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Posts posted by WayneC

  1. Several Body shops here in Las Vegas have quoted as high as $10,942.00 to repair RQB1600. I have located the necessary body panels (less than $700.00), the rest is in labor and paint. <snip>

    $11k to repair/replace the left fender sounds WAY too high to me. Decent paint for the entire body, however, can run upwards of $6k if done right, plus any needed bodywork that may be needed when the car is stripped down to fiberglass and inspected for prior damage. I would add perhaps $1k plus parts for the fender fiberglass work to that amount.

    Be sure you've talked to a couple of shops that specialize in fiberglass (ie, Corvette repair).

    I'm sure it'll be great to have her looking fresh again.

  2. I would like to know if someone has any pictures and/or instructions or suggestions to properly rig slings or what ever method was used to mount the body of an Avanti back to the chassis. I would like to know how they do/did it in the factory.


    I heard there was a video out about how Studebaker built the Avanti and would like to know where I can get a copy. Please reply to Mike @ mbreaz@yahoo.com. Your reply is appreciated.

    Maybe I misunderstand your question, but here goes....

    I can't recall ever seeing photos or a video of the Avanti bodylift process, but I've worked in auto assembly plants and I'm also familiar with the process used for Corvettes.... they are generally the same: a set of large "L" shaped padded frames are used to lift the body from beneath the rocker panels (2 per side, with a runner on the bottom connecting the 2 frames together and supporting the rocker panel), and with the vertical portion of the "L" bowed out and padded to avoid damaging paint, and the top of the "L" attached to a lifting device above the frame (generally an electric winch with a hand-held control).

    Home restorers may have to be more inventive:

    Corvette owners usually take the easy way out: they invite 8 or 10 strong friends to a body lift party; 3 or 4 per side lift the (bare) body while someone slides the chassis under it and verbally directs the lifters while they lower/position the body onto the frame. The same method is used to remove the body, and place it on a special rolling frame made in advance (of wood or metal) to fit/support the body.

    Other methods include using 4 nylon straps connected together (at the top) to a lifting device such as a very sturdy portable engine hoist or ceiling-mounted chainfall/hoist, or even a home garage drive-on automobile lift, with the lower ends of the straps fastened with seat-belt type brackets to either of a.) bolts in the fore (firewall) & aft (in front of the rear wheels) body mount bolt positions, or b.) brackets they fabricated to attach to the door latch attchment bolt holes on the rear of the door frames and to hood latch attachment holes on the firewall. Padding, such as towels, are used to avoid damaging fiberglass panels. I've also heard of forklifts, backhoes, small cranes, or similar machines being used to do the lifting.

    Lastly, there's a rudimentary method: having first removed the engine, tranny, and radiator, and having first disconnected anything connecting the body to the chassis... the body is lifted off the frame with a jack on a 2x6 or larger piece of board (just 4" aft of the firewall) for a cushion to spread the load (centered between the frame rails) and then a long 4x4 timber is inserted crosswise between the body and the frame so that the ends stick out several feet; the body is rested on the 4x4 and then the rear end is likewise lifted and another 4x4 timber inserted. Then a laborious process of lifting first one end (by jacking under the 4x4), then the other, shoring up beneath the outer ends of the 4x4's with some sort of shims (like 2x6x12 boards, or cement blocks, etc) each time, until the body is finally elevated high enough to roll the chassis out from under it so that the chassis can be disassembled, sandblasted, and restored; if the body is left off the chassis for an extended period, the front end should be similarly supported under the radiator support frame. Reverse the process to lower the body back onto the restored chassis.

  3. Can anyone tell me what chassis the '88 was built on? And, is it basically that entire car underneath? (for repair & replacement purposes). Looking at one for sale and have never contemplated a post Stude or Altman model. There's no manual with this one - anything to be wary of?

    Many thanks!

    Caveat: I'm not an owner of these later cars, although I did have one for a few months (sold for financial reasons unrelated to the car, and the car was trouble-free)...

    There is no manual.

    The '88 uses a mid-80's Monte Carlo chassis and driveline (engine, trans, differential, suspension, brakes, and steering), with the Avanti body adapted to fit it; I think the chassis was also used on Buick GNX series cars. Finding a shop to do mechanical maintenance should be very easy, and a GM chassis manual for the Monte Carlo should cover it if you're a backyard mechanic. Chassis parts are readily available from GM or the aftermarket.

    The Studebaker shop manual will cover the body pretty well, leaving the dash and the electrical system, especially power options, as the only part of the car that may need some exploration/research when repairs are needed; I believe there is a booklet available (hand-drawn by an Avanti owner-enthusiast) that covers many of the circuit diagrams (although not showing the wiring routing through the car), but there may be problems identifying and finding specific parts, like power window motors or parking brake cables or mirrors or light fixtures, for example.

    You might try contacting the Avanti company http://www.avantimotors.com/ to ask about the availability

    (or non-availability) of parts for the car.

    I can't tell you any specific items to be wary of. Check it out thoroughly, inside & out, top & bottom, as you would any used car, and all should be fine as long as you can find a good electrical technician and a GM repair shop you trust. Owning a late model Avanti doesn't present the kind of parts/maintenance problems you'd have if you bought a Clenet or a Panoz.

  4. I should make it to In N Out by around

    9 pm tonight, if you want to swing by with your Avanti.

    As for your issues, rattles usually are exhaust, and if your idle is bad ... my Avanti has a

    symphony of exhaust rattles, some from directly under the floor, and some from behind.

    I would put some plugs in, it certainly can not hurt, and if you cant remember the last time

    they were done ... also .. there is a little light (too bad I am at work already or I would

    have brought it) you can get (Walmart) that you put next to spark plug wires to check if

    they are working right. I found 5 suspect wires on the wifes 78 Camaro with it. Its about

    5 bucks - simple to use. Brake pull is usually leaking or stuck wheel cylinders in the front,

    look for wet or shiny insides on the inside of the front tires.

    The tool is made by "Katar Hand Tools", part #92A, its called a "Spark Plug Firing Indicator".

    Made in the USA.


    I'm out of town, so won't be able to make the In & Out trip anytime soon, and the car

    issues will have to wait for my return.

    The rattles aren't exhaust, I stopped at a muffler shop and had that checked;

    I'm guessing shock mount bushings.

    The suggestion on plugs is a good one, and I will probably change

    them to eliminate the possibility, although I suspect vacuum leaks.

    Spark plug wires are another possibility, but I think a remote one...

    the tool you mention probably isn't any different than using an inductive

    timing light, and I do have one of those.

  5. tires are on order! ;)

    Tires are on the car, transmission is serviced, new exaust extensions and the gas tank seems to be leak-free so far. Lookin' great and freeway safe. But, now my attention is directed to a bunch of rattles coming from the rear, a slight brake pull to the left, and an engine that pulls strong but doesn't idle quite as smoothly as it ought to... possible vacuum leak, or maybe I need to change the spark plugs.

  6. Call Gary over at the Goleta store off Fairview, he should set things straight for you. He talks

    REALLY fast, so have about 5 cups of coffee before talking to him.


    Three months ago Big Brand (Gary) quoted me $354 for the tires I want, while Dal Pozza quoted me $376. Now Big Brand wants $440 and Dal Pozza wants $423. :(

    The price from Tire Rack for those tires is $275.38 shipped, plus $50 to install and balance at Big Brand (listed as one of their recommended installers), plus a few bucks tire disposal fee, for a total of around $330

    Three months ago the difference between Tire Rack's price and Big Brand's price was something like $35 and I was willing to absorb that, but $124?????

    What would you do?

    Right, that's what I did, tires are on order! ;)

  7. Maybe its not leaking then. Check all your connections, I would pay the most attention

    to the most bottom hose connection, but its possible that the gas is leaking out the top

    vent. Is the cap a vented one? Did you replace it?


    It WAS leaking. I took it back to the guy who cleaned it, but had to leave it because he wasn't there (closed over the 4th holidays). When I picked it up he apologized and said he should have tested it the first time (didn't think it was something I had to ask about, and he agreed). He found a leak at the soldered fuel outlet fitting on the bottom (apparently the gas followed the slanted bottom of the tank a ways before it dripped, because it hadn't leaked onto the driveway) and also on the solder joint of one of the vent line fittings.

    Got the tank back in over the weekend (I was right, it is a little easier the second time around, but even less fun knowing the extra work shouldn't have been necessary) and took it down for a lube job today. Then I went to see about the tires I had quotes on before all the carburetor/fuel tank/radiator hose woes hit. Would you believe the quote for the same tires I priced about 3 months ago at the same place (your favorite, Tom) has gone up $75!!!! :huh: I'm going to check a few more places before I pay that much more.

    Still have the rear panel and seat removed, just in case, and I can't believe how loud 6 gallons of gas sounds sloshing around in the tank. Can't remember that noise... hopefully replacing the panel and seat will tone that down. Also got a lot of new (or forgotten) rattles I'm gonna hafta chase down. :unsure:

  8. Well, I can't hardly believe this!!!!

    I poured about 7 gallons of gas in the tank last week after 2 trips to the gas station with a gas can. Noticed a bit of a whiff of gas inside the car, but I figured that smell is left over from when I spilled gas when I removed the tank thinking it was completely empty. I left the tank cover panel and the rear seat out until I've driven the car.

    I spent a couple of hours tuesday struggling to replace a lower radiator hose with what is supposed to be the right hose and I couldn't get it in. Bruised my arm and hand up nicely while trying. Went down to a parts store and searched for one with a shape I thought would fit better (after extensive trimming) and it did, so I trimmed it and put that in. Called my Avanti parts guy to bitch, but he swears the first hose does work... I believe him, but danged if I could get it in, and too late now, maybe I'll try it again in another 10 or 20 years!

    So today I figured I'd take the car out for it's initial run on the street, down to get it lubed. As I nosed it carefully down my steep driveway and into the street, I noticed a stronger gasoline smell and heard sloshing... looked back over my shoulder to see gas running out from under the tank below the right hold-down strap!

    Dang it!!!! I'm gonna hafta pull the tank AGAIN to figure out where the leak is! The tank looked to be in great shape, a sentiment echoed by the guy at the shop that cleaned it out for me (though I forgot to ask him point-blank if he leak-tested it, I remember him saying there was almost no rust inside). I thought I had that miserable tank job behind me.

    Can't be coming out the vent outlets or the sending unit at the top, and I would think that if the fuel outlet at the bottom were leaking, it would drip down out of the car, although I suppose it could flow along the bottom of the tank. More likely there is a tank leak, or the rubber hose on the filler neck was leaking while I was filling the car and gas collected in depressions in the fiberglass under the tank.... just thinkin' out loud here.


  9. Is

    yours along far enough to get it over to In N Out?


    No.... haven't started it yet, and haven't got a lot of time today to do anything with it; I need tires because I don't trust the old cracked tires, and I need to get the tranny serviced and the oil changed. While I was under the car I also found out I need a new differential input shaft seal.

    You're welcome to stop by this evening, bring your wife along.

  10. I may have to remove my tank in order to install a fuel pump for a TPI system. How big a job is it and does a manual help? <_<


    In some ways it's easier than other cars, but still a PITA. For example, in a midyear Corvette you have to remove the spare tire pan, the exhaust pipes, and a crossmember to remove the tank... I did it the "easy" way, I removed the body :huh: But it is certainly nothing like trying to replace hog troughs, for instance.

    In this case, I'm an old fat guy working on a slightly sloped driveway, so I had to be very careful and I was doing more than just the tank itself, so I had to jack up either end of the car multiple times. The work was spread over maybe a week, but probably took the better part of two days. I'm just getting too old for this stuff. :P

    As Tom said, you need to remove the rear lower seat and the seat back... the seat bottom simply pulls up and forward, while the seat back has 2 bolts holding it at the bottom (here I needed an inside and outside man, because the bolts were frozen). Now put some cardboard or a clean tarp in the car to protect the rugs and upholstery. Then remove a whole bunch of screws holding a fiberglass panel in place, and remove it. The tank is now accessible.

    Drain the tank...

    I did that by first siphoning fuel from the carb feed line, then removing the hose at the fuel pump end of the main fuel line... I had to jack up the front of the car to get to that hose. Lower the front and jack up the rear of the car; I jacked it up high enough to insert car ramps under the tires, for my safety, with chocks under the front tires. Alternatively, you could drain the tank by clamping the fuel feed hose beneath the tank first to keep any fuel from getting through... then remove the hose end from the fuel line tube, lengthen the hose with another hose and direct the end into a large enough container to hold all the fuel in the tank, then release the clamp.

    Underneath the car, remove the tank-fitting-to-fuel tube rubber hose (difficult to reach, above the differential pumpkin), then remove the "L" shaped tank fitting. I had considerable difficulty here because of the proximity to body panels and the difficulty of reaching the fitting with a wrench; I don't have a set of crow's foot wrenches, so I don't know if those would work. I ended up using a plumber's "T" sink wrench, which damaged the hose surface on the fitting, so I went and bought a new fitting... if I did it again I'd put a 1-inch length of hose on the fitting before using the plumber's wrench.

    Atop the tank is an elongated "S" vent tube, held up off the tank by brackets bolted to studs on the tank. The ends of the "S" tube screw into fittings on either end of the tank. Disconnect the vent "S" tube at each end, unbolt the brackets, and remove the rubber hose and snake the vent tube out. The filler neck on the tank has a short hose attaching it to the filler stub in the fuel door, remove the screws holding the filler stub (from outside the car), remove the clamps holding the hose, and work the hose loose so you can remove the filler stub from the outside, and the hose from the inside. Move the maze of electrical wires that are routed near and on the gas tank (several wire clamps hold them in place) to get them out of the way of sliding the tank forward. Remove the wires to the tank sending unit. Remove the 2 large nuts holding each gas tank strap and bend the strap ends up out of the way.

    Now you can lift the tank about a half inch to clear floor with the fuel outlet and pull/slide the tank forward out of it's cave; it's a very tight fit, and when I wiggled and tilted the tank around in the process I found out not ALL the fuel was drained out, so I had to clean up a mess; luckily none of the fuel ended up on the rug, most of it drained down into a seat side well on the passenger side and I siphoned it out of the car from there. You can avoid this problem by screwing a plug into the tank bottom outlet after you remove the "T" fitting. Gingerly remove the tank through a door.

    Reverse the above process to get the tank back in. Make sure all hoses are secure and pour some fresh fuel in the tank.

    Now, that all seems fairly straightforward, and it is, but I proceeded to replace all the rubber hoses and to blow out and clean the fuel feed tube, and to plug the drain "T" junction block in the fuel line after I'd removed the mystery second fuel tube attached to the "T" junction block with an "L" fitting. Took 2 trips to auto stores to find the correct plug, and then I found I'd somehow managed to damage the "L" fitting for that excess tube, so I removed the "L" and went back to the store for the correct plug for the remaining hole in the junction.

    In all those processes, I'd had to raise and lower each end of the car multiple times, and remove the alternator to gain still-cramped access to rubber hose clamps. Add to all that the number of times I was up and down and in and out because I didn't seem to have quite the right tool, the frustrations of not quite being able to get to a fitting or clamp with a tool in cramped quarters... trying multiple ways to get to them, numerous trips to the garage for tools, rags, hoses, etc, etc, and I was one tired and greasy guy.

    If you have a car lift, it would probably simplify the process. If I did it again, I expect it would go much faster.

  11. I can't think of any good reason for this line. I would just plug it at the juction block. Chevy fuel pumps don't use a pressure relief.

    Maybe someone else would look at their '70 Avanti and check for this line.


    I did block off that extra fuel line by plugging the "T" at the junction block. I found that the vent line does indeed go to a charcoal cannister located in the fender behind the right headlight... I can't remember if I put that in or if it came in the car (I suspect I added it to meet CA smog requirements).

    Well, I think I'm finally done, I got the tank cleaned by a local shop and I put it back in the car. Before hooking up the fuel line, I blew it out with compressed air and a little alcohol... wasn't terrible, but I did get maybe half a thimble-full of reddish/rust-colored gunk out of the line.

    To do that, I attached a long hose to the line above the differential, and a shorter one to the other end at the fuel pump. I duct-taped an old sock securely to the end of the hose at the engine end, and buried it in a small cardboard box stuffed with crumpled paper towels, then taped the box shut and put a pan under it. At the other end the hose was long enough to snake down & out from under the car and up to waist level. I started by blowing low-pressure air (about 40psi) through the hose, then I poured a few ounces of alcohol in the hose and used high air pressure (100psi) to send the alcohol through the line and I let it blow for about 30 seconds. Changed the sock, and repeated the procedure until I didn't get any gunk in the sock... 4 iterations, no mess to clean up, just a smelly box to throw out; worked great.

    I replaced all the rubber lines except the long rubber vent hose at the tank which seemed fine. Didn't tackle the fuel pump itself, because it's just in too cramped a position to try to work on it without the car being up on a lift (it was a real bear just getting the rubber lines off and on the pump)... the filter will just have to handle any gunk left in the pump. The line from the pump to the carb is all rubber, so that got replaced.

    Haven't started the car yet, but don't foresee any problems.

    When I took my old fuel to the waste management facility, I got a nice surprise... they get a lot of "good stuff" dropped off by people who are moving or cleaning house, etc, and they offer it free to people bringing more stuff. I found a small halon marine fire extinguisher that looks to be fully charged, a near-new plastic oil change pan, an unopened gallon of vinegar, and 3/4 of a bottle of Goo-Gone; they also had lots of paint quarts that people had left over from interior painting projects, but I didn't have any need for paint.

  12. This part I am confused about, you are saying that your fuel line is on the pass side?

    I dont see why they would have moved it there, if memory serves the fuel pump for GM

    is on the drivers side also ... no?


    Based on your comments, I apparently didn't describe my fuel lines clearly enough.

    The main 3/8" feed line (from the tank bottom to the fuel pump) runs along the outside of the passenger side (right) frame rail on my car, exactly the opposite of the shop manual. Chevy small block engines have the fuel pump on the passenger side near the front of the engine, so that makes sense. There is a "T" junction block in that main line just about below the rear of the door opening. Instead of a drain plug fitting in that "T" junction block, there is a fitting for a 5/16" steel line/tube that runs forward to the engine compartment in parallel with the main 3/8" line, but then it simply bends upward in the engine compartment (just rearward of the A-arm mounts) and ends; it's end is capped off (with a short piece of hose and a bolt, using 2 hose clamps).

    It is this smaller line that confounds me, I do not understand it's intended purpose... pressure relief recirculation lines usually run all the way back to the gas tank, I think. If it only routes back a few feet and then into the main fuel line feed, I would think the fuel pump itself could be designed internally to return high-pressure-relief unused fuel around to the (low pressure) fuel pump inlet. Carbureted Chevy small block fuel pumps do not have an external pressure relief line. That short 5/16" line could easily have been replaced by a drain plug at the junction block by Avanti Motors, so I have to wonder if they put it there for a reason... but WHAT reason????

    Additionally, back at the tank there is a "squashed S" shaped vent tube held about 2" above the tank by two "L" brackets bolted to studs on the top of the tank; each end of the "S" is connected to a fitting atop an opposite end of the tank; there is a "T" off the middle of the vent "S" that connects to a hose that disappears down through a hole in the fiberglass floor... that hose connects to a steel tube attached to the frame in the vicinity of the right rear shock mount, I think... but I was not able to see where the vent tube goes from there (it appears to head forward). I understand the use of this line, it is a vent tube for gasoline vapor and/or overflow, I just do not yet know where it's far end terminates, because I haven't investigated it thoroughly.

    Also, you said you put a new 5/16" pressure relief tube in your car, I assume you mean all the way back to the fuel tank... but then where does it connect to the tank? (my tank only has the three places to connect fittings: one at each end on the top (vent lines), and one on the bottom center (main fuel feed line).

    Guess I need to take a closer look at the 3/8" line to see if I could replace it like you did, with reasonable effort, to get another 35 years of fuel line life! The line doesn't look bad, but who knows what's inside it.


    on the photos, the camera doesn't always make the right setting... you may be able to open the pop-up flash, set the camera on spot metering and focus (half-depress the shutter plunger) on a dark recessed area, then change your aim (to frame the photo you want) and depress the plunger the rest of the way, to either force a flash or get more of the darker brake assembly areas to show up in the resultant photo. If that doesn't work, the camera may have a manual setting to force the flash. Contrast is great when the main subject is lit, not so great when you want to capture details in the darker background or foreground areas. A backlighted or high-contrast subject is nearly impossible to get without a flash... like people standing in a very shady area under a tree or roof overhang, with a brightly-lit sky behind them, an engine compartment when sunlight is illuminating a large polished stainless air cleaner, or centering your shot on a dark wheel with a chrome spinner. Sometimes the flash results in the lighter areas of the photo looking washed out, so it's a matter of judgement and/or shooting the shot several ways to get what you need.

  13. Its a pressure return line for the fuel pump, and a common thing on

    new cars. I wouldnt remove it. I bought lines from Napa, and spliced them together under the car.


    Yeah, that's what I figured, except I would have thought a pressure return line would run all the way back to the tank, otherwise it seems to me it could be incorporated right into the internal design of the fuel pump itself. Doesn't make sense to me. <_< But, I suppose that modern cars have the high pressure pump either IN the tank, or immediately outside the tank, so the high pressure line must have a pressure regulator near the injectors, which means the extra fuel needs to be returned to upstream of the pump, ie, into the tank. Doesn't explain why the pressure return wouldn't be incorporated into the design of the pump on the Stude, though.

    When you say you bought lines from Napa, do you mean you replaced the main fuel line, or the pressure return line, or both? What did you do to cap the end of the pressure return line in the engine compartment? (or is it actually used for a return in your car)... the shop manual does not show that pressure return line at the junction block, it shows a plug, and it shows the fuel line running along the left side of the frame rather than the right side, as does the parts manual. On which side of the frame is your fuel line? Perhaps the return line was only used for R2 or R3 cars? But, since Avanti Motors must have moved the fuel line to the right side of the car for the Chevy engine, it seems strange that they wouldn't have replaced that line with a plug at the block... they must have had a reason for keeping it in their new routing, or Studebaker moved the line to the right side sometime during Avanti production, and Avanti Motors was still using up pre-assembled chassis left by Stude, all the way into 1971 models?

    I looked at the pics... nice shots, I may have to get me a dslr next time around. I might suggest, though, that you try two things to enhance the photos the next time you shoot your car: turn on the parking lights, and try using flash when you are shooting the wheels/brakes. What lens were you using with the camera?

    Cars do tend to photograph better than they really look in person... that may be why I haven't bought a car off eBay as yet! :lol:

  14. Could it be a the vent for the charcoal canister? Is you had one there would be a vent hose coming off the carburetor also. <_<


    No, the vent to a charcoal canister would come off the top of the fuel tank, not a line off the fuel tank feed tube to the fuel pump. So far as I know, this car never had a charcoal cannister... I think I'm the second owner and I've had the car since the late-70's. I do remember adding a charcoal canister to one of my cars shortly after I came to California, but I don't think it was this car; I'll take a closer look tomorrow, after all, it's been 10 years, so I may have forgotten about the canister.

    Now that second line I mentioned, coming from the "S" vent tube atop the gas tank could be for a cannister, but I wasn't able to trace that line to it's far end.

  15. I just pulled the gas tank out of my '71... what a PIA! On my car there is a second fuel tube that comes out of the junction block (just ahead of the left rear wheel) that is normally used to drain the tank; it runs up to the engine compartment, where it is just capped with a short piece of fuel line with a short bolt clamped inside the end.

    I think I used to know what it was for, but I've forgotten... maybe a pressure relief line for a Stude fuel pump?

    I'm thinking about just replacing that line with a plug at the juction block... anyone know if that would cause a problem?

    I also couldn't tell where the maze of vent tubes/hoses atop the tank go... I can see they come out of 2 fittings, one atop either end of the tank, then through a long winding 'S" tube and then "T" into one hose and go through the floor and into a tube high on the frame near the shock mount, but I couldn't see where that tube goes from there. Wonder why they have that long S-tube atop the tank rather than just use tubes that take a direct route? ...ah, actually, as I think more about it, it's probably for maintaining a vent (so as not to create a siphon) when the car is parked on an incline such that one side of the car is lower than the other. But where does the vent tube go at the other end?

    The car was in storage for about 10 years, and I could see that I was getting quite a lot of dark rust-colored crud in my clear fuel filter, so I figured I better pull the tank and have it cleaned... but I didn't see anything in the fuel I drained out, even some that I drained into a glass jar. Now I'm wondering if that "rust" was actually some sort of varnish scavenged from the inside of the fuel tubes/lines. Since the tank is already out I'm having it cleaned anyway, and changing all the fuel hoses, to get it ready for another 35 years (I hope, because I never want to remove it again!).

    Anyone have a good suggestion as to how to go about cleaning out the fuel line tubes without creating a massive mess in my driveway?

  16. Hi everyone,

    I am a new member and bought a 64 Avanti last September. I have bought KYB gas shocks for the front but can't seem to find gas shocks for the rear.. All the Auto parts stores have no listing for an Avanti. And the 'cross reference' lists on other Stude sites haven't been helpful.... What are your recommendations? Thanks for the feedback and helping a new guy out here.


    Here's some possibilities...

    Gabriel 82103

    Sears 91103

  17. Wayne you found exactly what I need in your first link, I didn't even think about column repair kits. That kit has the gear I need. The gear is made of plastic and to get to it I needed a plate depressor to get the plate behind the wheel off. Not too bad, but not fun either. I thought about using JB weld and crafting the tooth back on as well before I found that.

    The gear is in the bottom of the pic in the center in the first link. Thanks for your help I greatly appreciate it.

    I had a feeling that might be the part you needed, and I guess that confirms my belief that the column was made by GM. Glad to have been of assistance.

  18. Well I was able to pinpoint the problem. It turns out that the gear that connects the lock cylinder to the rod to turn the ignition switch on/off has lost the last tooth and when the key is turned to the on position the gear is not in contact with the rod anymore and the rod moves and then when the key is turned to the off position it is basically locked from going to the on position again due to the rod moving. Any one have an idea where I can get one of these gears? I tried NAPA with no luck. And I was able to find an old manual of my Dad's that has every U.S. manufacturer of cars from '77-'84 and the exact column used in the AMC's is the same as in my Avanti. I checked GM in it and they weren't similiar but again thats 6 years after my Avanti was new and maybe AMC used the same column as GM from '71 all the way to '84 :unsure:

    I'll try and get a picture of the gear up tonight.

    How did you gain access to observe the problem?

    If it wasn't too difficult, perhaps you could find a donor steering column in a junkyard that uses the same gear. Junkyards are on a computer system so they can locate parts in other yards.

    Try a locksmith that works on car ignition switches, they may have catalogs which include repair parts if they exist.

    Chances are that part is not serviced separately by the maker, anyway, and unfortunately it may be very difficult to find out if it is... you might try the parts department at a Chrysler or Chevy dealer to see if they have anything in their system, though I doubt they will.

    eBay (see if these columns/parts look like yours... ignore the steering wheel and levers, look at the lock area):










    Is the gear steel, diecast metal, or plastic? Alternatively, it may not be a big job for a machine shop to duplicate it or possibly to repair the bad tooth with some very careful welding and grinding, or even something like JB Weld if the tooth is not under a lot of stress.

    Worst case, you could always wire an aftermarket ignition switch into the car

    if you can find a spot to mount it.

    I look forward to seeing your photos.

  19. My '87 uses a firewall plug just like the newer cars.


    By the way I'm an ASE Master Truck and Master Auto mechanic with 30 years experience and my own shop. I'm just having fun with my Avanti and welcome any help or comments.


    When I said early, I meant Studebaker and early Avanti II.

    Considering your vast expertise, I feel silly to have replied at all.

    How about creating a wiring diagram for your 87 and submitting it

    to the AOAI magazine so others can gain from your experience?

  20. >snip<

    Power into and out of firewall plug, but no juice anywhere else. Ignition switch dead, fuse block dead etc. >snip<

    Not that I know anything about an '87, but here's some thoughts...

    When you say there is power into and out of the firewall plug, do you mean you have power on both sides of the firewall? (eg, on both sides of the assembled male & female firewall plugs)... the earlier cars did not have a firewall connector, the harness passed through the firewall.

    Have you separated the firewall plug to check for corrosion in the connectors? Considering that the body is essentially the same, I'm not surprised that there's only one 10 gauge wire supplying power to the body at the firewall, since that's the way it was done on the early cars, except it was a single 12 gauge (black) wire. I have a booklet with a 1981 wiring diagram that shows that wire as a red wire (probably 12 gauge, with a 14 gauge fusible link at the starter solenoid) that runs to the ammeter and exits the ammeter as a white wire with red trailer to connect to the horn relay and then the fuse panel and then the ignition switch and on to the alternator BAT connector

    Is it not possible to trace the wire from the firewall plug to the fusebox to find out where you are losing the connection... I understand that you'd have to open the cable sheathing to check the length of the wire, but it must terminate at the fusebox, so there must be a way to check it where it attaches to the fusebox, and the distance from the firewall to the fusebox cannot be great. You could always run a long test wire from the solenoid directly to the fuse box, bypassing the harness, just to see if that main power wire is the issue, or if ground connections or some other issue is causing the problem... if the power wire IS the problem, and the connections are secure at the solenoid, the firewall plug, and the firewall, then you can either install a permanent bypass wire, or open the harness to find the problem.

    Another thought is to check that the battery ground cable connections are clean and tight.

  21. Any ideas? Also how do you remove the ignition switch from the column?

    I haven't done this, so all I can do is make some suggestions.

    You did try moving (turning) the steering wheel while turning the key, right?

    Try squirting some graphite lock lubricant into the key slot (from a pressurized can with a skinny plastic tube) and work the key in it a bit to see if you can free it up before you tear the column apart.

    I think the steering column is actually a GM design, which may have been purchased for Chrysler/AMC cars. Removing the ignition switch is not a simple operation, it requires removing the steering wheel and the ignition switch, and perhaps the tumbler lock (which requires breaking a tab inside the housing casting). The ignition switch itself is inside the base of the steering column, which has to be lowered to gain access to the switch. The switch is connected to the lock assembly via a long rod inside the steering column.

    The design is meant to deter theft, so it is intentionally difficult to access the switch.

    If you've ever seen a program on TV about car thieves, you know they steal cars with this locking column setup by screwing a hammer puller into the ignition key slot and driving the lock cylinder out, breaking the lock tumblers and other retaining hardware, then they stick their finger in the hole and manipulate the rod down to the ignition switch to start the car. This, of course, requires the whole steering column assembly be replaced to repair the damage.

    The problem could be in the lock/tumbler, or in the switch down below, or in the column locking mechanism. You might try calling a couple of locksmiths to see if they have any experience with these locking columns, and/or a GM dealership.

    If you can find a service manual for a car that has this steering column design, it will outline the procedure... for instance, a Chilton book that covers 70's Chevrolets.

  22. Where do you suggest best place to find new radiator hoses for 85 Avanti?


    I've tried to keep notes when replacement parts are mentioned, but no mention of that upper hose.

    Lower radiator hose can be made by shortening Gates #20627 by about 2 inches at one end.

    Take your old upper hose to a local parts store and see if they'll try to find something for you in

    their stock that you can use to make a replacement hose.

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