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 My Third Riviera - a 1995 SC

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Rampaging95Riv
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Name : Thunder7
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PostSubject: My Third Riviera - a 1995 SC   Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:32 pm

Hi All

I've owned three Riviera's - a 1985, a 1996, and now a 1995 with 59,000 original miles. It has a white exterior with a blue carriage roof, and an Adriatic Blue leather interior with a woodgrain dash.

Looking forward to tearing into it and fixing all of its current problems:

1. No anything blowing out of the vents but the blower, defrost, floor and console all work.
2. Radio decides to work when it wants to.
3. Strange fluid leak under the car at the front - I suspect its the front seals on the AC compressor.
4. Weird rolling sound from behind the dash panel whenever I turn a corner like there's a small steel ball inside the dash.

Thinking of doing the following initial upgrades:

1. 1996 style HVAC control with a more sensible air mixture control.
2. Getting a better radio with GPS and CD.
3. Set of Oldsmobile Aurora wheels (they really look good on our cars)

I want to keep it as stock as possible and drive it as little as possible but I also want it to be reliable.

Steven
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albertj
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Location : Finger Lakes of New York State
Joined : 2007-05-31
Post Count : 6507
Merit : 121

PostSubject: Re: My Third Riviera - a 1995 SC   Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:09 pm

Rampaging95Riv wrote:
Hi All

I've owned three Riviera's - a 1985, a 1996, and now a 1995 with 59,000 original miles. It has a white exterior with a blue carriage roof, and an Adriatic Blue leather interior with a woodgrain dash.

Looking forward to tearing into it and fixing all of its current problems:

1. No anything blowing out of the vents but the blower, defrost, floor and console all work.
2. Radio decides to work when it wants to.
3. Strange fluid leak under the car at the front - I suspect its the front seals on the AC compressor.
4. Weird rolling sound from behind the dash panel whenever I turn a corner like there's a small steel ball inside the dash.

Thinking of doing the following initial upgrades:

1. 1996 style HVAC control with a more sensible air mixture control.
2. Getting a better radio with GPS and CD.
3. Set of Oldsmobile Aurora wheels (they really look good on our cars)

I want to keep it as stock as possible and drive it as little as possible but I also want it to be reliable.

Steven


Concerning your problems:

1) don't ditch your current AC control, they are better than the later ones -- see the threads on repairing the later ones, which have ballast resistors that burn themselves up... your AC problem can likely be fixed by replacing the actuators.  What happened, I think, was GM redesigned the actuators (went from metal to plastic cams for instance) and the ones in our year Rivs break somewhat easier... I think...  If you can find the earlier versions of the actuators with the metal cams OR as new as you can get with the plastic-cam versions they will swap in as long as everything else (the configuration and pinout) is the same.   The cheap way out is to use any reasonable parts guide to cross your actuator numbers to other cars that have the same one, then go to a junkyard and pull the actuators from the newest ones that match.  For instance see this page http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=2194764&cc=1303322&jsn=409 to find the part numbers to match up one of the actuators on my Riv.  Then I click on the part number in the catalog and it shows me the 42 (yes 42) models of GM cars and trucks from 192-present that they used the sucker on.  (thank goodness they have such similarity in hard parts)  If you look up your Riv's year you can do the same and with those lists and the P/Ns go to a nearby pick and pull and get those actuators on the cheap.   You will need to check them somehow to make sure they are not broken, or get several of each number.  I would expect to pay $10 or less each.  Maybe more like $2.- each. You may need the FSM for troubleshooting.
2) Radio sounds nice but you'll have "fun" getting it to fit. Look at some of the other installs on this site for ideas.
3) I think you can use the similar-years Caddy chrome wheels with the Riv chrome center caps but don't quote me on that check it out for yourself. Works best if you have the Riv chromes already because the centercaps can be more than $100/ea from a GM dealer.  Generic chrome centers might be about $30 - $40 the set of 4. You can call a pick and pull in western NY state at (607) 739-3851 - they have an aurora on the yard and maybe they will ship you the wheels for short money.
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Rampaging95Riv
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Name : Thunder7
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PostSubject: Thanks!   Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:59 pm

Albertj

Thank you for the suggestions.

AC: I wondered if it were the door actuators or if maybe it was the vacuum distributor by the heater box. Either way I suspect I'm relegated to tearing down the dash to get access. I am going to a boneyard this weekend so I will definitely try to get some using the part numbers from the Rock Auto site.

Radio: I'm up for a challenge. I think I'll need to get a 1996 or later dash front panel and inserts behind the panel to make it fit. This is not a priority right now. The car is safe in my garage and keeping it off the road for a while helps keep the mileage down.

Wheels: Thanks also for the ideas there. I put a set of Aurora wheels (1995-2001 series) on my previous 1996 Riviera. I actually bought this one in Florida and trucked it up to my home 750 miles away. It has standard supercharged wheels (finished in Argent) with a set of Riviera chrome center caps. Interesting combination that I suspect was added by an owner and not from the factory.

Thanks again - I'll surf the forum for additional ideas on these and report back!

323,000 - VERY impressive - yours has reached middle age!
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albertj
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Location : Finger Lakes of New York State
Joined : 2007-05-31
Post Count : 6507
Merit : 121

PostSubject: Re: My Third Riviera - a 1995 SC   Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:23 pm

Rampaging95Riv wrote:
Albertj

Thank you for the suggestions.

AC: I wondered if it were the door actuators or if maybe it was the vacuum distributor by the heater box. Either way I suspect I'm relegated to tearing down the dash to get access. I am going to a boneyard this weekend so I will definitely try to get some using the part numbers from the Rock Auto site.

Radio: I'm up for a challenge. I think I'll need to get a 1996 or later dash front panel and inserts behind the panel to make it fit. This is not a priority right now. The car is safe in my garage and keeping it off the road for a while helps keep the mileage down.

Wheels: Thanks also for the ideas there. I put a set of Aurora wheels (1995-2001 series) on my previous 1996 Riviera. I actually bought this one in Florida and trucked it up to my home 750 miles away. It has standard supercharged wheels (finished in Argent) with a set of Riviera chrome center caps. Interesting combination that I suspect was added by an owner and not from the factory.

Thanks again - I'll surf the forum for additional ideas on these and report back!

323,000 - VERY impressive - yours has reached middle age!

If the fan is working, then no air thru vents is an actuator problem (or something large and furry built a nest but you would smell that for sure). The actuators are tedious but not difficult to R&R. I have removed all of mine for testing and replaced half of them, the other ones I rebuilt using junkyard parts. They contain a servo motor and some gears. If the motor is working you can scavenge ears from a junkyard or nonworking unit. If you get one of the older units with metal gears that does not work you can swap the gears for the corresponding plastic gears in a unit that has a working servo. The servos either unscrew apart or snap apart, it will be obvious to you on inspection when you have them out.

Albertj
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