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Aftermarket Chassis in a 65 Riviera


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  Hello all. Im the guy with the project Riv. No we did not weigh anything for before and after. Yes I started with a nice car because the end result is always better that way. I did not have the heart to modify a GS though. I don't plan on doing any autocross or racing, just driving it. I usually do Hot Rod Power Tour and also do Good-Guys tours. These tours are usually 1500-2000 miles. Having something with a modern drivetrain makes these tours alot more fun.  The engine is the same as I have in a Camaro and it makes over 900 hp and TQ on 93 octane. In the Camaro I get between 17-20 mpg with the ac on. The LS engines are so good it makes road trips much less stressfull. I used to always be watching gauges etc. Now they are a non issue. Yes a stock Riv will cruise just fine but won't perform how I want it to. My friend Mark Stielow is babysitting the project. If you google him you will see he is one of the top ride and handling engineers at GM. My plan is to keep the orig. white paint and black interior. I believe the orig drivetrain will go to a friend that wants to drag his Dads 63 Riv out of a junkyard and get it together to give his Dad a ride in it.

 I do appreciate stock condition cars also. Here is my 66 Bonneville.

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1 hour ago, CharleyL said:

  Hello all. Im the guy with the project Riv. No we did not weigh anything for before and after. Yes I started with a nice car because the end result is always better that way. I did not have the heart to modify a GS though. I don't plan on doing any autocross or racing, just driving it. I usually do Hot Rod Power Tour and also do Good-Guys tours. These tours are usually 1500-2000 miles. Having something with a modern drivetrain makes these tours alot more fun.  The engine is the same as I have in a Camaro and it makes over 900 hp and TQ on 93 octane. In the Camaro I get between 17-20 mpg with the ac on. The LS engines are so good it makes road trips much less stressfull. I used to always be watching gauges etc. Now they are a non issue. Yes a stock Riv will cruise just fine but won't perform how I want it to. My friend Mark Stielow is babysitting the project. If you google him you will see he is one of the top ride and handling engineers at GM. My plan is to keep the orig. white paint and black interior. I believe the orig drivetrain will go to a friend that wants to drag his Dads 63 Riv out of a junkyard and get it together to give his Dad a ride in it.

 I do appreciate stock condition cars also. Here is my 66 Bonneville.

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Love the Bonneville AND your Riv!. Sorta partial to white, lol. I am thinking of taking my stock Riv on parts of the Power Tour this year because I never have been before. The Bowling Green, Chattanooga, and Birmingham leg would be easy for me, since I live in NW Alabama. BTW, I have heard of Mark Stielow before, and if he is helping oversee your Riv project, I really don't think chassis issues will be a problem for you. Good luck with your build, and welcome to the Forum! Looking forward to more pics!

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                    If I were you I would definitely watch your gauges.......I'm in the car repair business(43 years) and we see LS engines blow

up at low mileage fairly  regularly, the most recent just last week. There are o-rings inside these engines that can fail and result in zero oil pressure. (Space Shuttle CHALLENGER)

The LS engine makes tremendous horsepower and runs great, but as far as cross country reliability, I'd have more faith in a nailhead. I had  a Chevy Silverado with an LS motor that I used to tow my car hauler and I sold it just because I didn't trust the engine not to leave

me stranded a thousand miles from home. I was inside the shop of my local Chevrolet dealer about six months ago and there was a row

of Silverados, Tahoes and Suburbans, all less than two years old with their engines out on the ground all torn apart.

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)
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X2 with seafoam65. I have over 300K on my '64 Riv. with one rebuild on the original engine @120K. I'm the original owner also. Being a mecanic my whole life does have it's advantages also. I've been on a couple power tours on the east coast doing well over 3.5K miles both ways. With 3.07 gears, depending on terrain, have gotten a best of 19.5MPG. With the 3,90 gears & cruising at 60 can get 15.5MPG. 3.07's run 14.9's  With 3.90's have run a best of 13.902@98MPH. This rebuild was done YEARS AGO BEFORE i KNEW ANYTHING ABOUT"NAILS". It's definitely low compression by cranking compression of between 135-145. Lets see your average LS do that!!!! Sure they have power, but the low end grunt is not there. As I tell EVERYONE Torque is what gets you going. HP is what keeps you going. The MOST FUN driving these cars is light-light which doesn't require 7K+ RPM's. It's your car, your time & your $$$ to do with as you see fit. GOOD LUCK IN YOUR ENDEAVORS. These cars new were kinda over engineered.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

 

 

Tom T.

 

 

 

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At 3500 rpm my engine makes 966 ft pounds of tourque. I think I have put over 20k miles on my latest Camaro with the same engine as the Riv. No overheating even on 100 degree days with the ac running. Probably another 20k Miles in other LS powered Camaros with no issues. 

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             Charley the point is, be sure to keep an eye on your oil pressure gauge if you aren't going to go with an idiot light! If these engines

lose oil pressure suddenly they can be repaired if the engine is immediately shut down, if not you just bought yourself a 17,000 dollar engine.

Your car is awesome....thanks for sharing the pics with us! 

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Guys, this is the thing that irk's me about most forums.  A bunch of guys complaining about another guys build because they don't like it or it's something they would or wouldn't do and isn't of the norm.  Charley has several and I repeat, several, cars and high end builds.  He only has top notch builders work on his cars and Mark Stielow is one of the top engineers at GM.  Mark had great input on the new Chevy LT engine in the new C7 Vette's.  He also, designed and tested the new 2016 Camaro.  Charley knows what he is doing.  Hell, I lost count of how many cars he has.  If you guys are real car enthusiasts...I 'm willing to bet many of though nice builds out there that you've seen are some of Charley's cars.   Anything from mild to all out twin turbo cars.  It's his car and he can drive it off of a cliff if he wants to.  Can we all just enjoy the great custom fabbing going on here and if not, fine.  In my opinion I can pretty much assume the designing going on here will be an improvement over 50 year old technology...that's just me.  If it's not, then that's fine too.  Relax ladies...it'll be alright.  I think tomorrow will come even though Charley cut the original floor out of this car.

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I didn't see anybody complaining.....we have praised the build numerous times......very nice car. He said he doesn't need to look at his gauges

and this just is not so. Just trying to help......a lady last week cashed the engine on her Denali because she wasn't paying attention to her gauges.

Of course if 17K is nothing to him, then by all means leave the gauges off the dash....the look will be a lot cleaner. I speak for everybody here in saying the car is an awesome car.

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Maybe not you Seafoam65 and I'm not here to get into a pissing contest and I hope others aren't.  But, there are several innuendo's about the car and this and that about the frame and how it won't work.  Roadster Shop has built several cars with their frames that have placed and performed well in Good Guys autocross and OUSCI events.  They build $500k and up cars and are well known in the protouring world.  I get it...it's a forum and guys can say what they want all.  The thing about technology is in the mid 60's the X-frame was probably (censored).  I'm pretty sure it wasn't built for todays roads and to handle a 900 hp engine or speeds on a freeway upwards of 80-90 miles an hour.  While it will still do, the car world is evolving just like everything else non-car related around us is.  That's all.  Talk to any protourer and bring up Mark Stielow's name and it's instant respect.  The guy knows what he's doing.  Trust me...Mark and Charley aren't building a car to be weak at the corner welds because they're not rounded and not have the weight of the car not properly supported as some were saying. Just for clarification....no $17k isn't nothing to Charley.  LOL!!  Honestly, Charley must be bored as this is a mild build for him.  He's built $50k motors.

Edited by MrEarl
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I know how to read gauges and do. The point I was making is the LS engines I have been using are so well done there has never been a issue. These are hand assembled custom engines. I made a living working on everything from pickups to big rigs to tomato harvesters. Trying to debate if a LS engine is as good as a nailhead would just give me a headache. I can’t please everyone.

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47 minutes ago, KongaMan said:

Your arm's probably getting tired from all that stroking. :D

It is what it is bro.  These are facts.  I figured you'd be one of the main ones to say something anyway.  That's just how we roll over at Lat-g.  You should join and see how the other part of the car world lives.  Might change your way of thinking.  Here are some images of my IRS chassis.  Let me know what you think...

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Edited by 214chevelle (see edit history)
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IMG_0427.thumb.jpg.260631209a2052c851539

 

Our family had a '66 Catalina coupe (blue).  My father installed skirts on it like yours and boy, they sure do look sleek (even with wheel covers in place of the 8-Lugs).  ;)

 

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4 hours ago, CharleyL said:

I know how to read gauges and do. The point I was making is the LS engines I have been using are so well done there has never been a issue. These are hand assembled custom engines. I made a living working on everything from pickups to big rigs to tomato harvesters. Trying to debate if a LS engine is as good as a nailhead would just give me a headache. I can’t please everyone.

 

I tried to tell them $50k Charley.  Maybe they didn't believe me.  Hahahaha!!  Anyone ever heard of Brian Thomson engines guys?  If so, y'all will get the idea then.  Not your out of the crate, assembled by a kid fresh out of mechanic school stuff.

Edited by 214chevelle (see edit history)
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More Pictures!

 

I love how I can see the bits of the stock core support still sticking around in there like those holes to access the bolts below underneath the factory battery tray that's gone in this setup.

 

Check out this thread about where the stock stuff is likely to head if the weather will give him a break: http://lateral-g.net/forums/showthread.php?t=56232

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Looks like it's brake booster time for Charley.  I've asked for some more info on how he got the pushrod to play nice with the stock pedal assembly.  On mine I had to cut the pushrod down and it was finicky to get to work right till I spaced the booster out even farther and knocked the stock pin out of the pedal for a smaller bolt to use a heim joint to keep it from binding.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Okay ,,,, that original headlight motor looks sooooo out of place amongst all that incredible new steel  and aluminum fabrication !!!! It would be awesome to see some of the ingenuity that’s been used on this build so far thrown into a new design for that headlight motor !!!!   ???  love the build !!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

More Pictures, interior is starting to come together.

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Redoing the stock shifter bracket to work with the new 4L80E transmission detents.  Really interesting to see how that part plays out.

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On ‎4‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 1:05 PM, CharleyL said:

Matt made a simple jig for measuring seat travel. Seat frame edge trimmed to give 3/8" clearance to exhaust tunnel

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Rear bumper is back on

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Forget the Riv, the scope of this build is Fantastic! I'd like to be a fly on the wall as problems arise...these guys obviously don't mickey mouse, closer to tool and die making.

Custom fabricating a 60's Riv or any other full size BOP for that matter? Count me in!

It's a lot more invigorating than cleaning A/C ducts with a Q-Tip... Steve

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Body is starting to come together it looks like.  Wish I could work this fast but then again I get paid to do something else and then spend my money on the parts to do this to my own car.

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Interior looks like it's going to be nye on undetectable from stock

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Bumper Bracket mods to dodge some of the underhood trickery

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Really interested what wheels he goes with to match the C5/6 suspension offsets and but continue the stock wrapper look.  I'm hoping for

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Rushforth Salt Shaker1.jpg

Edited by CTX-SLPR (see edit history)
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Can you send me a few seeds off the money trees you guys have growing around your place ???? 

 Incredible job on that car !!!

Who put together the gauges , those are sweet looking !!????

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