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About ErnieR

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 03/09/1951


  • Biography
    Retired from the retail auto business after 37 years in various capacities
  1. My dream car when I was a kid. Dad was a Mopar guy and I was until I drove a friends 69 Grand Prix. A month later my 65 Belvedere convertible was sold and I had the first of a few Grand Prix's. I have a neighbor that has a heavily hot rodded 64 Sport Fury. Rattles the windows when he takes it out.
  2. Definitely not a HEMI. That cross ram manifold is just as rare though. The HEMI wasn't available on the option sheet to the general public until 1966.
  3. You are correct about being concerned over the rim width. I had radials with the original rims and then with 6" Ford rims. The tires on the original rims were visibly pinched and the contact patch was not as wide as it should be. I had a constant issue with hubcaps moving and had to run only 22 lbs of pressure in the rear tires to alleviate a very noticeable twitchiness in the rear. Mind you my car had an entirely refurbished rear suspension, leaf springs, bushings, and quality shocks. Once I went the wider rim the hubcaps stayed in place, less strain on the rim so less flexing, and I could run 26 lbs of air in the rear. The car just didn't like a lot of air pressure in the rear and I experimented a lot with different tire pressures. With the P215 radials and 6" rims it still had a tall 60's style tire look. If you aren't running 6.70 bias ply there's no reason to run the original rims since originality went away with the tires.
  4. I was enamored with the Avanti and started a refurbishing that took years. Aside from paint, chrome and actually stitching the interior I did everything myself and spent thousands that I didn't get back when I sold it. If everything is there and I mean everything you will still spend 5 figures for paint and having a new interior installed. And I mean installed, if you have to purchase a new interior kit add another $3-4,000. From the pictures I see your friend embarked on a restoration that is above factory standards and doing the rest of the car to those standards will be very expensive. If you have the tools, a good working knowledge of mechanics and systems and are prepared to invest plenty of time and money keep the car and have at it. If you are a novice that is enamored with the thought of having an old car to "restore" but lack the skills I suggest selling it as is. There are lots of people out there with the skills that will take on the project for the challenge and not care about ROI. It is probably worth$10-12,000 to somebody the way it sits. Properly done it might bring you $18,000 in today's market. If it was a 4 speed it might crack the $20,000 mark fully restored. Add a couple of thousand if it was a late production '64. That's today...years from now when it is actually done who knows? it could be more or less depending on the economy. BTW, if you cheap out on the finished product it could be worth less than it is in its current state. Fellow old car nuts forgive me for taking the "evil" side but I don't feel encouraging someone to take on a project because WE love them is fair. Only the auction companies make money on restorations. ErnieR
  5. I re-covered my front seats myself. Foam was terrible but I used it. I purchased a few different rolls of foam from a trim supplier and filled in where the original was damaged. The interior was a nightmare mainly because of the supplier I purchased the kit from. My car was a late production "thick seat" car. The thickness was a bit of an optical illusion as the seat shell was the same but there was extra padding behind the backrest to give the look of thickness. There are differences in the front, however, but my supplier obviously didn't know that. The earlier seat does not pull in around the pleats on the backrest it stays flat. The wrinkles you see at the upper corners are the result of me trying to pull in and hide the mis-sewn material. To add insult to injury the color started to come off almost immediately!!! I had to have the door panels clear coated to keep them from loosing color the seats were a lost cause...but I digress. You will need tacking strips, cotter pins, hog rings and pliers, staples and or tacks, Hide-em welt and a heat gun. I also had to buy the wire that the hog rings and cotter pins attach to because mine had rusted. Original tacking strip is cardboard and that's what used. In retrospect I would try vinyl if I had to do it again because the cardboard needs to be layered and getting smooth corners is difficult, at least for a total novice. Attaching the tacking strip is one of the most difficult aspects of the job. It was stapled into the fiberglass and I didn't have the equipment to do that so I drilled and riveted. That's where the layering became an issue trying to keep everything in place just didn't happen so the rounded c orners weren't as smooth as I would have liked. Plastic would be much easier to work with and you could probably use thin body side molding. As you can see from the interior pic the material does tend to shrink some and wrinkles will lessen over time. A frequent contributor on the SDC Forum, John Poulos, was selling seat kits in the easy colors like black. Look him up over there. The interior picture was taken right before I sold the car. The installation was done about 6 years before that. BTW, The console is homemade from a GM unit and the wheel is from a later Avanti. I bought a rough upright console piece and installed a modern radio. If I was showing the car I would remove it and the radio and replace the original. Four screws and a couple of plugs, zip-zip.
  6. Are the studs still attached to the bottom of the grille? If so, don't worry about putting nuts on it as it won't go anywhere. Ran mine like that for years and 10,000 miles at least. I didn't want to drill holes as I had seen on some cars so I left it "for another day". As far as I know the new owner, who uses the car almost daily, hasn't bothered either.
  7. We are probably talking about the same thing. When I would use a battery and starter tester it would measure an amperage draw that was probably due to high resistance somewhere in the system. If you say the cable is new then more than likely in the starter or as you suggested a weak battery. Next time you're by an Autozone or an Advance ask them to test the battery. The machine tests the battery's amperage under load and the subsequent voltage drop. Might save you the expense of a 3E battery. You can watch the voltage drop with your voltmeter but it doesn't isolate the battery from the starter and vice versa. I'm assuming the ground cable is new and tightly connected also.
  8. have you gone through the starter. when I first got my Avanti it would struggle starting turning over very slowly. I took the starter apart and found lots of oil, grime, sticking brushes etc. Cleaned it up and it worked fine for years. The Avanti starter is also a higher torque spec than other Studes but I forget how to tell the difference. The boys on the SDC forum would know and you may find you have a replacement that is not up to the task. The smoking cable is an indication of a heavy amp draw which could also come from the starter.
  9. John described the clips I was talking about better than I did. Tough removal after the emblem is installed. I have some if you're brave. I bought my my hood emblem before I had a computer a picture before a purchase would keep you from being disappointed.
  10. Not a repro but a refurb of what must have been a poor original. Grind marks showing after the re-chrome. If I had realized it wasn't a new repro I would have had mine redone instead.
  11. The nuts you have must be too big. The pin on the emblem is tapered and the nuts cut their own thread as you tighten them and they will thread only onto the tip by hand. They only require a little effort with a socket and tighten in a couple of turns. The rubber has nothing to do with their holding ability it just acts as a gasket so water won't get into the trunk. I put my trunk emblem on with PAL nuts but when I took it off it I think it was held on with inserts that fit into the holes in the trunk. The emblem gets pushed into the clips. Once locked in there removing the emblem isn't easy. I might have some of those if you don't think you will be removing the emblems again.
  12. A little black RTV gasket maker will replace the rubber sealer on the PAL nuts. It's there to keep water out and the RTV will do that but will still allow the nuts to spin off easily if necessary. I got my antenna at a local parts store. Mine was a locking style that could push down flush with the mount and you had a little flat key to grab it an pull it out. It was very unobtrusive. I listened to satellite radio so I rarely had it up. Don't forget you need to ground the antenna. Clamping a wire to the tube the shaft collapses into should work.
  13. Looks good from here in NC. Can't imagine how much better the $10,000 job could have been. Kudos to the MAACO staff.
  14. John...I had mixed feelings about the grille until I lost an expensive 3 core radiator to road debris.