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Tajis
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Name : Tajis
Age : 33
Joined : 2012-08-24
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PostSubject: Re: Tajis' Riv   Tajis' Riv EmptyMon Aug 27, 2012 3:14 pm

Tajis' Riv 37584010

Tajis' Riv 54718013

Tajis' Riv 58276810

Tajis' Riv 18515011

Here it is. smile
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Tajis
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Name : Tajis
Age : 33
Joined : 2012-08-24
Post Count : 28
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PostSubject: Re: Tajis' Riv   Tajis' Riv EmptyMon Aug 27, 2012 3:54 pm

As far as history, she's been driven mostly (who had her the longest) by an older gentleman who used her as his daily driver to go between Lawrenceburg and Nashville TN. smile 136,000 miles give or take a few. Engine runs smooth and starts up with no hesitation whatsoever. Acceleration comes in three varieties; 1) fast, 2) turbo, and 3) pray.

Thankfully I don't have a lead foot or I could get into some real trouble LOL.

Oh, and she averaged 27 - 28 MPG on the interstate from Nashville back to AL. I was shocked. smile


As far as what she needs

New Tires (Aprox. 25% life remaining)
Horn is stuck on if I run a fuse to it (tried swapping fuses and relays, still stays on)
ABS / Trac light on
Trim work needs some TLC (old wood grain around the radio/shifter is crumbling)
Few little dings here and there on the body that need some TLC
Driver's side mirror glass is broken and has a cheapo replacement glued on
Motor mounts are starting to show signs of age (very very slight, can feel it sometimes when turning)
At least two bad (or going bad) mode control actuators that need replacing to get the AC routed to the right vents

What I've done so far

Remote trunk release was borked (fixed with a pull from a scrap 97 LeSabre)
Replaced the brakes with some nice ceramics (the brakes were worn pretty bad)
Replaced the old rotors (rotors were worn down far too thin for my liking)
Full oil change to Valvoline Synpower to help clean out anything that might be lurking

To-do

Headlight restoration
Get one of those nice dash kits I've seen floating around
Upgrade the sound system
Swap out a better oil / filter (I'm running a cheapo filter until I decide what will be best to use)
Radiator flush and replacement with something a little less harsh than Dex-Cool
Clean and detail the engine compartment
Thermostat mod
Get some semi-reflective tinting done

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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Tajis' Riv   Tajis' Riv EmptyMon Aug 27, 2012 4:47 pm

just a couple quick items.

You probably should not buffout the headlights per se unless they are yellowed. GM used a special polycarbonate that has been, frankly, fantastic. You probably should not touch them at all unless they are abraded from road grit. The cornering lights are another story. They are problematic and yellow up bad. Try "Blue Magic Metal Cleaner" on them followed by a headlight restoration kit.

Oil filter? hard to say but many of the people on the list don't use Fram.

Radiator flush? every 100 to 150K miles and iIMHO f you use deionized or distilled water (or dehumidifier condensate for that matter) you can use dexcool.

Thermostat mod without first measuring "knock retard" and then installing different (copper) plugs (probably autolite A104 or equiv) and also reprogramming the PCM may be a waste of time and money. Suggest you condier finding and reading the threads about that. At your mileage you will probably get a performance improvement just from replacing the iridiums with a fresh set if they were not serviced at 100,000 miles.

You can get a decent looking shifter surround from SherWood. see http://www.sherwooddash.com/ - it's not hard to find a dealer. Getting the old one off, however, will be difficult.

you can get a replacement heated mirror blank from a junkyard Olds Aurora. If yours has the autodim (your year should) I think the mirrors have become UnObtainium but you might want to contact monsterpartsonline.com's Pat Tragesser. The problem will be that new mirror blanks (the part that snaps into the motor housing and is the mirror itself) are $$$ (yes, at least three benjamins) last I checked.

Albertj
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Tajis
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Name : Tajis
Age : 33
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PostSubject: Re: Tajis' Riv   Tajis' Riv EmptyMon Aug 27, 2012 4:56 pm

Thanks for all the advice! I'll leave the thermostat and headlights alone. smile

If the shifter is going to be a pain to remove I might just clean off the remains of the trim and polish up the metal underneath.

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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Tajis' Riv   Tajis' Riv EmptyMon Aug 27, 2012 5:24 pm

Tajis wrote:
Thanks for all the advice! I'll leave the thermostat and headlights alone. smile

If the shifter is going to be a pain to remove I might just clean off the remains of the trim and polish up the metal underneath.


The shift knob is normal to remove, there is a clip and a post about it somewhere on here. The wood applique is the pain. GM used a permanent 3m adhesive, 3m makes excellent adhesive so it will take you a while to get it off. You will want to remove the console and use a piece of piano wire or some such. You will want to put tape over the shift indicator lens (I forget if it separates I think it does so that may not be an issue.

If you remove the remnant trip and burnish the metal you should be able to stick a new applique right on that. IIRC the original is rosewood on most Rivs but there are pictures on the SherWood site so you can pick what you want.

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LARRY70GS
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PostSubject: Re: Tajis' Riv   Tajis' Riv EmptyMon Aug 27, 2012 7:12 pm

I wouldn't even bother trying to remove the wood around the shifter. I just applied the Sherwood piece right over it. The real rosewood kit I used was a very close match.

Tajis' Riv StockShifter

Tajis' Riv SherwoodShift

As far as the mirror, All I did was epoxy a replacement glass over the heated auto tint mirror (mine had turned a reddish brown color)

Tajis' Riv RivMirror2

_________________
98 Riviera SC3800  All stock except gutted air box.
1970 Buick GS455 Stage1, TSP built 470BBB, 602HP/589TQ
Best MPH, 116.06 MPH, Best ET, 11.54
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Tajis
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Name : Tajis
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PostSubject: Re: Tajis' Riv   Tajis' Riv EmptyWed Sep 19, 2012 2:22 pm

That's a sweet paint job on that mirror! I'm debating if I'm going to just get a piece of cut mirror glass from a local shop or just do the swap. I'm kind of worried about the heated features not working if the Aurora's mirror is different electrically.

Today's project is the spark plugs. Ugh is all I can say. The previous owner was apparently an idiot. I've already pulled the front three plugs, found three different brands of wire, and two different brands of plugs. One plug was an original platinum AC Delco (worn to 0.67) and the other two were SplitFire plugs (worn to 0.8 and 0.87). If these are the 'easy' plugs I'm afraid to see what the rears are going to look like.

Oh, and the wiring was starting to dry rot! One wire had cracked open and I could see metal! Think it was due for a change? smile

The SplitFire plugs were pretty cooked, although the original platinum wasn't as bad. Will try to post some pictures up later.
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: Tajis' Riv   Tajis' Riv EmptyWed Sep 19, 2012 9:24 pm

They still sell SplitFire plugs? Get them out of there!
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Tajis
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Name : Tajis
Age : 33
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PostSubject: Re: Tajis' Riv   Tajis' Riv EmptyWed Sep 26, 2012 8:15 pm

Today I pulled the back three plugs. It helps if you have two people working at it. I crawled up into the engine compartment area while my helper was down below. He'd ready the extensions and I'd guide it onto the plug since I could see where it was better. Also it helps if you have a tow truck handy to raise it up off the ground really good.

As for how the rear plugs looked, here's the story as told by each plug. All three were splitfires, meaning someone in their infinite wisdom changed out the three most difficult plugs, two of the easy ones, and left one of the original plugs in front without changing it, all the while using whatever spare wires they could find laying around from different brands.

Number 6: "Hi. I'm Plug 6. I hate you. I hate you a lot. Did I mention I'm going to lock up your extension wobble somehow? Love, Plug 6. PS. I hate you. " Gap was at 0.78 and it was a pain in the rear to get loose. Ceramic looked burnt in some spots.

Number 4: "Hi. I'm Plug 4. You thought I'd be easier to get off than Plug 6, right? Well, to make you life interesting... I have fused myself with the spark plug wire. Also, I hate you."

This plug made me want to pull my hair out. The metal contacts of the plug wire were fused to the plug. I had to physically break the plug to get a socket on it. Gap of this plug was 0.1. No. Not a typo. I checked to make sure that I did not cause this breaking off the end of the plug and no, everything else lined up perfectly to the other plugs except the gap was freaking tiny. I wonder if this is why the wire fused to the plug?

Number 2: "I see you're tired from the other plugs, so I'll come out easy and leave you some peace of mind. "

Plug 2 wasn't that bad, comparatively speaking. The strange thing was that Plug 2's wire had vaporized itself on the ignition coil. I pulled on the boot and saw a red cloud of dust emerge. One slight tug and the entire connector inside the boot crumbled into dust. I was all "Uh... that's not good" and made sure to clean the post really well. I've never seen anything like that. Gap was 0.7.

I'm thinking whoever changed the plugs (or as it stands, attempted to change) last time didn't bother measuring gap and ended up just sticking the plugs on. The numbers vary wildly and I truly think it would have been better off on the original platinum than these crap split fires.

Tomorrow's project "Clean and detail"
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turtleman
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PostSubject: Re: Tajis' Riv   Tajis' Riv EmptyThu Sep 27, 2012 2:13 am

Wow well at least all your knuckle busting was worth it (by that I mean necessary lol)

If you're still thinking about the oil filter, Wix is the one to get. (ask for the one for a 2000 chevy blazer 4x4 - slightly larger filter than the original)
I'd go ahead and do the coolant flush. Assuming it's still dexcool in there, just refill with dexcool/distilled water if your not getting premixed stuff. There's nothing wrong with dexcool in these cars, I promise


By the way Welcome back in a Riviera!
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: Tajis' Riv   Tajis' Riv EmptyThu Sep 27, 2012 2:51 am

Lol, wow. what a story. My guess is this: Once upon a time, long, long ago, someone upgraded all 6 of the plugs to Shitfires, just because. Then, down the road, probably after the engine wasn't running 100%, someone changed the front 3 out, and didn't bother with the rears. They noticed some improvement, so they sold the car to you. Now the rears have gotten so bad, you are where you are.

,100 gap. And it still runs. That's almost double the correct gap! I bet the engine would still run if the electrode broke off completely. Just shows how stout our coil packs are.

_________________
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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
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: Tajis' Riv   Tajis' Riv EmptyThu Sep 27, 2012 11:52 am

Do you mean the gap was 0.1 or .001? Because if it was .001 likely something hard passed through the cylinder and you should be doing a compression test...

0.1 is huge, .001 is tiny. 0.7 is huge. Gap should be .060 (meaning 60 thousandths of an inch) but is okay at .050 etc. But if the gap was .010, something is still wrong there, or somebody dropped the plug and it landed on the electrode, then they installed it anyway...
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Tajis
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Name : Tajis
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PostSubject: Re: Tajis' Riv   Tajis' Riv EmptySat Sep 29, 2012 8:42 pm

The Plugs

The plug with the micro gap

Plug with giant gap for comparison

These are the little buggers I pulled out. smile Engine is so much quieter and smoother now.

Today I tackled the issue I discovered shortly after buying the car--the leaky trunk. I cleaned out the drainage channels to the best of my ability and started feeling around. Sure enough it was leaking around the bolts closest to the rear of the car. Driver's side bolt was particularly leaky and bad. I pulled the nuts off of the bolts to check for rust. Those rear two nuts were pretty nasty and dirty.

Anyway, after physically trying to remove the trunk lid and finding it stuck, I had to flex it a few times before it finally let go so I could remove the trunk lid. Sure enough the metal below the struts and on the bottom of the struts was full of corrosion and dirt. I cleaned this out, cleaned the dirt and crud off of the nuts, then noticed some paper thin circles where the bolts went through. Seals, I assume? These were long past their expiration date and probably didn't work worth a flip in keeping the water out.

I bought a tube of silicone sealant and coated the bottom of the struts with it, and put a dab around the holes where the bolts go through. I also put a dab around the nuts before replacing them, making what I hope will be an all around seal that will take care of the issue once and for all.
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Tajis' Riv   Tajis' Riv EmptySat Sep 29, 2012 8:49 pm

Tajis wrote:
The Plugs

The plug with the micro gap

Plug with giant gap for comparison

These are the little buggers I pulled out. smile Engine is so much quieter and smoother now.

Today I tackled the issue I discovered shortly after buying the car--the leaky trunk. I cleaned out the drainage channels to the best of my ability and started feeling around. Sure enough it was leaking around the bolts closest to the rear of the car. Driver's side bolt was particularly leaky and bad. I pulled the nuts off of the bolts to check for rust. Those rear two nuts were pretty nasty and dirty.

Anyway, after physically trying to remove the trunk lid and finding it stuck, I had to flex it a few times before it finally let go so I could remove the trunk lid. Sure enough the metal below the struts and on the bottom of the struts was full of corrosion and dirt. I cleaned this out, cleaned the dirt and crud off of the nuts, then noticed some paper thin circles where the bolts went through. Seals, I assume? These were long past their expiration date and probably didn't work worth a flip in keeping the water out.

I bought a tube of silicone sealant and coated the bottom of the struts with it, and put a dab around the holes where the bolts go through. I also put a dab around the nuts before replacing them, making what I hope will be an all around seal that will take care of the issue once and for all.

About the plugs: Even SplitFire does not sell SplitFire plugs anymore - check out the web site, they sell "SplitFire Classic" plugs which are conventional. Ha!! http://www.splitfire.com/

You might want to use gutter sealer (yeah the stuff they sell for household rain gutters) to seal the body seams by the gasketing below the rear window around the trunk hinges, as well as the locations where the old seals for the bolts were. The gutter sealer will last very, very well. You may be able to get a nearly clear sealer or one that more or less matches the car or one that is aluminum color and can be painted over (eventually)
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Tajis
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Name : Tajis
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PostSubject: Tajis' Riv   Tajis' Riv EmptySat Oct 27, 2012 12:24 pm

Alright, so as a precaution I went ahead and had a compression test run. Nothing abnormal showed up. My spark plug gap numbers earlier were off. Add an extra zero to get the correct number. When I said the gap was 0.1, it should have been 0.01. As in, virtually no gap.

I Seafoamed her and so far she seems happy. smile Now I just need to fix the supercharger coupler and I'll be good for awhile.

Next project after that... figure out why the heck I'm having severe shuddering, randomly, when turning. 9 times out of 10 it's when I turn to the right. Sometimes it's when I shift into drive and try to turn right. One friend says motor mount, another friend says hub.

Edit: And I have one of the ELM327 OBDII Bluetooth devices headed my way so I can get realtime readouts.
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PostSubject: Re: Tajis' Riv   Tajis' Riv EmptySat Oct 27, 2012 8:16 pm

Check your belt tensioner, also might be worth suctioning your PS fluid out and putting in new clean fluid.
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