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Avanti R2, 1963, refresh


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It is Tuesday, April 3rd. Well, the best laid plans. Planned to work on the Avanti yesterday, but it was very cold in the morning and was then reminded that the garden needed tilling. So fired up the old tiller, it is at least twenty years old, and started the work out. I got about half done, enough to say "mission accomplished". But in the end, no car work. Ah, but today is another day.

Backyardmechanic. I forwarded your note to Greg. Here is his response.

"John,

To reply to your forum member with the suggestion to check all wire connections, thank him.

Roger that on the loose wires. And they are OLD wires. I'm trying a systematic check to see what might be the remedy. Freshen up the switch and make sure those wires are tight. Run it some. If it does it again try something else.

I'm not using the stock coil. It went to lunch years ago and to get it home I just stuck a more modern conventional coil and condenser in it, and it's still in there. Don't forget I had to file the points at your house once. Rob says he's got new ones for me.

So yesterday, the nice day that it was, after work I drove the DB into town, ran some errands, got gas and back. No problem, but don't forget this backfiring is a very seldom occurance.

Even though it seems like an electrical problem, I'm reminded that years ago the car would do it, blow the expensive Bob Long reproduction muffler to smithereens. But the car was also prone to sticking valves. I cured that by adding Marvel Mystery Oil to it. Since I haven't been doing it, I'll add that experiment to the program after the electrics. No telling what this corrosive corn fuel is doing to it.

The good thing is that to track down the cause and cure of this problem means I have to put a lot of road time on the old thing.

Speaking of road work. Then I jumped out of the DB and into the Avanti. Trip overland to Mother's house about seventy miles from here. A nice evening for Old Seabiscuit to flare it's nostrils and lay its ears back. On the way home, a good chance to test the fuel mileage on the Interstate 66, 12.2 MPG. With it's 3.73 axle it used to get about 15/16 MPG. Fresh engine, front end aligned, where do you think the lost mileage went? I guess going "green" means that you stretch your fuel supply by diluting it with alcohol but you just use more of it. Of course if you use more of it, aren't you spending more for road use taxes?"

Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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Still Tuesday, but PM. I give up. I fiddled with the rear bumper most of the morning. First, one bolt would not line up with the encapsulated nut in the bumper. Loosened every bumper bolt I could see, but still could not get the treads to grab. So went to the other side, it lined up, but the threads would not grab. So I need longer bolts. I finally figured out that the mounts in the bumper were taken out and then re-welded. They sit a bit more into the bumper and now require longer bolts. Go figure. Only took me four hours of frustration to figure that out. One a good note both sides took both a 1/8 and 1/4 rubber shims.

So then decided to work on the rewiring of the driver's side headlight and turn signal. Boy, what a mess. Everything is cobbled together so am going to replace major sections of wires. Got all of them tagged and there is one just hanging loose so will have to figure that one out too. Does not do any good to look at the wiring colors as these have all been replacements at some point. Probably when the harness caught fire.

So for about eight hours I just spun my wheels so to speak. I did pull the battery so at least I will be able to start quickly on the wiring tomorrow.

I also saw that the battery tray is cracking/splitting at the bottom joint. I will have to see if I can fix that too.

And if that is not enough, the power steering hose connection that I can barely get a wrench on has become loose again. I will have to cut a box wrench to fit the pipe to go over the nut and then heat it to make an angle so I can get more of a turn on it. Just more fun, ugh.

Note or PS. Thought about that wire that went nowhere for a couple of hours and the thought popped into my little brain that it is probably the horn wire since I have no horn on the drivers side. I am looking for a horn so I do not want to just cut it out. So will do a little hiding, but not too hard to find.

Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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Vern, passed on your note to Greg. And if you would like you can contact him at gregcone@msn.com This morning I asked Greg what he was doing for fun. He said "Still scraping paint off old blackie." So that is his report for today.

It is Wednesday, April 4th, early PM. Well, I finally made some progress on my Avanti. Couple of steps forward, and of course, a step or two back.

Rebuilt all the wiring for the headlight and parking light circuits, installed the bucket in the car, and then the headlight. It works, sort of. Have low beams on both, but the high beam on the passenger side is not working. I know my wiring is correct as I had everything labeled. Betting and hoping that I did not push in the connector all the way. But it is a job for another day as I have to move onto other farm activities before I can call it a day.

Oh, and the parking and turn signal lights on both sides are not working either. So I have some troubleshooting to do. They both worked before I took everything apart for painting. I am betting that I do not have them correctly grounded. I did spend five hours on the car today.

Ordered my first batch of Jag parts yesterday. Wanted to wait until I got to know the car before I started on any serious work. All are maintenance items. Seals and new flex oil lines. Everyone warned me that one flex line in particular, oil line to gauge must be changed as they get old and are prone to blowing out. So got that one.

I also noticed that the cam oil lines, a Y thing, is leaking and all the fittings are tight. So it needs new copper seals, but this hard line is prone to stress cracking and blow out, so ordered a new Y which is mostly flex line versus hard. So got that too. So, $220 for stuff you cannot really see.

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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I don't know, John, some of that "no show" stuff can make a pretty eventful showing at the most inappropriate times if you don't catch it first ! Good for you on chasing bits that could be very destructive. The ground wires gave us a fit on our car when we repainted it, I was almost ready to get a huge buss bar from a construction job and mount under it and ground 'em all there!! Ha. Good luck, it's sure lookin' good, John

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It is Thursday, April 5th. In the PM yesterday tackled the rest of the roto-tilling for Alice's garden. So the patch is about 15 x 50 or so. She was happy as she planted her little spring seeds.

Plan on going to the body shop today. Have to pick up the old Avanti upholstery. Never know if you might need just a strip of vinyl. May even take the Jag.

And I pulled the "Supercharged" badges out of their little baggie for a clean and polish. They will go on today with some help from Alice. They cleaned up nice, but certainly not show quality. But they were born with the car so back on they go.

Just received a good story and report from Greg. It is a good one too.

"Trying to move things along, but nothing to write home about. The weather is cooperating, allowing me to get in a few minutes work in the hangar on the hill.

I'm trying to make sure black 5054 is ready should the paint guy ever say he's ready for it. Still doing grunt work on that one. Scraping paint mostly, but tonight I started degreasing the chassis part of the engine compartment. A cup full of solvent and a bristle brush. No fun, but the 1970's Imron looks ok.

I've been wondering how I could pressure wash the underside of the thing. Tonight it came to me. Problem is although the pressure washer is gasoline powered, I'm working about a couple hundred feet West of the end of the garden hose.

David (Trimacar on this forum) Coco to the rescue!

You see, once upon a time I used to work at this automotive restoration facility. It's a long story, but one evening I got a phone call from this guy in Louisiana. He had a Hupmobile and so did I. I guess that meant even though we had never met, we were like blood brothers or something. Nice phone conversation, see you-bye.

Some time after that while at work one day, the boss said that I had a friend in the office and I should go say hi. Trust me, that never happened! Strolled into the office , saw a stranger sitting on the couch, no friend of mine to be seen.

To shorten the story a little, it was the guy from the phone call. He was applying for a position in our upholstery shop and used me as his reference. Just great. Anyway, he hired on, we became steadfast friends and remain so.

But it didn't take long for him to frequently mutter to me..."Greg, if you ever leave here you're taking me with you." So after a mere couple years of the boss urging him to "find something else if you're not happy here"... he did, much to the boss' dismay.

Trimacar hired on at the local applesause plant as Vice President. Having Mondays off, I'd go in to meet him for lunch. We'd be riding along in his black Mustang fastback, I'd look over at Mr. VP in his shirt and tie (and pants of course) and grin. He'd counter with a Cajun "Pleeeze don't throws me in the briar patch".

What's that got to do with pressure washing? While looking through our storage hangar I happened to find a large plastic drum, fifty gallons or more. A surplus applesause drum! And it even has a spigot installed in its bottom. I'll just put it in the pickup bed, fill it full of water and get started. He's no longer making applesauce, but he was there long enough to make my pressure washing possible. Kind of makes it all worthwhile.

Maybe tomorrow evening before dark I'll give it a try.

And at lunch today friend Lee announced he'd ordered another sleeve, but it went backordered. Just great."

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Still Thursday, but PM. I hopped into the Jag this morning and headed to the body and paint shop, 60 miles round trip. The car ran great and was a hit with the crew. As a reward I filled it with $55 of premium. Gas is now $4.29 a gallon for premium, $4.05 for regular.

More garden work and then installed the Supercharged emblems back on the Avanti. You need some small hands to get in there to attach the little nuts.

Success, so decided to move the Avanti out into the yard and take some beauty shots. So these are the pics I took. Since the Jaguar was out I pulled it to the Avanti so you can see both cars together.

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It is Friday, April 6th. Going to spend some time on the Avanti and then on the 2003 VW Passat W8 Wagon. Have been neglecting the modern cars and they need a beauty treatment. First up will be the W8 with the full treatment.

And just in, a report from Greg on his black, sort of, Avanti.

"But 'tweren't no day at the beach.

After work I loaded up the powerwasher in the company pickup, delivered it to the hangar on the hill and then loaded up the applesause barrel to fill it with water. Managed that and then with 5054 rolled out into the sun, I tried my luck.

Feeding water through the small spigot that someone had installed in the drum just wasn't enough to satisfy the demand. Loosened the hose and dropped the loose end in the barrel and we were off to the races.

Yesterday's presoaking with the solvent seemed to work, even if it was a biodegradable "green" (darn I wish I had the trademark for the word green!) cleaning agent. The exposed chassis looks pretty good, in fact would clean up even better if I got after it with a rag. Maybe someday I'll put it on Rob's lift and spend some time underneath it.

After hitting the fender wells and frame visible from the front wheels, I then hosed out the filthy gas tank compartment and trunk area and rear wheel wells.

By then the sun and temperature had fallen and I called it a day. Sure glad that's over with."

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We all love stories, especially car related. And we love Greg's car stories. Here is one he just sent me. It is a good read.

"That smart guy Randy Hespenheid just dropped me a note about how many moving parts does it take to steer a Studebaker?

He brings a story to mind. The answer to his question is the same answer I got from an Army helicopter mechanic in Viet Nam.

I wanted to hitch a ride in one of the new Cobra gunships that just arrived. The answer I got in all scencerity. "Don't do it. Too many moving parts and each one is critical". I'm still following his advice.

Meanwhile back at Studebaker. When I took 5054 off the road for a frame up restoration, I needed to replace it since it was my daily driver. I found and bought another Stude, a '65 two door sedan. Actually the last Studebaker sold new in Winchester. I liked it because it shared the 109" wheelbase chassis with the Avanti. I didn't like it because it had a Studebaker installed Chevrolet engine.

Used it to commute the fifty miles (each way) to the dynamite factory where I'd been hired on (good pay to pour into 5054).

One day when working the evening shift I was driving my usual 65 mph on the interstate. On Rt. 81 just North of Winchester the dual lane highway starts to bear to the right. The car was lazy about staying in the right lane. I corrected a little more. It didn't. I was used to driving cars with sloppy steering, but this thing was starting to straddle the dotted line. Correct some more. Still heading for the fast lane. As my two left wheels were leaving pavement for the median, I really cranked the wheel to the right. Nothing.

Leaving the asphalt all together, I gave the steering wheel a snap and it just spun like a top. Meanwhlle the car was roaring along in the grass . I knew the car had drum brakes and knowing that they can be touchy, was afraid to use them. Lock one up and it might

toe in or out and who knows, might cartwheel the car. I just took my foot off the gas.

The median is trough like. As it found the bottom, it then began to climb the other side towards oncoming traffic.

Not heavily traveled at the time, but cars were starting to scramble. As my two left wheels were about to climb the asphalt of the oncoming fast lane, the car then began to heel over to the right again. Down the trough and up the other side . My two right wheels got close to the asphalt of the friendly fast lane. Then down we went again. Although it was slowing itself down, the car took me up to greet the oncoming traffic again. It did this five times before I felt I had slowed enough to use the brakes. I got it stopped just before it would have hit the berm of a crossover. I'd been too busy to freak out, now it was time to sweat a little.

A passeby that I'd narrowly missed pulled up beside me to see if I was ok. They gave me a lift to a nearby telephone. I called Steve who was just getting off work. He brought my floorjack and I crawled under the car to see what the heck happened.

If you look at the photos I just sent, you'll see a big nut on the steering box that retains the pitman arm. It was missing and the arm dropped off. Can you believe I had a spare in my toolbox?!

So, how many parts does it take to steer a Studebaker . All of them. And I found out that that big one on the steering box is just as imprortant as the nut behind the wheel.

Now, every time I travel 81 Noth towards Clearbrook, I'm amazed when I see the number of culverts and other cement structures that litter that stretch of median . And I missed every one."

Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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It is Friday PM. Got some time on the Avanti this morning and until early PM.

Decided that I would check the headlight that did not have high beam. So pulled it and checked the socket. But still a no go. Had another new headlight and tried that, no luck. So it is a problem in the wiring. Will work on that another day. At least I have a low beam.

Then I mounted the antenna for the radio. It is a tight fit to get it inserted from inside the trunk, but mounted OK with some slight bending. I had ordered a new rubber grommet pad for the outside, but cannot find it. I must have put it in a special place. It will turn up one of these days. The radio works much better now, no static. Cleaned the contact to the antenna so that must have helped the connection.

I also glued down the new rubber seal between the cowl and hood. Let it set up a few minutes and then closed the hood to make sure that I have full contact.

Well, had a few minutes so decided to install the wipers. Done. Put on some anti-seize on the nubs to make take off a bit easier in the future. I have one wiper assembly that is shiny stainless and the other is a more muted color. At some point I will look for ones that match a bit better.

Did some general cleaning as there is still a lot of body work dust in and around the interior. So I give it about 30 minutes of detail work and concentrate on just a small area, and then move on. There is always cleaning to do.

What do I have left to do? Well here is my list.

  • Fix the wiring for the headlight and parking lights
  • Tighten the power steering hose to stop leak, have to make special wrench
  • Re-glue and clean the carpet in the trunk
  • Install the front bumper brackets and bumpers
  • Align/aim the headlights and then install new gaskets, glass covers and chrome rings
  • Install radiator grill
  • Finish install of the rear bumper
  • Re-build and install the interior kick boards
  • Re-build and install the vent assemblies
  • Re-build and install the covers on the forward sides of the console

I figure that I still have a week or two of work to do before I can declare victory. Next week I have to get back to work on the barn extension. Still have to put the roof on.

Oh, also won a set of horns on Ebay so next week I will be able to add that second horn to the car.

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Chris, the list gets me back on the road for the summer with a great driver quality car.

Remember I have not really touched the suspension, engine or transmission. With this being a 44,000 mile car I hope that I won't have to start taking major components like the engine/transmission apart for a rebuild. I still will have lots of little stuff to replace so it will be a life long process. At some point I have to start thinking of replacing the gaskets on the doors. Some of it is OK, but other pieces are hard as a rock. But will leave all that for 2013 and beyond.

Am going to take her out on the road tomorrow. I am anxious to see if the sound deadening material I put under the carpet made any difference.

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Bill, I remember in the mid 60s I was paying $.25 a gallon for my 1959 AH Sprite. I remember I could hardly afford the gas then too.

It is Saturday, April 7th. Another nice day after a coolish start of 33 degrees. But it quickly warmed up.

Finished with the day of beauty for the VW Passat W8. I must say that I enjoy driving this car the most ever. It handles rock steady and has lots of power out of the 8 cylinder engine. Best engineered car I have ever owned.

I also received a partial order for the Jag; the Thor hammer with it copper and hide ends for the knock-off wheel hubs. Also got the new oil flex line for the cams. This hopefully will not be a big deal to replace. Looks like there is enough room between the engine and the firewall to make it a somewhat easy installation.

And pulled the Avanti out and took her for a ride. Wow, is she quiet now. The sound reducter material really worked. Then put her on ramps and installed the grill.

Since I was under the car I decided to look at the power steering again. I checked the fittings again and all were tight, even the one I thought had broken loose again. Then I noticed fluid coming from the hose that is connected to the fluid canister. The clamp is tight so am going to cut off the end and reinsert. We will see if that stops the fluid flow.

Going to do some more cleaning this afternoon to continue detail the car and get off all the dust, debris, and dirt.

Update PM. Cut about a half an inch of the power steering hose and reattached it. We will see if that will stop the leak. The end was as hard as a rock. I cut it back to the point that the rubber was still pliable.

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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Still Sunday, PM late in the day. We got home in time to do a couple of quick things on the Avanti before I had to head out to feed all the critters.

The reason I have been slow to put on the front bumpers is that I was bidding on a complete set of mounts on Ebay. I did not want to fiddle with the ones I had and do the job twice if I won.

Well, my high bid of $135 did not make the final winning bid of $260. So I will use my old iron, as sad as they may be. They obviously had been hit, broken and repaired a couple of times. Here is what they look like.

The driver's side is the worse and contains an extra welded in brace where the corner was repaired. Oh well, it seems like everything is a compromise. They will do just fine and you cannot see the repairs unless you are under the car. So tomorrow will clean and paint the bumper mounts. I plan on getting them on the car by Wednesday.

I also fitted the beauty rim on the headlight. Pics are of both the rims installed and all the lights lit front and back so you can see that everything is working. Yes, I still have to figure out the front parking lights.

But progress is progress, bit by bit she is getting done.

I also have new glass headlight gaskets, but I will have to go to Greg's house to see how they are fitted to the glass covers and the body. Greg said that he had to do some special things to get them to work. So maybe mid week I will head on down to his shop and take him lunch. He works for food.

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It is Monday, April 9th. I was just reminded that I have only a week to do our taxes, and I have not started yet. So it looks like I have to take a break from other projects to start on it today. Oh well.

But Greg has something for us. And Dave Coco (Trimacar) post a pic of the Hup car so we can see what she looks like.

"What a nice weekend we had here in the MidAtlantic.

I was rousted out early Saturday morning with a surprise guest. Big ears and bearing a present. No, not the Easter Bunny but in fact Trimacar Coco. Hoping to ready his 1910 Hupmobile for the (soon) upcoming antique show in Winchester, his hood panels were the remaining bodywork and paint required. So we got started on them. Put him to work cleaning them in the bead blast cabinet while I did some dent bumping and touchup where the years of use had caused them to tear at the hinge points.

A light coat of filler (Bondo and paint makes 'em what they ain't) applied and sanded, then today I primed them with epoxy primer. That shows the remaining scratches and dings that need a little more attention. I'll now allow them to cure for a day or so and then sand and prime them again.

Mixing work with play, we used my Dodge to run an errand to the parts store. David, a past Dodge Brothers owner (times 4), drove it into town, his storytelling only interrupted by his horn blowing. The horn button is mounted on the driver's door and that's where he was accustomed to resting his leg. Another surprise was to find Frank Gable as wingman for a while.

I drove it back and that's when I determined that ignition/backfire problem needs to be stepped up to Plan B. It did it again.

That required a trip to Rob's. He had offered me a NOS set of points and he wouldn't be satisfied until I also carried out a new distributor cap and rotor. Also on the pile was a NOS ignition/light switch. This old car hobby also generates lifelong friendships.

The new points are now installed, but now, after I've been using a modern 12volt coil and condenser , I'm wondering ..... should I be using a resistor to reduce the voltage to the points? I have no idea what the original coil delivers to the point set. I think I'll experiment with a resistor from my Studebaker pile. The removed set of points didn't look too happy.

Otherwise, Friday's brown truck unloaded the Studebaker 288* camshaft that I'd sent out for touchup and re-Parkerizing. Included in the shipment were the reground tappets and some of the necessary phosphor/zinc assembly lube and additive to put in today's zinc starved motor oil.

Topping it off was Barb's nice dinner, friend 'Ol Bill as unexpected guest, and an evening meal with my Mom.

Now, the cars are put to bed, another touchup of filler on the hoods and we'll see what tomorrow brings."

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John,

Do the front parking lights come on when the switch is in the parking light mode? Some cars front parking lights from that era only came on in the parking light mode and went back off in the headlight mode.

Just a thought.

Dale

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Here's the last picture of the Hupp, since this picture I've finished the upholstery in black leather, my buddy Ken in Connecticutt had original seat panels which I copied.....I'm working on the small stuff now, which is going slowly, but getting there.....

Greg was kind enough to offer to help on the hood, it is solid and there, but had over 100 years of dings and dents and use......and I don't want a repro hood, but original metal....it's a pleasure to see Greg work, he gets right after it.....

The hood was together and I'd striped the paint off, first thing he does is go get an electric drill, then I remembered what he needed that for.....get about an inch of the hood hinge pin rod showing, chuck it in the drill, and rotate with drill as you pull it out....works like a charm...and then the drive in the Dodge brought back a lot of memories, as I toured for years in a '24 DB touring........

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It is Tuesday, April 10th. For your morning coffee, here is Greg's report.

"The back ordered sleeve for the Studebaker block made it to town. Picked it up this morning along with Lee's expected complimentary comments.

We took another look at the first attempt, carefully measured the deficiency and with it as a baseline, I've remachined the new one to size. The other day he had snapped at me "I can make the hole bigger, can't make it smaller!" and with that in miind, I've allowed an extra .002" oversize. If it's too tight, let him deal with it.

Actually, I think before I crash for the night, I'll put the sleeve in the freezer to see if it shrinks any overnight.

And another round of Hupmobile hood sand and prime.

Done for the day."

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Greg,

We have install many sleeves in car/truck hIt Miss ,boat, B&S engines and the normal interference fit is .002. I can't understand why the sleeve has to be turn When we order sleeves we give the bore size and what wall thickness we want. then bore block to the sleeve size.We never attempt to bore block with out sleeve in hand. Just one guys way of getting the job done.

Vern

Vern

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Vern, Hopefully, Greg's response will answer your question.

Here is Greg's response and report for your morning coffee. Me, nothing, still doing taxes and farm stuff. I plan on getting back on the Avanti today or tomorrow.

" While I give the primer a chance to flash off (I'm in the Hupmobile bodyshop tonight), I'll try to recall today's events.

I drove to Lee's first thing this morning to deliver the sleeve. I had remembered that I'd left it in the freezer (I'm not a morning person, took me a few minutes to find it) for that shrink test just for my own amusement. Having spent the night in the ice tray, it shrunk a thousandth and a half in diameter.

Anyway, received the usual greeting (was ignored) and then he says "Well, did you try it in the hole?" No I hadn't but yes I would (with fingers crossed). It wouldn't go. Whew! Then he let me in on the rest of the story. Wasn't like him.

When workmen measure things, machinists, carpenters, etc. they use tools of the trade. Micrometers, tape measures and such. When a carpenter wants to fine tune a measurement, he'll often advance the tape to the one inch mark to split the line.

Machinists using old style micrometers find them marked in .025 divisions. Ultimately the measurements can be misread . One inch and twenty-five thousandths are a common error (I've learned to use the ten inch mark on the tape measure).

But yesterday when we checked the sleeve in the hole he'd bored, it took an eight thousanths feeler gauge to make up the difference. How the heck could I miss by about ten thousandths?!

That's when Lee grinned and admitted that when he saw that (yesterday), he knew. Said that he knew I was better than that.

He pulled out his bore dial gauge. The needle on the dial will indicate ten thousandths for each revolution . ......... he'd read it wrong.

Sent me on my way with a wrong number , and of course it had to err on the small side. He then recalibrated his gauge, checked my new sleeve with his micr and said "Nearly perfect". I felt better even though I wasn't sure it was really Lee.

I've been asked by some who knows about this sleeving operation: why were we reducing the diameter of the sleeve.

Here's the story.

The Studebaker R-3 4 and 5 engines were 304.5 cu. in displacement. An overbore of .093 from the usual 289". Evidently replacement sleeves aren't a normal shelf item. To sleeve an engine cylinder you have to set up and bore out the hole oversize to allow room for the new wall to be installed, and then it is rebored and honed back to the orginal diameter.

Lee started boring. Instead of the usual routine of opening up the hole to accept the sleeve, he stopped short. He'd cut out material to amount to an overbore of two hundred and eighty thousanths over the 289. He knew this was a rare block and he stopped short before possibly cutting through and "hitting water". That's when he called me in to turn down the outside of the sleeve to fit the hole and the fun began. So now the new sleeve is a trifle oversize, he'll hone the bore to allow force fitting the sleeve . Then, he's got to rebore the sleeve the .093 (3/32") to bring it back out to size. This will leave a sleeve with a wall thickness of about .090".

With fitting and installing the sleeve, the overbore and honing, not to mention machining the block to true the headgasked surfaces.... he's got a lot of work ahead of him.

Otherwise, day job going well and I've another coat of primer to lay down."

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It is Wednesday, April 11th. Taxes are done with the exception of printing and signing. What a pain. There has to be a better way than this. Oh well, done for another year.

No work on the Avanti today, but I did get goodies in the mail. The Studebaker Lark horns arrived. Pretty crusty, but not broken. Will test them tomorrow and then clean/paint them. They are in the same style as on the Avanti so one should work out.

Also received four bottles of zddp for the Jaguar and Avanti. And I just had to have a Jaguar cap for the car show on April 29th.

Cold here in northern VA. And we got a little sleet and snow this afternoon. Weather is so odd here this year. We are suppose to be at 80 degrees on Sunday. Will be a nice day for a drive in one of the old cars.

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It is Thursday PM, April 12th. I was able to squeeze in some time on the Avanti and the Jaguar today.

On the Avanti I scrubbed, degreased and painted the bumper supports. On the mounts was missing a bolt because it had an adjustment that partially covered the original holes due to the impact damage. So I left the adjustment and just drilled out the hole for the support. Here are a couple of pics of the supports and the enlarged hole with with new bolt.

A couple of weeks ago we drove the Jaguar at night. The lights were terrible, the aiming was way off. So tonight will attempt to adjust them. Here are a couple pics of the lights and the adjustments. I will let you know how it goes.

I also decided to check the wipers to see how they work. They didn't. The shafts were rotating, but just spinning inside the wiper heads. I tightened the passenger wiper and it held so it works. Had to take the driver's side off and spread the little bronze bushing, made some adjustments, and tightened it down. It works too. So now I have wipers.

When I was looking over the car when it was on the lift I noticed that two little support straps to the rear fenders were not attached. So I took a few minutes to replace the bolts on one side with new ones, and then reused on of the bolts/nuts on the other side. Now the front edge of the rear fenders are nice and solid. Interesting what professionals leave off or forget to do when doing a restoration. Well at least it gives me something to do.

And finally I took off the loader from the little Kubota tractor. It is rusting out and needs metal replacement. So it is going into the shop tomorrow. Going to add teeth to it to increase it versatility around the farm.

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Roger, I received a note from the Jaguar XK 120 forum, which said that the way I have mounted the bracket is correct. If it goes on top of the fender it will ride on a lip and will pull the fender in too far. So my guess is correct. But thanks for making the suggestion, it seems like the normal way it should have been.

It is Friday, April 13th PM. Done for the day. I started the day by taking the loader bucket to the fab shop about an hour away. A new loader is about $1400, I hope to get this one rehabbed for around $500 or less.

Last night I aligned the Jaguar headlights to the best of my ability. Both headlights were pointed down and off to the side. Now at least they are straight ahead and have some height. We are going to take the Jaguar out to dinner tomorrow night so we will see how they do coming home in the dark. Also cleaned and conditioned the leather seats. *They sure look good now.

*

Worked on the Avanti today too. Got the bumper brackets mounted, dropped a wrench on my face (ouch!) and fitted the front bumper. I then realized that I have to mount the wings first so tomorrow I have to take off the bumper, mount the wings and then the bumper. The wings are going to take some finesse to align, but I hope to have the front bumper on tomorrow. Here are some pics.

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Roger, I received a note from the Jaguar XK 120 forum, which said that the way I have mounted the bracket is correct. If it goes on top of the fender it will ride on a lip and will pull the fender in too far. So my guess is correct. But thanks for making the suggestion, it seems like the normal way it should have been.

John, thank you for the comment. As I don't know how the inner part of the rear fender is done, I had the feeling that the bracket could be hidden. This bracket was maybe a last minute addition...

I noticed that you had to remove the front grille to install the bumper!

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It is Saturday, April 14th, AM. Well, messed up. All the work yesterday to put on the bumper brackets was for naught. They have to come off. Seems that the completed bumper with wings has to be put on the brackets and then the brackets inserted back into the frame as a complete unit. There are two bolts that attach the wings to the main bumper and to the brackets. These bolts are blind and cannot be attached without the brackets being off.

It has been a few months since I took the bumper off so I guess I did not remember how it came off. Oh well. So today's work will entail undoing what I did yesterday. And here I was so proud of myself. That will teach me.

And Roger, good eye. Yes, I had to remove the grill. No big deal. Only took a few minutes. But again, another backward step.

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Edited by unimogjohn
added pic of blind bolt (see edit history)
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Still Saturday, early PM. Done for right now.

I got the brackets back off without much difficulty. After all this is at least the fourth time.

I then started to assemble the brackets, wings, and the main bumper. What a contraption. If you do not have everything just perfect, then nothing goes together. But after a couple of hours it is complete. I have no clue if it will now fit the frame. It will probably take more swearing, banging, pushing and shoving to get it all centered and back on.

I will cover the wings so they do not scratch the paint when attempting to mount this thing. Going to have to enlist Alice to help and maybe one other person. I think it is a three person job.

Oh, and of course another mishap. I was slowly tightening the wing, brace and bumper together, and I heard a faint "pop". It was chrome flaking off the bumper. S***! So I immediately backed off the nut. But the deed is done. I will get some clear coat and dab it on the "scab" to stop any rust from forming.

Oh, did I tell you I am having a good time?

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It is Monday, April 16th. Took a day off from working on the Avanti. Figure we need three people to put on the front bumper so am waiting until I can recruit helpers. But we did take the Jaguar out for dinner in the evening. The headlight aiming worked great, and we can now see in the dark. Success!

And here is Greg's report too.

"After a weekend getaway, catching up with old news.

Photos enclosed of day job Wright Brothers 8 engine project. It's back on the milling machine, the main bearing saddles have been trimmed to proper length and for the first time a crank (four cyliinder) has been laid in place to check my work. I'm also checking the magneto gear train.

The Hupmobile hood is in pretty good shape now, it should see color next week.

Lee called Saturday morning to say that the sleeving of the Studebaker block went well, why wasn't I at his shop to work on it? Can't be everyplace.

And this bit of wisdom found in the Sept 1950 issue of Antique Automobile. (Reminiscent of the days of two wheel brakes)

"A steep hill and a broken axle will bring thee nearer Heaven than an unbroken word and a life of good deeds."

Been there done that in the old Dodge. I was playing mountain goat with it once upon a time. After the snap, I got it down safely, arranged for a trailer to haul it home. Machined a new axle shaft for it from alloy ETD 150 and it is still giving service.

Sometime later I was talking to an old Dodge man. He asked me why I didn't drive the car home? "With a broken axle it wouldn't go!"

He said it wasn't a problem. Then he told me that I'd broken the right side shaft. I had. Then he said the repair was simple.

The right shaft is the short side. Floating axles, they simply unbolt/pin and slide right out. Remove them, roll a sleeve of paper to stick into the right side housing. Take a stick or something to insert into the left side to push the broken stub through the differential and let it drop into the paper sleeve. Pull out the paper and broken stub, take the longer left side shaft around to install in the right side. That will lock the differential. Drive it home. "

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