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Out Of Hibernation-Finally!


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The long winter hibernation is finally over. At last, a stretch of consistent warm weather here in central Wisconsin prompted me to get the Riviera out. Low 80's and sun after several days of rain. Always an exciting time of year to hear the rumble of an awakened Nailhead. Crank until the oil light goes out, pause, 2 pumps on the accelerator and ignition. I am always amazed at how easily this engine starts and smoothly it runs after a 6 month rest.  

 

You will notice the custom driver's seat I have installed. Extremely easy to install and did not cost much. My winter storage garage does not have enough room to do any real work so I had to pull the seats out before I stored it for the winter. When I pulled all of the seats out in the fall and took out the driver's rear quarter panel to replace the 2 chrome pieces I had no inkling that shoulder surgery was on the horizon. I am just 2 days out of the sling, so someone else will be reinstalling the seats and the rear quarter panel. 

 

One of the chores of getting the car out of hibernation is the clean up of the Dynaflow "burp". Made much easier with the drip pan a fellow forum member clued me in about several years ago. I will need to get those seats in so I can take it for a long drive and get the transmission fluid topped off. I can't wait. I envy all of you that are driving already.

 

Bill 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Bill,

Shoulder surgery doesn't sound great. Let's hope for a quick recovery.

 

I am sorry but your futuristic looking driver's seat did hit a memory:

I run into something similar in the early 70's before I got the Riviera I had in Sweden. I worked for a few years in the steel industry in Sandviken, Sweden and once gota ride with a college in his SAAB 92. He had a Chow Chow that he had left in the car whilst running an errand. Everything chewable in the driver seat was gone when he came back and as he didn't have that much money he was stuck driving on a small wooden stool for a while... The passenger seat had also issues so I sat in the rear seat pondering the small adventure that I had run into. Life was a little bit simpler in that time.

 

Let's hope you can get someone to help you get the "internals" installed soon again. A '63 Riviera is so fine tuned that driving it with one arm for a while shouldn't be an issue. Enjoy the coming summer.

 

BTW silver looks fantastic, that together with red and the black that I have internally in mine are the top 3 alternatives for me.

Edited by SwedeDownUnderR63 (see edit history)
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8 hours ago, SwedeDownUnderR63 said:

Hi Bill,

Shoulder surgery doesn't sound great. Let's hope for a quick recovery.

 

I am sorry but your futuristic looking driver's seat did hit a memory:

I run into something similar in the early 70's before I got the Riviera I had in Sweden. I worked for a few years in the steel industry in Sandviken, Sweden and once gota ride with a college in his SAAB 92. He had a Chow Chow that he had left in the car whilst running an errand. Everything chewable in the driver seat was gone when he came back and as he didn't have that much money he was stuck driving on a small wooden stool for a while... The passenger seat had also issues so I sat in the rear seat pondering the small adventure that I had run into. Life was a little bit simpler in that time.

 

Let's hope you can get someone to help you get the "internals" installed soon again. A '63 Riviera is so fine tuned that driving it with one arm for a while shouldn't be an issue. Enjoy the coming summer.

 

BTW silver looks fantastic, that together with red and the black that I have internally in mine are the top 3 alternatives for me.

Hi Jan,

 

I just started physical therapy and it will be 6-12 months for a full recovery. 

 

I did a similar thing when I was in high school. The front seat of my car was out for some upholstery work. I remember using a wooden chair of some sort to sit on while driving. Yes, times were simpler and I sometimes wonder how we survived.

 

Thanks for the kind words. I do love the silver as well. Had someone asked me about a silver interior before I bought this car I probably would have said no thanks. 

 

Bill

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Lee Carol, the ROAs regional coordinator for the San Diego Region, has the 63 that they bought new in 63.  It's silver with silver interior.  Her car always shows well at the ROA events she drives it to.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/22/2021 at 1:54 PM, Riviera63 said:

I will need to get those seats in so I can take it for a long drive and get the transmission fluid topped off. I can't wait. I envy all of you that are driving already.

Bill, I know the feeling. I too was itching to install my seats from when I re-started my project over 5 years ago. First, I had to deal with my gutted interior. Got the seats installed last October. Before the big snows, I actually drove it for the 1st time since 1994 when we moved from our old place. My other project was towed but I drove the Riv sitting on an inverted milk crate back then.

Your recovery is going to take a while but I hope you will regain full mobility. Definitely have someone do your seats for such a physical job.

Your Riviera is a looker! Nice to finally see it. The rain you had sure made your yard lush.

 

I have a thick pad made of wood chips (red circle) to catch Dynaflow drippings and it works well.

 

Today May 23rd, after having it insured and a license plate, I drove my Riv for the 2nd time. I have mixed feelings. For one, many things became un-fixed during the drive. No horn, AM/FM tunes 1-way only, slips the other way (spent 2-months on that radio!), turn signals don't cancel at certain tilt positions, Driver's rear quarter glass operates 2" because screws for the outer chrome with new whisker fuzzies are sticking out into the glass. What did I do!

Secondly, creaks, rattles and wind noise. Hoping the latter will be improved after installing new vent window rubber I purchased from Steele. As for the rattles, I tightened and lubed everything. This may be caused by what I observed running the nailhead in the garage. The engine idles rough! The whole cabin resonates with the engine thumping like a pump. Tough to start and takes a long time to warm-up. But then it starts with the bump of the starter. I was hoping the drive might improve with fuel system cleaner but no change. It does run better when up to temperature but that thumping! Longing for an LS3!

 

All images are from today/tonight.

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Edited by XframeFX (see edit history)
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Swede's post reminded me of the time I was a kid of about 8 when my parents stopped at a southern California restaurant for lunch. 

 

It was a sunny day on a family outing as we pulled into a restaurant for lunch.  My stepdad parked his brand new '68 Tempest station wagon in the shade less parking lot, leaving our male Doberman "Tauro" in the back.  The car was white, but the interior was black.  Bad move leaving the dog in the car.  As we walked back to the car after lunch we could see bits of white fluff inside the car.  You guessed it, the dog decided to chew the inside of the car!   He destroyed the back seat, chewed chunks out of the rear door panels, left tooth marks on the front seat backrest, basically ate the driver's headrest, and went after anything soft inside the car.  My stepdad was FURIOUS!.   I hate to report he gave that dog a good beating that day.   My sister and I had to stuff loose foam over the rear seat springs for the ride back home. 

 

My stepdad had to order a new interior for his wagon from the Pontiac dealer.  They parts counter man told him that was the first time anyone had ordered replacement upholstery for a car that was still brand new.

 

Moral of the story - don't leave your black and tan Doberman in a black vinyl upholstered car when you go for lunch on a hot sunny day!  

 

 

 

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On 5/23/2021 at 6:19 PM, Chasander said:

Bill silver interior-very sharp

Chuck,

 

Thank you. I think I know why you like silver interiors. I have been waiting since 2016 when we met at Back to the Bricks to see the progress on your car. That was one of the reasons that Kalamazoo being cancelled was last year was such a big disappointment. Let's hope we can meet up sometime in the near future. 

 

Bill

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On 5/24/2021 at 1:49 AM, XframeFX said:

Bill, I know the feeling. I too was itching to install my seats from when I re-started my project over 5 years ago. First, I had to deal with my gutted interior. Got the seats installed last October. Before the big snows, I actually drove it for the 1st time since 1994 when we moved from our old place. My other project was towed but I drove the Riv sitting on an inverted milk crate back then.

Your recovery is going to take a while but I hope you will regain full mobility. Definitely have someone do your seats for such a physical job.

Your Riviera is a looker! Nice to finally see it. The rain you had sure made your yard lush.

 

I have a thick pad made of wood chips (red circle) to catch Dynaflow drippings and it works well.

 

Today May 23rd, after having it insured and a license plate, I drove my Riv for the 2nd time. I have mixed feelings. For one, many things became un-fixed during the drive. No horn, AM/FM tunes 1-way only, slips the other way (spent 2-months on that radio!), turn signals don't cancel at certain tilt positions, Driver's rear quarter glass operates 2" because screws for the outer chrome with new whisker fuzzies are sticking out into the glass. What did I do!

Secondly, creaks, rattles and wind noise. Hoping the latter will be improved after installing new vent window rubber I purchased from Steele. As for the rattles, I tightened and lubed everything. This may be caused by what I observed running the nailhead in the garage. The engine idles rough! The whole cabin resonates with the engine thumping like a pump. Tough to start and takes a long time to warm-up. But then it starts with the bump of the starter. I was hoping the drive might improve with fuel system cleaner but no change. It does run better when up to temperature but that thumping! Longing for an LS3!

 

All images are from today/tonight.

image.png.2816084d31d66fa876544bf00b85ba20.png

PXL_20210523_153414078_Croped.JPG

PXL_20210523_153430428_Cropped.JPG

 

John,

 

Thanks for the kind words.

 

When I replaced my quarter window fuzzies I did a similar thing. I did not get the screws in deep enough and they scratched the chrome of the leading edge waetherstrip. I did get them in deeper but, ended up replacing the chrome and the weatherstrip. I was not happy.

 

If you do the vent window rubber also do the channel in the vent window assembly that the front door window rides up and down in. I replaced those on my car and that cured a lot of my wind noise. You have the vent assembly out already to do the rubber. I did a write up in the Riview a few years back on that process. Not a hard job.

 

 The problem with the turn signals in a tilt wheel GM car of the time period is common. I had a 63 Grand Prix that had those same problems. My car does also in one position which fortunately, I do not use. The solution has been discussed at length here on the forum. Some day I will get to that one.

 

The big leak of transmission fluid is peculiar to the Dynaflow when not run for a long period. The wood chip pad is a good idea. I use the old standby cardboard. Mine leaks a little but, I have found the more I drive the car the less it leaks. If I drive it enough the leaking virtually stops. That is my challenge going forward to drive more and enjoy the car more. 

 

Don't give up on that Nailhead! Everyone has an LS especially on the car shows on TV. Only the elite have a Nailhead in their car. I have a friend that put an LS in his 63 and has only driven it 25 miles in the last 3 years for various reasons. Different engine, different problems. Mine did not run perfectly when I got it. It runs like a top now. I love that motor. Smooth and quiet with just the right amount of rumble out of the exhaust. On the highway the finest of all the collector cars I have owned.

 

Bill

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20 hours ago, Jolly_John said:

Bill, You must live in a  rough town....or, at least, in a sketchy neighborhood. Sorry to see someone stole your hubcaps over the winter. John

 

John,

 

My neighborhood is very safe. I remove them before I take pictures as a precaution. There is a person that lives in town very close to me that will see pictures of collector cars in the area or see the car in person and then target the car for theft of the wheel covers. Sad that someone will stoop that low.

 

Bill

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Bill,

 

I wasn't serious about an LS engine swap. But, after doing an ignition tune-up and checking the more difficult right cylinder bank for bent pushrods, I've determined it is my AFB. 

My goal on this project is to restore or improve on what's there, not to swap for things like digital instrument panel, 6X9s on the parcel shelf and sub in the trunk. So, a nailhead is it for me!

On the topic of Nailhead. This is the latest "Leno's Garage" featuring a 401 Nailhead. About 30 minutes. I enjoyed watching at breakfast today:

 

John B.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/6/2021 at 8:09 PM, 71GS said:

Bill, that is beautiful. I love the white on silver.

Curious, what tires did you go with?

Thanks, Brian

 

Hi Brian,

 

I went with tires recommended by a fellow Forum member. Venezia Classic 787 225/75 R15. They ride really smooth and handle really well as I was told they would and they have the thinner whitewall that I prefer.

 

That being said I would recommend buying them locally or contact the seller ahead of time to check the whitewalls. 3 of the 4 tires I bought have brown staining which is caused by a defect in the whitewall and will not come out. I am just sick about this. Due to weather and having surgery I did not wash the blue protective coating off until after they were mounted. Big mistake! I am still too trusting when it comes to purchasing. I contacted the outfit I bought them from and they told me to "pound sand" as it was after the return 45 day period even though this is a manufacturing defect and refuse to talk to me any further.  I also e-mailed the national headquarters of the company that distributes these tires in the USA. No response. 

 

Bill

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Bill, Kevin,

Yes, that’s why I asked. I just bought new tires and other than a Diamond back or Coker, I could only find 3 available in a white wall. A travelstar? A Cooper and the Hankooks I bought. Those seemed to be the best ones. They do ride great but they developed some light brown spots within the first couple weeks. Very disappointing. Bleache White cleaner helps but doesn’t remove it all. It comes back too.

After I bought these, I saw a double thin white stripe Diamond back on skylark wires.  Wish I’d went that direction. Seems like folks are happy with Diamond back products. 

Thanks for your reply. 

Brian

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On 5/24/2021 at 12:15 PM, EmTee said:

I think the silver gives aura of an airplane cockpit.

I agree. My 63 is silver with the standard silver interior. I like it a lot. Tempted to paint it teal mist or one of the greens. That with silver interior would be very cool

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13 hours ago, powerage said:

I agree. My 63 is silver with the standard silver interior. I like it a lot. Tempted to paint it teal mist or one of the greens. That with silver interior would be very cool

If silver interior  was available in 65 I’d have went that route. I think turquoise mist on silver would be amazing. That said I’m happy with the black cloth I got from Clark’s 

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