unimogjohn

Avanti R2, 1963, refresh

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Pat, I will check those pins.

And it is Thursday, November 8th, AM and we have a Greg Avanti report. Starting a warm up, 50 degrees today and 70 on Sunday.

"Black Wednesday in more ways than one. Gloss and semi-gloss.

Since I've been neglecting 5054, I took tonight for the radiator. Having been cleaned and tested, it was time to prep and paint it. I'd already stripped the paint from the tanks and supports, so I covered both sides of the core with cardboard and then lightly bead blasted the surroundings to get them ready for color.

Short on paint, a late-night trip to WalMart enabled me to shoot a light coat of primer on the steel parts, a light coat of semi-gloss on the core to give it some color but not insulate the fins, then gloss black on the tanks and supports.

After it has dried thoroughly and I find the mounting bolts, I can not only get it installed in the car, but I can also get that painted hood off the hangar floor and back on."

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Still Thursday, late AM. Every day I try to do something to one of the old cars. Does not matter if it is much. Just checking the oil or wiping something off is enough. Today is one of those days.

I ordered the final number of grease dust covers for the 23 McLaughlin Buick yesterday. I ordered 10 of about 25. I only had a couple when I bought the car so have been collecting a few here and there as I found them. Looking through the restorationstuff.com catalog I see they had them. Upon inspection, they are new, not NOS. If they were NOS they would have been nickle plated with a little burled edge. But no matter as I have the NOS ones where they can be seen. These will go on the underside of the car and on the shackle grease pins for the springs and front steering rods.

As a judging matter, I did get a point or two knocked off for not having these all in place at the Buick Nationals.

So now they are all on. Here are a couple of pics to include one of the parts I ordered; a new wiper blade for the 23 that I will have to resize, metal ties, and woven fuel line sleeve to hopefully help the dreaded vapor lock in the summer.

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It is Friday, November 9th, AM. It is warming up here, heading north to 70 degrees on Monday. And things are still hot with Greg as he continues on the Avanti. Speaking of Avanti's, I just received an email from Jerry Forrester. He said that my Avanti front bumper is done and on the way back to me. Wow, now that is a quick turnaround for sure. Will post pics when it arrives.

"I still haven't adjusted to this darned time change. So with no commute to work, I've been hitting the floor "early". Today, with my plan of getting the radiator mounted in 5054, the hardware needed to be found so that I could get it prepared. Same for the hood's bolts and prop. The prop bracket was sad, really rusty. The scraps from our shear contained a piece of .062 mild steel, and a few minutes later I had a new one. Quick and dirty shear and punch work. That was before I clocked in.

Tonight after the hardware was prepped, I carried the radiator to the tin shed (a wind tunnel), dropped it in place and stuck a couple screws in it. I tried to put the screws in the hood. They won't go until I clean the threads with a tap, so unless it warms up.... I'll get to it in the Spring.

Oh how I long for the days when everyone else is complaining about the heat."

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Edited by unimogjohn
my bumper coming back (see edit history)

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Still Friday, but PM. Ever watch the TV show "Wheeler Dealers"? It is a buy, fix and flip British car show with Mike Brewer and his ace mechanic, Ed China. I enjoy the show as Ed actually gets dirty. Anyway I had recorded one last week that was about a Jag Mark 2. It was blowing lots of engine smoke and Ed figured that the blow-by canister and breather assembly filter was bad. Well, he pulled the breather from the front of the engine and by golly the mesh filter was clogged. So he cleaned it up and put it back together and viola, no more smoking.

So today I started up the Jag. Came right to life. Let it warm up and then put it back in the trailer. Going to take it on a run tomorrow or Sunday. Was looking at the engine and remembered the Mark 2 episode. Same engine as my 120, but 3.8 versus 3.4. Ummm, I wonder if I should check my breather assembly. Only four little bolts. So pulled the breather. Looked really nice and clean, but no filter. Nothing to gunk up. Everything looked good, so cleaned everything up, lubed the water pump and fan hub assembly, and put her back together. So here are a couple of pics.

Oh, and the Avanti front bumper came home today. Will open the box tomorrow.

Suppose to be nicer tomorrow so plan to spend the day burning all the debris that came down. I know, wood burning equals pollution, but that is about the only way we have to get rid of stuff in the country.

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Hello

MG Midgets and Healy Sprite were famous for blocking up their crankcase breathers too. I had one that once it started to blow out smoke it would stop the traffic. Looking back through the car's service history the first owner had a VERY expensive engine rebuild done at 12,000 miles and sold the car almost straight after. I wonder why?

"Keep on keeping on"

Bj

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Two comments:

1. It is interesting for a Canuck, and a Northern one at that, to hear a Virginian complaining about the cold.

2. Isnt the Jag XK engine a thing of beauty even if you see one little part of it?

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As a South-eastern Australian I don't know what cold is, by either Canadian or US standards and don't really want to find out. I agree the Jag engine is pretty nice until you compare it with a Lagonda Rapier which came almost 20 years earlier. There is a story that suggests that Jaguar had dismantled a Rapier engine in their Drawing Office when the first started working on the XK engine.

As a Rapier owner for the past 40+ years perhaps I am just a little prejudiced?

"Keep on keeping on"

Bj.

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Better than a photo the actual factory drawings. Note especially the crankshaft, this is a 1934 1100cc engine.

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"Keep on keeping on"

Bj

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Bernie, thanks. It does look like a miniature Jag engine.

It is Saturday, November 10th, PM. Took the Jag out for a nice long run with Shadow peering out the passenger window. He had a great time too.

Finished putting the ignition wire boots on the distributor cap. I noticed that one of the wire holes on the cap was oxidized so took the time time to clean it up with my trusty Dremel tool. With everything back together I started her up. She roared to life. She does sound like an early airplane engine without the muffler connected. Actually kinda like it.

I then cut out the plastic tie wraps and installed a couple of the metal ones. I do not know how they are suppose to attach to themselves so took my best guess. The reason I am putting on the metal ties is that you cannot have them on during judging or you will lose points. I was tried of cutting them off for every show where the car was being shown. So now all is in "period". If anyone has an idea as how they are suppose to be fastened just let me know.

I also unpacked the Avanti front bumper. All repaired, replated and look great. Will paint the inside silver tomorrow as it looks to be another nice day. Greg told me to paint the back of the bumpers as the back of them will start to rust over time. He is right, they do, and quickly too. Now I do it every time.

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John, I have two British cars which use the metal straps. The capillary, or brake line or whatever, actually goes inside the 'butterfly" part of the strap. It is placed on top of the strap, then the strap makes a wrap around the pipe and places the butterfly on top, then another warp, and then through the slots in the ears and under the butterfly, and then folds back onto itself. Harder to explain than do. Looks neat when done. I assume they would be similar on your Buick.

Attached are a couple of photos- disregard the color change of the strap due to the flash.

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It is Sunday, November 11th PM. Spent most the day at the cat emergency hospital. Last night "Tan" came down from the loft hopping on three legs. One was just dangling. Not good.

This morning he was no better to rushed him to the emergency weekend hospital about 40 miles away. He was not a happy camper. After examination and x-rays it was determined that he has a shattered upper forearm. Tomorrow morning he is scheduled for surgery to set it or remove the leg. It will be up to the surgeon to decide what is best to do. We think that he was hit by a car, probably got him in mid flight and hit the bumper. I guess it is better than the alternative. Worse case, we will have a three legged cat.

Got home in the afternoon, and did some farm chores. Also had the time to put on the silver paint on the backside of the Avanti front bumper and the rubber bumpettes. They also have a metal plate on the back and had rust on them. So now everything has a good coat of silver Rustoleum.

And a special thanks to Tarheel for the fastener hint. Fixed them too. Now the look right.

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It is Monday, November 12th. Early PM. No news on Tan the cat.

I got a new wiper blade from Restorationstuff.com. I knew that it was going to be long, but it cut with tin snips. I had to enlarge a mounting hole on the blade, but got it all fitted. The rubber just goes on these after a couple of years. I really never use the wiper, but you just have to have it. Oh, and it is hand operated too.

Just got a note from Greg too. So here is his report.

"The weekend past brought us some nice weather. Mine got started early with a visit from Michigan Glenn Miller. His arrival Friday began with a walk through the shop and then a ride in the maroon car found us on Rob's doorstep to kick his tires. Nice visit on all parts.

Saturday was an opportunity to visit the tin barn and 5054. I got the hood screwed in place (but not adjusted) without barking any paint . I'm sure glad it is off the floor and not underfoot.

Found a few things to bead blast , hung the supercharger bracket and also did some red paint touchup.

It was also an opportunity to dust off Seabiscuit for a run to the starter and alternator repair guy. Dropped off Avanti 5054's alt and then a quick visit to Mitch and Ed Sine's to retrieve that auction Remy magneto.

Yesterday was pleasant, and a day to enjoy company. Being Armistice Day, Barb and I enjoyed a meal at Olive Garden, mine being complimentary. A brief stop at the Manassas battlefield to pay homage to those veterans long gone.

Then for dinner, I snagged Col. Britton and we met Sgt. Lee at Applebee's for another Veteran's Day Special. Not only very nice gestures by establishments like these, but also a way to bring veterans of all ages together to appreciate those I respect and admire. Thanks to all."

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Still Monday, but PM. Got the call from the Vet surgeon. Tan goes under this afternoon. Will be an extensive reconstruction and will include an external brace. I will pick him up tomorrow. He has to be inside and in a controlled environment for at least two months.

Worked some on the 23 McLaughlin Buick. Here are a couple of pics of the windshield wiper. Just a little 7 inch wiper blade.

The last time the car was nationally judged it had some cosmetic things that caused points to be deducted. One was that the paint under the gas cap had bubbled due to gas spilling on it. The second one was the top of the rear light was not fully painted. So decided today to see if I could correct them. One thing with an old car, no one, including the judges expect things to be perfect, but they do have to be correct and presentable.

I sanded down the offending bubbled painted and repainted it in gloss black. After it dries I will take some rubbing compound and wax, and hopefully everything will be blended together. I also spayed the top of the rear light. Here are pics of the before and after.

Tomorrow am going to repack the water pump seals.

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Well, I'll be darned, what happened to the judges that appreciate "patina" John ?? The gas related wrinkles and age on the light show you have class and drive it too !! John

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John, I find that the Buick National and AACA judges do give you a little slack, but not so with the Jaguar judges. Not a little bit even in the driver's class. But actually I would rather have them hard and consistent rather than loosey goosey. There is no way I can compete with the big boys even at the regional level, so I just try to make sure that everything looks as good as it can be. Paint is cheap.

I just got my scoring sheet from the Jaguar Concours in Reston, VA. That is where I placed third. I was entered in the driver's class not the champion class. I really got marked down for the chrome on the car. I need to replace most of it except for the headlights. Bumpers, rear lights, fittings, etc. That exercise would cost about $2000, and I am not ready to do that.

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It is Thursday, November 15th. Not much going on. Picked up Tan, the cat, from the hospital and he is now on the mend. Will be on bed rest for two months. Here are a couple of pics.

And here is a report from Greg. With winter and holidays approaching he is slowing down too.

"Hasn't been much news fit to print lately.

Good news/bad news.

Good news? Well my old friend Bill Honan is back working with us. Taking some time off from his flying job, he's helping sort out a 1929 biplane here for restoration. Right up his alley. He knows old airplanes and how to fix them. This one, a Parks Air College product, as I understand it, was built by students. Add in the fact that it's been cracked up and patched up a number of times, plus he's stepping into the project with it all apart, he's got his hands full.

I guess you need an 'Ol Bill story. The first one that comes to mind was years ago, back when he worked for us the first time. It was just the two of us, Ken was still driving a 727 for American and would be gone three days a week. We'd get lots done and have a good time as well.

One bright summer morning we stood staring at the time clock. As we were about to punch in, I asked what were we going to do today. He responded that he didn't have anything special in mind, what did I want to do. I said "Let's go to lunch". He said "Where?" . I said "Captain Franks Hot Dog Stand". He shrugged his shoulders, we put our timecards back, strolled out to his Cessna 150 parked outside and took off for Kitty Hawk.

I did a lot of the flying and upon arrival at First Flight Airport, we parked the airplane and walked over to the beach. Took off our shoes and walked the four miles to Captain Frank's. After buying lunch and T-shirts, it was back to the beach (he still comments about finding a frog on the beach), back to the airplane and back to the shop. Nothing like a hard day at the office.

Bill has been a great friend and there's lots of stories.

As for current progress, not much. Today did bring about some Good news/bad news. It came during a visit to a friend's machine shop. Carl got his start as machinist a long time ago and he's a constant source of solid information on the trade. I find excuses to visit, a good one being to borrow his ancient dividing head. I've got to cut some gear teeth and his machine is quite steady.

He also knows about cars, doesn't take him long to start spouting specs on 406 Fords, supercharged T-birds, etc. Today he mentioned that he had to pull the transmission out of his truck. That's when I thought to ask if he had a floor type transmission jack.

I've been looking to borrow one so that I could get that trans back in 5054. Jacks like that have fast become obsolete with the advent of the affordable post type lift. That has eliminated lying on your back beneath a car. It just isn't fun anymore and the jacks have been thrown away with relish.

Good news is he has one. Bad news is he has one. No excuse now not to get that job done. Like hitting your thumb with a hammer, it will feel better when it's over.

When Bill saw the jack, he said "When are we going to put it in?"

See, I told you he was a good guy. Tomorrow evening."

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It is Friday morning, November 16th. Here is Greg's report.

"Well, it's in. With 'Ol Bill's help, the transmission is in place in the Avanti 5054. We knocked off a little early from the day job to get started.

Got the unit positioned on the jack and after raising the car just a little higher, began the task.

Careful and deliberate, we were able to get it up in place over the frame X member and then maneuver the front shaft into place. No cursing, no smashed fingers or even blood blisters. Just a gradual alignment and closing of the gap until it now hangs with a couple bolts securing it. At that point, the sun had set, a chill was settling in and we called it a night.

With that milestone accomplished, we washed up and I took Bill to the local steakhouse. The boy earned it, he's good help.

I'll go back and finish securing it when I feel like it. Right now I just want to enjoy the realization that that chore is over."

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