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New Riviera Owner


zipdang
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Hello all,

 

I started a thread in the General Discussion section when I first found out about this 1971 Riviera and was going to look at it. The good folks in that thread were very gracious and suggested I start a thread here. So, if you would like, the beginning of the story is in the General Discussion section ("Going to look at 1971 Riviera) and I'll continue here. I'm sure I'll have many questions as I get this roadworthy again. I'll start with my last posting from the previous thread:

 

It's home! And I surprised my wife by getting it in the garage without taking her spot! After unloading, I started it just enough to back it into place in the garage. Noise out the back and anti-freeze out the front, but it started immediately and ran smoothly for the couple of minutes I ran it. I won't be doing much until the weather warms aside from getting the radiator looked at and researching exhaust. Oh - and brakes, and tires and belts ....

 

Thank you all for contributing to the fun. I will start a posting down in the Riviera section as suggested. Now come summer, I'll have to decide what to work on. I'm currently doing a nut-and-bolt restoration (my first) on a 1959 Fiat Granluce. Sitting next to that is a 1967 Fiat 500 Giardiniera I picked up just to have fun with. FYI, other cars I've owned inluded a 1950 DeSoto, 1951 DeSoto, 1956 Olds Rocket 88 (great car to have in high school), 1970 LeSabre, 1960 LeSabre, 1969 Toyota Land Cruiser, 1950 Chrysler, and a 1935 Hupmobile 518D.

 

Here are some pictures:

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Welcome to the Forum. That car looks like it will clean up real nice. Glad you got it home. Quite a contrast with the land yacht Riv and Fiats! Thanks for posting pics and look forward to the day you can drive it. Spring isn't far away.

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Welcome to the Forum. That car looks like it will clean up real nice. Glad you got it home. Quite a contrast with the land yacht Riv and Fiats! Thanks for posting pics and look forward to the day you can drive it. Spring isn't far away.

 

It is quite the contrast. When I first opened the hood of the Riviera, I thought it was either stuck or the hinges were bad. Turns out it is just heavy! It has been a while since I worked on a big car and I'm sure you know that pushing it around the garage was a much bigger task than that Fiat 500.

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Just to let your know even though I'm sure you will get to it, I was able to clean the "yellowing" on the dash bezels with Tuff Stuff. I'm sure most any cleaners will work, I just thought I would let you know they will clean-up without too much effort.

 

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Just to let your know even though I'm sure you will get to it, I was able to clean the "yellowing" on the dash bezels with Tuff Stuff. I'm sure most any cleaners will work, I just thought I would let you know they will clean-up without too much effort.

Thanks. I was wondering what to use on those. If in doubt, I generally start with the mildest thing possible (sometimes just water) and proceed from there. Looking forward to warmer weather to start playing.

 

Is the exhaust on this car something that will need a custom shop or can the parts be purchased "off the shelf" for my installation?

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Is the exhaust on this car something that will need a custom shop or can the parts be purchased "off the shelf" for my installation?

Either way. You can buy a mail order system from a quality supplier like Waldron. http://www.waldronexhaust.com/and there are others but quality and fit may be spotty/unpredictable. Or if you have a competent local custom shop they can do it. You won't find exhaust system parts at a local auto parts store.

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Either way. You can buy a mail order system from a quality supplier like Waldron. http://www.waldronexhaust.com/and there are others but quality and fit may be spotty/unpredictable. Or if you have a competent local custom shop they can do it. You won't find exhaust system parts at a local auto parts store.

Thanks for the response. I wasn't going to work on the new project until warm weather, but it seems I may not be able to wait! Have others had good results with Waldron? I don't have the ability to alter anything to fit, so it would have to be darn near perfect.

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I've never personally bought a Waldron system but from many reports I have seen they are the best supplier as far as premade exhaust systems. There is always a level of finesse and patience needed to install a complete dual exhaust system on a Riv so even with correctly bent pipes it can be challenging depending on ones skill level. Typically the exhaust hangers will need some work and those do not come with the system. If you have a competent exhaust shop nearby you might want to get a quote from them for comparison. By the time you do mail order with shipping cost you may be close to a shops cost.

The reason I always install mail order systems is because I just don't like anyone else working on my car but that's a personal choice.

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Is the exhaust on this car something that will need a custom shop or can the parts be purchased "off the shelf" for my installation?

For my '72 GS I used a supplier that is here in NC, quite a bit less than Waldron's, and I didn't get stainless because it isn't something I need. I found they have good and bad reviews on several classic car forums and for me on the '72 it fit pretty well. I had to trim the resonator sub pipes some, and one of the axle pipes was bent a little bit off, but overall I have been satisfied with it. I also bought a system for one of my '65s but I haven't installed it yet so I can't say how that one fits, it looks OK but for my '65 GS I would more than likely go with the Waldron's system.

 

PM me if your are interested and I'll send you their name. 

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Thanks all for opinions on the exhaust. I've never installed an exhaust system of this complexity (although I'm always game for a new challenge), so I think I will find a shop in the Columbus, Ohio area and get a quote. Anyone familiar with a shop in the central Ohio area? How about a radiator shop, also.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, the weather is improving here in Ohio and I've been busy in the garage with my newest toy. The guys at the parts store are getting to know me - radiator, hoses, belts, calipers, rotors, wheel cylinders, shoes, pads, master cylinder, and on and on. Tires coming tomorrow. Perhaps tomorrow I'll pull the exhaust and begin removing the rusty brakes lines. Having a ball. Goal is to have it on the road by Memorial Day. 

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To the brake experts among you:

I'm replacing all the brake components on my 71 Riviera which has been sitting for a long while. This includes calipers, master cylinder, wheel cylinders, pads, rotors, steel lines, hoses,drums turned, etc. Should I also replace the combination valve that runs along the frame rail? It's quite dirty/rusty and all the lines connecting to it were extremely hard to remove. If so, where best to find one? Local shops don't list it. Thanks in advance for your help.

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  • 2 months later...

Should anyone be intersted - I'm on the road with my Riviera after completing a number of projects as listed earlier. It has been quite a head turner! The photo is myself driving with my brother on board participating in the Radnor, Ohio Memorial Day parade. It was a beautiful day (albeit a solemn one also) and folks on the route were wonderful! I'm looking forward to puttering around fixing the few odds and ends that need to be done (clock, fuel gauge, windshield washers, etc.).

 

 

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Thanks Seafoam65 and JZRIV! It's going up on a lift next week to determine where the transmission fluid leak (not terrible) is coming from and also getting a couple of rear wheel bearings. Fixed the windshield washers today but had to adjust them as they did a great job of washing the rear deck lid! Any pointers on a non-working clock?

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  • 2 weeks later...

ZIPDANG!!! What a find! You should hang on to that baby (like you should have hung on to that LandCruiser.) Even after all the other crap I've been through, one of my saddest experiences will always be the day I sold my '73 in a moment of weakness.  Welcome to the club.

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Rivnik, thanks for the welcome. I try to remain philosophical about cars I should have kept and try to remember that selling them was the thing to do at the moment. It also allowed me to move on to a new toy/challenge!

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1 hour ago, zipdang said:

Rivnik, thanks for the welcome. I try to remain philosophical about cars I should have kept and try to remember that selling them was the thing to do at the moment. It also allowed me to move on to a new toy/challenge!

You are supposed to sell them?

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