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Chris- I have to catch myself when I see pics here now. I keep wondering who's car you are working on now, it's not "ol' spotty" in red like before. ;) Then I snap to and enjoy the read.

We winterized every thing this past weekend. Already had salt trucks out once and maybe more this week. I did move he '38 Buick and over to my friend's, see the discussion in General/Young People... thread. It was good to se it in daylight again and I am excited for next spring with that car. I also have to save pennies this winter for new sneakers on the Avanti before we tour it in June in Maine.

Here are some pics of the 1938 Buick Roadmaster, a grand look IMHO!

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Yeah Bill - I have to do a double take every now and then too! The new paint seems to get lots of looks on the road too - I'm happy with it for sure. I like that Buick - you do have some toys. I can only keep up with one.

Speaking of - today, while traveling between jobs, I found myself near the storage unit. And I couldn't help but stop in and see if the hood ornament fit. It does! The spears now lay flat against the hood. So I went about attaching the unit to the hood. The pal nuts that I got the first time were the ones to use - a couple of them would not "bite" so I had to rough up the post with a file first. I still got my arm and hand workout in for the day - not sure who invented the pal nut system, but I think there has to be a better way. Of course, it would help if I had an original part and not a reproduction with these sort of catty-wampus posts, some thick, some thin, all chromed up so nothing can get a bite on it.

But, in the end the unit went on, the pal nuts mostly went on, and as you can see, I had to use a couple of the smaller ones on two of the posts that were a bit thin. but she's on - looks good! I hope I can get by there again tomorrow and maybe affix the Studebaker emblem on the trunk lid. A little at a time....

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I didn't get to the storage unit today, as I was way back in the forest, surveying 24 acres. Not many pieces of land that big around these parts anymore. As is the case with any vacant parcel of land abutting a developed subdivision, the edge of the property (anywhere from 20 to 50 feet) has accumulated all the cast offs from the subdivision lots. I've seen it through the years, same old thing, folks don't want something, they toss it over the fence, or drag it 50 feet onto the vacant land. No matter that it's private property - it's vacant land, so it must be a good place to dump stuff! Anyway, I wish I had my camera with me, as I saw a few interesting pieces of "junk" that would have made good pictures. Maybe tomorrow.

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And more glitter today, Pat. I got to a good stopping point on the big job, so I headed over to the storage unit. Yesterday I went searching for some JB Weld Kwik at Home Depot. Sold out. So I picked up some Gorrila Glue epoxy - haven't tried it before, but I figured I would try it out. At the storage unit I decided to try the roof side emblems. The pieces are very nice, the posts on the back of the chrome retainers are straight and uniform. They came with the little vinyl tubes stuck on the posts, reminding me of Roger's recent post about how he saw and emblem attached to a piece of cardboard with those tubes. But since I don't want to pull the interior panels off to get to the back side, I figured I would glue them from the outside.

I scuffed up the chrome posts and the area around the holes, one side I had to open the holes back up with my pocket knife. I mixed up some epoxy and applied to the mounting holes and a little on the posts. The little plastic "inserts" with the "S" symbol came with a nice, soft rubber backing. However, that backing kept the retainer from fitting flush with the surface. So the backing had to go - oh well....

So, the pieces are stuck on the car - I will return to the storage unit soon to see if they are still stuck fast, or are laying on the floor. :rolleyes:

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Another day, another Avanti visit. It seems like old times again. I took a few hours off from the job today and headed to Maryland to visit my aged mother for Thanksgiving. It was good to get out of the megatropolis and cruise a little bit. Still lots of cars around and driving a bit frenzied. It gets this way every time we get close to the holidays - wild on the roads! It was good to see my mother again - something else that has gone by the wayside since I've been working double duty. Enough about me....

On the way back from the visit I stopped in the storage unit. I had the Studebaker emblem with me and I set about installing it. No pal nuts, no speed nuts, just epoxy, since the mounting posts are of varying widths. I hope it holds - it is a really tight fit and awkward to get to the mounting posts from underneath the raised trunk lid, so I just glued it in place. We'll see how she does. I laid a heavy weight wrapped in a rag on top of the emblem while the glue set. Meanwhile I busied myself with some chrome cleaner on various bits. After a half an hour I removed the weight and gently closed the trunk. We'll see if it's still in place tomorrow.

Remembering my father, who departed this life 24 years ago this night. He had a full life in a short amount of time, left home at age 15 during the depression and worked in an envelope factory in Philadelphia, entered the Army Air Corp in WWII and dodged death more than a few times in the jungles of the South Pacific. I can't remember if it was him or someone else who said that the Japanese bombed them at night and strafed them during the day. Kept them all nervous all the time. Fathered 8 children, had a few Studebakers, enjoyed the fact that he was alive after some of the things he went through. So Dad, job well done, and I miss you every day.

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Yesterday morning I fetched the old Avanti and brought her home to finally work on putting the rear bumper back on. It was good to see the old car back in the garage, especially looking all sharp in her new paint. I started fooling around with the vertical guards, until I realized that the brackets had to be separated from the chrome guards themselves. No big deal - I just removed the two nuts holding everything together and proceeded to install the brackets that hold the vertical guards. I installed the lower bolts and finger tightened them. Then I got the main bumper piece and positioned it in place. I left the original wrapping on the piece during the installation to protect the finish. Things went well - I only had to back up a couple of times to get this or that aligned or set in place. Before long I had most of the nuts and bolts in place and tightened.

If something like this is compared to music or a song I guess you could say it was like "Try to Remember (The Kind of September)", sort of an easy listening tune that illustrates how things were going. Until I sat down on the garage floor to bolt the passenger side end of the bumper fast. Then the record player needle screeched all the way across that nice easy listening song, even bouncing back onto the record and screeching a couple of more times. Since this is a family thread I will use the PG-13 version of the popular text missive, "WTH!"

There, on the end of the bumper, unseen prior to this moment, was a fair size chip of chrome missing and a crack in the chrome that ran from the missing chip to the bottom of the bumper end. Oh crap! Where did that come from?!! After staring at the area for a few minutes and realizing that it wasn't a bad dream and I wasn't going to wake up from it, I just proceeded with the installation. What can I do? I don't want to pull it all off again and ship it off again. After thinking about it for the last 24 hours I began to realize that it was probably banged around during shipping and that end was knocked around in the wooden crate it was shipped in. Probably too late to put in a claim for shipping damage. I can't figure out how I missed it when I first received the piece. But I looked back at the pictures I took when I got the bumper back and in one I can just make out the chip at the edge of one of the pictures. Arrrrgggghhh - missed it!

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Some more pictures, starting with another one showing the disappointing damage that I did not see when I first received the bumper from the re-chromer. Oh, what a shame - the bumper has a mirror finish, everywhere except on that damaged end. Truly a disappointment. Oh well, I finished installing the bumper, then this morning I re-installed some bolts and nuts I had removed from the front bumper when I was getting ready to take it to the paint shop. After I had done all I could do I fired the car up and headed out into the frigid cold that swept into the area last night. As I started down the street I noticed something out of the corner of my eye - water dripping from under the dash. Ah, that's the heater control valve going bad, I figured. I pulled the heat control lever back to the "off" position and the water stopped dripping. OK, I can take a hint - time to put the old girl away and think about something else for a while. On the way back to the storage unit I took a few pics at a business park. She's looking pretty nice, if you can overlook the flaws.

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Chris, she really looks so beautiful. Just gleaming in the winter sun. I almost forgot what she looked like when you first got her. Great job getting her this far.

And I would at least write a note to Jerry F so see if he can do anything for you re the bumper. You never know.

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It's of course hard to see from the computer, but I suspect that the layer of nickel and chrome is too thick. Years ago I had a similar problem with an aluminum wheel I let re-chrome in the USA: at reception, it began to peel at the back...I took the wheel to a Swiss company and there the man said that the layer was too thick and it would probably peel in the front too. He handled this and the other wheels I had ready for chrome and he did a beautiful job.

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Thanks John - I couldn't have done it without your help! (Plus the help of a couple of dozen other folks) I will send Jerry an email and let him know about it and see what he says.

Roger, you have a good point - the chrome does look too thick at that spot. I didn't think about it, but it sounds about right that that would flake off there. Of course, it does look like it has been hit on that end, probably being thrown around in shipping.

Of course, the wheels are already starting to turn in my mind, starting at 3:30 AM this morning (I do some of my best thinking in the middle of the night - who needs sleep?). I think I'll start researching the repair of the original bumper and see if the rusted out piece can be replaced and the whole unit can be rechromed. Then I'll just switch them out in the future. My original bumper fits this car much better - the replacement bumper has more of a gap between the body and bumper on the driver's side than the passenger side. Original bumper fits nice and even all the way across.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I figure I better check in before folks think I have checked out! Nothing much has been happening besides Thanksgiving, a birthday (my wife's), work, and life's other requirements. Along with a couple of ice/snow storms. I did manage to get to the storage locker last Wednesday and fire the old girl up. I drove to the gas station, threw in some SeaFoam and premium, then took her around here and there. Only 20 miles, not nearly enough to call real fun, but still fun nonetheless. I leave the old car running while putting gas in, and listening to the steady rumble of an idle is music to my ears. It sounds so good - runs just as good too. I opened her up a couple of times during my drive just to see if there are any misses or hesitation. None so far - when the secondaries open she is like a race horse at the gate when the bell rings. She's off! I don't go far like that, there being speed limits and all. But it is nice to hear the secondaries open up while the supercharger whines - nothing like it, really. This car is a real gem, I believe.

I'm still looking around for an antenna, with no luck. I guess I'll have to pry the wallet open and spring for the $140 unit from S.I. It's not the money - just the prospects of more money coming along and calling my wallet home. Still touch and go at work - hopefully things will iron themselves out and I can regain what they call "consumer confidence". If that happens I'm gonna spring for a nice set of hog troughs. What fun that will be! Right now I still have a few things left to do to get the old car all the way back together from its paint job experience. Side "Supercharged" emblems, the aforementioned antenna, the glass headlight covers, the windshield washer chrome spout, the cowl seal and door seals. Still lots to do - hopefully all this icy stuff will go away so I can bring her back home for a while.

And, oh, I contacted Jerry Forrester about the chrome flake off on the bumper. He said to send it back and he would make it right. After thinking about it for a few days I decided to leave the bumper on the car for now. I would rather live with the small area of flake off than pull it off, crate it, and ship it back and wait for it to come back.

Edited by SeventhSon (see edit history)
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Well, I found myself in the vicinity of the storage unit today so I dropped in. I knew I was going to be in the area so I had a hankering that I would fire her up and take her out. However, on the drive over I noticed several areas where the recent snow and ice had melted and re-frozen, along with some areas of road salt wetness. That coupled with the building Christmas frenzy that is possessing a lot of the folks around here made me reconsider wanting to take the old car out. Then I remembered that it was Friday the 13th and I slammed the door shut on any driving today.

So instead I examined the recent paint job and bumper re-chrome and I decided that I am going to go ahead and pull the rear bumper back off and send it back to Jerry Forrester to fix that one area. It's a pain, but I'll feel much better when the bumper is back on and looking right. I also need to investigate adjusting the left side bumper bracket - I hope the brackets are adjustable where they mount to the frame, because the left side of the bumper is further away from the body than the right side. On the right side I can just stick one hand in between the bumper and the body of the car. On the left side I can put one hand on top of the other and fit them both between the bumper and body. Not good - one hand width is all it should be, so the left side has to adjust toward the body a half inch or more. I'll check the shop manual to see how the brackets fit to the frame, unless unimogjohn has some insight he can share with me.

So, having ruled out driving and decided to remove the bumper sometime in the next couple of weeks I wondered what I could do to at least make some progress. I decide to epoxy the side "Supercharged" emblems on. Hey, the epoxy worked well on the "Studebaker" emblem on the trunk lid and the sail emblems. What could go wrong? So I mixed up some Gorilla epoxy glue on a piece of cardboard and set about roughing up the posts on the emblem. I also scuffed up the mounting holes - then applied some epoxy to the posts on the emblem. The emblem went on until it got about an eighth of an inch from the body, then wouldn't go any further. Seems the wonderful reproduction pieces have posts that do not quite match up with the mounting holes at the body. The mounting posts can be manipulated at their ends, but at their fixed positions where they meet the emblem they appear to be too close together. They pinch, in other words. I believe they can be filed to fit, and I did try to file them down as the glue waited for me. I filed some, returned to the car, and having wiped most of the glue off while filing, looked for my cardboard glue "mortar". What did I do with that?? Oh, I'm standing on it. Did I mention it was Friday the 13th?

I sprayed some WD40 on a rag and wiped the glue off the emblem, the car body, and my shoe (as best I could on the shoe). Then I got the heck out of there - I know when to retreat.

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Chris, there is some lateral adjustment, but not much. See the attached picture. Remember you have to assemble the bumper on the bracket and then insert it into the body and the frame. You cannot mount the bracket and attached the chrome pieces as the wings have a hidden bolt. Before you take off the bumper make sure you know what side clearances you need and adjust before you put the bumper back on to the car. The bracket also has two separate pieces for the wing support. This bracket should be adjusted so it just meet the fiberglass so you can put in a rubber cushion between the bracket and fender. Hope that this helps.

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Thanks John, but I was talking about the rear bumper. Sorry for the confusion - I should have taken a couple of pics up close of the right and left side. Below there are some pics that I just took while installing the rear bumper - it's kind of hard to see the gap from left to right and the difference, but there is a noticible difference. I figure it's a good time to correct it since I'll be working on it again in a couple of weeks.

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I came home tonight and found that my Christmas present to myself came early! I had decided to spring for the expensive (but correct) antenna for the Avanti. I had looked around for an inexpensive unit just to fill the spot but could not find one that would fit the smaller mounting hole of the Avanti. Most of the antennas require a 1" mounting hole, the Avanti is 5/8". And I was certainly not going to make the hole bigger! So I gave up trying and ordered the reproduction antenna - I am glad I did, as this unit is a very nice piece of work. It should fit nicely and look really good with the new paint. Since we are having a warm wave for a couple of days I hope to head over to the storage unit and install the antenna. Of course, I'll have to fire the old beast up too. ;)

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Hi Chris. Wow, I leave for about 6 months........and your car is a different color! The color looks great on the car. I skimmed thru the last 6 months or so of posts to get back up to speed. You've made great progress, congratulations!

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Hey Paul! I've been wondering where you were - glad you like the color. It gets attention out on the road, for sure. I still have lots to do on the old beast, I've been tied up with work and holidays, etc. Last Friday I stopped by the storage unit to see how the new antenna fit. I turned it this way and that and couldn't figure out how to get it in it's spot without drilling a hole in the trunk and running the mast up through to hit the mounting hole. So I did the only thing I know to do - I put the antenna aside, fired the old car up, and took her out on the road! Felt great to take a run!

Afterward, the Answer Fairy came to me and helped me figure out how to install the antenna. I need to run the mast all the way up, drop a string down through the mounting hole, tie it around the ball on the top of the mast and gently bend the mast to come through the mounting hole. We'll see if that works, soon.

Yesterday, I stopped by the unit and picked up the old rear bumper, which I plan on spiffing up a little and sticking on the car while the shiny bumper is being re-done. I'll be posting some pics of the old bumper cleanup later.

Anyhow, welcome back Paul - glad you're still watching!

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Happy New Year to all who are looking! I have decided that one of my Avanti winter projects is to fix the front bucket seat that has a broken back shell. For years my father leaned on it pretty heavy to exit the car and broke the back shell above the hinge. I have since swapped it with the passenger side so the driver (me) is comfortable at the expense of the passenger (unhappy wife) who now leans in towards the console pretty bad and gets backaches if we drive too long. Since we are touring the car in June I think it would be nice of me to correct this so I have a happy wife on tour.....

Has anyone ever done this? After not finding new shells on line I talked to Dave Tbow this morning and he says just repair it, he has done a few. There is a slight warm up here this AM so i am going out to look at it now. I do not think I can get it out where the car is parked and there is still snow outside the door so I do not know how far I will get today. Stay tuned

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Well I just came back from the garage and have mixed results to report. I got the passenger seat out without a problem, have looked at the shop manual and think I understand how the hinge comes apart (3/8 bolt and push nut). I will tinker with this and take it to a local upholsterer who does a lot of car and boat custom work. Between us we will repair the seat bucket and get things back to looking good and comfortable.

While there I looked at the driver seat and it has some upholstery issues too. The welt around the back panel edge is separated and the cord is hanging, the seat has an open seam, etc. So I thought I should take it over to the guy too and now the fun starts. On the inner rear track hold down bolt the blind nut is spinning and the floor around it is cracked so the bolt area is depressed about 1/4". So now I have some body repair to do which means taking up the carpet, etc.

Does anyone know how is this nut captured originally? Is it molded in to the fiberglass floor panel or mechanically retained? I see no fasteners around it and it is totally blind to the interior of the car. I cannot get it up on stands where it is stored so I may have wait and see if there is access from under the car. Would the hog troughs be in the way underneath? If I can get the seat out I have an idea how to raise the floor and reglass it but I need that nut under there to do it and hold the seat down. Would a Corvette have similar issues with nuts captured in the molded panel?

Thanks,

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Thanks Chris! Nice article and a good solution for the front mounting holes. I did see these metal pieces on Classic Enterprise as well and may get one for the driver side as the one original retained nut is weak. I will probably have to make a similar patch panel with a nut welded on for the rear hole that is my obvious problem. I also know a couple of the nuts for holding up the rear seat back panel are bad too. I am finding in many cases the 50 YO body fiberglass is brittle and cracks easily when stressed now. Is that a trait of old glass work?

Thanks,

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I started cleaning up the old rear bumper tonight to stick on the car while the recently re-chromed one is sent back for a re-do. The original bumper is rough and even has some rust through on the left side, which I plan on covering with some chrome tape just to cover up the rust. I'll just spend a little time cleaning it up and seeing how presentable I can make it - it feels good to be back doing something on the old car. I made some progress tonight, I scraped a lot of the chrome off the inner surface, which was peeling away from the bumper like a birch tree. Then I turned my attention to removing the wrung off bolts out of the side mounts. I had sprayed Kroil on them yesterday and let them sit for 24 hours.

I tried Vice Grips on the broken off bolt on the right side, but it was a "no go". So I dug my bolt extractors out (the ones I bought when I was battling the exhaust manifold bolts that had broken off so long ago). I found the right size, it scrolled right down onto the bolt and dug in. I grabbed the breaker bar and the bolt remains came out. Wow, that's the best result I have ever had with those extractors. On the right side, unfortunately, the bolt broke off below the bracket. So I will have to drill a hole in what remains of the bolt and use an internal (E-Z Out type) extractor. I just had a discussion with brother Brian at Thanksgiving about how those extractors like to break off and make things even more difficult. I will have to proceed with caution....

I also have two mounting studs that broke off, as you can see in the pictures. I am formulating a plan in my mind on how to deal with those. One step at a time.

To finish up tonight I shined up the bumper with some chrome cleaner - an OK night. Feels good to be back in the saddle working on the old car :)

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Last night I was fooling around with the old bumper, working on getting enough of the mounting points in shape to hold the bumper in place while the other bumper goes back for chrome re-do. I got a piece of threaded stock with the intention of sawing a couple of pieces off and using JB Weld to affix the pieces to the wrung off studs by utilizing an oversized nut as a coupler. JB Weld all of it together. I'm not sure if I will continue along that path - I'm just messing around with the bumper, it's something to do while the old car is far away at the storage unit. I got sidetracked with the side mount bolt that wrung off below the bracket hole - I was able to drill a hole into the wrung off portion. Then, against my better judgment, I got an extractor out and started fooling around with that. FAIL. It broke. Of course.

So now I will try to drill around the extractor piece. Or keep trying to break the bolt remains loose from the back side of the bracket using vice grips. To that end, I sprayed more Kroil on the piece and left it for the night. Tonight I did not get back to it - more pressing things to do (not really, just lazy).

On the daily driver front, I came out of my building at work yesterday to get something from the trunk and noticed that the passenger side taillight assembly was hanging loose! What?? I investigated and found that the mounting studs were broken from their moorings in the assembly. Jeez - how did that happen? I ran it around in my head for several hours and seemed to remember that one day several weeks ago I backed into the garage a little too far and heard a slight crunch. Oops. Nothing appeared broken - I guess the mounting studs needed a few weeks jostling around to finally break free, having been damaged. That's all I can figure could have happened. The assembly is now being held in place with three strips of shipping tape. Yeah, I know, ghetto. I'll have to try to fix it this weekend.

That's all I got - Happy New Year everyone. Let's hope it's a good one!

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Well I guess I am hijacking your thread again Chris but since it is the slow time for your car work I hope you don't mind. And it is Avanti work so I get some points too! I did watch the Rose Bowl Parade as I always marvel at the floats. Each year the use of floral stuff of all kinds is incredible and every year the technical animitron stuff gets more advanced. This year the three little spaceships leaving the float, running around and getting back on the float was very cool. Also amazing was the Honda float with five pieces like a choo-choo train at 274 ft making those turns!

I spent the New Year afternoon in the shop working on the passenger seat I took out. The problem is not in the back shell but the bottom shell. Picture 1 shows where the rear corner of the shell under the track mounting hole had been broken and depressed by 1/4 inch. It actually flexes to make the twisting in the seat worse when weight is applied by someone sitting down.

I decided to make a metal patch plate (picture 2) to solidify the area and bring the captured nut back to flush so the seat is stable and doesn't sink towards the console. Pictures 3 and 4 show a cantilevered lift I came up with to bring the broken area up to flush under the plate. It pivots on the bolt in the front track hole (right bolt in pic 4) and lifts by the sunken rear bolt hole to the left. By turning the center bolt as in picture 5 I can raise or lower the broken area to where I want. After putting epoxy on and then the plate I held it in place with two corner rivets. I then brought the area up under the new plate to flush and finished the rivets. I let the epoxy dry this way in picture 6 and now have the reinforcing plate bonded and riveted to the shell with the molded in lug pretty much back where it should be. I have to decide whether I am going to fiberglass it in as well for more strength and then figure out how to repair the vinyl. I cut a seam near the corner and heated the vinyl cover all around the area to pull it down and out of the work area.

I can reglue it back in place like original but how to tighten that seam is a problem to solve. Fortunately it is on the inside against the center console, the whole area is under the back edge of the seat by a rear passenger's toes and hardly shows but I may have the upholsterer try it. You can see where the seam is in the last picture. If I can figure out how to keep it stretched as the glue dries the seam repair may be unnecessary.

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Like I said I hope you don't mind too much but it is Avanti work! Happy New Year!

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Thanks Chris- It is a small project but one I can do in the downstairs shop with heat! Tonite is heading below zero here and the garage is COLD! I did the snow blower work and that is all out there tonight and for a while I think. The Avanti is in cold storage meaning the uninsulated part of the garage so it may be a while before I pull the driver's seat to continue this project. I also want to pull the mag off the 13 Stude and try to remagnetize it but that too is in the cold storage area.

What I have decided is that I like indoor parking in the winter. It was real nice to walk out thru the cellar this morning at 13 degrees, get in the car, push the button and drive off to work. No cleaning the car, shoveling out to it or it out, etc. I got a seven car garage a few years ago by adding five bays and all my wife wanted was indoor winter parking and an opener. I agreed as it was a small price to pay I thought, little did I realize how smart she was (once again)! Took me ten years of having old cars in the other insulated bay but after two winters now I have finally learned- I like it too!! Keeps my winter work possibilities down but I can take small projects and into the cellar.

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Bill,

The angle bracket looks like it ought to work for you to level the seat -

and I also enjoyed the spaceship with the three little "Moon Lander-Rover units running down the ramp, circling the mother-ship, and driving back on from the rear --- Kool !!

Glad to see you're making progress on the Avanti,

and you are right about indoor parking during inclement weather - you will likely get more of that today and tomorrow.

So far, none of that here, but we expect to drop to 32 next Tuesday night.

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Still here - nothing much going on, though. Work and weather have conspired to quash the Avanti fun. Not to be deterred, I headed over to the storage unit to fire the old beast up. I was determined to just let her idle and come up to temperature since the weather is so lousy these days. When it's not raining or snowing it is butt-ass cold, or I'm dragging my old bones around the woods. So I figured, "what the heck", I'll just start the old car up and listen to it run, even if it is too wet to take her out.

I had my doubts - it's been, what, three weeks since she turned an RPM? I think the battery is gonna give me a bunch of clicks. But I have my booster box - should I go ahead and hook that up first? Nah, let's see what this battery has in it. I got in the car and pumped the gas a few times, put the key in the ignition and gave it a twist. Man, that was the slowest cranking I have ever heard from a car - she usually starts cranking slow and then gains speed as the seconds tick by. Same here, but all in slower motion. I held the accelerator pedal down about a quarter way the whole time she cranked and sure enough, after about 15 seconds (an eternity) she roared to life. Nice! It sure was good to hear the old engine rumbling again, even if it wasn't going out on the road.

Since the exhaust was pointing toward the rear of the storage unit, and it became quickly apparent that the unit was going to be overwhelmed with exhaust, I decided to turn the car around. I grappled the old non-power steering car out and turned her around, getting some rain drops on the new paint. Ah well, a little rain shouldn't hurt it - I pulled the car nose first in the unit and let her idle. The exhaust still wanted to waft back into the unit - like it didn't want to be out in the rain either. Anyhow, it was a little joy to have the wonderful sound of a Studebaker V8 (R2!) fill my ears again. A couple of times I reached into the engine compartment and gave the accelerator linkage a tug. The motor responded - quick and robust, like she was ready for a run. Not today, baby, not today. Too wet out there.....

After turning the car back around I shut her down and headed back to work smelling totally of exhaust fumes. Like a nice cologne. I'm keeping a close eye on the weather for an opening to get the girl out and run! Soon!

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Hey Chris- i am sneaking in a little car work as weather allows and yesterday was not bad here. Got out there in the AM and pulled the drivers seat on the Avanti with help from a friend. The nut under the floor was not turning- the whole plate with the caged nut was loose from the floor. It is about 2" square and looks like it was bonded into the fiberglass floorpan. When the pan broke I think it allowed that to break loose and wrenching on it from above finished off all previous connection to the floor. Since I have to repair and reinforce the floor I plan on making a sandwich with a larger metal plate on the inside fiberglassed in and bolt and/or fiberglass the nut plate on the underside. This will all have to wait for warmer weather however. That part of the garage is unheated and the fiberglass won't set well and the repair guy won't work well... Besides I have to put the car up on stands, strip out the carpet and drop the muffler (at least) to get at the job.

As for the seat it needs some major repair and I do not think the old vinyl is fixable. Where I thought seams have split the material is torn and shrunk as well down in the outer bolster on the driver's seat. I will go looking for the upholstery kit after this and see if I can afford it right now. Have to make sure I can pay the property taxes at the end of the month you know!

After the Avanti we turned around and started playing with the '31 Hupp. I have been working with a rubber molding shop to have the windshield rubber reproduced and this was a good chance to check fit the first samples delivered last October/November, just before we got cold and snowy. It looks like the form for the three lower sides is a lot closer fit than I thought when holding it so that is very good. The top piece needs a lot of work from what we saw, just way too big and off in some critical dimensions. So now I can get back to the shop with corrections and keep that project moving. In the meantime the Hupp sits sans windshield and header piece, again hoping for an early spring warmup to test the next run of rubber.

And I did not fire any of the old girls up! but it is going to be in the 40's again today...........

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Bill, when I finished up my Avanti a couple of years ago I bought a seat kit from Studebaker International. It was a lot less expensive than having the trimmer work from the old seat patterns. I think it was about $700 including shipping. I am happy with it. Of course it cost another $1000 to have the seat foam rebuilt for both front and rear seats and the new covers installed. I probably over paid on labor, but I was in a "lets just get it done" mode.

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Thanks John,

I have talked to Dave Tibo this AM and contacted another Stude person in TN that a friend has had work done by. I really do not want to do the entire interior since the other seats, especially the rear are in great original condition. I also do not want a glaring mismatch on the material. The original black vinyl is a semi gloss, heavy, smooth material devoid of all grain, and I want to match that as close as possible. The foam in my seats seems to be in great shape, still very firm and pliable. Dave T said that is very possible as the foam Stude used is a high quality that won't break down much at all until exposed to air ( and I assume UV). WIth the tear along the edge of it the outside bolster foam is now exposed so it must get fixed sooner rather than later to preserve that too. It will also keep my costs down if I do not have to re-foam it as well. I am getting samples and prices and will see how it goes.

Thanks,

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Bill - glad to hear you are making progress. More than I am able to do at this point. Unless you count my daily driver as progress. Last night I decided to tackle the tail light assembly that mysteriously broke free from its moorings (6 attachment points!). I thought earlier that I may have backed into the garage wall, but standing there and trying to visualize how that could have happened just does not add up. Maybe a truck backed up into it at the parking lot at work? Maybe the automatic carwash? It's a puzzle how those 6 attachment points could have all broken free from the plastic assembly - and all without a scratch on the light lens. Maybe just a mystery.

Anyway, the first couple of pics show the tape job holding the assembly in place, another pic shows the mounting studs tightly in place, the next couple of pics show a couple of the mounting studs from the back side and how they separated from the plastic assembly. Then there are a couple of pics showing the epoxy used to glue the piece back in place. I mixed up some Gorilla Glue epoxy and, after it set for a few minutes, I dabbed some on each mounting stud and corresponding area of the plastic assembly. I then fitted the unit into place and sat there holding it fast while the epoxy set up. About 20 or 30 minutes - while I listened to the radio. So far it seems to be holding fast - knock on wood.

This morning I loaded up the car with the tool bag, the antenna I bought last month, a pump mechanism from a bottle of shampoo or lotion (to pump the oil out of the supercharger) and headed over to the storage unit to take care of a couple of things before taking the old car out. Unfortunately, upon arrival at the storage unit, I found the two units directly opposite mine busy with some sort of school athletic equipment hand out. Table set up, soccer goal nets here and there, helmets, soccer balls, people coming and going, etc. A bit too much activity for me - and too much of an audience to get curious. So I headed out without stopping - I'll just hit it another time. It all worked out, though. I was able to go home and continue on with the daily driver, giving it a much needed spiff-up inside and cleaning the black brake dust from the front wheels. Got something accomplished anyway.

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John- I will certainly keep you all posted on what I do. In the meantime I took the crank mechanism off the Hupp windshield this PM to see what what is going on with it. It is a cnter crank mechanism at the top of the windshield with no other latches or other locking means. The windshield does not quite crank closed tight and I think this contributes to any leakage issues. It is a sector gear with continuous worm drive type mechanism. When I fully exposed the sector the last three teeth are shot on the diecasting.

How do you fix this short of retooling the part? I do not have any luck with JB Weld and refile to shape exercises, the part always seems to fail on me. I wonder if this is a candidate for rapid prototyping? I used to have access to a sintered metal RP machine but no longer. A regular 3D printer does not use a material I know of for this kind of application (the loads on the gear teeth). Any ideas here would be great! See the pictures and you note it is only the first teeth.

The mechanism has no markings other than a PAT PENDING on the outer shell and on the sector piece a p/n CB 86 and a globe symbol. Does this mean anything to anyone? I am pretty sure Hupp would have bought this part as a lot of their car is assembled from suppliers sub-units not built in house.

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Thanks,

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I re-covered my front seats myself. Foam was terrible but I used it. I purchased a few different rolls of foam from a trim supplier and filled in where the original was damaged. The interior was a nightmare mainly because of the supplier I purchased the kit from. My car was a late production "thick seat" car. The thickness was a bit of an optical illusion as the seat shell was the same but there was extra padding behind the backrest to give the look of thickness. There are differences in the front, however, but my supplier obviously didn't know that. The earlier seat does not pull in around the pleats on the backrest it stays flat. The wrinkles you see at the upper corners are the result of me trying to pull in and hide the mis-sewn material. To add insult to injury the color started to come off almost immediately!!! I had to have the door panels clear coated to keep them from loosing color the seats were a lost cause...but I digress.

You will need tacking strips, cotter pins, hog rings and pliers, staples and or tacks, Hide-em welt and a heat gun. I also had to buy the wire that the hog rings and cotter pins attach to because mine had rusted. Original tacking strip is cardboard and that's what used. In retrospect I would try vinyl if I had to do it again because the cardboard needs to be layered and getting smooth corners is difficult, at least for a total novice. Attaching the tacking strip is one of the most difficult aspects of the job. It was stapled into the fiberglass and I didn't have the equipment to do that so I drilled and riveted. That's where the layering became an issue trying to keep everything in place just didn't happen so the rounded c orners weren't as smooth as I would have liked. Plastic would be much easier to work with and you could probably use thin body side molding.

As you can see from the interior pic the material does tend to shrink some and wrinkles will lessen over time.

A frequent contributor on the SDC Forum, John Poulos, was selling seat kits in the easy colors like black. Look him up over there.

The interior picture was taken right before I sold the car. The installation was done about 6 years before that. BTW, The console is homemade from a GM unit and the wheel is from a later Avanti. I bought a rough upright console piece and installed a modern radio. If I was showing the car I would remove it and the radio and replace the original. Four screws and a couple of plugs, zip-zip.

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Bill, I had similar issues on a pot metal gear assembly that was no longer produced.I ended up taking it to a artist who does foundry work. He was able to cast the parts out of bronze for me including the teeth that were broken. This was 10 years ago and it works as well now as when it was new. I have since used him for other parts I needed reproduced. Find someone who can cast using the lost wax method.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello from the deep freeze! It is January 28, 2014 and about 10 degrees outside. I've been saying it for the last few days but it bears repeating - I'm done with this winter. I've had enough - go away! It's bad enough to have to work out in it some, but when it starts infringing on my Avanti fun, then it's time to say bye bye! The Avanti stuff is basically shut down, though I did make the trek to the storage unit on Saturday and paid a visit. I hooked up the battery booster box, let it sit for a while, then hopped in and cranked. Or should I say crannnnnnnked - she was so slow. After about 10 seconds of the cranking I saw smoke coming from the positive battery cable - looks like we still have resistance. Time for a major cleaning of the starter relay lugs, maybe even time for a replacement of the unit altogether. So, I let the unit cool down (didn't take long, as it was 20 degrees out) and tried to fire her up again. After a few seconds she roared to life! Very nice. I backed out of the unit and turned the car around, placing her nose first in the bay. That's as far as we were gonna go that day - too much of that arch enemy of cars (salt) on the roads. As much as I wanted to go play we just stayed in the unit, idling nicely and admiring how far the old girl has come. After 15 or 20 minutes of idling (with a couple of vroom, vroom for good measure) I turned the car back around and shut her down :(. Ah well, it can't stay frigid forever, can it?

Today I found a box in the foyer when I got home - my little order from S.I.! Last week, in an effort to bring some life back to this dull winter, I ordered a couple of late Christmas presents for myself. A fender cover to protect that new paint on the car while I'm working in the engine compartment. And another poster to go with the one my boss gave me at Christmas 2012 (the one called "Gold Out of South Bend"). This new poster has a UFO theme to it - OK, I can work with that :) I like the color of the Avanti in the new poster. I asked my wife if she had a frame for the poster, as she sells an art print the very same size. Within 5 minutes we had the painting framed and ready for the wall. A little color in an otherwise gray winter!

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