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Prod1954

Just bought me a 1963 Riviera. School me

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My name is Paul and I'm out of the Dallas area. And struck deal with a guy in Houston for my new project. Previous owner started rust repair. So it's in pieces. Engine runs and tranny moves the car. Not sure how well. lol I'm new to the Rivi game. So. If there's anybody helpful in the Dallas area. PM me. Once I figure out how to post pics I'll do that. Time to get to work.

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

Hi Paul and Welcome to the forum. Congratulations on your purchase.

sounds like you are anxious to get to work but before you do take some time and fully assess all the needs of your project and whats involved in reaching the goal. Figure out what parts you need, where they can be found, and how much work it will be to get the job done and what it will cost. This will help you prioritize your work and make it easier to accomplish the goal.

Its not uncommon for a new Riviera owner to be disappointed in not having restoration books and one or two catalogs available that have most parts you need reproduction common to the mainstream classics. Instead they must become skilled at used part identification, searching, and patience and of course what things cost. while 64 Rivs seem very much the same, there are significant differences and some parts do not interchange.

ROA has a several member dealers for used and new parts as well as Technical Advisors for each year generation Riviera to assist its members.

Definitely at the top of the list of things to do first is purchase a 1963 Buick chassis service manual.

We would like to see pics of your car. Also - If you post pics of areas needing work, folks here can assist and get you advised and pointed in the right direction.

Here is a link that will help you post pics. http://forums.aaca.org/showthread.php?t=375751&p=1317908#post1317908

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Paul,

As Jason just stated, welcome to the forum. I have both a '63 and a '64. My advice would be to get the car running the best that you can and then re-evaluate your situation. See what the car needs, make a list and see what parts you'll need. Your particular car is the last year for Buick's Dynaflow transmission. It's basically a single speed torque multiplication unit that will take you from 0 to 120+ without ever shifting gears. The L on the trans, according to the chassis manual, is for "sand and mud." Put it in drive and as Jim Cannon, our resident '63 expert, says, "Love that Dyanflow hum." You'll probably find that the temperature control cable doesn't work. It's not the cable; the water control valve has corroded and someone has tried to force it open using the lever. The lever is pot metal and it's what has broken. Beware of guys on eBay selling '1963 - 1965 Riviera" parts and claim that they're interchangeable. Even something as simple as the horseshoe moldings on the side are different. On the '64 the tabs are in different locations. The dash is different than the '64. Headlight and wiper switches on the '63 are on the console, they're on the dash in '64. You'll notice that neither the word Riviera nor the R symbol is used on the '63 except for the glove box, door panel, and the front fenders. The '63 used the word BUICK across the trunk, and used the Buick tri-shield for the wheel cover and hood emblem. In '64, Riviera was on the trunk, and the Riviera R was used on the hood emblem, door panels, wheel covers, steering wheel etc.

Once you get things sorted out and running, decide what you're going to do. Totally restored to original or tweaked to your own tastes? Do you want a 400 point BCA style restoration or do you want a driver? Get back on this forum and find out what is reproduced - nothing in the way of body parts :( , except for floor pans and trunk pans, and what you'll have to find used. Clark's Corvair has really nice reproduction upholstery sets. CARS and Classic Buicks have lots of hard parts and some reproduction emblems. OPGI has the same parts but IHMO they're way over priced and if you're familiar with the cars, some of their claims as to what fits what models is wrong. The Riviera Owner's Association has its own website and for members there's a good 'tech tips' section. You can find out how to make new heater control levers.

Consider joining the ROA, there's a link in my signature. Their magazine, the Riview is chocked full of great advice, you can see pictures of cars that others have restored / modified / customized, and there's a great section of classified ads for goods and services. My only other advice at this time is to find either a used or repo Buick Chassis Manual for 1963.

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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Thanks for the replies and info. All that was soaked up like a sponge. I gotta figure out a game plan. For sure. Time to thrash

She runs and drives. Well, she fired right up and got on and off the trailer by herself. The previous owner pulled all the trim off and kept everything. And labeled each piece with most of the screws. Interior is decent except for one rear seat back. I'm excited they look so cool just parked. Almost like they are leaning forward and ready to go.

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Thanks for the picture. It looks as if a previous owner had put a '65 front clip on the car. Width grill and head lights in the front fender. If your interior is original, Clarks can provide you with one section of one seat. http://www.corvair.com/user-cgi/catalog.cgi?show_page=R-8.

Not wanting to alarm you but here are a couple of typical places to check for rust: 1) The base of the rear wheel wells - under this area is a cup that is the body mount. It will fill with dirt and moisture and work its way into the trunk floor. 2) The bottom corners of the rear window channel - the design traps water and after a while it rusts out and allows water to get into the trunk. 3) the floor pans, especially under the seat hold down bracket. The bracket is over the floor pan brace, and the brace gets packed with gunk. The trunk pan and the floor pans are reproduced; the window channel is not nor are the body mount cups. If you do a search on this website, you will find a write up with pictures that shows how a cup for a Chevelle was used to replace the Riviera cup.

Have fun and keep us posted.

Ed

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Hey Paul,

I'm almost a year into my '63 restoration. I still have a ton to do, but I'm in the Plano area if you need to see a complete car to help put yours back together.

-Adrian-

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Good luck man! Keep us posted. I'm down in San Antonio, but there are tons of people willing to help in Texas

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Ed, there are plenty of body parts reproduced. Unfortunately it is by hand and i doubt the guys who have fabbed them have given thought to doing it again. I know all the parts suppliers who used to make them decided there is no profit in doing so any more. I'm hoping it will come back a bit, but i am not holding my breath. A good metalworker would be worth his weight in gold on these early Rivieras.

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how do you write forums and congrats i just got a 64 bad tranny but great body and engine

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Vitsop,

Check your PM's, I replied to yours.

Ed

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