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 Looking an at 98 Riv but.....

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harrison310
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Name : HarrisonATX
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PostSubject: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 12:13 am

I wanted to see how you all are doing with the last generation of Rivs.

How are these cars for quality, reliability and handling? I haven't driven one yet, but my neighbor is looking to get rid of his 98 SC. It's a terrible bronze color, some dents, but I can't stop looking at this beautiful Jag-like body.

I figured, buy the car, change the wheels/tires to improve handling, and then save up to paint the car British Racing Green...

So any advice for a potential buyer? Good car? Economic car?
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98SuperRiv
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98SuperRiv

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PostSubject: Re: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 12:38 am

they are awesome cars to own. ive owned a 98 sc riv for a year and a half and ive had to put front brake pads on it and i just encountered a problem that they said was something called the crank sensor. granted mine has 168,000 miles on it something was bound to go wrong. but i got to drive it 25000 miles before the sensor went out. i get about 18-22 mpg depending on where i drive(city vs. highway). as far as handiling, it actually does very well for a luxury car. i was impressed when i bought mine how easily it cut through the corners on my drive home from the dealer. my cars trunk button doesnt work and it honestly leaks a little less than half a qt of oil every 3000 miles. they are very comfortable with their heated seats in the winter as well. lets not forget that the supercharged V6 engine puts out 240 hp and 280 ft lbs of tq. that is 15 more horsepower than the ford mustang put out in the mid 90s with a V8 i believe they were rated at 225hp. the only downside i dont like for performance is that it is front wheel drive. but it does help in the daily drivibility of the car. its so nice to have FWD when it snows. i think it would be a wise thing to look into the riv. i think it will be a good investment down the road.
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AA
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AA

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PostSubject: Re: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 12:53 am

Hello and welcome. I own and drive a '98 SC Riviera, and the best way I can describe the car is a perfect mix of all the things you've described, and a bit more. Here's my .02...

Quality: decent for '90s GM. My car has over 180k miles and the interior has very few rattles. With the exception of a few small things, all of the interior parts are holding up very well. Build quality is excellent. The parts you would expect to fix on most cars at 60k-80k miles will probably last 150k or more on an 8th gen Riviera. It seems you don't replace a lot of broken parts on this car, but you "upgrade" parts that seem old and worn out. FYI, my car has never been garaged since 25k miles, and the paint and chrome looks very good.

Reliability: I have been stranded only once in 6 years of daily driving, when my tensioner pulley broke and the serpentine belt came off. AAA towed to the dealer, cost me $60 +tax to repair, and they were even able to keep the same belt! Everything else that's failed (not a long list) gave me fair warning, even the transmission that went at 150k miles. On a totally fried transaxle, I drove over 400 miles and then limped to the AAMCO. Simply amazing. Engine still runs like new, too.

Handling: not the best, but decent for such a heavy, soft-riding car. A good set of tires and some suspension upgrades really transform the way this car turns and stops. With stock wheels, I have recorded a .94 lat G in a hard corner. With upgraded brakes a .88 decel G, and with some engine mods a 0-60 mph time of under 6 secs. Probably the most incredible part about the car is its torque and acceleration. There are very few FWD cars on the road that can match the Riv's 1st gear sprint. Even some sports cars have trouble keeping up. I've already taken it to the drag strip; an autocross event is in the near future.

Economy: for in-town driving not the best (15 MPG), but for freeway driving it's a dream for what it is. 25 MPG easy, even 30 MPG+ is achievable on a long trip. With practice, I've averaged better than 20 MPG average over the past year. Will you do it? Only if you can control the pedal!

Is it a good car? If you like the way it looks on the outside, the rest will not disappoint. The styling is the only part that some can't accept (I love it). In my opinion, one of the best you could buy for its time. And with a few modifications, it can easily compete with modern luxury vehicles, even beat a few. I like to present it this way:

How many cars on the road can reliably make 300HP on pump gas, run a high 13 sec 1/4 mile, and then log 37 MPG on the freeway? Now, how many of those cars weigh in at 4000 lb, are powered by a supercharged V6, and have over 180k miles on the clock? Like I said, a good all-around mix of everything you could want in a daily driver.

Like most cars, Rivieras have a few issues that need attention, but I feel like those things pale in comparison to the strengths the car has to offer.

_________________
'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 • 180º 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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TonySmooth89
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TonySmooth89

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PostSubject: Re: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 1:05 am

Agreed that pretty much the only thing that will leave you stranded in these cars are belts , and those break on every car , but are a little more involving on this car to fix...but as often as belts require changes its no worries.

As far as the driving experience is concerned , the car rides very smooth , has plenty of roadhoaling , though doesn't necessarily turn willingly being so heavy , but for what it is is fine. The torquey V6 however makes the car feel much lighter than it is IMO , and with a few mods these things can really fly. The car has an incredibly smooth and linear powerband , and reaches speeds surprisingly. With a wood dash kit the interior is on par with anything out there today IMO. The car is fairly easy to work on and mileage is pretty good.

And last but not least.... I can't take my eyes of my car anymore. I honestly see almost nothing on the road that appeals to me more than this car does. ( it looks even better with tint too..)
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 7:43 am

The only thing that (still) takes getting used to even after 6 years is how big the doors are... it can be tough to leave yourself enough room to get out in some tight parking lots. I added front and rear Addco sway bars, plus a strut tower brace, and I think each of those handling parts are totally and completely worthwhile to upgrade. Also going with a wider rim and tire makes a big difference in how hard you can corner.

My car has never left me stranded (looking for wood to knock on now...). I replaced all the idler/tensioner pullies at 100K miles as a 'preventative' measure. If it still has the OEM idler pullies, you are probably looking at this as a worthwhile upgrade soon.

I needed my transmission rebuilt at 50K miles (just after I bought it), due to a stuck pressure control solenoid. The PCS and TCC solenoids are very very sensitive to dirt in these, I suggest never having your transmission flushed, just regular pan drops and filter changes. That's pretty much true for all the GM 4T65-E transmissions. Otherwise they will last a long time, 150K like AA's did.

My car is black, and the factory paint job has oxidized worse than anything I've seen before. I have started taking an auto body class and I'm repainting the car one panel at a time... but it's all very educational and it's being done "right".

If it has the factory stereo, it sounds pretty good, but don't ever stick anything in the tape deck, or you might not get it back... wink

For the engine, if you have the speed bug, the SC 3800 has a lot of potential to make more power with a few bolt-ons, and there are plenty of aftermarket cams and race parts if you want to build something crazy...

Browse around the FAQs on the site, there is a pretty good catalog of all the problems you are likely to encounter.
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harrison310
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PostSubject: Re: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 9:27 am

thanks for your replies. i think the Riv is a gorgeous car - always wanted one. I guess I'll have to beg for a test drive and see what i think. He only has 65k on it.
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 9:32 am

How much $$$ are you going to offer him?
a 98 with 65K on it is a good car for the right money.
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harrison310
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PostSubject: Re: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 9:41 am

He's asking $7000. It's a one owner car, low miles, but I was hoping to get it for closer to $5000 so I have money to do tire/wheels. The body is OK. Some dings. No sunroof. I definitely would want a dash kit since the current dash is plain.

I would love to swap out the Riv dash for the Olds Aurora - aren't they on the same platform - but that'd be insane:)
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 9:49 am

He's asking way too much.
Look at NADA for a 98 and i think you will find "Extra clean Retail price = $5,000 (subract for no sunroof and some body damage,dings. Add a little for low mileage.

"Trade In Value = $3100.

Take a look at Edmonds.com also.

You need to talk him down from $7,000.
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harrison310
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PostSubject: Re: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 10:29 am

yikes, you're right. Edmunds says it's worth $4730.

KBB says $4185 in excellent condition - which it is not.
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1998 Riv
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1998 Riv

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PostSubject: Re: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 11:30 am

I won't argue about the values being mentioned. But keep in mind, if it's the car the you WANT, there's nothing wrong with paying a bit more than so-called Book Value to acquire it.

My 98 had 100k when I bought it a couple years ago. Darn near perfect body/paint/interior, and ran perfectly. Needed some maintenance stuff done, and you should expect that in any used car you buy. I'd been searching for about 4 months for a Riv, and I was the first prospective buyer to look at this one. Owner knew what a great car it was, and wasn't thrilled about selling. Wouldn't budge off of $6000 asking price, and I wasn't going to walk away after months of fruitless searching, so I paid it, and it was worth every penny over the $5k I had WANTED to spend.

If you are able to do a lot of your own repairs and maintenance, there's a ton of experience among our members with most anything you will need to work on. Buy a Riv, whether it's this one or not, and you are not likely to regret it. I'd buy a new one in an instant if they still made 'em.
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harrison310
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PostSubject: Re: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 2:09 pm

that's a tough one. Not too many Riv's for sale, but also nice to save some $$ for mods!smile
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1998 Riv
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1998 Riv

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PostSubject: Re: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 4:20 pm

If you're not in any big hurry, and he won't budge, just keep shopping. I was in no hurry when I started shopping, but as fall/winter approached, I NEEDED to buy a daily driver. But it was also in great shape.
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Jack the R
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PostSubject: Re: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 4:25 pm

I would keep in mind when it comes to classic cars they are worth what someone is willing to pay for them. When these cars first came out I thought they were instant classics. There isn't much from the nineties that's compareable. I'd say the only collectible domestics of the nineties will be the STS, Riviera, LIncoln Mk VIII, 1st Taurus SHO, the pony cars, Viper, and Corvette. Maybe the 1st Aurora, but they were built in far larger numbers than the Riviera.

I too looked for months before finding a Riviera in good enough shape to buy. You've got to figure there were only 100,000 made, many of which will have been scrapped by now, and many more are in declining condition. If you want one of these cars, it's likely you will be looking for a long time before you find a clean one. It might be worth it since you don't like the color of this car, as it's not cheap to get a car repainted right (no Maaco or Earl Scheib!) and an all-original car will be worth more in the long run, plus you could get a better deal and have money left over for mods. Hit up autotrader.com and see what's available in your area. I found mine through autotrader - there were no decent ones available at all in my area for months and then one dropped right into my lap.

If you do get one, I doubt you'll be disappointed. The Riv is possibly the best value for performance and luxury out there, with a high build quality and low cost to maintain. With a few cheap mods you can really bring it to life, and if you want to go further the L67 can make 400 hp or more. AA's run a faster quarter mile than one of his Viper buddies, and AA's only making 3/4's of the power of other board members.
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 6:13 pm

My .02 cents; Try and find a 98 or 99. First off your guaranteed that they will be supercharged as all of them came off the assy line that way, it was not an option.
Earlier ones it's optional. Also the 98's and 99's had all the latest engineering changes they were ever going to do to these cars as production stopped in 99. You have a much better chance of finding one fully loaded (with sunroof) on the later years and there are more mod's available for them.
Not that you can't mod the earlier ones, though.
Just my opinion.
I'm sure someone may have disputes with my thought process but I specifically looked for a clean low mile, one owner 98 or 99 and it only took me one month to find mine. Needed a couple of things right away but nothing to scare me away and i saved enough to have the initial work done and bought some parts to modify it with my initial budget.
But maybe I just got lucky.
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harrison310
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PostSubject: Re: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 6:42 pm

Thanks again to everyone. Yeah, this guy won't budge on price. I told him about KBB and Edmunds, but he's sure he's got a collector's car.

So I'll let him sit with it for now. Maybe he'll change his mind in a week or two....
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Jack the R
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PostSubject: Re: Looking an at 98 Riv but.....   Looking an at 98 Riv but..... EmptyTue Jun 09, 2009 6:45 pm

If I had to do it again I would look for a 98 or 99 as well, but AFAIK the only mod you can't do on a 97 are the KYB GR2 struts. Which you could do if you wanted to swap on a 98 front suspension. I don't know if that's worth passing on a good 97.

harrisson310, autotrader.com is your friend. Go spend a little quality time together.
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