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MrBUDY
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PostSubject: hey im new! :)   Tue May 25, 2010 3:52 pm

Hey, my name is shawn!
I'm new to the riv scene but I am soon to be a long time fan. I owned a 91 buick regal 2 door, and I was wanting to start modding it, unfortunatly from browsing around there were few mods for my 3.8 series 1 engine.. also before I could even/ start I crashed it! I was very dissapointed.. I loved that car. Its been a year now and I have owned two more cars just to drain money into them with repairs. Definately miss my reliable buick. I was looking at the newer regal gs's but I came across a nice 96 buick riviera sc. I then started youtubing and reading reviews. Needles to say that I am very interested in getting one now. Like I said I have already found a 96. Getting it this weekend hopfully! So I just registered and I look forward to owning such a unique car and to modding it to my liking. I look forward to meeting all the experts on this forum!
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Tue May 25, 2010 4:34 pm

Welcome Shawn! How many miles on the one you are looking at?
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Tue May 25, 2010 4:38 pm

It has 225, 000 km so uh 140, 000 miles about
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Tue May 25, 2010 4:54 pm

I want it to be my dd and I want reliable hp, but still want power when I need it, and that's why I wanted a car with the 3800 sc motor. The 3800 S1 N/A I had was the most reliable motor I've ever had, no problems. This car I hope to have a very long time and want to put some money into it. Just in the performance side, how much on avg do you think ppl spend on moderatly modding these motors? I was thinking about throwing about 2k into it.
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Tue May 25, 2010 6:51 pm

Hold out for a series 2 if you want to mod.

98-99 Rivs are the ones to have. 97 has most of what you need, but will need more modifications to use the best struts.

If you want the car to be reliable it will take more than 2k. At this age most Rivs are going to need new shocks/struts etc and be getting close to a transmission rebuild. At 150k all kinds of little things will start to fail, like window motors and HVAC modules, along with bigger things like AC compressors. You need to have a budget for this.
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Tue May 25, 2010 7:07 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the 95 rivs were the ones with the series l engines (sc), and the 96 and up have the series ll sc engines.
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Tue May 25, 2010 7:17 pm

Welcome hi

Agreed with Jack. Depending on how much maintenance has already been done, the Riv will need more than 2k...just for replacing normal wear and tear parts, especially with that amount of miles. I have 122k on my car, bought it when it had 80k. I've had to replace/fix.....

-Water Pump
-Shocks and Struts
-2 wheel bearings (hubs)
-S/C coupler
-Both belts
-4 pulleys
-Plugs/Wires
-Blower motor resistor
-Lower Intake Gaskets
-Brakes and Rotors
-Cam and Crank Sensors
-Ignition Switch

There is more to list.....Notice this list has no mods involved?
I'm not trying to scare you out of buying it, as I love my Rivi and won't get rid of it until it dies. Just foreshadowing what may need to be done in the near future. These are all common things that go bad on almost every Riv. Modding is fun as hell though......
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Tue May 25, 2010 7:23 pm

the guy im buying it from said he has replaced alot of things and he sounds like he is the person to take very good care of it. only thing he said he hasnt replaced is the rear shocks and they do need replacing. i dont have on hand exactly what he has done but for sure will ask some questions before i buy. He has also told me it has only been a sumer driver and that he stores it for winter, I will be taking a look at it this weekend most likely. There are not that many rivieras for sale and I have been looking for a while now. Well at least in alberta and bc.
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Wed May 26, 2010 5:16 pm

MrBUDY wrote:
the guy im buying it from said he has replaced alot of things and he sounds like he is the person to take very good care of it. only thing he said he hasnt replaced is the rear shocks and they do need replacing. i dont have on hand exactly what he has done but for sure will ask some questions before i buy. He has also told me it has only been a sumer driver and that he stores it for winter, I will be taking a look at it this weekend most likely. There are not that many rivieras for sale and I have been looking for a while now. Well at least in alberta and bc.

IF you do them yourself the rear air shocks will coast you less than C$150 - get Monroe MA-822 by the pair. Should be about $70 - $90 US for the pair. If you need/want mounts too then probably best to get a pair of the Delcos from RockAuto.com, you have to look at the pictures to see which ones come with mounts. They will cost more than the MA-822s alone and cost less than buying a pair of mounts and a pair of MA-822s.

The maintenance on the Riv is not that bad BUT for some reason parts prices are silly high. You will enjoy the car immensely if you keep it well maintained. It will cost you some bucks to keep the maintenance up. More than one list member has come and gone. They come to Riv for power, styling and driving comfort and they leave it because the maintenance gets to 'em.

That said, most of the hard parts (tensioners, tie rod ends, brakes) are basic GM and not that pricey. But for instance, a rebuilt steering rack will set you back in neighborhood of $500, and that's just the rack. Comparison: you can get a rebuilt power steering rack for a late '90s Lincoln Continental for $150 or so.

I found this site critical in keeping my Riv on the road and I'm sure you will, too.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Wed May 26, 2010 7:19 pm

Shawn,
If you don't mind me asking, How much are you going to have to pay for this 96.???

It's too bad more weren't available up where you are because you could actually save some money by spending a little more on a well cared for 98 or 99. And there is at least one more mod available to the later model and not available to the 96 and that is a brake upgrade, by buying Camaro or Firebird aluminum dual piston front calipers and mounts. The F-Body brake Mod (can read about it on here) There are probably many other things as well.
Not to mention finding a good, clean, well maintained 98 with maintenance records will save you from doing a bunch of work right away, possibly.
Not a guarantee though.
I bought my 98 with I think 78,000 miles and it needed rear shocks and a level ride compressor right away. Front struts, springs and all components to make a completely new assembly. For other cars, you can go to the parts stores and buy a loaded strut assembly ready to bolt in with new upper bearings, spring cushions, springs, struts, etc. Not so with the Riv, you have to build your own.
I also had an inoperative A/C compressor and pulsating brakes. I knew all this by being able to inspect the car before buying it and I negotiated the price down quite a bit to cover these repairs. I didn't go into it blind. It was a one owner car that was kept well on the outside and inside, yet he bought ito the GM hype that no other maintenance need be done until 100,000 miles other than his 3,000 mile oil changes and coolant changes and some other small things.
Within 12,000 miles I had to have the Transmission re-built and new engine/trans mounts. $1800.00 for the Trans and $600.00 for the mounts.
At the time the aftermarket did not make any mounts for our cars and I had to pay dealer Retail at $600.00 for 2 mounts.
There seems to be some availabilty now for one of the mounts, but to my knowledge, nowone on here has bought one to see if it fits.
Anyway, there was an easy $3 to 4,000 US dollars spent in the first 6 months.
I did buy an extended warranty knowing ahead of time about the transmissions being an issue on these cars so i didn't have to pay all that out of pocket in the beginning, but i did pay for the warranty. In hindsight it was the best thing i could have done as I ended up getting almost $4,000 worth of repairs for I think $1500.00 for the warranty and my out of pocket cost's.
I also had paint bubbling on the leading edge of the hood, which is very common on these aluminum hoods for some reason.
I paid a respectable body shop to strip the hood completely and properly treat the aluminum and apply the correct type of primer before re-painting the hood to match perfectly, another $700.00.
I hope with the mileage that is on the car you are looking at that a lot of the normal failure items that come due at 100,000 miles have already been done.
Check the undercarriage for leaks and seeps. Oil Pan, Trans, Power Steering, etc. This stuff can get pricey if your not doing all the work yourself.
You have to replace all the pulleys and belts for instance, and on an SC engine they are a bitch, but if left ignored they will leave you stranded on the side of the road.

When you get a list from the seller of maintenance done to the car recently, post it here and we will be better able to tell you what the car is worth based on upcoming needed maintenance. Remember you have to have a good solid car before you can even think about doing modifications. As I have already mentioned I made sure I had an upgraded suspension and brake system with all new and high performance parts, before i even considered the small amount of engine mods I've done.
Good Luck and hope you did find a cream puff.
Rick
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Wed May 26, 2010 9:42 pm

I am not disagreeing with anyone here or with anything that has been said, but I have owned my '96 since 09 and I really haven't had more issues than any other member? My personal opinion is that they realized they were on to a winner with the '95 model and then improved on many things for '96. Since then they have improved on a few things but the biggest jump occured between '95-'96, including moving to the Series II motor. A well maintained car is a well maintained car, it doesn't matter what year it is. Buy the 96 with confidence Shawn. thumbsup
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Wed May 26, 2010 10:21 pm

BMD wrote:
... Since then they have improved on a few things but the biggest jump occured between '95-'96, including moving to the Series II motor.

werd

And while I also don't want to disagree with anyone, my personal choice for rear shocks is to buy the OEM replacements... That's what I did with my Eldorado, and even though they now cost twice as much as aftermarket, you know that the labor (either your own or a mechanic's) will be minimal. Once the trailing arm is supported, just pop off the air-line, remove the nuts, remove & replace the shock and snap the air line back on. Plus, I know they'll go a lot of miles...
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Thu May 27, 2010 12:08 am

Eldo wrote:
BMD wrote:
... Since then they have improved on a few things but the biggest jump occured between '95-'96, including moving to the Series II motor.

werd

And while I also don't want to disagree with anyone, my personal choice for rear shocks is to buy the OEM replacements... That's what I did with my Eldorado, and even though they now cost twice as much as aftermarket, you know that the labor (either your own or a mechanic's) will be minimal. Once the trailing arm is supported, just pop off the air-line, remove the nuts, remove & replace the shock and snap the air line back on. Plus, I know they'll go a lot of miles...

ROckAuto now also shows rear struts for the Riv (MonroMatic and SensaTracs) that you can fit if you use an adapter kit, AK43. If you have new springs the sensatracs should work great (they are position sensitive, saggy springs won't let 'em work right), The Matics should be OK.

However, that's if you like the ride. I prefer the OE air shocks.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Thu May 27, 2010 12:37 am

Well he is asking 3500 for the car. I'm not sure if he has done all of thoes. But I will definately ask and check it out. I have a master mechanic in the family that is going to look at it with me, I'm sure we will do a thorough lookthrough of the car and take it for a drive. Thanks though for alll the pointers tho, very appriciated!
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Fri May 28, 2010 10:51 am

Welcome Shawn!!

Judging by what I've seen in local classifieds, $3500 for a 96' seems like way too much $$ unless it's been extremely well cared for. I'm not sure if Rivieras are very hard to come by in your area which is another factor to consider.
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Fri May 28, 2010 4:57 pm

Yea they are hard to find in my area, I cant even find any regal GS's in my area. They are all the LS. And 2500 - 4500 is around the normal price here that I have seen. Even though I have only seen about 2 or 3 total in the past 3- 4 months within 1000 km of where I am.
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Fri May 28, 2010 11:41 pm

Ok well since this car has about 140000 miles, and there are not very many of them at all.. I have been looking at this 1998 buick regal gs, black aka the colour I have been wanting. With only 96000 miles. It would be nice to get the riviera but less miles... black instead of green... do you guys have good reviews for the regals?
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Sat May 29, 2010 7:47 am

Ooooh oooooh! I got this. smile

What year? 99 and 2000 are best for them in terms of how many options you get but anything 98 or over is okay. If I recall correctly, 2001+ get a darker gray interior option which is a lot nicer than the normal light gray. Some have a burgundy interior and I've seen some that have a blue one as well (both seem to be rare options and I've only seen that on 98s). 99+ have a better flowing airbox duct and I believe their muffler is less restrictive as well. On top of that I believe they have a fuller trunk passthrough system.

Cupholder on center console is known to break on them and hard to find replacements but I wouldn't call that a deal breaker.

This is probably a lot more info than you need... lol

Drivetrain is same as Riviera so do the usual when looking at it. Test drive and give it a pretty good flogging to make sure the transmission is okay. Bring the car up to temp to see if the torque converter locks up in 4th (should do it just after 40mph).

Feel more than free to PM me if you have any questions whatsoever. Regals are kinda my thing. wink

edit: And I love black Regals the most. devil

edit again: duh... just saw it's a 98'. lol
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Sat May 29, 2010 2:10 pm

albertj wrote:
MrBUDY wrote:
the guy im buying it from said he has replaced alot of things and he sounds like he is the person to take very good care of it. only thing he said he hasnt replaced is the rear shocks and they do need replacing. i dont have on hand exactly what he has done but for sure will ask some questions before i buy. He has also told me it has only been a sumer driver and that he stores it for winter, I will be taking a look at it this weekend most likely. There are not that many rivieras for sale and I have been looking for a while now. Well at least in alberta and bc.

IF you do them yourself the rear air shocks will coast you less than C$150 - get Monroe MA-822 by the pair. Should be about $70 - $90 US for the pair. If you need/want mounts too then probably best to get a pair of the Delcos from RockAuto.com, you have to look at the pictures to see which ones come with mounts. They will cost more than the MA-822s alone and cost less than buying a pair of mounts and a pair of MA-822s.

The maintenance on the Riv is not that bad BUT for some reason parts prices are silly high. You will enjoy the car immensely if you keep it well maintained. It will cost you some bucks to keep the maintenance up. More than one list member has come and gone. They come to Riv for power, styling and driving comfort and they leave it because the maintenance gets to 'em.

That said, most of the hard parts (tensioners, tie rod ends, brakes) are basic GM and not that pricey. But for instance, a rebuilt steering rack will set you back in neighborhood of $500, and that's just the rack. Comparison: you can get a rebuilt power steering rack for a late '90s Lincoln Continental for $150 or so.

I found this site critical in keeping my Riv on the road and I'm sure you will, too.

Albertj

I have a set of MA822's in stock here. They retail at $158.39 CAN including GST, I can do it for $88.86 CAN including GST. Just have to pay for shipping (shouldn't be much to BC from where I am in AB. I highly doubt you'll find any1 that can beat that price.

I have already made a post regarding competative prices I can offer to any Canadian members of this board. I would also extend the same offer to the U.S. guys but shipping + customs would undoubtabley gobble up any bargains I may provide south of the border.

If your in Canada and you have a Riv and a method to pay, then by all means PM me with a parts list and I will email or fax you a quote. You can compare it with local dealers, never know maybe they'll cut you a deal if you show them the quote. They may try to come close to matching the price. That would avoid the shipping and the waiting.
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Sat May 29, 2010 4:46 pm

well since it is almost impossible to find rivieras in my area.. how difficult is it to buy one from the states and bring it back up to canada? I know that if I buy one out of province it requires an inspection, and that's about it, but what if its from out of country aka the states..?
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Sun May 30, 2010 10:15 am

I put the Monroe MA-822 shocks in my '98' and they went right in like factory replacements. Slick! thumbsup
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PostSubject: Re: hey im new! :)   Mon May 31, 2010 2:20 pm

Same as out of province if you buy from states. They make it kind of a pain in the ass, but its do-able.
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