dropped it in. The valve covers are just on to keep dust out until I get around to getting the 'BUICK' aluminum ribbed ones. I feel like I have a car in my garage now, not just a shell.

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Chris,

If I may interject here. If you're going back to a stock paint job - even if it's a different color - the grills in the cowl vents should be painted body color over the chrome. Only the rim should be chromed. The color on the car in this attachment makes it hard to distinguish but you can see where the grills have been painted.

Ed

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well I just mangled the power steering pump pulley. Trying to remove it to clean up the engine bracket, plus it will need to be replaced because I dont know the state of it. Luckily I found a used on on Ebay already. Taking a break for the night, will try again tomorrow.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ive been busy, interior rear panels are in, drivers side and rear carpet are in, center console is in. Steering column, gas pedal are in. Water pump, brackets, power steering pump and hose, brake master cylinder, new voltage regulator and alternator mounted.

Right now, here is the big stuff left.

Seats

exhaust

distributor (going with the MSD plug an play electronic one)

AC

carb rebuild

radiator (and electric fan upgrade if I go that way)

finish the interior, radio, AC

headlight motor rebuild

Then ops check everything. So far I know the headlights light up. Need to bleed the brakes, fill the rest of the fluids and crank her up. Sadly SUmmer is here in Vegas. It was 90+ in the garage the other day, Im going to be pausing alot until it cools off. Shooting for cranking up in September

Oh and Paint the hood ;) might want to put that on sometime

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So I have the interior about done.  But I have issues.  I got the drivers door, both kick panels, carpet, rear 'door panels' and package tray installed.  I just finished glueing up the passenger door panel.  I ran the windows up and down with the battery booster to make sure the windows didnt bind against the panels (they are close to the front edges)  They ran fine but the drivers window stopped about 2 inches shy of the bottom.  So this weekend the door skin will come off and we will find out what its hitting.  I need to do the door pull handles still, have some hog rings and pliers coming in the mail.

 

Trying to organize which way to go from here.  I dont have alot of items left, but whats left will take some time or money.  The slow down his hitting right as its getting hot out, so may see a big pause.

 

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  • 6 months later...

I am getting close.  I didnt have room in the garage to paint the hood when I painted the rest of the car, so since I was waiting on parts and build up the budget to get the last parts (more on that later) I decided to paint the hood.  I actually painted it on the back patio, we had 70 degree temps and no wind, so conditions worked.  The paint was 18 months old and I was able to get it done but lesson learned....paint it all at the same time.

 

I got the front end all polished up, still need to work some swirl marks out of the paint.  But for a guy who never painted a car before, I think I did a fine job.  This dollar bill is 2 feet from the fender and in person you can clearly read the serial number

 

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SO what do I have left.  Waldrons supplied me tracking info on the exhaust today, so next weekend after I stuff myself with turkey I should be hanging a complete exhaust, with their Imposter muffler.

 

I need a radiator and new fan clutch, I need to repair damage to the fan shroud.  I need a distributor (going with the MSD ready to run), cap rotor and wires.

 

At that point the car is complete.  I do have a horn bar coming, but I can atleast start the car and get things broken in and make sure its running right.  I have 666 hours in so far.  I have done everything myself except the transmission and the driveshaft rebuilds.  Those two components I felt important enough to trust a pro for safety and I didnt want to have to pull the transmission out because I missed something and it failed.

 

Once I get the exhaust hung and get it back on the ground I will get more before and after pics.

 

I wanna thank everyone on the forum who has helped me along the way.  While I turned the wrenches, you guys helped with a lot of technical support

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

The end is near.  After making it through the financial burden of the holidays and some mechanical issues with my daily driver, I ordered the final major pieces for the build last night.  A new radiator from CARS and a MSD ready to run distributor.  Once they arrive I can get the remaining hoses, wires and a battery from a local store and put some gas in and we're ready to turn the key.  3.5 years after we started.

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Hi to the Alini family,

Really admire what you guys are doing yourselves, giving things a go, learning as you go on the project. Anyone can throw a fistful of dollars at a project but to really get your hands dirty is excellent. I was amazed at what you guys have tackled, especially paint and trim, the two hard ones, but it seems you have a blend of youth and experience led by a firm task master to keep you on track. Great work, keep that enthusiasm going!

Kind regards

Rodney

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UPS just mailed me that they are delivering a package from US Radiator tomorrow.  The distributor is supposed to be here in a few hours.  I need to get a battery, make some cables, install these two parts and the hoses and wires and put some gas in it.

 

I should be starting the car for the first time Sunday

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