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 Hello From a 16 Year-Old

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KnottyEagle
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PostSubject: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:39 pm

Hi there, ladies and gentleman. As the title states, I'm 16 year-olds and have had my eye on a 1998 Riviera for about a week now that I found near me on Craigslist. Before I get to the car itself though, I would like to tell all of you a little about me.

I'm currently in my junior year of high-school. I play one sport, and that is baseball. Baseball is life.... for me at least. I applied and got a job at a nearby golf course in May of this year. I've been working there as a dishwasher/bus boy since and I really like it there for the most part. It has its ups and downs like any job, but It's a nice gig for a 16 year-old. Since working at the golf course, I've made it a mission to save up every dollar that I can. I've had my license since January of this year, and pay for my own gas and anything to get me from point A to point B. Since January, I've been driving a 1997 Dodge Caravan. It's definitely not the first car that every teenager wants, in fact, it might be the exact opposite, but I didn't have to buy it, so I won't complain that much.

I'm in the market for a car of my own now, and stumbled upon a 1998 Riviera like I mentioned above. I set up a time for myself and a good friend to look at the car with the owner and I just looked at it today. The body is pretty nice. It got repainted in October of 2013 and got all four new tires in February along with new rotors and brake pads at the same time. The exterior has one flaw in that the chrome fender trimming was taken off, but It's included with the car.

The interior...yikes! It definitely could benefit from a good scrub down and vacuuming. All of which I'm willing to do if I decide to buy the car. There's currently no radio in the car, but I believe the owner said he has it, but needs to find it. If he doesn't find it, will radios from 1996-1999 Riviera's fit? One thing that's probably the most bothersome is the module thing on the side of the driver's seat to position your seat doesn't work. It's still attached to the driver's seat, but It's out of its housing. None of the buttons work. I didn't look, but maybe It's unplugged from something? I have no idea about that. Also, the A/C doesn't work, but that doesn't bother me at all because I drive with the window down 95% of the time anyways.

In the craigslist ad the owner said it needed front ball joints and rear shocks. He wasn't kidding about the rear shocks! I think got air borne at one point. These are pretty straight forward to replace, correct? I didn't really notice anything about the ball joints. When I took it for the test drive I didn't hear or feel anything. I did long swooping turns and some full lock turns as well. Maybe I just didn't notice them. Oh yeah, one other thing is the steering wheel. I can be driving totally straight, but the steering wheel is turned to the right. What could be causing this? It didn't mess with the handling it seemed, but I think it needs to be addressed.

Now, under the hood. I had him take the radiator cap off and it looked pretty damn clean! No brown flakes whatsoever. I liked that. It looked pretty clean under there too. I'm not that familiar with all components underneath the hood, but no red flags popped up, especially when he started it. It started right up and idled just fine. Pretty nice!

This is the one potential problem I see with the car though. The check engine light is on, and I had him run the codes and code "P0102" came up. I researched it earlier and it says low frequency with the MAF. Will the MAF benefit from a nice cleaning? I didn't feel or hear any hesitation when I was out on the test drive, but maybe I was just overjoyed with how it took off.

The test drive itself was brilliant! I took the car up to an easy 30-40MPH, let off the accelerator, and then hammered it. The transmission shifted pretty darn smoothly if I say so myself. It had no problems at all getting up to 60MPH. It's such a different vehicle than a minivan, even though this minivan has a 3.8L V6 (not the 3800...duh).

What do you guys think? I welcome any opinions. By the way, It's got 163,000 miles. I honestly don't think that's that high. I don't think extensively modding the engine would be great, but this minivan is a literal rolling white POS and It's got 225,000 miles and still runs and drives. My uncle has a Grand Prix, same exact engine, that ran for a strong 212,000 before something happened that I can't remember. My uncle said something about the lower intake manifold gaskets (LIM?), and to look at those. Can't you get aluminum ones?

Thanks for reading and looking at this pretty extensive first post, but I have a feeling this is the car for me.

-Daymon
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:10 am

Welcome to the forum! Sounds like a lot of issues with that car. If you can get it for a good price, it might be worth it. For the front seat, I would check the fuses to see if one is blown. For the A/C, I would check to see if the compressor is running first and also check the pressure level. If it is low, add more and see if the compressor will kick on. If everything works after adding more r134a, then you have a leak somewhere that needs to be fixed.

The rear shocks are pretty easy to replace. Checkout the write-ups above to see what is involved. With all the problems that car has, I wouldn't be surprised if the air pump also doesn't work. If the ball joints are bad, plan on replacing the lower control arms. The new ones come with new ball joints and bushings. You will have to get an alignment after you replace them and that should fix the steering wheel as long as nothing else is broken. They do make an aluminum LIM gasket. I replaced mine years ago with one after the stock one started to leak coolant. You can see if it has the upgraded gasket by looking at it.

A Riviera makes a great first car, but be prepared to spend some money fixing it up.

_________________
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:33 am

98riv wrote:
Welcome to the forum! Sounds like a lot of issues with that car. If you can get it for a good price, it might be worth it. For the front seat, I would check the fuses to see if one is blown. For the A/C, I would check to see if the compressor is running first and also check the pressure level. If it is low, add more and see if the compressor will kick on. If everything works after adding more r134a, then you have a leak somewhere that needs to be fixed.

The rear shocks are pretty easy to replace. Checkout the write-ups above to see what is involved. With all the problems that car has, I wouldn't be surprised if the air pump also doesn't work. If the ball joints are bad, plan on replacing the lower control arms. The new ones come with new ball joints and bushings. You will have to get an alignment after you replace them and that should fix the steering wheel as long as nothing else is broken. They do make an aluminum LIM gasket. I replaced mine years ago with one after the stock one started to leak coolant. You can see if it has the upgraded gasket by looking at it.

A Riviera makes a great first car, but be prepared to spend some money fixing it up.
It's definitely not a perfect car. I think anyone looking for something perfect below $1500 is fooling themselves.

I'm not worried about the A/C. That's probably the least used thing when I'm driving. I just much prefer to have the window down and feel the wind versus having recycled air blown in my face.

When you say "The new ones come with new ball joints and bushings.", do you mean the lower control arms will come with the ball joints and bushings?

My uncle was telling me about the aluminum LIM gaskets, and I've read a little about them on here also. I think the one on it now is fine, but I'll double check to make sure.
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:47 am

Welcome to the site hi

I'd have to see pictures to give my opinion. Is a Riv worth some fix up? Absolutely. Do they all have common issues? Absolutely. The difference between a good and bad Riv (or any car for that matter) is continuous maintenance by the PO. Was the oil changed regularly? Have any other fluids ever been changed? Cosmetics are cosmetics and can easily be fixed, but trying to repair someone elses negligence can be a bit frustrating. Especially if you have to dump a couple grand into a $1500 car.....
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:05 pm

Abaddon wrote:
Welcome to the site hi

I'd have to see pictures to give my opinion. Is a Riv worth some fix up? Absolutely. Do they all have common issues? Absolutely. The difference between a good and bad Riv (or any car for that matter) is continuous maintenance by the PO. Was the oil changed regularly? Have any other fluids ever been changed? Cosmetics are cosmetics and can easily be fixed, but trying to repair someone elses negligence can be a bit frustrating. Especially if you have to dump a couple grand into a $1500 car.....

When I went to look at it, the current owners dad was there and told us that he's owned the car since 2004 when it had around 40,000 miles. I have to believe that it was pretty well maintained for the most part, but you can never really know I guess. The seller and his dad had an older Pontiac in the garage (I'm not familiar with older Pontiacs) that they were restoring. I guess that might be a good indication.

I think you would classify this car as a "diamond in the rough".
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:13 pm

welcome Daymon
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:16 pm

KnottyEagle wrote:

It's definitely not a perfect car. I think anyone looking for something perfect below $1500 is fooling themselves.

I'm not worried about the A/C. That's probably the least used thing when I'm driving. I just much prefer to have the window down and feel the wind versus having recycled air blown in my face.

When you say "The new ones come with new ball joints and bushings.", do you mean the lower control arms will come with the ball joints and bushings?

My uncle was telling me about the aluminum LIM gaskets, and I've read a little about them on here also. I think the one on it now is fine, but I'll double check to make sure.


If you are looking to spend below $1500, then you will be running into cars that will need some work done. As long as it isn't too rusted and you can fix things on your own it might be doable. Have you looked under the car to see how rusted it is? Check in the front of the car by the subframe and also check in the rear of the car. Yes the new lower control arms come with new bushings and a ball joint. It is a pretty good deal and saves the trouble from having to remove and replace the old ones. Post some pictures if you get a chance.

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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:29 pm

98riv wrote:




KnottyEagle wrote:

It's definitely not a perfect car. I think anyone looking for something perfect below $1500 is fooling themselves.

I'm not worried about the A/C. That's probably the least used thing when I'm driving. I just much prefer to have the window down and feel the wind versus having recycled air blown in my face.

When you say "The new ones come with new ball joints and bushings.", do you mean the lower control arms will come with the ball joints and bushings?

My uncle was telling me about the aluminum LIM gaskets, and I've read a little about them on here also. I think the one on it now is fine, but I'll double check to make sure.






If you are looking to spend below $1500, then you will be running into cars that will need some work done. As long as it isn't too rusted and you can fix things on your own it might be doable. Have you looked under the car to see how rusted it is? Check in the front of the car by the subframe and also check in the rear of the car. Yes the new lower control arms come with new bushings and a ball joint. It is a pretty good deal and saves the trouble from having to remove and replace the old ones. Post some pictures if you get a chance.



Yeah, that's what I was expecting going into looking for a car. I was planning to do any work the car needed plus all of the fluids. I am taking Auto Shop this semester and I'll have access to air powered tools until January in that class. That'll take out any labor costs and just be the cost of the part plus whatever shipping will be if I buy anything online. I think I'm capable enough to fix things like the rear shocks and lower control arms.

I did take a look and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary.




Yes, I realize those pictures are from the Winter, but the car looked just like it did in the pictures from the outside. I didn't take any other pictures because I didn't want to be rude while the guy was engaging in a conversation.
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:36 pm

Ha. It has Lacrosse wheels on it.

That front fascia looks a little low. Open the hood and look around the frame and bumper supports for any signs of repair.

Doesn't look too shabby....
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:03 am

Abaddon wrote:
Ha. It has Lacrosse wheels on it.
.



For what it's worth, I kinda' like those rims... hi
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:40 pm

Eldo wrote:
For what it's worth, I kinda' like those rims... hi



Eldo droppin in his quarterly line.... jump
I certainly didn't mean it in a bad way.
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:44 pm

This takes JUST mid-grade or premium, correct? I ask because I told my mom this and she tried telling me that I can put whatever I want in it, and I swear you can only put mid-grade or premium.
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:15 pm

You CAN put in low grade stuff and it should run just fine as long as you don't beat on it. Once you start modding you should just use premium to help fight KR.
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:21 pm

Daymon, welcome! I hope you find the Riviera you're looking for.

Dodge Caravans are kind of becoming cool, finally. The caravan is the original minivan. You could put some wood grain side panels on it and voila - instant '80s inspired classic! Also, did you know the 1st gen Caravan had a 5 speed manual option with 2.5L turbo I-4? That would've been a blast to drive. Who said minivans aren't cool?!!

Anyway, back to reality. The Riv you're looking to buy, there are some pros and cons to this car. First, you found a '98 model year. This is a great year! The brakes having been redone, not surprising. Factory brakes on Rivieras just aren't the best. You'll drive it for a little while and redo them again, and again. We have found some solutions for improving the brakes that will enable you to stop very hard and have a little fun with the car without hurting the brakes over time. If you are this type of driver, you'll probably want to modify the brakes.

Chrome fender trim shouldn't be a big deal. If the included part won't work, you can find a trim piece in a salvage yard if you look.

The interior description is concerning. Depending on what color you have, finding replacement parts could be very easy or a bit difficult. Tan and grey are common colors for finding a match. The radio is easy to find for $100 or so. They not only were used in 96-99 Rivs, but also in other Buicks, including Century. Easy to find on ebay. I think if you are inclined to tinker, you can get that seat switch back in working shape. If the console is broken, you may need to look around for one. It could take awhile. That switch gets subject to lots of abuse, because many drivers kick it with their boot when entering/leaving the car. You'll see lots of scuffs in this area if you look.

You'll want to get the AC fixed. If you drive a car without AC long enough, that nice leather smell will go away, and the car will smell old and musty. AC is dry, cool air that evacuates moisture from the car. Comes in handy as a defogger on damp or cold days, too. If it's the AC compressor, these can be had for under $80 from a used parts yard. If its a leak somewhere, maybe it can be fixed for less.

Front ball joints - just buy new control arms from RockAuto, which come with ball joints and fresh bushings. These are about $80 per side. Pretty easy to swap out with the right tools. I did mine in 3-4 hours taking my time. Rear shocks are even easier. They may be rusty, though. You can read our threads on how to handle the rear air suspension, which is simple and not really expensive.

Since you are replacing the control arms, with 160k+ miles you'll want to do the front struts while you're in there. These are about $250 total for both sides. Then you'll need to have an alignment done ($60-75). A mechanic can fix your steering wheel attitude at this time.

Your description of the engine isn't surprising. The 3800 can run a long, long, time without much trouble. I would flush the coolant and replace with fresh Dexcool just as a precaution. Most people don't do this, but it's cheap insurance against the dreaded LIM gasket failure, which is not the end of the world, but it needs fixed when it goes bad. It's a $40 part and about a day of labor. But if the previous owner kept fresh coolant in the car, the LIM may not be a problem.

Nice work on the P0102 code. It could mean the MAF needs cleaning - easy to do. It may need a fresh air filter, too. Worst case you will need a new MAF sensor, which is $185 or so. You probably won't ever need to replace it again, as they don't go bad regularly. I don't see this as a huge issue, though.

Overall, this could be a good car for you to learn on for a while. I don't think it's a piece of junk based on what you've written. If there's no rust, it's worth at least $1500 and maybe more. When my Riv was appraised about 6 years ago, it had 134k miles and they valued it at $7500, if that gives you any idea. Because of the age, a car with same mileage won't be worth as much now, but if taken car of these cars can stay solid for a long time. I'd bet if you bought this and maintained it, you would be ready to move on to something else before the car let you down.

I would not recommend anything but premium gas in a SC Riviera. If you put mid or reg octane in, the computer will slow the timing and you won't get the correct power from the car. Basically it's protecting itself from blowing up when abusive owners use the wrong gas - but yes, it will run. It will also run on E85, but don't do that either.

PS - Baseball isn't a sport; it's a game! There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games. - Ernest Hemingway wink J/K

Welcome!

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 281k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
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EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO 85k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe 116k miles 455 Rocket V8
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:30 pm

AA wrote:
Daymon, welcome! I hope you find the Riviera you're looking for.

Dodge Caravans are kind of becoming cool, finally. The caravan is the original minivan. You could put some wood grain side panels on it and voila - instant '80s inspired classic! Also, did you know the 1st gen Caravan had a 5 speed manual option with 2.5L turbo I-4? That would've been a blast to drive. Who said minivans aren't cool?!!

Anyway, back to reality. The Riv you're looking to buy, there are some pros and cons to this car. First, you found a '98 model year. This is a great year! The brakes having been redone, not surprising. Factory brakes on Rivieras just aren't the best. You'll drive it for a little while and redo them again, and again. We have found some solutions for improving the brakes that will enable you to stop very hard and have a little fun with the car without hurting the brakes over time. If you are this type of driver, you'll probably want to modify the brakes.

Chrome fender trim shouldn't be a big deal. If the included part won't work, you can find a trim piece in a salvage yard if you look.

The interior description is concerning. Depending on what color you have, finding replacement parts could be very easy or a bit difficult. Tan and grey are common colors for finding a match. The radio is easy to find for $100 or so. They not only were used in 96-99 Rivs, but also in other Buicks, including Century. Easy to find on ebay. I think if you are inclined to tinker, you can get that seat switch back in working shape. If the console is broken, you may need to look around for one. It could take awhile. That switch gets subject to lots of abuse, because many drivers kick it with their boot when entering/leaving the car. You'll see lots of scuffs in this area if you look.

You'll want to get the AC fixed. If you drive a car without AC long enough, that nice leather smell will go away, and the car will smell old and musty. AC is dry, cool air that evacuates moisture from the car. Comes in handy as a defogger on damp or cold days, too. If it's the AC compressor, these can be had for under $80 from a used parts yard. If its a leak somewhere, maybe it can be fixed for less.

Front ball joints - just buy new control arms from RockAuto, which come with ball joints and fresh bushings. These are about $80 per side. Pretty easy to swap out with the right tools. I did mine in 3-4 hours taking my time. Rear shocks are even easier. They may be rusty, though. You can read our threads on how to handle the rear air suspension, which is simple and not really expensive.

Since you are replacing the control arms, with 160k+ miles you'll want to do the front struts while you're in there. These are about $250 total for both sides. Then you'll need to have an alignment done ($60-75). A mechanic can fix your steering wheel attitude at this time.

Your description of the engine isn't surprising. The 3800 can run a long, long, time without much trouble. I would flush the coolant and replace with fresh Dexcool just as a precaution. Most people don't do this, but it's cheap insurance against the dreaded LIM gasket failure, which is not the end of the world, but it needs fixed when it goes bad. It's a $40 part and about a day of labor. But if the previous owner kept fresh coolant in the car, the LIM may not be a problem.

Nice work on the P0102 code. It could mean the MAF needs cleaning - easy to do. It may need a fresh air filter, too. Worst case you will need a new MAF sensor, which is $185 or so. You probably won't ever need to replace it again, as they don't go bad regularly. I don't see this as a huge issue, though.

Overall, this could be a good car for you to learn on for a while. I don't think it's a piece of junk based on what you've written. If there's no rust, it's worth at least $1500 and maybe more. When my Riv was appraised about 6 years ago, it had 134k miles and they valued it at $7500, if that gives you any idea. Because of the age, a car with same mileage won't be worth as much now, but if taken car of these cars can stay solid for a long time. I'd bet if you bought this and maintained it, you would be ready to move on to something else before the car let you down.

I would not recommend anything but premium gas in a SC Riviera. If you put mid or reg octane in, the computer will slow the timing and you won't get the correct power from the car. Basically it's protecting itself from blowing up when abusive owners use the wrong gas - but yes, it will run. It will also run on E85, but don't do that either.

PS - Baseball isn't a sport; it's a game! There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games. - Ernest Hemingway wink J/K

Welcome!
My friend and I always joke about taking the engine out of the caravan when it dies and putting a Cummins in it with smoke stacks and turning it into a muddin' van. It's always a good laugh!

Are the improved brakes what I read on here referred to as "F-body" brakes? I haven't delved into these types of threads yet because the ones on it now are fantastic. They're the best brakes I've ever felt. All four were replaced when he got the tires, so I would hope they're as good as they are.

I'm sure there's many write-ups on this, but how would I go about cleaning up chrome and really making it "pop"?

The guy said he has the radio, but needs to find it. I think I can live without one for awhile, but I don't know how long I can go looking at a giant hole in the middle of my dash. If worst comes to worst, I'll just go with a buddy to the junkyard and pull one out of a donor car. The interior is grey IIRC. My number one priority when I get it is going to be fixing the seat adjuster. It's annoying driving without being 100% comfortable, and borderline dangerous.

If you think I should fix the A/C, I'll definitely put that on the list.

Awesome! So, control arms, struts, and rear shocks? Those shouldn't be difficult. Like I said, I'll have access to air powered tools until January, so hopefully I can do all those in two or three days. Hopefully before the Winter too, because I don't want to deal with salt and overall grime.

Dexcool is orange, correct? I thought that was the bad stuff? Or am I wrong? I know he's got antifreeze in it right now because he took the radiator cap off. My plan was to do an entire fluid flush of everything. Supercharger, coolant, oil, and whatever else I'm missing. Would it be a good ides to take a look at the windshield washer reservoir and see what that metal sleeve is like? I don't see why it would hurt.

It makes sense that if the MAF is dirty, chances are the air filter needs to be changed. I didn't even think about that until now.

What do I do if he's got mid-grade in it, and I want to put premium in it? Is it ok to mix them together? I want to do the seafoaming stuff that I read about too.

I have actually never heard that quote. Interesting!

Thanks for the wealth of information! I really do appreciate it.
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:45 pm

Quote :
Are the improved brakes what I read on here referred to as "F-body" brakes? I haven't delved into these types of threads yet because the ones on it now are fantastic. They're the best brakes I've ever felt. All four were replaced when he got the tires, so I would hope they're as good as they are.

Yes, the F-Bodies are one type of upgrade. The OEM brakes do a fine job of stopping the car quickly, which is what most drivers look for in brakes. When I bought my car in '03, I wondered why anyone would want better brakes. Problems occur though when you add power, or improve the suspension. Then you take the Riv on a spirited jaunt though country roads, and as the brake pad temperatures increase, they'll fade (dangerous), and over time usually result in a condition known as 'judder', a pulsation when braking. I would guess in your case that new brakes were installed to sell the car because of this condition. If you don't ever drive the car hard, you could go on these new brakes for quite a while, just be aware this is one of the car's limits.

There is a detailing thread in Exterior that may have some tips on polishing chrome. Depending on what you mean by "chrome", there are different ways to polish it up.

Quote :
Dexcool is orange, correct? I thought that was the bad stuff? Or am I wrong? I know he's got antifreeze in it right now because he took the radiator cap off. My plan was to do an entire fluid flush of everything. Supercharger, coolant, oil, and whatever else I'm missing. Would it be a good ides to take a look at the windshield washer reservoir and see what that metal sleeve is like? I don't see why it would hurt.

Dexcool is the orange stuff. Some say it's bad because they don't like admitting they forget to change the coolant after 5 years, then it eats through the plastic LIM gasket. Shame on them. The real fault was GM expecting Buick owners to properly maintain their cars. Dexcool is great stuff, and with the correct gasket and proper maintenance, it outperforms the old green stuff by a solid margin. That's why every new GM car still uses it. My engine builder recommended I continue using it after the rebuild at 246k miles.

Quote :
It makes sense that if the MAF is dirty, chances are the air filter needs to be changed. I didn't even think about that until now.

It's one possibility. You'll need to check the filter to know for sure.

Quote :
What do I do if he's got mid-grade in it, and I want to put premium in it? Is it ok to mix them together? I want to do the seafoaming stuff that I read about too.

It's fine to mix fuel grades. The car's PCM will adjust over time to run on the correct fuel. I've never had any reason to Seafoam, but some do. After seeing my TB and intake manifold internals after high miles, I'm a believer that some good WOT activity every now-and-then keeps the intake pretty clean and free of carbon. But it's only a $10 can, so can't hurt to blow some grey smoke around the neighborhood.

Best of luck!

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 281k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO 85k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe 116k miles 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica 152k miles 0-60: yes
Because free
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matt270avian
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:58 pm

Seafoam is nice if you KNOW everything is gunky. I didn't get any smoke when I did mine, but my car sees WOT almost every time I drive so there probably wasn't much to clean. When we did the Camaro it smoked like crazy and seemed to run a little better.
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KnottyEagle
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:46 pm

AA wrote:

Quote :
Are the improved brakes what I read on here referred to as "F-body" brakes? I haven't delved into these types of threads yet because the ones on it now are fantastic. They're the best brakes I've ever felt. All four were replaced when he got the tires, so I would hope they're as good as they are.


Yes, the F-Bodies are one type of upgrade. The OEM brakes do a fine job of stopping the car quickly, which is what most drivers look for in brakes. When I bought my car in '03, I wondered why anyone would want better brakes. Problems occur though when you add power, or improve the suspension. Then you take the Riv on a spirited jaunt though country roads, and as the brake pad temperatures increase, they'll fade (dangerous), and over time usually result in a condition known as 'judder', a pulsation when braking. I would guess in your case that new brakes were installed to sell the car because of this condition. If you don't ever drive the car hard, you could go on these new brakes for quite a while, just be aware this is one of the car's limits.

There is a detailing thread in Exterior that may have some tips on polishing chrome. Depending on what you mean by "chrome", there are different ways to polish it up.


Quote :
Dexcool is orange, correct? I thought that was the bad stuff? Or am I wrong? I know he's got antifreeze in it right now because he took the radiator cap off. My plan was to do an entire fluid flush of everything. Supercharger, coolant, oil, and whatever else I'm missing. Would it be a good ides to take a look at the windshield washer reservoir and see what that metal sleeve is like? I don't see why it would hurt.


Dexcool is the orange stuff. Some say it's bad because they don't like admitting they forget to change the coolant after 5 years, then it eats through the plastic LIM gasket. Shame on them. The real fault was GM expecting Buick owners to properly maintain their cars. Dexcool is great stuff, and with the correct gasket and proper maintenance, it outperforms the old green stuff by a solid margin. That's why every new GM car still uses it. My engine builder recommended I continue using it after the rebuild at 246k miles.


Quote :
It makes sense that if the MAF is dirty, chances are the air filter needs to be changed. I didn't even think about that until now.


It's one possibility. You'll need to check the filter to know for sure.


Quote :
What do I do if he's got mid-grade in it, and I want to put premium in it? Is it ok to mix them together? I want to do the seafoaming stuff that I read about too.


It's fine to mix fuel grades. The car's PCM will adjust over time to run on the correct fuel. I've never had any reason to Seafoam, but some do. After seeing my TB and intake manifold internals after high miles, I'm a believer that some good WOT activity every now-and-then keeps the intake pretty clean and free of carbon. But it's only a $10 can, so can't hurt to blow some grey smoke around the neighborhood.

Best of luck!
I'll keep an eye out for the brakes and periodically check them after a "spirited jaunt". smile

Cool! I'll take a look over there or just do a Google search if I don't find what I'm looking for.

Haha, understood. So, what do you think I should do about the antifreeze that's in it now? It's pretty clean. I was planning on changing it anyways, but It's clean enough that I kind of scrapped that. Should I switch back to Dexcool? I was thinking that maybe I should switch back whenever I get around to getting some aluminum LIM gaskets and switching them out with the old ones.

Thank You!
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:48 pm

matt270avian wrote:
Seafoam is nice if you KNOW everything is gunky. I didn't get any smoke when I did mine, but my car sees WOT almost every time I drive so there probably wasn't much to clean. When we did the Camaro it smoked like crazy and seemed to run a little better.
It wouldn't hurt to seafoam, though, would it? I have a suspicion that this Riviera could benefit from it.
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matt270avian
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:59 pm

It wouldn't hurt unless you didn't follow the instructions exactly. I did mine a couple hundred miles before I changed the oil since you're supposed to anyways after using it.
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:45 pm

SeaFoam also fouls spark plugs. You'll need to change them out + the oil. Like I said - never had a reason to use the stuff. For the price of a set of plugs, 5 qts oil, and the Seafoam, you could flush the coolant and aost afford a fresh LIM gasket.

If it has green coolant now, you can keep that type, or change to Dex. Unless the owner can show you receipts for the last change, I'd flush and fill with fresh. I did this with the last car I bought, and only had 45k miles.

I would replace the LIM when you know it's bad. One way is to look for residue on the spark plugs. The other is to send a sample of your oil in for analysis. Coolant contamination will show if there's an issue.

You'll know your brakes need fixing when they start shaking the car. The squeal tabs will usually make noise when the pads are nearly gone.


_________________
'98 SC Riviera 281k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'05 GTO 85k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun


'70 Olds Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe 116k miles 455 Rocket V8
Because cool


'95 Celica 152k miles 0-60: yes
Because free
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
KnottyEagle
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:18 pm

Awesome! Thanks for all the help!! I'll be the proud owner of a Riviera tomorrow evening.
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stan
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:25 pm

Daymon bro,once u get your Riv you'll fall in love forever with that car....just like all'o us..hahaah
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Eldo
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:41 pm

Abaddon wrote:


Eldo wrote:
For what it's worth, I kinda' like those rims... hi



Eldo droppin in his quarterly line.... jump
I certainly didn't mean it in a bad way.


LOL heart
If & when I FINALLY find a house to buy after the whole obamacare/cover oregon/kaiser permanente debacle and settle down, I'll be back more than once a quarter Scott... lmao
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KnottyEagle
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PostSubject: Re: Hello From a 16 Year-Old   Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:44 pm

stan wrote:
Daymon bro,once u get your Riv you'll fall in love forever with that car....just like all'o us..hahaah
I pretty much fell in love with it when I test drove it. I was trying really hard to keep my poker face. I'll have to try even harder tomorrow because I'll be laying down some cash.
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