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65 Riviera


lowered65
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Thanks guys, I am currently replacing the starter and battery. Next I want to upgrade the distributor and carburetor. Once I get her back running I'll do a photo shoot and get some better pics. My wife and I are totally in love with this car (Odelle) so cant wait to get her back on the road and cruising. Don't know a whole ton about the history of the car as the original owner has passed away, I do know he was an old moonshiner from Blue Ridge Ga(love that tid bit). Of course the clam shells aren't operating, I plan on just opening them manually for now just so I can drive it at night. Wheels will also need to be upgraded eventually, but for now they will work.

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Nice car. Looks like it's already had some things redone to it that will save you both time and money and the engine already has some pizzazz added to it. I like the wheels, that style is very popular for this generation Riviera.

It's a whole lot easier to move ahead and do the things you want when you can drive the car as you do them. Just curious, why do you want to change the carburetor? One other thing you might want to think about is converting your master cylinder to a dual reservoir system; it's a great safety improvement. There's an article in the Tech Tips section of the ROA's website on how to do it with OEM parts from a later model Riviera. There's a link to the ROA website in my signature. Welcome to the forum; keep us posted, and ask for help when needed.

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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Nice car. Looks like it's already had some things redone to it that will save you both time and money and the engine already has some pizzazz added to it. I like the wheels, that style is very popular for this generation Riviera.

It's a whole lot easier to move ahead and do the things you want when you can drive the car as you do them. Just curious, why do you want to change the carburetor? One other thing you might want to think about is converting your master cylinder to a dual reservoir system; it's a great safety improvement. There's an article in the Tech Tips section of the ROA's website on how to do it with OEM parts from a later model Riviera. There's a link to the ROA website in my signature. Welcome to the forum; keep us posted, and ask for help when needed.

Ed

Ed, I was told it was a 15 year old resto, its not perfect but it also doesnt need a whole lot. The engine has an edelbrock carb currently, also seems like its been a while since its been cleaned, not 100% on replacing it but Ive been told I could do better. A/C will be something I need to add hopefully before next summer.Thanks for the info!

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If you can, find a '65 or '66 Buick Carter AFB carburetor (#4453) to replace the Edelbrock. The stock AFB is a 625 CFM unit, that's plenty big for your engine. The '65 carb will have the correct linkage for the kick down and the variable pitch torque converter (more about that later when you need it.) Chances are that currently you're not able to use the kick down or the variable pitch. You can tell if the previous owner has some electrical switch jury rigged to the carburetor and the transmission. Remove your breather and post a picture of the current carb and linkage. Someone will be able to tell you what you have and/or what you're missing. Chances are that some of the OEM stuff may have been discarded when the carbs were switched.

The OEM a/c units work well IF they were properly maintained and haven't been messed with. If you're trying to add air and you're not concerned with originality, there are better options in the aftermarket - Vintage Air, Old Air Products, Classic Air to name a few. Installing an OEM system would be a real PITA unless you found a complete donor car from which to remove EVERYTHING.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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They're good performance carb, but they have gaskets below the fuel level. After you've been into your car for a while, you'll find out that the transmission has a variable pitch torque converter. It does two things. 1) It "switches" to a higher stall speed when you engage the passing gear. 2) It "switches" to the high stall when the brakes are applied; this keeps the car from creeping when you're at a stop. The only way to control this function is with the carburetor linkage and a switch that connected to the carb linkage. That's why I was saying to find an original carb. Unless you're going to try to be competitive at the drag strip, there's no need for a monster carb. The other thing is that ALL aftermarket carbs as well as Holleys and Edelbrocks have a 5-1/8" opening at the top. The opening on the stock breather fits something like a 4-7/8" carb neck. You can't use a stock breather on an aftermarket carb unless you use and adapter.

If I were you, I'd getting running perfectly as a stock unit, then change one thing at a time as you see fit. If you change too many variables at one time and something doesn't work, you'll have a very hard time finding out which one is the culprit. The first thing you need to realize that that the only thing a SBC and an nailhead have in common is that they both have eight cylinders. If you think you're going to make the same mods to a nailhead that you make to a SBC, you need to do a bunch of research. Nailhead engines are designed to build torque; SBC's are designed to build HP. They equate, but you don't do the same to each engine to increase one or the other. A nailhead operates best in the max torque range of 2800 t0 3000 rpm's. That's where you get your power from this engine. It won't rev past 5K rpms because of the restrictive exhaust valves. The name nailhead came from looking at an exhaust valve. It looks like a 16 penny nail.

Find Russ Martin's website on nailheads and become knowledgeable about how they work. Google "russ martin grass valley California" and you'll find his website. Then start reading all of the tech info you can before making any changes. These are just words of experience, I'm not trying to sell OEM Buick Carbs and I don't make anything from Russ. Other good sources for parts and info are Tom Telesco in CT, and J&C parts in Towanda, NY.

Ed

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Probably not. The only reason I say this is that in '64 and after '68 there was no variable pitch in Buick's ST400 (a marketing name for the GM Turbo Hydro 400 aka TH400) and they didn't stall out. Probably due to a non stock carb on the engine and no dash pot to slow down the closing of the primaries. They snap shut and the idle circuits can't make up for the loss of air/fuel quickly enough to keep the engine running.

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ok so I went to replace the starter today with the starter that I ordered off of Summit and its totally different than the one I took off! The one I took off (NAPA Remanufactured) is much bigger and the bolts attach to the engine block parallel to the starter. The one I received from Summit has it attaching with vertical bolt holes....confused...all the Summit starters seem to be this setup even though they say it is for a 65 Rivi 401

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A couple of questions, please. Why did you go with the starter from Summit rather than going back to one from a local jobber like NAPA or one of the nailhead gurus who have parts? Is it because you wanted one of those mini high-torque starters? Or do you just like paying S&H? LOL.

Read Russ Martin's tech advice on nailheads (Google him) You'll learn that there were four different styles (bolt patterns) for nailheads. Have you checked the stamped (not cast) numbers to make sure that you have a '65 block in your '65? Lots of things could have happened in the past 49 years.

There are only a few really dependable sources from which to purchase nailhead parts via outside sources - the big "we have it all" houses don't make my list. It's easy to deal locally because exchanges are just down the road. If you're looking for a mini starter, contact Russ Martin, Tom Telesco, of perhaps Carmen Faso. All of these guys are reputable and know about the nailheads and all of their peculiarities. Google them. Russ is on the west coast, Tom and Carmen are on the east coast.

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actually had no preference on which starter to buy, just googled it and that one came up so I bought it. I didnt realize the difference until I went to take the old one off...woops..heres the one I took off, I contacted Mr. Telesco

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weird part is, if you cross reference the part # of the old Napa one it says its for a 425 7.0?

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Edited by lowered65 (see edit history)
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The only difference between a 401 and a 425 is the 1/8" bigger bore of the 425. Earlier 401's have different starters, oil pickups, water pumps and the like. I'm pretty sure that the 401/425 engines share everything from 64 / 66. The difference in the '63 is that they use a different crank for the Dynaflow, otherwise the '63 401/425 is the same as well.

Ed

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welcome! I like your '65

so did you drop the starter? here in Charlotte, you could just have the starter fixed.....$100 or less, jus sayin....

I have had a few rivi's fm the east coast & all have had a rochester 4 jet on them... OE carbs are pretty easy to come by & straight forward to rebuild

good luck & thanks for sharing pix

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welcome! I like your '65

so did you drop the starter? here in Charlotte, you could just have the starter fixed.....$100 or less, jus sayin....

I have had a few rivi's fm the east coast & all have had a rochester 4 jet on them... OE carbs are pretty easy to come by & straight forward to rebuild

good luck & thanks for sharing pix

thank you sir! not sure how that happened to the starter I broke down on the side of the road and couldnt get it restarted, had it towed and didnt notice this mess until I could get a closer look, I did figure I needed a new one anyways. I found the same one at Napa for $84 so Ill prob go that route for now

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Welcome. Your '65 looks like it is in good shape. Nothing wrong with Torq-Thrusts.

It pays to take the old parts for these ino NAPA when you are getting the new ones so you can match them up. I have had problems a couple times on older cars getting the right parts and not just NAPA - O'Reillys, Cost-Less, Baxter's too. If it's not a Chevy it seems to be a gamble on wheter you will get the correct part.

Keep us posted on how things are coming along and enjoy that car!

Mike

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The items that make a car a Gran Sport were options added at the factory. Ray Knott has written a really good article on how do ID a Gran Sport. It's on the ROA's website. Just as with any other option, there's nothing in the VIN to that tells you how a car is optioned. You'll have to call Hagerty's and ask them why.

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A GS would be valued higher for insurance replacement. Isn't that an agreed value policy? I have mine through Chubb and they took the VIN but the value was a number that we agreed on. Also, as I am improving the car and it's value goes up, I let them know and they make adjustments on their side.

Other than that, check out the ID article just to see what might be under there...

Mike

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Hagerty will be an agreed value policy. If your car isn't 100% factory stock you have to provide a detailed list of each change and at least 10 pictures of the car. More if needed. Worked mine up at one of the Goodguys shows. One of the few places that will insure a custom car. Good experience for me so far.

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Yes Hagertys is an agreed value insurance, after reading the article pretty certain it is not a GS, I'll have to find out why they put it on policy, although it really doesn't matter. I set the value a little higher knowing that i would be doing immediate improvements. I've got a new Jamco 3" lowering kit on its way and starter. Thanks so much for the help!

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  • 3 weeks later...

as previously stated I ordered a 3" lowering kit from Jamco, it arrived in a timely manor but today i went to install and found that the shocks were not correct for my car. The T-bars on the front shocks were way to small (think around 1/2") and on the rears the bolt holes were way to big the shock was slopping around. I called jamco and verified the part numbers on the shocks, they claimed they were the correct ones. Turns out they have the T-bars pressed in by an outside company ( next door to there shop) so maybe they pressed in the wrong T-bars:rolleyes:. They seem to want to work with me on it so I'm waiting to hear back from them. I'm going to insist they overnight me some new ones. That being said i know they get there coils from another company (they arrived separately drop shipped from manufacturer) does anyone have any info on who makes the shocks?

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I've heard Jamco has been difficult to deal with from some other Riviera owners on The Hamb. I was going to get the Jamco 3" drop kit set up. Jamco is local to me. So I don't think it would of been a big issue myself dealing with them if I got the wrong part. Since I could just drive to them and not have to ship anything.

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They haven't been TOO bad yet, besides sending me the wrong set of shocks and bump stops:rolleyes: To be honest i wasn't that impressed with the shocks anyways. I have arranged to return them and have them refund the money, I will let you know how it goes.

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I contacted Coil Spring Specialties about drop springs. They are about 100 miles from my home. They were more expensive than Jamco. Even though they supply Jamco in California. Go figure.

Makes you wonder doesn't it...the shocks are from a company called western chassis, they were blaming them for pressing the wrong tbars in my shocks, that doesn't explain why the bolt hole on the bottom of rear shock was wrong also

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I'm betting that Jamco is purchasing in large quantities for a discount. Hence, poor delivery sometimes because they need to order your springs when enough orders come through to qualify for the discount.

Find a counter guy at your local jobber who has been around a while. Ask him if you can look at the catalog from the shock manufacturer. That book will tell you every dimension for every shock. Then find a comparable shock that is shorter or has a shorter compressed height. Many moons ago, there was a listing in a Riview that said that shocks for a certain model Dodge pickup truck would swap into a Riviera for the front and gave a different listing for a comparable listing for the back. It's a matter of measuring and digging through a catalog to find what's available.

Ed

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