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Roger, I'm just running water in her temporarily until she gets settled in. Then I'll do a nice flush of the system and put some antifreeze mix in. Probably after a few hundred miles or so. I'm going to keep a close eye on things and I may have to pull that radiator and have it cleaned.

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Well, I couldn't stay away long. Today at lunchtime I snuck down to the Avanti's new home and spent some more quality time with her. The first thing I did was check the fluids - the oil was fine, still looking clean. The supercharger oil was fine, and the expansion tank had about an inch of water in it.Then I put the wheel covers on. They look nice - dressed her up a little. I wanted to see how the car started when cold so I climbed in, pumped the accelerator a time or two and turned the key. She fired right up! Nice! The engine ran at a high idle (choke works) until I tapped the accelerator, then she fell down to that nice idle I like so much.

Well, since she's running, I might as well take her out for a bit. So, out we went. Just like I remembered from yesterday - nice running engine, throaty exhaust, excellent throttle response. Just a thrill to drive. I drove some back roads for a bit, watching the temp gauge the whole time. The temperature behaved nicely for several minutes, staying at around 180 degrees. At one point I pulled over and let her idle while I took a few pictures. After I resumed driving I noticed the temp gauge starting to climb. It never got overly hot, but it was climbing a bit by the time I took her back and parked her.

So, it's something I will need to keep an eye on - I will replace the temp sender unit just as a precaution and to see if that may be the problem. The thing I find curious is, why does it hold a decent temp for 15 minutes, then start to climb some? Maybe some parts of the radiator are clogged. Maybe it could use a dose of a radiator flush type solution. I will look into it.The pictures below show the newly placed hubcaps, and a couple of shots of the temp gauge.

Meanwhile, at home, I have to replace a wireless modem before I can post any pics from that location. Always something to do....

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Chris, from many years of experience, you are just dodging the inevitable. The radiator needs to come off and at least be rodded out. They remove the tanks from the core for this. If was me, I would just recore and be done. Lot cheaper than overheating and cooking the engine.

Beautiful car.

Ben

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I think you're right Ben. I'm going to check into radiator shops, problem is there are none locally so I may have to travel a bit. Or investigate a little further - I'll ask Alan Himes at the shop. It'll be wise money spent to get that radiator right.

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Resist the urge to polish and paint it. That car just looks serious to me. Once you paint it, then you have what every other Avanti owner has, a painted Avanti. In my opinion, you've got something far more fun looking. As I mentioned when you first started posting, I've never been a fan of Avantis, but I'd put your car in my garage in a heartbeat.

Nice work!

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Thank you West, that's a nice compliment. I've been noticing the trend to keep things "toasty" (as Mike Wolf on American Pickers would say) and I "get" it. I agree with you, the car looks serious, she's had her battles and she shows it. I was sort of shy about driving her around looking all busted up, but now I'm coming around. She's one of a kind and will wear her scars proudly. Besides, no worries, I can't afford to paint her!

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Have a few more rides Chris, to see if the tendency to overheat is persistent. Maybe do a flush. If you can, don't remove the rad until the next winter layup. If there is winter where you live that is.

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Thanks Pat - good advice. We still have the occasional winter around here but this last "winter" was pretty mild. Thankfully, because I was working on the Avanti! I agree about driving her around a bit more, I'm going to keep a close eye on things and try a couple of smaller things first. One, I'm going to replace the sender unit, two, I'm going to get one of those thermostats that Paul recommended and put that in. And three, I'll give it a good flush, probably when I do the thermostat. All three of those things will add up to about 50 bucks. Truth is, it really reminds me of a balky thermostat, just not opening and closing like it should.

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Hi Chris, congratulations on getting the Avanti running and on the road. Just in time for the driving season. I have been following your and John's project blogs and enjoying reading about all the ups and downs and ins and outs of these cars. I am looking to acquire a 63/64 Avanti, but need to sell my 2007 Honda S2000 first. I agree with the suggestions about getting the radiator cleaned. You might as well do it now as it will not get any better. Also, you may want to consider installing one of the fail-safe thermostats. They go to the open position when they fail instead of to the closed position of conventional ones. They are available in the common sizes and temperature ratings. Thanks.

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Thanks for the comments, John. I was going to pick up my baby at lunch today but a rain storm rolled along around 11:30 and stuck around for a while. So,I went to the auto parts store and purchased a temperature sending unit, which won't be in until tomorrow. I'll put that in and drain the water out and replace it with fresh. Then I'll drive her around a bit and see what the gauge reads. In the meantime I'll order one of those thermostats that Paul told me about. I'll just take it one step at a time and work my way toward the radiator deal. I talked to Alan Himes at the shop yesterday and he hooked me up with a good radiator shop in the area so I've got that lined up in case I need it.

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Your comment about keeping it stock, so you'll put the glass headlight cover on. I would put that temptation on hold...while your still working on it. There's a big difference between driving it and parking it, or driving it, parking it and working around/on it. I've lost part's from letting other's work on something (they have visiting friend's), not to mention broken accidentally.

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Yeah, maybe I better go with the plastic covers until I get this thing all sorted out. That could be years! My wife said that 3M has some plastic covering that protects glass from breaking - she wants to get some for her fog lights on the Acura, since she's had 2 glass lenses break from rocks.

Now that I replaced the wireless router here at home I can post pictures again. Here are a few that my wife took as she followed me home from the shop. I was shocked about how much the Avanti was smoking! Of course, I don't know why I am shocked - the engine sat for 2 and a half decades, almost. Geez, I'm just happy she runs as well as she does! I'm hoping the smoking lessens with time, I got some Sea Foam last week with the intention of putting it in the crankcase. It's supposed to free up the rings - any thoughts, folks?

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Chris, looks a lot better than on a trailer. She is running down the road, what a great thing.

I use SeaFoam in my 03 VW Passat W8. It is the only thing that keeps the motor from gumming up very small debris screens that flow oil into the electronically controlled cam adjusters. Folks are throwing away their cars as it costs about $7K to fix once that any debris clogs the little screens. So I keep SeaFoam in all the time. It is highly detergent so I would run your car about 500 miles and then change oil, and then increase that to 1000 miles and so on. Use half a bottle of SeaFoam.

I change oil in my Avanti once a year. I use 10/30 weight or you can use straight 30 weight/detergent, dyno oil, and put in a bottle of ZDDP too.

Yes, it will smoke, but should get better over time. You just need to drive it.

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Chris, definitely on the Seafoam as John said, I keep it in all our older stuff, and it it great for small engines too. On the smoking, our Avanti's oil pan was full of gas along with the oil when we got it and had not been driven in years. I only glanced at the dipstick, saw it was wet, and took off grinning like an idiot, leaving nuts, mouse nests, wasps, a huge stream of liquid, and VOLUMES of smoke for the 9 miles down to the house. Amazing it didn't blow up. When I got home, was I ever shocked to find the "oil" was 1/2 way up the stick ! When we finally took the engine apart, it sure was clean tho', ha ! I have used a product called Restore in several old smokers thru the years, and it does a fantastic job. My 58 Stude truck was an extreme smoker, then after 2 cans w/oil changes, a non-smoker and ran much better! Good luck, looks great ! Happy times for ya' !! John

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This morning it was time to finish the install of the garage door opener on my side of the garage. You may (or may not) recall a couple of months ago the garage door opener on my wife's side of the garage went south. Right in the middle of all the heavy Avanti work. So, I took a day and installed a new one, then went and bought another one just like it for my side of the garage. For install when the day came that the Avanti is moving and out of the way. Well, that day came last Tuesday and I began all the pre-install stuff so I could finish up rather quickly this morning. Mission accomplished! Now we have matching, quiet garage door openers. And a new wireless router. Sounds like I earned a little time with the Avanti. Woohoo!

Seems like me and John Feser (unimogjohn on this forum) had the same idea today. We both installed the headlight covers today, although John did a much better job than I did. I wasn't aware that the new rubber gaskets were supposed to be drilled through for the screws. No problem - I can do that tomorrow. I had the same problem John had - the chrome retainer rings are a bit misshapen. They don't fit perfect, but I expect to have time to fiddle around with them in the future. I just wanted to get in the car and drive it - not fool around with the darn headlight covers! So I admit, I did a quick job, then hopped in the old girl and fired her up - she's starts so quick, just a couple of cranks and she's rumbling!

Now, the question from the pictures, did I install the glass ones or the plastic ones? Only I know, but I bet all the detail oriented guys on this site will guess right. John will find out tomorrow as I expect to slink into the Cars and Coffee site and park behind the building so nobody sees my rough girl and makes fun of her. Just kidding, she's rough, but she's ready!

Just want to give a Happy Birthday shout to my father, wherever you may be, you still live on through your 7 sons and 1 daughter. Thanks for all you did and for giving us the Studebaker bug!

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Not much happening the last few days on the Avanti. Just trying to get used to not having her right downstairs to work on. I have begun to formulate a plan to maybe get in an hour a day during the week and a few hours on the weekends. We'll see how it works out - starting tomorrow. I'm trying to get back to the basic plan I followed while getting the car back in running order - try to do at least one thing a day. More if time allows, but at least one thing each day.

Today I paid a visit to the locksmith. I dropped by there a few months ago and was not able to make progress on getting a key to fit the door locks. I have an ignition key that operates the ignition but not the door locks. So, I took the build sheet ignition number to the locksmith a few months ago and he looked through the books and on the computer and announced he didn't have that key "blank". And if he ordered it he would have to buy ten blanks at a time. Can't just get one. Plus, he seemed like he couldn't figure out what number went with what and so on. Today was basically a re-run of the visit a few months ago. Same guy, same end result. I had forgotten how it went then, but now I remember. So, the key deal didn't work out - I'll try something different tomorrow.

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How about these guys in your area. Specialize in auto re-key.

Metro Locksmiths - Special Service

We put a lot of effort in nourishing our specialty rekey services unit. This specialty locksmith unit specializes on any type of lock and key available in the locksmith market. By getting familiar and understanding the mechanism of every lock, our rekey unit is able to rekey and repair any lock and save you the trouble and cost of changing your locks in different what seems to be inevitable situations.

Metro Locksmith - Professional Locksmith Services - VA MD DC - 888-594-0075

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Well, I went to visit my baby during lunch yesterday and fiddled around with a couple of things. I wanted to see what was causing the driver's door to not close tightly. It latches, but not tightly. I fooled around with the latch, loosening it to see if there was some adjustment. There didn't seem to be much adjustment, if any, that one could perform to get the door to latch tightly. In the picture you can see the cone shaped piece fits into the opening in the latch on the door jamb. I think removal of both pieces will probably help the remedy along - that, and some lubricant wouldn't hurt either.

Fixing the door latch is number 1 priority on the list, along with the installation of the front license plate holder. Wouldn't want to get a ticket for no front tag. While I was there I sprayed some WD-40 on the nuts holding the little rubber bumper piece in the middle of the front bumper. I forgot my can of Kroil, so WD-40 had to suffice. Hopefully I can get a socket on those nuts and remove that rubber piece, then install a couple of metal strips to hang down and hold the new license plate holder I got from S.I.

Then, I had a look around just to see if anything was leaking or out of place. I found a couple of drips near the rear of the car, too far back to be from the rear end. Definitely thick (and fresh) gear oil. Hmmm, I'll have to look closer at that. A week or more ago I bought a metal drip pan to put under the car. I checked that - it was clean and dry. However, to the rear of the pan there was a couple of spots, maybe a couple of inches big, that had formed. I dipped a finger in - again, fresh gear oil. From the transmission. Not unexpected really, it'll probably take some time for the seals to swell up and the drips to lessen. I hope. I wiped up the oil, slid the drip pan back to catch any more, and said goodbye until next visit.

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Well, the last license plate on it was 1988. About 24 years - boy, that's a long time to let something sit! I feel bad letting it sit for a few days now - but I'm working out a comfortable schedule to drive it and work on it. Hopefully I'll get to drive it more and more as I fix little things here and there. You're right, Norm, those door hinges get tired. I grabbed the door and pulled up and down on it yesterday - yep, there's some play there. A little. Not sure if that will affect the way it latches but I'll keep fooling around with it until I get it figured out.

Another thing I was looking at yesterday was the inside lock levers. I was trying to see if they would operate and lock the doors. Nope, they move a tiny bit, but don't actually lock the door. I think I see door panel removal in my near future.

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It's Friday (yay!) and I went to visit the Avanti at lunchtime. Haven't started it since last Saturday - I'm disappointed in myself, but as I get more of the little things fixed I expect to drive it more. Today I tackled the front license plate situation, as I mentioned the other day I don't want to get a ticket for no front tag. Going 140 mph in a 60 mph zone, OK, but not for no front tag.

I was looking at situating the tag so as to keep the center rubber bumper piece. After trying it both ways I decided to take the center rubber piece off and put the license plate holder I got from Studebaker International there. The first way I wanted to install it wasn't going to work, or at least wasn't going to look right. I put 2 metal strips under the rubber piece, hanging down to hold the license plate frame. Problem was, when I put the plate on it hit the rubber piece and skewed at an angle toward the ground a little. Just didn't look right.

I thought about using longer metal strips to lower the license plate holder, and that would have worked, but then the tag is in the air flow path of the grill. And, as any Avanti owner can tell you, Avantis need all the air flow they can get for their cooling system. So, I went with the license plate holder mounted on the bumper, where the factory intended. The center bumper piece will have to be retired to the shelf for now.

I also had a look at how difficult it is going to be to replace the temperature sender unit. Maybe not too difficult, but I can't get my big gorilla mitts in there to work on it. So it looks like I'm going to have to utilize tools to reach in there and pull the wire, remove the unit, etc. Like a surgeon in a delicate operation. I'll let you know how it goes, maybe tomorrow?

I also looked underneath at the exhaust system to see if I got the correct size bolts for the exhaust bracket to pipe hold down. On the Avanti there are 2 exhaust brackets that attach to the frame rails, one on each side just to the rear of the muffler. They hold the exhaust from rattling about and I couldn't get things attached properly before the car went to the shop. After thinking it over I came up with a way to attach the pipe to the bracket. I think. We'll see, maybe tomorrow also - I'll take pictures if I get that far.

I took another look at the door latch - that's all, just a look, then got in the driver's seat and measured around my waist for the seatbelts. I can order the 62" ones, thank you very much, which is what I did when I got back to work. I also ordered the throttle springs and the "Studebaker" script for the trunk lid, which I will install as soon as I receive it. It was removed at some point before I bought the car and needs to be replaced ASAP.

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I sold my 64 R2 about a year ago. I had it for 16 years and it was in sorry, sorry shape when I bought it. Practically everything mechanical was replaced except for the engine and that got new heads and cam.

As far as temps when running. I wouldn't swear by the gage. My car always ran 210 or so and never boiled over or even burped coolant when it was shut off. Infrared thermometers showed the engine was cooler in all places than the gage read. I also suspect that the gage's placement may lead to readings that are higher than the rest of the engine. I did place two thick pieces of weathersrtrip on the sides of the radiator to keep air from circulating around it rather than through it. Fan clutch condition is crucial as is the shroud.

There is also an Avanti specific HD water pump. Identify it from the outside by reinforcing ribs on the shaft snout. Yours may have been changed out years ago with a standard duty one

I improved hot weather driveability tremendously by eliminating the heat riser and blocking the crossovers. No more stumbling, flooding and stalling in hot weather and no problems in the cold because the supercharger is pushing warmed air and doing the job of the exhaust crossover anyway.

The door hinges are bolted to the door frame so I would try tightening and/or adjusting the door before blaming worn hinges. Avanti doors aren't that heavy and don't beat up the hinges like big steel doors do.

As for the lock I would spray WD-40 or your preferred penetrant/lubricant liberally on the door latch through the window opening while working the lock. Worked for me.

For interior comfort make sure the hood to cowl seal is in place otherwise you will be sucking hot engine air in through the cowl vents.

I ran for years without a front plate without any hassle from the police. I always carried the other plate with me but I think when they saw a restored turquoise Avanti they cut me some slack. I did think that if I ever HAD to run a plate I would make it so it would swing back as the air pushed against it to send more air through the radiator.

There is literaly nothing I haven't touched or replace on the Avanti in the years it took to refurbish it so don't hesitate to ask if you get stumped on something.

Edited by ErnieR (see edit history)
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Thanks Ernie, your info is invaluable. I get the feeling that the gauge or sender unit is playing with my head because as anyone who has experienced an overheating car knows, when a car is hot it lets you know it. When bringing the car home from the shop last week the gauge "pegged" all the way past 240 (!) and I stopped immediately and jumped out and popped the hood. She didn't act hot at all. Everything was peaceful under the hood - I didn't even feel a rush of overheated air blasting me in the face. I put a new water pump in while doing all this fix-up over the last few months. It's a HD unit I got from Studebaker International.

I also eliminated the heat riser when I got the entire new exhaust system from Dave TBow - I asked his opinion about a heat riser and he said to delete it. He even makes the spacer to fill in for the missing heat riser, so I got one of those from him too.

I'll try that WD-40 on the latches tomorrow when I "visit" the old girl. The front plate is on and looks great, like it belongs there. All in all I am very happy with the progress made so far on the car - a whole lot of mechanical parts and labor went into her. She runs and drives great! Now I just need to fix a few things here and there, clean her up a little and I think she'll be a nice driver, rescued and ready for more years on the road!

Thanks again for your comments and help, Ernie - I look forward to hearing more from you in the future.

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Dave T is the man. Stand up vendor.

I'll assume you 'burped' the cooling system via the petcock on the water manifold.

The sender isn't that hard to change. Fortunately, the brass on steel doesn't rust itself in place.

Ignition timing is tricky on the R2 and not enough advance will make you run hotter but the engine really doesn't accelerate better with more than the 26 degree total setting. I curved a replacement distributor so I had 28 total at 2000 but was able to set static at 14 at idle. It liked the extra initial advance.

I look forward to reading about your progress.

ErnieR

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Ernie, I'm not familiar with "burping" the cooling system, but if that'll make her run cooler I'll do it! The folks at Alan Himes' shop did the distributor - that's why I took it to them, they are experts with Avantis and I can tell by the way it runs they got it right.

A perfect Saturday - beautiful weather and I got an early start to run down and pick up the Avanti to bring back to the house and play around with. I didn't even make coffee, just picked up breakfast and coffee on the way. It was so good to be cruising down the road, free and knowing I would be cruising back up the road in a few minutes in my baby. I got to the storage place right at 9 AM and opened things up, switched a few things over to the Avanti and hopped in. I was anxious to see if she would start as fast as she has in the past few times I started her. I was disappointed a little when she had to crank a bit to get going, but once she fired up I was smiling while listening to that rumble again. If I do this right there will be a link here showing me starting her this morning:

Avanti_Saturday_1 001 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

After I fired her up I pulled out of the unit and left her idling while I put my daily driver in the unit. I just stopped and listened for a moment to the sweet rumble of the engine, topped of with the gentle whine of the supercharger. It doesn't get any better....

I got out on the highway and cruised back toward home. I love the throttle response of this car - just how she wants to jump when you give her a little gas. It's a combination of things, Dave Tbow's stellar rebuild job on the carburetor, Alan Himes' and crew rebuild of the distributor, Nimesh Solanki's supercharger pushing the fuel and air, just everything working together so nicely. It helps that everything is new or rebuilt. I wasn't far along in my trip back to home when I stopped at a red light. It was one of those deals where you have right turn on red and you look around and there are cars sitting in cross traffic waiting for green and you wonder, "Do they have green yet?". Then you start to go and they take off toward you. That's what happened. So, I gunned her and let the clutch out a tad quickly - the rear tires started to squeal so I lifted a bit, then halfway stomped on the gas. She took off, breaking a little sideways on me. "Whoa, baby, easy now." It's easy to see how an R2 Avanti can be a terror on the highway. And a lot of fun too!

I got her in the garage at home and left the garage door open a bit, turning a fan on in front of the car to cool her down so I could work on the exhaust. While I waited for the exhaust to cool I messed around with the door latch, taking Ernie's advice and spraying some WD-40 on the latch and working the interior lock lever. Then I noticed that there is a little tab at one side of the latch that gets depressed when the door is closed. So I pushed that tab in and tried the interior lock lever. Worked fine. I went to the passenger side door (the one that closes properly) and sprayed some WD-40 on it. Then I worked that tab some, held it in and tried the interior lock lever. Worked fine too! So, the locks will work, I just need 1. a proper key (I received the key blanks I bought on eBay) and 2. the driver's door to close tight.

I tried adjusting the door latch on the driver's side. I figured out how do move it around here and there in different positions, but none of them did the trick. So I moved on to the right headlight cover, removing it and drilling holes through the rubber gasket for the mounting screws to go through. Things went back together pretty nicely and I decided to do the left side next time. Then I moved on to the exhaust brackets. I had come up with a plan on how to get the exhaust pipes mounted tightly to the brackets. In the sixth picture you can see how I tried to secure the left side exhaust before, with an exhaust clamp, but I couldn't get to the back side to tighten the nuts. So, I tried my new plan - it worked! With one little adjustment. I couldn't use 2 bolts that are 3/8". I had to use one 3/8" and one 5/16", along with an exhaust clamp base, then everything came together and fit tight. Now the exhaust is all secure.

Then I poured in half a can of Sea Foam, fired her up, and started back toward the storage place. The temperature gauge held consistent at about 200 degrees the whole time I was driving, until I got close to the storage place. Then I noticed a bit of anti-freeze smell (even though I'm running straight water for now) and the gauge climbed a bit. I only had a mile to go and when I got to the storage unit I shut her down and opened the hood. Everything was OK - no boiling over or hissing. Just a race car engine sitting there innocently enough.

When I got home I found UPS had delivered the new shifter boot I ordered to replace the old shredded one that allows hot air to flow into the cabin. Might be fine in winter, but it's gotta go for summer.

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Normally there's a petcock on the top of the water manifold on the driver's side of the surge tank. It's there to let trapped air escape. Probably not an issue but open it when it's cold and you should see a dribble of coolant if not there may be some air in the cooling system.

Car sounds great. I've never driven a 4 speed r2 must be lots of fun.

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Chris, here is a pic of the petcock and its location under the surge tank. Spray on some Kroil and then take a pair of long nose pliers and see if you can loosen it. When you open it there will be a puff of air and then your water, wait until you get a stream of water and then close it back off. Your system is now officially burped.

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Well, I couldn't stand it anymore, so I set out to go visit the Avanti at lunch today. A quick stop at the house first and as I was leaving the mailman handed me a box. My Studebaker International order! Great timing. So, I went to the storage place, stopping to grab lunch to eat on the way. Once there, I opened the box from S.I. and found just what I had ordered - 2 black seat belts, 2 throttle springs, and 1 "Studebaker" script for the trunk. Nice! I was surprised the seat belts came with all the mounting hardware - nice to have all those parts, my car came with front belts so the mounting hardware is in place already. But I'll have a look underneath and see if there has been any rust damage to the mount bolts - I'll be surprised if there isn't.

After inspecting the goodies I installed the rear throttle spring that was missing. I thought I had left the spring bracket off the valve cover nut, but I was surprised to see a week ago that I had put it in its rightful place. So it was an easy spring install - 30 seconds. Then I went to the trunk and held the script up to see if I could see where the original mounting holes had been filled in with Bondo. I could. So, out came the pen knife and I dug at the spots that were filled in. The bondo came out easily, crumbling and exposing the original holes. Another victory! There was one hole that I'm not even sure existed on the original setup - the one for the lower stud on the "S" of Studebaker. That spot didn't dig out and crumble, also, there is no corresponding access hole behind that stud. Maybe it didn't exist on the original?

So, I got to visit the old girl, and even do a couple of things. I also dropped off in the trunk a scissor jack I bought over the weekend, since the car no longer has a jack. Now I need a lug wrench and I'll be ready in case of a flat tire. As I left to return to work I attempted to drop by a local locksmith shop, but had to scrap that idea - not enough time.

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It is Saturday, May 19. I was let off my leash for a couple of hours this morning, so where did I go? Made a beeline to the Avanti vault where I fooled around with my baby. Once there, I went ahead and let the air out of the cooling system by opening the upper petcock located on the water manifold. There was a little air in the system, so that is out. I started to fool around with the seat belts but I soon determined I would make better progress if I brought the car home where I could do some real damage. So, I'll hold off on the seat belts this time.

Then, I decided to put the new shifter boot on, replacing the rotten old one. So I removed the console piece, took the old boot off and checked the fit of the new one. Perfect match - except I didn't have the correct screws to mount the new retainer plate. As time was 'a wastin' and I wanted to get her out on the road I just used the old retainer plate and mounting screws. Temporary, until I get her home where I have my tools and such. Speaking of tools and such, when I left the house this morning I grabbed the drill so I could drill out the last mounting hole for the "Studebaker" script for the trunk lid. But I didn't bring the drill bits - sigh. Ah well, another task for another day...

Only thing left to do was fire her up and get out on the road! After I started her up and pulled out in the open I popped the hood and took a video of the engine idling. Really smooth - very nice running motor. In fact, I was so mesmerized by the engine I failed to notice the gas leak at the fuel filter. I didn't even notice it until I had stopped taking the video. Then I saw it and ran for the screwdriver, tightening up the clamps. I'll post the video on the next post.

Once I determined the fuel leak was stopped I took her out on the road. Such a nice running engine, really smooth and powerful. Since she made her road debut a little less that 3 weeks ago I haven't had the opportunity to get out on an open road and see what she has. Too much traffic around here to really get moving. So I looked for someplace to go - first I took the major thoroughfare west to see if I could let her run. No dice - too many folks heading out to the mountains, I supposed. So I made a u-turn and headed back, at one point stopping at a light. I eyed the cross street - a long mostly deserted stretch of highway. So I slid over into the right lane and turned onto the semi-deserted highway.

I didn't stomp on her, but I let her have a good bit of gas, slamming up through the gears. I'm gonna name this Avanti "MF" - for Mighty Fast. She screamed up through the gears, her rear end pulling slightly sideways from the torque, that beautiful, lovely supercharger whining higher and higher. Just a beautiful running machine - only problem is when she gets to that point where she reaches the really terrifying speed band, where the supercharger really starts to push the air, I run out of road. Or nerve.

I continued cruising around here and there, I even took her back for another run down the semi-deserted highway, then reluctantly took her back to her stable. As far as the cooling system goes, she ran relatively cool all through her paces, a couple of times the temp inched up a bit, but for the most part the gauge stayed around 190 to 200. A little warm, but normal for an Avanti.

One thing's for certain, I gotta get more seat time in this baby - I need lots more of this type of fun. I'm going to have to put in for a couple of days off, one to head out and see unimogjohn and one to really take a road trip and see Courtney the mechanic in the Shenandoah Valley. That'll shake her out and see if she has any issues hiding in wait.

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Edited by SeventhSon (see edit history)
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