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Rick64R2

'63 Frame Repair or Replacement?

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Have a '63 R2 4spd I am fixing up.  Drivetrain is good - i have it up and running.  It probably lived part of its life in the NE as there is definite rust issues with the frame and underneath, but surprisingly the hog troughs are solid.  The frame definitely needs some repair but I would rather put a good solid frame under it.

Anyone know of any Avanti frames or rolling chassis available?  I know a convertible Lark frame will work with a little modification but cant get firm grip on exactly what it takes.  Also have heard an Avanti II frame up through around 1972 is identical and will work?  Can anyone confirm what Avanti II frames are a perfect match?

Will be needing all other bits and pieces - might be interested in a parts car if frame is solid.  Definitely will need new front seats etc.

Any info or leads on parts appreciated.

 

 

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For Sale Avanti ll parts   Larry Shier
shierlarjan@yahoo.com

Romeo,Mi. 48065
586-752-9481
Avanti frame-excellent cond.$2550.00;body parts,trim,gauges,dash,glass,doors,rear seats,rear bumper,front bumper end pieces,frame pieces,suspension parts,&misc. parts
Ad Number: 20760
Date Added: 2018-09-06 01:44:17

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Look for sals54 on the SDC forum.  He recently parted a 64 Avanti that has burned, was a So Cal car.  I think he still has the frame.

Ken

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Well, a '60-'64 Lark convertible (either 6 or V8) will work....but where to find one of those???....More easily found would be a '59-'66 Lark 2 dr sedan or hardtop frame which would have the Avanti's same 109" wheelbase.:)

The 2dr Lark frame wouldn't have the "X" member, however a mechanic could remove the "X" member from your rusted frame and then weld it into the solid donor frame.

The other changes needed to be made to the 2dr Lark frame for it to fit under an Avanti's body would be to chop 4" off of the Lark's left and right rear frame rails, which would automatically eliminate the Lark's rear frame crossmember.....Then weld on the L&R Avanti rear bumper support towers (the rear body supports removed from your rusted frame)...Those towers would 'locate' a new replacement reproduction Avanti tubular rear crossmember, which would also need to be welded in place.

In addition to the frame shortening, the L&R side "outriggers" on your rusted frame would need to be cut off and welded to the donor frame, as well as, at the front, the L&R 'ears' that support the Avanti's radiator core support.

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Just curious, if the hog troughs are good what's wrong with the frame. If it's just the bottom plate it's basically a 1/8" thick 6" wide piece of steel plate. Minor repair of the sides is also not difficult due to the design of the frame.

Removing the body from the frame is not difficult but you will need to pull out a substantial amount of the interior and the body will need to picked up as one unit. It's not like most cars that you remove the fenders, grill, doors and trunk lid, then just lift the rest off the frame. The Avanti body, minus doors and trunk lid comes off as one piece. In that, lies a danger of body cracks and damage.

Again, it's not difficult but a real pain in the arse.

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3 hours ago, Avanti83 said:

Just curious, if the hog troughs are good what's wrong with the frame. If it's just the bottom plate it's basically a 1/8" thick 6" wide piece of steel plate. Minor repair of the sides is also not difficult due to the design of the frame.

Removing the body from the frame is not difficult but you will need to pull out a substantial amount of the interior and the body will need to picked up as one unit. It's not like most cars that you remove the fenders, grill, doors and trunk lid, then just lift the rest off the frame. The Avanti body, minus doors and trunk lid comes off as one piece. In that, lies a danger of body cracks and damage.

Again, it's not difficult but a real pain in the arse.

That's the weird thing, hog troughs are solid.  The frame is probably repairable - the bottom plates have issues as well as the back end pieces and other bits.  I know John Meyer has the replacement parts already made so I wouldn't have to fab them.  I am just thinking that if I have to do all that, plus it needs a little body work and definately a paint job, might as well pull the body and put a new frame under it.   Assuming I can find one....................

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Re: my above post,........ the traction bar frame brackets would also need to be sliced off of your rusted frame and rewelded onto the donor frame, as well as the brackets that anchor the Avanti's rear stabilizer bar.

This all probably sounds like a lot of work, however I've done the above described job twice myself, and it really isn't too big a deal.....the key is locating a solid donor frame....a problem that gets a bit harder with each passing day!.....Best of luck!.....Ed:)

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On the SDC Forum (today) there is a link to a C/L ad for a complete frame +. 

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Another frame may be more cost effective.  Replacement frame rails and parts may cost less up front but the labor costs involved can make it more expensive in the end.  If you can find a replacement frame that's a very good option.

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Didn't the early Larks have a slightly shorter wheelbase? I seem to recall 108 or 108.5 inch. I don't know if this would make much of a difference but maybe... Just sayin'.

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On 10/24/2018 at 11:18 AM, StudeNorm said:

Didn't the early Larks have a slightly shorter wheelbase? I seem to recall 108 or 108.5 inch. I don't know if this would make much of a difference but maybe... Just sayin'.

Should be the same frame, although earlier Larks did use a different rear spring 'center bolt' location, which indeed would effect the wheelbase....With Avanti rear springs used in conjunction with an 'early' Lark chassis, you'd be "on the money":)

Once again, a Studebaker Lark convertible frame in ANY condition would, at this point in time, be a rare find.....Consider locating a Lark 2dr sedan or hardtop frame (much more readily available) and then weld in the "X' member after cutting it away from the rusted Avanti frame.

Edited by mfg

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From what I understand the only Lark chassis that works for an Avanti is a Lark convertible.   That is the chassis the Avanti was based on.   It’s not completely plug and play - there are several attachment points for the Avanti body etc. that must be added.   Those adapters are available what I have been told, are not difficult.  If you can’t find an Avanti frame, at least you have another option.   

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A short wheelbase Lark frame will work you just need to add the X member to the frame .

I have done that on two frames myself.

Just  be methodical in your approach and start at one end and work your way back.

Edited by 1963r2
Edit

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I see Rick64R2 last visited the AOAI forum on October 26, so most of this helpful discussion has been lost on him. Too bad, since that restored frame on the Seattle craigslist looks like a gem for the money. Hard to figure why anyone would start patching a rusty Avanti frame or convert a Lark frame, when this restored one is available for an asking price of $2,000. But, each to his own. Merry Christmas, Gang. John

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Sorry I haven’t been back - that Seattle frame does look nice.   I did find an Avanti full rolling chassis with a solid frame - also much closer than Washington.  The frame is in the process of being cleaned up and powder coated etc.  While that is happening we are in process of pulling the drive train etc  so I can send it to body/paint shop on old rolling chassis.   

Had I not found the chassis I did,  I would have been road tripping....

thank you all for your help!

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On 12/23/2018 at 5:33 PM, Jolly-John said:

I see Rick64R2 last visited the AOAI forum on October 26, so most of this helpful discussion has been lost on him. Too bad, since that restored frame on the Seattle craigslist looks like a gem for the money. Hard to figure why anyone would start patching a rusty Avanti frame or convert a Lark frame, when this restored one is available for an asking price of $2,000. But, each to his own. Merry Christmas, Gang. John

Information shared on a bulletin board is never lost. It will always help someone.

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Yes, Glenn. As my posted indicated, "lost on him (Rick)".....but certainly not on other readers. Hopefully, someone here will be able to use the Seattle craigslist frame....It sure looked solid, especially compared to most frames that spent time in the Midwest or the northeast. Hard to believe (for me), but we're at 55-56 years of age....over half a century....on a 1963 model year Avanti frame. My, how time does fly! John

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On ‎12‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 6:03 PM, Jolly-John said:

Yes, Glenn. As my posted indicated, "lost on him (Rick)".....but certainly not on other readers. Hopefully, someone here will be able to use the Seattle craigslist frame....It sure looked solid, especially compared to most frames that spent time in the Midwest or the northeast. Hard to believe (for me), but we're at 55-56 years of age....over half a century....on a 1963 model year Avanti frame. My, how time does fly! John

I probably should have finished with a smiley ☺You seemed so bummed that the subsequent discussion based on the OP's inquiry didn't appear to have been worth it (my take on it) so I hoped to add a positive note. All these discussions are gold, IMHO :) 

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And, a bunch of smiley faces to you and the other forum readers, Glenn. Yes, the experiences shared by our fellow posters here on the website are most valuable. The "been there-done that" help we get from members is remarkable. It results in more Avanti automobiles being on the road AND enjoyed by their owners! Here's to a Happy New Year ahead....one filled with even more Avanti fun (if that's possible!). John

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