gnatsum

Mechanic near me and first time advice

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Hi everybody,

I have just joined this forum as I purchased a 1972 Buick Riviera yesterday. It is my first American car after years of looking and I am super excited.

 

As the car was bought at auction and represents a huge investment for me, I am being cautious. I have filled it with fuel, driven it about 30 miles from the auction to home and that's all. I have yet to properly look through the documentation but I believe the car has been stored for a number of years and driven little.

 

I am in Aldershot in the UK:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Aldershot/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x48742b4d2f9cb7cd:0x19ae01604385ba3c?sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj1gYfGgbXjAhXDSBUIHbT6C2gQ8gEwGnoECA0QBA

 

I am just wondering if anybody happens to know of a good mechanic nearby that I could have inspect the car.

 

I am also looking for advice as a new purchaser in the situation described above. I am thinking:

Find a reputable, good, nearby workshop that has experience with American cars (preferably Buick Rivieras!)

Get them to inspect and report on their findings, drawing up a list of priorities.

Get all fluids and filters changed.

 

Am I going about this in the right way? Any advice is much appreciated!

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The 455 Buick and TH 400 Transmission, pretty bullet proof and easy to work on . Good luck with your new boat tail those years are some of my favorites !

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Good luck with your car. You are probably better of learning as much as possible and doing most of the work on your car than to trust someone else as not that many knows how to take care of them. If you haven’t got any repair manuals you need to invest in them. Here is one company that you could get them from:

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/buick,1972,riviera,7.5l+455cid+v8,1021464,literature

 

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Find some "American" cars show to go to and talk to the guy's there about who they think is good.  Get it  inspected as you suggest and drive it.  Learn all you can about it. Survey your own mechanical skills to ascertain what you can do yourself and what you need to leave to the professionals. It's not going to be an overnight process so be patient. 

 

I know there are a bunch of Riviea owners in Denmark.  Maybe one of them can tell you of someone who can help.  I'd bet that someone in your neighborhood will know of someone.  

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1 hour ago, RivNut said:

Find some "American" cars show to go to and talk to the guy's there about who they think is good.  Get it  inspected as you suggest and drive it.  Learn all you can about it. Survey your own mechanical skills to ascertain what you can do yourself and what you need to leave to the professionals. It's not going to be an overnight process so be patient.

 

I follow a fellow on WordPress who owns a 1966 Ford Mustang in the UK. He goes to a ton of shows and I see a lot of American cars in his pictures. Maybe that can give you some ideas.

 

https://onemanandhismustang.com/

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15 hours ago, gnatsum said:

Hi everybody,

I have just joined this forum as I purchased a 1972 Buick Riviera yesterday. It is my first American car after years of looking and I am super excited.

 

As the car was bought at auction and represents a huge investment for me, I am being cautious. I have filled it with fuel, driven it about 30 miles from the auction to home and that's all. I have yet to properly look through the documentation but I believe the car has been stored for a number of years and driven little.

 

I am in Aldershot in the UK:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Aldershot/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x48742b4d2f9cb7cd:0x19ae01604385ba3c?sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj1gYfGgbXjAhXDSBUIHbT6C2gQ8gEwGnoECA0QBA

 

I am just wondering if anybody happens to know of a good mechanic nearby that I could have inspect the car.

 

I am also looking for advice as a new purchaser in the situation described above. I am thinking:

Find a reputable, good, nearby workshop that has experience with American cars (preferably Buick Rivieras!)

Get them to inspect and report on their findings, drawing up a list of priorities.

Get all fluids and filters changed.

 

Am I going about this in the right way? Any advice is much appreciated!

Hi...I’m a fellow Brit who has a 65 Riviera and unlike our American friends we are not spoiled for choice over here for ‘mechanics’!

 

My 65 came over as a non runner with no brakes.

 

ive had a few American cars in the past and here’s my advice ..and is only an opinion...

 

DIY - I am/was a relative novice as well and the best way to learn (for me that was a something I wanted to do this time around) is withthe help of manual/you tube/this forum/owners club.

 

ive found the problem - maybe that’s a wrong word - with uk mechanics is that they are jack of all trades and not a master of all when it comes to the wide variety of American cars. Rivieras, and no doubt other cars, have their own patticular quirks - the model specific knowledge you’ll build up about yr particular car will soon pass theirs ...Plus there’s the financial side - if you pay someone even to do relatively routine job like servicing etc you’ll soon starting spending money which will build up as these cars o matter how good they are will regularly need little things sorted/improved.

 

so assuming yr car doesn’t develop major issues ( in my case that includes internal engine /transmission issues) I recommend that you get stuck in yourself ...I’ve found it very satisfying especially as the 65 is up and running with complete new brake, ignition system and similar things.

 

BTW I went to the Rally of the Giants show yesterday and spoke to four Riv owners of various years and amazingly none was a member of the ROA - riviera owners association which is closely 

linked to this forum - if you haven’t joined I recommend joining, indeed insist on it, as they have a great magazine and contacts. Mags going back 30 years can also be accessed on line when you join.

 

feel free to message me directly and I’ll send you my contact details if you’d like any other pearls of wisdom!

 

when I start talking I can’t stop

 

cheers

 

kev

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, moran75 said:

feel free to message me directly and I’ll send you my contact details if you’d like any other pearls of wisdom!

Kev,

 

This is why I love the ROA, Members helping members (and potential members)!

We may be persnickety about originality vs custom work, but we are there for each other, in one capacity or another!

@gnatsum I second Kev's recommendation to join the ROA. It's a little more expensive for international members to join but it puts a wealth of Riviera knowledge at your fingertips. Good luck with your new car.

Edited by NC1968Riviera (see edit history)

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Welcome to the Riv world.

Regarding your changing of the fluids and filters:

For filters I recommend WIX products: http://www.wixfilters.com/Lookup/Applications.aspx?Section=1.

I have no problems to get them in Poland, so I believe the same will be in UK.

For oil I am using MillersOils (UK product by the way ....) - they have CLASSIC section for oil. I am using http://www.millersoils.co.uk/products/0/678

Have fun 🙂

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Regarding oils.  It probably doesnt matter which brand you buy as long as the Phosphorous and Zinc levels are at a minimum of 1,000 parts per million.  If you can't find that on the container, don't buy it.  That and you need to make sure it's applicable to flat tappet motors.  Do your own research and figure it ot for yourself. Just because your buddy likes Brand X doesn't mean it's doing its job.  He's not a fluids engineer and has no way of measuring wear. Maybe his car runs fine and doesn't burn any oil but he can't measure wear.

 

I myself use Mobil 1 fully synthetic 15W-50.  It has 1200 and 1300 ppm respectively.  DO NOT use additives to increase the zinc and phosphorous levels.  Additives mess up the original chemistry of the oil.  Just use the right oil in the first place.

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Hey everybody!

Massive apologies for not replying to this thread, I had my notifications off like a noob!!

 

Your information is great, even now. Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply.

 

In the end I took my Riv to Namco, a garage just down the road from me that only do American cars. The guys down there have been great and we have been getting through some work. I have begun documenting it on my YouTube channel if you want to check it out:

V8Adam

 

At the moment I am tackling the fuel sender and valve cover gasket. The fuel sender I am going to put back to Namco. I looked into doing the job myself but I have hit limitations mainly around supporting he tank when lowering. I would rather pay them than risk snapping the filler neck.

 

I am going to do the valve cover gaskets though as I believe I can achieve that. It also won't matter if the job overruns as i can just close down the hood and put the cover over her.

 

I would love to do all of this work myself, I actually enjoy working on her more than driving her. Unfortunately the reality is that I have a parking space that is just about as big as the Riv and my neighbours have to walk all around and in-between the space to get to theirs. I have no garage, no car port and I live in the UK so it rains all the time. The workshop manuals are certainly useful but they do assume some prior knowledge.

 

I have learned a lot of great things already and it is a real joy owning the Riv. Continuing to gain as much knowledge as I can from great guys like you.

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Consider a high quality waterproof car cover for your car. I buy mine from www.carcovers.com. I have purchased their Premium covers as I too don't have a garage to store my Riviera. 

I am sure others have other vendors to recommend. 

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1 hour ago, NC1968Riviera said:

Consider a high quality waterproof car cover for your car. I buy mine from www.carcovers.com. I have purchased their Premium covers as I too don't have a garage to store my Riviera. 

I am sure others have other vendors to recommend. 

Thanks for the link. I have actually got 2 car covers from this place in the UK - http://www.cover-systems.co.uk/. I looked at carcovers.com but the shipping and import duty were a killer.

 

The covers are good material and do an excellent job at keeping the car dry. My only criticism is they are a bit too big for the Riv (semi custom fit) but with the straps the fit is good. I will be storing it professionally for the winter.

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On 7/14/2019 at 2:18 PM, gnatsum said:

Hi everybody,

I have just joined this forum as I purchased a 1972 Buick Riviera yesterday. It is my first American car after years of looking and I am super excited.

 

As the car was bought at auction and represents a huge investment for me, I am being cautious. I have filled it with fuel, driven it about 30 miles from the auction to home and that's all. I have yet to properly look through the documentation but I believe the car has been stored for a number of years and driven little.

 

I am in Aldershot in the UK:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Aldershot/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x48742b4d2f9cb7cd:0x19ae01604385ba3c?sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj1gYfGgbXjAhXDSBUIHbT6C2gQ8gEwGnoECA0QBA

 

I am just wondering if anybody happens to know of a good mechanic nearby that I could have inspect the car.

 

I am also looking for advice as a new purchaser in the situation described above. I am thinking:

Find a reputable, good, nearby workshop that has experience with American cars (preferably Buick Rivieras!)

Get them to inspect and report on their findings, drawing up a list of priorities.

Get all fluids and filters changed.

 

Am I going about this in the right way? Any advice is much appreciated!

I live in the US. Auto mechanics have been known, the US, to take advantage of the initiated. Do your home work. Read the Service Manual. Protect yourself use only mechs with solid referrals 

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