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Posts posted by WayneC

  1. 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.

  2. Cool .. at least its "fixed". Maybe you can make it over to In N Out with it and

    there could be TWO Avantis there someday! That would be an event!


    Someday, but first I gotta get tires, find a tranny dipstick, etc, etc, etc, so won't be anytime soon.

    Haven't made out to Big Brand in Goleta, but I did stop at the one in Santa Barbara and they were

    only interested in selling me some Cooper tires.... no thanks.

  3. I have a volt meter, I think that a test light works better.

    I spent a few hours checking it out, but could not find a problem, it did not have a drain with the ignition turned off; it's possible that something was turned on previously when I was having the problem (like the trunk light, for instance, the mercury switch is kinda touchy such tht parking on a slope could turn it on) ....or perhaps my fooling around with the tail light wiring fixed the problem.

  4. A Camry? Wayne, Wayne, Wayne ..... gone to the dark side. :unsure:

    It was my aunt's car, which I purchased when she went into a nursing home; it's a 1993 with 30k miles. Just another member of the fleet.

    You still havent replied to my reply to your post about repairs ......

    I'll take a look, didn't realize there was anything needing a reply.

  5. I'm looking to replace the tires on my 1985 Avanti, looking for excellent performing, smooth riding, quiet, tire. Price is second to quality. What is the best?


    I'd suggest you play around at Tirerack.com.

    215/70-15 is probably the tire to look at unless you are willing to buy

    new rims in a larger size.

    Pirelli P4000 is the logical choice in a reasonably-priced performance 215/70-15 tire.

    I am currently in a similar situation: deciding on tires for 2 Avanti's.

    My desire for a quiet/smooth ride rules out most performance tires.

    In my case, I am much more concerned with a smooth quiet ride, as my

    driving habits are rather sedate in my old age; I almost never drive in

    snow or rain, nor do I exceed 80mph. I want to stay close to the stock size,

    keep my current rims, and avoid the white-letter "bling".

    Haven't made my final choices yet, but here's MY short list...

    Yokohama Avid Touring white-stripe (I'm addicted to the "classic" look; S-rated)

    Hankook Mileage Plus II H-725 (S-rated?; cheap at $300/set mounted, yet well-rated by Consumers Report)

    Michelin X Radial (S-rated?; but I'd have to join Costco or another shopping club store to get these)

    Goodyear Assurance TripleTred (T-rated; smoothest tire on my list, but more $$ than I wish to spend)

    Goodyear Assurance ComforTred (T-rated; I have these on a Camry I own, and like them)


  6. SBCA96, I saw your latest post on the 63-64 forum. You have an Impala SS, too? (I know you said your Dad has one, but I didn't recall your saying you did)

    Great progress on your Avanti, where/when is the show? Lompoc? Or do you mean Wheels & Waves?

    Come on down and help me get my '71 back on the road.... I finally got it out of long-term storage and it runs and looks great (only moved it a few feet so far), but now I gotta sort out the problems it had when I put it away. It has an electrical leak that drains the battery (a lingering issue possibly stemming from a serious engine harness meltdown that I tried to repair before it got stored... I may have missed something), I need to finish the job of converting the back up lights to tail lights (started before the storage, but never completed), check out the brakes, get the tranny serviced and replace the broken dipstick (had one somewhere, can't find it), give the leather some TLC, wax the car, replace the aged tires, etc, etc.

    Rant: As usual, when working on electrical circuits, I continually have problems finding the right components in the stores... everybody carries the same stuff now days, and it's a poor and scant selection of all the wrong stuff and in wrong/bright colors. I was all over town trying to find some rubber trailer-type weather connectors in a 3-wire version; no dice, only 2-wire or 4-wire, and at ridiculously high prices. I was surprised to find Radio shack doesn't carry any at all. I ended up using crimp-on bullet connectors, again outrageously-priced and not nearly as neat. Also tried to find metal "J" clips for wiring, like the ones used on the Avanti trunklid... all I could find were the huge metal clips (the "P" shaped ones with a black plastic liner that are actually tube clips, but they sell them as wire clips), and all the smaller fasteners were the cheap-looking "P"-shaped milky plastic ones... nothing with a spring action that actually grips/snugs the wires. Arrrgghh!!!

    Tom, the underside of my 71 is pretty grungy... do you know of anyplace I can get it cleaned?

    There used to be a fella who steam-cleaned the underside of cars in a separate stall at a car wash in Goleta, but it looks like that service went away with the remodelling of the car wash.

    BTW, the engine harness meltdown was caused by the wire harness being routed too close around the hood latch on the passenger side... the metal edge eventually wore through the harness insulation in an unobtrusive spot and caused a massive short. It occurred while I was in traffic on the freeway, and by the time I got off the freeway and stopped, found that the ignition key failed to shut the engine off, then got a wrench and disconnected the battery, it had burned up most of the wiring under the hood and was working it's way into the harness bundle where it passes through the firewall. Luckily it didn't spark a fuel fire, and luckily I HAD a wrench.

    The moral of the story: check the harness routing on your Avanti, add some clips to keep things tidy where needed, carry a small fire extinguisher, and add a battery cutoff switch for safety.

  7. During hard right turns (right only) at low speed there is a rubbing sound coming from (I suppose) the power steering area. (This is in addition to the normal PS sounds). A long time Avanti owner who who test drove the car for me reported similar sounds. Before shipment, I had its long time mechanic look it over and he found nothing amiss. I think I just found out why. When the car is in the air, it doesn't happen. Whgen weight is on the car the noise occurs. The car has Studebaker wheels, so Idon't think the tires are rubbing. Other than the noise the steering seems fine. Any ideas?

    You are obviously going to need to do some additional investigation.

    What do you mean by the "power steering area"? ...do you mean in the area of the P/S pump?

    Will it make the noise if the wheels are turned full right while the car is standing still?

    What size tires are on it?

    How does the wear pattern on the tire tread look? Same on both front tires?

    Is the power steering fluid up to the full mark?

    Any rub marks on the inside fender lips or tire tread, either side?

    Have a garage check it out while it's up on a ramp-style lift.

  8. I probably shouldn't reply to this, because I've not had any experience with leaky moon roofs, but I seem to recall that a common cause is a blocked drain tube, which I think exits the moon roof surround channel at the rear and travels through a hose behind the upholstery on the pillar between the rear window and the left side (rear) window. If the surround channel doesn't drain properly, the water finds it's way into the car.

    There was a post by someone named "Billy" back in May of 2005 describing how he had problems with (I think) delamination of the moonroof from the fiberglass. He removed the moonroof and made repairs which he outlined in a photo series. If you cannot find that post, I saved it in a Word document I could send you if you email me with your email address. Unfortunately, the document does not describe exactly what the original problem was, and I've forgotten, so I am only guessing that it was delamination.

    Another suggestion is to call Dan Boothe at Nostalgic Motors in Wixom MI (but don't use the free 800 ordering number, use 248-349-4884), as he is probably the foremost expert on Avanti maintenance issues...


    Or, with some very careful water testing, using one of those plant-watering cans with the moonroof open, perhaps you can find a tiny leak/crack somewhere at the left front of the surround channel (or between the fiberglass and the channel) that you could simply seal with a bit of dum-dum or epoxy.

    1/16/05 update: I tried a search of this forum, but could not find the post I referenced above.

  9. If you could please provide suggestions where to find QUALITY Avantis for sale please.  I read somewhere that I may only see junk (rust) on ebay, is this so?  Outside of rusted hog troughs, what should I watch out for?  Is there an approximate cost for 1) What should a Quality paint job cost? Would this be base plus clearcoat or is there a better process? How long should a quality job last if car is garaged? 2) If engine needs work, is it better to overhaul or get a new crated engine?  3) Interior - What does a quality redo (leather and new carprt) of the interior cost?  4) Where is the best place to go for quality rechrome? I understand they fix any dents, etc. in the process?

    Thanks for helping a novice find the right car.

    Quality cars and rough cars can be found anywhere, the trick as J Boyle says, is to have someone inspect it before purchase.

    Aside from rust in the frame and signs of rust around the window frames and in door openings, look for cracks in the frame around the area of the front spring pockets. Also look at the underside of fiberglass panels for signs of major repairs. If the front end feels like you hit an anvil when you go over bumps, you'll need to rebuild the front suspension.

    Base coat/clear coat will be in the area of $5k to $8K, more if the shop finds significant prior damage repairs in the body. A single-stage acrylic enamel might be a bit less if you like a non-metallic with a softer-gloss finish. Paint will look decent indefinitely, probably 15 to 20 years or so if the car is mostly garaged (and not left in open parking lots all day).

    A complete leather interior is very expensive (thousands, maybe 6 to 8), and has to be custom-made (I don't think anyone offers pre-made Avanti interior leather upholstery)... I think J Boyle meant vinyl when he quoted $500... that might not even buy a leather headliner.

    Chrome platers vary... these places should offer quality work (triple plating), but expect to pay at least $400 to $750 to do a quality rechrome on a bumper:

    Frankford Plating, Philadelphia PA 215 288 4518

    Paul's Chrome Plating, Evans City PA 800-245-8679

    Rick Applegate, Jackson TN 731-422-0567


    Also, make sure the pieces fit properly before you give them to a plater, because the plater has no way to know if they are slightly bent. Yes they can fix dents and fill in rust areas after they grind them out, but that will all cost extra.

    Whether to rebuild an old engine or buy a crate engine (I assume you are talking Avanti II) is just about a toss-up, unless you want to keep the original engine or you know an engine builder you really like & trust. Crate engines are nice, quick, some have aluminum heads to accept lower octane fuels without knocking, and it's hard to beat the price, but you could run into problems hanging accessories if the new engine doesn't have threaded holes in all the correct places for the old brackets, and tall intake manifolds may not fit under the hood.


    If you want an Avanti needing work, I've been toying with the idea of selling my '80 Avanti, which I rarely drive (I also own a 71 Avanti, pretty but not currently operable, and 4 brand x cars). The '80 has 50K original miles, is unmolested and in decent shape; although not rust-free, there are no rust-outs. It's had 3 owners and has been in Tx and CA, where I live, nearly all it's life, but has lived in my driveway under a car cover for some years now while I mostly procrastinate about working on a Corvette project that's taking up space in my garage. It needs a repaint (original paint is seriously spider-webbed) and some upholstery (Recaro front seat leather is cracking) and could probably use carpeting, too; rear bumper needs rechrome. No body damage; 350 runs/drives great, w/ low emissions on smog checks, brakes work good; haven't tried the a/c recently. If you trust the tires (I don't, they have good tread but sun-cracked sidewalls), it could be driven anywhere. In short, it's a solid basic car that needs cosmetics and TLC (where've I heard THAT before?). I'm soon to lose garage space for another car of mine at a neighbors, and my driveway is chokablok full, so I could use the parking space. I'll probably put decent tires on it and ask somewhere around $8500. E-mail me for some pics if interested.

  10. I could be wrong here, but (as I recall) I do not think there IS an oil pressure sending unit... I think the gauge accepts pressurized oil; it has a small diameter steel tube which is attached to the engine via a short rubber flex hose (with metal NPT fittings at each end) that screws into the top rear of the block, in the vicinity of the distributor hole, I think.

    I don't have a 78 Avanti. I do have a 71, and I had 69, 66, and 63 Avanti's. I also have an 80, but it's too dark to go look right now. I am fairly certain that the 66 and 71 used the mechanical attachment I outlined, but then again, my memory isn't what it used to be.

    If there IS an oil pressure sending unit to convert pressure to an electrical signal, then your gauges were likely changed, and the sender is probably a part offered by the gauge vendor.

  11. Was that the SAME 1966 Avanti that Jason bought from you?  The white one?


    Yep. It wasn't damaged, and I subsequently had the tranny rebuilt. Did I tell you I saw that same car (wheels looked familiar) advertised for sale a couple of years after Jason bought it, at a used car dealership? And, in a financial crunch after being laid off, I'd sold the '89 Avanti I'd purchased just before I sold the '66. After resisting as long as I could, I went to see it to make sure it was the same car, and it was, but luckily (I guess) it was already sold when I got there or I might not have been able to resist buying it back. By that time it was repainted black and had a few improvements to the interior. I had done a lot of work on that car, too, so I knew it was a nice car, worth more than the advertised price. Always wondered what Jason traded it on.

    Give me a call sometime.

  12. Does any one have or know where I can find some pictures of a stock air filter that was used used in 1974. My car has a cheap aftermarket chrome type that pretty beat-up.Also what  was the original from so I can find a replacement. Thanks, Steve

    I am not sure what air cleaner came on the 74, but it probably was the same air cleaner as used on a base-engined Camaro or Corvette of around that vintage.

    I hope the following links work for you, because they are prior sales on eBay and you may need to be registered with eBay to access these pages....

    Here is one that I believe was used on the 1980 Avanti:


    Here's one from a 74 Corvette (that may have been used on Avanti):


    Here's one from 70-71 Corvette:


    Here's one from a Camaro:


    And another: http://tinyurl.com/73p6g

    Here's one that was used on Corvettes from 66-69 (I had one like this on my '71 Avanti, but darned if I can remember for certain whether it came with that air cleaner or if I added it):


    There are variations in similar-appearing air cleaner bases depending on the carburetor used (base has indentations for clearance for fuel tube and throttle linkage, etc, and a cutout matching a carb tab, to precisely orient the position of the smog tube and snout), even within the same model year, however, so it may be difficult for anyone to tell you exactly which Chevy air cleaner of what year was used on any given year Avanti.

    You could try asking Dan Booth at Nostalgic Motors in Wixom, MI; if anybody knows, he probably does. www.avantiparts.net

    Consider this: assuming you are reasonably handy with mechanical stuff, get one you like on eBay, try it, and if it doesn't work out (ie, you can't tweak it to fit your carb setup) you can always sell it again on eBay and not lose much more than shipping $$$.

  13. The author bought his troughs from Dan Booth of Nostalgic Motor Cars.  Nostalgic Motor Cars still run ads in recent AOAI magazines, but I haven't seen them mention their hog troughs; maybe they still make them.  They don't have a website, but their phone number is:  (800) AVANTI-1 (800) 282-6841.


    Actually Paul. they DO have a website, although I doubt it reflects all the parts they have available:


  14. Hi! I have a 1980 Avanti , its an automatic ,my Neutral Safety switch went out, and I am having a hard time trying to replace it, it looks like a chevy switch,does anybody know where I can find one or what type of car I should replace it with ,I would appreciate any help , Perry

    Wish I could help directly, but here's some thoughts.

    I think the shifter is pretty much the same as the original Studebaker Avanti, and that original neutral safety switch attaches to the shifter bracket and (via short linkage rods) to the shifter lower lever, so it might be a Stude switch... if you have an Avanti parts book, it is #1558650 starter cut-out switch, illustrated on page 90 as item 0853-1. It is essentially a small squat cylindrical switch (rubber-coated as I recall) with a couple of levers at one end and a wiring pigtail at the other. If that sounds right, I'm not sure where you can get one, but I'd start by calling Nostalgic Motors 1-800-avanti1 and Studebaker International 1-317-462-3124. I didn't find the switch at their websites, but they will probably know if they are to be found. If not, then you may have to search junkyards looking at mid 60's Chevy's and Ford's (since the original Borg-Warner tranny was used on Ford's) and/or improvise.

    I have a rather funny story involving that switch and a 66 Avanti I owned back in the 70's...

    The Avanti's transmission seals were starting to go, so the tranny slipped in the morning on cold days, mostly noticed in reverse, until it got warmed up, and I wasn't anxious to pay for an overhaul. One snowy sunday night I came home half in the bag after partying and decided to park right beside the shelter of the house in about 3 or 4 inches of snow rather than in the backyard (the detached garage was full of project cars) so I wouldn't have to shovel as much in the morning if the snow collected even more. The next morning it was quite cold and there was about 6 or 7 inches of snow on the ground. Before going to work I decided to get some odds & ends together in the garage to be dropped off at a vendor's shop, so before doing that I started the Avanti and turned on it's heater so it could warm up and keep me toasty on the way to work, and proceeded into the garage through it's side door.

    After puttering around in there about 10 minutes, there was a horrendous CRASH and the whole center front of the garage caved in about 4 feet!!!

    My Avanti had slammed into the center post between the thin-metal garage doors!

    It seems that several gremlins had bit me: 1) I had inadvertently left the tranny in "drive" when I shut the car down the night before, 2) unbeknownst to me, the "starter cut-out switch" had apparently failed sometime previous, and when it fails you can start the car IN GEAR, which I had just done, 3) the cold morning meant the choke kept the engine running at an increasingly faster clip as the engine oil warmed, 4) The tranny seals took a while to warm up and take hold... when they did, the tires jumped the end of the frozen snow ruts I'd formed the night before and the car lurched forward 30 feet until it rammed the post between the 2 closed overhead garage doors. Luckily none of the projects were damaged, and the Avanti only suffered some cosmetic damage, but I had to spend considerable time at a later date replacing the garage center post and straightening and repainting the doors (although they still retained enough waviness to continually remind me of my stupidity).

    BTW, that 66 Avanti used the Stude switch, but I think it also had a Borg-Warner tranny, not the Chevy turbo 350 or 400 trannies that came later.

  15. As far as LOOK, yes these rims did wonders for the

    look of the car, and I feel have brought it out of "old school" into the more current

    trend.  Also I have read quite a few articles on rims sizes, and the optinum sizes

    seem to be 17 and 18 inch for a car of this size and weight. 

    I am interested to read what others think as well.


    They do look nice!!! I'd be very careful, though, because that is a radically different size... as I recall, in the past I've even had trouble with 215/70-15's or 205/75-15's (can't recall which) on 7" Magnum 500's in an Avanti II if I hit a bump while turning (interference with the left front fender wheel opening, not good for the fiberglass or paint). It's always possible that particular car was out of spec, of course, or those particular tires didn't conform to the norm for their size... I think I ended up with 195/75-15 on the front of that car.

    Closest to original size is 205/75-15, I think. Your new tires are almost an inch and a half less in diameter, which helps clearance, but 1.6 inches wider (ie, they stick out about a half-inch further even with your current backspace, and extend inward a little over an inch further).

    What sort of lugs do your new wheels use? If they are a recessed lug (pass through the mag wheel), possibly you could find a taller lug to use in conjunction with some sort of a wheel spacer drilled to same diameter as the wheels to accept the lugs.

    There are some wheel adapters that hide/recess the old studs/nuts and provide new studs for the wheel, but they'd have to be considerably more than a quarter inch thick (generally they are 0.6 to 1 inch thick, thick enough to recess the old stud & nut)... ie, could be used if the wheels had more backspace.

    Seems to me that any substitute rotor setup that would provide the needed clearance to the steering link would be essentially the equivalent of using adapters or spacers. Either method would push the wheel/tire further out of the wheel opening and risk fender opening damage.

    But hey, you're a draftsman... measure it all up and stick it on your computer and you can check any combination of tire & wheel size for clearance under turn & jounce conditions!

    Have you considered using a narrower wheel & tire of the same design for the fronts?

  16. I'm interested in the experiences you guys have had with replacing your trought. WHere did you get them? what did you pay? Aluminum vs stainless (I'm almost 100% decided on steel). How was the customer service experience? etc... Thanks in advance, I'll keep the board posted on progress.

    Can't help you directly, but here is a website with a little info:


    Apparently he's been through it, and invites email questions, which you can initiate on his home page:


  17. 1980 Avanti's came with 350ci engines; you may be thinking of 1970... I can't recall specifically, but some Avanti's had 400ci engines in the very early 70's. GM made 400ci engines from about 1970 to as late as 1980. One way to tell a 400ci block is that nearly all of them have casting provisions for 3 freeze plugs on each side rather than the 2 that are normal on smaller displacement engines, although only 2 freeze plugs were machined on some of the 400ci blocks (but, see below).

    Every Chevy small block has a 6 or 7-digit casting number on top of the engine's bellhousing "collar" on the driver side; the stamped numbers on a small pad extending out in front of the passenger side head indicates the vehicle VIN (for Chevy-produced vehicles, not Avanti's) along with codes for place and date of manufacture, horsepower, and transmission type. The 3951509 block casting had only the standard 2 freeze plug provisions, and that 400ci engine was last produced in 1980.

    It's always possible, of course, that the engine currently in the car is not original to the car, in which case the casting and stamped numbers might help identify it.

  18. My 87 Avanti looks as if the front fenders cracked behind the wheel openings and have been repaired. I have been told that Kelly had a problem with cracked front fenders on his early Avanti's. <_<  Is this true and what caused them to crack?

    Exactly where is the cracking (ie, when you say "behind the wheel openings, do you mean inner fender inside of the wheel openings, or wheel opening lip, or the area between the wheel openings and the door, or around a body mount)?

    Most cracking around the wheel wells is likely caused by a poor choice of tire size, resulting in a clash between the body and the tire (hitting a bump while turning into a driveway, etc). You'll know it if that's happening to you, but it may have happened to a prior owner, who then got rid of the tires and repaired the damage.


    Try these insurers, and ask for an "agreed value" policy (as opposed to "actual cash value or "stated value"); note that most of these will have some restrictions, such as minimum age of the car, your driving experience, how the car is garaged, annual mileage, limit you to collector car activities/events; all will require pictures and/or appraisals to certify value:

    Hagerty (800) 922-4050 (said to be attractive when you own multiple collector cars)

    American Collectors Insurance (800) 360-2277

    Great American "Classic" (not collector insurance; will do "agreed value", but no driving to work/school daily)

    Grundy (800) 338-4005

    JC Taylor (800) 345-8290

    Frankly, I've been too lazy to check them out myself, so I can't personally recommend any of them, but Hagerty and American Collectors seem to come up often as insurers of choice for collector cars. Great American will write "agreed value" policy for non-collector cars if the car is not regularly driven to work or school, but the price will be higher than for a more-restricted collector car.

  20. Does anyone know of a trick to make their removal and insertion a bit easier?

    I haven't tried this, but I can envision fashioning a tool out of a short length of rubber tubing and a fat wooden dowel, such that the dowel with perhaps about an inch of tube extending from it's end (glued onto the dowel) could be pushed down onto the bulb, turned, and pulled out; reverse for installing. The tube, of course, would need to be enough smaller than the bulb to grip it. A dowel with a rather small suction cup on one end might be another approach.

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