SBCA96AOAI Forum Members
Posts posted by SBCA96
I have never seen the Jon Myer piece, but I used the original one designed
by Dave Levesque at SteelTech. It worked well, though I made a couple of
improvements during the install. Side note, I contacted Myers about getting
a T56 install kit available, for some reason they didnt see the need to create
a kit for the THE MOST popular manual trans on the market ... hmmmm.
I think there is a misunderstanding about what effect different forms of
lowering a car will have on the end result. There are two separate ways
of lowering an Avanti and you have them confused as to which effects
Cutting the springs (which I should add is NEVER be done with a torch,
due to the heat changing the temper of the spring, which can cause the
spring to fail - always use a cut off wheel), buying lowering springs from
a source such as Eaton, or heating the springs (NEVER DO THIS!!) will
only compress the distance between the lower control arm and the frame
which will decrease the ride height. The problems this will cause are an
change in camber, less suspension travel, frame/exhaust contacting the
ground and poor ride. Think of this as having four very heavy guys on
the front bumper, the result is the whole body/frame assembly being a
bit lower to the ground.
Removing body spacers is the technique that will cause the air cleaner
to hit the hood like you mention. With an Avanti II, this is actually the
BEST way to lower the car, if you can make adjustments to the intake.
The suspension stays in its stock form, making alignments normal, and
the frame/exhaust isnt closer to the ground. By removing the spacers
you basically lower the body onto the frame, which, since the engine is
bolted to the frame, raises the engine in relation to the body.
Because the above isnt always an option, perhaps the most realistic way
to lower an Avanti II is the combination of the two, remove a few of the
body spacers in the front, and get a modest lowering spring from Eaton.
TomMy 78 Avanti II ...... would also look alot better if I lowered the front about 2 in. ..... Doing that by replacing the front springs or cutting 1 coil from the middle will cause the air cleaner to hit the top of the hood.
You referring to the T56 trans or the TH700R4?
I will assume you mean the T56 (since its a manual), no it doesnt seem as
though anyone has installed a T56 into a Studebaker power Avanti. There
is a bellhousing being sold right now that allows the use of a T5 or TKO600
manual trans though. I bought the complete T56 from a 1997 Camaro, and
will be doing whatever I need to use it. Damn the torpedos I am going in!
(much like the Cobra brakes).
As for the TH700R4, there are a couple guys on this forum that have done
that install successfully - I installed one in a '60 Hawk. My dad put one in
his '69 Avanti, though thats a GM powered Avanti II.
So the master turned out to be leaking after all? You didnt get back to
me or I would have sent that Johnstone page to you. His pictures really
help in finding the right M/C. Too bad I have the 4 bolt LAST one on the
other page which is 70 bucks for a replacement!! OUCH! Though its very
possible that the larger bore size is why I dont have any issues with my
Cobra brake install?
But you need to look on Bob's other page which has the two bolt units
I think that "XXX" comments will be pretty much warranted. To change
a manual trans Avanti to an auto is truely a waste. I considered it myself
and I have the crappy T86!! I will be going with a T56. I am sure you
will be able to sell all the manual trans parts though, to make back some
of the investment. Honestly I wouldnt waste the money for a Powershift
trans, sure they are good transmissions, but the cost is going to be high,
and the benefits minor. I would consider a TH700R4 trans, and adapter
kit from one of the Vendors. You will be much happier with the results,
getting an INCREASE in mpg and an amazingly nice launch! Not too many
things you can do to a car to improve both MPG and performance. Get
a 1989 to 1993 700 or 4L60 trans, install a Corvette servo from Sonnax
and tool on down the road. I fought the temptation to use the kit I had to
swap out the T86, but decided, for me, having a manual around is fun!
And so the question on EVERYONES mind .. HOW DOES IT SOUND???
Tom... I just received it today, 04/20/2007, along with a couple of blanks. I tried the key and it worked in both doors and the ignition.
Oh ok ... I was thinking front wheel hubs, not rear .. somehow I switched gears
and was thinking front suspension. Lowering the body on the frame you must
make sure you have the engine clearance. Oh the fun of modifiying! I would
have been interested in the 4th Gen Cobra IRS install into an Avanti. Keeping
the same bolt pattern is nice, but I can say I want to go the Vette route myself.
I have considered an IRS, just seemed like too much trouble. Then many have
said the SAME thing about my Cobra brakes.
I am confused about your wheels, the need for spacers, and the "sealed units".
Maybe my brain is not firing correctly at 3:21am ... but your Avanti still has the
Stude frame correct? If not, I just gave you a LOT of info thats useless.
Speaking of one thing leading to another ... I should tell you about when I had
bought my DVD player .. then I needed a new TV .. then a receiver ..... and ...
TomIn order to use my current rims and my new tires I did some more checking today and it seems like I can either use wheel adapters for about $100 or have the hub and rotors redrilled for maybe $300-$400. Problem is, if I redrill the hub and find out later the bearings in these sealed units are bad, I would not only need to buy new hubs/bearings at $180 each but also have to have the hubs redrilled. Talk about one thing leads to another.
This thread on SDC might be of interest to you .. someone photoshopped my
car and lowered it. It made the car look interesting, but realistically not road
worthy. Read all the posts, I put measurements into there of the tire center
to ground and frame measurements.
My rear springs had a REVERSE arc when I got it, I installed station wagon
rear springs (4 leaf) and was afraid it would sit too low, so I added a pair of
"add-a-leaf"s to it. The result was comical - live and learn :
Thats an interesting situation. I think that answer will vary between cars, ride height is
going to be different depending on the condition of each persons rear springs, you will
get quite a few different answers. It will be difficult to decide on how to mount the rear
suspension since you need to load it down with the actual weight of the car. The final
height is honestly up to you, leaving the amount of tire to fender gap YOU want. Maybe
you want to lower it from where it was anyway. Or maybe you want to lower the front.
I would suggest mocking it up with the weight of the car on it, put sandbags into the
trunk to simulate fuel weight and passengers, and spare tire!
To give you a starting point, I measured MY Avanti, the lower front leaf spring eye bolt
on the drivers side is 9-3/8 inches from the ground. Thats with 245/45 R17 tires.
Congrats on your purchase of a new Avanti, but I had to comment on not
getting much attention in the older Avantis ... come on!!
I cant drive down the street without people pointing. I stop somewhere and
people come up and start asking questions. Not that I am saying you will
not get noticed driving the new Avanti, but its not that different from the 63.
Unless those rims truely do make the difference? I do have to admit that
I have noticed more interest since I installed them almost 2 years ago. I
literally have people yell out "NICE CAR!" .. including kids on bicycles. The
convertible Avanti looks better than the coupe, I think they could have done
a better job with the rear window treatment. Was the top down when she
heard the yelling? Maybe you just dont HEAR the comments with the 63?
Anyway .. glad you are enjoying your new toy.
TomOur new 2006 Pewter Convertible arrived Wednesday morning. ..... My wife drove the car to DMV yesterday and said she had 3 different people yelling at her at stop lights asking her what kind of car it was. We very rarely have had that happen while driving either of the older Avantis or the Hawk.
Fair enough, I doubt that I can (or want) to cut into Turners client base, but
there are quite a few out there that want truely modern disc brakes, thats
what I have created. For the record, the "GT" setup that I started with is a
very cost efficient alternative, with the exception of needing modern 15 inch
steel wheels to clear the larger calipers - its pretty much a bolt on. As I had
mentioned there is a PBR aluminum caliper available for the GT size brakes.
It came on the 1999-2004 Mustang GT. 1994-1998 used that large single
piston caliper seen in the original 11 inch setup.
The pictures that Nimesh posted are certainly nice, the Corvette style PBR
calipers are virtually identical to the Cobra ones I use, with the exception of
the cooling fins on top. He used redrilled Corvette rotors from what I have
understood. Its the same concept, just starting with a bolt pattern that isnt
the same as the Avanti (GM vs Ford).
I have a daily driver 4 wheel disc '93 Camaro that has ABS, I have run the
brakes SOOO hot on that car, that the computer gave me a warning light to
let me know the ABS was no longer functioning. I want to have as much fun
with the Avanti when it becomes upgraded enough for daily driving. I would
also love to compete in some autocross events.
I just stress that people plan their upgrades, the worst way to spend your
money is buying the 'same' parts twice!
TomSurely, if we were to be constantly in a situation where repeated high speed stops were the norm bigger would definately be better. For the street use my car and lots of other Avantis experience I think the benefits of 11" vs. 12" would be nil. A kit like Jim Turner's that is simple to install and is relatively cost efficient is all most Avanti owners need. ......... snip ......... The work done on your brakes is impressive, for sure, and looking at Nimesh's Baer setup I do have "caliper envy". But for me, my Turner front brakes and my drums in the rear do the job. ErnieR
You know, I am not really sure. This is on the "to be looked into" list.
I have the headliner out right now, and to be honest it doesnt look that
bad without it. Once I rubbed what was left of the glue off it has a bit
of a track car look - which I am OK with. It stays this way for now.
Thanks for the info, I am sure others will appreciate also!
TomIf you did just vinyl would you be attaching directly to the roof?Ernie R2 R5388
Share the tips!!
My front piece came out pretty solid, which is why I thought about steaming it.
I just dont know how I can generate enough steam to do anything! Also, will
it have memory and just go back to the way it was?? I am not too concerned
with it looking factory, so I have considered bonding some thick vinyl to the
roof and calling it good. I am curious though how your install went....
Actually, with brakes bigger is most definately better. The idea is to get as
much braking force WITHOUT locking up the wheels. Once you lock them
up, all bets are off, and you are correct - might as well had 4 wheel drums
at that point! My 1960 Hawk was REALLY good at locking up with the 11"
finned drums up front. I modified the side of a Subaru wagon trying to get
the car to stop once - a futile effort.
The larger the diameter rotor, the more effective surface area you have per
each revolution of the tire. Studebaker discs were good in the day, but the
brake fade is the enemy. I was trying to develop something that could use
parts from a production run of a model, not just one or two years. Studes
disc brakes ended up on the REAR of Jags by the late 60s/early 70s. The
Turner 11 inch setup uses a rotor for a lighter car, the late 60s Mustang. It
is on par with the GT 11 inch rotor, though the caliper is larger on the newer
design. This allows the use of a larger pad, and an optional two piston. I
did some testing with a Gtech and got a 148 stop from 60. I am not totally
positive I had the Gtech setup right, but the numbers fell between a 65 GT
roadrace Mustang (144 feet) and another 65 Mustang with 13" Baer brakes
at each corner (155 feet) so I didnt keep trying to see what I could get down
too. I did notice that the MORE I tried stopping, the faster/better it stopped.
Keep in mind our Avantis arent exactly lightweight! (I used 3500 pounds).
I havent had a chance to test the 13" Cobra setup yet, the Avanti has been
down for the last few months with a broken power steering and other projects
have taken priority. I will post the latest results when I have them.
In my opinion, unless you are going for a stock rebuild, ditching the Stude
setup is worth while, at 175 dollars a rotor, and 110 each for wheel cylinders
(4 per car) that is certainly not the cost effective route - ending up with late
50s technology European brakes.
FYI, I priced the Turner rotors on Autozone's website last year, they were a
special order item and around 95 dollars each. If you found them cheaper
thats a good thing! Did you buy the modified calipers from Turner, or grind
the housing yourself? Also the brake pads, did you buy his special modified
ones or cut the wear tab off and grind it down yourself? Reading Turners
website I thought it was odd he didnt design his brackets to use "off the shelf"
parts, I hate voiding product warrenties.
Thank you all for your kind words.
Sure .. Email me the pictures and I can host/post them for all to see. One thing
you can do to see the difference between 75 series and 45 series is walk up to a
corner and start pushing the car side to side. You can SEE the flex in the side
wall, this is how much the tire will flex in a lane change. You can REALLY get a
75 series tire going ... they may seem fine for normal driving, but try to swerve
around something and see their limitations. Ride consideration is important. To
be honest I am pleased with the ride in my Avanti, and my dad rode in the car
on a 110 mile round trip and didnt complain at all. He has a '69 Avanti with a set
of 75 series tires, he is going to be ordering a set of rims like mine this year. He
just turned 70.
Its possible that your ignition key has been replaced, and so the locks
are different. Or you might need to work the lock loose with some type
of penetrating oil (PB Blaster). My locks are all "funky" and need to be
wiggled and jiggled to get to turn.
Turners/Steeltechs 11 inch setup requires an interference fit load bearing spacer to
be heated red hot and installed on the spindle. Rotors are 100 a piece. Steeltech's
12 inch setup is a bolt on, requiring no spacer rotors 170 a piece. My Mustang uses
the factory hub, 11 inch rotors are 25 a piece, but the setup requires modern steel
wheels, so the initial investment is about the same, replacements are dime-a-dozen.
I am getting 10 sets made for sale, but I wont be selling kits for liability reasons. It
will be up to the buyer to purchase the calipers, mounting bolts, studs, rotors etc ....
I have all the part numbers of course, I have posted in previous threads. Just for
your consideration .. best to look at all possibilities. Happy hunting.
All have their pros and cons.
TomSteelTech seems to have the combination I am looking for. However, Turner Brakes is another avenue for me, except for the rear brake setup, as I have a flanged axel, vice the tapered axel.
Good points, modifying anything can be dangerous, always stick to the
basic design, at the least matching it. Do not use stainless hardware
unless it is graded hardware, most basic stainless hardware is only about
grade 2, which is bin bolts at Home Depot. Grade 5 should be used, its
not recommended to use grade 8 due to reduced shear strength.
As for the seat mounting holding you into the car, thats not entirely true,
its actually the seat belt that will be your friend in an accident. The seat
mount will keep you in place during those hard 0-60 runs.
TomI didn't stress this in my original post but should have - modifying a seat mount is DANGEROUS BUSINESS AND I AM NOT RECOMMENDING YOU DO IT. Should you choose to ignore that advice, be sure to use at least Grade 5 hardware and nuts with nylon inserts when doing this, and then make doubly sure that all bolts are very tight. In case of an accident, the seat's mounting to the car is all that prevents the internal launch sequence from being initiated.
Wheel and tire choice is really a very personal opinion. What you want to
end up with is really what will detirmine what you buy. Thats the first thing
that you need to decide on. Do you want a soft floaty comfortable ride on
the freeway that you can barely feel the road and slight movements of the
steering wheel have no effect on direction - go with 75 series tires. The
sidewall is nice and flexible like a balloon, which gives detaches you from
the road below. If you want razor precise response that also includes a
noticeable increase in road feel/transfer of irregularities - go with 35 series
tires. There are a lot of choices in between, and as you venture out to the
sides of the spectrum the effects are more pronounced. A 60 series tire
can give the best of both worlds, but will lower your car/not fill the wheel
opening like a 75 series ON THE SAME RIM. Keep this in mind. It will lower
the chance of the tire contacting the fender though, which is good. 70 series
will barely alter the look, but will help in handling. Tires MAKE the difference
anyone that tells you otherwise just hasnt experimented. Good luck.
These are Chrysler 15x6 steel wheels :
These are 14x7 wheels with 235/60 tires (rear spring experiment gone bad ) :
These are the current 17x8 with 245/45 tires :
I have also wondered about steaming the headliner and reversing the 40+
years of warpage. Its a tempting thing to try, since the other option is to
buy the replacement fiberglass inserts from Studebaker International. My
front and rear sections have drooped down. I removed the headliner on
the front so that it stopped rubbing my head while driving! I honestly do
feel that something along those lines could work ... just how to do it!
Sounds like your question about lowering has been answered. If you want
the front lowered like a Studebaker Avanti, steel spacers must be removed
from between the body and frame ... this must be done correctly of will be
the cause of cracks being formed. Once the body is lowered your hood is
going to hit the air cleaner, and result in a permamently open hood. The
GM engine is higher than the Stude. You COULD swap in an LT1 engine &
convert the car to a F.I. fuel system. The LT1 has a LOW intake. The last
issue is the filler panels glued into the front wheel openings. If you look up
inside the fender, you will see the seam.
On my dads 69 Avanti, we cut the front springs, and I made templates to
cut the fenders out. The car looks Studebaker, BUT it has VERY limited
suspension travel which leads to a poor ride. I think that the body can be
lowered a certain amount (not all the way to Stude) and the suspension
can be lowered to create a "Stude" appearance. Keep in mind that only
the front was changed, the back is "Stude" height.
I know I read about how to do the body lowering on Bob Johnstones web
site, but I can not find it now. Here is sunroof stuff :
Yup, that's right, I am quite honored to have this privilege on an award
winning quarterly publication like this. I got permission to host and post
the image of the cover on the car forums to help get AOAI more exposure.
It is also being featured in the magazine for the 3rd part of my Mustang
disc brake conversion. Issue 137 covers the upgrade to the 13" Mustang
Cobra front brakes and upgrade on the rear disc. Issue 133 covered the
front GT Mustang install while issue 134 covered the GT Mustang rear
Here is a link to where you can purchase a copy of each of the above if
you are interested.
Wow .. thats a tough one. 4 inches travel? Are you two close in height?
If you move it forward .. its not going to go back as far (obviously). If
you are 6 foot 7, and shes 5 foot ... you guys have a problem. Its got to
go 4 inches FURTHER than it already does? Blocks - maybe. I dont know.
Do you think the Studebaker Avanti and Avanti II are Grade "C" cars and are "somewhat overpriced"?
in Avanti Pub
Opinions are like ***holes - everyone has one.
The guy is probably like this ***clown that I am dealing with on a Mustang site
right now that is infatuated with Cobra kit cars. He had a Pantera, but traded
it for a Cobra knockoff?! I like Panteras, but really dont have much respect for
a little uncomfortable two seater that just about anyone can build in their car
port with hand tools. He considers the Avanti as a nothing car, even though its
very likely that without its influence cars like the Mustang and Camaro would
have looked very different (or not existed). Due to an article in Popular Hot
Rodding about the birth of the Camaro, I typed (but havent sent) the following
I realize that its been quite some years since Studebaker paid into the
advertising in your magazine, but at least give credit where credit is due.
The "Camaro Rising" article kept me laughing with its pat on the back
for GM and Ford. Perhaps its finally coming to surface how Ford gave
a Mustang to GM for development, but you forgot to mention that Ford
purchased an Avanti to develop the Mustang. Dimensionally the Avanti
is identical to the Mustang. That "pronounced long hood, short deck
look" was first seen on the Avanti, not the Mustang. The "curved side
glass area and flowing rear deck" was also Avanti, and your statement
"famous GM "Coke-Bottle" look" was obviously stolen from the Avanti.
The article says that it came from the 1965 Corvair, which was based on
the 1963 Pininfarina Corvair show car, but that wasnt very "Coke-Bottle"
shaped. The production Corvair showed up with Avanti lines. I could go
through and pick apart the rest of the article but whats the point? I have
4 F-bodies in my driveway, but its the Avanti that gets attention, I have
tried a few times to get my Avanti into "Under Construction", "Hometown
Hot Rodding" or other, but havent even received confirmation. Camaros,
Mustangs and popular Mopar fill your magazine, how about something
different .. or using Studebaker's slogan "Different by Design".