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 Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv

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ADDvanced
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Name : ADDvanced
Joined : 2024-03-18
Post Count : 46
Merit : 4

Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv Empty
PostSubject: Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv   Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv EmptyMon Mar 18, 2024 11:13 pm

Hey dudes, first post.   I'll try to make it a good one.

Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv Img_9510

First off, thank you for approving me, finally.   I had to reach out on FB to get my account approved, which sort of sucked because without an approved account, I couldn't search the forums properly. I'm just providing this feedback because I think these cars are interesting, and this is the best place to ask questions and diagnose them, and I'd hate for clean rivs to get junked if new owners can't find answer to common issues.

Anyway, back to the Riv!  So this my dad's 95 Riviera, and unfortunately, he doesn't have much more time on this rock... it will soon be my 95 Riviera.   To be totally transparent, I'm not sure how I feel about this car yet, but we do have some history together.

Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv Img_9511


When I was 12-17 or so, my dad and I would travel all over the country to go to boat races, and this car was excellent for road tripping.  Days spent on the road were rarely tiring, and we covered ground quickly and silently, with what I remember to be a nice stereo.

The Good:   The car has only 98k miles, and it's been garage kept it's entire life.  He bought this thing used in 1997, and has put about 60k miles on it.   The car is pretty clean, it does have some light scratches but overall the paint is in nice shape, and I'm confident that some wet sanding and polishing would make it pretty nice.  The car accelerates nicely.  It's not fast, but it's not slow.  It's sort of amusing to accelerate the way it does in something so floaty.  The interior is clean, no tears or major flaws.

The Bad:
- Traction control light is stuck on
- Cruise control was working, but when I hit accelerate on the stalk while on the freeway, I felt a 'pop' and it hasn't worked since
- The steering wheel controls do not work, ever, but what I believe is connected, the VOLUME ON THE STEREO RANDOMLY GOES ALL THE WAY UP OR ALL THE WAY DOWN and turning the knob on the unit itself does not fix it.  I believe this is a wiring issue in the column, and right now this is one of the main things I want to fix on this thing, because regardless of keeping the car and enjoying it, I cannot possibly sell it like this either.  It has to get fixed and it's super annoying.
- AC quit working, I guess it has been through a condenser already and my dad was saying he couldn't find a NOS version, because GM was sold out since they're apparently turds that don't last long.  Are some brands of condensers updated to hold up longer?
- Front 12v cig lighter isn't working
- The suspension is original.  I hit a bridge on a curve and the car felt really unsettled, and I'm not sure how much of this personality is BUICK and how much is worn suspension.  This car was babied it's whole life; there is no steering slop, and the majority of it's miles were just highway cruising.   I know typically struts only last 60-70k, but given this thing's state of preservation I would assume they'd be good?  I guess I'm not sure how to tell what it's supposed to be like.
- The last time I drove it, I was stuck at an ATM, and the car started lurching.  The revs were just going up and down and up and down while I was in drive, with my foot on the brake.  It hadn't done that before, not sure what that was about.

The IDK:
- I'm not sure how much is worth fixing.   I did some research on values on these cars, and honestly I'm kind of shocked how low they are.  The design was pretty dramatic, and I remember them always seeming like a concept car when I was a kid.   They've aged pretty well, it's still a very long proportioned car, and that shoulder where the horizontal surfaces intersect the vertical surfaces is really cool and unique.   That said, you can get crazy low mileage version for cheap!   It looks like ones with 50-70k are barely above $5k.   This makes me wonder how much I should actually fix before I make a decision on this car.

Me:  I build things and tell stories.  My career is in industrial design, which is the creation, design, and production of everyday objects that get mass produced.  I've worked at powertool companies, motorcycle companies, marine companies, etc etc etc, and I was professionally trained in design, so when I say the Riviera is a striking design, there is some weight in that.   It looks like nothing else around.

When covid hit, I started putting more time in my youtube channel, and tackled restoring/rebuilding my old 911.   I have 40+ episodes on that thing, all how to tech videos on what I've done so far.  I've also built a few race boats, a lifted AWD van, a school bus that works as a cabin, homesteading on off grid land I purchased in the mountains, snowmobiles, other cars, it hops all over the place.  Just search YT for "addvanced", it'll show up.

Thanks dudes, looking forward to learning more about these things, and the legendary 3800 SC!  Cheers!
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Jack the R
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Jack the R


Joined : 2007-01-16
Post Count : 8056
Merit : 105

Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv Empty
PostSubject: Re: Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv   Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv EmptyTue Mar 19, 2024 4:26 am

Welcome!

Your shocks and struts are toast for sure.

I haven't seen a $5000 50k Riviera in years. IRL I haven't seen another Riviera in years. They're pretty rare although not especially sought after. I think most people have forgotten they existed.



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ADDvanced
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Name : ADDvanced
Joined : 2024-03-18
Post Count : 46
Merit : 4

Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv Empty
PostSubject: Re: Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv   Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv EmptyMon Mar 25, 2024 7:42 pm

Where do we post build threads? Like an ongoing thread where we show what we did to our cars... I want to start one.
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Jack the R
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Jack the R


Joined : 2007-01-16
Post Count : 8056
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Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv Empty
PostSubject: Re: Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv   Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv EmptyMon Mar 25, 2024 8:29 pm

General>Showroom
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ADDvanced
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Name : ADDvanced
Joined : 2024-03-18
Post Count : 46
Merit : 4

Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv Empty
PostSubject: Re: Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv   Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv EmptyThu Mar 28, 2024 8:15 pm

Jack the R wrote:
Welcome!
I haven't seen a $5000 50k Riviera in years.  IRL I haven't seen another Riviera in years.  They're pretty rare although not especially sought after.  I think most people have forgotten they existed.    

https://www.hemmings.com/auction/1995-buick-riviera-718394

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denverZ
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Name : Denver L. Zubrowski
Joined : 2024-04-02
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Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv Empty
PostSubject: Re: Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv   Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv EmptyTue Apr 02, 2024 4:24 am

Hey guys.  Ive got a cherry 95, w the Supercharged 3.8.  Runs beautifully, GARAGE KEPT!!  Ive looked online, I had 2 items directed to upgrade H.P. and performance.  One is the new chip of course, boosts 60 h.p. and runs faster!  But I had another solution, an easy add-on but I cant remember and can't locate it again!!  Anybody got a suggestion?
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Jack the R
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Jack the R


Joined : 2007-01-16
Post Count : 8056
Merit : 105

Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv Empty
PostSubject: Re: Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv   Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv EmptyWed Apr 03, 2024 4:06 am

ADDvanced wrote:
Jack the R wrote:
Welcome!
I haven't seen a $5000 50k Riviera in years.  IRL I haven't seen another Riviera in years.  They're pretty rare although not especially sought after.  I think most people have forgotten they existed.    

https://www.hemmings.com/auction/1995-buick-riviera-718394


Almost 2 years ago. They've become rarer since then, and the value of the dollar has collapsed.
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albertj
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albertj


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Location : Finger Lakes of New York State
Joined : 2007-05-31
Post Count : 8593
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Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv Empty
PostSubject: Re: Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv   Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv EmptyWed Apr 03, 2024 8:16 pm

Most of your problems including that ABS light are DIY fixed.  Tackle one headache at a time and you'll get there before long.  Repost a specific problem if you can't find info about it on this forum.

Some random comments:

- Your AC may have been mis-serviced.  The condenser on My Riv was still good when I junked it - a couple months ago.  That would be 27 years.

- Traction control light is probably sue to a wheel bearing / sensor or the wiring thereto.  If you need a replacement ABS unit call 'horseheads pickapart" and get them to pull the one out of my old Riv for you. Secret to longevity? Replace  the brake fluid when it turns amber like tea. About every 2-3 years.  And switch to DOT4.

- Front cig lighter could be as simple as a fuse or a wire.  The wire just clips on the back of the cig lighter socket.  Check it.

- Replace the shocks and struts already.  I like Gabriels, either the ready-struts or the regular units.  The readystruts I got from rockauto a few years ago looked exactly like OE down to the dust boots. But rode MUCH better. For the rears, any good air-ride shock.  Monroe, KYB, Gabriel, Sachs, whatever.  I like Sachs and Gabriels.

- The lurching idle might be throttle body related - I am thinking the idle air control but that's a wild guess.  I'd pull it and overhaul it - lean the MAF sensor, replace the IAC or at least clean it ant its passages in the TB.  You might need a service manual to see the drive cycle for resetting it.  

Repost when you're stuck.

Albertj


-


Last edited by albertj on Thu Apr 11, 2024 9:42 am; edited 1 time in total

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ADDvanced
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Name : ADDvanced
Joined : 2024-03-18
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Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv Empty
PostSubject: Re: Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv   Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv EmptyThu Apr 11, 2024 12:03 am

We're on the same page. I placed on order on RockAuto for plugs, filters (air, oil, trans), idle control valve, PCV, sway bar endlinks, bunch of other stuff.

Finishing the install of my stereo, and ordered a storage pocket to replace the factory CD player. When I get in there, I'll investigate the 12v lighter and fix that

The ABS/traction control will have to wait, I'll likely do that when I do struts. I really wish there were more suspension options for this car; when I hit an uneven road surface at speed it feels slightly sketchy as the car floats around. Is there any benefit to deleting the air shocks and going to conventional ones? Just wondering if they would be stiffer.
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albertj
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albertj


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Location : Finger Lakes of New York State
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Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv Empty
PostSubject: Re: Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv   Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv EmptyThu Apr 11, 2024 9:46 am

ADDvanced wrote:
We're on the same page.  I placed on order on RockAuto for plugs, filters (air, oil, trans), idle control valve, PCV, sway bar endlinks, bunch of other stuff.

Finishing the install of my stereo, and ordered a storage pocket to replace the factory CD player.  When I get in there, I'll investigate the 12v lighter and fix that

The ABS/traction control will have to wait, I'll likely do that when I do struts.  I really wish there were more suspension options for this car; when I hit an uneven road surface at speed it feels slightly sketchy as the car floats around.   Is there any benefit to deleting the air shocks and going to conventional ones?  Just wondering if they would be stiffer.

Do Not Delete the air shocks. Just replace them with KYB, Sachs or Gabriel for somewhat stiffer feel. My guess is you want a Seville STS rear sway bar, actually. If you contact Horseheads pickapart they should be able to pull the bar and bushings off my old Riv and sell/ship them to you, or you could get a puller from row52.com to do that for you. You need the bar and bushings because they are different size that what was on the Riv stock. While you are at it you might want the front bar (and bushings) also, which was off a Bonneville SSC and installed by a local GM dealer.

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PostSubject: Re: Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv   Builder of things, teller of stories, grew up with this 95 Riv Empty

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