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  1. Update: After speaking to a lot of people, and getting continuously more confused this is what I've done: I got a used Studbaker '62 bell housing from Dave Thibeault. It is set up for a GM bolt pattern. I then went to the local expert (and dealer) of Tremec transmissions (Mike Forte- Parts Connection) who had a bunch of the new Tremec TKX transmissions on order (both Ford and GM based). These are five speeds that are rated for 600 foot pounds of torque. OK, that might be over kill, but I only want to put one transmission in the car! The GM based tranny bolted up to the bellhousing, but the pilot shaft is about an inch too short. Neither one fit the guide hole in the bellhousing. We decided that the best option was to go with the ford based model and drill additional holes to mate to the bell housing. Mike had a jig from this from back in the day when Tremec only made transmissions for Fords.... he drilled the holes for me using that jig. Mike also has aluminum spacer rings that can be used to help with the nose flange line up to the bellhousing. Of course the rings weren't the right size. I'm having a local machine shop turn the outside of the spacer ring down to fit the bellhousing. Then I'm having the nose flange of the transmission turned down to mate with the inside diameter of the spacer ring. I'll also have a couple set screw holes drilled and tapped so I can make sure the spacer ring stays on the transmission when I slide it all together. Dave will get the right clutch and throw-out bearing to ride on the pilot shaft. The standard Avanti clutch linkage will work. Right now the new TKX transmissions are only available with rear mounted shifters, but mid mounts will be available soon. That's all I know for now.
  2. Best of luck with your new project. I'm a couple months into mine (a lot rougher than yours!) and enjoying most of the process. About the hog troughs from down south: Just because an Avanti spent its life away from salted roads and a lot of moisture doesn't mean you are in the clear. There are weep holes that let water escape from various points (like the cowl vent) and lead the water down into the hog troughs where (in theory) it could easily escape. In the dry dusty southern regions, where they get a lot of wind blown dust, this dust can get washed down into the hog troughs where it collects and then holds moisture. That constant moisture can easily rust the hog troughs out from the inside. When you get the car up on a lift first check for visible signs of rust, and then hammer test (lightly) the bottom of the troughs for weak spots. My right side troughs was "toast" but the left side looked solid. I figured "what the hell" and decided to rip them both out and replace them. The left side was badly rusted and needed replacing almost as badly as the right side, even though it wasn't "rust through" except in two very small spots. The job is a real "PAIN" but I feel much better knowing I'm working now from a solid base.
  3. Jack, when you say "World Class T5" which transmission is that exactly?
  4. Progress report: Dave Thibeault found me a good engine that was partially rebuilt for a prior customer that gave up on the project. It was already bored out to 304.5 ci and had the rotating assembly balanced. He then found me a set of low compression heads that he had cleaned up, and installed the larger (R3) valves in. My spare intake manifold was the correct (slotted) one, so I got lucky there. I also got lucky on the blower I had, which is being rebuilt now with the higher output pullies. The carburetor wasn't the right one, but Dave has found me an R3 airbox which will hide the fact that I'll be using a slightly larger one. Dave has found the correct oil pan and breather and is working on all the other parts needed. The five speed transmission is becoming a bit more of a "challenge" than I hoped. Dave found me everything I need to convert to a standard transmission and even an adapter for the T5 five speed, BUT I've been told that the T5 won't stand up to the R3 engine as it was only designed to handle 300 lbs/ft of torque. I've found several Tremec transmissions that are rated high enough, but will they fit? Looks like they won't bolt up to the adapter designed for the T5. Still working on that problem... do I go with the T5 and hope it will hold up? Or keep looking for a better alternative? In the mean time the first hog trough is almost out! Its been a nightmare of a job, but the second side should go better as I'm learning! Thanks for all the support.
  5. If he sold the molds, is the person that bought them going to offer a repair service? My wheel isn't broken but it is cracked and could use some help.
  6. I spent some time with a few good people over the last couple days and have some answers as well as some more questions: First for the answers: Dave Thibeault is having my engine built and has all the parts needed to convert the Studebaker engine to the Ford T5 transmission (Stude bellhousing, flywheel, clutch, and ford adapter). The problem is the T5 is only rated for a max of 300 lbs/ft of torque and the R3 engine will be more powerfull than that. Therefore the T5 won't stand up! I spoke with Mike Forte (Fortes Parts Connection who is a Tremec dealer and high performance pro shop locally) and he suggested the Tremec TKO series which can handle either 500 or 600 lbs/ft....They both seems pretty close to the T5 in overall size but the TKO is wider (bigger case). The new Magnum-F 6 speed replaces the no longer available T56, but is considerably bigger than the T5 and might not fit in the available space. Has anyone put one of the higher capacity Tremec transmissions in their Avanti?
  7. I just found this post doing a search for transmission information. Like tjl2244 I'm working on a "blank slate" project that I want to convert from automatic to 5 speed. I'm having an R-3 engine build now and have been told that a standard T-5 transmission won't stand up. Looking at other transmission in the line that are rated for more than 300 foot-pounds of torque, they all seem to have a very high first gear ratio, which would put a lot of load on the clutch off the line. Does anyone know of a five speed transmission that can take the load and has a lower first gear ratio?
  8. I'm new here so I have a ton of questions and will need people to be patient with me.. thanks in advance. I got 63R-2158 home a few weeks ago, up on blocks, and started pulling off the unusable parts (almost everything!). The body has some damage, and a few areas where previous repairs were very poorly done (and will be cut out and redone). I have almost all the new body panels (Thanks to Dan Booth) and the body work will start in earnest very soon. The hog troughs were "toast" but will be done along with the body work. The engine came with a non Avanti '64 Studebaker 289 engine mated to an automatic transmission. I don't know yet if the transmission came with the car or the engine, but I don't care as I want to convert it to either a 5 or 6 speed standard (my thinking being that I want a standard with a high ration rear end so the extra high gear will help with highway driving. Looking for suggestions on which tranny to go with. The car was "born" with a single track 3.31 rear and I'm on the hunt for a TT unit now with 4.11 gears. Being in New England shipping costs are a concern so my focus right now is closer to home. Looking for suggestions on gear rations and potential suppliers. I've ordered the Turner front brake kit and dual master cylinder, but am leaning toward keeping the drum brakes in the rear (rebuilt of course, with all new lines). I have to either rebuild the stock 289 engine or find an Avanti engine (to rebuild)... and my goal is to end up with an R-3 clone (or as close as I can). As far as suggestions (engine wise) they are endless... block to use, what pistons/rods, which cam grind, what heads, machine work, intake manifold and carburation, and of course blower. Wheel and tire suggestions, I'm leaning toward wider wheels and tires all around, with even wider in the rear than the front (with perhaps a stock wheel/tire combo as an emergency spare). To answer a few obvious questions: I know this will not be a cheap car to build! I want something I can drive to Studebaker and Avanti events (long distance dependability important) as well as local show and shine events. I fell in love with the Avanti in '62 when my dad (a Studebaker dealer) took me to the airport in New York for the Avanti "unveiling". I was 15 years old so couldn't drive the two Avantis we sold later that year from the dealership on the road, but always wanted one..... I should have gotten it done 30-40 years ago, but this is the best I can do now.
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