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Avanti R2, 1963, refresh

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Chris, in the article by Jon Myer he states that the Avanti R2 pump runs at about 8.5 lbs of pressure. Double the normal pump. The fuel filter has a restricter inside of it and does not permit full fuel flow only a portion of what is available. Jon indicated that the volume of fuel available to the carb was well within spec of what is required. Will let you know how the engine runs at speed and under full power load.

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I wonder though, are you running an R1 pump? Why don't you run the return line like the stock Studebaker setup? Do you have a hose/tube that runs from the supercharger to the fuel pump? Then the return line from the fuel pump to the tank? Sorry for the "twenty questions", just wondering why you are taking the return line from the fuel line back rather than the fuel pump back, like the Studebaker engineers had it set up.

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From 1957 onwards, Cadillac had also a return line to the tank for cars equiped with A/C. The pump itself was the same for all configurations; the return line was from the fuel filter which was also between the pump and carb. Other makes had probably a similar arrangement.

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Chris, I have an R2 pump, but the hole for the return line is plugged. I figured that this would be an easy fix to see if it solved the fuel issue.

And it is Monday morning, May 6th, AM. Everything is turning green and growing. Been doing lots of farm stuff, which does not leave much time for cars this time of the year. If it does not rain today I am going to get the 1023 McLaughlin Buick back on the road. It will be going to the Buick Nationals in South Bend, IN on July 17th. Have lots to do to get her ready.

And Greg has a good weekend report and one his personal stories for us too.

"I've got to empty the camera to see where I've been this weekend.

Oh yeah, I got Old 17 (Stoddard Dayton) awakened from winter's slumber. Some oiling of the cups, addition of the coolant and system conditioner, and warming up the battery overnight. Then some oil in the priming cups before pulling it through a few turns, some gas in the primers, a couple more pulls, walk back to the control department. Check and double check for the shift in neutral, spark retarded and throttle cracked, set the dash switch knob to START and turn the thing on. Engine started without me.

I drove the car around the building to air the tires to 50 lb and then put it away. Weather permitting it will go to the Winchester show next Saturday.

Black 5054 Avanti: Figured it was a good day to resume the steering column project. Some reassembly required. Things were going together well when I got to the turn signal knob and lever. To avoid the restoration hassle of having the old one stripped and rechromed and a new knob glued on, I saw where our favorite Studebaker parts supplier now offers the whole assembly new. Ordered and still in the box, I got it out and laid it beside the old one. I guess I'm not the only one afflicted by the 50/50/90 Rule. If given two choices, they too will pick the wrong one 90% of the time. I'm awaiting further instructions on the fate of the new one.

So, then back to the gas tank saga. The old one had been destroyed by a mouse colony and a good used one found. Preparing to get the new one in, I found that the hold down straps were toast. And didn't want to come out. Further rust damage had welded the retention hardware together. Only remedy was to cut the old straps out of the way and then use a drill to destroy the heads of the bolts. This gets me the old straps out as samples but leaves me with the problem of drilling out the old bolt shanks and retapping the threads. This in a place you can't access very well.

Leaving that for another day, I've spent some time tonight shearing, punching and folding the new material. I may get in a few more minutes on this Erector Set yet tonight.

The past couple days have been pretty pleasant, condusive for getting things done.

And oh yeah, the maroon Seabiscuit was out on Saturday. It was almost like it was looking for someone, it probably knew it was previous owner Steve Rhode's birthday. Living on the West coast, not much chance of that.

So maybe I should tell a Steve story. We'd known each other since before high school days. Even car days. With the whole city of Winchester considered the neighborhood, he was an extended neighbor. Class mates through school years and good companions after class and after our gradations (we went to different schools together).

I hadn't given it much thought (Model A to restore), but Phil Ritter's aunt was in charge of the local Selective Service (draft) and she didn't hesitate to tell us "I'm going to get you boys."

I had been a Boy Scout for a week and I learned all I needed to know. I didn't like camping out. This was a valuable life lesson for me. I wasn't about to sleeping bag in some RVN rice paddy. It wasn't that I didn't want to go, just that I'd decided to follow Dad's footsteps and do the Air Force thing. And then volunteered for VN combat duty with a bunk waiting on me.

So when I did my year there I was sent home on leave before rotating to Germany. A very pleasant month, rode Phil's 250 Yamaha, traveled to Indiana to buy my first Avanti (5054 Blackie), and then on the day that I drove to the A&P Grocery where Steve worked, a farewell.

Found him in his department (the Produce King), he just pointed and said "They're here and they want to sell it!" I wanted it.

They were the MacMillan's, and it was maroon Seabiscuit. A nice old couple from nearby Charles Town. Funny thing was that on their typical Saturday morning trip to the store, the Mrs. said to the Mr. that they should play a joke on Steve. Every week he'd ask if the car was for sale and of course it wasn't.

Well, I jumped them and got the real story. Funny thing is that Steve kept after them until he was able to buy it .

It was a special time for Steve and I. The restoration of them both and miles of enjoyment.

So now I'm keeping the car healthy, not only still enamored with the Supercharged Avanti, but a reminder of the times shared by two good friends.

Happy Birthday Steve ol buddy."






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John - my return line comes off the fuel pump. I was reading earlier (much earlier) in this thread where a filter/sediment bowl setup was shown, with a return line coming off the top and going back to the tank. That was a nice setup - I guess it doesn't matter how the fuel goes back, just so it goes back to prevent vapor lock.

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It is Tuesday, May 14th. I must admit I have not even so much as looked at any of the old cars. I have been just going crazy with farm stuff now that the growing season is here. Seems like every day I am repairing farm equipment or mowing. Most of my equipment is very used when I bought them, and they need constant help. However, the rototiller bit the dust and Sears just wants too much money for replacement parts, like the cost of a new unit. Oh well. Yesterday I spent half a day to replace the drive to transmission belt on our Cub Cadet mower. What a job. With that done, the Craftsman mower's belt gave up so have to replace that today. It never ends. I also have to put the big mower on the Kubota tractor today too, the grass is so deep in the pastures the mowers just glide over the top and smash it down. It will take a couple of hours to get that mower installed under the tractor. Oh, and I had to take to time to get the swimming pool ready, pump is back in and the water topped off. Shocked it and the filter is going full tilt. Water temp is a balmy 68 degrees.

Yesterday I got the "Best of Show" award for the Jaguar. A very nice silver cup. Here is a pic. Our next show is the British Car Day in Adamstown, MD. Never been there, but suppose to be a great show. It is on June 2nd. Hope to see some of you there.

And finally we do have a Greg report.

"Trying to push ahead. Last week I took a little time to get the Stoddard ready to go out, even polished a little brass, hauled in some real gas to run it on, Frank Gable delivered his truck and trailer, had everything lined up and ready to go for Saturday's Winchester show. The Saturday morning weather report threatened rain and it was right, so the Stoddard stayed home. However, we went modern, saw a few cars and didn't stay long.

Sunday did allow me some time to work on the 5054 fuel tank, drilling out rusted hardware and prepping the tank for installation. All that prevents that is my procurement of some insulation for the mounting straps, and weather warm enough to suit me.

Today the Avanti clock arrived from the Clock Doctor. Out for a checkup, it will go back in it's hole after I've cleaned the instrument panel.

Spent some time tonight on the steering column. The repro turn signal arm had the knob installed askew, an inquiry to the vendor resulted in a reply with instructions to immerse the knob in boiling water and give it a twist. That worked. Next will be the reassembly of the column and signal switch components.

Day job: Still sawing on bars of steel for the Wright V8-60 connecting rods. Pushing against that saw blade for eight hours per bar did get a little old, so now I've resorted to laziness. Using a strap, I've fashioned a roller from some scrap, some C clamps and now I've got the weight of one of the bars pulling the victimized bar through the saw. I just keep the cut on track. They're cutting themselves off.

Otherwise, I'm still in the midst of the Great Medicare Enrollment treatment. Won't this ever end? I can't imagine how I'd ever get this done without Barbara to suffer through this with me. I'm totally lost in this desert of paperwork, phone calls, mailings, emails, etc and my lack of interest hasn't helped a bit.

Not much squirrel news to report although there has been another Flyer sighting. Even Barbara was surprised by the appearance of a little squirrel head staring at her from it's bird house nest."




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Thursday, May 16th, AM. It was 94 degrees here yesterday. Checked the pool temp under the cover, and it was 67 degrees. Warming up nicely. So threw off the cover and jumped in, err, well, sort of. Actually, I screamed as I got in. Got her all cleaned from the inside out and she is ready for summer.

I also took some time for the 2003 Suburban. Remember back a few months ago as I repaired, thought I did anyway, window washer system. Well, it still leaked, but just not that bad. But lately it would not hold water. Did the tank have a split in it that I could not see. Anyway, tore out the fender panel, battery, battery plate, and loosened the tank. Poured water in it to look for leaks. There it is, a worn line with a hole in it. Was like a little gusher. Decided to have a closer look by removing it, and she broke into three pieces. The hard plastic line had given up. So I have ordered a replacement. Suppose I could have rigged up something with flexible plastic tubing from the hobby shop, but a OEM replacement was not much. So it should be here tomorrow. Here is a pic of the line and the hole in it.

All my farm mechanical work is about done. Just got a new belt for the mower and it will go on tonight. Now maybe I can get back working and playing with the old cars.

But Greg seems to have all the fun. Here is his report for late Wednesday PM.

"Well I skipped last night's visit because for some reason I couldn't load the attachment photo.Trying it again tonight, I see that they'd revamped the routine. Now you have to do more for the same result. That's progress. Maybe they're going to find a way to tax it too. Thanks MSN.

Yesterday Scott brought me some roofing felt which I used for the strap insulation for the Avanti fuel tank. That allowed me to get the tank screwed in place. It's not hooked up, but it's in.

The clock for 5054 came in and tonight I did some cleaning of the panel and got the clock back in it's hole. I need to do something about the gas gauge . The gauge in Seabiscuit went south and I robbed the nearest one. Now I need one for 5054.

This morning started with a hoot. There were ten standard variety squirrels waiting to be fed. It was like feeding chickens. New to the menu is cobbed corn. They've taken a liking to it and will destroy a couple ears in minutes, even carrying them off if they aren't secured.

Of course some of them were just running and playing in the yard. Those are the new youngsters.

And this evening as the sun set I took a few minutes to enjoy the warmth and sit for a little while beneath the pines. Wouldn't you know I was joined by one lone squirrel who sat nearby. Of course it was hoping for the peanut that I usually have in my pocket. For a wild animal, it has developed a sense of trust . With my arm extended and peanut in hand, it will reach up, steady itself with it's paw on my hand and gently take it. It did that until I was out of ammunition.

Rocky the flyer is still holed up in his birdhouse. The only way I can tell he's still here is by monitoring the nuts I plant on his doorstep. Not during the day, of course. The herd of hungry Hooligans would certainly rob him of it. So far I've been giving it a taste for shelled nuts, tonight is the first I've offered in the shell. We'll see how it handles that.

Speaking of nuts, being Wednesday it was an all star cast for lunch. Lee, Gable, old Bill and myself for the Mexican special. A pleasant break from running the bandsaw.

Halfway through May already."









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It is still Thursday, but PM. I was able to get some car stuff in today. First, I received the new wiper washer line from Amazon. Came in less than 24 hours. Now that is fast. Took me only about an hour to get it in and buttoned up. Works great. I really needed that washer line because everything is yellow. There is a tremendous amount of pollen in the air.

I stopped again at Midas and talked to them again about putting on the new exhaust pipe on the 1923 McLaughlin Buick. I could tell that it was going to be a pricey proposition if they were going to do it as they indicated that they wanted to make a new pipe. So I took some measurements of the pipe sizes and headed off to the local auto parts place in town. I ended up getting this little adapter, $2.56 out the door. So tomorrow I will see if I can get everything to match up. I know that I will have to cut the main pipe to fit and weld on the little adapter. I have a little MIG welder that does a good job of tacking, so will use that. It is a press fit of the adapter into the heat riser. I have to clean out the inside of that to get the little adapter to seat fully. Here are some pics of the pipe, exhaust manifold connection, heat riser, and the little adapter. Stay tuned.







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John, I am going through my old Automobile Quarterly's and just wondered if you have the one ( or ones ) with any of your cars featured. I thought of this when I saw the Buick post above, there is an article for them in Vol 12, No. 4, for instance. Keep up the good work !, John

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John, both of the Buicks have been in the national Buick Bugle during my ownership. No other place that I am aware of.

It is Friday, May 17th, early PM. Well today was going to be the exhaust day on the 1923 McLaughlin Buick. Well got it all ready to started and make sure that all the radiator hoses were back on and secure. I started to fill it with water and noticed a good bit of water coming out from under the car. Had I forgotten to close the petcock on the radiator? No, it was in the right position. So started to refill it again. No dice, lots of water coming out and I cannot see where. Shucks!

This is just part of the old car hobby. So decided to pull the radiator and see what is up. One good thing is that I put it all together and know how it comes apart and nothing is rusty. Maybe just a little dirty after ten years or so. It all came apart easily and noting broke. I notice that some areas need some addition to the radiator itself, so it is good that it came out.

The radiator came out of the surround easily. I saw a couple of little spots where it had been leaking and then saw the big problem. The bottom of the radiator had come loose from the cooling element body. It certainly looks that it has had an old repair in that area. So I think that it gave up with age and a less than stellar repair. The lead used looks like it has crystallized.

So this afternoon I will starting looking for a radiator repair shop who can do the work. Better give Greg a call. If anyone has a shop recommendation, pls send me a note.









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John: Sorry about your luck. I see I am not the only one who had frustrating suprises with their Buick. Still checking off the problems on the 25. The speedometer cable was suspect as to the cause of the wild whipping over 35 mph. When I pulled the cable out it was kinked as if it were too long and had been binding at that point. If the cable is broken one can usually piece it together to measure for a new one. ( I happen to have had a NOS 71" Stewart cable that was in the glove box when I bought with my 37.)Then carefully refit the ends. But if it was twisted and streched I had to trial and error fit. Then I reattached by soldering and swaging the speedometer end then got a good snug fit on the transmission end. I will try again tomorrow and if it works well I can swage and bond that end also, lube it up and see if "Beulah" can actually go over 35 mph! Best Of Luck: Larry

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Larry, thanks for the "good luck", I am sure I will need it. Hope to see you at the Buick Nationals in July.

It is Saturday, May 18th. This is about the history of the 1953 Jaguar XK 120.

About a year ago I was able to locate and correspond with the 3rd owner (Jack Richards) and 6th owner. I have been sending both of them information on what we are doing with the Jaguar, and how she is admired by all. This past week Jack informed me that he had found all the historical documentation and pictures of the car, which were taken in 1988 by the 5th owner.

Jack has personally talked to all the owners, except the original owner, and had compiled detail documentation over the years. Most important he has kept the material and followed the car since he sold it in 1979.

Now I have information on all the owners, how long they owned the car, its mileage at the time, and in some cases, the purchase price. Of particular interest are the pics. These were taken in 1988 as the new 5th owner drove the car from Oklahoma to Michigan. At this time it still had it original interior and an exterior respray. So I know that the car has had two resprays and two interiors in its lifetime.

I also found out from Jack that the 2nd owner sold the car to him in 1965 with a severe engine knock. Jack indicated that a cam follower had broken and was rattling around in the valve cover. The car had 20,260 miles on her at that time.

Currently, we have 26,087 on the odometer. We are the 8th owner and caretaker of this fine automobile.






Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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Chris, no on the block, still working on that. More to report on success or failure by the end of the week.

Roger, The Jag was pretty ragged in 1988, looks to have had a hard life up to that point. I have documentation now on all the owners and the mileage of the car at their purchase. We are #8.

It is Monday, May 20th. Off this morning to the radiator shop that restored my Avanti Gas tank to see if they will tackle the McLaughlin Buick radiator. If not I have a line on another old time shop in MD. Worse case I may have to box up and ship.

And we have a weekend report from Greg too.

"Another weekend down. Not a lot to report. Another afternoon trying to get hooked up with this Medicare thing. Trouble is that I've got to get everything in place before I can shoot myself.

The mailman brought me the newly restored Avanti windshield wiper motor. It looks nice, didn't take long, Dave Bass the restorer wasn't bashful about calling me with the details. The enclosed photo shows the wiper in place but not screwed down or hooked up. I'll wait until I feel like working beneath the dash.

Otherwise, I've connected everything to the fuel tank that's inside the car. Fuel gauge electrics, filler neck with hose connection and the vent hose. Woohoo. I finished the evening by extricating the rear seat belts. One of the retention bolts had siezed, so I've drilled it out and I'm ready to retap the threads.

I'd hoped to travel to the Horseless Carriage meet in Pennsylvania. Today's forecast put a damper on that idea. They probably had a good turnout without me.

And Jim, You'll be glad to learn that today Rob was able to log the first .2 Miles on the '28 Chrysler depot wagon. No problems."



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Still Monday. Left early this morning and headed to Winchester, VA, which is about an hour away. Dropped the 1923 McLaughlin Buick radiator off at the shop. The owner and I had a long discussion, and agreed to do the work of making it whole again. This is an old time radiator shop with only two skilled craftsman. I must say he was not happy that it had frozen at some point in it life and that JBWeld was used to hold it together. So we will see what happens.

Also here is a very good and informative video on Jaguar production methods in 1961. Still lots of hand work and adjustments by feel. I think that they did lots more testing than they do today. Worth the view.

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Hi John (and everyone else)- I finally got back into my friend's shop and we worked on the Avanti Saturday. I actually got to start it and hear it! Been a long three years without. I do need some minor help though. We have two wires left hanging from the harness. They both leave the harness where it splits near the firewall and cannot be traced under the dash easily. Also they are not in the wire diagram and chart in the shop manual.

The first is green with a black tracer and an open two prong connector. It wants to go somewhere near the coil by length and I saw a picture back on page 13 or so on this blog where it appears to go to either the coil or ballast resistor on the coil. The WD says this comes from the switch and is black with green tracer. I cannot find that wire in the harness or under the dash.

The second is a black wire, 3" longer with a two prong open connector. I have no idea where this one comes from or goes.

I ran out of time to see if they were powered with the key on. Like I said the car runs without them, all instruments seem to be working. The car is very rough running at idle like it has a big cam in it but I think that is old bad gas or not having yet set up the carb after Dave Tbow did it over.

Thanks to you or anyone who can check their car and help me trace these leads. It is an R1 1963 SN 63R2602, March, 1963 build I think.

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Bill, there is a wire that goes from the ignition switch in the run position to the ballast resistor and then it goes to the coil. This drops the voltage from 12 to 8 volts to protect the points from receiving all 12 volts. There is also another wire that goes directly to the coil from the ignition switch in the start position and provides the full 12 to 14 volts to the coil and points during starting. I do know know the color of the wires as my car had a small fire and burned up the wire. The wiring was replaced with common stock with no specific color.

It is Tuesday, May 21, PM. Took the time to pull out the 23 McLaughlin Buick today and took a look at the exhaust. The rest of the system is marginal and it really does not make sense to reuse it only to replace it in a couple of years. Might as well just do it once. So am going to order an complete system from Waldron's Exhaust tomorrow. Here are a couple of pics of the engine bay and then of the old exhaust system.





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It is Wednesday, May 22nd, AM. Humidity is through the roof this morning. More like July. Repressive. The cicadas are in full song. It sounds like the old movie "Them" where the giant ants are attacking. Them! - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Slept on the exhaust issue with the 1923 McLaughlin Buick. Going to try some other things today or tomorrow so going to hold off ordering new.

Going to switch to the Avanti and reassemble the front bumper. I don't know if I will put it on the car today, but at least it will be ready to go.

And Greg and Barbara have a report for us too.

"Tuesday at the factory. The Wright 8-60 engine connecting rods are still in the works. I've finished the initial bandsawing to shapes, have cut off lengths of the 3" bar stock to make the caps. Photos some other time.

Avanti 5054 where are you? Hangar on the hill at a temperature to suit me. Scrubbed the interior trim panels over the rear quarter windows, gave them a fresh coat of vinyl dye. This needed to be done before I install the rear headliner. I'll be running out of excuses why I'm not getting the back window installed.

A quick and dirty job begun last night. The wiring harness under the hood is held in position by metal clips. I have them in a ziplock bag somewhere so that I can blast clean and hit them with my West Virginia cad plating. Figured that I could knock out some repops before I could find them. Sheared out and punched some blanks from Galvaneel sheet, made a temporary die to form them over. Made some extra to misplace. Are they live or are they Memorex?

Other shop activity. Squirrels R Us. I have been setting out a feeder for the flyers. Have to do that at night when they come out, other wise the grays attack like a swarm of locusts. I'm certainly not going to arise before the day shift squirrels to take the feeder down, so the flyers better eat while the eating's good. Looked out the window this morning and there was a gray trying to kick open the feeder to get the crumbs. Couldn't do that, so he hopped onto the birdhouse and it looked like he had his head in the hole. Closer examination proved that he was trying to gnaw his way inside. Either the flyers had some food stashed in there, or the gray just wanted to rumble.

Well, this put poor Ken in a state of near panic. Almost had to give him oxygen. His remedy was to spend the afternoon cutting, punching and die forming a copper flange to cover the opening. A press fit in the hole and tacks for insurance.

Now we just have to sit back and wait to see if:

-Flying squirrels move to perhaps Grand Central Station in order to get some peace.

-We find a dead flyer at the foot of the tree, result of coming home from his night's work and losing his grip on the copper doorstep.

Of course we have other critters here. The seventeen year cicadias are beginning to hatch and crawl . Not much bother and sometimes they really make a racket. Reminds me it's summer.

And then there's the Asian Stinkbugs. They are crawling all over and into everything, but I'll let Barbara tell you about that.

She lives in her homeplace. A pleasant little cottage in the Valley of Virginia. At one time the property was the left flank of General Custer's battle line during the Battle of Tom's Brook.

Now it is again a battle front.

As she says, "It's war!"

It started at 1:30 AM upstairs. “Stinkageddon”. They had me surrounded but I fought back. It was at times a fierce battle between Bugzooka, me, and the swarming stinkers. Flight patterns were erratic, but then I noticed the light fixture was an attraction. So I let it burn all night and now I have a dozen or so crispy critters that I’ll need to dispose of.

Good news is that the a/c is up and running after spitting out a couple of live ones. They didn’t like that much.

Enjoy the humidity! I think I’ll keep my eyeballs inside today."











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It is Friday, May 24th, AM. I am afraid that farm stuff has overtaken me again. Hoped to have the Avanti bumper put together yesterday, but that did not happen. And today we are taking a llama to a local farm that is being visited by 3rd graders. Show and tell time. It is always fun to see kids interact with the llamas.

But Greg did have some time for his black Avanti. Here is his report.

"Progress? Not much last night. Another Medicare enrollment crisis stole my R&R time (Rust and Restoration). However, I did manage to eek out the rehab of the Avanti's hood latch cable assembly. Cleaned, appropriate parts blast cleaned , primed and painted. Now it's ready for installation day. Today's mail brought some hardware for the windshield wiper system, so tonight was wrestle under the dash night. Now, the wiper motor is secured, the pivot assemblies are returned to their place on the cowl, their new chrome hardware tightened, and the shafts and linkage are cleaned, lubed and ready for action. Not too hateful a job while the steering column and heater assembly wait on the sideline.

And I'm waiting on the rebuilt gas gauge to find it's way home. It's been repaired and shipped, thought it would have been on today's big brown truck. That's another job easier with the steering out of the way.

My work on the hill was cut short by a storm. A real frog strangler. With time on my hands in the shop, the hand brake assembly is now the handbrake disassembly. The handle housing is now blasted, primed and a couple coats of gloss black, drying as I type. The cable assembly waits it's turn.

The reunion of these units will wait until some carpet pieces are installed. The parts go through the carpet. David Coco, trimmer and carpeter deluxe, offered to help me with that.The cars when new used a cut pile material with a "salt and pepper" color pattern, different colors available. Since my cars aren't going to be judged for authenticity, I'm doing just as Steve and I did those years ago. We had carpets made of single color (black) short loop material. It will look just fine.

Carpets and paint.....only temporary."



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It is Tuesday, May 28th, AM. Going to be a hot one today. Worked some more on the fitment of the exhaust for the 23 McLaughlin Buick. Used the open car trailer as a tool to help bend the pipe. Inserted one end into a crevice and pushed. It gave a little bit. Did a trial fit, still a no go, so will take it off again today and try again. I did get started on the assembly of the Avanti bumper, polishing as I go. It should be all back together today. I did get a couple of hours with the Jaguar. I spent a couple of hours going over the car and doing some detailing and cleaning for the British car show on Sunday. The forecast says to expect rain. Oh well, it is a hardtop and the wipers work.

And Greg has been dancing around. Here is his report and pics.

"Events good and not so.

Progress on the Avanit 5054. The rebuilt gas gauge had arrived, so I've been able to get it reinstalled in the dash. While I was under there I noticed that the brake pedal and it's support assembly was slightly rusted, so out it came for renewing. While i'm in the brake division I dug out the booster/master cylinder bracket and I'm stripping the paint from it.

Saturday Barbara and I cranked up the old 'Biscuit for a nice run to Winchester. There we visited with David Coco the trimmer (" I ain't no seamstress), and he entertained us with stories while he cut and bound a couple pieces of carpet for me. These are floor carpets that extend under the dash. With those on the shelf, I can get the steering column and heater assembly parts installed when I'm ready.


That day would fall under the category of The thrill of victory or the agony of defeet. Falling behind in our social Tango classes, we traveled to Charlottesville to take a class. It's a great way to exercise yourself in a various ways. You are exposing yourselves to scrutiny by strangers, you are exercising your mind in it's ability to observe the instructions and remember them, trying to get your brain to make your limbs function, and to try to make complicated movements even more difficult. It's not unusual to come away from class having paid money to feel stupid and clumsy. This time I proved the point by making an awkward step and probably breaking my foot. I wasn't too crippled for us to accept a barbeque invitation at the Unimog Fesers'. That was great.

So, I guess it's off to get this hoof looked at tomorrow. Then I'll find out if I got ANY of this Medicare mess worked out.

And last but certainly not least, Happy Birthday wishes out to my youngest son Logan, now thirty years, and old friend Andrew King." Here's wishing you both many more good ones.







Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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It is Wednesday, May 29th, PM. Where is everyone? Not much action on the forum so I thought I better post so you all stay around. I hate to say it but I miss Bernie and his stories. But I am afraid that he has very thin skin and has taken his tool box to a better place for him.

It was really hot and humid today, over 90 degrees and 70% humidity. Not much fun being outside in the sun. But in the morning I finished cleaning and packing up the Jaguar for the Sunday show. I had 6 gallons of real gas so put that in the car. It is now full and ready for the run.

At about 10 AM decided I better tackle putting the Avanti front bumper back together. Remember a few months back I returned the front portion of the bumper back to the plater as the chrome had started to flake off one end, well I decided in order to avoid that problem again I would make a gasket to go between the front bumper and the wings. This would protect the ends of the bumper, which are about as sharp as a good knife. I figured that the tightening the two pieces together could case the flaking and did not want that to happen again. So I fabricated gaskets with enough overhang to protect the chrome. Once everything is installed I can use a razor blade to trim it flush. Anyway that was the plan.

I got the wings installed and everything looked good. I then had to remove the wings to fit the main brackets as they mount in three places, one on the wing itself, the end of the main bumper with a hidden bolt, and the main bumper. Everything has to line up perfectly to make things fit. After working in the sun for an hour and getting no where, I grabbed the assembly, nuts and bolts and retreated to the front room. Ahhhhh, air conditioning.

After two plus hours of fitting, pushing and shoving I was able to get the brackets in the the bumper assembled. And no flaking of the chrome either. Tomorrow the assembly will be put through the front of the Avanti and onto the frame. There are two other pieces to the bumper, but they are installed from the inside and hold the wings solid with bolts through the fenders. Bolting the assembly to the frame is not too difficult, but you need two people to line everything up and install and tighten the long bolts that go through the frame.

Here are a couple of pics. Two showing the home made gasket, the bumper with wings installed, and then finally one with the brackets on.





Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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Could you please send some of your excess heat to Switzerland? The month of May was awful: rain, rain again and, to change, rain and snow. Temperature between 6°C and, if no rain a a little bit of sun, 18°C. Usually in May, it's about 10°C more....

Your front bumper is good looking!

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Could you please send some of your excess heat to Switzerland? The month of May was awful: rain, rain again and, to change, rain and snow. Temperature between 6°C and, if no rain a a little bit of sun, 18°C. Usually in May, it's about 10°C more....

Your front bumper is good looking!

Roger, we're having some Swiss weather too. That is why yesterday was the first dry one, so we could have our little gathering.

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It is Thursday, May 30th, AM. Been up on the roof for an hour before the sun as time to set on the solar panels. Have another inverter that has bit the dust. This the fourth inverter I have replaced over the last few months and the last of the originals. I hope that the new ones last longer than four years. At 67 it was a bit dicey crawling along the ridge line of the roof, but the job is done. Getting good at this chore. The inverter has to be connected at no load hence the early morning hookup.

And it is going to be another hot one, over 90 for sure, and humid too. Summer is here already. I am ready for Switzerland.

And Greg has a medical and car report for us.

"With Monday off for a holiday, this week is really flying.

I've been doing light duty things, what with that tragic Tango lesson abort. You'd think a misstep reasonable had we been doing something like Dancing With the Stars calibre showtime footwork, or if I had taken a flying leap and Barbara had dropped me, but to get pranged while doing a simple walking step. Of course done correctly, in Argentine Tango there's no such thing as simple. But even though I'm still walking like Charlie Chaplin, I found out tonite that I've recovered enough to drive a four speed so life is still worth living.

With the beautiful weather we're having, the maroon Avanti was begging to out out for a bath and a blow dry. While doing this I noticed a slight creaking from the hind parts, and upon my return found time to pull the rear wheels and take up on the axle nuts. Should cure that.

I've also been working on cosmetic repair of the under the dash and firewall brackets of the black Avanti. Latest victim is the hardware for mounting the brake booster. Stripped, cleaned, primed and painted. When dry it will go on the list to be reinstalled.

Day job: I've set up and begun drilling the wrist pin bores on the Wright engine 8-60 rods. That's going to be another week's work.

As for other news, Rob has his '28 Chrysler depot hack almooooost finished. The big debut will be this Saturday's AACA meet in Carlisle, Pa. Five years since it was pulled from the shed in Leesburg, Va. What you call a barn find, it's a derelict no longer.

And also enclosed is a photo courtesy of Mike Zerega. Here he's captured loading his Stanley for it's trip to the painter. An heirloom project begun by his late father, I'm watching with interest. All for now."





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It is Friday, PM, May 31st. Still hot today, like 93 degrees, but the humidity is down. Have a sick cat so the afternoon was spent at the Vet. She got and exam, shots to take care of high temp and some swelling in the hip area. If she is not better by Monday, she goes back.

I got a call from Wayne, he finally has his 64 Corvette painted. Here is one marginal pic. He said that they sprayed four coats of color and four clear. He will pick it up next Friday and take it home. They will have it all buffed out by then. I will post good pics of the final results.

Decided to head to Carlisle, PA tomorrow AM to take a look at some of the 800 cars at the spring eastern AACA meet. I have several friends attending so it will be good to catch up. I will have lots of pics to share tomorrow PM.


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Still Saturday, PM. Just walked in from a long hot day looking at some fantastic cars in Carlisle, PA. More on that later when I recover from the fore.

Wayne sent me another pic of the Corvette, this time with the clearcoat on. Looks good. He says they now have to do some light sanding and buffing to make it pop.


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I will post a few pics of the show with a little narrative in a couple of posts.

The show was well attended. It took us about 2.5 hours to get up to Carlisle. Called Greg last night to ask if he was going to go, and he said yes. So it was decided that we would meet up in town and head on up. We met up at 6:30 AM and Greg/Barbara and his friend Peter hopped into the VW Passat for the trip up.

Peter is the Deputy Director of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. We had a great time talking about antique airplanes and the time passed quickly. Oh, and Peter has a 1928 Ford Model A Roadster that he purchased about a year ago. So I am sure we will meet him again at a car show.

The first set of pics is Rob and his 1928 Chrysler. He has just finished the car. He told me that it now has high mileage, 1.5 miles. He said that it would make a great tour car, but is really too nice now for a driver. Looks like it just came off the factory floor. A superior restoration, just stunning.










Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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We saw two Avantis at the show. Both were nice, a 64 with square headlights, and a 63 with round eyes. We were able to talk to one of the owners/the 63 and he informed us that it was a frame off restoration. It was beautiful. A great looking car.










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We took two full turns around the show field by 11:30. We were done. And hot too, there was little shade to be found except for the grandstand. So we headed on home. It was 95 degrees by the time we left, and was 100 on the way home. We had a great time.














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John: Sorry we missed you as I had hoped you could stop by our place in Chambersburg. Looks like you took pictures of many of the same cars I did. Did you get to go into the display building to see all the Pennsylvania made cars? Realy a great display of cars, trucks, motor cycles and specialties. We hung around till about 1:30-2:00. I am now trying to clean up the bottom of my 25 to hopefully be able to drive it to the Mason-Dixon car show on the 15th at Mechanicsburg Pa. Pulled the pan to give a good bearing check "plastigage" and clean out the sludge. Quite a bit of grit and about 1 lb of RTV blue rubber sealant. Not a gasket or seal to be found anywhere. The oil pump screen had a hole in it, that also was packed with the same blue goop. What does one use as a seal at the front and rear of the oil pan? I have the long pan gaskets. Do you cut cork or felt or goop it up like the last fellow did! Larry

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Larry, somehow we missed the PA cars. Did not know about the display hall. On my 23, it did not have seals on the front and back of the pan either. So I glued on some felt on the rear and cork on the front. Seems to work just fine. Someone did tell me that the engine did not have seals in those locations, but could never verify it. That RTV stuff seems to be in every old engine. In my 23 it had turned to goo and was floating around in the pay. There is some on the 28 that I am still trying to peel off. Oh well, anything to keep the old iron running.

It is Monday, June 3rd, AM. And we have a Greg report for the weekend. Sort but sweet.

"Crammed as much as possible into the weekend. I'd located more of the front braking components that I'd cannibalized from Avanti 5054. That meant time standing at the blast cabinet.

The caliper mount castings , rotors and misc hardware were cleaned and found to be ok. Ditto the bearings and seals. Appropriate parts were primed and painted.

Saturday a gaggle of us traveled to Carlisle, Pa for the AACA Spring meet. Rob was debuting his '28 Chrysler and it was a hit. Saw a few other cars I'd bring home including two nice Avantis. One, a late '64 was a nicely preserved original, the other a '63 on it's first time out. I was impressed by the detail of the restoration.

Running late, time to go."






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Still Monday AM. We headed off to the Lily Pond 36th annual British Car Show in Adamstown, MD. Took the 60 some miles on the back country roads and we arrived about an hour and half later. We got there about 9 AM and the fields were kinda sparse. Rain was projected for the end of the day, but it was very overcast and gray clouds around, threatening rain. But by ten o'clock the cars came pouring in and the show fields started to fill up. I think at the end there were 350 or so cars.

We had a great time showing everyone the Jaguar and I think that the front seat was worn out by all the folks that sat in it and had their pictures taken. We have even had one guy who was 6'5" squeeze in behind the wheel. That was some challenge, but he wanted his picture taken in the car. It was fun to see him contort his frame to get in. We also had one teenage boy who had a disability come look at the car so we told him to get in too. He grinned from ear to ear. His mother told us that "you just made his day". Glad we could do that.

We took a look at all the nice cars and as usual I took some pics. So I will post a few of the really good ones. Enjoy.













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And finally, here are pics of our fellow Jaguar owners. We spent a lot of time talking to them. Rick, the steel blue XK120 OTS, and Jake, the black XK 120 OTS, have been at many shows with us. Jake won the class at the Gunston Hall show a few weeks back. Rick's car has just been restored and is really a first rate done car. And we met Alan for the first time. He has the XK120 black Drop Head Coupe with the rear spats over the wheels. It was a pretty much original car. He told me that he had about 35 British cars in a warehouse nearby. He sat with us for a couple of hours telling car stories.

There was one other Jaguar fixed head couple there. It was a black XK 150. It was HUGE. Like the Ford Thunderbird it had morphed over the years to become a four seater. No longer a nimble sports car, but a tourer. It still sported it original green interior. A very nice unrestored example.

We also met Ben for the first time. He had the Mark II in the two tone green colors, one being pastel green like our car. He had just bought the car a year ago and is in the process of getting it back on the road. He told us that it had a Chev engine and transmission in it, but he had just bought a correct Jaguar engine and transmission and was going to take it back to original. Overall, the interior was still very nice, and there were only a few rust spots showing on the body. A nice restorable driver.

We stuck around for the awards and to our surprise we were awarded first place in class. We got a nice round of applause too and that made us feel good.

At about 3 we headed for home and dodged the big black clouds forming. It did not rain until we hit the driveway to the farm. Got a good sprinkle, but that was great. When I got it in the trailer I was able to give it a quick dry so it is now ready for the next run. About an hour later we got hit by the big one. Lots of wind, and rain with pea sized hail. What a racket. But we did not lose power and that was sure surprising.

The car ran great, did not miss a beat. Purred right down the road. A super day for sure.

So here are the pictures of the Jags.














Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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