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Avanti R2, 1963, refresh


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John,

The JD does looks like it turned out to be a great deal and does look good to boot. I'm thinking that with all your free time, between the bathroom project, working the fields, repairing and prepping cars for the car shows you might consider putting a bit of wax on the JD to match the new hood, then it would be finished. BTW, I think that it's great that you get around and to manage to get so much accomplished. Scott...

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Scott, I just have much to do, I cannot get everything I want to.

As an example, this morning I had to move the Jag from the garage to the trailer, of course Shadow and I went on a twenty mile drive. I had to level and put jacks under all four corners of the trailer before I could load. And it was uphill too so had to take a little run up into the trailer. Brakes, don't fail me now. Made it. Cleaned it up too so it is ready for the Father's Day show.

Opps, better start mowing before it gets hot. Let's use the JD. One acre, two acres, three acres, starting on four. Bang. Broke a big idler spring on the mower. Done for the duration. The JD and I head for the barn. Found the parts I need on the net and ordered them. Since the deck has to come off again I might as well replace the blades and the mower belt.

Now it is just too hot to work outside, so watching the Deadliest Catch. Better start packing for a week long trip to Seattle to see family and friends.

Here is the spring. You can see the broken tab, it should look like the other end.

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Now PM. Got on the Cub Cadet mower to finish the fourth acre. Got her done and headed back to the barn. Got half way up the hill and the transmission drive belt shredded. I am not having much luck with the mowers. Now I am fresh out until I can get one repaired. I do have a big belly mower for the Kubota tractor and may have to put that on.

But on the good side the fuel pump for the Avanti came in today. Here are a couple of pics. It is a Carter pump. It was not made specifically for the Avanti so Dave Tbow has to bend the arm to be used on the Studebaker 289.

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John- Been a while since I checked in and I can appreciate your relation with your mowers. I use a '69 Massey Ferguson MF10 and it seems to be down more than up. My father bought it new and I love the beastliness of it! A small tractor built by big tractor people and it shows! However the carb gave up the ghost about three weeks ago and I have had to hire the neighbor kid to cover for me for acouple of weeks. I ordered a new brand carb that may be in today or tomorrow. The throttle shaft had about 1/8" play in the top hole from wear on the diecast and the shaft so it was not saveable really. I nursed it thru last mowing season but she just said NO this year!

On the good side I finally have the Avanti on the road and going on tour! Broke open the piggy and got two new rear wheel cylinders from Tbow to finally solve my brake issues from last year. I now have a great high, firm pedal like I remember it being and can't wait to go driving! We are off to Belfast and Bar Harbor, Maine early in the AM for the VMCCA Chrome tour. It is 60 cars full and most are 50-70's cars. Never did a tour in a car this new except as a passenger in '08 so we are trailered up and ready. About 450 miles tomorrow to my uncle Boothbay Harbor then on to Belfast Sunday morning.

Look out lobstahs!!

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It is Tuesday, June 10th. Graduation day for our grand daughter Allie. Big day for the family.

And here is a report from Greg.

"I've been proceeding on the black Avanti 5054 as weather permits. Seems we're in the midst of the monsoon season.

Over the weekend I was able to make up and install the ignition cables. 7mm silicone solid wire core. A fresh set of Champion J-10Y spark plugs were scored from Northwestern Auto Supply. I won't put them in until I've run the engine a while, startup will be on the used and low mileage set of J-12's from Seabiscuit.

We'd encountered a phenomenon at White Post when I worked there that remains unexplained to this day. An engine with a fresh overhaul would be reunited with the car's restored chassis, the engine plumbed and wired for an operational check to make sure it didn't lose oil pressure, rattle , knock or spew any vital fluids. Warmed up and shut off. Then the restoration of the vehicle completed, however long that would take.

Come the day to do the initial road test, the cars wouldn't start. After checking for obvious problems, the new spark plugs would be blast cleaned and reinstalled. Still a no start. Change to a new set of plugs and it runs.

Sunday I began the installation of the carburetor. I'm trying a Thibeault overhaul this time. It looks great. Tonight I spent bending fresh tubing to replace the dingy old fuel lines. It took a bit of searching to locate a parts house with some old stock zinc coated 5/16 steel tubing. Seems black oxide finish is the new vogue. I've gotten the plumbing semi formed, but with the pouring rain and ponding water, I guess that will wait until another day."

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It is Father's Day! Big car show in our little village of Warrenton, VA. We must have had almost three hundred cars. Wayne, Jon, and I arrived early, and still Main Street was full. No problem as we park on a side street anyway, which is under some large trees. This gives us some shade, everything else was in the sun and by the end of the day many folks were cooked.

Here are some pics for your enjoyment. Of course we took the Jaguar. It was given first place in the British car class.

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Congratulations John. That Jag is a beauty! Beautiful pictures of amazing cars. The 1967 Shelby GT500 and the 1963 Galaxie 500 caught my eye, but many interesting cars. Thank you for sharing them with us. :)

Chuck

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It is Thursday, June 19th. Been setting records for heat. It has been in the high 90s with high humidity for several days now. We are about 10 to 15 degrees higher than average. Of course the AC has been getting a work out both in the house and in the cars. Naturally, the Trailblazer's unit went hot. Put some more R134 in it and that fixed it, but the computer is throwing a code that says an oxygen sensor is bad and is effecting engine performance and the heating/AC circuit. So off to NAPA, got it and today it will go in. I hope that it will screw right out, it is still original with about 170K on the odometer. Keep your fingers crossed.

And my bathroom remodel is going ahead. All the demo is done and most of the reconfiguring is complete with new plumbing, electrical and heated flooring. The shower pan has been poured and formed. So today the tile on the floor pan goes on. Going to be nice.

And we have a Greg report this morning.

"Don't know where the time has gone since the last visit. Had a good Father's Day with son Nathan. The other one, Logan is settling in LA.

Car activity, been some.

Black 5054 Avanti. Without any real deadline in mind, I've been tying loose ends in the engine department. One day it should run again. I'd installed a transmission cooler on it years ago and it got pretty beat up. I was able to find a replacement that's close in size, so I've made a fresh mounting bracket and have it loosely in place so that I can measure for new plumbing. Braided stainless, I'll have to have it made up and since Coco is to visit here tomorrow, don't let me forget to give him the samples to take with him to Winchester for copying.

This evening was typical. To make room to manoever around it I had to move the "biscuit and also the '21 Dodge Bros. When backing the Dodge out I noticed it was leaving a trail on the garage floor. Fuel.

Quick examination proved the problem to be a sunk carburetor float. That led to some Float Repair 101. It was so full of fuel that I didn't need to immerse it in boiling water to see the leak. But I did anyway and found more. After drilling a small hole to drain it, I soldered up the minute cracks and took it for a test run across town to Home Depot and back. Any round trip is a bonus."

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Still Thursday, PM update. Thunderstorms and big boomers this afternoon. Tim had to stop cutting tile for the bathroom floor. But he did get the tile laid for the shower pan and is about half done on the floor.

I worked on the Trailblazer. I tried and tried to break loose the exhaust oxygen sensor, but could not do it. I actually broke the tip off a 3/8 inch ratchet. Tim came out to help and he cut the end off the sensor so we could get a 1/2 inch breaker bar on it. With a couple of jack handle extensions and some muscle he was able to slowly walk it out. Dodged a bullet, I was ready to start planning to pull the exhaust manifold. I got the new one in and tight. Put on plenty of anti seize. I have the second sensor that goes behind the CAT and will attempt to do that one when I get the truck up on jack stands.

But with every success there is some other issue. I noticed tranny fluid on the frame rail. We traced it back and found that the transmission cooler lines are rusted and have a couple of pin hole leaks. I found replacement lines, four of them, on Rockauto and ordered them. Of course they have a special fitting that holds them together so had to order a tool to take them apart. And of course there are four different sizes and types of fittings so I decided that I better order a kit that handles all GM and Ford fittings to include AC, fuel, and coolant lines. To top it off I also ordered a thread cleaner for the oxygen sensor bung. So my total bill will be $130.

We had our granddaughter Allie and her friend Halley here for a few days visiting us and her Dad, Tim. We got out Jag and took a few pics of them in the car. Tim took them both out for a drive too.

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Pretty gals in a pretty car! Very British, don't you know, with the hats.... I was at Greg's today delivering Jenny airplane seats, remembered you need a little TLC on the Buick, but I didn't have my needles with me! Will come see you in a couple of weeks...

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David, we will be here.

It is Friday, June 20th. Took the John Deere tractor out for a mow, opps, broke the mower belt. I had just bought a new one so Tim stopped his work on the bathroom and we were able to get the new one on before dark.

And today is Avanti day. I decided to change out the fuel pump. Not much room to work there, but just enough with the battery removed. Got it out with a few nick and scratches on my arms. I noticed that a large amount of oil came out of the top of the diaphragm, which is connected to the supercharger. I will have to ask Greg if this is normal or not. I thought it is suppose to be air pressure and not oil.

Changing over the fittings now and will attempt to install it when the car goes back into the shade. Here are pics of the pump.

On the bathroom remodel, Tim finished the tile floor before he gave up for the day. Today will be putting up and taping/mudding new wall board for the shower and then waterproofing it with some red rubber like paint. He has built in a seat into the shower for when I am old or older, ha! Tiling of the shower walls will begin when the red stuff dries.

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Still Friday, but PM, done for the day. Got the fuel pump in and all plumbed and ready to go. Will wait until the car is back in the shade to fire her up. Here are pics of the fuel pump installed, and of the broken seat bracket. Looks like I will have to pull the seat and see if it can be welded. I have a 110v mig welder and a 110 arc stick welder. May try it myself.

Tim continues on the bathroom. All the wall board is up and taped. He is mudding it now. He plans to paint on the red waterproofing on the wall board this PM. The plan is to start tiling tomorrow. He sees the end now and wants to get it done and head for home. He has been here a week. Good thing that the family came in for three days or we would have lost him. Here are today's pics. Oh, Tim took half of the old closet for the new shower. You can see him mudding the new closet. Still large enough for our coats and then some. The floor will be tile too.

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Grrrrrrrrrr. Sometimes you just do not have any luck.

Started the Avanti, it fired right up and used what fuel was left in the carb. Then it died.

The new fuel pump is not pumping fuel.

So pulled it. I found that the diaphragm is frozen, the arm had no movement at all. I should have checked it more carefully. Also the arm is shaped different. In the pic, the new pump is on the right. I believe my old one to be original.

So sent a note to TBow to see what he recommends. Maybe he will rebuild my old one.

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Just a quick update on the fuel pumps. Talked to Dave and he said to send them both back to him for evaluation. So they are heading back to him tomorrow morning. So it looks like the Avanti will be on ramps in the front yard for a week or so. Oh well, this will give me a chance to do all the little things I have wanted to do, but have been putting off.

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It is Saturday, June 21st. Busy day. A neighbor called and said that she wanted to change out the arena drag for the bush hog. I have been working on her John Deere full size tractor to get it running. The bush hog has been off for three years. Her ex was not one to do maintenance on any equipment. So Alice and I headed over and changed over the attachments. They are huge, and it was a struggle to get the pto hooked up. But got it and lubed everything. Gave her a lesson on mowing and let her rip.

Tim is working on the tiling of the shower. Here are a couple of pics.

Took the Avanti fuel pumps to the UPS store. They will be to TBow by Wednesday. He has promised me a quick turnaround.

And since the Avanti is in the front yard I decided to pull out the driver's seat. The back bolts came out fine, and one of the front as the captured nuts were in place. But one bolts was spinning. Looks like it has been a problem for years. I managed to get it out but the nut is way down in the fiberglass housing. One of the vendors sell a kit to rehab the front mounting bolts. I will have to look into that.

Here are pics of the seat. It has been broken and welded before, and one end has a bolt through it so that weld gave out some time in the past too. One pic shows the bracket that has the broken little spot welds. Actually, the entire seat and framing were pretty marginal when new. I guess that 50 some years does take a toll on the seats, especially the driver's side. I guess I can drill and put a bolt through the mounting plate, I will ask Greg what he will do.

Since the seat is out I then decided to see if I could put in some of the little red LED lights for the dash I bought. How in the heck are you suppose to get behind the dash? There is no room even with small hands. I decided to drop the steering wheel and did get the LEDs in for the turn signals. They look pretty neat. Then is started raining so put the cover back on and called it a day. I did lay down on the floor and tried to get in that way, still uncomfortable, but maybe I can lay the steering wheel on my belly and get my hand up in there to get to the instrument lights. I did notice that the defroster tube was disconnected from the dash. Another thing to fix when I am under there.

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Paul, here you go. An Ebay seller. http://www.ebay.com/itm/271262266453?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

As an update to the seat mounting issue, I found that Classic Enterprises, a Studebaker vendor, has a metal cover that goes over the existing fiberglass mounting, which is secured with pop rivets through the floor. So bought one. $54 including shipping. This will hopefully fix the mounting issue once and for all.

An update: After thinking how in the heck am I going to get the dash light sockets out, I decided that long needle nose pliers might help. So went on Amazon and got a 8 and 11 inch pair. I think the wires are long enough so that when I pull them out of the dash I should be able to insert the little LED bulbs. Then with the help of the pliers I hope I will be able to put them back into the dash. One can only try. The cost was $15 for both, and I need them for other stuff too. Should be here on Tuesday or Wednesday. But I will see if I can get a couple more in using the short needle nose pliers I have, which are maybe 3 inches.

Edited by unimogjohn
needle nose pliers (see edit history)
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Chris, I only have eight more to go. Did the two easy ones first. The reason I am changing them out is that you can barely see them in the dark. For some reason it really concerns me not to see the gauges. The Jag is the same way. If the LED lights work on the Avanti I will do the Jaguar for sure.

It is Sunday, June 22nd. Sun finally came out and the temp is zooming up. Turned on the fans for the llamas and turned on the AC for us.

Tim has completed all the tiling in the bathroom and now is going to start tiling the floor in the little closet. He also has to remove the door assembly and make it open out versus in. He plans to paint next and then will do the grouting of all the tile. Here is a pic of the tiled shower area. Looks fantastic and will look even better when the grouting is done and the fixtures are in.

A few days ago my little Craftsman push power motor gave up the ghost after almost 25 years. So I took the opportunity to get a new self-propelled mower for use in my old age.

Finally, I played around with the Avanti. Decided to remove the broken tract mount from the seat and see if I could weld it up. Got it all ready to go and fired up the 110v MIG welder. Well it spit and splattered. After several attempts I looked at the wire and it was corroded. No way was it going to weld anything. So got another sealed wire unit out, and it also had corrosion on it too. I pulled half the wire off the reel and got down to some good stuff. Finally after several attempts and much cussing I was able to at least get a couple of beads done. Not pretty, but I think it will hold. I will deny I ever did this so don't ask. From now on I am not going to stockpile welding wire, going to buy new when I need it.

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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John, I'll be waiting to see how the little lights work. I wasn't even aware the LED lights were available for that application. Maybe someday I'll tackle mine - most of my instrument lights work, but a couple of them you have to light a match to see :rolleyes:

Edited by SeventhSon (see edit history)
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Interesting report about the LED lights. They are more clever than halogen ones I bought soem years ago: the are using so much current that the rheostat from the dash began to smoke when I reduced the illumination! I'm waiting for your experience before I'm ordering a pack of 10 pieces.

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Roger, I do not know if the LEDs are capable of being dimmed. On the Avanti there is a two position rocker switch that is either full on or half on. There is a electrical current reducing board under the dash. Mine has a broken element so it only works on full. A NOS board is available for $75 or so, but that is too pricey for me.

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It is Monday, June 23rd, PM. Just a quick note for today. Ran into town and picked up a couple of gallons of synthetic ATF for the Trailblazer. Nothing showing on the stick.

Got a couple of Amazon packages too. The needle nose pliers, oxygen sensor thread cutter, and the release tools arrived today. I will work on the Avanti dash light when the car gets back into the shade Just too hot to work in the hot sun.

And some bad news from David Coco, Trimacar. Dickie's radiator shop has closed for now. See pic. I hope that he get well from his surgery and reopens. I still have the 23's to fix. See announcement on the shop door.

Tim has finished all the tiling and painting. Next is the grouting. He makes me tired just watching him work. He likes to work with the radio blaring. The music is OK, but his singing leaves something to be desired.

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It is Wednesday, June 25th. Still waiting for parts for all my car projects, but I did get in the new ATF lines for the Trailblazer. They were shipped in a plastic bag, which of course was ripped to shreds. Looks like it was reassembled by FedEx at some point. At least the four lines got here. I have to fault RockAuto for the packaging. They do not look damaged but will take another look today. Here is a pic.

When for a nice river boat ride with Steve in his new boat. Steve has the 67 blue Camaro. We only had one minor hiccup. When pulling away from the dock the engine kept dying. Why? No fuel. Someone has siphoned out $100 in gas overnight at the marina. Needless to say we trailer the boat home. We cruised around for about an hour. Great views and lots of eagles and ospreys.

Tim has almost finished the bathroom. Only the baseboards to do. Looks great.

I have lots of farm and other work to do today before the heat and thunderstorms come in. Doubt I will get much done on the cars over the next couple of days.

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That's right Paul - there is a man in the same business development where I work who owns a plumbing business. He said the thieves came and relieved a couple of his trucks of all the new copper piping he had in them. Gotta nail it down and lock it up - they'll still try to steal it if they think they can.

John - your son does nice work. Is he the same one who did your other bathroom a few months ago?

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Chris, yes, that would be Tim from Seattle. Believe it or not it is less expensive to fly him in, pay, feed and house, and let him do his magic than to use local contractors who often do not show up on time and the quality of their work is certainly suspect. When he leaves everything is perfect. Now we are talking to him about a new car barn.

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It is Friday, June 26th. Well, the bathroom is done and Tim is flying home as I write this. Looks and works great. Now the cleanup begins. Already have the Suburban stuffed with debris. Off to the dump tomorrow morning.

And if we did not have enough work already, our first load of hay arrived, 85 bales. We will offload and stack tonight after it cools off a bit.

On the car side I received the seat reinforcement plate from Classic Enterprises. Looks to be a quality piece and stout. So this is another thing I have to do to get the Avanti off the front lawn and on the road again.

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It is Friday, June 27th, PM. Busy day. Started by moving and stacking 86 bales of hay into the barn and then off to the dump with a truck load of construction debris. No car stuff today, just farm, and now it is over 90 and too hot outside to do anything.

We had a nice evening last night. Here is a pic of our Blue Ridge mountains at sunset.

And I had just a quick note from Greg. Here is what he is up to.

" Haven't had much contact coming or going, we're on projects with long hours. Avanti 5054 is waiting on :

*custom made braided stainless trans cooler hoses to arrive

*new battery and starter cables to arrive

* return of the oil temperature gauge that I sent out for overhaul

*some parts sent out for rechrome (taillights, headlamp rims, exhaust extensions, door vent window "

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It is Saturday morning, June 28th. Nice morning so decided to tackle putting in the new transmission cooler lines. The old ones are corroded badly and one is leaking. There are four sections for the two lines. There are "quick" disconnect fitting on the ends. Well they would be quick disconnect if everything was not so corroded.

Anyway, got the front two sections off by cutting the middle fittings. Then I decided to see if I can get the long rear lines disconnected. My bad. I should have looked at the manual.

It says you have to remove the exhaust system, transmission support, rad hoses and with a transmission jack, lower the transmission to get to the lines. Well, I am not going to do that for sure. I am going to run a couple of sections of hoses and combine the old with the new, cutting out the corroded section on one line. The lines are not much money so I will not be out a lot. And I will have a running truck again. If the tranny ever needs replacing then I can do the lines.

But like anything it will not be easy to cut the lines and splice in the rubber lines. Not much room. I will report later with pics and hopefully a completion story.

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Still Saturday, now early PM. So about three hours later I have removed the air cleaner and the washer bottle. That gave me just enough room to get a little pipe cutter on the lines to make good cuts and remove the rusty sections. I ran to NAPA and picked up some special 400 psi hose, which will be great to splice the lines together. I do not have to cut or modify the new pipe, just have to slip the rubber hose over the barb and clamp it. I will use two clamps on the line that I cut to accept the new rubber line. It is cooking outside and the truck is in the sun so I am giving up for the day. Will put it all together tomorrow morning.

Here are a couple of pics. You can see one of the newly cut lines. Also is a shot of the rusty line that was leaking badly. And finally a general shot of the air cleaner and washer system out of the way.

Opps, forgot. We have a Jaguar Club picnic tomorrow. Not going to do anything to get ready. Just got a note that there will be over 30 cars there. It is only 7 miles away so it is very close to us. Will take pics.

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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