18th Nov 2005, 10:57

Really? "many mechanical differences" eh? Why don't you name some of them? or even--just one?

21st Jan 2006, 19:17

Haven't found even one difference yet? Apparently not.

28th Jun 2006, 17:21

I found one, the stupid power door locks are not interchangeable. I know of several Riviera's with the same passenger door problem, (passenger door power locks don't work) if any one knows of a way to fix it I would greatly appreciate it!

I have had no major problems with this car (97 WITH 192,000 miles), but the interiors are very cheaply made as stated before!

29th Jun 2006, 15:39

If there is power getting to the door lock actuator and it's not working, then the problem is in the actuator. Replace it.

If power is NOT getting to the actuator, then the problem is either in the switch or the door lock relay, or a fuse has blown. Unless somebody has been mucking about with the wiring, then the problem is not likely to be there.

And the door lock actuators ARE interchangeable between 1996 and 1998 Rivieras. They are not interchangeable from left to right though, but you already knew that. I hope.

28th Jul 2006, 18:40

Still awaiting a mechanical difference.

20th Aug 2006, 12:18

For 1998, Minor changes were made for the last full year of production. The Supercharged Engine and Sunroof options became standard, as did heated drivers and passenger seating.

21st Aug 2006, 19:15

1998 may have been the last full year of production, but there was a 1999 Riviera.

All 1998 and up Rivieras were equipped with the supercharged engine (and bucket seats vs. bench seats) but the moonroof and heated seats were NOT made standard.

In any case, changes in standard equipment are not "mechanical differences" -- don't compound your original incorrect statement with more misinformation.

25th Oct 2006, 11:29

Um, there were differences. Check out Buick forums like the one on regalgs.org.

95 had a different engine, is that a big enough difference? Series I as opposed to Series II in every other year.

97 saw a beefier tranny, the 65e opposed to the 60e (can't remember the exact part number, ht65e? hl65e?, doesn't matter).

97 saw beefed up suspension, and minor adjustments to suspension and weight were made.

95/96 were more prone to ABS failures, and other somewhat expensive failures.

There were differences in engine/mechanicals; the body stayed the same though.

25th Oct 2006, 18:32

Hmm, first of all, the claim was "many mechanical differences" between the 1996 and 1998 models, yet you keep referring to the 1995 model.

True, the 1996 model got the Series II 3800 engine with 15 more hp; but it is still the same basic design 3.8 liter V6. The 1997 got an electronic torque converter clutch.

Your original comment claimed the 1996 was built better, yet now you say the 1995-1996 models had more ABS problems "and other somewhat expensive failures", while the later models had "beefed-up suspension"? You contradict yourself.

22nd May 2007, 01:50

The riviera was built on the "G" platform as was the aurora. I own an aurora and have done much research on them. '95 was a poor year for electrical failures on both models. it was also the only year for the OBD-1 engine in both models. each year there were some changes like in '97 the brakes were upgraded. I think the transmission confusion is based on supercharged vs. naturally aspirated. N/A 3800 had the T60-E and the supercharged had a T65-E as far as I know. the aurora had a T80-E same as the cadillac STS. some other changes were the settings in the assisted steering were changed to make the car feel heavier at low speeds for 98 and 99. I don't know if buick bothered to change their settings. my condolences if you own one with the hideous blue interior. yes, auroras came with it too. YUCK!

22nd Nov 2007, 21:33

I really love my 1998 Riv. This is a design that has really stood the test of time like no other US vehicle. The car can compete with new cars on the street look-wise.

The vehicle is 10 years old however, and the looks can be deceiving, so I would absolutely recommend having a mechanic take a good look at any 10 year old car that you want to buy.

The Riv is faster and smoother than I expected. It has a slew of contemporary upgrades like a compass, automatic headlights, automatic temperature controls, power trunk opener, dual temperature controls, air ride suspension. Some of these upgrades may not even be found in contemporary vehicles. The size of the Riv is what impressed me the most. This car has some serious room inside even though the great design makes it look small. It is actually longer than a Bentley coupe and has more back seat room than the Bentley!

The repair cost can be substantial and you can pretty much expect things like ac compressors, air ride compressors, motor mounts, etc. to fail after 10 years so if purchasing a Riv try to find one that has already had most major repairs done even if the mileage is low. If you buy a Riv you may want to get the repair books for the vehicle from Ebay, and do basic stuff yourself to offset dealer repair cost, unless you have access to a reasonably priced mechanic.

Because of the age of the vehicle, I would recommend the Riv as more of a weekend toy than an everyday commuter vehicle i.e. if you are patient enough to wait to drive this outstanding car. I can't wait until the next Riviera comes out.

15th Mar 2011, 13:19

For the guy who was wondering about 96-98 mechanical differences - the transmissions are different, the superchargers are different, the axles are different, the struts are different, the engine computers are different, the body control modules are different... Need I continue? There are many different mechanical pieces between the 96 and the 98 models.

See Hollander's interchange if you'd like additional examples.