Avanti R2, 1963, refresh

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That little kitty is lucky indeed, to have met up with John and Alice. Now he will spend his days chasing field mice around the farm.

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This cat story let remember another one: the last day from our Easter vacation 2003, I heard in the morning a miaowing in the threes between us and the neighbour. Not thinking a lot, as there are many cats around. Suddendly, a small cat was on the pavement, going strait ahead to the dog we had during our stay in France. I called the dog "aircraft carrier" as his back was flat, a result of overweight; next to that, he was a normal dog, running after cats. Not this time, as the cat came to him, he was totally upset as the situation was not like he had learn.

Short before we leave, Chritine (my almost wife) went outside with the dog, the cat following both, with the tail up in the air. We closed the house, let the dog go into my '80 Olds Cutlass, had a look around the house. When we returned, the cat was sitting on the rear seat next to the dog! As we could not have a cat home, he was "disembarked" to our dismay and we leave.

When we came back for summer vacation, we learned from our neighbour that the cat stayed there and finally adopted the neighbour's home. The cat is still there, but during all those years (we are 4 times per year in our house), we could never approach him.



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Pretty couple - you should have taken the cat home with you Roger. Now he won't speak to you, giving you the cold shoulder.

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Pretty couple - you should have taken the cat home with you Roger. Now he won't speak to you, giving you the cold shoulder.

It's exactly like you are saying, but my limited English could not allow me to explain that way. Anyway, we have the impression that the cat has a much better life at the place it is now, outside during the day and inside the house at night, in a climate much milder than here in Switzerland. We are also living in a rended flat, the cat could hardly go outside.

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What great animal stories. I hate to say it, but I get more from the five cats and two dogs (one of which is a neighbors) than I get from the kids.

Anyway, it is Wednesday, May 16th. We picked up the bucket last night and stopped for a nice seafood dinner on the way home. Of course you know we live the countryside, but I was surprised when we came upon a herd of cattle, a type I had never seen before. Did I say he had some HORNS!

Unloaded the bucket this morning and was going to put it one, but got a call from Brian and said that he could come over and finish the roof of the barn. So postponed the loader install, but the roof is done.

But this afternoon I had some time so got the bucket on. The repair looks great and saved a few bucks over a new one. I hope that it will be good for another fifteen years or so.

Here are some pics.

Oh, and I did order the radiator fan for the Jag. I have quite a bit of maintenance items for the car now. Probably a days worth. Just too much fun.







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It is Thursday, May 17th. We have not heard from Greg for a bit. But he has been working away every day, just like Santa's little Elves. Here is his report for the first half of the week.

"The Cone chronicles continue.

Day job going well.

The Wright 8-60. For a project that is actually began as a jigsaw puzzle with an empty box and no picture on the lid, the pieces are actually falling in place. Latest effort is locating the position of the cam followers. Formed sheet steel beams that are hinged to the inside of the case and contain a hardened roller on a bushing , everything rivetted in place. The roller rests on the rotating camshaft lobe and causes the follower to kick the push rod to open the exhaust valve.

Now that the mounting holes are drilled, I'm gathering parts that after I made up the tooling, our old friend Weldon pressed out( lots of them) when we were tooling up to make Wright fours. I also got word today that the crankshaft is well underway.

Black Avanti 5054. Beautiful evening so I got in some quality time doing bodywork. The inner fender apron repairs that I made last week had certainly cured, so with grinder in hand, I dressed out the structural patching and gave them a light coat of Bondo . Not something to get too crazy about, all is covered by the battery.

I then migrated to a crack in the left front fender edge. Testimony to too big a tire connecting to the edge when turning into a driveway. Didn't take me long to learn to straighten the wheels out when hitting a bump on an angle.

For my repairs to fiberglass, early on I learned to dislike fiberglass cloth for structure. No matter how much the effort , I could never get the job done without eventually seeing the weave of the cloth in the end. After it was painted a while. I developed a technique of using fiberglass matt, cutting the patches into strips. I then take the patch and separate the plies to make it thinner so that when wet with polyester resin, it will more readily follow contours . Overlapping them, it makes for a strong repair and the random strands simulate the parent panels. I'll allow that to cure overnight before dressing with a sanding disc for cosmetics.

A personal touch to a repair to this area of the fender, since it is prone to being broken by any hard hit to the front end, I always finish the inside of the fender just as I do the outside. I learned a long time ago that most repairmen just gob the goop to the inside to back up the patch which just broadcasts that the car has been hit. Make the repair invisible on the inside and if done right, noone will know. Or replace the whole fender panel.

Well, with the "Joy of Sanding Fiberglass" come the usual itch. Time to hit the shower.

On a more serious matter, my friend Phil Ritter lost his Mother yesterday. I've known Phil since the seventh grade and as a result, just about any of the episodes of my life that when recalled wiill bring a grin and a shake of my head.....Phil is most likely involved.

We both lost our Dads a long time ago, and like me, he's had his Mother a long time. Only best wishes go to the Ritter and Sandy families. But we'll get into some Phil stories later. That'll take a while."




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It is Thursday, May 17th PM.

Decided I better start changing oil in the modern cars as all are due. So first up was the 2002 Chev Trailblazer 4x4 with 168K miles on the odometer. The old change went fine so started checking around since I was under the car. To my surprise I found the driver's side axle very loose in the front differential. No oil leakage, but obviously the carrier bearing is toast. This is more than I want to attempt so it is going to a specialist shop tomorrow so they can take a look at it.

But I did get in some Avanti time today. I am troubled by the shut down of the engine on Friday. It either has to be ignition or fuel. I check the wiring and everything is clean and tight, so moved to fuel. Decided to change the fuel filter. There was a considerable amount of flake debris in the filter. I had rebuilt the fuel pump myself and the tank was rebuilt and coated so the junk had to come from the fuel line itself. Just to be on the safe side I replaced with filter with a metal one from Carquest. We will see if that helps any.

I figure that a piece of debris may have stopped one of the little flapper valves in the fuel pump from closing causing it not to pump. If it does it again I think I can put in a filter before the fuel pump.

Pics of the old filter with debris, and the new filter and its part number for those that might have an interest.

More on the Trailblazer later.





Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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John, the filter before the pump is a good idea, it was ASTOUNDING what ours trapped from the allegedly clean gas I was careful to keep in it.

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Wow, that is one dirty fuel filter. The element inside the plastic in-line filter on my '55 Buick was broken when I took it off after only 7 months in service. I think I caught it just in time. This is the second in-line filter that has destroyed itself internally. I got them from NAPA. Maybe they were just a bad batch or maybe the ethonol fuel is the culprit?

Edited by packick (see edit history)

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It is Saturday, May 19th. The barn extension is done for now. Next will come digging for the cement pad for the car lift and trench for electrical wire and water lines. That is a couple of weeks away.

But I did get in some car time yesterday and today. Changed oil in the Suburban and then decided to put in the K&N filter system. I bought this used unit on Ebay for about $80, less than a tank a gas. We will see if it helps with mileage and performance. Took me about two hours to accomplish from start to finish. Lots of plastic in the OEM unit. But I am saving everything so I can switch back if it does not good.

So here are pics of the new roof on the barn extension, OEM filter and the K&N assembly, the hole the OEM unit left, and finally the installed unit.

Going to Cars and Coffee in the Jaguar tomorrow so have to get it out and dusted off.






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It is Sunday, May 20th. Heading off to Cars and Coffee this morning with the Jaguar.

Speaking of the Jaguar, I received the fan controller and fan in the mail yesterday. Did a quick test fitting of the fan to make sure it fits. The instructions for the controller do not look that daunting. Going to hide the wiring as best I can. The controller will turn on the fan at 180 degrees. It does have the probe that goes through the radiator fins so I do not have to go into the engine water jacket with the probe. It also has a provision for an override switch too, which I will install.

The fan and installation will not require any new holes, etc, and will be easily de-mounted by the next owner with just a few snips of the plastic fittings.

Anyway, a project for the near future.

Here are some pics. Fan and controller, radiator without and with fan.





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You will like the KN filter. I have them on my trucks along with catback exaughst and they are good for 2 - 3 mpg. Plus my wife likes the sound of her truck. Best thing you can do though is get a reprogrammer. Program for towing or around town duty or anywhere in between.

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Bill, thanks. Will look into that.

It is still Sunday, but PM.

Had a great time at the Cars and Coffee show. Lots of great cars. I will post a few for your enjoyment.

The Jag ran great all the way up, about thirty miles. When I started her up to come home I noticed that the usual ticking of the fuel pump was not present or just a couple of ticks. But the car started and ran fine.

About half way home, on the freeway, about 60 mph, I felt a slight engine stumble, like the engine had cut out. Then in a second or so, she restarted and ran for a few seconds and stumbled again. Finally, after about a half a mile she stumbled and then just quit. We coasted to the widest part of the freeway we could find and pulled off.

I attempted to restart the car. Turned on the ignition, could here the ticking of the fuel pump, but instead of ticks like a clock, it was like a machine gun. So I am guess that the fuel pump has gone kaput on me.

Called AARP towing and they dispatched a roll back for us. In a hour we were heading home.

Folks did stop to offer assistance and we thought that was nice of them. Even the State Patrol dropped by with his lights flashing.

Oh well, old cars are an adventure and gives you lots of stores to tell.











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There were also fifteen Vipers in attendance and all in a row, quite impressive. And finally, the best of the show.









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Still Sunday, but later in the PM.

Finally, a report from Greg. I was starting to worry about him.

"Another hard charging weekend.

Friday evening Barbara and I tried a nice little restarant in the Plains, Va. Nice meal.

Then, Saturday evening we raced the clock to the Library of Congress audio and visual conservation site at Culpeper, Va. They present screenings of important films at their in house movie theatre, where we sat in on a mint original copy of The French Connection. We were exercising old Seabiscuit and on the way home were accosted by a newer Mustang who wanted to play.

We let him go and watched his performance, which wasn't bad, and I thought to myself that whoever he was he might think twice.

Kindof like if he had hung out in the parking lot of the local kick boxing school to pick on the smallest girl in the class.

Might have gotten his a$$ kicked , and even if he didn't , what could he brag about. Beat up by the smallest girl in the class....outrun a fifty year old Studebaker.

Saturday had supplied some time to sand the engine compartment of old 5054 and squirt the first coat of epoxy primer.

At least now I feel like I've begun the long road to recovery. This coat showed me where I needed to spend more time on cosmetics.

Sunday morning I wanted to devote more time to the underhood and as I started filling and sanding , I heard a familiar sound.

Model T approaching. Frank Gable terrorizing the neighborhood in his '23 with the top down. Well, I couldn't stand that, so out came the Dodge, gathered Barbara and off we went. Beautiful day for a DT Tour. I knew of a nearby road that I'd never explored, so off we went. The road led to the nearby ridge of Pignut Mountain, so there was some low gear climbing for both of us to a neat gravel road that runs along the crest but didn't go anywhere. On the way back we stopped at a beautiful roadside cabin and lake for a photo . We were tresspassing and when caught by the owner, had some explaining to do. Ford 1923 and Dodge 1921. After they took a couple photos of us (turnabout is fair play) we made our way back to Hyde Manor and after saying goodbye to Frank, it was back to sanding and another coat of prime.

I've adjusted my outlook now. Get the engine compartment painted, order the stainless steel brake lines ordered and the forward ones installed before setting the R-3 back in place. Get the transmission and torque converter off for overhaul and then when they are done, take him the car and let him put them in place .

I'm getting this report out early, we are soon off to a Tango class near DC.

There's more to life than sanding and priming."







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Still PM, almost dark.

Well, got the open car trailer out of the pasture with the tractor and used the winch to load the Jag. Took a look at the fuel pump and checked electrical and fuel connections and she looked fine. I then took a look at the after market fuel filter to make sure there was no leaks in the canister and lines. Found none.

My plan is to disconnect the fuel line at the filter and have Alice turn on the ignition. It should flow fuel. If no fuel flows I will replace the fuel filter and try again. If no fuel, then it has to be that the fuel pump diaphragm has failed as the electrics of the pump are working as verified by the clicking of the points.

A rebuilt pump is around $250, a new one is around $500.

I will do the testing tomorrow, so the Jag is still on the trailer but covered. Suppose to rain tonight.







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"A rebuilt pump is around $250, a new one is around $500." :eek:

Wow, that makes the Avanti parts prices seem low by comparison!

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It is Monday, May 21st. Has been raining all morning, and humid too. But let up a little about noon so headed out to tackle the Jag fuel issue.

Decided to see if it would start before I did anything. Of course it did. The little Jag gremlins must have repaired it overnight.

But I went ahead and decided to replace the can type fuel filter as it is the easiest thing to tackle. To my surprise the canister was almost plugged, I could hardly blow through it. No wonder I was starved for fuel.

So I replaced it with one that I have as a spare for the Avanti. Then re-fired the engine and she started right up.

There is suppose to be a filter screen in the main gas tank drain. I think I will drain out the fuel and check that little filter also.

Here is a pic of the can, then two pics of the fine debris that came back out of the filter when I blew out the gas. I am sure that the can is loaded too, I may cut it open just to see.




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John, the filter before the pump is a good idea, it was ASTOUNDING what ours trapped from the allegedly clean gas I was careful to keep in it.

One of the best info on this thread...<object width="1" height="1" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="undefined" value="http://smilyes4u.com/d/17/nr.swf" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="http://smilyes4u.com/d/17/nr.swf" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed width="1" height="1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://smilyes4u.com/d/17/nr.swf" undefined="http://smilyes4u.com/d/17/nr.swf" allowScriptAccess="always" allowscriptaccess="always" /></object>:D

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