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 Future Riviera owner?

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Selcouth
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PostSubject: Future Riviera owner?   Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:28 am

Seems like this site has some good people with lots of knowledge. I'll soon be in the process of looking for a daily and I've always had a soft spot for these cars. Anything with a 3800 series engine tickles my fancy, probably another reason why I'm drawn to these cars. My first experience with one was years ago when I worked at an oil change shop. Pulled it in and didn't want to get out as I was awe struck at the design and comfort of the vehicle. As I begin my search I hope to gain a wealth of information from this site to make my buying experience a bit more pleasant.

My current daily(1997 GTP) that I plan to retire and move to occasional driving duties when I'm feeling froggy:


Other than the GP I also own a 1985 5.0 fuel injected mustang aka "The Toy," which I have owned for 3 years and recently got it back to driveable condition.


Looking forward to my new search of finding the right Riv, problem is there aren't many up for sale in my area. puzzled
Looks like I have a long road ahead of me tracking one down. Anyone ever purchased a car through eBay before?

And if anyone is in the Dallas area let me know. I'm always hitting up car meets and racing.
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:35 am

Jonny it looks like you have some nice rides already, but the the Riviera has a good mix of speed and comfort. I have a 97 N/A and it has grown on me. These are good cars if taken care of. From what I've read the best years were 98 and 99. I think my 97 is doing OK for its age and mileage. I hope to get atleast 230,000 or better out of mine. Do you have one that you are looking at right now or are you just planning on getting one soon?

Edit: Also welcome aboard.
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:11 pm

Welcome to the forum, nice cars. You'd be very satisfied with a Riviera.
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:24 pm

Great cars to buy, easy to work on. Engine is very accessible...and parts aren't blocked by this or that to get out (supercharger, oil pan).. There's an easy mod which makes changing the belts a 25 minute job..

A fixer upper is not a hard project to start. Look for the "back in black" posts...he's fixing his up and doing great!

Welcome!
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Selcouth
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:48 pm

RvieraRider wrote:
Jonny it looks like you have some nice rides already, but the the Riviera has a good mix of speed and comfort. I have a 97 N/A and it has grown on me. These are good cars if taken care of. From what I've read the best years were 98 and 99. I think my 97 is doing OK for its age and mileage. I hope to get atleast 230,000 or better out of mine. Do you have one that you are looking at right now or are you just planning on getting one soon?

Edit: Also welcome aboard.
Thanks for the welcome, response, and compliment Curtis. Any reason specifically why the 98 and 99 is better? Is it the engine, suspension, trans etc? I know in the GTP world my 97 is an outcast due to it being the first year(body style) and a few parts that are 97 specific. I don't see why you couldn't get at least 230,000 miles on yours I've got 200K on my modified GTP and it's running strong. I do not have a specific one I'm looking at right now. The ones on my local Craigslist do not seem to be in that good of condition. Seems like this search is going to take some patience, but I definitely am getting one

Hometown Hero wrote:
Welcome to the forum, nice cars. You'd be very satisfied with a Riviera.
Klix thanks. I think your right in being satisfied with one. Its like owning an overgrown GP, but much nicer. lol

Natesriv wrote:
Great cars to buy, easy to work on. Engine is very accessible...and parts aren't blocked by this or that to get out (supercharger, oil pan).. There's an easy mod which makes changing the belts a 25 minute job..

A fixer upper is not a hard project to start. Look for the "back in black" posts...he's fixing his up and doing great!

Welcome!

Nate thanks for the response. I figured as much. Can't be anymore difficult than the GTP I own now. I'll have to to track down that belt mod as it will be good to know for future reference. I actually looked at the back in black thread last night, awesome info and pics in there.


The mod bug usually gets me pretty good on all the cars I own. For some reason they don't stay stock for long. scratch may have to do some performance mods to the car when I get it. Are there any guys on here that have turbo'd their Riv? Would love to see that setup.
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:57 pm

i was actually considering turboing mine or just keep the super and put turbo
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RvieraRider
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:05 pm

No problem Jonny, according to what I have read the latter years are easier to mod, like strut tower bar, other things as well, and a couple of other site reviews rated them higher than the previous years. Don't quote me on this but I think the suspension and the brakes differ from 96 to 97 on up. I know the 95 transmission is controlled differently. I think that it just depends on who has the car and what they are willing to invest. I bought my Riviera off craigslist. It was in bad shape as far as paint and body damage, the driver seat is broken, the windows have mind of their own and the wheels look like crap. I'm working to get her back in shape. Really anything you get off craigslist is going to need some work. I don't think people actually appreciate these cars as we do, I can tell that by going to the junk yard and seeing how bad these cars look.The best thing you can do is find one that need work for a good price, but just make sure the work is something you can do yourself.
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:20 pm

thinking further on it...

The belt mod is easy AFTER the hard first time change of belts.

Little more on it (and sorry, not trying to hijack your thread smile )

That engine mount by the windshield washer reservoir stops the belts from coming off...their inside that area. You have to lower the engine a little by undoing that mount and taking off the lower mount bolt there (on the underside)..That lower bolt will hit the inner fender and you can't pull it out...so you need to lower the engine so the bolt has room to come out all the way. Then the belts can come off.

Well, the lower bolt rides inside a long washer about 4" long. When you do do that first belt change, make sure to have whomever cut the washer about 1.5" from the end. Then when you raise the engine back up to put it all back together just press the now two-piece washer (short part towards the engine!!!) and put the bolt through them both...

SO.... The next time you ever need to change a belt, you undo the lower bolt...it will bump up again the inner fender again, BUT you now only need to pull that 1.5" cut section of the washer out... and bingo, the belts slide through that gap.

Hard to imagine, but if you ever change the belts... remember to cut that washer!!!

Anyhoo! Post some pics when you got your ride!!!
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Selcouth
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:20 pm

highwaywarrior wrote:
i was actually considering turboing mine or just keep the super and put turbo
Hi Daryl, what made you change your mind? Turbo 3800's are so much fun to drive!

RvieraRider wrote:
No problem Jonny, according to what I have read the latter years are easier to mod, like strut tower bar, other things as well, and a couple of other site reviews rated them higher than the previous years. Don't quote me on this but I think the suspension and the brakes differ from 96 to 97 on up. I know the 95 transmission is controlled differently. I think that it just depends on who has the car and what they are willing to invest. I bought my Riviera off craigslist. It was in bad shape as far as paint and body damage, the driver seat is broken, the windows have mind of their own and the wheels look like crap. I'm working to get her back in shape. Really anything you get off craigslist is going to need some work. I don't think people actually appreciate these cars as we do, I can tell that by going to the junk yard and seeing how bad these cars look.The best thing you can do is find one that need work for a good price, but just make sure the work is something you can do yourself.
Good to know thanks. I'll have to do some more investigating on the trannys. I assume 97+ S/C came with the 4T65E-HD like the GTP's? I figured I will be hard pressed to find a Riv in really good condition. I looked on eBay and I see there's one for 11K with extremely low miles. Still seems kinda high to me, but what do I know. I've never been scared of high mileage vehicles to be honest, and cars that need work don't bother me. I've done everything on my GTP minus installing the Tim King trans. I'm really comfortable around these engines and cars in general.

Natesriv wrote:
thinking further on it...

The belt mod is easy AFTER the hard first time change of belts.

Little more on it (and sorry, not trying to hijack your thread smile )

That engine mount by the windshield washer reservoir stops the belts from coming off...their inside that area. You have to lower the engine a little by undoing that mount and taking off the lower mount bolt there (on the underside)..That lower bolt will hit the inner fender and you can't pull it out...so you need to lower the engine so the bolt has room to come out all the way. Then the belts can come off.

Well, the lower bolt rides inside a long washer about 4" long. When you do do that first belt change, make sure to have whomever cut the washer about 1.5" from the end. Then when you raise the engine back up to put it all back together just press the now two-piece washer (short part towards the engine!!!) and put the bolt through them both...

SO.... The next time you ever need to change a belt, you undo the lower bolt...it will bump up again the inner fender again, BUT you now only need to pull that 1.5" cut section of the washer out... and bingo, the belts slide through that gap.

Hard to imagine, but if you ever change the belts... remember to cut that washer!!!

Anyhoo! Post some pics when you got your ride!!!
Awesome. Thanks for that Nate. Now I wont have to go dig for it. LOL. I will definitely post some pics once I get my grubby hands on one. I'm also an avid build thread whore so expect continuous updates on what I'm doing to it. wink
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:03 pm

kapow!

http://houston.craigslist.org/cto/3150253142.html

looking on craigslist...where in TX are you?
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Selcouth
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:09 pm

^ nice. About 5 hours away. I'm in Dallas. I went ahead and sent him an email.


Last edited by Selcouth on Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:18 pm

kaboom 2 (everything works...needs freon...aka ac doesn't work...huh?)
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/3061780623.html

kapow 3
http://dallas.craigslist.org/mdf/cto/3129630453.html
a 95...IMHO...the series II is better

kapow 4...perhaps too good to be true? EDIT wait..it's non supercharged...that's like diet mountain dew...or decafinated coffee..
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/3158703949.html

what NOT to buy
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/3124379191.html
YIKES

This one's for people in Australia I think
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/3160299871.html

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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:21 pm

My stipulation is that he needs to be a 97+ and have working A/C. I don't have any in my daily at the moment and this 106+ weather is miserable to drive in.
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:32 pm

what is the difference in a 96 to a 97? Some engine differences...boost valve & such?

I will say though, that having the a/c system purged & refilled does make a huge difference! my a/c is ice cold in 100+ weather now...THANK GOD!

eBay I suppose, craigslist...

in time, one will pop up!
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:19 pm

Ya I'll give it some time. I have patience and if it means waiting for the right car to come about then so be it. I'm not in any hurry honestly and with time one will pop up.

Looks like the 1997's got the 4T65E-HD and a 258mm TC. That transmission is a little better than the 96 and can handle a little more "abuse."
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:06 am

Ahhh...yeah... a few 99's are the last of the breed...Silver Arrow's... rare.

I've had my Riviera for coming on 9 years. I run her hard (sometimes) but mostly cruise.. It has been my work car and has been through hot summers and cold winters.. Never once got stuck in snow either and that's without the traction control (which hasn't worked in years...it's an old design so not really vital to the cars handling)

Never once did it leave me stranded...

I've put a new (used) supercharger in, before the s/c swap I'd replaced the coupler on the s/c snout, couple of waterpumps, new radiator, belts, blower control module, power antenna(s), some interior parts, brake master cylinder, oil pan & gasket (was dented from previous owner) some engine vacuum tubing ( it gets old, some is custom shaped, but easily "jury rigged",) and some minor this and thats....all over 9 years...not ever a hassle or game changer.

I always look for Riv's at salvage yards just in case, but engine and tranny parts aren't hard to get since GM used that engine everywhere (thanks GM!)

I've modded her by adding a touch screen DVD/Stereo, mufflers & tips, rims and tinted the windows.

So if you find one that needs some TLC (Back in Black) it's not hard to fix her up.. easy to work on, and fun too!

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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:32 pm

Hello And Welcome! I hope you find the one you want!
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:21 pm

I picked up my Riv a few months ago and got a good deal on it because it had a few minor problems, but i know my way around cars a little bit so i knew i could fix it up. You said youre pretty comfortable with cars, so you ought to be able to find one for under three grand that doesnt need much work. Good luck in your search!
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:13 am

Lol. If only I could find one with a LIM leak or with a S/C coupler that is bad. Love how people mistake these for a blown engine or an engine on its way out.
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PostSubject: Re: Future Riviera owner?   Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:07 am

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