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Yeah I agree with the others about yanking the engine, wait on that one. Sometimes you need to walk away and distract yourself (do something else) and come back to it. I would not be adverse to yanking that head though, you already have the intake manifold off, and the exhaust so its what 12 head bolts, a new head gasket. Also, you will have better access to that motor mount not to mention having that head on a bench will assure success on those rung off bolts. After that you put it all back together and drive the car this spring and summer and then if later you want to crate it off to Nimesh it will be winter again and you can work on the tranny and rear end if you want. Oh, by the way Macco is having a special; their second best paint job for half price ($279 I think I saw) :D If it helps I have a welder that plugs into regular current if you want to try the washer and nut thing! Matt is not bad at welding too, I am still practicing! Something to ponder... anyway don't let it worry you... give it time and think about options and above all else FEEL BETTER! The Fourth Son!

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Thanks Brian - yeah, I'm pretty wiped out. Just been lying around all day feeling bad. Bleah! When I get better maybe I will check out Matt's welding skills - if he's still traveling down this way to see Sugar :-)

Anyway, I have lots to do on the car - the wrung off bolts can wait for awhile!

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Well, I started to regain some of my strength so I decided to see what I could do on the Avanti. I had previously removed one of the motor mounts nuts, then tried 2 more only to find the mounts spinning around as I gave it all I had on the wrench. So I once again turned to the grinder and ground off the top two nuts, or partially so, enough that they released their grip and I was able to wrench them off. The other lower nut came off cleanly, so I had two motor mounts free - now to get the engine up enough to get them off. Well, the first one came out (barely) only because the metal bolting plate had separated from the rubber insulator. It was apparent that the new mounts weren't going in, as they are fresh rubber and a good half inch thicker than the old crusty mounts. I was having trouble getting the engine up enough from the underside - looks like brother Brian was right about using a hoist (big brother is always right).

After lunch and a visit to Sears Hardware for more supplies (tip: buy stock in Sears!) I went after the freeze plugs. I was happy to get them all out and the first crustiness cleaned out - I felt like I got something accomplished anyway. I'm glad I am replacing them, especially the left side (there's that left side again) ones, they were barely holding coolant back. The water jackets didn't look too bad from what I could see - tomorrow I will look around with an inspection mirror and scrape, scrape, scrape until I can't find anything else to scrape. Then I'll flush them out well, wire wheel the openings a little to clean them, apply some Permatex No. 2 and install the new plugs. Let's hope it goes that easily.

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I only got in a little over an hour on the Avanti tonight. I just looked around for some surgical tools and went to town - scrape, dig, scrape. I got some crud out, mostly around the freeze plug areas and toward the bottom of the block, it seems. Makes sense, where all the sediment settles. the brake adjustment tool was handy, angled and strong enough to dig around. That other piece with the 90 degree angle was good too, thin enough to dig in tight areas. The hanger was useless, too flimsy, and the scratch awl was too straight. Tomorrow I'll try some brushes!

I figure another night of digging and scratching and I'll be ready for flushing everything out on Thursday. Fun job!

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Chris, might try an old hack saw blade. They have enough give to flex to the right angle. Just tape up the top to make a good handle. I am amazed that the inside of the block looks that good.

My thoughts too, John.

Almost as clean as my Buick after hot tanking the first time.

Ben

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I got an old hack saw blade, wrapped some duct tape around one end for a handle, and went after it. Great idea, this hack saw blade, strong but flexible and able to scoot around the various curves and crannies in the water jackets. After about 15 minutes on each side I wasn't really finding any packed in sediment - nothing much was coming out. So I decided to go ahead and flush it out with a hose. I ran water through each opening, up and down and all around until the water ran clear. I think things are pretty clean - looks clean anyway.

Mostly what came out was fine sediment, which is what I was finding on the hack saw blade. There were a couple of larger pieces that made their way out - they're shown in the last picture. Maybe a couple of casting pieces?

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Well, the freeze plugs are in - not a picture perfect job, but adequate for an amateur. I kind of wish I had a "do-over" on that one. In fact, I may do it over! I reserved an engine hoist for rental today, hopefully I can get the motor mounts installed and move forward. Which is what "Avanti" stands for in Italian, "forward". Sounds good to me....

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Thanks John, yes I have plugs, wires, points, rotor, cap, etc in the parts boxes - just waiting for the right moment to put them in. I didn't want to put some stuff in and then damage it while working on other stuff. Let's see....should I do the plugs before the exhaust manifolds, or after? I guess after, since the plugs are above the manifolds.

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Good job on the water jackets, Chris! Always good insurance to do that when the freeze plugs are out. And the new freeze plugs are good insurance too.

So are all the exhaust manifold bolts out, or do you still have a broken one to deal with?

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Thanks Paul - feels good to be inching along. I have not one, but two, bolts sheared off in the head. Gonna have to deal with them soon, just haven't decided how yet.

Ouch! Are they at least both on the same head?

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Yes Paul, both on the right side head, thankfully away from the steering box anyway. Going to be tough enough as it is.

Whew! What a day! At lunch today I rented an engine hoist - I had a couple of gracious offers to lend one to me but either one would have entailed traveling some distance and I wanted to get right after these motor mounts, so I rented one nearby. And when you have a time limit on a rental you have to get the work done! My thanks to the good folks for their offers - hopefully I can take a rain check for a future task!

After I got home from work tonight and had something to eat I went to it. First I removed the hood, something I was intending to do in a couple of weeks when I started working on the topside. That was fun by myself! Setting that aside, I removed the radiator hoses, fan shroud, and radiator. Gave myself some working room. Then I set up the hoist, attached the chain to the two front intake manifold bolts, and lifted the front of the engine. Worked like a charm!

Since I had the engine up I decided to install the new bell crank assembly. It really helped that the engine was up out of the way, the install was pretty straightforward. Next I attempted to install the steering arm but couldn't get it to fit properly onto the bell crank shaft. Round and round I went with that, the steering arm would go partially onto the shaft but not all the way. So I decided to fool with the motor mounts. They were a bit easier - still I had to bring the engine up, bring it down, align the mounts, etc. Finally they were in.

Then I went back to the steering arm, I took a crescent wrench and turn the bell crank shaft nut back and forth to try to hit the right spot. After a couple of jiggles and turns I saw the steering arm settle down onto the shaft fully. Success! I installed the pinch bolt, put all the washers and nuts on the motor mounts and called it a night. A satisfying night.

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Well, I returned the hoist this morning, swung by Fairfax Auto Parts and picked up a solenoid to starter wire I ordered yesterday, and hit Sears on the way home. I love when stuff goes well, things go so much better when you have the right tools, like that hoist.

Tonight I finished tightening down the motor mounts, reinstalled the transmission mount nuts, installed a grease fitting in the new bell crank assembly, put that new starter wire on, and re-installed the starter. I'll hit that starter with some Rust Reformer soon. Feels good to be installing some new stuff instead of fighting and wrestling with the old crusty stuff that doesn't want to let go(even though there is plenty more of that to do yet).

Also, since the radiator is out now, I was able to remove the front two bumper bracket bolts, one on each side, or what was left of them. For some reason they were sheared off. Did they rust through? Someone try to remove them and wring them off? Who knows. Tomorrow I'll get some replacement bolts and that should tighten that front bumper up nicely. Then I'll just need to get a bolt for the right side of the bumper, where it wraps around the fender - not sure how that attaches yet.

Also, I did a little garage cleanup - I took the old parts that are scrap, along with some other odds and ends, and loaded them in the truck. Off to recycling and out of my way!

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Today I continued to make progress. I decided to install the new stainless steel hydraulic brake lines, at least to the rear axle for now. I'm trying to take care of all the stuff that is easy to do since the front end is out of the car. That is sort of a double edge sword - I want the car mobile, that is with wheels and brakes all around, but man, it is so much easier to work on with no front end under it! No control arms, springs, shocks, tie rods, etc., etc. to get in the way. Just jump under there and get to work! Ah well, I think I'm going to be much happier driving the car around than laying underneath it.

So, I removed the old brake lines to the rear axle and installed the new lines. But first I removed the junction block and cleaned it up, first with a small wire brush, then in a bowl of warm water, Dawn dishwashing soap, and a little TSP (trisodium phosphate) and a toothbrush. Cleaned up nice and soon was back on the car. The new lines went in pretty smoothly - as I said last night, it's so nice to install clean, rust-free stuff. Next car I do I'm going to take it down to nothing and put all new stuff back on!

Tomorrow I guess I'll have to face the music - time to get the broken off exhaust manifold bolts out. Sigh....

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Just another small step tonight - I was able to find some bolts for the two broken ones on the front bumper brackets. I put them in - they're a little too long, I went a little long instead of too short. Ah well, they tightened up the bumper real nicely. After that I stared at the broken off exhaust manifold bolts for a few minutes. They didn't go anywhere. For the rest of eternity they will stay there until they turn to dust. Unless I get them out. I have said before - the right way is the hard way, or vice versa. The right way? Take the head off and let a machine shop drill the bolts out on a press. Simple.

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Well, last night I pondered over the broken off exhaust bolt situation some more. I haven't yet psyched myself up yet to pull the head, so I decided to leave it for now. I decided to treat the bolts with Liquid Wrench and some tapping with a hammer 2 or 3 times a day. Hopefully I will be able to penetrate the rust freeze if I keep soaking and tapping a few times a day for the next 2 weeks. In short, I want to exhaust (pun intended) all options before pulling the head, which will be a last resort. After a couple of weeks of soaking and tapping and maybe some heat, I will take a chisel and try to break the bolts free by getting the chisel to "bite" into the bolt and trying to knock it loose. I have had success in the past using that method, just not with super frozen bolts.

If I see any movement I will then utilize the method I mentioned previously, which is to weld a washer, then nut to the bolt and bringing it out that way. I'll just have to be patient and work on it for a while.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, work continues. Last night I just removed the nuts holding the right side spark plug wire harness on so I could replace the oil pressure sender flexible hose. Tonight I replaced the fuel pump and hooked up the rubber fuel line. I also attached a 2 foot rubber line which is the start of the fuel return line going back to the tank. Hopefully tomorrow night I will be able to fashion the return line using the metal line I got a few weeks ago. We'll see.

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Chris,

First, great job and progress being made. I do though have a thought that just rattled through my head after looking at the pictures just posted that prompts a question. Are the new belts going to get chewed up in short order from all that crusty looking rust? It could be just the view and things are cleaner than they appear, if not maybe taking the belt(s) back off and hitting the groves just a bit with some sandpaper might be in order. Again, just a thought. Scott...

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Scott - thanks for your comments. I have a new bottom pulley in the parts boxes that I got several weeks ago. I was concerned too that all that rust would chew up the belts. So, I'll be putting that on, the supercharger pulley has been through the blast cabinet when it was rebuilt, the fan pulley is not too bad, I'll wirebrush/sand that. That leaves the supercharger idler pulley that is all crusty - I've been looking for a new idler assembly but havn't found one yet. Maybe I can find one tomorrow at the York meet. Thanks for checking in - hope you're enjoying reading about this rescue operation!

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Well, I'm glad Scott brought up the rusty pulleys. I went through the parts boxes and found the pulley I mentioned in the last post. Turns out it is the wrong pulley - not the one I thought it was. It is the water pump pulley, not the crankshaft pulley. Arrgghh - old age is setting in...I thought I had the bottom pulley, not the water pump pulley. So I thought, "No big deal, I'll just get the bottom pulley, maybe even tomorrow at the York meet." Wrong! The bottom pulley is $195! Too much at this point in the budget. I'll just have to clean it up as best I can - it'll be fine. And I can put the new water pump pulley on when I install the new water pump in a week or so.

Also tonight, since I'm going to York, I checked out the king pins I got back in December. Before I had the king pin bushings installed in the spindles I checked the bushings on the king pins - they were a little loose. I thought, "Hmmm...probably because they are not pressed into the spindles." So I wanted to check the fit now that the bushings are in the spindles, and before I start re-installing the front end this month. They fit nice and snug, I'm happy to say. Not too snug, not too loose - just right.

And finally, I fit together the fuel return line that runs from the fuel pump back to the tank to relieve back pressure from the supercharger. Turned out pretty nice I thought.

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Chris, I used a thin and wide wire wheel (thin and wide to get deep into the Vs on the pulleys) on my electric drill to clean up the pulleys. Worked great. I think the wire wheel was less than $4. Have fun at York too.

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Chris, very nice work you are doing you are going to love love love your new ride, just hang in there you are doing great! Food for thought, how many miles are showing on the odometer? How many miles do you think are on this car/engine? If you decide to yank the head/s to get at the snapped off bolts would you rebuild the head/s? New valves/springs/seals those seals can be problematic. You are planning on a new water pump so yanking the water manifold is just eight bolts. You want to do something with the pulleys, Just sayin... also I have a blast cabinet if you want to gather up some stuff and clean it up you are welcome to use it or you can even leave it here and myself or Matt will clean it up for you its up to you.

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Thanks John, I'm going to make good use of the wire wheel method! I think everything will clean up pretty well too.

Brian, thanks for the offer of the blast cabinet - I didn't know you had all those goodies over there. I'll have to come over and visit my big brother and see what stuff I can get into. I thought about the whole thing, pulling the water manifold, pulling the head, then you should go ahead and rebuild the head, and since you rebuilt the one head you might as well rebuild the other head. Then it leads on to other stuff - never ends. I'll wait for now to rebuild everything - I just want to see if I can get the thing running and driving. That would be a huge accomplishment! Thanks for the encouragement, I've been fighting discouragement lately and asking myself why I'm doing this.

Well, I went to York today to see why I'm doing this, and was encouraged to see an Avanti that isn't in much better shape than mine (the red one below). And it's out there on the road! So there's hope for mine - that's encouraging. Actually, there were 3 Avantis there that were drivers, not fancy or restored, so that was good to see. Then there was the white one pictured below - very nice condition. Inside the exhibit building there was a sweet Lark - so nice. Immaculate. If I won the lottery I would have my Avanti restored, I would have that red Lark, and I would have a Super Hawk. Those would be the first three Studebakers in my 24 car garage!

In the parts building there were the usual tonnage of parts for all types of Studebakers. There was a fair amount of Avanti parts, but no real deals as far as prices. I did see a very nice rear bumper for an Avanti - near perfect condition. I went back to that several times and had to stop myself from going in over my head and buying it. It was $750 - I would have paid that for it if the budget wasn't already stretched. Sorry, I didn't get a picture - just imagine an immaculate rear bumper for an Avanti. Ah well, maybe another one will come along some day....

I saw Dave Thibeault and got my exhaust system, pictured below. He was the most popular guy in the place - always someone asking him something or buying something from him. One gentleman asked him about installing the trunk release cable. Dave asked him if the old cable was still in place. No. Well, you'll have to take the gas tank out. I asked him about how to change it out if the old one was still in place. He said to tie baling wire to the old one, pull the old cable out, fix the baling wire to the new cable and pull it back through. As I was coming home tonight I decided that would be my Avanti work for tonight, and that's what I did. The new trunk release cable is in place. Not all hooked up yet, but in place.

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This weekend I decided to tackle the water pump, front engine rust, water expansion tank with thermostat, fuel lines from the fuel pump, etc. Not too bad of a weekend - removed the expansion tank and cleaned it up, replaced the water pump, wire brushed a whole bunch of rust and treated the areas with Rust Reformer. I cleaned up the supercharger idler pulley assembly, rust treated it and re-installed it with new plastic bushings. I also replaced the negative battery cable and ordered the positive cable, along with a new stoplight switch. I painted the expansion tank with Rustoleum, have to wait for it to dry to re-install it. Same with the new water pump pulley. I hope to do that tomorrow night.

I also pulled the alternator - as I was fooling around with it, cleaning rust off of it, I realized it wasn't going to hold on for long. When I spun the pulley it squeak, squeak, squeaked. Needs some attention - so I'm going to trade it in on a new one, along with the voltage regulator. I also fabricated a couple of new fuel lines, one running from the fuel pump to the carburetor, the other a return line from the supercharger. I need a bubble flare tool though - I'll have to look into one of those.

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Looking good Chris. One thing I noticed, the water pump appears to be upside down -- the weep hole normally points down. Probably not too big I deal I guess, but you wouldn't want the hole to plug up with grime.

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Fascinating journal...enjoyable. Back in the time I worked as a gas jockey, I recollect the issue of speedometer mileage popping up in conversation's. One point noted was the fact, when an odometer turns over the first digit will not align with the rest, in other words, all the number's don't appear even/level. Your rear bumper dosen't look to complicated, check into rechroming.

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I'm sure you're right Paul - I looked at it, turned it both ways and decided that I remembered seeing one with the weep hole pointing up. That one was probably installed wrong too! Ah well, that's what you get when an amateur starts messing around with things. In a couple of years, when I have the engine rebuilt, I will turn it around (if it doesn't fail first!).

Thanks for the comments Foggy norm, now that you mention it I do believe there is something to what you say. I will take a close look at the odometer and see how the numbers line up. My rear bumper is rough - on the left side (that confounded left side issue again) there are two holes rusted clean through. After I got back on Friday I was putting the new trunk release cable in and, since I had just seen a pristine bumper, I inspected mine. On the inner surface the chrome layer is actually peeling away. I grabbed the bumper in the middle and gave it a good pull and twist - it seemed to have way too much flex in it. I began to wish that I had seriously reached deep and bought the nice one I saw. Oh well....

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This how I do most of my wire wheel cleaning, then use one on the drill in smaller confines, finally one on my mini-grinder for the corners.

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These manifolds were "before"

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And here is "after" (the exhaust manifold, after wire wheel, got Rust Reformer and BBQ black hi-temp.)

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Well, tonight was a night to go backward, before I can go forward. I went ahead and flipped the water pump so that the weep hole was facing down, and in the process I cracked the mounting flange. My bad - I'm beginning to wonder about my ability to think things through, I've made a few mistakes on this car that I don't think I would have made in my younger days. Maybe I'm getting too old? Trying to do too much, too fast? Dunno, all I can do is slow down and think things through. It's not "the end of the world", just aggravating. Of course, anyone who works on cars knows how these things happen, ya just gotta roll with the punches!

So, JB Weld is on the crack, which is right at a mounting hole. I'm hoping everything holds and there are no leaks - I hope. Another thing I did was "back up" on the fuel return line that I installed a few weeks ago. After installing that I began to think more about it and I realized the line wasn't big enough. It was even smaller than the factory line. Again, my bad. So, I picked up the correct size tonight and installed it in place of the earlier line. Much better. Maybe now I can move forward and not make mistakes!

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P.S. I just stuck the expansion tank on temporarily, with the mounting bolts finger tight. When I get the radiator and bottom hose installed I will take the tank off and the new thermostat out and fill the block with 50/50 coolant mix, then install the thermostat and tank.

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Chris looking at your pictures I was reminded about something I will pass on to you to be recalled at the appropriate time. The lower radiator hose connection at the engine block is a ***** to get to after everything is installed. I put that hose on and tighten the clamp strategically exposing the adjustment screw on the hose clamp for future access with a screwdriver or nut driver before I get too far along in the re-install process.

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