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Everything posted by RoyG

  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. 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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