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1963 Riv driveshaft center support bearing part number


TheOldMan
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Does anyone know what the part number is for a 1963 Riviera driveshaft center support bearing with bracket?

Reading the chassis manual, it states that '63 and '64 have different driveshafts and they take a different 

center support bearing. so this begs the question, Which one do I have?

 

My driveshaft has two universal joints at the differential end of the shaft. Is this a '63 or '64 driveshaft?

Reason for the question is my car is a '63, but has a '64 motor and tranny. If the OP changed these parts, would the driveshaft 

need to be replaced also?

 

Wow what a mess I am in.

 

Thanks for reading and your cooperation.

Dennis

 

 

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Questions

 

1. What transmission is in the car,

2. Do you have the driveshaft out of the car? If so post a photo of it. 
 

The center bearing housing for the driveshaft is different in height and the bolts are spaced different between 63 and 64/65. If your car has an original Dynaflow transmission than the driveshaft should be the original configuration. If it is a later year transmission than most likely has been modified but you can still rebuild the driveshaft without too much problems. 
 

Ray

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    The '63 driveshaft has only one CV joint at the rear. A '64-'65 has 2 CV joints. One at the rear & another at the center support bearing before the center support bearing.  The '63 center support  bearing/bracket is longer & as stated the bolts are farther apart than '64-'65.  The '64-'65 support is also shorter.

     Do a search on this forum as the sizes & bolt spacing is discussed in length.

 

Tom T.

 

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Hi Ray,

 

My tranny is a TH400 (ST400). Here is the pan from the tranny.

 

 

tranny.jpg.c34f0e6c57d3ff78f4b6eadb1a0e6a93.jpg

 

 

I do not have the driveshaft out yet, but I measured the bolt width of the center support from under the car and it measures 2 1/4 inch center to center.

Also here are two pictures of the universal joints at the differential.

 

IMG_2128.jpg.2a0fc931ee73cbd5f81a4ff3902908e5.jpgIMG_2130.jpg.2b54a81568fa52f38f059f20f0dc62d0.jpg

 

 

Hope this will help you guys.

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Looks like a 64 or 65 driveshaft was installed with a  63 center bearing support housing sub’ed to fit the car’s frame. If I remember correctly the bearing is the same for 63-65. 
 

Tom T. can correct me but I think rebuild kits are still available for the CV’s but not the center ball. 
 

Tom T. my 63 didn’t have a CV on the driveshaft, only u-joints. 
 

Ray

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1 hour ago, TheOldMan said:

Does anyone know what the part number is for a 1963 Riviera driveshaft center support bearing with bracket?

Reading the chassis manual, it states that '63 and '64 have different driveshafts and they take a different 

center support bearing. so this begs the question, Which one do I have?

 

My driveshaft has two universal joints at the differential end of the shaft. Is this a '63 or '64 driveshaft?

Reason for the question is my car is a '63, but has a '64 motor and tranny. If the OP changed these parts, would the driveshaft 

need to be replaced also?

 

Wow what a mess I am in.

 

Thanks for reading and your cooperation.

Dennis

 

 

Dennis,

 

Here are links to the 2 different support bearings. They are visually different from each other. With the other info this should help you.

 

1963-https://bestoffercounts.com/product/1963-buick-riviera-drive-shaft-support-bearing-63-riviera-only-1-year-only-new/

 

1964-http://www.oldbuickparts.com/product_info.php?products_id=6033

 

Bill

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4 hours ago, TheOldMan said:

Hi Ray,

 

My tranny is a TH400 (ST400). Here is the pan from the tranny.

 

 

tranny.jpg.c34f0e6c57d3ff78f4b6eadb1a0e6a93.jpg

 

 

I do not have the driveshaft out yet, but I measured the bolt width of the center support from under the car and it measures 2 1/4 inch center to center.

Also here are two pictures of the universal joints at the differential.

 

IMG_2128.jpg.2a0fc931ee73cbd5f81a4ff3902908e5.jpgIMG_2130.jpg.2b54a81568fa52f38f059f20f0dc62d0.jpg

 

 

Hope this will help you guys.

 

Dennis-

Those are "CV Joints", not "U Joints".  The CV joint looks kind of like a double U-joint.

 

There were no CV joints used on the '63 driveshaft at all, so someone has mated the '64 driveshaft in your car when they did the '64 engine and transmission; that's probably a good thing.  That might also mean you have the '64 Rear Axle, because where the U-joint bolts on to the '63 is different from how the CV Joint of the '64-65 attaches.

 

 

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The drive shaft on my 63 connects to the pinion with a U joint. On my 64, it connects with a flange, as pictured above. It appears to me the the 63 U joint and the 64 flange both connect to the same pinion shaft coming from the rear end.

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11 hours ago, RivNut said:

It appears to me the the 63 U joint and the 64 flange both connect to the same pinion shaft coming from the rear end.

 

I'd expect that whoever did the drivetrain swap changed the pinion adapter from the U-joint ('63 style) to the CV flange ('64 style).  The driveshaft adapter bolts to the splined pinion shaft.

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Dennis,

 

     It's just two u-bolts holding the u-joint to the diff. like your more than likely seen on other cars in the past & are accustomed to seeing on other cars.

 

Tom T.

 

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So, lets go back to the original post. Is there a symptom (vibration, noise, etc) that started this thread.  Reason I’m asking is the center bearing housing doesn’t have the same height between 63 and 64/65. I converted a 63 driveshaft to be behind a 4L60E and had to shorten the 63 housing to the same height as a 64/65. You can’t use a 64 housing because of bolt pattern. No easy way to modify the frame mount. If vibration is the problem shortening of a 63 to a 64/65 height should help. Whoever does the job has to know how to deal with non removable rubber being a part of the housing. I’m bringing this up because that might have been done to yours. Housing for 63 should be around 5 1/4” high and 64/65 around 4”.  With a CV joint in the rear it may not be that critical. 


Setting the geometry of your drivetrain to a 64 would be the correct alignment.

 

Ray

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Posted (edited)

Ray, thanks for reading the thread and your first post. Should have included all that info, sorry.

The post was started because the car was making a squealing noise right under the trans tunnel. Just to be sure, I put the car on  my lift, strapped it down to the supports, 

started the car, lifted it up and with a stethoscope found the squealing right where the center support bearing is.

Now, after much time and the help from Tom, Tom, and others on this forum and much research, I found out that my motor, transmission, driveshaft, rear differential, and rear axle are all from a 64.

But, the center support bearing is a 63 measuring 5 1/4 " high and the holes are 2 1/4 " .  Also the center hole for both the 63 and 64/65 center support bearings are exactly the same 1.575 ". That means to me one can use either one as long as the geometry is correct . So, it might be possible to use a 63 center support bearing and a 64/65 driveshaft. Now, after it is all back together I will do the math and see if geometry dials up okay.

I also agree that it might not be that critical as long as one is using a 64/65 CV joint rear shaft. 

 

Dennis

 

Edited by TheOldMan (see edit history)
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Dennis,

 

Your response is what I thought was the case. The 1 1/4” difference between the 2 housings could induce enough angle to be causing undue load on the center bearing, causing it to fail and thus the squealing. The length of a 64/65 transmission is longer than the 63, as is a 4L60E and the reason I had to modify the housing for my installation. My front shaft had to shortened by 10” if I remember correctly as yours would have been the correct length. 
 

I think the easiest way would be to use a 64/65 housing, cut the base off and weld a new piece with nuts spaced for the 63 frame or tap threads into a thicker piece, 1/4- 3/8” should do it.
 

The shop manual give measurements using tools and procedures that I didn’t have access to so after researching I used the guidelines in this publication https://assets.wellertruck.com/reference-materials/installation-guides/driveline-installation-j3311-1-dssp-spicer.pdf using this digital angle gauge http://www.wixey.com/anglegauge/#wr300type2

In my case my angle on the forward shaft was 1.5* down and that was what the pinion shaft flange was already at. I did use the shims that were originally at the center housing. You probably won’t need to worry about that with a CV joint on the rear shaft but still try to achieve the same angle for front shaft and pinion flange.

 

If you decide to rebuild the whole driveshaft, I would suggest to shy away from Moog u joints. I had 2 of them have slop in the caps that allowed a pronounced looseness when installed. Spicer or SKF were a lot better in my case.

 

Ray

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Ray,

 

Great write-up. thanks for the info. I purchased both center support bearings and I will take your suggestion and modify the support to accommodate

the 2 1/2 ' bolt hole connection.

 

Also Spicer is my choice now a days. I used them before. I think they are better than Moog and I will use those.  Have them coming already. Might as well rebuild the driveshaft while I have it out.

 

Thanks to all for the guidance and help.

 

Dennis

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Dennis,

 

    Like I said in the PM all you really have to do is drill the two holes for the '64-'65 center support.  It will be excatly in line with the original bolts for the '63.  The frame is thick enough to be able to perform this small mod without doing any harm to anything else.

     Since the ENTIRE drivetrain has been completely swapped out in essence you have a '64.

    Don't put yourself through the aggravation & all that may entail.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

 

Tom T.

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10 hours ago, telriv said:

Dennis,

 

    Like I said in the PM all you really have to do is drill the two holes for the '64-'65 center support.  It will be excatly in line with the original bolts for the '63.  The frame is thick enough to be able to perform this small mod without doing any harm to anything else.

     Since the ENTIRE drivetrain has been completely swapped out in essence you have a '64.

    Don't put yourself through the aggravation & all that may entail.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

 

Tom T.

Agreed...

Tom M

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16 hours ago, telriv said:

Dennis,

 

    Like I said in the PM all you really have to do is drill the two holes for the '64-'65 center support.  It will be excatly in line with the original bolts for the '63.  The frame is thick enough to be able to perform this small mod without doing any harm to anything else.

     Since the ENTIRE drivetrain has been completely swapped out in essence you have a '64.

    Don't put yourself through the aggravation & all that may entail.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

 

Tom T.


I had considered doing the same but I didn’t see it as an easier solution for the conversion. The housing spacing between the bolts is 2 1/4” and 1 1/2” which gave a 3/4” space to drill 2 3/8”  or 5/16” holes, can’t remember the size. Not much metal to support the housing as it is slotted. Also the original setup seems to allow some adjustment forward and backwards, I guess for alignment to the transmission. On my 63 frame I would’ve had to open the hole on the lowest layer of the frame to allow space to get to the upper part of the frame to drill the new holes and put a socket on the bolt. I would’ve  also had to come up with a way make sure the alignment of the new holes would keep the housing aligned the same as the original holes. 
 

I can screwup a lot of housings before it would even come close in time and money to the fix problems that could be caused to the frame if that had been the path I went.  Pretty hard to get all that stuff right when you only have 28” between the floor and frame.  
 

Cutting the housing and fabricating a base plate took all of  30 mins. $20 to get it welded. Others had done this same procedure.

 

Just my situation.

 

Ray

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Thanks Ray, 

When the two supports get here, with both suggestions, I will need to chose one.  Like I said before, you guys are the bomb.

The suggestions you give to myself and others are great. 

 

Thanks for all your input.

 

Dennis

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3/4” is plenty of edge distance for a 3/8” hole. Rule is 1.5 x D, measured from the centerline of the hole. So, 3/4” in this case is 2 x D. Plus there is no force in that direction in this condition. If you have access, redrill the holes.

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A good post here. This confirms to NOT use the '63 center support on the '64 drive-shaft.

 

On 7/16/2021 at 6:56 AM, EmTee said:

I'd expect that whoever did the drivetrain swap changed the pinion adapter from the U-joint ('63 style) to the CV flange ('64 style).  The driveshaft adapter bolts to the splined pinion shaft.

I have been wanting to swap my Dynaflow to a 1965 ST-400 setup with a 12" switch-pitch torque converter for 30+ years now. After spending the last 5 years assembling my '63 Riv, I am appalled how it drives like an old car. The Dynaflow happens to be the best part!

Having 98% parts to do the swap, I noticed the pinion flange has extremely sloppy 3/8"-16 thru-holes. My first inclination is to use longer bolts with nuts on the backside of the flange. Or, machine for 7/16"-14 bolts. The CV joint flange accepts the larger 7/16" bolt and appears to be a better fit. In fact, there might have been some movement here with the 3/8" bolts causing the threaded holes to be stretched-out..

Has anyone encountered sloppy threads such as mine?

image.png.7ac855c09c75bc53dece7cea6d8a2a74.png

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5 hours ago, steelman said:

3/4” is plenty of edge distance for a 3/8” hole. Rule is 1.5 x D, measured from the centerline of the hole. So, 3/4” in this case is 2 x D. Plus there is no force in that direction in this condition. If you have access, redrill the holes.

You are drilling 2 holes in that 3/4” area. Doesn’t meet the rule.

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3 hours ago, XframeFX said:

 

A good post here. This confirms to NOT use the '63 center support on the '64 drive-shaft.

 

I have been wanting to swap my Dynaflow to a 1965 ST-400 setup with a 12" switch-pitch torque converter for 30+ years now. After spending the last 5 years assembling my '63 Riv, I am appalled how it drives like an old car. The Dynaflow happens to be the best part!

Having 98% parts to do the swap, I noticed the pinion flange has extremely sloppy 3/8"-16 thru-holes. My first inclination is to use longer bolts with nuts on the backside of the flange. Or, machine for 7/16"-14 bolts. The CV joint flange accepts the larger 7/16" bolt and appears to be a better fit. In fact, there might have been some movement here with the 3/8" bolts causing the threaded holes to be stretched-out..

Has anyone encountered sloppy threads such as mine?

image.png.7ac855c09c75bc53dece7cea6d8a2a74.png

I don't think that Buick would have been using that style of a bolt back in 1963.  I'm guessing that someone has had this apart previously and used the smaller 3/8" bolts and nuts rather than finding the correct 7/16" bolts. I'd crawl under my '63 and verify, but it's 60+ miles down the road in storage.   

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Ed,

 

That looks to be a 64/65 flange. 63 flange was u bolts directly to a u joint. I just replaced the pinion seal on a posi trac carrier along with outer axle bearings and seals on my 63.
 

I have that flange and a 64/65 driveshaft in case  I have problems with the 63 setup and my 4L60E transmission conversion. The flange is tapped for 7/16 course bolts. All parts are original to a 64.

 

Looking at John B’s photo it appears it is not tapped with threads. I wonder if that is a correct flange for Rivieras. Mine came off a Riviera from BestOfferCounts and I picked it up directly from James.

 

Ray

Edited by BulldogDriver (see edit history)
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Thanks Ray & Ed

2 hours ago, BulldogDriver said:

Looking at John B’s photo it appears it is not tapped with threads. I wonder if that is a correct flange for Rivieras.

My Pinion Flange and Drive-shaft is from a 1964 Riviera Super Wildcat and is intended for my Dynaflow-to-ST400 conversion.

I believe the pinion flange is a direct swap for my 1963  pinion yoke. Something like 30 splines. The 1/2" thick pinion flange has worn-out 3/8"-16 holes but is otherwise OK. Again, fitting 7/16"-14 bolts should be the best fix.

 

The 1964 Drive-shaft I plan to use has a swack of balance weights on both shafts.

 

I will have to drill new holes into the X-Frame for the ST400 X-Member. Yet to copy/determine where they should be. Perhaps the transmission output shafts are at different heights between 1963 & 64, the reason why center support bearing has a difference of 1.25"? Dennis's Riv would've had new X-member holes drilled by a previous Owner.

 

Too much thought here I know. Using OE parts from 1964/65 should minimize surprises when I'm into the swap. But, the Dynaflow isn't as bad as I remember back in the 80s!

 

Thanks for responding.

image.png.5f1ea1bbb7a1175641c2f4d9abbdb9e0.png

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From what I was able to research, the pinion flange is a direct replacement.  You might be able to tap the holes in the flange, I’d check that before using bolts and nuts. I can’t remember the difference in height between the Dyna and the 4L60E mounts but it was enough to explain why the 64/65 center housing was 1 1/4” shorter. Difference in length of the transmissions was also a factor as it changed the angle of the front driveshaft. Needed to keep the angle of the front driveshaft proper. 
 

I found that if I used my 63 trans crossmember, shifting it back 3” which was the same spacing between the bolts on the member, I was able to get the trans mount to work after modifications to clear the trans pan and fit in the new place on the frame. I had looked at using the 64/65 member but it would have been a challenge due to relocating the holes where access to nuts wasn’t feasible. Others have done it on 200r4’s which its mount  is another 3” further back. I also don’t think the holes in the frame for the crossmember were flat plain to the frame. Didn’t look that way on the 64/65 crossmember.
 

Ray

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John,

 

    Originally a '64/'65 the bolt sizes were 7/16ths. x 14.  We can get your '63 Riv. to ride & handle like a new car & NOT a '63 car.  Although for a 1963 vehicle the Rivs handled extremely well for the time with the way weight was distributed. The improvement is amazing & you won't know the benefit until you've done it. 

     Ask others who have done the mods to their cars. Best part is that it DOES NOT lose it's appeal as nothing other than a stock '63 Riv.

 

Tom T.

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16 hours ago, BulldogDriver said:

From what I was able to research, the pinion flange is a direct replacement.

 

Ray, Thanks for the details on your 4L60E install. Good that the swap is still fresh in your head!

 

15 hours ago, telriv said:

Originally a '64/'65 the bolt sizes were 7/16ths. x 14.

Thanks Tom on confirming bolt size. In hindsight, I now think the Pinion Flange is from a 1964 Electra. It has 3/8"-14 threads for sure. The drive shaft from that 1964 Riv has 7/16" holes.

Regardless whether the Riviera had different bolt sizes or not, I'll have to punch them out to 7/16"-14 for fresh threads. Will use grade-8 socket head bolts which should eliminate a weak link.

 

I have those Australian bushings for the rear including track-bar and plan to change the steering box. Considering George's Bilstein shocks as well. I have come a long way with this project and still have much more to do. At this point, I wish I could turn it over to a 'crew' and just-get-it-done!

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John,

 

   I have the track bar & strut rod bushings in Poly in stock.  I mod the inner strut bushing to allow for more positive Caster.  I have the front & rear sway bars also along with an "808" P/S steering box with 2 1/2 turns lock-lock.  I can also get you the shocks as George supplies.

    The heads of those 7/16ths. x 14 bolts need to have a 5/8ths. 6 point head or else it will be very difficult to tighten with a socket or wrench.

 

Tom T.

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19 hours ago, telriv said:

John,

 

   I have the track bar & strut rod bushings in Poly in stock.  I mod the inner strut bushing to allow for more positive Caster.  I have the front & rear sway bars also along with an "808" P/S steering box with 2 1/2 turns lock-lock.  I can also get you the shocks as George supplies.

 

Tom T.

 

Slightly off topic but, I would like to comment on the items Tom has mentioned above. I replaced my track bar bushing the first summer I had the car. It made a huge difference in the way the car handled. Last summer I had new strut rod bushings (from Tom)  installed with the modification Tom suggests, new front sway bar, added the rear sway bar (from Tom), Tom's "808" P/S box and Bilstein shocks (from Tom). With all of the work already being done I also had a new idler arm, lower ball joints and a rebuilt center link installed. Once all of these things were installed I found an old school alignment shop that used the new alignment specs talked about by Tom and others on the forum, including the positive caster.

 

A lot of work and money, you bet. But worth every penny in my book. Before all of these modifications my car handled better than any 60's car I had ever owned. Now it rides and handles like a dream. The only time I use the brakes now is to come to a stop. No more braking on corners. It is just so enjoyable to drive. I cannot wait to take it on an extended trip. If you are thinking about any of these modifications talk to Tom. He'll give you the straight scoop and help you every step of the way if you need it. 

 

Bill

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Bill,

 

    Thank you a HUGE amount for your testimonel. As you & others have found out this is such a HUGE change in the way the vehicle rides & handles that most/many don't believe it. I can't stress enough the diff. it makes & good reports from others is justification that doing such will improve drastically from stock & will NOT detract from the stock appearance.

 

Tom T.

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I would like to thank everyone who gave suggestions in dealing with this project.

 

I took Tom's advisement and used the 64 support and drilled out two holes 1 1/2 ' apart, 3/4 in from center line of frame

and slotted them to acquire a 1/2 in spacing from transmission.  The frame has enough metal after this procedure to be

strong enough to hold the support. Also, if I wanted to,I could have added a 3/8 in plate on the bottom of the holes to give 

added strength. 

 

All is superior to the way it was.  

 

 

Dennis

 

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