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Definitely swoopy and sexy, Pat.

While hanging out in the hotel room, in between forays out onto the balcony to listen to and watch the ocean and other various goings on, I worked up a couple of wires to connect the flasher to the fuse panel. Not sure what I hope to accomplish by running the wires, I guess I just want more control where the spade connectors slip into the connectors. I'm thinking about soldering another spade onto the existing spade so I will have a thicker spade that fits more snugly into their respective connectors. That's where I think I am going with it - if I have success making the flasher work all the time then I will leave it hooked up that way. If not, I will abandon the plan. I guess I will get to test it tomorrow, since I put in for, and was granted, a leave pass for a few hours. I'm excited!

On the way back from the beach we stopped off in Richmond, Virginia for a couple of nights. We like the old southern city of ghosts, with so much history to share. We were rained out for a while but on Friday we were able to make it to the old Hollywood Cemetery, home of several notables including two presidents, several governors, and many Confederate soldiers and officers. It is also the final resting place for my brother Steve and my sister-in-law Nancy, both of whom died too young.

Many times I called on Steve's expertise as a blacksmith, welder, fabricator and facilitator to fix this and construct that. A real talent, he was. 30 years ago I was in need of a car and went to see a 1970 Volvo 164 that I saw in the paper. The price was very reasonable, like $1800 or something, and I was really surprised when I saw the car. The exterior presented very well, the paint was nice, but what floored me was the interior. Apparently, the lady who owned the car since new kept the protective plastic on all the carpet and the seats as well! The interior was like new! I began to think the advertised price was a typo, so I asked if there was some mistake. The couple selling the car said it belonged to her mother, who lived in Canada. They then proceeded to open the hood (cue the music from the shower scene in the film "Psycho"). There wasn't a spot underneath the hood that hadn't been touched by rust. Or should I say, battered by rust. It was a terrible sight to see. Apparently the lady's care to protect the exterior, carpet, and upholstery did not extend to the underside and engine compartment.

I ended up buying the car, and called upon Steve to plug and patch holes here and there. Every year, at inspection time, I would head over to his shop and see if he could fix this or that - weld the hood hinges back in place, that sort of thing. Steve would cut out pieces of steel and weld them into place to hold the hinges - the biggest problem was finding something to weld to!

When I had my '55 panel truck I bought a kit that would enable me to remove the teeth jarring straight front axle from the old truck and replace it with the front end from a 1972 Pacer. I located a Pacer and bought it (actually had to buy two of them, the guy said they go as a pair), had the front end cut out (both of them, kept one as a spare) and rebuilt everything. I removed the straight axle from the panel truck and positioned the Pacer front end in place. I called Steve and he came over with his traveling welding rig. After checking all the dimensions Steve welded everything in place. we stepped back and looked at things - I said, "You think it's tight, it's not gonna move, is it?'

Steve gave that grin of his, kind of chuckled and said, "Oh, it's not going anywhere. Unless you pull out in front of a dump truck." We laughed, and I was sure that front end was tight and right. I sure could use Steve on the underside of this Avanti, now that I am getting to that part of the fun. Ah well, maybe he'll guide me from where he is and show me how to do it right. The picture of the coal train below is the view as seen from his resting place. Steve liked trains too - he's in the right spot.

The big stone monument pictured is a huge, free stacked stone monument to the Confederate dead, built upon a mound containing several thousand Confederate dead taken from battlefields all over the south and brought home to the Confederate capital. The picture of the ornate iron crypt is the final resting place of James Monroe, Revolutionary War soldier, Founding Father, President. Like I said, lots of history in old Richmond, city of ghosts.

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Thank you Chris. Your photos are excellent. That is a great spot chosen for Steve, may he rest in peace. It's a beautiful view of Virginia. In a family of 4 boys, I'll bet there was always mischief going on, in one form or another! Your photo of the Confederate grave and monument reminds me, as it should to all, that freedom is paid for with an irreplaceable currency.

The price of freedom is paid with the lives of a few who defend many. It is the duty of those who served with them to ensure this sacrifice has not been made in vain. The Price of Freedom

Thank you all on Memorial Day,

Chuck

Edited by Woodfiddler
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Thank you Chuck, for the nice words and the link. It serves to remind us of that which we should never forget.

Memorial Day, 2013. A nice day, a nice Avanti day. I was up and at 'em early, heading over to the storage unit by 8:30. I opened everything up, checked the oil, had a look at everything. I opened the trunk and began to fool around with the carpet - I was going to tape it down with some double sided carpet tape but I changed my mind. I had a hankering to just get out on the road. But first, let me try out my flasher and jump wire setup. I squeezed myself into the space in front of the driver's seat and pulled the flasher out. I took my jump wires and plugged the first one in. The other connector would not slide into place. Of course, I was struggling to hold myself in the awkward position, plus I couldn't see clearly that close up, plus the light wasn't right. After struggling with all that for a few minutes I was able to determine that the connector was sort of squished closed, so the spade wouldn't slide into place. It began to occur to me that maybe the flasher wasn't fitting into the connector but maybe the space between the connector and the fuse block.

I got my little pen knife out, and concentrating on the connector, slipped the blade into where the flat spade would go. I spread the connector open a bit, then did the same to the other side. I also slid the knife blade in and out of the connector to clean up the connection some. Hopefully. Then I slid the second jump wire into the connector. I turned the key on and tried the turn signal lever. Ticka, ticka, ticka... yep, she works. I taped the flasher and jump wires up out of the way. I was ready to rumble! The engine cranked and cranked - so much so that I finally held the pedal to the floor. She roared to life after ten more seconds with the pedal floored. A little flooded, I suppose.

Out we went for a nice cruise - I logged about 50 miles here and there. Another enjoyable ride - she ran fine the whole time, the gauges all held steady in the good zones. The signal lights worked the whole time too. After putting things away I headed for Advance Auto and picked up a bulb socket to use in the dome light. I wanted two, they only had one - I got another one later today at another Advance. I also picked up a soldering iron today to use in attaching the new socket to the lamp base assembly.

I worked on the worst light assembly tonight - I had a look at things and for a moment thought I may be able to just use the wires from the new socket assembly and just stick them in the old socket. After trying that out I decided to just go with the new socket assembly, so I unattached the existing socket and began trying to fit the new socket into place. I attempted several times to solder the new socket into place, but I could not get the solder to "take". Not sure what the problem was but most likely was due to "operator error". So what did I do? I reached for the JB Weld, that's what. I mixed up a little and put a little on each side of the new socket, attaching it to the old lamp base. Hopefully it will stick tight. I didn't put the epoxy all around the socket, as I wanted to leave a couple of spots to put a touch of solder on. If it will stick. For grounding purposes.

Well, 10 days off are now coming to a close - back to work tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have work to go back to - I'll find out tomorrow!

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Whew - what a week. Hardly any time for the Avanti stuff - our field guy at work got laid off a couple of days before I went on vacation. That means I'm the field guy now, plus the office guy too. I'm not complaining, glad to still be employed. So now that I have returned to the field it turns blazing hot. Naturally. As my father used to say. Plus, I've been hobbling along with half a computer, trying to work things out with that. I spent the last two days in the field burning up, then decided to stay in the cool today and draw up what I did the past few days. I got a call from the computer whiz, who I've been playing phone tag with for a few days. I spent two hours on the phone with him while I watched him operate my computer remotely from Michigan (I'm in Virginia). He made some progress on getting me tied into the network, but ran into a brick wall while trying to get my data transfer software to load. When it was apparent that we were not making headway I bid him goodbye and considered throwing my hands up in the air and taking retirement early. Since the prospect of sitting by the road with a sign and cup didn't thrill me I decided to mull it over at lunch.

Things looked up after lunch - I uninstalled the email program and re-installed it. Success! It worked. Then I started thinking about the two part data transfer software - software that enables me to connect the field data collector to the computer and download all the day's work. I was downloading the program from the manufacturer's support site, then loading it onto my computer. But it kept hanging up and throwing up an error that this file was missing, etc. After three hundred times trying that and getting the same results I decided to look around for a different source for the program. I found a site in Europe that had the same program - I downloaded it and loaded it on my computer. It worked! I wonder if the manufacturer knows they have a defective program on their site? I turned to the other piece of the puzzle next - I went to the Microsoft site to search for their connection software. That's where I saw it: "Microsoft ActiveSync does not work with XP Pro, Service Pack 3". Oh, that's nice - my operating system. Any advice on what to do next? Nope. I went searching online threads - lots of complaining about that little glitch, but not much in the way of solutions. Finally, I decided to try loading an earlier version of that program. It worked! So now I'm 90 percent back in business with the computer at work. Hmmm...maybe I should have played the lottery today?

Now back to the regularly scheduled programing - I finally got to go back to fiddling around with the dome light I was working on the other day. The JB Weld set up nicely, holding the bulb socket tightly in place. I plugged in the soldering iron and tried my hand at getting a bit of solder to take between the light base and the socket. I had limited success - I'm not sure why the solder won't stick, but I got enough that I think it grounded things. Then it was time to try out the lamp. I cut off the old socket contacts, stripped the wire ends, and connected the new wires to the old. I hooked things up to my little electricity machine and threw the switch. Light! I tried the slider switch on the lamp. It works! Wow - what a day, success on many fronts. I going out to get a lottery ticket!

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Well, I was going to head over to the storage unit (gotta hear that rumble!), but big storms were 'a brewin' so I decided to stay put and work on the dome lights some more. Not too exciting but if I want the lights to work I have to fix 'em up. I decided to try the soldering again, this time on the wires that I spliced from the new socket assembly to the old existing wires. This time the solder took real nicely, "gluing" the twisted wires together. I covered the splices with electrical tape and now that lamp is ready to go back in the car.

I was looking at the other light a couple of days ago and it looked like the socket was in good enough condition to use. The wires, contacts and springs were OK, they just needed some cleanup. First, I cleaned the connectors on the wire junction block. Then I took a Dremel tool with stiff brush and ran it on the socket contacts. That worked OK, but not as good as steel wool - I took a piece of that and jammed it in the socket. Then I took needle nose pliers and twisted round and round until the contacts were shiny. So was the socket wall. Next I had to disassemble the little slider switch, which I dread because the little copper contact bar fits in the slider piece just so, then you have to hold it all together whilst putting the switch in its place and clamping the little lugs down. A real fun task for large fumble fingers. Anyway, I took the switch apart, cleaned up the copper contact bar, then gave the contacts a good cleaning. They were totally coated in corrosion. I made the usual ten attempts to get the whole tiny package back together, dropping the little contact bar once (please let me find that!). After a while, with me drenched in sweat, the switch was back together.

I wrapped things up by re-connecting the wires to the switch, then giving the socket a little squeeze with some pliers, to hold the bulb tightly. I put the bulb in the socket, then hooked it up to my electric machine. Light! Woohoo! Now I have two working lamps ready to go back in the car. I have to remember to clean the connectors on the wire junction block in the car before re-installing the lights. Hopefully the lamps work as well in the car as they do hooked up to the electric machine.

My thoughts are beginning to turn to what I can do on the car next. Hmmm, something that doesn't cost too much, that's for sure.

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Edited by SeventhSon (see edit history)
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Finally! I finally got back to the storage unit today, I believe the first time since Memorial Day. It's been an off kilter few weeks at work and I've been trying to get my bearings back, having to deal with a major computer crash, the layoff of our lone field guy, a vacation in the middle of it all, then getting back into the swing of working in the field again. A trying time. But things are coming around - I took care of the field work, took care of the office work, even had time to change the oil in the field truck (way too much time passed since the last oil change). It's funny how much better an engine feels with fresh oil. My new computer is probably 90% to what my old one was - I have a couple of little things that need to be straightened out, but I'm beginning to accept that it won't be exactly like my old computer. Just have to work with what I have.

So, I headed off in the rain to the storage unit to re-install the overhead lamps that I fixed up. I really wanted to fire the old girl up and take her out for a run, but the rain was relentless. I thought about just starting the engine and letting it idle, but I didn't want to expire from carbon monoxide poisoning. So I just installed the lights, turned on the battery cut-off and had a look. The right side light was on, even though the doors were closed. I got in and slid the switch on the left side light and it came on. I switched the lights on and off - both work fine. Except they don't come on when the door is opened. I have to look at the wiring diagram and see if the hot wire runs through the door switch. Or, are the lights only wired to work with the slider switch? Could that be an optional thing - where you could order the lights that came on when the door opened? It could be - I know there is an extra connector on the wire junction, but no matching connector on the lamp side of the junction. Hmmm...something I could test with my electrical tester.

Next up, after I test the overhead light to see if there is power supplied when the door is opened, I'll pull the courtesy light. The light works (on and off with the door open and close), but the switch doesn't. Has to be taken apart and cleaned up, like the others, I suppose. After that I'll pull the steering wheel again and touch up the repair areas, then try to figure out what is making the horn sound when it's not asked to. Always something, eh?

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Mine never came on with the doors either. My feeling is they were considered "reading" lights. It would seem they should come on considering a two filament bulb and the extra wiring but I wonder if because the housings and harnesses may be off the shelf stuff used in other Studes and no different than the front that it wasn't a cost cutting measure by Studebaker to avaoid stamping Avanti specific lamps and lenses.

ErnieR

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I broke my leash this morning, and off I ran! I headed out at about 8:30 and made my way toward the storage shed and MightyFast. On my way I noticed a radical little number, all pretty in yellow and blue, looking like she just came from LeMans or something. I didn't even know what the car was until the driver stopped at a light to turn left - I drove slowly by and noticed the tag read "58 JAG". Hmmm, didn't know such a car existed, but she was nice. I researched things this evening and saw a "kit car" in those same colors. So maybe that's what I saw, a kit car. I found the picture below while checking it out online. Pretty sweet.

When I got to the storage unit I added half a quart of oil (every time I drive the car it seems to use half a quart) and checked everything else. She was ready to go - so was I! I headed to the gas station and threw 5 gallons in, along with half a can of Sea Foam. Off we went - man, she was running perfectly! I logged 50+ miles and she didn't miss a beat - really relaxing to just drive here and there. All the gauges stayed in normal range, the temperature gauge was a tick higher than it was showing over the winter and spring, about 175 degrees. During one extended run on the Interstate the temp climbed to 180, but never exceeded that. A nice day - a nice run.

Once I returned to the shed to put her to bed I pulled the courtesy lamp out so I can clean up the contacts and fix the little switch, which doesn't work. That's when I noticed the extra connector on the junction block - that's the extra wire the overhead lights are missing. That's why only the courtesy lamp comes on when the door is open. The last two pictures show an overhead light and the courtesy light.

A nice Avanti day - of course, any day in the Avanti is a nice day!

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Another interior lamp cleanup tonight. After slacking off last night I decided to try to at least get something accomplished tonight. Since I've done two lights already I knew what I wanted to do - I started by cleaning up the socket with a little steel wool. I stuffed it in the socket and twisted round and round with needle nose pliers. Shined things up nicely. Then I cleaned the connection block contacts - they looked pretty good but I gave them a little scuffing with sandpaper anyway. Then came the fun part - disassembling the little switch. but, like I said, I now have experience, so I know what to expect and what I wanted to do. Took it apart, cleaned up the little copper slider bar, cleaned up the contacts that match up with the copper bar, cleaned up the exterior brass (?) piece on the main switch piece, and cleaned inside the wire lug. Then it was time to put the fumble fingers to work on the tiny pieces and get the switch back together. Surprise! It went back together pretty quickly. I told you I had experience doing these lamps.

Now we'll see if the light works - I'll hook it up to the little electric machine tomorrow night.

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I guess it's a little late to mention this but I got all my switches, including the door jam, working with copious amounts of WD-40 and then moving the switch on and off until it started working.

I've done the same thing numerous times with other cars older and newer...something to try if there is a switch you don't want to risk breaking.

ErnieR

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Ernie - I didn't really think about using the WD40. I guess it crossed my mind, but just I figured I had to take things apart and clean them. Good stuff, that WD40 - so is JB Weld.

Well, tonight I got out the electric machine and rigged up the horn button switch I got months ago when I was testing the horn. I figured that would be the "door switch" stand-in. I made an additional wire to hook into the extra connector on the lamp. I hooked everything up and gave it a test. Light! The little slider switch on the lamp now works. I was kind of surprised that the switch doesn't work in place of the door switch. In other words, I was thinking that the slider switch on the lamp allowed you to turn the light on when the doors were closed. Turns out that it cancels the light out from coming on when the door is opened. Unless I hooked it up wrong. I'll know more when I put the light back in the car in the next day or two. Probably not tomorrow, as we are expecting more violent weather.

I operated the horn button switch, press the button, light goes out. Release the button, light comes on. Works like it should. I think. I was sort of disappointed that the switch on the lamp didn't turn the light on when the door was closed - that's what I was thinking it would do. Since I'm doing lights, I'm thinking about having a look at which instrument lights need replacing. I think the next time I stop by the storage unit I will close the door to the unit and get in the car and turn on the lights and instrument lights. I saw a whole set of the red bulbs on eBay the other day - might be a inexpensive thing to check off the list.

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Look at it again when you're in the mood. It should be able to be switched on when the doors are shut. That was 1963 GPS...a light to read the map by.

Guessing on which wire would do what but you can check with a test light to the on-car harness but I believe you want constant 12 volts to the red and switched 12 volts to the black. The switch is always on but not getting juice when the doors are closed,

Not 100% on the wire color but easy enough to check with your test light. If it doesn't work you might have to dig back into the switch.

ErnieR

Edited by ErnieR (see edit history)
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I must have been doing something wrong Ernie. Not that that ever happens :rolleyes: Today, since the expected conflagration of weather did not materialize, I decided to run down to the storage unit and throw the light in the car and see how it works. I cleaned up the connectors and stuck the light back in its spot. I turned the battery cut-off switch on - the light came on. I hopped in the car and closed the door - the light went out. I flipped the switch - the light came on. Yay! It works as I was hoping it would work - I must have had a wire missing in my setup with the electric machine. So, it's all good, the interior lights work.

After that I closed the storage unit door most of the way so I could see how the instrument lights look. Of course, I was competing with the overhead light in the unit, which, until this week, has rarely worked. There is no switch evident for the overhead light and I didn't want to stand up on the fender of the old Avanti to unscrew the bulb. Throwing a rock at the light was out because I might want the light some day. So, I turned on the lights and instrument lights and had a look. Pretty much all the lights seem to work, but the brightest ones are in the speedometer, as you can see in the picture. The picture doesn't even show the other gauges illuminated - they were lit up, just weak. So maybe some bulbs are out or just worn out. I'll check into it further after I fool around with the steering wheel some.

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That was easy! Lol. The instrument lights are a labor of love because the outcome is at best disappointing. The bulbs were painted red and were small. I don't know of any off the shelf replacements but the vendors make them. Bigger, rounder bulbs are brighter but if I remember correctly don't fit in all the holes. White lights are plenty bright but without any tint the view of the gauges is not that nice and not Avanti like. Led's don't diffuse light enough. They project too straight so unless there are some new styles out there the led wont do the job.

I ended up living with the dim lighting. It is safer to drive with the lights as low as possible on the dash. My speedo wasn't accurate and as long as I was willing to do a long scan every once in awhile I could watch the other gauges. It's kind of cozy in there at night with the red glow.

I did the dash at least 10 years ago so the vendors may have come up with a solution

If you remove the front seat and keep your chiropractor on speed dial you can get to the bulbs.

ErnieR

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Ha ha - OK, you talked me out of it Ernie! I think I'll skip that project for now since the lights work (dimly) and I don't foresee driving it much (if ever) at night. Thanks for the info, especially about the chiropractor. ;)

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I remember my father painting new bulbs with a red dye or thinned nail polish. I was young enough not know what it was nut it is a thought.

On a bright note- my Avanti came home last night after three years in my friend's shop!! He is finally healthy again and wanted it out of his spce. We had finished it three weeks ago but we were very busy prepping for and hosting a VMCCA tour last week that I did not have the time to fetch it. He called and delivered it last night and it sure looked good coming down the street after all that time! However, after I moved a few cars around I went to put it in the garage- the brake pedal went right to the floor... Called him and he said it was fine on the way over but I guess I have another project for the list.

We broke two cars last week on tour (Model A quit and '31 Hupp acted up as we went to the trailer lot), the Overland did not want to stay running when moved and I have a lawn that has not been mowed in over two weeks. That is first on the list with Mother and it is tonite's project. I will have all weekend to play in the shop and maybe get the fleet back in shape.

But my little red G-L-H machine is home!!

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Yes, I'd like to see the 50 year old machine. I wouldn't mind seeing the 100 year old Studebaker too! As for me, I'm bogged down at work - since we let our field guy go I am it, field and office. So, my Avanti waits for now - hopefully I will get there this weekend for a drive and to pull the steering wheel again for some fine tuning. I'm also getting a hankering to bring the old car home for a weekend for some cleaning and an oil change. We'll see - off to work now....

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OK Chris and John (and others)- I would like you to meet the car that got me in this hobby and is the cornerstone of our collection. Please meet 63R2602 otherwise known as Bill's little red Go Like Hell car. My father bought her new in Rochester, NY in March 1963, the first Avanti delivered in Rochester. She is a mostly unrestored R1 car with the 4 speed, Silent Exhaust, AM radio and few other options. She was built in Nov '62 I think and never had the grille in the front, one rain gutter is factory installed upside down and a few other quirks but I love her! I inherited her in 1978 with a $300 repaint ('73) and an mild, stock engine rebuild ('74) but otherwise this is an untouched car.

In the last three years my friend Mike and I have gone thru the engine and drivetrain. The suspension and new tires are next. First I guess is the brakes as they failed when she came home Monday. She wants to run and I will get into the brakes shortly- it's been too long! Like Chris says- that Avanti rumble is the sweetest sound I know and it is GREAT to hear again in my driveway! :D :D :D

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Very nice Bill! And a one owner too! You have to get those brakes fixed and get her out on the road. But I'm sure you are thinking the same thing ;)

I was able to sneak by the storage unit last evening and pay a visit to my old Avanti. I'm glad I went last night, as it is raining out this morning. I took along some new chrome cleaner I got a couple of months ago with the intention of shining up the engine chrome and the exhaust extentions. However, that didn't last long - the desire to get out on the road and hear the rumble that Bill mentioned was too great. So I fired her up and out we went. Let me get sentimental here - I love that car. It is just such a feeling of contentment and satisfaction to know the old car is running again and rumbling down the highway. Makes all the hard work worth it. At one point as I drove around yesterday an older couple passed by me. The gentleman driving gave a hearty thumbs up as he passed by. That makes it all worth it too! :)

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Engine looks good!

Looks like the carb base gasket needs replacing. Dampness on the intake is fuel leaking under boost. The R2 carbs are designed to to move pressure away from throttle shafts via passages cut in the base.

ErnieR

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One more thing...the center screw on the carb top, I think the tag is on that one, should be sealed with some fuel resistant sealer. I don't know if all the rebuilders do it but it is recommended by Studebaker. Good news is it looks like your accel pump and carb hat are sealing nicely, though.

I've never gotten as much attention in any car I've ever owned as I did in the 64 Avanti and that includes the '88 Avanti. I see there is turquoise lurking under the current color on your car and I firmly believe the combination of turquoise and the Avanti shape are a traffic stopping combination. When I would drive my car in my former hometown of Livingston NJ, a very densely populated town where kids drive BMW's to school and MB's are more common than Corollas, people would stop in the middle of a right turn while I was stopped at the light on the cross street and wave at me ( really the car ) causing the people behind them to slam on the brakes along with a honk and a proper NJ finger wave.

My signature picture is from a very large car show in Macungie PA and even though I was surrounded by some really interesting and magnificent vehicles I had a group of people follow me to my parking space to ogle the car. One woman came back three times to stare at it all the while telling her husband to "sell the Mustang and buy a turquoise Avanti". He wasn't as enthusiastic as she was.

Mind you...if you up to any nefarious activities you will never be able to hide driving an Avanti.

ErnieR

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Ha ha - thanks Ernie. I posted a before and after pic of the chrome on the engine, more as a joke than anything since I couldn't finish the job before giving up to go for a drive. :D I have noticed the leakage around the carb base and will put that on the list to do the next time I bring her home for a few days (or weeks!). And mine came from the factory in Turquoise - the Avanti mechanic who worked on mine, Alan Himes, has been suggesting that I should take it back to that color. My wife is not in agreement with him on that. It's a good thing I don't have any money, so I don't have to make the decision anytime soon! :rolleyes:

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Chris, I did open up the rear brakes today. Passenger side is fine. Driver's side is all greased up- can't tell if it is the cylinder or the seal but shoes, plate, everything is greasy so I am thinking seal. I guess I have forgotten how this seal is removed. Is it a special tool or the usual three prong seal remover? One curious thing- the line was dry (no drip or fluid) when I disconnected it like the cylinder wasn't getting juice.

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My wife had the same feeling about turquoise but I liked it. When I got my car it was gold but and had a total of three colors on top of the turquoise netallic red, black and finally gold. When I stripped it it was like looking at the rings of a tree. In fact when I bought it I t was sold to me as an R1. It wasn't until I bought the original paperwork that I found out what the original car actually was. The conversion was so complete I believe it was done at the dealer. Not just a supercharger removal but a complete transformation including speedometer and heads.

I will give you an opinion, entirely my own, about Avanti colors. Since the car is so modern looking and was produced in the same basic form into the '80s I believe the turquoise color helps identify the car as a 60's vintage car. In modern colors the assumption by the general public is it's a newer car and just something they weren't aware of. The turquoise creates a disconnect - it looks modern but the color is old. Except for the retro Thunderbird I can't think of any mass produced cars that offered that color since the 70's.

Lastly, there's some comfort in restoring a car in its original colors. My car was heavily modified, mechanically, but whenever I showed it the most common question was if it was the car's original color. I know that what other people think doesn't matter but I think owners rarely second guess themselves when they paint the car in its original hue and rarely repaint when it's done but I think the opposite is true on cars that are restored mostly stock but are in a different color. Just my opinion again.

BTW, I was able to strip my car with razor blades and even though I went down to the bare glass using POR 15 Stripper I might not have had to do that. Some of the stuff out there today will seal that old paint and give you a pretty nice finish. I've seen a couple really nice driver paint jobs done by Maaco shops when the owner did the prep with some guidance by the shop that was to do the final job. Just a thought. But I wouldnt want to give you any ideas ;)

ErnieR

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You have an outer retainer that comes off after you remove the 4 bolts that hold the backing plate et al on. The outer retainer is for axle bearing grease and removing the axle exposes a standard type seal.

You won't always see brake fluid from a wheel cylinder. The return springs and how the shoes are adjusted could virtually empty the cylinder on retraction but I would be concerned if you don't get a drip from the line itself though.

ErnieR

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Thanks again for the info and the interesting perspective about the dating of the colors Ernie - I might just end up painting it turquoise yet. My brother Brian has had a couple of Avantis - he had a white '64 that he sold more than 35 years ago. Well, the guy who bought it did a frame off restoration on it, replaced every nut and bolt on the car, and when he put the body back on he painted it turquoise. I got to see it before the body went back on and after it was finished. Just a beautiful car, really. I wanted that car sooo bad, and the gentleman offered it to me for $7,500 cash because, as I found out later, he was terminally ill. Of course, I was only about 20 years old at the time and that kind of money might as well have been a million dollars. So it went to someone else. But it looked very nice in turquoise. And I believe if my wife saw mine in that color she would like it. Also, I don't need a show quality paint job - driver quality would work for me. As a matter of fact, I have been thinking that I wish I could find someone to put a 50 year old paint job on it, if you know what I mean by that.

Bill, You could have a crimped or blocked line from the junction block on the rear axle. If someone hooked a tow strap to the axle, or it hit a road hazard or something like that it could have crimped it shut. Unimogjohn had that situation on his. Or, there could be a blockage, if the car sat for many years and the brake fluid was dirty and solidified.

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Bill, Chris was right about my crimped line. Also there is a single rubber line that connects to the distribution block. That is often blocked by old fluid or the rubber has swollen and cut off the fluid supply. I got my replacement lines at Carquest, but I know NAPA has the lines also. But the pedal going to the floor indicates a total failure of one of the hydo components or one of the three rubber lines. Was there any fluid left in the master cylinder?

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post-64181-14314196575_thumb.jpg

I wasn't being facetious about the engine compartment. Everything looks routed neatly and properly and the rechromed stuff is beautiful. I have an inexpensive and easy suggestion to spruce it up further. Take a look at the stuff in this picture of my former Avanti that normally would be cadmium plated like the carb linkage, hood latches, wiper motor etc. I painted them all with Stainless Steel Paint. It is extremely tough, easy to use and unless you are going for the 100 point concours look it dresses up the stuff that would normally be unpainted.

Stainless Steel Rust Protective Spray Paint - STAINLESS STEEL SPRAY 16 Oz. Can, 13 Oz. Net Wt - Amazon.com

Edited by ErnieR (see edit history)
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Well, I took off the Avanti front wheels tonight and all looked good there. Nice and dry, minimal surface rust on the rotors from 3 years of sitting I guess. The car has sat days now with the open line at the driver's rear wheel so it should have gravity bled out right? This is the line that was dry when I unscrewed it from the cylinder and it is still dry tonight. I do not have a hill holder in this car and the next step is check for fluid on the other rear cylinder. If I have no fluid there either what do I look for- a bad junction/splitter where the rears tie in?

I opened up the reservoir on the master and it is full. This is a bad sign with the pedal going to the floor without effort. I am thinking the master is in for a rebuild as well but why didn't it drain the last two days? It is an original single master system.

Any ideas of what else to look at would be appreciated.

Thanks,

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Sounds like a few things at work here. Bleed the master cylinder first and then attempt to bleed the system. They need to be bled if they have drawn any air. Even a bad master will push some fluid but no pedal is usually caused by air. A bad master will usually give you a sinking pedal while you're foot's on the brake at a full stop. If gravity won't cause a drip at an open line there's something clogged.

Are the lines new or recently replaced? If not I would do them all. Sooner or later they will pop and with a single master you have no margin of safety at all. If your Avanti is a driver I would do a dual master conversion at the very least.

Driving in NJ traffic I went all the way and converted to 4 wheel discs. I had a completely rebuilt, stainless sleeved original system but stopping power was far below the modern upgrade. Just converting the front was a vast improvement and highly recommend it to anyone... but I digress.

If you can't bleed the master then it's really bad and needs a rebuild.

ErnieR

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Four years ago I put in all new stainless lines front to back with all new fittings and hoses to the calipers. At that time I also rebuilt the front calipers and they are now dry and fine. I do not remember replacing the rear hose but will check receipts/parts.

Two things do not add up-

It was driven five miles and brakes were fine, next start 20 minutes later had no pedal. I know a single cyl system is prone to a catastrophic failure unlike a dual but in that interval?

The dry line to the left rear (no drip from line or wheel cyl) when master is reservoir is still full.

Should I break open all four lines to see where there is fluid? I still suspect it is a bad master but the no flow on a line open for four days now says a clogged line someplace. If the piston in master is stuck fully extended would that create a blockage?

Thanks Ernie and John for your thoughts-

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Easy enough to check the master. Take it off and inspect. I suppose the piston in the mc could be stuck in a position blocking the outlet

Single master is an easy rebuild and you may be able to order a kit locally

I think they are the same as some 60's mopars but without the residual pressure valve.

Sounds like it is time to get dirty

ErnieR

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Upon further reflection...have you checked that all of the linkage is in place? Pedal to bracket and bracket to booster. It seems to me that if the master's piston was stuck forward and blocking the port you would have brakes that aren't releasing. You may have uncovered an existing issue with the rear brakes while trying to solve the recent disappearing pedal problem.

The Avanti does most of its braking with the front and in normal driving situations you wouldn't know whether they were working or not.

Again, thinking with a little clearer head, before you go through the trouble of removing the master just start cracking the lines loose starting at the master and working back. When you stop getting a drip you know where to dismantle.

Looking forward to an Avantey blog on this site so I can live vicariously through two Avanti projects. All I have to play with now is a 76 Chrysler NYer Brougham that has 23,000 miles on it and everything works.:)

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