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63 riviera questions that come to mind


Guest Steeleco

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Guest Steeleco

Here are some questions re: 63 riv.

1. Regular or High test fuel?

2. If the car was born with blue vinyl interior should the dashboard be dark blue or black?

3. Has anyone ever installed an "overdrive" as a transmission adder? I saw something about them on the net.

Thanks and happy hollidays!

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The 1963 Riviera had the 401 engine and four barrel carburetor and is a high compression engine which requires high octane/93 octane fuel. Many people have tried to run them on the lesser octane and have caused a lot of damage with burned valves etc. Use the 93 Octane fuel and enjoy the ride.

I am not sure on the 1963 Riv but I know the 1965 Riv with the light blue interior had a dark blue dash pad.

Gear Vendors is just one of the manufacturers that make overdrive and underdrive units that can be bolted on the back of your transmission and they work very well. The problem that you could run into with the Riviera is the "X" frame of the car. If I remember correctly you unbolt the tail shaft from the transmission and bolt on the overdrive unit. I don't know if there is enough room regarding the "X" frame and secondly will those overdrive units bolt on to the Dynaflow transmission? Here's hoping one of our more technical guru's will jump in here with their expertise. I have thought many times about swapping the two speed trans in the 66 Skylark for a 200 4R transmission. People who have done this change have been very pleased with the results and it should cost a lot less cost than adding an overdrive unit.

Best of luck!

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Adapters are available to mount nailheads to Chevy tranmissions. The easier ones to do are the 700-R4 and the 200-4R, both work without need of a computer to control them. The 2004R is the better choice because of size. What you need to be aware of is that the o/d units will really change your final drive ratio. If you have the normal 3.07 rear gears, and you multiply it by the .67 overdrive, you come up with a 2.05 final drive. That may run the engine too slowly for any efficiency.

I wrote and article for the Riview a couple of years ago covering this. If you look back you can probably find it. Sorry, I don't know in which issues it was published. It goes into lots of details about the swap and other things to keep in mind when doing one.

Ed

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OK Steelco: This I'm pretty sure of......

Dark blue custom has a dark blue dash. I have one that's unmolested (and believe me lots of people have put their hands on these cars).

I drove my 65 Riv (2 4z too) around for years on the cheapest gas money could buy and never had a problem.

If you are looking for a challenge, by all means go for the trans swap or GV-OD unit. By the time you add up the cost and labor (your own free) you could easily rebuild your Dynaflow and do significant

other improvements.

Mitch

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Ed, Any thoughts about wheather a transmission swap would greatly improve fuel economy. Just currious.

The only thing I'm sure of is that the engine would be turning about 2/3 of the rpms with the overdrive. At the ROA meet in Eureka Springs, AR in 2005 one ROA member drove his 1st generation Riviera from N or S Carolina to Northernn Arkansas and said that he was getting between 20 and 22 mpgs. He had the 700R4 transmission. His only other comment was that it was a tight fit to get the 700R4 into the X frame.

When I originally was contemplating the swap, it was as much for performance as for mpg's. I have a 3.91 gear set for the 1st generation 'pumpkin' and with that rear end and the 2.74 first gear in the 200R4, I was hoping to have a really quick car that might also get some decent mpg's 67% of 3.91 would give me a road gear of 2.62. B&M makes an inline unit that limits the lock up to o/d and lets you set the mph at which the o/d works. Around town you'd have a neat street machine and on the highway you'd only be turning about 2100 rpm's at 70 mph.

The bigger problem for most guys is finding one of those 3.91 units. The only other one I know of is a posi owned by Tom T. in Connecticutt.

Ed

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The point that Bleach is making is a very good one. Digest it for a while.

As I said, I wanted to use the o/d trans so I could use the 3.91 rear end. The o/d was onyl being considered to compensate for the higher numerical gear ratio and increased engine rpms. The o/d would save on wear and tear.

If you figure that the adapter is going to cost in the neighborhood of $500 - 600, the transmission plus upgrades so it will handle 445 lb. ft. of torque is probably going to run somewhere in the neighborhood of another $1500. The cost to have the driveshaft rebuilt $???. Then you have to figure out how to get it to shift, neutral safety switches, Throttle Valve cable, and carb mods to mount it. Let's say you could conservatively do it for $2400 (that's really conservative, too.) For $2400 you could buy 685 gallons of gas @ $3.50 / gallon (it's about $3.50 for 93 octane here now). At 15 miles per gallon, 685 gallons will get you 10,275 miles down the road. How long will it take you to put that many miles on your car? Is it worth it? That's up to you.

Ed

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