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Hi Everyone.

I just purchased my first Avanti, a low mile, 1989 convertible, 12AAV2223K1000534. The car is in excellent mechanical condition but can use a little attention to a few cosmetic details to return it to the condition it deserves. I have spent hours reading posts in this forum and learned an great deal but I still have a number of questions. I would greatly appreciate any additional help and guidance I could receive. My questions are:

  1. I would like to have the face of the speedometer restored. Can the speedometer be removed without removing the entire dash? If so how?
  2. I've read a number of posts concerning replacement of the rubber window sweepes. Some members have recommended the use of part # YMR256X from Restoration Specialties but I haven't seen any posts that refer to how they actually worked. Does anyone have comments concerning how part #YMR256X worked and how closely it actually matched the original?
  3. Does anyone know of a source for the power antenna assembly used on the '89 Avanti? My motor runs but the antenna doesn't move.
  4. I saw a reference to a "Service Policy and Procedures Manual" for a 1989 Avanti. Does anyone have the manual and what does it contain? (e.g. Is the body included in the manual or just chassis and drive train?) Also, does anyone know a source for an Assembly Manual?
  5. Finally, does anyone have a factory original Sony XR7400 radio (circa 1989-1990) that they would like to sell? It could be working or just for parts.

I do most of my own work and I'd like to gather as much information as possible before I start tearing into things.

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Bill

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Bill:

Welcome to the Forum - good people here. First off I have an '88 Coupe so we have kinda different cars.

In case you didn't know your car is a Caprice so get yourself some Helms factory manuals.

Some of the inner parts/mechanisms may still be from the Stude days (mine does but yours probably not so much) maybe think about getting the 2 original Stude manuals or CD's.

My car came with an owners manual that was pretty much worthless.

As far as interior-type work someone here once a long time ago sent me the 'official' repair information (ie. how to remove the dash, etc) and this was helpful but not for your year car.

I've seen '89's and I'm gonna have to say the dash itself will need to be removed for the speedo (not fun).

I may still have my power antenna motor (but the shed doors are frozen shut). From what I remember this unit was a simple 'universal' type that you can probably still get.

I thru-out my radio (sorry) it didn't have CD capability!

Good Luck

Bill

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Hi Bill,

Thanks for the welcome.

You wouldn't happen to still have that 'official' repair information around would you? I'd be happy to pay for a copy. My '89 dash and console look almost identical to an '88 (I'd post a picture if I could figure out how to do it). I'd be surprised if the removal directions weren't at least somewhat similar. At least it might be a place to start.

I tried to do some research before I bought the car and it would seem that the '89 body might be essentially the same body as the '88 with some relatively minor modifications to allow fitment to the shortened Caprice chassis. It must be true because I read it on the Internet! :) It does sound like it could have been a logical approach to avoid the high cost of a complete retooling of body and interior but I'm still looking to prove or disprove. Any thoughts?

I think I may have the power antenna figured out, but I need to do a little more investigation. I believe the the motor is OK but the mast will need to be replaced. I think I've found the replacement part number, but I want to confirm before I publish any information. I'll post the replacement directions and pictures if I'm successful.

Bill

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I just sent you (I guess) a personal message concerning the 'extra instructions'.

Here is what I know:

The '89 has a whole new hood opening mechanism.

New trunk lifts/springs design.

No front vent window (some might though) so window mechanics probably different (couldn't be worse).

Rear vent windows are non operable.

Gas tank no longer behind rear seat.

Different windshield wiper motor (not sure about wiper crank-system though).

No carburetor.

Bill

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GarageHawk,

Welcome to the AOAI Forum. I also have an 89 convertible. My antenna was not working when I got the car in December 2013. A stereo shop putting in a radio for me also replaced the antenna. The power antenna was a generic item that looked identical to the non-operating one that I had.

I can make you a copy of the Service Policy and Procedures Manual as one was included with my car when I bought it, PM me regarding it. It does have information regarding some of the wiring and other items in the car, but is not a shop manual. Instructions for removing the dash are in the manual as well. As Bill Daly suggested get a 89 Caprice shop manual for the chassis specifics.

Differences between the 87's, 88's and 89's look to be minor on the outside, but the Monte Carlo chassis was used for the 87's and 88's, while the Caprice chassis was used for the 89's. Gas tank fill for the 87's and 88's was located on the top of the left rear fender for the tank mounted behind the rear seat. The 89's had the tank mounted under the trunk, eliminating the tire well for the spare in the trunk with the gas fill just to the rear and above the left rear tire. The space saving donut (a real oxymoron) takes up over half of the trunk space. I believe the ground effects were added to the 89's to cover the perimeter frame of the Caprice. I'm sure the foot wells were also shortened up for attachment to the frame as my 89 has a lot less leg and foot room than my 76 has.

There were around 7 91 convertibles made (only 4 doors were made in 90), but they are larger than the 89's. I've heard the 91's were supposed to have been the best of the lot in terms of build quality. I have not been able to see any 91's to compare the cars. One of the biggest issues with the 89's are the power window switches. Mine have flared up a few times, usually its a ground situation.

Edited by plwindish

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Thanks for the welcome to the group. I'm excited about the car and glad there is such a knowledgeable group if I have questions.

You wouldn't happen to have your original radio laying around would you? My car has the original Sony XR7400 with the 10 disc changer in the trunk. I would prefer to keep the original radio since everything else is so original but the #5 pre-selector button is missing so I'm looking for another radio for parts.

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I have heard this seven number for 1991 production before. I do not know what it is based on. The old numbers that I have show 15. More recently, I believe that the production number of 1991s is 17. There were two that were left over sales. John Hull's most recent book also shows the number as 17. There are more than seven shown as still existing in current rosters. I have seen a 1991. They are very different than a 1989.

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Unless the rosters include the serial numbers, it would be hard to take the roster numbers as fact due to cars changing ownership. Also, I'm assuming some of those 17 were 4 doors as well? I've only seen some pictures of a 91 convertible, I'd love to do an up close inspection of one.

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Yes, Bob Johnstone's roster and AOAI's roster (only two in my old roster) are by Serial Number.

None of the 17 were four doors. All 1990s were four doors and all 1991s were convertibles.

I have seen at least one 1991 in the Kevlar.

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Were the '91s the only year to use Kevlar in body panels? I've seen comments elsewhere indicating it was used earlier but I've never seen anything definitive.

Bill

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I saw a 91 convertible at the Lisle show a few years back ('09). I have loved the lines on that ever since. I love the transition from the bumper to the hood (not as big of a "bench" as my 88) and how it is longer/lower/wider than the Avanti-carlos that preceded it. There is one for sale In Cali for around $29000 still available. See this link for pix (a bit of scrolling is required). Now to convince my wife I need another car.....

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My car has an original Sony XR-7300 radio (not XR-7400 as I stated earlier) and a Sony CDX-A30, 10 disk CD Changer in the trunk. There appears to be problems with both units and since they are original, 27 year old components it looks like I'm going to have to replace them. It looks like they don't make CD Changers anymore so I'll be freeing up some space in the trunk. I looked up the XR-7300 manual on line and it looks like the radio consists of two parts, the tuner mounted in the dash and a power amplifier (also referred to as a hide-away amplifier). See attached.post-12865-0-24797500-1457124239_thumb.jpg

My question is: Has anyone had experience with a similar radio in their Avanti and can tell me where the "hide-away" amplifier is hidden? I'm sure I can find it by tearing stuff apart but I sure would appreciate it someone could save me some time and effort.

Thanks,

Bill

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Try looking in the trunk (under the rear shelf) that's where a lot of other car companies put them. Not much if any room behind the dash. FYI the cigar box computer for my '88 is wedged behind the passenger side dashboard.

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The "hide-away" amplifier for my radio was hidden in the console, wedged between the glove box cavity and the outer console wall on the driver's side. I ended up replacing the entire radio since the original just wasn't worth fixing.

Also, FYI, Studebaker International has exact replacement clear plastic interior door handle escutcheons.

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Can anyone tell me production number of 1988 Avanti convertibles please ? I am considering buying a low mileage one . How are these cars ???

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3 hours ago, Gary K said:

Can anyone tell me production number of 1988 Avanti convertibles please ? I am considering buying a low mileage one . How are these cars ???

There were 180 Avantis built for 1988.  This includes 27 Silver Anniversary Coupes.  I do not have an exact number, but I would expect about one-half of the rest to be convertibles or an estimate of 77.  If someone has a more exact number, please post it.  

I purchased a 1987 new.  It had a lot of initial build problems.  Since you are talking about a 31 year old car, anything is possible, but I would expect the early problems to be sorted out by now.  

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I have a 91 convertible with 48,000 miles. Overall has held up pretty well. I purchased about 2 1/2 years ago from a fellow that owned it for 24 years. Other than the normal oil changes and minor things I have replaced the radio  speakers, tires and wheels, radiator and fan clutch both rear 1/4 window motors. It drives and runs fantastic and looks as good as it did when it was built.   

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