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That's not rust. That's character.;)

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What a week! Rain, rain and more rain. Our field guy at work has been on vacation this week so I have been filling in for him outside as well as trying to keep up with my office work. Every night it would pour down rain, then I would head out in the morning, tramping around in the wet grass and woods. My feet and legs were wet all week, it seems, I started to get worried about trench foot! Oh well, it's all worth it when I think about Mighty Fast, my rough little Avanti. Speaking of, I finally got to venture down to her stable and get her out for a spell. I pulled her out of the garage and let her idle while I moved my daily driver into the garage. After putting my car away I lifted the hood on the Avanti and examined the situation, particularly the fuel line. There was a little gas glistening at one spot. Looks like the screwdriver treatment didn't do enough, so I grabbed a nut driver and gave the clamp a real tighten. I did the same with the other clamps - we'll see if it was enough. Seems like it anyway.

Next I went and got 5 gallons of gas and took her out on the highway. Since she became roadworthy 3 and a half weeks ago I haven't had any place to get her up to speed for any length of time, so I got out on a multi lane highway and turned her loose. Can't say enough about this baby - that supercharger whining, that perfect tone from the exhaust, that relatively low gearing that keeps the power band up. She's ready - I hate to keep on about it, but man, this car is a thrill to drive. The thing is, and I've heard this from my brother Brian, supercharged Avantis don't even break out until they hit 80 mph. Then it's all she wrote - the monster comes alive and it's off to the races. The power just builds on itself from that point on - it all comes back to me from when I was the 12 year old in the back of Brian's '64 Avanti and that screaming fast car hooked me for life. It's still there.

So, I flew down the highway in that rough girl, I never really hit a 100 or anything, but the power is there, I feel like the only thing that would hold me back is the gearing. And I've heard that too, from Avanti owners, we just recently watched Greg Cone on unimogjohn's blog, when he put a higher geared rear end in his Avanti. I think brother Brian may have hit on the perfect solution (if one is not too tight on keeping things totally stock), and that is, he put a 5 speed transmission in his Avanti. He says when he puts her up in 5th he doesn't think anybody could catch him. Sounds good to me.

A couple of things concerned me on the trip today, one, the temperature of course. The temp gauge went to 240 (!) and stayed there for all the time driving. Out on the highway I tried to get some clean air coming in the front end. Temp gauge didn't budge - pulled up to a light and listened for any rumbling from the cooling system. Nothing, just the engine idling nicely. When I decided to bring her back to the stable, I made a u-turn at a light and got in it a little, even opened up the secondaries. She said, "Let me go! Let me run!" I couldn't do it - too many cars around. So I took her back, averaging about 75 mph or so, and the temp gauge stayed at 240 the whole time. I stopped at an empty parking lot and raised the hood. Same as before - just a smooth idling motor with no overheating apparent.

Then, when I got back to the storage unit and started to back her in I heard a couple of skree skree sounds coming from the front end. Hmmmm....not what one expects from a new front end. Something to check into next time, hope it's just some rust from all the moisture in the air this week. I hope it's that simple.

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Haven't tried that yet Bill, but I'm definitely going to look into that. I still need to replace the sender unit and go from there. May end up having the radiator cleaned - but first I'll check the temps with a hand held sensor of some type. I'll be posting on here what I find out.

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I'll check into that Bill - the temperature situation is something I need to address sooner rather than later. First, I will replace the sender, then proceed from there. I'll be posting on here what I find out. Now, I need to google where to find an infra red temp sensor.

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If you haven't joined the Studebaker Driver's Club you should. Even without a membership browsing the SDC forum will yield hours of reading on hot running Avantis and possible solutions.

Having had a hot running R2 and a cool running '88 I never did come up with a solution. As much as I would have liked to believe my gage was inaccurate I have a feeling it wasn't. While I too never heard any gurgling that would indicate boiling coolant performance suffered and a slight ping could be heard when the Gage read in the upper ranges.

I had a 3 core rad, multiple new fan clutches, full shroud, cut shroud, HP pulleys that turned the water pump at a faster rpm, surge tank, no surge tank etc. You name it I've tried it including a 7 Balde fan that was so noisy I didn't leave it on long enough to complete the experiment and I now believe that HO fan might have solved the problem. Here's why....

I recently completed a crate motor swap in my 1984 El Camino. I decided to run a mechanical temp gage instead of the light. The rad is a brass 3 core HD unit. at idle the car sits at 190 with the 180 thermostat. Drive over 65 MPH and the temp climbs to 230-240 with ambient temps in the low 80's.

Not remembering that I had a HD rad in there already ( I 've had this car for 6 years before the engine upgrade ) I purchased an aluminum 3 core because I felt I just didn't have enough cooling capacity.

As I began to disassemble I removed the top shroud and rad cap and saw that the rad was a beefy 3 core. And I also noticed that there was very little Resistance in the fan clutch. Most would suggest at 75 MPH air flow through the radiator would be enough to cool even without a fan. Maybe so if you have a Kenworth style grille and rad setup. My car, however has a custom nose with very little open grille area but a huge opening for intake below the valence.

So, now considering that the radiator that's in there should be up to the task I took an HD fan clutch I had laying around coupled it with a 7 blade fan I had bolted it up and hit the highway. The car never rose above 205 with the a/c on, engine taching 3300 rpm and speeds ranging from 70-80 MPH.

Since that HD fan was nosier ( not nearly as bad as the one in the Avanti though ) I swapped in the standard fan and went out for the same ride. This time temps were 10 degrees higher but well within normal operating specs.

Point is the fan had an effect at both low and high speeds. I had purchased an electric fan that I was going to install on the Avanti as a pusher to supplement the mechanical one but sold the car before I installed it so I can't report on results. The fan will probably end up in the El Camino.

Moral to the story is that I believe the Avanti front end design doesn't draw enough air in with the factory fan. I think it would with an HD unit but it was so loud people were turning around to see if a jet plane was about to hit them. I would be willing to bet that a pusher helper fan would eliminate the problem as long as everything else is up to snuff which as I've read in your posts I believe it is.

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Thanks John - I picked one of those infrared guns up today at Sears for 40 bucks. A little more than I wanted to spend and I could have gotten the one you mention for 28 bucks (I do have Prime) but I didn't want to wait for shipping, as I think I'll have some play time tomorrow with Mightyfast. (I decided to make her name one word)

Ernie, interesting info, and funny comment about the folks thinking the jet plane about to hit them. I'm glad you shared the comments about how you believed your gauge was correct and performance suffered. So, with all the input from different folks like yourself, Ben, and Paul, among others, I will undertake the great Avanti cooling task. The answer is there - I just have to find it. I will start tomorrow with the replacement of the sender unit and checking the temps with the sensor gun I got today. Then I will move on to installing the thermostat Paul recommended. If that doesn't help it may be time to install an electric fan (?) to boost the stock fan. I'm also open to trying some sort of air dam fixture to push air up through the radiator - someone on the Studebaker Driver's Club site said his cooling issues went away after he installed an air dam. If none of the above works I'll have the radiator worked over, maybe even beef it up. Not sure that will help if there is no air getting to it in the first place. It should be an interesting exercise, and of course I will post any progress on here. Thanks for the info, Ernie.

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I put an air dam on but didn't see any results, however, it lends credence to my theory about air flow. The dam creates a low pressure area behind the radiator causing a larger flow through the front.

I often wondered why my 88 never ran hot at all. All loaded up with emission add-ons and a working a/c unit using the same size radiator as a Stude Avanti it should have exhibited the same tendencies. And, in general, the Avanti II's of any year don't seem to have as many issues as the Studes. But there is a major difference between the II's and the Studes and it isn't just the Chevy engine...it's the height of the front end. All non Studes have a nose high stance as opposed to the Loewy rake. My car with new springs in the rear and thinner insulators on the front coils had even a little more rake than other Studes. The attidude of the nose must have some effect on air flow just as the tilt of a wing or spoiler would. Factor in the aerodynamic shape of the car and the placement of the air intake and I'm beginning to think that's why some Avantis cool better than others. It would be an interesting experiment to see how the height of the nose affected cooling.

ErnieR

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Ernie, you might have something there - maybe that low front stance of the Studes keeps air from flowing into the radiator. If that's the case then mine will always run hot because I love the look of the Studebakers and I don't care for the raised nose of the later Avantis. My personal preference, really.

So, today was an excellent day with Mightyfast, just another perfect day really. I got up at the strike of 8 AM and was out the door by 8:15. Grabbed breakfast on the way and even stopped by Walmart to pick up a couple of things. I was at the storage unit at exactly 9 AM and started in on the things I wanted to do. Using the long reach needle nose pliers I got yesterday at Sears, I pulled the temperature sender wire connector from the temperature sender unit. However, I quickly discovered I didn't have a wrench that would reach the sender unit. I need a long 5/8" offset wrench - I don't even have one of those in the toolbox, so it'll be back to Sears soon to pick that up. So, since I believe things happen as they should, I just cleaned up the connector and re-attached it.

Among the items I picked up at Walmart was a "wetting" agent, a super coolant designed to carry heat away from the coolant. And it works best with straight water, which is what I'm running in the girl until this fall. After re-attaching the sender unit wire I poured the super coolant into the expansion tank. Then I checked the oil in the crankcase - still looks great, clear even, and near the top line on the stick. I checked the supercharger oil - shows full and clean. Nice. Then I jacked the left front of the car up to give the wheel a spin and see if anything was binding. She spins nicely, with just a slight scuff, scuff on the brake pad, I assume. I checked the right side - same thing. I suppose I will pull the wheels in the next few weeks to have a look at everything. Before starting the engine I took a reading with the infrared sensor gun I also got at Sears yesterday. Just to see what it read - 82 degrees.

She was ready to go at that point, so I hopped in and cranked her over. After 2 cranks she fired right up - I pulled her out, raised the hood and made sure everything was working right with no leaks. A-OK, so off we went. I made it out onto the highway, again just enjoying driving her, but watching the temp gauge all the while. The gauge settled on right around 200 degrees and seemed to stay there, which was better than the other day when I drove her. So, feeling like the wetting agent had helped, I ventured further up the road, once again on the multi lane highway. I cruised up the road, just smiling the whole way listening to all the great sounds, the throaty rumble of the exhaust, the supercharger whine. And the temp stayed around 200 the whole time, so I was content, but not ecstatic, as I would prefer a lower range. After about 5 miles I came to a red light and brought her down to a stop. I smelled fuel. So, I swung over into the right turn lane and found an empty parking lot. I popped the hood - no leaks of fuel, thankfully, so I took a couple of temp readings with the infrared gun. At the head I got 192, 187 at the expansion tank, all while the engine idled.

I got back in and started driving again. I looked at the gauge - 240! I have seen this several times now, she'll run with an OK temp, then I'll stop to check something, get back in, and the gauge has practically pegged! So I decided to head back closer to home base in case she got too hot. After a mile or so I stopped at a light - looked at the 240 degree gauge, and, just out of frustration, gave the gauge a couple of raps with my knuckle. Like, "Whatsamatterwithyou?!" The light turned green, I started driving, and after half a mile or so I looked at the gauge. 190! Wow, cool. No pun intended. So, I relaxed a bit in the seat and was able to enjoy the trip more. I ended up driving quite a bit after that, at one point driving down a back road through a cool, wooded area, the temp gauge showing just a tad under 180! That was the most enjoyable part of the trip, just rumbling down the road through a wooded area ( a local park, actually), the engine running so fine and the temp gauge showing normal. I did not want to take her back and put her away after all the driving I did. I probably drove 60 miles in all and the more I drove the better she ran! A really enjoyable experience - the only bad part was the heat inside the cabin. At one point I aimed the infrared gun at the gear shifter. 121 degrees! I gotta replace the old crusty rubber hood seal ASAP!

All in all, a nice day, driving a fun car. The super coolant? It works. The gauge? It seems a little balky - a couple of times the temp would climb a little, I would rap on the gauge, the temp would fall. And that temperature would match the infrared sensor temp. Right before I put her away I checked with the IR sensor and it was 189. And that's what it seems to be, by infrared, by gauge (after some slapping around) and by visual inspection. We'll see - I'll be checking more things in the weeks to come.

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I need an Avanti fix....must have some driving time in the fast little rocket with the lovely exhaust tone. Whew! I need a garage that's closer, like across the street, so I can get my hands on that baby any time I want. Ah well, priorities come first, and that's what I focus on during the week. Then I hope I get a few hours with the Mightyfast girl on weekends. It's really relaxing to go out early and spend a few hours with the old girl - but most of you already know that.

I was looking at unimogjohn's Avanti recently, specifically his recently purchased wheel covers. I was interested if all the "inset" colors were silver on the Avanti wheel covers. Mine are black. John suggested some kid took a can of flat black to them. So, I checked out the Avanti registry, and within 10 minutes I had found about ten Avantis with wheel covers with the insets painted black. And I wasn't even trying that hard. So, unless that kid with the black paint gets around, I have to assume there was a color option on the wheel covers (?). Maybe someone out there knows the story (Paul?) on why a few Avantis are rolling around out there with black wheel covers when the majority have silver inset color. Just curious more than anything....

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Chris, not sure about the black versus silver 'inserts' on Avanti wheel covers. I do know that I have pictures of my '63 Daytona Skytop that, back in the '80s, the then owner ran Avanti wheel covers on it. The inserts were black on those. I got those when I purchased the car a few years ago (since sold them) but they were for sure black.

But........take what I say with a grain of salt, for I do not profess to be too knowlegable about Avanti details. I'm a Hawk, Lark, & truck guy.

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Wow Pat, nice pics! Thanks Ernie and Pat, I'm still a bit curious about the black vs. silver. I believe Ernie that they weren't an option, technically, but I still think there was something there, maybe the dealer would paint them? Or Studebaker fooled around with maybe offering the black and threw a few out there. The reason I wonder is, the paint looks too factory, not something someone may have done with a spray can. No big deal either way, just curious, really....

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Oh, Paul, almost missed your post while looking at that hot engine in that Avanti pic Pat posted. Hmmm....so the Daytona Skytop had the black insert covers on. Maybe it was a Lark thing that got out on a few Avantis? Ah, who knows, just interesting to me, that's all.

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Oh, Paul, almost missed your post while looking at that hot engine in that Avanti pic Pat posted. Hmmm....so the Daytona Skytop had the black insert covers on. Maybe it was a Lark thing that got out on a few Avantis? Ah, who knows, just interesting to me, that's all.

Those Avanti wheel covers were not offered for the Lark. I'm sure there will be some Avanti folks that will provide the explanation. One thing I wonder (as I said, I'm not an Avanti expert) is if maybe the Avanti II used the caps with the black inserts? Most Avanti IIs seem to have fancier wheels (I always loved the Magnum 500 wheels) or fancy wire hubcaps.

Keep driving that Avanti!

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Paul, for some reason I think these are the stock wheel covers for this car. But you could be right about the Avanti II, maybe they came with the black inserts.

I know the perfect person to ask - Alan Himes at the shop I took my Avanti to. He was an Avanti II dealer back in the early days - he would take orders for the Newman & Altman ones, then travel out and drive the car back when it was ready! He said it was cheaper to do that than have the car shipped. The perfect person to ask about the wheel covers!

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I got to see the Avanti at lunch today. I was afraid the rain was going to dampen my fun but it held off and I was able to get her out for a run. All the expense, all the hard work, all the uncertainty was all worth it, I must say. Just a lot of fun to drive this baby - I didn't want to take her back and put her away. But, that's becoming the usual - it's human nature to want to keep having fun when you're having it!

After I took her back I fooled around with attaching the Studebaker script, I drilled out the last hole that was bondo'ed over and stuck it on. It fits great, now I just need some retaining clips to hook her on securely. So everybody knows what she is - Studebaker!

I also took a little video of a run through the gears - the camera doesn't really do it justice. Turn the speakers up if you watch it!

Flickr: AvantiChris7's Photostream

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Another early morning visit to the storage unit to visit Mightyfast, the rescued Avanti. Everything looked good, so I threw the box of tools in the back seat and took her out for a run. More fun - still runs great, and still wants to just GO! There's nothing like cruising down the four lane highway with traffic, then just giving her some gas and roaring away from everyone. Picks up quick and lives up to her name, she's mighty fast. I drove around for about an hour and a half, some highway speeds, some back roads, just cruising. She rides straight and true. The temperature stayed at 180 for most of the drive, but crept up a couple of times. The first time it climbed I was on the multi lane highway, out in clean air doing around 60 mph (and running up to 80+). I took a side road and cruised around - the temp came back down. Another time it climbed and I knocked on the gauge, prompting it to go back down.

After I reluctantly brought her back to the stable I shut her down, opened the storage unit and pulled my daily driver out. Then I got back in the Avanti, put the key in and went to turn it. The key wouldn't turn. I jiggled, pushed, wobbled, in-ed and out-ed, but nothing would work. Great, I thought, I'm gonna have to push this beast into this unit by myself - not a fun piece of work. So, I kept jiggling and such to no avail. I grabbed some tools, removed the ignition switch, read the section in the repair manual on the ignition switch and realized the key has to be turned "on" to remove the lockset. I re-installed the switch, fooled around with it for a minute, and finally it turned. I fired her up and backed her in the unit. I had spent a half an hour fooling with the key in the ignition switch. That's when I realized that I still have work to do on the old girl - it's not all fun and games. So, I'll make a list and start fixing some things - little things that need to be fixed like the ignition switch (today was the first day that problem showed up), the door latch, the seat belts, etc. Lots to do, so I'll be doing more working on and less driving for the short term. As a matter of fact, I'll limit my driving until certain things are fixed. That'll provide the incentive to get some of this stuff done.

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Chris

This may sound just plain wrong, but everything that is wrong about your car makes me love it even more. I didn't think I'd like it with the hub caps, but probably because of the black inserts (and the wider tires), I love it.

As soon as you put paint on that car, I'm out of here. :)

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Bill - just ordered the new key lock for the ignition. I'm glad it decided to "go south" when I was right outside the storage unit and not 50 miles away. Quite frustrating to know the engine runs great - but the ignition won't let you start it!

West - it does look cool with the blacked out caps and wider tires, I agree. Paint is way down the list - you'll be around for quite a while yet!

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I was able to sneak down to the storage unit at lunch today and have a visit with Mightyfast. First thing I did was stick the key in the ignition and see if she would turn. Turned fine. Over and over again. Don't know why it didn't want to work the other day - maybe just had an off day. Since the key worked I decided to take her out for a run. I had disconnected the battery the other day because I'm a little nervous when ignition switches start acting up. Don't want a short bring the whole party to a screeching halt. So, I hooked the battery up, hopped in, cranked her and she fired right up. Sometimes the engine will crank over twice and fire - other times it'll crank ten times, then fire up. Doesn't matter, as long as she fires up!

It was a short ride but oh so sweet. I rode around the industrial park for a bit, then took her out on the highway and kicked her up some. Runs so fine - so quick and powerful. After a few miles of high speed travel I noticed the temp gauge climbing. Same thing happened last week - the higher revs, even out in clean air, bring higher temps. So I turned her around and brought her back to the stable - I needed to get back to work anyway. I stopped outside the unit and left her idling, since I didn't want a repeat of last week, where I shut her down and then couldn't get the key to turn in the ignition switch. After I got the daily driver out of the unit and the Avanti back in her stall I was able to shut her down. I don't think the cooling system liked that bit of idling - after I shut her down I opened the hood and heard the gentle hiss of a hot motor. First time I've heard that - gonna have to watch that idling for extended periods.

When I got home tonight I found my order from Studebaker International! The new key set for the ignition, the cowl rubber, some adhesive, a few screws, some steering box lube. The list of Avanti chores grows -and all I want to do is drive it!

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Another visit with Mightyfast today, Sunday, June 10. It's becoming a habit to get out early on Sunday and pay a visit to the Avanti stable to visit my baby. I checked everything out first, the oil looks good, down a little, but not surprising since it has a little smoking issue on the left side. Supercharger oil looks great, coolant level was fine. So, I took the old ignition lock out and installed the new one I got from Studebaker International. Fit nicely and works great! I even have the ability to now turn the key to the left for "accessory", which I did not have before. I believe the folks in Texas misplaced the keys to the car long ago and when they went to sell they must have had a key made somehow, but that key didn't work correctly. It would only turn to the right, and as I found out last weekend, it started to refuse to even do that. So now I have a working ignition lock with the correct Studebaker style key too!

Since the ignition was working so well I decided to fire her up and take her out for some exercise. She fired right up and I pulled her out. I decided to see how the lights were holding up - hmmmm...right rear tail light not working. I popped the trunk and pulled the socket. The bulb was milky black - blown. So that was my first stop - Advance Auto, for a new bulb, actually 2 new bulbs, only sold in a set. I replaced the bulb, checked it out (works!), and rode over to the adjacent gas station for a few gallons.

After that I was free to cruise. I took a leisurely ride down into Clifton, Virginia, a small town popular with the horse set. As I made my way toward the town I became aware of a slight squeal, ever so mild, coming from the front of the transmission. Hmmm, I thought, what might that be? Throw-out bearing? Transmission bearing? (!). I continued on, rode through town and took the back road out of town (they're all back roads in that area) and rode around a bit. At one point I stopped at a stop sign and when I took off from the stop I heard a pronounced "screech, screech"! Damn, what was that??! Sounded like the clutch plate wanting to spring apart. It lasted a couple of seconds. Next time I took off from a stop it did it again. Not good. Those were the only times it did that during the hour+ drive I took, otherwise the car ran fine. Quick, as usual, I got into it pretty hard a couple of times to see how she responded. Nice and fast - mighty fast, in fact!

Gonna have to keep an eye (and ear) on that mysterious noise. Could be there is a transmission pull in the future, hopefully not 'til next year though!

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We took a little trip this week to the Brandywine Valley area of Pennsylvania, near Wilmington, Delaware. We've been there a few times in the past, but we never could get a reservation to see the superb DuPont mansion known as Nemours. Well, we finally were able to get to see the old place. And what a place it is! Built a little over 100 years ago by Alfred DuPont the place is probably the most perfect combination of elegance and opulence I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. We've visited many old houses and I think this one was, as Goldilocks said, "Just right". The house has 47,000 square feet and 77 rooms - not a cottage, but not "over the top" like the Biltmore mansion in Asheville, NC.

Alfred DuPont was a man ahead of his time, he grew up kicking around the gunpowder yards of the family business. His mother died when he was 13, his father died a few weeks later, leaving him and his 4 siblings orphans. When the assorted aunts and uncles decided what to do with the children they were met by 5 very determined children who wanted nothing more than to be left alone in the family home and to have a say in their own future. And so it was, Alfred was hired by the family firm to work in the powder yards, where he earned the respect of the "powdermen" who worked in the dangerous jobs of manufacturing black powder. Alfred rose up through the ranks and became the manager of the powder yards. When the directors of the company decided to sell the company to a competitor Alfred was aghast that they would even consider selling the family firm. He got together with 2 cousins and the 3 of them bought the company.

From there Alfred's success was on a firm upward trajectory - too much detail to mention here, but suffice to say he was successful, gauging by the outstanding home he built in Wilmington, Delaware (and one in Florida as well). He was a tinkerer, like a lot of us, just with lots more money to tinker with. His mansion had running water and electric lights five years before the White House did. There are 2 furnaces, one for backup, a General Electric generator for backup electricity, a water filtration system to filter the spring water that they bottled in the house. He and his wife always drank bottled water, a full 80 or more years before it became common practice for everybody else. Too many other things to mention, but just a forward thinking man who lived his life fully. When he died in 1935 Alfred left an estate worth 56 million dollars. 30 million of that went to estate taxes. Most of the remaining went to a trust to provide health care for children, the trust was grown by his brother-in-law's shrewd planning into an estimated 4.5 billion dollars today, being used for children in need. A fine legacy, indeed.

Back to cars - one part of the tour includes the garage which holds a few of the estate cars. A 1924 Cadillac limousine on a 1934 chassis. A Renault limousine on a Cadillac chassis (Alfred was fond of General Motors automobiles, the DuPont board of directors was also the GM board of directors). Alfred's widow, however, was a little partial to a particular export from England. Named Rolls Royce. There are 2 fine examples of those cars - one being a 1960 Phantom V. Serial #2. Who possesses serial #1? Queen Elizabeth II. There is another car in the garage, a 1933 Buick coupe that was Mr. DuPont's personal car that he ran around in when he didn't feel like being driven about.

Just a terrific place to visit and to learn about a really fine American. I'm really happy we finally got to see the place. I haven't forgotten about the Avanti. I drove it around last Sunday - now I have to make a list of the little odds and ends I want to fix before I drive it too much more. I meant to make the list this past week while hanging around the hotel at night, but I didn't. Goofing off too much, in vacation mode.

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Still here, still loving the Avanti I can call my own. Last Sunday I had a free hour and a half so I ran down to pay the old girl a visit, since I was away on vacation for a few days. I always intend on doing some work to her, then I think, "Well, I should take her out and let her run..." Then I drive real fast all around, then it's time to go home. No work gets done. All I want to do is drive it. Kind of fast. Sometimes mighty fast....

Last night I made a list of the little things I want to accomplish, especially before September 8, which you may or may not know is International Drive Your Studebaker day. Gotta have her ship shape for that day! Today, during lunch, I went to see Mightyfast. I wanted to tackle the door latch situation. When I got there I added a little oil, about half a quart, the first oil I've added, added a little water, checked the supercharger oil. Then I thought, "Well, I oughta take her out for a run...." It's a vicious cycle.

After running up and down the road a bit, then taking her back and putting her away, then getting ready to head back to work, I remembered I was supposed to work on the door latch. Told you it was a vicious cycle.

Next time, I promise, I will work on the door latch....oh, by the way, anybody know the best way to affix the "Studebaker" script to the trunk lid? The one complaint I have about Studebaker International is they don't provide hardware with their parts. Ya gotta find your own fasteners, most times. I'll try to post a picture or two of the mounting posts on the back of the script.

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Still here, still loving the Avanti I can call my own. Last Sunday I had a free hour and a half so I ran down to pay the old girl a visit, since I was away on vacation for a few days. I always intend on doing some work to her, then I think, "Well, I should take her out and let her run..." Then I drive real fast all around, then it's time to go home. No work gets done. All I want to do is drive it. Kind of fast. Sometimes mighty fast....

Last night I made a list of the little things I want to accomplish, especially before September 8, which you may or may not know is International Drive Your Studebaker day. Gotta have her ship shape for that day! Today, during lunch, I went to see Mightyfast. I wanted to tackle the door latch situation. When I got there I added a little oil, about half a quart, the first oil I've added, added a little water, checked the supercharger oil. Then I thought, "Well, I oughta take her out for a run...." It's a vicious cycle.

After running up and down the road a bit, then taking her back and putting her away, then getting ready to head back to work, I remembered I was supposed to work on the door latch. Told you it was a vicious cycle.

Next time, I promise, I will work on the door latch....oh, by the way, anybody know the best way to affix the "Studebaker" script to the trunk lid? The one complaint I have about Studebaker International is they don't provide hardware with their parts. Ya gotta find your own fasteners, most times. I'll try to post a picture or two of the mounting posts on the back of the script.

I used speednuts. Barrel clips would work also but then you have to pry the script off if you want to remove it. You should be able to find speed nuts at Lowes or a good auto parts store.

ErnieR

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Chris, re the script. The old stock is held on by PAL nuts that contain a rubber washer. You can use a long extension and a socket to get them on. However, I have been told that the new stock has shorter and wider posts and the PAL nuts do not work. So you have to use an appropriately sized push on nut and make your own rubber washer for it. Here is what they both look like. Both are available on the web or even your local auto-parts or hardware store may have them. I think that I got mine at Home Depot.

Only one issue with the push on retainers. They are not meant to come off, so when you go to paint then you will have to buy a new script as you will have broken off the one on the car. So beware. You can always try the PAL nut without the rubber washer and it may catch and screw on. Good luck. Sorry that it is not an easy fix.

What I would do is cut squares of Styrofoam, put glue on the one side, and push the foam into the studs. The glue should seal it and when you want to remove the script the foam will break versus the tabs. Just a thought.

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Edited by unimogjohn
added Styrofoam fix (see edit history)
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You can buy the PAL nuts without the rubber insert. I might have improperly called the PAL nut a speednut but that is what I meant. Just get them plain. Worked fine on all my reproduction script. No need to torque them down either. Just enough to pull the script to the body

ErnieR

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Thanks, Ernie and John, I knew there would be some good advice out there for this situation. I stopped at Home Depot on the way home tonight and got some speed nut (speed nut #6) because I thought I might be able to use them like barrel clips (thanks Ernie, I was trying to find the name for those clips). The studs on the script don't have threads but I thought I might be able to get the speed nuts to grab and hold. If not,I kind of like John's suggestion about the Styrofoam - that sounds like the ticket. Whatever I do I'll post it on here. Thanks for the info, guys.

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Those nuts will cut their own thread. They will work fine just remember they don't need any 'muscle' tightening them down. In place of the sealer a dab of 3M calking will do the same job under the nut.

ErnieR

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Thanks Ernie, I'm hoping that's how it works out. I checked out the speed nuts I got yesterday and I think I might have to try to find one size smaller, at least for some of the posts. The speed nuts don't quite get the bite on a few of the posts - I think a couple of them will bite, but not all of them. Problem is, when the script is placed on the trunk lid there isn't much of the posts sticking through the other side to get a bite on. Plus, the posts are tapered, so I end up with the narrow end to deal with. But, I'm onto a solution now - just have to pick up a few smaller speed nuts (if they make 'em that small) and then I'll get it to work. I'll combine the nuts with a glue or sealer and it'll work out.

Meantime, I'll keep my eye out for an original (NOS?) script that takes the PAL nuts. Nothing like using OE!

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Well, I made my way down to the storage place and, sticking to my word, instead of just having fun and driving the Avanti I tried to accomplish a couple of items on the list. I wasn't very successful, though. Before I went to the storage unit I dropped by a Sears Hardware store and picked up some smaller speed nuts. At the storage unit I tried to install the script but didn't really have any luck. The access holes for the script posts are not really big enough to get my fingers in there, and the speed nuts won't really grab the posts. So, I'll have to try a different scheme next time - I'll keep trying until it gets done.

Then I once again tried to tackle the door latch. Same deal - no luck. I cleaned the latch up with WD40, scoured it with steel wool (the picture shows it before cleaning) and adjusted the striker plate. Again - the door only latches on the first notch, but will not latch to the second notch. I removed the striker plate and physically engaged it with the latch and it latches all the way. But once the striker plate is installed the door only latches to the first notch. I've adjusted the striker plate up and down and back and forth with no success. It's almost like the door is too low - maybe the hinges are letting it hang down a bit? The door looks like it lines up, but the striker plate looks like it needs to be adjusted down a quarter inch or more. And there is no more adjustment left there. I guess the next area to focus on will be the door hinges.

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Does the door double latch if you lift it while engaging? If so, that should answer your idea about the hinge's. Here's a thought (I'm not familiar with your door), what about a shim behind the latch (piece of vynil siding)???? One thing I hate, is car door hinge screw's, they may as well be welded on........

What you need is the plyers that are flat and small like needle nose run over by a train, to hold your molding nuts in those little hole's.

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Norm - I've tried lifting up on the door while closing it. The door doesn't really move enough to make a difference, though. I didn't really try pushing down on the door, though. I'll have to give that a try. That's a great suggestion about possibly using a shim - I'll try that. Also a good idea on the needle nose pliers - it's a tough place to try to work in. I basically have to sit in the trunk while trying to navigate the tiny clip onto the post on the script. And hold a light on the subject with my third hand. But I'm formulating a plan of attack in my mind and will put it into motion the next time I visit the car. Wish me luck - and thanks for the suggestions!

Edited by SeventhSon (see edit history)
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