unimogjohn

Avanti R2, 1963, refresh

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It is Tuesday, July 17th. Not much new to report. I did spend some time on the Jaguar before it just got too hot. I was reviewing the maintenance section of the operator manual, and it mention that there were two grease fitting on the water pump and fan hub that were often overlooked during normal servicing. So I went out to find and grease them. Now I know why they were often overlooked. They are tucked way in there and hardly any room to get your grease nipple on them. But I was successful so they are now done.

I then checked the PM mail and behold, the 1996 program for the Meadow Brook Hall Concours arrived. And in the 1995 results page I spied the Jaguar 120. It was award 2nd place in class J. So now I have proper documentation that it did receive an award. Here are the pics.

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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It is Wednesday, July 18th. One good thing about Greg's posts is that he pens them late in the evening, so I get to have them with my morning coffee too. Me, I am usually up early, as the cats begin gnawing on my feet so I will get up and feed them. So, here is Greg's report from last night, as I sip away at my coffee.

"Well, an advantage of living at your place of work, like I do, is that your boss knows where you sleep.

Another early morning, a road trip with Ken took us into Pennsylvania, almost to New York. Made us late getting back, but I've still managed to mix and spray some red on more engine components. The various pulleys are being installed on the rotisserie and sprayed one at a time. Studying the existing photos carefully documents that the Granatellis certainly painted most everything red.

My plan for this evening was to also get the stand supports cut and welded, but at this point in time, think I might search out and cut a couple pieces of steel, clean the paint gun, and call it a day."

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It is Thursday, July 19th. Even in this heat, Greg presses ahead. He is working in the shop, but it is still warm. Here is his report from last night.

"Pushing hard on the night shift.

Shot more paint tonight. Doesn't look like much, three pieces, but when you have to make the adapter to mount the pulley on the rotisserie, prep and prime the other parts, it all takes time.

In between coats I worked on those support struts for the stand. Now cut, adjusted and welded, they can be prepped and readied for paint. Haven't decided what color use on the stand itself. Something businesslike but won't distract from the subject.

Now I can start hanging parts on the engine itself.

I am carefully studying existing black and white photographs to accurately capture each color and detail.

Don't ask me why they painted the pulleys themselves.

Mustn't forget to clean the paint gun."

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It is Friday, July 20th. Rain coming in today, and not as hot. Yahoo!

And Greg is hopping around trying to get the R3 display engine completed. He told me that he wants to take it to South Bend, IN for the Studebaker Nationals at the end of the month. He says it is "iffy". But he is trying. Here is his report.

'By the hardware store before work, picked out some paint for the engine stand.

During lunch I prepped and painted the struts I made so that they could be installed after work.

With them in place, I started hanging parts, heads and gaskets, coolant manifold, right side blower bracket, etc.

I'll finish painting the stand another day. More important things first. Pages are flying off of the calendar like in an old movie.

So with space to fill , more photos for your viewing pleasure.

*Two old guys tooling around in Eldon Eby's Cutting.

*Greg hops a ride.

*Dan Miller out for a spin.

That Miller Meet sure was a good time."

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It is Sunday, July 22nd. A few days ago I sent an email to a person I thought might be the son of the original owner of the Jaguar. To my surprise I received a call this afternoon from Jack. Turns out that Jack was the owner and not his dad; and was the fourth owner. He purchased the car in 1965 for $650 and sold it in 1979. When he bought the Jag from a used car lot, it was not running as it had some engine issues. Jack said that he and his dad quickly diagnosed the problem in the vale train, pulled the head and had it fixed. When he sold the car it has 20,260 miles on the odometer. Jack is 76 years old. Oh, and the car has only 25,650 miles today.

He also told me that he believed the original owner to be Mark Stephens of Port St. Ritchie, FL. Mark was the director of the Arthur Murray Dance Studio there. The next owner had the car repainted in the original color as he wanted to remove the dance studio advertisement that was painted on the front wings/fender of the car.

Jack said that he had a binder full of pictures and historical information on all the owners. He said that he would make copies of everything and send them off. He said that he was sorry that the car is missing its tools and jack. He said that those were all there at one point. He was very happy that I had contacted him, and was more than pleased that the car survives today. We talked for about two hours.

I am sure their more tales to tell in the future. All this is so exciting.

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It is Monday, July 23rd. I did get the Avanti out yesterday and gave her a bath too. Looks great glistening in the sun.

But Greg is doing real work. Here is his report. I think he is going to go to the Studebaker meet in South Bend at the end of the month. I have offered the use of the truck and trailer (since he still has it) to haul up his Avanti and the engine he is preparing.

"Sunday night and where did the weekend go?

Friday night I'd planned to make a fast trip to Rob's to fetch some parts, but a driving rainstorm turned us around. Instant replay Saturday morining was successful.

With plenty of work to do to meet an upcoming deadline, there wasn't much time for playing. And so that's pretty much the tale.

Photo enclosed of my day spent in uncharted territory. Plumbing."

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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John- I don't want to steal your's or Seventh son's thunder but I could use some help with my Avanti and figure your audience is a good place to ask! So I started a thread on the Technical section with my questions and would appreciate anyone flipping over there and looking at it. I also begged on Chris's thread for help.

Like you I was thrilled to hear my car run for the first time in two years last nite! And now I want to get it finished up and home, been gone too long!! I have enjoyed both threads from the start and even used pics from here (pg 11-13) in the shop last nite trying to figure out the ignition electric. The pics helped a lot!

So if anyone can jump over and offer ideas I would appreciate the help-

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It is Wednesday, July 25th, PM. Just got back from a round trip to upstate PA to pick up a huge portable fan for the llamas. It is called a Heat Buster. Does a great job of making wind. We have one and it just so happened that the motor for it burned up yesterday. Anyway, a motor is on order. But I won the new one on Ebay for less than 1/3 of the cost of a new one, a new one runs about $1000. So it was worth it to go up and get it. Cost about $65 in gas.

When I got back I got an email from Greg, and he said that he is going to take my truck and trailer to South Bend next week. Leaving on Monday so he can set up the display R5 engine. So he is going to put the engine and his Maroon Avanti in the trailer and head up for the week.

Meanwhile back at my place I have decided to enter the Jag in the National Capital Jaguar Club concours in early October. It will be an official judged event so I took a look at the judging standards for the champion and driver divisions. No way can I compete in the champion division so will enter the driver competition. Even that will be a difficult event. Just too many things incorrect on my car that will add deductions like crazy. But then again it is worth the attempt just for the sake of doing it. It would probably cost me about $5000 just to qualify for the champion level anyway so the driver entry is the way to go. So I will start with the most inexpensive things and move up from there, and see how far I can go without going crazy.

So today I received two little handles for my heater vents under the dash. One of mine is missing and of course the judge's manual says look to make sure both are there. The other thing is that the car is suppose to have metal caps on the tire valves. I have modern rubber ones. So I got the correct ones and put them on tonight to include the spare.

For sure I will get major deductions for not have a complete tool roll, I only have a mallet. I am missing all the tools so a big deduction. A correct and complete tool roll is about $1000. I am not going to that for sure. I also have a modern alternator versus a generator, not going to change that out either. I also have two modern speakers mounted in the wrong place, so "ka-ching", another deduction. And my exhaust headers, the glass coating is starting to flake off so will take a hit there. A new coating, which may last only a season or two, will cost $1200 or so. So will do what I can do, and just enjoy the experience. I will report here what I am doing. And how much I have spent. Right now I am at $35.

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Edited by unimogjohn
added pics (see edit history)

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It is Thursday, July 26th. The heat is on. Going up to 105 today. The barn fans are going to get a workout today. My biggest job will be to keep the llamas hosed down.

And Greg is getting ready for the big reveal. He still has a lot of hanging of to do on the engine, but all the piece parts are rebuilt, referbushed or NOS. Will be great to see the engine all complete. But here is his report from last night.

"Trying to get this engine ready for show and tell. It's to be loaded on the trailer coming Monday and I've got most of a legal tablet page of things yet to be done. Spent tonight doing things most of which I'd forgotten to list, like drill the stand and install lthe bolts in the support struts, paint the stand, etc.

I'm making every effort to make a good showing. I guess this South Bend debut will the the first time this R-5 stuff has been seen in public since the Due Cento Avanti was displayed at an auto show (Los Angeles I think) about the time of the Bonneville runs in '63.

Stay tuned."

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It is Friday, July 27th, PM. It has been so hot here the past few days you cannot work outside for any duration. Just not fun. But today I did start the repair of the big barn fan. I took everything apart and tomorrow will wash and clean it. It is starting to rust so will do some rust removal and paint work to bring it back to new.

Yesterday we had Larry and Joan (dibarlaw on the forum) drop by for a visit. Larry and I worked on the 1922 Buick model 45 up in Baltimore, MD. He has 1922 and 1937 Buicks. Anyway, I was showing him the cars, and I went to start the Jaguar for him and maybe even take a spin. Turned the key and nothing. The battery was stone cold dead.

After they departed I went out to the Jaguar with the battery charger. So I hooked it up and it immediately went off with a little green light showing, which meant that the battery was fully charged. So ??????????????. Well the car has a shut off switch in the battery compartment. I never used it except once or twice just to see if it worked. Well it decided to give out, and in both the on and off position it is off. I can jiggle it and it makes a connection.

Just so happens that I have a new switch that I bought off Ebay a month ago. Was going to put it in the Avanti, but now it looks like it will probably go into the Jag.

No news from Greg. He is either getting ready for the Studebaker show in South Bend or already on his way.

So as I depart I leave you with a few pics, the fan, new motor, and then the switches.

Opps, just got a note from Greg. He is working hard on the Avanti R5 race motor. Almost done. He plans on loading on Monday and heading out on Tuesday. Hopes to be in South Bend Wednesday morning. He has folks lined up to help him unload and move the motor to the display area. And he get to go around the Studebaker proving ground track in his Avanti on Saturday. He is going to have a great time.

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Edited by unimogjohn
added info on Greg status (see edit history)

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It is Sunday, July 29th, early PM. Nothing from Greg in the past couple of days. He must be too busy to report.

Yesterday was a hot one. We were out on a farm visit and recorded this outside temperature on the Passat's instrument cluster.

Decided to work on the Jaguar this morning and replace that cut-off switch. Got it out and found the problem. The pot metal case had started to separate from age and allowed the mechanism to basically fall apart. Had to drill out the bracket for the larger switch and then had to mount it sideways to enable the car's back enclosure to close properly. All this sounds simple, but a lot of work both on the topside and under the car. Took about four hours.

While I was under the car I took a look at the exhaust clamps. they were pointing down, so I loosened them up and turned them 45 degrees. Easy job as the exhaust system and brackets are new and have not had a chance to rust up.

Now the pooch and I can go and take a ride.

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John, possibly a dumb question. What is the purpose of turning the exhaust clamps?

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I don't like mine pointing down as anytime I am under a car, I catch and scrape my arm, leg, head etc.etc.etc....

Pointing sideway avoids this problem.

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Pat, what Bill wrote is exactly my experience. In addition, if you looked at the car from the rear, the clamp ends were the lowest part of the car and would not be too much trouble catching one on some obstruction and damaging the exhaust system. And I guess more importantly I just did not like the "look" of the dangling ends.

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And I guess more importantly I just did not like the "look" of the dangling ends.

I understand that type of thinking, Scott...

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Thank you makes sense. And here I was going through great pains to make sure mine were pointed straight down.

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It is Monday, July 30th, PM. I did get a report from Greg, the Studebaker R5 engine is complete. By this time tomorrow it will be in South Bend. I have pics from Greg, but he asked me not to release them until he arrives at the show. So will post them Wednesday morning.

I finished sanding the barn fan and then prepped it for painting. Put on two coats of Eastwood's black rust encapsulator paint. I like the stuff as it is strong as iron when dried and keeps the dreaded rust away. Tomorrow I am going to paint the inside of the fan light gray and the outside with a black pick-up bed spray on material from Rustoleum. Why these colors? Because I have them sitting around so I will not have to spend another dime on the fan.

Oh, in reading the Jaguar judging manual it says you must have a front license plate holder and plate. It does not need to be on the car, but must be displayed with the car. I have a plate, and now I have a holder compliments of Ebay. Nice piece and very good quality.

I was done with the fan so started mowing the back yard. Bam! Ouch! Got stung on my hand. See the pics of the result, right and left hand. Notice any difference? Gave up for the day. My hand hurts.

And now a big thunder and wind storm just blew through, and we are without power. The generator kicked on immediately. Best investment I have ever made.

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Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)

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It is Tuesday, July 31st. If you are on the west coast this is for your morning coffee, east coast is lunch time. Got done with my projects this morning and now the storms are fast approaching. The one last night knocked out power for four hours.

I got an early start this morning, but Greg started earlier. At 4 AM I got a note that he and Barb were on their way to South Bend. He said that he has the engine straped down at the front of the trailer and the maroon Avanti behind it. He did not say, but I wonder if he might leave the R5 engine at the Studebaker Museum for a bit. If they asked him I bet he would do it.

I decided to paint the farm fan, and she came out pretty good. I will let the paint dry for a few hours and then start putting everything back together. Should only take about an hour or so. Then the fan should be good for at least the next five years or so.

I then looked at how the license plate attached to the bumper of the Jaguar. I decided to paint the plate (as long as I had the black paint out for the fan) and then mounted the plate. It was pretty easy to take off a couple of bumper bolts and put on the plate holder. Does not looks too bad so will leave it on for now. At least I will avoid a ticket. With vintage plates and old cars the local police do not seem to mind not having a front plate, but then again it only takes one rookie looking to write that first ticket.

And my hand itched like hell all last night. It is still swollen this morning. Damn wasps. This is what it looked like at about midnight last night. Still looks about the same at noon today.

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It is still Tuesday, but PM. Greg called about an hour ago. They are motoring along. For a second I thought he was going to tell me that the truck engine or transmission blew up. Nope, he just wanted to check in. The are passing through Columbus, Ohio. Only about six hours to go until they hit the hotel. That puts them in about 9 PM. They will check in and get some dinner, and then unload in the morning. Greg wants to attend as many "how to" Avanti seminars he can find.

After I got the license plate installed I grabbed the pooch and we headed out for a ride. Was only going to go a few miles, but ended up going about 25. The car was running really sweet.

After that the paint was dry enough and I installed the motor, hooked up the electrics and grates, and fired up the big fan. She is alive!

Here she is. Summertime, nothing better than a big fan for a hot llama. Divine.

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Chris, just call me Popeye.

It is Wednesday, August 1st. Here is the report that Greg sent me on Monday about the R5 engine.

"Hey John,

It's been very busy these past weeks, but it looks like I've made my deadline. I'm putting the finishing touches on the Studebaker R-5. I'm enclosing a brief summary of the project and some photos.

Please don't share them until Wednesday. I'd like for it to make it's debut there at the South Bend show.

Meanwhile, I'll be working in and around the shop tomorrow, trying to get things ready for the trip.

oooo0000OOOO0000oooo

As I've said before, I'm old enough now to finish projects I started as far back as high school. This is one of those long term projects. That's when I started writing to Paxton Products in regard to one of their prototype engines. The Studebaker R-5.

It had been built in 1963 for one purpose. A modified Studebaker R-3 304 cu. in. V8 , a special order option for Avantis as well as the other models, this one was to push a highly modified engineering protoype Avanti to the 200 mph mark. The Granatellis had been acquired by Studebaker to be their performance department. With their extensive background in all fields of racing, they were quick to adapt some of the methods used in their Novi Indy car program. A second supercharger was added and a Bendix aircraft fuel injection unit was borrowed from their Novi pile. One source claims the R-5 produced 638 hp. Whatever the figure, the engine was installed in one of the Bonneville Salt Flat

team Avantis.

This car received all the bells and whistles. Belly pan, fairings, skirts, parachute pack.....every trick they could .

But, it was a bad year on the salt. Slippery conditions held the "Due Cento" Avanti to 196 mph. I'm told the car made just a few runs, after all they had a full team of Studebakers to press and maintain. Other records to break. After their return to their Santa Monica facility, the R-5 was soon cannibalized. Various tales as to the whereabouts of some components have been difficult to trace.

As for my involvement, I had been on a letter writing campaign while in the military with little success. The Granatellis weren't in the information business, and it was only luck that one of my letters arrived when they had decided to liquidate their leftover Studebaker components, R-5 parts included.

So now, forty-five years later, here's another check mark on my big list.

oooo0000OOOO0000oooo"

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Still Wednesday, AM. Well Greg and Barb made it to South Bend. Even an adventure getting there. Here is his report. The pics he sent were the ones in my previous post so will not re-post them.

"Greetings from beautifully Moonlit South Bend, Indiana.

Got an early start hauling the newly restored Studebaker engine and also the maroon Avanti. Studebaker National Meet. Haven't been here since '74 I think.

It was an uneventful trip that was highlighted by my sidekick Barbara who, with her GPS, was navigating. I, of course, hadn't taken the time to familiarize myself with the route using a good, old fashioned road map. Needless to say, who or whatever laid out our route had a perverse sense of humor. We were directed to take some backroads that degenerated into cowpath status, one incident found us jackknifed at a country intersection without an exit. Did I mention we were dragging a car hauler about the size of the the thing that Luci and Dezi used for that old movie. Anyway, we made it in and now to prepare to unload the engine in the morning. It will be on display at the Singer Building for the duration of the show.

Here at the satellite motel there are a number of Studies. Looking forward to an overdose of them."

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