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Dwight FitzSimons

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Posts posted by Dwight FitzSimons

  1. For performance mufflers you might consider Walker performance mufflers.  They have a wide variety of types and sizes, both stainless steel and aluminized.  I personally don't like the "tinny" sound of Flowmasters.

    The original Avanti glass packs were straight through, but the optional "quiet" mufflers were reverse flow.  After all, if they were straight through they wouldn't have been any quieter than the small, round glass packs.

    The Studebaker V8 produces much more exhaust noise than, for example, a Chevy V8 (all else being equal).  And, the more power the engine produces the louder the exhaust.  An R2 will be louder than an R1, and an R3 louder still.  Unless you want to go deaf you don't want straight through mufflers on an R3.

    The original rumble of an R2 Avanti is something to behold, especially at idle.  My brother and I both owned R2 Avantis in the 1960s-70s with the original glass packs.  But, the drone on the highway was too much to live with.


  2. That frame would not be considered repairable by any sane person.  My '64 had a frame that looked much better, with rust all over, but no holes.  My restoration shop (WCD Garage) pulled the body off the frame then showed me how one could twist the frame (The metal was so thin due to corrosion).  My car got a new frame (and hog troughs).

    RQA-0043 is listed on Bob Johnstone's website as a 1966 model.  There is a local Avanti II that is titled as a "1967 Studebaker Avanti".  By serial number it is the first 1968 Avanti II built, and has the side marker lights ('68 was first year for them).  I would guess that it was titled in the Fall of 1967.  These things happen.


  3. I parted out two 1970 Avantis because of two reasons: (1) I needed some parts from each, and (2) Economics.  By this I mean that I had three choices: (1) Sell the cars as is and lose money, (2) Fix them up, sell them, and lose a lot of money, or (3) Part them out and make money.



  4. Or, maybe your current expansion tank can be repaired, if it is basically sound (just dented, leaking, and backwards).  I once repaired a friend's tank.  I am not a body man, but had done some leading on a '56 Continental Mark II, so I had a little skill in leading/soldering.  It would require a propane torch, small wire brush, and acid-core solder.  There are probably instructions online (especially youtube) for the details. While it is apart most of the dents can be hammered out with a small hammer and a dolly.  When hammering dents out don't overdo it, because that can stretch the metal.


  5. I don't really know whether all 1960's Avanti II's came standard with A/C, but certainly most of them.  I have parted out two 1970 Avantis and both had factory A/C.

    It is probably important to buy one with A/C, even if it doesn't work.  If it has A/C it can be fixed.  If it doesn't it can be added, although that would be more difficult and expensive.  A local SDC member had a '63 Avanti to which an aftermarket A/C system had been added, so it can be done.  If adding A/C (or repairing one) one might consider switching to a modern Sanden compressor.  Those are more efficient and effective, and more compact.  Brackets for mounting the Sanden compressor are manufactured (see ad in Turning Wheels, & maybe also Avanti Magazine). 


  6. AutomotiveInteriors.com's website shows carpet for "1963-1985 Studebaker Avantis", and they list a whole bunch of colors.  To me, your original carpets don't match your seats very well.  I would call your seat vinyl color "saddle tan."  So, maybe one of their carpet colors might match your seats at least as well as your current carpet.  They would have to provide a sample or accurate image.


  7. There is a casting date code at the very back, near the distributor, that reads: "10  1  R".  That translates to October 1, 1962.  So, it is an early 1963 block.  That would make it a full flow block, a good thing.  Being just a bare block (& pistons) it could be used to build a 259, 289, R1, or R2.  That is, there is no difference in the bare block (and bore) among these engines.

    Another question is what pistons are they?  259s and 289's use different pistons and are not interchangeable.  They are flat top, which could indicate that they are R1/R2.

    As to value, I don't know, but it is desirable and rare these days.


  8. I assume you bored it out 0.010 in. oversize.  If you installed hardened valve SEATS then you should not need a lead additive.  In fact, I have heard little about problems with valve recession in stock Studebaker V8s when running straight, unleaded gasoline.  But, I suppose, that might depend on how many miles you drive the car and how hard you drive it.

    But, with hardened valve seats, I don't think anyone will recommend a lead substitute.


  9. The R3 intake manifold has much larger ports, so won't match up to your R2 heads.  You would have to have R3/R4 heads to use the R3 intake manifold.  Those are scarce as hens teeth and very expensive.  Many people have fitted an aluminum R3 carburetor box to an R2.  It looks impressive, but there's no horsepower gain from it.

    In the pix above the metal line going from the supercharger to the fuel pump exactly follows part of the "dog leg" in the water manifold.  That is the dog leg I mentioned.  The water manifold for a non-Avanti engine will have just a gentle curve from one side to the other (one head to the other).  The Avanti's water manifold has quite a "kink" (or dog leg) in it.  It was designed that way to mount the water pump further forward than with a non-Avanti water manifold, and for clearance for other engine components.  One vendor who has Avanti water manifolds for sale is Jon Myer in OH.

    There has been some discussion of putting FI inside an R3 air box on the SDC Forum.

    Your carb # doesn't ring any bells.  You WILL need to get a copy of both the Avanti shop manual and parts catalog.  Reprints of these are available from vendors.  If your carb is configured like the originals then it may be possible to use it, but it would have to be rebuilt by someone like Dave Thibeault.  It needs to be sealed for use on an R2. 


  10. Oops!! That isn't light reflecting off the shiny water manifold: It's the line that goes from the fuel pump to the supercharger.  It is there so the supercharger can boost the fuel pump.


  11. 1 hour ago, RoyG said:

    The engine in the car (according to the serial number) is a '64 289 and it has the oil filter mounted below the exhaust manifold on the right side, so I'm pretty sure it is a free flow block...  Not sure what the condition is, but given I want to bore it out at least .60 and replace the pistons and have the cam reground I should have a good place to start.  What cam grind to use (and who to have do it) is another question.  I've been told that the standard R-1/2 grind is the best overall way to go for a street car, but still looking for thoughts/opinions.

    HEADS: I think I've given up on R-3 heads due to the expense, so now do I try to use the stock heads that came with the engine (and have them reworked) or do I try to locate a set of HD truck heads?  What are the "pros and cons"....

    Carb & Intake: The engine came with a standard two barrel, but the car came with five boxes of parts that a previous owner was accumulating.  In one of those boxes is a Carter AFB (tag 40346 L5) that looks pretty sad and a separate four barrel intake manifold (1557144).  In another box are several blower parts (blower, pullies, intake hose and mount to carb, and air filter housing), so I'm not sure if the carb/manifold go together or if they came with the blower, or are from the original R-1 engine....

    Water pump housing: I've been told that the R-2 engine had a special water pump and housing.  If so that means the housing on my engine might need to be replaced?? In one of the "boxes" I found a spare housing (1550913), that might have come from the engine that had the blower????

    If any of this "stuff" is correct for an R-2 engine I'll clean it up and look for someone to rebuild.  Other than that I'll be looking for more parts.


    Casting number 1557144 is the correct intake manifold for an R2 (or regular 259 or 289).  Note that the casting number is cast into the manifold (top rear) and is not the part number.  That's what my 64 Avanti R2 has.  The water manifold is shaped like a "dog leg" -- see pix below.  In the pix the light is reflecting off the water manifold showing its "dog leg" shape.  The Avanti water pump must be the heavy duty one that is available from several Studebaker parts vendors.  If I can provide more pix or info let me know.


    Avanti R5255 20210425 (1).JPG

    Avanti R5255 20210425 (2).JPG

  12. I can add a bit of info on this issue.  I used to haunt all the local Studebaker dealers in central Virginia, including Valley Motors.  I beat the dealership out on the sale of a 63 Hawk R2 being offered to the highest bidder by its original owner.  Unfortunately, I didn't keep it for but a few years.  Well, so much for reminicing (sp).

    In those days The state of Virginia would put BOTH the year manufactured and the model year on the title (as you see above).  That is, the title and registration would list the car as a "1962-63".  This caused some confusion later.  I have a 1964 R1 Cruiser that I bought from the original owner some years ago.  It was titled as a 1963-64 (original title).  When I went to the DMV to title it (as I always do, even if it's a parts car) the clerk printed out my title and it said "1963 Studebaker 4-dr".  I told her that the car is a  64 model year, not a 63.  She looked at me like I was trying to pull something, and said they would have to send it to Richmond.  (I didn't think at the time to point out the "64" prefix on the serial number, if that would have helped.)  A couple weeks later my title came in the mail, correctly listing the car as a "1964 Studebaker 4-dr".

    Virginia doesn't do that dual-year thing any more, and I don't know why they did it then.


  13. The Studebaker SS was labeled a "Studebaker SS" when it was shown in kind of a corner at the NY Auto Show.  That is, the nameplates on it were still "Studebaker SS", not Excaliber SS.  I was there and was surprised to come upon it during my tour.  I remember also seeing the pink Mademoiselle '64 Daytona Conv. in the Studebaker display area.


  14. False!  For 1964 Studebaker dropped the MSRP of the Hawk from (I believe) $3095 to $2958.  So, if all the options cost the same, the R2 Hawk would have been cheaper than a similarly equipped 63 Hawk by $137.


  15. A couple more things that are different: (1) The parking brake connects to the Avanti's backing plates differently on the 11" rear brakes, requiring a rear parking brake cable from an Avanti.  That connection is different from any other Studebaker car 9" or 10" rear brakes.  Those should be available from some of the Studebaker vendors.  (2) The U bolts are narrower on the Dana 27 diff. than on the Dana 44.  Thus, the bottom plate will be different.  Ideally, you might try to find a Dana 44 diff and brakes from a late 65 or 1966 Studebaker.  That would give you flanged axles, a safety issue.


  16. Everything on the Dana 27 is lighter duty than on the Dana 44 (smaller tubes, smaller axles, smaller brakes, etc).  The brakes on the Dana 27 would be either 9" or 10".  I'm fairly sure that the 27's brakes wouldn't bolt onto the 44 without some modification.  What you need for the Avanti (in addition to the Dana 44 diff.) is the 11" rear brake drums, backing plates, etc that came on Avantis and other disc-brake Studebakers from 1963-up.


  17. For some reason Studebaker put 140 MPH speedos in early 1963 Avanti R2's.  Perhaps the 160 speedo wasn't available yet.  The Virgil Marple auction sold three '63 R2 Avantis, and if memory serves me, all had 140 speedos.  Also, Dave Kinney's 63R1002 R2 Avanti is an R2 and has a 140 speedo.  That car was restored meticulously, so must be authentic.

    The initial version of the Avanti Authenticity Manual did not point out this issue.  I hope someone has notified the author.

  18. One thing I might add is a potential problem with the aluminum "spacers" behind the door handle and window crank.  A couple times I have had a problem removing the spring clips that hold the window crank & door handle on.  Somehow the spring clips had become jammed and I could not get them off.  I had to cut the aluminum spacer off to get the spring clip out.  So, I now use the clear plastic spacers used on Larks & Hawks.  It is much easier to break off if necessary.  Plus, it doesn't leave aluminum oxide on the door panel as aluminum will do.


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