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I fix power seats and windows all the time.....that's what I do for a living, but I don't want to spend my leisure time tearing

my Riviera apart jacking with unreliable power windows and seats that are 54 years old.

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Key phrase: "54 years old".  There's not much on any car that doesn't need a good going over after half a century.  Fix them once, fix them right, they'll last another 54 years.  Key phrase there: "fix them right".

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On 2/3/2019 at 4:05 PM, TexRiv_63 said:

I agree with Kongaman's overall comments but understand the sentimental value thing. To add all these options your best bet will be to buy a completely loaded parts car and transfer things, just get ready for lots of grief getting pieces rebuilt or refinished. I had a 63 with factory air and it is one of the most complicated and weirdly designed systems around, IMO you would be better off using and aftermarket system such as Vintage Air which is exactly what I did.

 

If you seriously go ahead you should move this discussion to the Buick ROA forum further down, many experts there with many opinions.

TexRiv_63, this is my 3rd season trying to get the air straight in my 63. Ive had plenty of lessons on restoring the AC system. I finally just bought all the components new and gave up on the STV and will install the STV eliminator kit. The reason I bought all new was I could not find anyone in my area that would work on vintage AC. My system was contaminated over and over and the STV's were failing so I said for a few more dollars I'll get everything new and hopefully the AC will work. Over the past two years I've read manuals, talked to people on the forum off the forum and got a lot of experience trying to fix it myself. So, I bought gauges, vacuum testers, vacuum pump, dry nitrogen & gauges, vacuum switches, new vacuum hoses, new vacuum actuators. Yeah, if I didn't get measurable satisfaction from the learning process I would have given up a long time ago. The number of dollars spent trying to get the AC to work? I don't want to look up the receipts. Oh, I got the hoses rebuilt with triple wall specifications. Were I the person wanting to fix up GrandDads car I would welcome sage advice. If my pockets were deep and my arms were long I"d find a mobile Specialty shop in Florida, Texas where people have shops with experience doing complete aftermarket retrofits.

Turbinator

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Many worthwhile lessons working on my 63 Riviera. Stuff like basic electric circuit testing, making good electrical connections, understanding the value of a good ground. Learning to adjust the turn signal switch on the steering column was a lot of fun. Putting on new rubber bushings for the steering front and back, new shocks, newly rebuilt steering box, getting the speedo to work AND provide the correct speed on the speedometer. Right now I'm reinstalling my complete AC system with new components. If you have a whole pile of money you could pay someone to restore the car but it wouldn't be fun.

Turbinator,

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On 2/13/2019 at 7:32 AM, JZRIV said:

 

More food for thought as you plan your projects

I have seen many 1st and 2nd generation Riviera owners automatically think they have to add disc brakes because the "drums at all 4 corners are weak". Its just what a lot of people do on their mainstream antique car right? This rationale comes from the majority of lower level models across most brands built in that time period. Yes the drum brake systems on those cars weren't that good but the big Buicks were an exception and had what many consider to be among the best engineered drum brake system ever put on a production car. We all know the benefits of disc brakes but how many people will drive their Riviera is such a way that it pushes the limits of the braking system to where it becomes a safety factor? Very few.

When people convert to discs, they say "major improvement"! But often that's is because the drum system was well worn and out of adjustment. They aren't comparing it to a drum system in top condition. Rebuilding a drum system having all drums turned/trued, properly installed high quality brake shoes and hardware, then properly adjusted will often make a significant difference in brake performance on these cars. The single reservoir master cylinder does increase safety risk should it fail vs the dual master that started in 1967. You can convert to a dual master on your 63 fairly easy if you want that extra margin of safety.

One of the first things on your list should be a total restoration of the brake system starting with the master cylinder, wheel cylinders, rubber flex hoses, inspect the steel lines for corrosion, and have the drums trued and replace brake shoes/hardware as needed. If you don't have one already, buy a 63 Chassis service manual. It will be your best friend.

Jason, sound advice. I could not have said it any better. I stayed with the drum brakes did exactly as you suggested. my car stops real good.

Turbinator

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