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The best fuel economy I have been able to get on my 63 R1 is around 14 to 15 MPG and thats long freeway trips with minimal traffic. Im a Bit dissapointed given the Avantis Good aero shape,light weight, and small 289 engine size. Im curious what you other owners are getting and if you have any tricks to increase the fuel economy. I always use premium grade fuel and even added a snake oil on the last LOF. Has anyone done an overdrive automatic or 5 speed manual trans swap? Gotta be a huge improvement with that swap,but you can buy a lot of gas for the price of that type of upgrade.

Chris

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That's about right for fuel economy. The '63 R1 I used to own got about the same with a/c, automatic and a 3.31 rear axle ratio. That's also in-line with what contemporary car magazine reviews reported when the Avanti was first available.

There are those who have done the automatic overdrive and 5- and 6-speed manual transmission swaps, maybe someone will respond. I know one who has done the 6-speed swap, but that's in an '83 Avanti II.

As I once saw in a Frank and Ernest cartoon..."Do you want to whimper about fuel economy or do you want to be King of the Road?!"

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For what it is worth, for a R2/manual/4.11 axle, not the R1 in discussion.

on the 2217 mile drive from WA to TX, my new '63 R2 w/manual got:

day one: 15.0 mpg, day two 14.1 mpg, day three, 15.5, for an average of 14.9 mpg

Day two was high altitude, both sides of the continental divide.

Low was 11.3 in Seattle traffic, high was 19.0 in Kansas prairie.

This car was not driven for about 4 years before I picked it up. The fuel mpg and the driveability improved as I used Chevron Techron Supreme, AND three bottles of "concentrated" carb/engine cleaner. By day three, it ran nicely.

Edited by tsterkel
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With a "built" Studebaker engine, and a 700-R4 trans in my Hawk, I would get

around 25 mpg on the freeway. Avantis are not really "light", weighing in at

over 3400 pounds, my Hawk would have been about 3000 for the coupe.

Tom

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With a "built" Studebaker engine, and a 700-R4 trans in my Hawk, I would get

around 25 mpg on the freeway.  Avantis are not really "light", weighing in at

over 3400 pounds, my Hawk would have been about 3000 for the coupe.

Tom

Wow Tom, at 25 mpg I gotta believe that 700r4 would be a good investment with gas moving back up towards 3 bucks a gallon. Would that trans hook up to the stock shifter, or what are guys using in this conversion?

Chris

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Wow Tom, at 25 mpg I gotta believe that 700r4 would be a good investment with gas moving back up towards 3 bucks a gallon. Would that trans hook up to the stock shifter, or what are guys using in this conversion?

Chris

My dad just installed that same 700 R4 into his 1969 Avanti, of course he didnt

need the adapter since it has a GM engine. I think he used the stock shifter, but

its only got 1 2 and 3 .. where as the 700 has 1 2 3 and OD. I used a B&M in

the Hawk, but then it had no floor shifter. I would assume with some creativity,

you could use different length arms on the trans to make use of the whole swing

of the shifter. Then you would need a new selector place made up to show what

gear you are in. As previously mention elsewhere, my Avanti's 3 spd stick is

going to be replaced with a T56 6 spd, once I figure out the details. Thats got

TWO over drives! Should get close to 30 mpg in an Avanti.

Tom

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There's a source for shifter indicators for '68-'82 Corvettes converted to 200-R4 or 400-R4 transmissions that have the 1-2-3-O detents. It won't fit an Avanti without modifying the console as the indicator is flat as opposed to the curved one an Avanti has.

I'll see if I can find the information on the supplier and post it.

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There's a source for shifter indicators for '68-'82 Corvettes converted to 200-R4 or 400-R4 transmissions that have the 1-2-3-O detents.  It won't fit an Avanti without modifying the console as the indicator is flat as opposed to the curved one an Avanti has. 

I'll see if I can find the information on the supplier and post it.

I read on another forum that McCloud? I think, was tooling up to make a bellhousing for studebaker V8's to adapt modern transmissions like the T5 & T56. I think that would be even more fun to convert the auto to a stick and have the overdrive gear. I hope someone really does make the parts, It would really modernize the drive train and make daily driver status more of an option.

Chris

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My '87 Avanti with a 305HO CCC engine and 200R4 get about 15.5 mpg. I just installed a custom exhaust and converter and havn't run enough for new mpg figures, but I have more power. I have a LT1 with a 700R4 sitting in a wrecked Buick Roadmaster just waiting to be installed, should get 25 mpg and LOTS more power. :D

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I read on another forum that McCloud? I think, was tooling up to make a bellhousing for studebaker V8's to adapt modern transmissions like the T5 & T56.

McLeod. I contacted them over two years ago through their website. Weeks went

by without hearing anything back, so I sent again, thinking that perhaps their

system was down. Finally in ONE day Red (the owner) replied to ALL the emails

in one day. This was over a MONTH later. His first email was not very helpful

but with inquiry about what I wanted. The second was frustration and the third

was asking my why I was harrassing him. Obviously not a very bright guy. The

emails would have had DATES on them showing they had been sent over a spread

of a month or so. I attempted to explain it to him, but was like communicating

with a tater tot. He told me that he would look into it and get back to me. Two

years later I have heard NOTHING. I am currently talking to Fairborn Studebaker,

www.fairbornstudebaker.com about a special flywheel since they make aluminum

flywheels. Dave Levesque of SteelTech was also very helpful, but doenst make

any flywheel parts (though he does offer an adapter for the 700 Autos). All the

nice writeups in the car magazines like Popular Hot Rodding that mention McLeod

say that they are a great outfit, but they are obviously not interested in helping

the Studebaker community! Dealing with them was almost as bad as this guy

Bob Bendtsen, who also makes an adapter. He's absolutely terrible to deal with.

I am tempted to post the Email conversations with him here, just to keep all you

good folks from having to go through that. His "kit" doesnt allow the use of the

hydraulic clutch assembly, and requires dumping all the parts associated with it

and only using the trans itself. This is not good since part of the draw of the T56

IS the easy to push clutch. Its also more simple to mount (no alignment problems)

but when I asked him if his kit could be modified to use the hydrulic clutch, he said

I had a BIG ego?!?!?!?! Anyway .. steer clear of him, obviously he isnt getting all

that many takers on his "kit". Oh, he also told me that it was stupid of me to have

bought the entire T56 trans assembly without having an adapter first. But I tried

to explain to him that ANYONE that buys a used T56 from a partcar is GOING to get

the WHOLE deal, from flywheel to tailshaft ... hell if I was selling one, thats how I

would sell it!! What good is a T56 bellhousing, clutch, pressure plate, and cylinder

if you dont have the trans?!!?

I explained that selling in a nitch market, he should really strive to work with the

customer and not name call and talk down too .. he said it wasnt Burger King.

When I said I would design my own (this is the best part) he said,

"Good luck designing anything. It doesn't sound like you know enough. 35 years old? You're still in diapers. Talked down to? I haven't even started. I've been holding back. Maybe someday you'll be smart enough to manufacture specialty items and deserve your big ego. Not now though sonny."

Talk about a chip on the shoulder huh?? Oh .. BTW .. the rear disc brake brackets

are now machined and fitment will happen tomorrow. I already designed and had

machined the front caliper brackets and the brakes are on the Avanti and working

QUITE nicely now. The rear disc brakes should be working tomorrow. After I have

the rears done, then I will look toward swaping the GT brakes for 13 inch Cobra

brakes ... since as I said they use the same mounting bracket and the Stude hubs

I modified will accept the rotors. I wonder if there is a market for this? These

will accept ANY brakes available for 1994 thru 2004 Mustangs, which includes all

the Baer, Hawk, Brembo, StopTech, Wilwood and probably many others.

Not smart enough Bendtsen? Hmmmmm.

Tom

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I found the source for the conversion kit for Corvettes, which should be able to be adapted to an Avanti by someone with the talent. It's for '68-'82 Corvettes (three part numbers depending on year). It's for converting from a three speed automatic to a 200-R4, 700-R4 or 4L60 GM transmissions.

The supplier is Eckler's (Ecklers.com), one of the biggest supply houses for Corvette parts and accessories. The three part numbers are 34799, 34800 and 34801. The cost of each kit is $114.99 and you use the original shifter handle. Their catalog states you can get a better and fully detailed description of it on their website.

I would think if you have an Avanti with a TH350 or TH400, this would work by modifying the console bezel carefully.

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I think Myers Studebaker has the adapter available for the GM auto tranny:

Myer Studebaker Adapter

We have an '82 with a T56, SBC 350 and Holley spread bore 4bbl. Highway mileage is close to 24 mpg. I was just testing last week when the clutch m/c push rod broke 75 miles from home. :(

In sixth gear the engine is turning 1200 rpm at 75 mph. :wacko:

Joe Menacker

RQB 3496

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:) Although a little off the subject,I've got an 84 touring optioned coupe with the 305 HO engine,700R4 transmission,and a 286 rear end. Cruising around 80/85 mph nets 22/23 mpg.

Charlie RQB-3921

I think Myers Studebaker has the adapter available for the GM auto tranny:

Myer Studebaker Adapter

We have an '82 with a T56, SBC 350 and Holley spread bore 4bbl.  Highway mileage is close to 24 mpg.  I was just testing last week when the clutch m/c push rod broke 75 miles from home.  :(

In sixth gear the engine is turning 1200 rpm at 75 mph.  :wacko:

Joe Menacker

RQB 3496

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I think Myers Studebaker has the adapter available for the GM auto tranny:

Myer Studebaker Adapter

Unfortunately the automatic adapters will not work with the heavy flywheel, I have

the one made by SteelTech, and Dave warned that he would NOT trust it with a

manual trans. Trust me, I went through that process. Since the explosive damage

that would result from a flywheel that came loose from the crank, its best to not

use ANY type of adapter between the crank and the manual trans flywheel. I got

over 20k on the SteelTech adapter with a 700 trans with no issues. I sold it to my

brother in Michigan to put into his 64 Lark Daytona.

Tom

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