Avanti R2, 1963, refresh

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Looking good John! That finish is like glass! I'm am totally envious of that interior too - hope mine is all fresh and new like that someday. Enjoy the Shootout - I used to listen to those every year on the radio back when Earnhardt was alive - those were the days...

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It is Saturday, February 25th. Windy and cold, a good day to stay inside. But I am restless to start putting the green Avanti back together. So spent the morning in the front room cleaning the rubber bumperetts for the bumpers. Put on three coats of Armor All on the rubber and buffed off the residue. Then mounted them in the bumpers. They look pretty good. Not much, but it is a start.

Also received my carpet protectors yesterday. An Ebay special for $12 including shipping. Actually, they are very good quality. A good deal. Here is a pic with the new seat belts.






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Wow - 12 bucks delivered! Sounds like a deal to me! Everything's looking good John, can't wait to see the finished product!

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It is February 27th, Monday AM. Up early. Big day. I go in an hour or so to pick up the green Avanti from the shop. Really looking forward to getting her home. I will post pics when I get her home.

Talked to Greg and he recommended that I paint the inside of the bumpers with silver Rustoleum paint to avoid any rusting and peeling of the plating from the backside. Of course I will do it.

And here is Greg's weekend report.

"Not much to update.

I've been test driving the maroon Avanti after replacing the tie rods and so far so good. Hasn't shimmied. Fingers are crossed.

One of the test runs resulted in picking up a drywall screw. Greeted by a low tire Saturday morning. Right or wrong, now there's a Michelin with a plug in it. Still holding air.

Today/Sunday was pleasant enough to give the thing a bath, so I did.

Day job commotion prevented any heavy duty involvement in my projects, this weekend so I cleaned and prepped the black Avanti R-3 oil pan and also began stripping the paint on the water manifold. Both easy tasks."


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It is still Monday, early PM. Picked up the Avanti at Sterling Hot Rods. She looks great. I spent a half an hour going over the car and found nothing to complain or be concerned about. A first class job for sure. And the red interior looks fantastic.

The shop staff helped me load the car, and we headed home. Here are a couple of pics of the car on the ground at the shop waiting for my pickup.






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Made it home just fine.

I plan on leaving the car on the trailer for a couple of days so I can do some work on the undercarriage. I have a power steering hose leak so I need to find out what hose is the issue. Easy to work on when the car is up a bit more than jack stand height.

Of course I am all hyped up to do something. So started with the installation of the new red seat belts and the carpet protectors. Easy stuff first, and I know that Alice appreciates the movement of parts off the kitchen tops.

I will give you before and after shots of the installation process. I am sure that by the end you will all be bored to death.

Here is the car on the trailer at home. Before and after seat belts and carpet protectors.





Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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Bored yet? Well, this will be the last post for the day.

Washed the wheels really well and cleaned off all the body shop residue. Then I installed the four new hubcaps. For being repo caps from Studebaker International they are of excellent quality and fit. They are not coming off either. About broke my hands getting them on.

I must say, they add a lot to the car.





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Looks real good John, though I have to say the car looks sad (if a car can have emotions) without headlights.

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Are headlights the windows to a car's soul? Looks good, John, you've cornered the market on red interior green cars! I really like the way the Jag looks, and the dark green on the Avanti seems to work too....

What's red and green and goes round and round? Used to be frog in a blender, now it's John in a traffic circle!!!

My apologies in advance, I couldn't resist....best dc

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Yes, the car is good looking with those nice wheel covers! Be careful not to scratch that nice paint job by instaling the bumpers...

You did the same as me: first install the easy parts; it's good for the soul! And, in my case, the parts slowly leaved our second lavatory!

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It is Tuesday, February 28th, PM. Worked pretty much all day on the cars. Rain is coming so moved the Jaguar to the barn. Put a new tarp down, put the Jag on top, and then put on her new cover. Should be safe and sound.

Before I pulled the Avanti off the trailer I did check the power steering hoses. Yup, one was loose. Of course you can barely get a wrench on it. But got it as tight as I could. We will see. I also lubed the front end.

I went to the local auto parts store and got two different sizes of rubber hose for the windshield washer system. The old hoses were brittle and hard. No good. So for $8 I was back in business. Took about 30 minutes to remove and put in the new hoses. And they did not split when I attached them to the bag. Yahoo.

Also put on the Avanti logo on the front and the driver's side mirror.

The engine compartment is now very dusty and dirty. A job for tomorrow as the Avanti is now in the garage.

Here are a few pics.









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It is Wednesday morning, February 29th. Having my cup of coffee reading Ben and Roger's exploits. I admire them both.

Raining hard here this morning. Glad I spent the time getting everything under cover. Today I will put on some more "bling" on the green Avanti and do a clean up of the engine bay.

I also bought a coolant recovery bottle from Studebaker International. I put a universal one in a few months, ago and it works great. But this new one has a nice wire basket for mounting. So will do some test fitting.

And I just got an update from Greg on his work.

"Still here, still doing it. Not much noteworthy. Got in a few minutes on the R-3 coolant manifold. It's been chemically depainted, tonight it went through the blast cabinet and then to the paint room for a coat of epoxy primer.

The day job has been devoted to Wright cam bearings. The four cylinder (and six) have poured babbitt in the case, the eight gets bronze castings that are machined and then a slight press fit. That's coming along too.

Photos: *coolant manifold progress

*fixture for casting the molten babbitt in place.

*the eight with bearings being test fitted."





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Still Wednesday, PM and the rain has been non-stop and coming down in buckets. Took 30 minutes between down bursts to feed the llamas and ducks. Earlier than normal, but then I don't think that they can tell time. Opps forgot, the ducks know that if it is dark it is time to go into the pen. So maybe they can know time.

I spent the morning cleaning and polishing the tail lights and back-up light housings. They are pretty good. Of course the gaskets are all shot, and one was missing from one of the tail lights, so order some from SI. So installation will have to wait for a couple of days. The lenses for the back up lights are cracked around the screw holes. I did not see replacement lenses, so will just add them to my "wish list". The old ones are functional.

I did install the hood ornament and the Studebaker emblem on the truck. The hood ornament is definitely driver quality. At some point I may replace it, but for now I will leave as is. A replacement is about $100.






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It is Thursday, March 1st. PM. Got a call from Greg this morning, he is heading to York for the Studebaker swap meet. I just have too much going on to go. But I did give him my "wish list". We will see what he finds.

Got a call this morning from the neighbor who does odd farm jobs. He is going to help me put the extension on the barn and pour concrete for the lift pad. The extension will be 24 ft wide and 16 ft long. That will give us more space for the llamas and to put some equipment under cover.

Of course he wants to start on Saturday so I am off tomorrow to pick up 6 12ft posts so we can dig the holes to put them in. Got Alice to help and we put the post hole digger on the tractor. She is all set and ready to go. That little post hole digger does a great job, but she is heavy and difficult to move around. Just about over my ability to wrestle it around.

Tomorrow I have to remove siding from the existing barn and trim up a tree to about fifteen feet. Oh joy.

But today I continued to work on the Avanti. I got the cowling vent put back in with its little washer. Had to make a gasket for the washer so I did not damage the paint. And had to paint the air cavity so if you looked straight down you did not see odd paint and fiberglass. Used some gloss black that I then used on the rear end bumper bracket and the license plate holder.

Now I have to run into town tomorrow and get some 3M adhesive for the cowl/hood gasket and install that when we get a nice warm day. Also have to pick up some glue for the carpet that goes on panels covering the front of the console.

I also installed the parking/turn signal lights. I have never liked how they fit. Not any better now. I have seen some with a different trim around the lenses. I will have to ask Greg what he has.

I did find a couple of NOS kick panels for the vent areas. They should be here in a few days and I can installing carpeting on them.

Done for the day. When I stop having fun, then I quit. Here are a couple of pics of today's work.







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Still Thursday, late PM. Sometimes I just cannot quit. I went out and checked the newly painted license plate holder. To my surprise it was dry. So decided that I would mount it back on the Avanti.

It was mounted in three rubber sealed bolts, which I had to cut off, when I removed it from the car. So I knew that I need some spacers as to not damage the new paint and fiberglass body so headed off to the hardware store and picked up 6 nylon 1/8 in washers and some SS hardware. I put the washers in between the body and the plate holder, and in back where I attached everything with a washer and a bolt.

Then I polished up the license plate, put it on, and declared victory. Enough for tonight.




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It is Friday, March 2nd, PM. With Greg off to York, PA for the Studebaker swap meet I guess that it falls to me to post today.

Early this morning headed off to Home Depot to pick up 6x6 12 foot long posts. These will form our new addition. I will use the tractor's post hole digger to hopefully go down the full distance of the digger or at least two feet. Our little mountain is sand stone from some ancient sea. Some you can drill through, but some you have to blast to get it out. That is why most houses here do not have basements.

Anyway, I got to Home Depot and went right to the posts. There were four attendants in the isle, but when I showed an interest in the posts they disappeared. Go figure. So I pulled out the six I wanted and loaded them onto the cart. I did get help loading them on the trailer.

Here are pic of the posts on the trailer, movement by tractor and then a pic of where the extension is going to be built.

I also picked up some stuff for the Avanti. Electrical shrink tubing for the headlights, 3M spray glue for some loose pieces of vinyl and carpet, paint for the inside of the bumpers, and some glue for the rubber cowl seal.

I then worked on the Avanti headlight buckets and got the new connectors installed. I soldered the ends, used shrink wrap, and then use some almost gone liquid tape. When the liquid tape is dry I will wrap with tape.

Done for the day. Raining hard outside now so I think the start of the barn raising is going to be postponed tomorrow. Storms are suppose to hit tomorrow too with lots of rain. Lots of tornadoes to the states west of us, and lots damage.









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Evening, John. The car's sure looking nice, interested in the "liquid tape". I have never used it, sounds like a good idea. I learned about how important cleaning off grounding points are after we painted our Avanti, chased imaginary gremlins a while, ha ! Hope all the storms don't drop in on you folks. One more comment, the Kubota looks almost exactly like ours, seems like ours was a a 26 (?) series, front end loader, hole digger, box blade, regular blade, bush hog, finishing mower, and a home-made set of forks that attached to/in the front loader. That little tractor was one of our favorite things we had. (great engine lift/tow truck/hauler,etc, Take care, John

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Saturday, March 3rd. Rained it brains out last night, over an inch. More this morning so working on the barn is out.

Looked at the headlight pods this morning. One was really starting to rust even though the metal was galvanized. So I really scrubbed them both and applied a coat of Eastwood anti-rust paint. I have had really good results with this product on all my cars. When it dries I will spay the pods with Rustoleum flat black. That should take car of the rust. The actual headlight bulb holders on the other side of the pods are all fine so will leave them as is.

The pods are screwed into the fiberglass cowling with bolts. There is plumper's putty between the pod and the fiberglass frame. Looks like this putty seals the headlight assembly from water intrusion. On mine, one pod had it, but the other did not. But then again, the car had been hit and the front clip replaced so they just cobbled it back together. This time both will be sealed nice and tight.





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Still Saturday, but PM. Turned out to be a pretty decent day. Did a little car stuff, but mostly farm. I cannot believe that things are starting to sprout, a little to early for me. So we spent the afternoon cleaning up the pastures and getting the grass ready to grow. Early April we will spread a ton of fertilizer.

But, getting back to the Avanti. It was nice enough to put a couple of coats of flat black on the headlight pods. So they are ready for installation. I do have to make electrical connections in the fender well area with the new wiring pig tail. I also have the wiring to redo for the turn signals/parking light. All of that will be done under the car. All of the wire was just twisted together, so will fix that and put on proper connectors too.

Then I saw the mail truck. Oh boy, the gaskets arrived from Studebaker International for the parking and tail lights. So took a few minutes to glue in the the new gaskets, let them dry a bit, and then install them. The gasket was just a very soft round rubber, but it fit good and should do the job. Here are a couple of pics with the lights installed and then lit.

Feels good to finally get some more stuff on. A small step closer to getting her back on the road.








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It is Sunday, March 4th. Weather is changing, getting cold outside so farming chores are taking most of my time today. More on that later.

But Greg sent me a note and said that he did not find much in York, but I think he goes mainly to chat, have a great lunch and dinner, and enjoy the ride though the country side.

And he continues on the black Avanti's R3 engine. Here is his update.

"Small jobs that take a while.

The double pickup tall geared Paxton pump that I put to use in my original R-3 was returned to my R-5 pile. Now the R-3 will use a NOS pump that I'd bought from Paxton in the late sixties, eighty 1969 dollars.

At the time I was torqued to some degree because they had sent me a standard geared pump with a single deep snorkel. When I overhauled the R-2 in my maroon car, in order to expedite things, I cannibalized the new gears and shafts to replace the worn parts.

Now I've installed a new kit in the Paxton item and the pump installation is checked off the list.

Another job was the alteration of the newly arrived soft plugs (freeze plugs, core plugs, what ever YOU call them).

The plugs supplied are a deep cup 1 1/2" diameter type. Originally they used shallow cup type. Quick and dirty tooling was used to cut off the excess prior to driving them home in the cylinder block. Another check mark.

Oil pan prepping is underway. I'll be installing the heads and spraying paint before too long. The engine might start now."





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Still Sunday, PM. Done for today. Pooped.

I started on the barn addition by trimming up a big Juniper tree to the height of the new, to be, roof. I managed to get the chain saw stuck on the last big limb I was going to cut. Went to get the tractor to lift up the branch so I could pull it out, but a big gust of wind came up, and the saw was sent crashing to the ground. Was that luck or what.

But I did have a little time on the Avanti. I cleaned, prepped and painted the brackets for the rear bumper. So they are ready to go on as soon as the paint dries.

I also installed the back up lights with the new gaskets from Studebaker International. Glad I got them as both were missing. Here are a few pics of today's work.

Oh, and tomorrow it is suppose to snow. Go figure. I guess I will just continue cleaning the engine compartment.






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John, we sure would like to see some pics of that dual pickup R-series oil pump Greg referred to...............

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