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Project Franken-Riviera -1964 Buick Riviera-

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  • Microsquirt on the way! Also swapped the cars around as the Riviera isn't going anywhere till I resolve this transmission control issue so it's in the shed and the Mercedes is now outside.

    Because the cruise in season is basically borked for the year I'm awefully tempted to get the engine out again and do a good inspection of it before repainting and resealing it but we know how "while I'm at it" things go when you're that deep into things. First priority none the less is getting the Mercedes rear seats in there and getting seat belts for the kiddos so regardless of when it goes for a drive, the family can come with me!
    Central TEXAS Sleeper
    USAF Physicist

    ROA# 9790

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    • do the three light switch thing so you can move it around... it's when they're parked they get bewitched.
      Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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      • Microsquirt arrives today! Might wire it up next week when I take some time off from work. Been pulling 10-15hr shifts for seems like months.
        Central TEXAS Sleeper
        USAF Physicist

        ROA# 9790

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        • Well it did arrive and all I've had a chance to do is test fit that it'll reach across the inside of the dash to get from the mounting point to the cable exit and start planning the cabling through the firewall. Going to use the old leaking 4L80E bulkhead plug for most of the wires passing through as it's the same OD as the old speedometer cable hole and I've had a bushing 3D printed to take up the thickness difference. Another upside of using this plug is the harness side uses the same pins as the ECM so I just need to pull them out of the ECM harness and put them into the plug body.

          I've spent most of the rest of the time carefully pulling the power window system out of the CL600 along with the front and rear seats, seat belt presenters, and trunk latch system and then fabbing up stuff to make it into a driving car again to send it off to it's new owner as a running parts car. Was about to breath a sigh of relief and start pulling the dash out of the Riviera when a friend told me he's cleaning up his personal scrap yard of cars and if I want anything off of his cars to start planning that... I'm getting the rear suspension and wheels off of his Q45 as the track width is almost spot on for where I want it to be (i.e. wider than stock) and unlike most IRS systems it bolts in with 4 large bolts and all of the links (it's at least 3 links per wheel) bolt to the subframe vs. the body. I'd just have to figure out how to reinforce the shock mounts on the Riviera frame to make them work with the coil overs or build tubular links to put the coil overs in front of the wheels to use the stock spring seats.

          Got to love near free parts I'm stockpiling but it does mean I've got a ton of work to get at least the interior fixed up.
          Central TEXAS Sleeper
          USAF Physicist

          ROA# 9790

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          • Been a busy time and been otherwise busy during most of my off of work times (sometimes just sick from running on something the felt like 5x11hrs for weeks) but I've made some progress.

            Engine side of the wiring harness for the microsquirt is 90% done, mainly wiring in the power distribution on the ECM "on" power wire that also powers the transmission and splicing into the relevant shared sensors. Cabin side is about in the same story; main line work is done and the various mounting brackets made, painted, and installed. However the detail wiring work for power and ground, dash harness for the speedo output, and the brake pedal sensor aren't done. I hit a major mental block at looking forward to doing the wiring work and had to go to do something else.

            That something else was getting the Mercedes rear seats into the car. The bottoms were pretty simple, only had to trim one of the support nubs to account for the unequal height of the Rivera floor pan across the back seat and fab the rear seat mounts that the fronts pop over. Considering the car was hand made on jigs (as was almost everything till the 70's if you think about it) there was a lot of asymettry between the two sides so the mounts I made for the drivers side patterned off of the passengers did not match and I ended up having to redo them and more whincingly the holes for the screws that hold them in place till I weld them in. Hate drilling extra holes in sheetmetal. The backs have been dogging me for a month now that work has picked up again and I'm once again spending M-Th working 10-12hrs and then spending Fri catching up on all of the details and chores I've missed. This weekend I was finally able to fabricate the filler piece that holds the seat cushion off of the wheel well since the CL600 had a longer cabin so the seats were entirely in front of the wheel arches. I had a spare rear, somewhat rusty, seat frame from a parts Riviera that I was able to trim the arch contour sections out of and then fit to the hole in the fiberglass seat backs off of the Mercedes seats. It ended up nearly perfectly matching distance of the original cover retainer system so it stretches back over and looks smooth!
            Click image for larger version

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            Just a mockup without making any hard mods to anything:
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            Central TEXAS Sleeper
            USAF Physicist

            ROA# 9790

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            • Holy Crap it's been just over a year since I posted an update!! It's time to once again have a last minute scramble to get things ready for a move... This time however I've put in enough work on doing things right that it's a last minute scramble to get the critical stuff tied up properly and then do the less critical later.
              She moves under her own power but I've not actually done the firmware update on the Microsquirt to Microshift (if that's the right way to put it) or even uploaded the hybrid L67 W-body (2000 GTP) and L38 5spd (98 Camaro) tune onto the ECM. But it does run and drive. Pictures are a maybe once I get the time and more stuff cleaned up, might have to wait till it and I are in TX. Major outstanding issue is I don't seem to have brake lights and can't figure out why. Won't stop it going onto the transporter but stops me from showing it off at work in the last few days I'm in CA. I've got 2wks to figure that out if I have time amongst all the other last minute details of moving while still holding down a full time job.
              Central TEXAS Sleeper
              USAF Physicist

              ROA# 9790

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              • Good news: the interior is back in, fresh ECM and Microshift are flashed, and my TPS split works.
                Bad news: Trans temp ground is floating so that measurement isn't working, brake lights still don't work though the relay to the Microshift does

                Maybe can get the front bumper in for the first time in 10yrs tomorrow but it's really annoying me that they've not called to setup shipment and we were supposed to leave tomorrow morning but my 20ton press, the washer and dryer, and a myriad of other little things didn't fit in the PODs I rented. Emergency small POD coming on Saturday morning before we hit the road at noon. All working out as I have enough to do tomorrow to fill the day easily. Some of that is because I put things off but a lot is just stuff that like the original POD plan, didn't end up fitting in the planned space/time.
                Central TEXAS Sleeper
                USAF Physicist

                ROA# 9790

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                • The dreaded space/time continuum! Can't fight physics.........

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                  • Car has basically been sitting since it arrived safely from California though the megashift is not controlling the transmission properly. Once I got here I almost immediately had to travel for the lab and all of my free time since then has been going into wiring the garage up and installing more lights.

                    I'm torn between two options:
                    1. Try to fix things in place and add the passengers seat and seat belts all round and try to enjoy the car with all it's leaks and battery drain
                    2. Pull the engine for a bearing check, reseal, and repaint to Buick Green and then put in a new radiator and bigger intercooler then go after the seats
                    3. Do number 2 but rewire the whole car while I'm at it to condense down to a single or maybe pair of fuse boxes and drop all of the original wiring.
                    Number 3 is most certainly a bridge too far but trying to get the engine to stop dripping oil as well as do some needed upgrades sounds oh so tempting....
                    Central TEXAS Sleeper
                    USAF Physicist

                    ROA# 9790

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                    • Over Morning Coffee,
                      Build a "War Board"
                      It a Bulletin Board to attach the "Plan" discussed latter
                      Pictures of Ideas, and Build Notes for Memory Loss issues when the project s t r e t c h e s into years......
                      ​​​​​​I make one for every Project

                      Now make the "Plan".....into a SOP and a SOG.
                      Suggested Operating Proposal......
                      and
                      Suggested Opportunity Guidance.......$$$$
                      ​​​​​
                      The SOP.....I break this down into areas.
                      Body
                      Electrical
                      Chaise
                      Drive line
                      List everything you want or NEED to get done in each.

                      The SOG.....Build a list in the same categories as above
                      to get what can be found on Parts Safari's, at Swap Meets,
                      Junk Yards, and Believe It or Not....Yard Sales !!
                      On Yard Sales, Don't be Rude and Walk around their place,
                      BUT....DO ASK About the Rusty Iron Visible from the Road Driving Up, or what you can SEE from the Sales Tables !!
                      These are the Finds that will Leave You Money to Keep the Beer Fridge Stocked......

                      Also,
                      It gives you what may need to be done first,
                      AND What you can AFFORD, as the Project Progresses.
                      The Side Benefit is that the Significant Other could be Impressed by your Concern on How ALL That Money has Disappeared........
                      Last edited by Captain; November 23, 2022, 06:48 AM.

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                      • Originally posted by CTX-SLPR View Post
                        Car has basically been sitting since it arrived safely from California though the megashift is not controlling the transmission properly. Once I got here I almost immediately had to travel for the lab and all of my free time since then has been going into wiring the garage up and installing more lights.

                        I'm torn between two options:
                        1. Try to fix things in place and add the passengers seat and seat belts all round and try to enjoy the car with all it's leaks and battery drain
                        2. Pull the engine for a bearing check, reseal, and repaint to Buick Green and then put in a new radiator and bigger intercooler then go after the seats
                        3. Do number 2 but rewire the whole car while I'm at it to condense down to a single or maybe pair of fuse boxes and drop all of the original wiring.
                        Number 3 is most certainly a bridge too far but trying to get the engine to stop dripping oil as well as do some needed upgrades sounds oh so tempting....
                        I vote for, dump seat in it, and drive it. Tinker as time allows for a season, then after having made a list of faults. tick them off one by oe.

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                        • Originally posted by DanStokes View Post
                          The dreaded space/time continuum! Can't fight physics.........
                          how did I miss this gem? lol

                          as far as the 3 options, do whatever makes the least sense and know that we're here cheering you on. That is, until you figure out how to defeat the space-time continuum; then the car will be done by robots you imported from the future.
                          Doing it all wrong since 1966

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