1963 Buick Riviera


(Wikimedia Commons )

by Jacques Gordon

A member called today with questions about a 1963 Buick Riviera. The car was recently purchased by one of his regular customers; it’s not a museum piece, just a nice Sunday driver that looks great. While the previous owner seems to have done a nice job reconditioning the car cosmetically, mechanically it has apparently been defiled by one or more shade-tree mechanics. The heater doesn’t work, and the fact that the heater core is a modern replacement part that is already clogged makes it obvious that the cooling system has been neglected for quite some time. Not so the air conditioner: it’s a factory-installed system that was converted to R-134a. The throttling suction valve was modified for the conversion as per normal, but some of the lines are joined with hose clamps. That’s probably why he recovered only one pound of refrigerant from the A/C system. Fortunately, the customer wants things fixed right, and the correct parts are available.

Our friend’s problem is lack of service information. He has the Chilton manual for that year, but the only information shown under heater core R&R is an exploded view of the heating system, no step-by-step instructions. Not that he couldn’t figure it out; he’s a pro who’s been in business a long time. He has also earned a reputation as the right place to take a car like this. But the car has already been molested and there’s a budget for the total job. His long-time customer understands that labor will be charged as time spent, not book time (3.4). So, if anyone out there knows how to do the job or knows where to find a heater core R&R procedure on a 1963 Buick Riviera, contact me right away at jacques@macsw.org and I’ll pass it on.

The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, http://bit.ly/10zvMYg for more information.

You can E-mail us at macsworldwide@macsw.org . To locate a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Click here  to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 35th annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Meet me at MACS! will take place February 5-7, 2015 at the Caribe Royale Hotel and Convention Center.


About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues. www.macsw.org
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