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 1997 front control arms

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skatterbrane
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skatterbrane

Name : Rod
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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptyFri Dec 18, 2020 9:44 pm

I understand the 1997 Riviera has unique to the year front control arms in that 1. The are the first year for aluminum and 2. They are the last year for vertical/horizontal combo bushing configuration. So why is it all the online part stores show that they are the same as the 1998 model year that has dual horizontal bushings? Was there a mid-year change in 1997 or something?

I am thinking of buying a 1997 Riv, but if I cannot get new control arms, I would not want to bother with that year.
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DeepFrozen
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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySat Dec 19, 2020 5:27 am

1 and 2 - you're right.
All the online part stores are wrong.
I never seen or heard of 97 with horizontal bushings. Mine is not an exception, 1 and 2.


Last edited by DeepFrozen on Sat Dec 19, 2020 12:06 pm; edited 1 time in total

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skatterbrane
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skatterbrane

Name : Rod
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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySat Dec 19, 2020 10:14 am

Thank you. Having owned 76 cars in my life and done many restorations, some body off frame, I have encountered MANY parts stores so wrong about so many parts. It is quite frustrating.

I really appreciate your confirming this for me.
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DeepFrozen
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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySat Dec 19, 2020 12:17 pm

If your 97 candidate is in exceptionally good shape, I'd go for it. There are ways of changing bushings in 97 LCA.

... 76 cars? Wow, dude )
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skatterbrane
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skatterbrane

Name : Rod
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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySat Dec 19, 2020 12:39 pm

I am thinking about it still. Isn't there a bit of fabrication involved changing bushings? There is no direct replacement for the 1997 bushings is there? Sometimes I wonder if changing the mountings to 1998 or newer wouldn't be a better idea. The rear mounting is the same, right? So someone would only have to weld in the front mounting bosses to accept a 1998 control arm. (I would have to hire someone for that idea). The 1998 and up control arms fit 1998 and up Auroras LeSabres, Park Ave and a host of other cars.
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DeepFrozen
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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySat Dec 19, 2020 3:31 pm

No direct replacement for the 97 LCA bushings, right.
One way is to fabricate sleeves or rings so you can fit 95 front bushings, they have smaller outer diameter and they are available.
Another way is, indeed, to weld new mountings.
Both these options are tested by the members of this community and described somewhere on this site.

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skatterbrane
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skatterbrane

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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySat Dec 19, 2020 3:36 pm

I have always been a stickler for suspension and steering. GM has historically had great ride and handling. I like to keep my cars "like new" in this regard. Weak shocks or deteriorating bushings drive me crazy. So many people ignore this aspect of their car's maintenance. So whenever I buy a car, that is one of the first things I like to address. The 1997 Riviera poses challenges that a 1995-96 or 1998-99 do not.
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skatterbrane
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skatterbrane

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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySat Dec 19, 2020 5:43 pm

So here is another question. Will new replacement stamped steel control arms meant for a 1996 Riviera FIT a 1997 Riviera with no problems?
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DeepFrozen
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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySat Dec 19, 2020 6:00 pm

I asked the very same question here back in 2016 and didn't get answer.
I'm about 90% sure they will fit, but somebody has to confirm it. Would that be you? )
In fact right now I have my passenger side LCA off and I can take all the measurements of it. Somebody has to measure 95-96.
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skatterbrane
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skatterbrane

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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySat Dec 19, 2020 6:02 pm

I cannot confirm because I am doing research BEFORE I buy a 1997 Riviera. I am beginning to think that 1997 Rivieras and 1997 Auroras should be avoided due to their unique and unavailable suspension parts.
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DeepFrozen
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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySat Dec 19, 2020 6:03 pm

And, by the way - are 95-96 LCAs still available? They were in 2016, when I got my Riv, but now I can't see them on rockauto.
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skatterbrane
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skatterbrane

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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySat Dec 19, 2020 6:06 pm

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Jack the R
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Jack the R

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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySat Dec 19, 2020 6:40 pm

If you wanted to get nutty you could finish up Codith's HiPer strut idea - Link

It sounds like you have the skills for it.
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skatterbrane
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skatterbrane

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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySun Dec 20, 2020 10:48 am

I think the most conceptually simple solution would be to remove the front bracket holding the vertically mounted bushing and fabricate and weld on a new bracket to accept 1998 and up horizontal bushings. I do not fabricate or weld, but I would hire it done. That way I can use the readily available new lower control arms that fit so many 1998 and up Buicks and other cars.

Would my idea work? Or are there other considerations I am not aware of?
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LARRY70GS
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LARRY70GS

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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySun Dec 20, 2020 2:08 pm

If you had a 98-99 for comparison, that would help to get the spacing/placement right.

_________________
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
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHCda-t_Jls
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skatterbrane
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skatterbrane

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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySun Dec 20, 2020 2:14 pm

The way I envision it is to mount a 1998 control arm fastened to the back mount and at the ball joint. Then place the front mount where I want the new bracket to be. And weld the fabricated bracket in place. This assumes the back bracket on a 1997 is the same as the back bracket from a 1998. The junkyards are full of 1998-up FWD Buicks.
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DeepFrozen
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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySun Dec 20, 2020 2:21 pm

1. It has been already done, I read about it on this forum.
2. Unexpected twist: you may as well consider replacing the whole subframe with the 98+ one.


Last edited by DeepFrozen on Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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skatterbrane
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skatterbrane

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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySun Dec 20, 2020 2:23 pm

I would consider getting a subframe if I found one in the junkyard with the powertrain already removed. Not impossible.
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skatterbrane
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skatterbrane

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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptySun Dec 20, 2020 2:58 pm

I guess 1998 and up Park Ave subframes and 1998-1999 Aurora subframes are identical. How about LeSabre? Let's face it, there are a LOT of LeSabres out there! I would guess 2000-2005 might be the same subframe.
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albertj
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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptyMon Dec 21, 2020 11:14 am

In '98 the Park Ave, Riv and Aurora used the same front cradle. GMPD shows it for the one year, GM 88951956. My guess is this is a crash part number and supersedes the 2xxxxxxx that probably was original. My further guess is that a smarter move would be the 99 cradle if it fits. The number is 25766845 and it was used on a bunch of models (LeSabre, Park Ave, Deville, Seville, Bonneville) through like 2004 and on some into 2005. I think the LCAs for the 98s fit it as well - at least, RockAuto shows they do. SO - unless GM did something funky like change the chassis mount points on the body pan, you'd have lots of donor cars to choose from to get a solid subframe that you could descale and treat with POR-15 then chassis paint. If you got it from Texas or Arizona you might not even have to do all that.

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skatterbrane
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skatterbrane

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1997 front control arms Empty
PostSubject: Re: 1997 front control arms   1997 front control arms EmptyMon Dec 21, 2020 11:25 am

I live in AZ where cars in junkyards from the 1940s don't have any more than surface rust on them. And some not even that. But there is not any good rubber or plastic to be found!

I was raised in Wisconsin where it only takes a couple of years for rust to screw up a car. I never understood why car enthusiasts ever drove their nice cars in the winter! Back in the day I kept my 1957 T-Bird for fair weather summer days only and drove my 1962 Falcon 4 door in the winter and as a daily driver to work. I am on several car forums and I see people driving their pride and joy on the salty winter roads. Heck, buy a Toyota Corrola for that. Keep your nice Rivieras dry and clean. I moved to AZ primarily so I would not ever have to contend with rust again. And rust free has a completely different meaning here than it did in Wisconsin. In Wisconsin a car was rust free because all that was left is huge holes in the sheet metal.
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