I sold the Riviera completly stock to my friend Marcos, and he got a year of HARD driving out of it before he started having problems with the transmission. After a few months of watching eBay we ran across an engine / tranny from a 1997 Buick Riviera. This is considered one of the best years because it's the 3800 Series II with the 4T65E-HD tranny. My friends Steve and Justin made the trip down to Ohio to pickup the drivetrain, and dropped it off over at my dads place.
I decided that if we were going to do this swap, we might as well mod the engine before dropping it into the car. I picked up an XP Cam, Custom Heads, ect, and tore down / re-assembled the engine before installing it into the car.
Day 1: Friday, 6:00 PM - Towed the car to Technosports in Livonia Michigan. Put it on the hoist, and begain removing all the wireing from the engine. By about 10 PM we were ready to drop the cradle out. Removed the motor mounts, shock tower bolts, and brake lines. Jacked up the cradle a little and removed the bolts holding it in. Lifted the car up using the hoist, and she came right up first try! After sprnding most of the night cleaning up every little corner after the oil leak in the old engine, we called it a night at about midnight.
Out with the old
Day 2: Saturday, 5:00 AM - Picked up the new engine and transmission from my dads house, and trucked it over to Technosports. Spent the next few hours cleaning the cradle / steering rack assembly. After getting the cradle all cleaned up, we dropped the new engine on to it. It fit without any modifications. The mounts were in the exact right spot. We installed the new axles. The 97's are a differant legnth then the 95's, but the ends are identical. There was 1 mount bolted to the back of the transmission that we had to transfer over to the new engine, and came up agenst a little problem. The mount has 4 bolts that hold it on, but on the 97 Tranny, there are only 3 holes that line up correctly. It dosen't seem to be a problem right now, but at some point, we'll be swapping that out. We then installed the new SLP headers, and hit another little snag. The Transmission Dipstick tube on the GTP's and Regals are a differant design the the one for the Riv. The Headers are designed not to hit the GTP's tube, but on the Riv they go right through it! We ordered a GTP Tube and that took care of the problem. After getting the headers installed, we moved the cradle under the car, and lowered the car over it. Everything lined up perfectly, and we put all the bolts in! Lifted it back up and bolted the wheels on, and attached the tranny linkage.
In with the new!
Page 1: Intro
Page 2: Before
Page 3: SOLD
Page 4: The Swap
Page 5: The Details
Page 6: MINE AGAIN!