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 Champagne 95 Rivi

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ironclyde
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PostSubject: Champagne 95 Rivi   Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:09 am

Boy am I glad I found you guys....

Anyway, I have to confess up front, before I bought my Riviera I was looking into Grand Prixs. Then I got tired of all the same buffet line, flat billed baseball capped, flame bearing fair. Not to say there aren't some nice folks in the GTP crowd, but I've found them a bit prejudiced against any ideas that don't come from the parts store counter.

Speaking of parts, I found this Riviera (pictures forthcoming) in Phoenix with a blown head gasket. The body is straight, except where the curves are supposed to be. The interior is darn near pristine. Fortunately, I had a wrecked Park Avenue Ultra SC that I transferred the driveline from, right into the Riviera.

The transplant required swapping out the left side trans cover with the pump and valve body from the original Riviera trans to the Park Avenue trans. The side cover and pump assy are different in the Riviera. I did the swap as a power-pack, instead of separating the engine and trans units. There are also some trans and engine mount differences that go along with using the larger car power-pack, instead of finding a direct replacement Riviera motor and trans.

I also replaced every stinking rubber line under the hood. I found it quite ironic that a guy that took such good care of the cars exterior and interior could let it virtually leak itself to death. Anyway for $750, plus the incidental costs of the swap, I have a great running and unique looking Riviera.

Cheers!
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:17 am

Awesome build, sounds like a great idea!

By "Power Pack" - did you just exchange subframes with everything installed, or just swap engine/trans and electronics? What year was your donor PAU?

Welcome to the site!
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stan
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:58 pm

welcome ironclyde
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ironclyde
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:22 pm

Thanks for the welcome. "Power-pack" is Army jargon for engine and trans package. I used the Riviera harness to ensure compatibility with the Riviera chassis harness. The donor car was a 95 PAU that I bought for my Dad while he was in chemo for lung cancer. Sadly he passed away in 2010. My son used the PAU while he was in the Marines at Camp Lejeune, NC. I bought him a 3800 Camaro, while he was in Afghanistan. After he got out of the Corps, he gave the car to my middle daughter, who totaled it the first day she had it. Fortunately, my daughter walked away unscathed after rear-ending rusted out Ford Expedition. The Ford's trailer hitch wasn't as rusty as the rest of the SUV. So, the PAU was definitely on the worst end of the stick in that deal.

I didn't see any advantage to the PA subframe, except the front trans mount is a lot stouter. I'll put in a PA trans mount at a later date. It will require some drilling in the front cross-member and/or maybe welding a mounting tab, also.

Just as a side note, I found it an interesting irony that the "sportier" Riviera didn't come with a volt, or oil pressure gauge, which were in the PA. Other than that, I love the layout of the instrument cluster.

I'm supposed to go down and get the exhaust done tomorrow. It should be kinda loud.

Cheers.


Last edited by ironclyde on Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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matt270avian
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:23 pm

Do you have any "in-progress" pics of the transplant?
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Abaddon
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:53 pm

Welcome to the site  hi 
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ironclyde
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:57 pm

Sorry Matt, no pics. I should have done some. It was really straight forward.

Hey Scott, thanks for letting me know I'm not the only 'pink' Rivi on the page...
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Abaddon
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:11 pm

ironclyde wrote:
.Hey Scott, thanks for letting me know I'm not the only 'pink' Rivi on the page...

Wow. New guy goes right for the throat  wink 

I think you'll fit in just fine  usa 
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ironclyde
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:13 pm

Hey Bro, we'll have to take the teasin'. A friend of mine said I should put on a "Mary Kay" winner's sticker in the rear glass...
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Abaddon
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:16 pm

lmfao 

When I had my entire front end repainted, they pulled it out of the booth and it literally looked red under the new lights in the shop. We were all like  scratch 
Out in the sun, it wasn't so bad.
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ironclyde
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:25 pm

The paint on mine is still too nice to mesh with. I want to get my money's worth out of the paint before I do anything with it. Hell, who knows maybe some chick will want to buy it off me. I'd like to find a red, black or blue one...
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Abaddon
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:43 pm

Black is my next color. I've had this car for 12 years. It's been put through the ringer. It was built in Michigan, and stayed in Michigan its entire life. Rust is starting to take hold. I'm hoping to find a nice one from down South somewhere with a bad trans or engine to swap everything in to.
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ironclyde
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:27 pm

Mine started in Wyoming, but there was hardly any rust on it. Where there was rust it could be replaced i.e. struts, lower arms, shocks, etc...
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matt270avian
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:59 pm

Mine started here as far ask I know. The only rust is on the exhaust and a little spot where the paint has chipped off.
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ironclyde
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:08 pm

You have some low miles. Mine has about 165,000. Must be the weather. Are you ready for another "artic vortex?"
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h20man
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:49 pm

here in ct were gonna get about 5 or so inches of snow but the highest temp this coming week will be 20  cold
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chitown_riv98
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:24 pm

Same here in Chicago. My Riviera needs a subframe transplant onceit warms up. I'm not looking forward to it
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h20man
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:46 pm

Well its snowing really good now, I won't be surprised if we get about a foot. Sucks for the riv no snow tires
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:57 pm

Yea I got stuck in the snow trying to pull into the driveway the other day and killed my front tires. There. Was a little pile of black rubber in the snow/ice
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:01 pm

Snow tires are worth every penny. Just think of it as miles you aren't putting on your fun tires!
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chitown_riv98
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:44 pm

I usually run all season tires but they dont hold up very well when there is a heavy snowfall. Im going to look into getting a good set of snow tires. I also had an issue with my wheel sensor preventing the traction control from engaging. The ABS light is on and it makes it tougher to navigate the snow
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h20man
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:55 pm

Well the riv is my winter car, so I'm in definite need of snow tires I have all seasons and they're ok in the snow but I have trouble stopping haha
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ironclyde
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:08 am

Where is the link on my profile so I can add and update my Riviera specs and load some photos?
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:07 am

ironclyde wrote:
Where is the link on my profile so I can add and update my Riviera specs and load some photos?

After you click on "Profile" at the top, then just below the tab bar on the right is a bunch of text links for "signature" "Avatar" etc. After you fill out a signature, don't forget to 'enable' it!
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ironclyde
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PostSubject: Re: Champagne 95 Rivi   Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:40 pm

Thanks a Brazilian!
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