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SeventhSon

Avanti Rescue

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Chris are you sure they shipped the correct head gasket? I think it should be thin metal. Check with Nimesh if you can't get info from anybody else but i have always used thin metal.

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It matches the old gasket as far as all the openings and stuff, and it came from Studebaker International. It's just a different material. I will ask Nimesh, he'll know for sure.

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I've never used any sealers on any head gaskets I've installed. Some gaskets I've used had a small bead of some sort sealing compound on them but usually only around the water or oil ports.

Do all the bolts fit snug within the manifold's bolt holes or is there a little play around them? I was wondering if you needed to provide a similar amount of clearance around the new stud to allow for expansion and contraction of the manifold.

Edited by Bleach (see edit history)

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Bleach - good question on that exhaust manifold. There is a little play around the holes - I'll have to check the fit on the holes I adjusted. An Avanti guy told me those manifolds will warp, go figure. Lots of little tricks on these cars. On the head gasket, I'm thinking it's going on "dry", but I'm going to check into a little more. Thanks for the info.

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The first two pictures show the new head gasket. Which side goes up? The old gasket and the gasket that was in the back seat of the car when I got it helpfully indicate "This Side Up". Pictures 3 & 4 are of the old (new) gasket that was in the back seat. Apparently the previous owner was going to do some engine work and purchased a bunch of gaskets which he never used. The old new gasket even has a price of $5.95 on it - wish I would see prices like that today. I would use that gasket but it is damaged, bent on the end (picture 4) and rust starting on the flip side. I'm happy with the new gasket, I just have to find out which side is up. Anybody know?

The last few pictures show the exhaust manifold fit - looks to be some room for expansion and contraction.

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Chris, if you had ordered a pair of head gaskets you would have the answer. I suppose that the gaskets are the same and no matter which side is coming up or down. If I were in your situation, I would install the gasket as shown on the second picture: the face we can see up.

Maybe you will get a different opinion...

By the way, on this type of gasket, no sealer is necessary I was told.

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Do any of the gaskets shown in the picture match exactly the one that came off the motor? If the answer is no, then the pictured head gaskets likely are the remains of an old engine rebuild gasket set which contained the correct ones which were installed and the leftovers tossed in the car... just sayin! The pictured gaskets do not appear to be similar to the one removed. I have more than one set of those pictured as they too are the remains of old gasket sets. For correct compression ratio the thinest gasket is the correct one, its flimsy metal. Does the one that you removed show much age? Could it be cleaned and re-used? These are rhetorical questions not intended to suggest anything?:confused: If you can get Nimesh on the phone, that is who I called with the same question.

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The gasket pictured above, in the first 2 pictures, is a special kevlar composite gasket made by Best Gasket Co. They make gaskets for vintage cars and sell only through specialized vendors such as Studebaker International and Dave Tbow. Dave Tbow tells me that they are great gaskets, but cannot tell me for certain which side faces up. I'm kind of disappointed in Studebaker International because the last 2 items I got from them seemed to other peoples' cast-offs. For example, this gasket arrives on a piece of plywood (which is fine, no bending) with no packaging, no wrapping, no instructions for installation (this side goes up, spray with Permatex Copper Gasket Sealer, etc.) Nothing! Nada! Zip! So, like the first disappointing item SI sent me, this is going back.

The gasket in the second 2 pictures is the gasket I found in the car, a gasket comprised of two sheets of metal with a fiber type center (maybe asbestos). It definitely will lower the compression ratio on that side of the engine. I don't want that. The gasket that came off the motor is the original, correct, thin metal one. I thought that was what I would get from SI, but no. So, when I send the gasket back to SI I am going to NAPA and getting their head gasket set for $72, which includes both gaskets, all the water manifold gaskets, valve seals, etc. (I don't really need all that stuff, but I'll keep it around). But first I am going to look at it and see 1. if the gasket is correct metal, and 2. if there is "This Side Up' stamped on it, which is the way they used to do things in this country, before the children took over.

Of course, none of this is going to happen until this fall, because I'm putting the car in storage until then and going out and enjoying my life. I'm tired of fighting the battles and spending the money with the victories coming few and far between, and only then with me clawing them out of the jaws of defeat.

Whew! I feel better already!

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The gasket you found in the car - 2 sheets of metal and something in between is looking like the gaskets Fel-Pro is selling. I doubt that you will find thin metal gaskets as they are good with new components at the factory but as less suitable in the field for repairs.

If the gaskets you got from SI are from Best Gasket, ask them about what you would like to know!

By the way, you cannot expect from a supplier that they produce themselves the parts they are selling. Even car companies bought parts from suppliers!

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Thanks Roger - I did contact Best Gasket and I am happy to note that they replied promptly and indicated that the side with the part # faces up. They also recommend a spray-on sealer like Permatex Copper (which I read on their website yesterday, they didn't mention which side up on the website however). I also heard from Nimesh Solanki indicating which side went up after looking at 2 pictures I sent him. Thanks to both Best Gasket and Nimesh.

I don't expect a supplier to be the manufacturer as well, but I do expect a supplier to inspect what they sell and reject items that are of inferior quality. It's called treating your customer with respect and not taking them for granted. Just sayin'....

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On Sunday night, since I couldn't proceed with the head re-install, I decided to see if I could get the trunk latch re-installed and working. Try to salvage the weekend and log some progress. The latch mechanism went back in with little trouble and the release cable even behaved and hooked up properly. The new handle I bought for the release cable in the passenger compartment, however, was not cooperating. It's a new handle, I'm not sure where it's made, but the set screw fits poorly and would not hold the handle on. Also, the inside of the handle, where the release cable shaft slides in, was not finished properly, with metal burrs and such interfering with the fit. I was able to clean that up, but the set screw problem was not to be corrected. So now I am experimenting with a novel way of attaching the handle: JB Weld! We'll see how that does.

I took a couple of pictures of the old spare tire. That might be an interesting thing to keep around, or sell to a restaurant to hang on their wall, since they like all that old stuff hanging off the walls. They even claim the tire was "Gum-Dipped". Funny, I wonder if they really dipped them in gum?

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Last night, since I had not yet picked up the head gasket sealer, I decided to begin the re-install of the control arms. It's getting down to crunch time - I have planned all along to move the Avanti out of the home garage and into a storage type situation. Of course, I wanted to have the car running when I did that so I could go to the storage place with my daily driver, pick up the Avanti and bring it home to work on, then return it to the storage place. Well, I don't think I'm going to meet the deadline, so now I have to decide if I just want to put the Avanti in storage for a while and maybe bring it back home this fall. Or, take it to a good shop and let them get it over the hump, get the mechanical work finished and fine tuned, get the car running, inspected, etc. I would prefer that, it will just cost more money, probably a fair amount more. So, I have a decision to make - borrow the money to get the car running and have a fair paint job put on it or store it for a while. I have 10 days or so to make the decision.

So, I need to get the wheels back under this car and get her mobile, whether under her own power or push power. I began the install of the control arms on the left side last night. I'll continue tonight and get back to the head re-install in the next couple of days, since I picked up some gasket sealer today.

I had a surprise this morning, last week I ordered an exhaust pipe cutter (the work never ends) from Amazon, and I kept looking out front for the package. I knew it was supposed to come last Friday. I kept looking for the package, but never saw anything. When I was getting ready to wrap up for the evening I opened the garage door to go to my truck to get the spare tire I got that day. There, behind the AC unit, was my package! UPS had never left anything in the back before - usually they drop it on the front stoop and hit the doorbell and take off. Makes me nervous because I don't usually check the back since I come in the front. Well, I was expecting another package, a can of Kroil. So, this morning, as I was backing out to go to work at 6:15 AM, I decided to run around the back to see if my can of Kroil had been left out back. Guess what I found? My wheels! 4 boxes with brand new wheels, left on the back driveway apron overnight. Thank God they weren't stolen! I'm sure my face turned white as a sheet when I saw the boxes sitting there in the dark. Jeez!

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Last night I inspected the new wheels I just got. Very nice - just what I was looking for, a stock rim slightly wider than the original rims so they can take a wider radial tire than the narrow stock tire size. The rims had stickers on them that read, "You mount 'em, you own 'em" and "You paint 'em, you own 'em". The manufacturer advised to check the fit and clearance, so that's what I did. Everything seems to fit well. I'm glad to have them, and glad to see they are made in America. Always make me proud to see that.

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I had a surprise this morning, last week I ordered an exhaust pipe cutter (the work never ends) from Amazon, and I kept looking out front for the package. I knew it was supposed to come last Friday. I kept looking for the package, but never saw anything. When I was getting ready to wrap up for the evening I opened the garage door to go to my truck to get the spare tire I got that day. There, behind the AC unit, was my package! UPS had never left anything in the back before - usually they drop it on the front stoop and hit the doorbell and take off. Makes me nervous because I don't usually check the back since I come in the front. Well, I was expecting another package, a can of Kroil. So, this morning, as I was backing out to go to work at 6:15 AM, I decided to run around the back to see if my can of Kroil had been left out back. Guess what I found? My wheels! 4 boxes with brand new wheels, left on the back driveway apron overnight. Thank God they weren't stolen! I'm sure my face turned white as a sheet when I saw the boxes sitting there in the dark. Jeez!

I hate UPS. Almost every package I get from them has some sort of damage, I would bet that they throw them from the moving truck without stopping, but I can't figure out how they ring the doorbell... I have never had them drop packages in the back, though.

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This thing of dropping the stuff in the back is something new for us, not sure if they got a new driver or what. Now I check front and back - I don't know what I'll do when they start dropping the stuff from the airplane onto the roof, though.

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Well, finally I feel like I'm going in the right direction. Last night I re-installed the head. I figured I had enough time to get the head back on, I ended up working until the time I usually hit the sack for the night. But, it's back on and torqued down. First, I sprayed the gasket with Permatex Copper gasket sealer spray, waited a bit, then proceeded with the install. Everything seemed to go back together well, so I'm optimistic for a good result. I guess I'll have to adjust the valves, and also re-torque the head after I run the engine some.

Tonight I moved forward (Avanti!) with the exhaust manifold install. Things went well, I was a bit nervous about the bolt hole that was re-tapped and the stud that I installed. But, happy to say, they held fast, especially the stud - that thing feels tight! Let's hope it all stays together. I also installed the breather tube and dipstick tube. Things are going in the right direction.

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Looking good!!!!! Some days are Diamonds and some days are Boulders! Looks like you are having your Diamond days now. Keep on plugging away and you will be driving it soon.

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Marathon! Part 1:

I took the day off from work today to put the big push on to get the Avanti mobile. I have decided to go ahead and proceed with the rescue as opposed to putting the car in storage for a while (was there ever any question?). I'll just have to try to keep the costs down and treat it (the cost) like a car payment, which is what it will be, an Avanti payment.

I started out installing the new plugs in the head I just got back on the car. Another little task marked off the list. From there I moved on to the valve cover for the head just installed. Looks pretty nice! After that I replaced the rotor and distributor cap. The old cap was toasty, like most everything on the car, and after removal I noticed a couple of cracks in it. I was going to replace the twin set of points but after inspecting them I decided they were OK. I did clean up the lobes on the shaft and dabbed a little vaseline on them. Then I moved on to the plug wires - that's where things slowed down a bit. I was having trouble determining where wire #1 was. I finally decided it was the spot just on the right side of the distributor cap clip and went from there, using the schematic in the shop manual as a guide. Hope I got 'em right!

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Marathon! Part 2:

Next I stuck the ignition shielding on the engine, just temporarily. Ever since I have had the car the stainless steel shielding has been in the car on the floor - I just wanted to see what it looks like on the engine. Pretty wild - Studebaker must have had some pretty hip engineers to think up some of the stuff they did. I imagine the stuffy technical engineers coming up with all the mechanical details ("We have to have a fuel line pressure relief on the supercharged model."), while the designers, coming back from their 3 martini lunch would say, "Man, lets cover the spark plugs and wires with stainless steel covers!" Whatever the case, it is a cool detail, I think. I hope I can get them all back on with a good fit.

Another little detail popped up next, as I prepared to re-install the intake manifold I realized that I was sent the wrong intake manifold gasket. According to the shop manual the supercharged model has a small hole opening in the middle port on the gasket, instead of the full port hole. I noticed that when I removed the manifold a few months back. Now I had 2 gaskets, both with all full ports. I checked the pile of old gaskets that came with the car. Score! There was a nice, correct gasket, which meant I could proceed. Next I threw the two new oil caps on - looking good!

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Marathon! Part 3:

Next, I was able to proceed with the intake installation. I cleaned it up some, cleaned the port openings and put her on! I torqued the bolts to 30 lbs., however, I had a mild hitch - one of the mounting brackets started to "fold" under the pressure. I'll have to keep my eyes open for a replacement.

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Marathon! Part 4:

After I installed the intake manifold the next logical step was to install the newly rebuilt carburetor. Sounds good to me! I installed the carb, the throttle check, and just stuck some of the old vacuum hoses on until I can get some new, fresh hose. It's starting to look like an engine now!

I also stuck the supercharger bonnet on, installed the fuel feed line (minus filter, I'll cut the lines to size later when I put the filter on), and installed the throttle boot where the throttle linkage comes through the firewall.

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Marathon! Part 5:

Since I was under the car, on the left side, I decided to test out my new exhaust pipe cutter. I cut a short section off the old pipe, the first of several cuts I will make to get rid of the old exhaust. The cutter works well, it'll serve the purpose. Next I got the heat riser delete spacer I picked up in York, gathered the various nuts, washers, and tools, and squeezed myself under the right side of the car. Once there, I installed the right side down pipe. Nice! The exhaust is under construction! After that I cut a section off the old exhaust pipe on the right side. Running out of steam at this point I decided to call it a day. But not before noticing that I had missed installing a bracket for the air cleaner assembly when I bolted on the exhaust manifold. Easy enough to fix - back the cap screw out, put the bracket on, re-install the cap screw (no picture of that though). NOW I can call it a day!

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