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Billy Shears

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  1. Another, perhaps simpler solution is probably the one I used -- buy the sold shroud that is available, then get yourself a fiberglass repair kit and do the following: after marking a line on your shroud where you will cut it in half on either side, apply a good coating of car wax to the inside of the shroud where that line is, extending above and below. Next, use your fiberglass repair kit to create a pair of tabs that will extend above and below the line where you will make your cut. Build up a couple of layers until the tabs are thick enough, and let them dry; after they are dry, you can pop them right off thanks to the wax you put on the inside of the shroud. Once they are off, sand the edges neat, and clean the wax coating off the inside of the shroud. Cut the shroud in half where you marked your lines, then go back and use the resin in your fiberglass repair kit to permanently bond the tabs to the lower half. After that's dry, clamp the two halves back together, and drill a couple of holes on each side of the upper half of the shroud (and the tabs on the inside where they overlap). Now you have a two-piece shroud that does not have that open area like the horseshoe shrouds do, and which you can take off and reinstall easily without having to remove your fan.
  2. Mine were as well, owing to a leak in the rear window seal that let water accumulate both under the rear seat, and in the trunk (where it rusted the jack into a solid lump of iron oxide). I got an entire rear seat assembly -- seat bottom, seat back, and fiberglass backing panel -- from a parted out Avanti II. That will probably be your best bet.
  3. I think people are going to have to start looking for an alternative. I did this to my car, but let me tell you, I had no end of difficulty tracking down one of those spoilers. Now that the Saturn division of GM is defunct, almost every place where you could obtain one of those no longer stocks them.
  4. Yes, which is precisely how I did it (and which should be clear from my description). It sounds to me though like Brad is referring to using the a bead of the 3M bedding compound (or some other non-hardening sealant) on the glass window itself before putting the rubber seal on (and then another bead of 3M bedding agent on the widow opening when you install the window into the opening). After a few dry runs to make sure everything fit, I did indeed put the 3M bedding agent on the window opening. But I did put the rubber seal ring onto the window glass dry, then put the stainless trim back on, then once that was installed in the window opening (using the 3M badding compound around the fiberglass windown opening), I used the butyl rubber sealant to seal the rubbers seal ring to the glass window itself. Essentially the same procedure was used to install a new windshield as well. As I said, my results have been quite good.
  5. The Avantis weren't always quite waterproof from the factory, from what I've read. I followed the proceedure I used because it was precisely how I was advised to do it by Dan Booth, who's been doing these for decades. So far it's worked, and I've had no leaks. I think he follows that proceedure because it's what Avanti Motors did, and the Avanti IIs were waterproof from the factory.
  6. Removing it is not hard; putting it back in is a pain in the butt. I just recently reinstalled mine after getting the car painted. Here is the procedure I followed. Removal You'll want to install a new rubber seal, so cut the outer edge of the old rubber away with a sharp razor blade – don’t try running the razor blade along the rubber; grab the rubber with a pair of pliers and pull on it, pushing the razor blade against the rubber where you want to make the cut. Cut the rubber across the top, then all the way down both sides, and then you can stop. You will see a Phillips screw on the small, stainless joint piece on the top, or you will see three such joints, each with its own Phillips screw on later cars. There will be nuts on the inside. Either get a helper to hold a wrench on these nut(s), or take a pair of vice grips and fasten them onto the nut(s), and then turn the screw(s) from the outside. Once the screw(s) is/are all out, then the window then pushes up and out. Get in the back seat and put your hands in the center of the upper edge of the glass and push. Move to the side and push, then move to the other side and push. When the window is then raised up at the front edge, get out of the car, and lift it up and then pull out from the bottom, and lift it over. Before pulling the stainless trim out of the rubber, take ¾ inch-wide masking tape, and put it on the glass wherever there is a splice of the stainless steel. Take a ball point pen and mark where the edges of stainless splice pieces are. This is very important when reinstalling the window; if you don't do this, the stainless trim will not be positioned just right, and you will not be able to get the window to seat. When that has been marked, tap back and forth on the stainless to move the splice pieces; they will probably be stuck from years being in position. Once you have them loose, slide them to one side, and you can pull out the stainless. Now you just have to clearn the old sealant off your window. Reinstalling Put your new rubber seal around the window. Look for the seam that marks where a line in the mold was -- it will look almost like the rubber seal had two ends that were glued together. I put that seam where the top splice piece, with the Phillips screw was (it will be the center screw if your car has three on the top). After you get the rubber installed, put the stainless trim in its grove and get the splice pieces lined up with the marks you made on your tape. If you try to reinstall the window now, the stainless will almost certainly try to pop out of the groove in the rubber seal as you work the window into position. On the advice of Dan Booth, who has installed lots of these, I sprayed Gorilla glue on the stainless and rubber, and tore strips of Gorilla tape in half down the middle, stickting the tape to the rubber and the stainless trim to hold them together. The tape by itself doesn't stick quite well enough, hence the spray glue. Once that is all done, spray more Gorilla glue on top of that, and then put more tape (whole pieces, not torn in half this time) to tape the stainless and rubber to the glass. This should keep everything together solidly so your stainless, rubber, and glass stay together in position during the installation. Now, with the aid of a helper, or preferably two, do several dry-run installations to practice getting the window set and roping the seal into place with some 1/4 inch curtain cord. The shop manual shows you how to do this. Lay the window on the opening along the bottom and lower the top down to get it lined up. Don't forget to use a little dish soap to lubricate rubber and make roping it in easier. Once you have practiced and gotten it to go in a few times, you can tackle the real installation. Get 3M Auto Bedding & Glazing Compound, black, 08509 (you will need a caulk gun, and may need two tubes, though probably not, if you don't have to pull the window up, clean everything off, and start again). Put a bead about 1/4 inch wide all around the lip of the window opening, put your window in place, and rope it in. You may also, to get everything seated, have to give the window a few whacks near the top with a dead blow rubber mallet to seat it in. I did. You hit the window, not the stainless (you'll dent it), and you can hit the window surprisingly hard without fear of breaking it, but don't try to pound on it John Henry the steel driving man. After all this is done and your window is seated in the opening, peel your tape off the top splice(s), then take an awl and make a hole through the rubber where your screw(s) need to go, then install your screw(s). Now your window is set in. Remove the tape and clean up the residue. It's a mess, but your stainless and rubber should be in place. When you've cleaned all that off, there is one more sealing step to be done. For this you will need a butyl rubber sealant. I bought mine from Dan Booth, but you can find it online. It is CR Laurence Windshield and Repair Sealant CRL1716, and along with it, you will need to purchase the CR Laurence Adhesive Pump 181AG. You will use this to seal the rubber to the glass. Run the tip of the adhesive pump nozzle under the edge of the rubber and apply it all around the window, and let it harden a couple of days, then use a razor blade to trim away the excess that squeezes out. This stuff is pretty thick, so a helpful tip is to boil a large pot of water, then (after taking the pot off the boil) sit the can in it for 20 minutes to warm up. The heat will make it thinner and much easier to pump. Hope this helps.
  7. The big deal (which I thought I explained) is there's a difference between this and the fiberglass body, which once attached to the chassis, is integral to the car's structure, and a separate piece in the interior, held in place by nothing more than tension, and which can potentially detach. As I said, probably it really is a non-issue, but I am already modifying the appearance of the interior in a number of other ways, so I don't really mind a slightly different appearance, which no one but an Avanti afficianado would ever notice in the first place.
  8. Well, there really was no "stock" in Avanti IIs. What you have may be different from what the car originally came with, but Avanti Motors would make the interior whatever the customer wanted, offering a range of materials they had in stock, or using customer-supplied materials if that's what the buyer wanted. Studebaker, of course, only offered a limited range of options, same as any other mass-manufactured car. The advantage for Avanti II owners is that you can restore or modify it to be whatever you want as well, with no need to feel bad about it not being "stock."
  9. No, I never did find anything that looked original. I did find some textured white vinyl that looks good however; it has a very small diamond pattern texture. I was hoping to find the correct checkerboard texture, but the only thing I could ever find that looked like that was the solid fiberglass panels the SI sells, and for safety reasons I am leery of having a fiberglass piece that could potentially detach from the roof and and/or break into sharp-edged fragments in the event of an accident. Probably not a huge worry, I know, as any accident bad enough to do that would likely cause all manner of other injuries as well, but still... As a police officer of 20 years experience, who has worked a lot of accidents, it's not something I want to take unnecessary chances with. Same reason I put in 3 point seat belts and Recaro seats out of a mid-eighties Avanti II (along with Avanti II rear seat armrests to conceal the seat belt reels). I put in Avanti II sun visors too, as the originals, designed to match the contour of the overhead instrument panel pad are so small they are frankly useless. I also had an original AM radio I bought on ebay for $25 rewired with modern electronics for AM/FM stereo, bluetooth compatibility, and an iPod jack, with 2 speakers on the kick panels, two on the rear shelf, and an Avanti II plastic tray made to fit where the original dash speaker went -- which has an added benefit that you can reach the wiper motor for maintenance through the dash now, if need be. In the end, because of the Recaros, and the black anodized instrument overlay I bought from Dan Booth (which I think looks absolutely gorgeous installed), and the other mods, I don't mind the incorrect vinyl on the ceiling so much. I do wish the Recaros, weren't so obviously eighties-vintage seats, as everything else in the interior looks period-correct, even if someone familiar with Avantis could spot certain elements as not factory correct; but I'm willing to accept that visual deficiency for the improved, comfort, safety, and greater range of adjustment.
  10. With the Hamilton EFI, it was not possible to use the stock carb hat -- the modern throttle body is the same size as a modern Edelbrock carburetor, which is just slightly larger than the original. I used the low-profile one sold by ProCharger. I also needed a metal ring of the same diameter approximatel 1 1/2 inches tall. I should warn you, this made for a hood clearance problem. I asked Dan Booth at Nostalgic Motors how to solve it, and he suggested shimming the front end of the body upward just the inch or so that was necessary. When I loosened the fastenings that mount the body to the frame, the front end of the body flexed upward the required distance all on its own, and this was with the hood raised, to the engine, throttle body, and carb hat was not pushing it up. I shimmed it and fastened everything back down, and there was no problem. Will yours do this if you do the exact same thing? Who knows? These cars all seem to have had fiberglass bodies essentially hand-built onto the chassis, and that being the case, the dimensions are not always exact from one car to the other.
  11. I've been successfully running an EFI conversion on my supercharged Avanti for several years now. Hamilton Fuel Injection He adapts an early 90s GM throttle body EFI. I mounted the ECM just under the dash, on the passenger side, using a bracket and cover from a late Avanti II, which used the same system.
  12. I am in the process of redoing my Avanti's interior -- almost all of it myself -- and I got a new dash pad from Dan Booth (the repros he's making on the old tooling; I'm very happy with it and it looks fantastic), and I got the interior kit from Rene Harger. I'm about 2/3rds done now, but one thing neither Messrs. Booth nor Harger have is a headliner. I don't really want to use the solid fiberglass pieces that Studebaker International sells. Does anyone know of a decent facsimile of the checkerboard pattern headliner material they put on these cars from the factory? The closest I can find is a diamond pattern, which I don't really like the looks of. BTW: I am never restoring another old car again as long as I live!
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