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Projects '63 Riviera project begins! Another reason not to finish the T'Bird...

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by flynbrian48, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,929

    flynbrian48
    Member

    [QUOTE) In truth, the only reason I bought them was for something to put the 454 in, and to prevent me from building a COE ramp truck from the motorhome chassis, but I've always liked Riviera's, it helped my buddy out to get rid of them, and it'll be an easy build.
    [/QUOTE]

    Funny how plans change, isn't it? From dumping the 454 in it, simply getting it running and driving then flipping it, to building it with my wives blessing and enthusiasm, as a car for her. Well, it's a FLUID plan, anyway...
    My pal Brad at Morris Rose Auto Parts in Kalamazoo bought a low milage '04 Avalanche, which has donated it's 5.3L heart to the cause, along with under hood harness, fuse panel, and all the related trinkets, and he's going to mate it with a 4L60 (it was a 4x4 so the trans/transfer case isn't needed). The nice thing about these LS engines is that if one gets the engine harness and fuse panel, along with the PCM, it's a 5 wire hook up to make it a stand alone harness. I can clean up the harness if I want, or simply leave it alone, and just not use the extras. That's easy, cheap, and the extra cost of the parts will soon be offset by the vast improvement in performance, drivability, and economy as opposed to a carb'd 454 truck engine, which I can use in something else.
    As soon as Kim said she wanted the car, I'd decided it needed a '65 grill and hidden headlights, and in a moment of idle desecration, I mocked that and the hidden headlights up in the Rivi's front end. Turns out, it's not a direct bolt in. It's close, but the '65 grill (sans headlights) is about half an inch wider than the original grill/headlight assembly, so it doesn't fit in the fender opening. And, the upper corners are shaped differently. All this means to FIT, it needs some finessing, but to mock it up only took half an hour with a cutoff wheel in the die grinder and some whittling on the lower corner of the die cast grill with a flap disk.
    The headlights I'll use are '59 T'bird buckets (saved from the 'bird project, which is now wearing '63 Caddy lights and bezels) turned on end and hidden behind the park lamp grill/lens. They're just propped up in there now, but that too will be a pretty quick and easy job to finish.
    I really like the mock up, it looks exactly like I wanted, and how I pictured it in my mind.
    The only problem I have with project now is that since I've brought it home and begun to tinker with it, everywhere we go, there are Rivieras! Why didn't I notice them before? ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1409958407.298106.jpg
     

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  2. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,929

    flynbrian48
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    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1411083251.798547.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1411083266.931456.jpg

    Part of the Riviera deal, and why they were so cheap, was that I had to return the steering column and front brake drums. The drums are no big deal, since I'll go to front disks, but without a steering column it's difficult to move the car around as it has to , for now, go in and out of the shop.

    I had saved a '68 Caddy Tilt/Tele column from our '48 Pontiac, which I thought might fit in the Riv. Shortening it 6 inches made it perfect, and while I need to wire the blinkers, finish the mounts and get rod of the God-awful wheel it had, if rolls and steers again. And, I like the T/T feature.


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  3. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,929

    flynbrian48
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    Big step! Depleted the Hot Rod fund and finally got the 5.3 LS (I know there's some specific identity code for this engine, but it's in the LS family, and I can't keep all those letters straight in my head) and it's 4L60 home. I've got a box of trinket parts, the complete under hood harness and fuse panel, so I've got everything I think I need, fuel lines, trans cooler lines, oil cooler, trans cooler, throttle pedal, fuel pump, fuse box and so on.
    Except time.
    I'm sure I'll need some block hugger headers, or a pair of GTO or similar factory manifolds, but aside from a battery, everything to turn the car from yard art to my wife's mild custom summer cruiser in here.
    Let the fun begin!
     

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  4. twochops
    Joined: Feb 28, 2006
    Posts: 1,510

    twochops
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    2-guys 001.jpg
    Flying Brian -- A couple of guys came over for beers and
    mentioned your cars. Heard you wanted to paint your
    Riviera silver. I showed them my chopped 57 Buick and
    they thought that color might look good on your Riviera.
    I told them that my car was light silver frost a color
    used on the Lincoln 4 door pickups.
    TwoChops
     
  5. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,929

    flynbrian48
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    Either on the Riv or the T'Bird for sure . Kim wants the Riv to be blue , perhaps a very light silver frosty blue. Thanks!


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    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
  6. Boo! Hiss! Fix the T-bird!! :D
     
  7. I miss my old 64 Riviera with the 65 front end. Enough of a beater that I drove it everyday. 401 and ST400 were dead nuts simple and reliable. Just lowered suspension and ready to go. Although I just ran steelies with hubcaps, the Rivieras are one car that Supremes look so good on. Supremes with skinny whites, all it needs.

    Always thought the way the outer door skin removed to access the window regulators and latch parts were unusual.
     
  8. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,929

    flynbrian48
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    Don't worry James, I've got garage space cleared in order to work on the 'bird, AND the Rivi! And yes 38Chevy454, those removable door skins are going to come in handy, because none of the windows on this Riv go up OR down!
     
  9. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,929

    flynbrian48
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    You sure they didn't drop buy for a wine cooler? ;-)
     
  10. I realize that the LS engine families are a far cry from "traditional power-plant, but having recent experience with a 425 Nailhead and 394 Olds...you could buy a truck load of them(LS), for what it costs to rebuild these vintage dinasaurs. We have a fleet of them at work(25?), all the way from the 4.6, 5.3's and 6.0's. Man, they make awesome smooth power. Mostly reliable and will go 150k with no problem, if maintained properly.
    My '64 98 is getting the stock 394, because it was already a runner, but leaning towards an LS for the Starfire Convertible. Supposedly, a guy in town is removing them from Hummer H2's (to install Duramax diesels) and selling them cheap.
    Love this project, you always have great vision, for your Hot Rods.
    JT
     
  11. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,929

    flynbrian48
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    Thanks JT, and you are correct sir! I actually bought a 425 for the car, but it was incomplete, and no trans. I sold it with the yellow '63, actually kind of traded it to the happy buyer of that car for the '65 grill and a center console for this one. I have a 4.8 in our Pontiac woody, and a 6.0 in the Diamond T, and love 'em. With the 5.3, it'll be a nice comparison. I really wanted a 4.8, because they're cheaper, but this was still a screaming deal, 1400$ for engine, trans, fuel lines, fuse panel, wiring harness, a box of trinket stuff, throttle pedal, trans yoke etc. pretty much everything except a battery. It's all "traditional" as long as the hood is shut ;-)


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  12. By my calculations, it took exactly 24 days (8/4 - 8/27)! :-D
     
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  13. Psst, flyn.. Tell Kim that '63/'64 Corvette Silver Blue is a BEAUTIFUL colour!! ;)

    Dave
     
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  14. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,929

    flynbrian48
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    Ohhhh, good idea Dave!
     
  15. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,929

    flynbrian48
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    10424299_10205462857553488_4902958352575888285_n.jpg
    No more sleeping outdoors flro the Riviera! For the first time in a decade (or more) the Rivi is inside, ready for some love. I can even get the wagon inside, walk around everything, have room to work on everything, although it's gonna be hard to stand back and admire my work when the day is done. I'm ready for winter!
     
  16. RamJet1
    Joined: Apr 9, 2012
    Posts: 343

    RamJet1
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    A very nice shot. Looking forward to progress on all projects.
     
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  17. millersgarage
    Joined: Jun 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,064

    millersgarage
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    Check out the blue on the Buick on the latest StreetRodder.
     
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  18. Gonna throw a color "curve" at you Brian-

    My folks had an '88 Riviera that was "Dark Blue Metallic" over Silver Metallic. The blue was GORGEOUS- deep as the ocean and looked like black at night until light hit the paint and it would simply radiate!

    I've always thought that Mitchell Riv would look stunning in that color.
     
  19. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,929

    flynbrian48
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    I am busted!
     
  20. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,929

    flynbrian48
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    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1414793406.352620.jpg
    Will it fit? Stay tuned to find out!



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  21. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,929

    flynbrian48
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    It almost fits... I either have to blister the hood, which wouldn't look at all bad, or make "Shaker" and do it cast aluminum like the GS air cleaners, which would be sort of muscle-car-ish, or get an LS intake which is much shorter than the Vortec one, and then move the alternator. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.. IMG_3722.jpg IMG_3724.jpg IMG_3726.jpg IMG_3722.jpg IMG_3724.jpg IMG_3726.jpg
     
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  22. I wonder... would the leading edge (I mean the top..) of another fender work as a hood "blister" or is it not wide enough?

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  23. RamJet1
    Joined: Apr 9, 2012
    Posts: 343

    RamJet1
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    My vote, not that you asked, is to get the LS intake and not change the hood.
     
  24. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,929

    flynbrian48
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    Ram-jet, you and my wife, for whom I'm building this, agree! She had an emphatic "NO!" To the shaker hood scoop idea, and said "it's not a Camaro" to the owl induction bump in the beautiful Riv hood. So, the search for an LS1 or LS3 intake throttle body and fuel rails begins. There has to be bunches out there from guys going with Fast or Holly intakes.


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  25. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,441

    40StudeDude
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    I'm not sure that's "stirrin' the pot" as much as it's going to cause fiction in the Flyn'Brian household...but I like it...!!!

    R-
     
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  26. RamJet1
    Joined: Apr 9, 2012
    Posts: 343

    RamJet1
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    Whew! ha ha ha
    There should be some to be found on LS1tech, G8board or Grrrr8.net
    Though if you did make a hood bulge, it would probably look great based on your other work.
     

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  27. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,929

    flynbrian48
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    I like the blister as you've done it. In my minds eye, I saw a cowl inductin style bulge, that added about an inch and half from just ahead of where the stock character line begins in the hood, raising rather quickly to full height (which would be about the same height as the fender crowns), simply raising the stock center of the hood. I lack the photo shop skills to do this, but somebody can (nudge, wink). In fact though, after yesterdays slice and dice session in the shop, the engine is nestled down and inch and a half , back half an inch, which gives enough clearance, with the intakes decorative (funky) plastic cover off. Alternator will JUST clear. Both stock exhaust manifolds clearanced, the left side I had to cut the flange off and rotated it a few degrees, but that let the engine set right down where it should. I won't need a blister at all, only the ones on my fingers...
     
  28. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,929

    flynbrian48
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    BTW, that's the color I envisioned on it as well. Nice!
     

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