1995 Riviera problems

95Riv

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1995 Buick Riviera 3800 series II
So I bought a '95 Buick Riviera a few months ago, it has 170,000 miles on the body, and a new 3800 series 2 was put in with only 100,000 miles on it. Got the car for a great deal and thought it would last me a while with Buick reliabiltitty. How ever, ever since I bought it, every once in a while when I turn the key to start it, it just makes a click noise. And it takes a few times of turning it before it starts, then it fires right up. After about a month though, another problem emerged. I was slowing down to a stop light and my car just died. I threw it in park and turned the key and it started right up. I ignored it and it drove fine for about 2 weeks. Then one night when I got out of work I went to start my car and it wouldn't start. I keep trying and eventually it started up, then just died. So I started it again and gave a good amount of gas and it back fired a little bit but it stayed running. I tried to drive it home, it seemed to be driving funky, then while I was cruising at 55, car just died and the battery light came on. I pulled over and it fired right back up and drove home fine, I even let it run for 20 minutes when I got home, ran flawless. But the next day I decided to take it to my mechanic, he replaced the fuel pump and filter, test drove it and it ran fine. So I picked it up and almost got it home, but it stalled in the left turn lane, and then fired right back up. However it continued to stall 4 times in the turn lane before I could pull out, then it died in my driveway. I looked up what it could be, and I thought it was an ignition module, so I changed that and was running fine. But about a week later I was driving, and my car suddenly jerked back, almost like I slammed on the brakes for a split second, and the battery light flashed for just a second, but the car didn't shut off. After that, it did that again about a week later then it was doing fine for about month. Then last night, the car just shut off on me going 40, and the battery light was on, I threw it in neutral while it was rolling, and went to start it, nothing but clicking in the ignition, so I thought I'd just pull over when I could, then all of a sudden the rpms just spiked back up and I turned back on. Anybody have ANY ideas on what's acting up on it??
 

three4rd

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Hi,

Sorry I can't help, but I've 'been there and done that'. My '95 has been an unbelievable money drain over the past 12 years. Just when I thought I've replaced every part there is to replace, something else goes. It just died on me again today and left me stranded on the side of the road. (5th time for towing over the years). When mine was doing was you are describing, it was computer / module issues. Often mine would just stop running while idling or at a red light, etc. It hasn't done that for a long time. I would say have the mechanic hook it up to diagnostics and check for trouble codes. Hopefully something will show up. Good luck. I'm just about at the point where I'm ready to give up on mine. I'm sure that something really bad is wrong again but won't know till Monday. It starts to become throwing good money after bad. I wish you better luck with yours than I have had with mine. I'll bet the replacement engine was put in yours for the same reason that I had to put one in at 79,000 miles - bet it was a failed intake manifold. Major design flaw in the 3.8 series II until they replaced the plastic with metal.


Best,
Keith
 

LARRY70GS

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sounds like a Crank Position Sensor. A series 2 engine in a 95 car is not stock. The series 1 engine was stock. Did you swap in the PCM and OBD 2 connector? The CPS will not store a code, but it can cause the engine to die like that.
 

three4rd

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I also was thinking a position sensor. In my case it was the camshaft position sensor that was causing the same problems you are describing. Good luck. Even though so many people say this 3.8 series II engine was one of the most reliable that GM ever produced, my experience has been that it is susceptible to MANY problems, and I believe I've encountered and paid for most of what can go wrong with it. I hope they took this engine off the line by now.
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HotZ28

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1996 Roadmaster Limited Collectors Edition 58k - 1996 PAU 2019 Regal GS
Even though so many people say this 3.8 series II engine was one of the most reliable that GM ever produced, my experience has been that it is susceptible to MANY problems, and I believe I've encountered and paid for most of what can go wrong with it. I hope they took this engine off the line by now.
Proactive maintenance is the key solution. We can never expect anything to last for ever. Proactive maintenance means, replacing typical failure prone components BEFORE they fail. Fortunately, (using proactive maintenance) I beat every potential failure before it happened. I currently have 194K without any problems, or any failures. Engine & trans are original, but everything was maintained beyond expectations, or service recommendations.
 
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HotZ28

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A series 2 engine in a 95 car is not stock. The series 1 engine was stock.
IIRC, the Series II N/A engine was common, both with the Rivera & PA (N/A) during 1995. The S/C version of the Series II (L67) of each car and was first introduced in 1996.

Riviera 1995–1997 3.8 L L36 3800 Series II V6 205 hp (153 kW) @ 5200 rpm 230 lb·ft (310 N·m) @ 4000 rpm
 
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three4rd

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Yeah, well, my replacement engine with only 56,000 miles on it just threw a rod right through the block. Not sure what level of preventive maintenance can do much about that.
 

Milehighassassin

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Yeah, well, my replacement engine with only 56,000 miles on it just threw a rod right through the block. Not sure what level of preventive maintenance can do much about that.

An oil change.

Rods let loose because you either add major power. Or the lubrication system failed.
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three4rd

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My oil was changed regularly every 3,000 miles from Day 1. No major power was added. I was going along at 45 mph.
 

three4rd

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Correct oil has always been used. EGR certainly a possibility. With my car I've learned to expect the completely unexpected.

What are your thoughts on my most recent post - relative to putting in another used engine in my '95 versus towing the car to the junk yard? I'm hoping to get some suggestions as I really am wrangling over what to do.
 

LARRY70GS

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Besides lack of oil pressure, the biggest killer of engines is detonation, ESPECIALLY at WOT. If you had a lean cylinder, it could have detonated. Was the engine running hot? The PCM listens for engine knock and will pull timing in an effort to protect the engine, but there are limits to what it can do. Was the OBD2 system connected and working? Were there any Check Engine Lights? Were you at WOT a lot? An engine usually gives you some warning before it lets go catastrophically like that. As HotZ28 said, in 95 the engine could have been a Series2 if it came with the N/A engine. All of the supercharged engines in 95 were Series 1. In addition, 95 was sort of a transition year from OBD1 to OBD2. Some had the Data Link Connectors for OBD2, but were running OBD1. My question is what was in the car when you replaced the engine with the Series 2?
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three4rd

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Larry,

Firstly, my '95 Riviera came with the Series II 3.8 (not supercharged). After it hydrolocked from complete manifold failure, I replaced it with another Series II new long block from Jasper - which is the one that just threw a rod.

As I mentioned in other posts, I had absolutely NO indication of the impending rod failure. NO temperature increase, NO warning lights of any kind. I was driving along and everything was fine - driving and behaving normally. It happened that quick and that suddenly.

Keith
 

Calm01

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1995 Buick Riviera
How’s it going, I purchased a 95 Buick Riviera about a year ago and it was running fine. I was having the same issues when it came to the stalling although now it’s just sitting there due to the fact that when I was working on it one of my kids was able to get their hands on the throttle body and we just can’t seem to find it anywhere. Although I’ve searched all over the web to purchase a replacement, I can’t seem to find the part anywhere I eventually found the part through GM. Although they’ve discontinued the part. So I was wandering if by any but if the slightest chance does anyone happen to know where I can get a throttle body for a 1995 Buick Riviera?
 

LARRY70GS

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98 Riviera, 70 GS455 Stg1
How’s it going, I purchased a 95 Buick Riviera about a year ago and it was running fine. I was having the same issues when it came to the stalling although now it’s just sitting there due to the fact that when I was working on it one of my kids was able to get their hands on the throttle body and we just can’t seem to find it anywhere. Although I’ve searched all over the web to purchase a replacement, I can’t seem to find the part anywhere I eventually found the part through GM. Although they’ve discontinued the part. So I was wandering if by any but if the slightest chance does anyone happen to know where I can get a throttle body for a 1995 Buick Riviera?
Try posting in the Parts Wanted forum of Riviera Performance

That site is mostly for the 95-99 Buick Riviera.
 

2007LucerneCXL

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2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
Check the GM part# and look for additional makes, models and years it would have been used to get the best range of possible choices.
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