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Thread: 1963 Buick Riviera - Plans for making into a daily driver

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    1963 Buick Riviera - Plans for making into a daily driver

    Just got a relative's 63 Buick Riviera after sitting since the 70's. It was in a garage (not AC'd) and came out looking a bit crusty
    IMG_39551.jpg

    This is after a garden hosing - same place right after getting it out. Wild thing is the power seat, all 6 windows, and all the cigarette lighters work! Looks like ash trays and lighters were the cupholders of the 60's!

    IMG_39561.jpg

    Took off the fuel tank and cleaned it out. Rebuilt the carb and changed the plug wires. Plugs didn't look horrible so I left them alone. Thing fires right up and seemed to be OK except the trans. The trans needed a lot of odd-ball hard-to-get stuff. I'm having it rebuilt but wonder if I should've tried to swap a modern overdrive in there. Since everything is original, I'm trying to keep the engine/trans/rear-end that came with the car running in the car.

    We have a couple teenagers waiting for their turn to drive!
    20171014_125150 small.jpg


    As big as the trunk is, it barely holds the gear of a hockey goalie!
    20171014_125144 - small.jpg

    Plans are to replace the exhaust, change out the brake lines for SS, and do a disc swap for the fronts. I'd like to change to a dual reservoir master, but I haven't found anything offered for this Buick (hoping it might be an easy swap). Might also put on some fuel injection (since I'm reluctant to put it on my other old ride since I just got the carb working great).

    Looking forward to sponging some Buick know-how from people on this board and hoping I might get into something that might help someone else.

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    does it have a switchpitch? i don't think they were supposed too in 1963.

    you need to be aware of RivOwners.org, lot of help there.



    The trans needed a lot of odd-ball hard-to-get stuff. I'm having it rebuilt but wonder if I should've tried to swap a modern overdrive in there.


    stock trans should be a Dyna-slush. even Buick started using Super Turbine 400s in 1964. that's basically a TH-400 plus a switch pitch convertor. would be MUCH sportier than the Dyna.

    https://rivowners.org/features/evolution/evpt64.html

    Nailhead bell pattern doesn't really work with anything else, so if you're going to use an adapter plate you should just use whatever trans you want.

    iirc, there's something nutty like AMC using GM transmissions with a Naihead pattern bell housing AND an adapter to all of their engines that they were using it with. so you might be able to find a TH-400 with a Nailhead bell in an AMC or Jeep from the mid-60s to early 70s.
    The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.
    Vladimir Lenin

    Government schooling is about "the perfect organization of the hive."
    H.H. Goddard, Human Efficiency (1920)

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    It's a 2 speed Dynaflow.

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    right. even a TH-400 or Super Turbine 400 is going to be a three speed.

    and the ST-400 was used OEM behind the 401 and 425 the very next year.

    since the car is numbers matching, i would definitely keep the DynaFlow around no matter what. you can't replace the original transmission once it's gone, you can only substitute for it.

    if you're just going to use the car for cruising and showing, the Dyna is fine.

    if you're going to thrash this thing, you need to set the Dyna off in a corner and put something a lot more heavy duty back there, just to make sure you don't split the trans case.

    a 200r4 would have OD and be a four speed but there are no versions of that with a Nailhead bell housing. which is what a lot of small block and big block ( as opposed to Nailhead ) Buick guys do. so if you're going to use an adapter plate anyways you might as well use a more modern 5 or 6 speed automatic.
    The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.
    Vladimir Lenin

    Government schooling is about "the perfect organization of the hive."
    H.H. Goddard, Human Efficiency (1920)

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    It will just be a cruiser for now but I like to push it every now and then. Pickup in low feels great but I'm a little nervous about how shifting between D & L might hurt the trans.

    I'm going to do my best to keep the drivetrain with the car!

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    Just DON'T do L-D with foot to floor & you should be fine.


    Tom T.
    Tom Telesco
    Classic and Muscle Automotive
    12 Cook St.
    Norwalk, CT 06853-1601
    Day Phone 203-324-6045 ET
    NailHead Mini-Starters '53-'66
    Adjustable Roller Tip Rocker Arms - All NailHeads
    Custom forged pistons
    Front & rear neoprene seals
    Many other "Nail" parts
    "If I can't get it, you don't need it!"

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    ALL DynaFlow's had a switch-pitch feature starting in '55 & of course ended in '63. The 1st. yr. TH400/'64 WAS NOT switch-pitch. That started in '65 & lasted until '67.


    Tom T.
    Tom Telesco
    Classic and Muscle Automotive
    12 Cook St.
    Norwalk, CT 06853-1601
    Day Phone 203-324-6045 ET
    NailHead Mini-Starters '53-'66
    Adjustable Roller Tip Rocker Arms - All NailHeads
    Custom forged pistons
    Front & rear neoprene seals
    Many other "Nail" parts
    "If I can't get it, you don't need it!"

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