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 New Member Looking at My First Riviera (Photos)

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Kper
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Name : Kyle
Joined : 2015-10-31
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PostSubject: New Member Looking at My First Riviera (Photos)   Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:12 pm

If everything goes well I may be here for a while.
I have never owned a Riviera before and even though I'm in my 50's I'm no newbie to performance vehicles - mostly classics but I've dabbled in some newer models. I know the benefits of the 3.8 but I have no idea what problematic areas the SC version may have.

Initially, I steered clear of the SC 3.8 because like most performance vehicles I figured they be hammered to death before pawned off on less suspecting customers. A friend turned me on to them primarily because he's has yet to see one with any corrosion. After a little looking I found he appeared to be right. Am I looking at the wrong adds or is there more to this?

I'm gathering some information before I call the seller of a '98 signature series with 77k miles. I used the search feature and found the regular maintenance stuff but was unable to fine a "things to look for when buying" thread. If it's out there let me know where and I'll head that way but, I'm older and some things aren't as obvious as they are to my kids!

So, until I'm redirected to that thread that alluding me, can I get some advice on what I should ask about and look for should I make it past the phone call and drive the hour to take a look?

I drive about 110 miles a day, on average. What can I expect for mileage?

The known problems listed in the add are:
Passenger door only opens from the inside.
Passenger power window doesn't work.
ABS and Traction control light is on.

Price is 3500 obo

Thanks everyone.







Kyle
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th3fr4nchi5e
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Name : Dave
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Location : Cheektowaga, NY (Buffalo)
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PostSubject: Re: New Member Looking at My First Riviera (Photos)   Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:53 am

Looks good. The only real things to watch for with the L67 motor that can cause problems is the LIM gaskets fail pretty frequently. It is an easy repair to take care of -and theres a write up on here for it. Just check the oil quality to be sure theres no mixing going on. At 77k miles, its probably not an issue. My 95 didnt need it changed until 175k miles. Other than that, just your usual inspections for rust underneath if you live in areas where the salt the roads.

As far as gas mileage. The SC 3800 will do about 15-20 around town and 25-30 on the highway depending on driving habits and conditions. 93 octane gas is necessary and is another thing to consider if fuel costs are a concern.

3800's are relatively cheap and easy to work on. They are a pretty good compromise of performance, efficiency and reliability.

If the car has been cared for and maintained during its life, you will enjoy driving the Riviera and wont want to get rid of it. Its a car with personality in the design that isnt present in many other vehicles.
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Kper
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Name : Kyle
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PostSubject: Re: New Member Looking at My First Riviera (Photos)   Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:23 am

Thanks for the reply.

I talked to the seller yesterday and there are a couple things keeping me from making the 2 hour drive to take a look...
The door handle and window issues aren't a show stopper for me but the ABS light and a SC issue he mentioned might be. Something just didn't sound right when talking to him about the ABS light. He said he had his mechanic look at it and it could be a sensor, which is no big deal, I've dealt with them before. But, he then went on about if it wasn't that then it could be the module. Unless the Buicks a different than the Pontiacs, it should be easy to determine which wheel is the problem. I felt he was hinting at the truth when he started mentioning it could be the brake module. Why else would he have brought that up if his mechanic looked at it and then the owner chose to leave the ABS inoperative? I don't know but I didn't feel good about it and don't want to get wrapped up in chasing electrical problems.

Then he mentioned that the SC was loud. His mechanic said he thought it was the "nylon 'sprocket' and suggested replacing it with a brass unit". I haven't researched this, yet, but didn't get any warm fuzzies here, either.

Those two issues, the door issues, the fact that he said the front and rear bumper covers were spider webbed and the tires needed replacing left me thinking I could find a better, possibly better maintained specimen, another time. Besides, he said he had only a "little" wiggle room on the price. I'd sooner pay a little more for something I feel was well maintained and taken care of.
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: New Member Looking at My First Riviera (Photos)   Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:48 am

All of the FWD GMs of that era are basically the same when it comes to trac ctrl/ABS problems - usually it is a wheel bearing, if not it's the ABS head. There's not much more to it than that, but you need to get specifically an ABS code reader to find out what the error code is, then you'll know which wheel bearing needs replacing. In general, front wheel bearings tend to last about 100K miles, so it could just be time for front wheel bearings, but it's nice to know the code before you dig into it.

LIM gaskets - the OEM ones were plastic and based on the low miles they are probably original and need to be replaced.

Can you be any more specific about the "Supercharger issue"? Sometimes they need bearings replaced, which GM doesn't sell directly but there are a few aftermarket companies that do sell the Eaton bearings. The "book" says to replace the supercharger, which is not usually necessary. Another common issue is belt tensioner and idler pulley bearings.
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Kper
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Name : Kyle
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PostSubject: Re: New Member Looking at My First Riviera (Photos)   Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:36 am

deekster_caddy wrote:

...Can you be any more specific about the "Supercharger issue"? Sometimes they need bearings replaced, which GM doesn't sell directly but there are a few aftermarket companies that do sell the Eaton bearings. The "book" says to replace the supercharger, which is not usually necessary. Another common issue is belt tensioner and idler pulley bearings.

As soon as I said, "Tell me about the car", he started talking and I listened for about 5 minutes. I didn't ask about the SC, he just felt he needed to talk about it. He described the SC noise as a "high pitched radio noise". What I took away from it was the typical SC whine, only... excessive.

After listing the body/paint work, bad tires and such, I had kinda lost interest and didn't dig deeper into the super charger issue. If I felt he might have dropped the price a grand or so I may have pursued it. I told him I'd call him back today and have yet to do that.
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th3fr4nchi5e
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PostSubject: Re: New Member Looking at My First Riviera (Photos)   Sun Nov 01, 2015 3:07 pm

There are a bunch of low mile Rivs that pop up from time to time. If you are seriously considering buying a Riviera, its not as if this is a chance missed out on. For a car with issues you may have to chase, $3500 is not THAT cheap reagardless of milage. Ive seen a bunch of Rivs that claim zero issues and look Pristine in the $4-5k range.
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Kper
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Name : Kyle
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PostSubject: Re: New Member Looking at My First Riviera (Photos)   Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:46 pm

That's kinda what I was hoping to hear. I'd sooner pay a little more for something nicer. Like, the garage kept, original owner cream puff who's owner is in his 70's!

Thanks for all the input.
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Jason
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PostSubject: Re: New Member Looking at My First Riviera (Photos)   Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:29 pm

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http://www.cardomain.com/id/Doctor_Meltdown
 
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