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Posts posted by plwindish

  1. In 2012, I got all the weather stripping and had it replaced in my 76.  Last fall I noticed the rear stripping on both wing vents has separated almost the full length of the wing window.  I'll have to address that once I get the car out of storage in a couple of weeks.

  2. DTM1,

        I just got around to seeing the post and wondered if you ended up with a 64 or 66.  I had a 64 (unsold 63, which became a 64 back in the day) from 66-69.  Getting back into the Avanti hobby in 2011, I bought a 76 and in 2015 added an 89 convertible to my Avanti collection.  I've enjoyed the upgrades of the later Avantis compared with the original Studebakers, but I bought my cars with the purpose of driving them and not for the collector value.  Quality-wise, I think Newman Altman Avantis are superior to the Studebaker Avantis and later versions like my 89 convertible.  Handling wise, the 89's suspension is better driving and handling than my 76.  The 89 has been resto-modded and has a 383 for a motor so its much quicker than the original 305.  The 400 in the 76 was just rebuilt last fall and had EFI added so I'll see how it performs this summer as we'll be doing a driving trip from the Chicago area to Tacoma WA for the IM.  I've driven the 76 to the West Coast on Rte 66 and also to the East Coast three times, so its gotten plenty of driving during the 7 years I've owned it.  If I were still driving the 64, I don't think I'd be doing that much driving with it as reliability was never its strong suit.



  3. Forward,  I had an MSD EFI unit installed on my 76 with the 400 SBC in September 2017.  MSD has a kit that includes the fuel pump (inline), hose, TBI unit, also added a new MSD distributor and spark box. Didn't really put enough miles on it before putting it away for the winter, but it certainly does start a lot easier. The inline pump does make some noise, but I haven't been in an Avanti converted to EFI with an in tank pump to compare it with.  Install was very neat and hard to tell the difference except for the added computer and spark box.



  4. The color of the pictured 89 above is a Candy Apple Red, as the owner told it, was painted in the factory for the company's owner.  The car did end up being in a car dealership show room for a number of years before the current owner bought it.  In the winter of 2014 and spring of 2015, I was trying to get the code to that paint.  John Hull was able to get me the code, but nothing in today's paints matched up with it.  I ended up using GM's Crystal tint coat red which has been out for a few years and looks great, especially in the sunlight.


  5. Decent power can be attained from the SBC 400.  I had the 400 in my 76 rebuilt back in the Spring of 2011.  Motor was completely torn down and rebuilt with new pistons, hydraulic roller cam,headers,  Edelbrock aluminum intake, new carb and heads machined for better flow.  The motor dyno-ed at 360 hp and 460 torque before going back in the car, which was a substantial upgrade from the original 175 hp.The motor powered the Avanti to both coasts and many other road trips to SDC and Avanti Meets having a few hiccups along the way like not running worth a darn at altitude in Colorado and losing overdrive in the 200R4 trans in AZ during a Route 66 tour in 2015.

    Fast forward to this past August, I decided to go with an MSD TBI Electronic Fuel Injection to cure altitude sickness.  The mechanic doing the install didn't like the way the motor was running  before starting to work on it.  I had thought it had been running more "cold blooded" than usual and also was noticing the motor needing about a pint of antifreeze monthly.  Tearing down the motor revealed a significant cracked head on #6 cylinder and a small crack on #2 with just under 36000 miles and 6 1/2 years since the rebuild.  The motor again was totally torn down, new crank bearings, crank rebalance, new rods and pistons, new roller cam with more EFI friendly lobe separation, new Dart aluminum heads were added in along with another .0010 over, making it a 408 was completed mid September.  The motor again was dyno-ed and this time is making 471.5 hp at 5400 rpms and 522 torque at 4400 rpms.  

    I only had put around 600 miles since the rebuild and EFI switch so final EFI "learning" will need to be completed next Spring after the car comes back out of storage. The car starts very nicely, turn the key and listen for the electric fuel pump to stop pulsing, then start.  I had good fuel economy before the 2nd rebuild, getting up to 26+ a couple of years ago on a trip with the 200R4 AOD, but haven't seen those kind of numbers on the few tankfuls I have driven since the rebuild.  I'm sure some tinkering will be in order next Spring before everything is running the best it can.

    I toyed with the idea of replacing the engine with an LS the first time it was rebuilt, but opted to keep it original. FWIW, it could have been for what the engine teardown, rebuild, and trans switch cost.  This time I wasn't expecting the whole teardown and engine rebuild together with doing the EFI, but I stayed with it.  Now the "original" 400 is comprised of the block, crankshaft and oil pan, everything else is new.

    I'm looking forward to a trouble free driving season in 2018 and am currently contemplating driving the car from Chicago area to Spokane for the SDC/AOAI Meet.  

  6. Long time AOAI, SDC, Black Hawk SDC, and Chicagoland AOAI member Hugh Edfors recently sold his 02 Avanti to a gentleman from New Zealand. The car was picked up yesterday from Hugh's house in Naperville IL and started its 9000 mile journey to New Zealand. Hugh had ordered the car during a Meet in GA after touring the Villa Rican facility and was scheduled to pick it up 09/01/01 and drive it home. Needless to say, history altered the pickup as no planes were flying after the twin towers incident. He and another AOAI member went down a week later and picked up the car and drove it back to Chicago.

    Hugh has had 14+ years of enjoyment with the car, driving it to many meets as well as driving in the Great American Tour from Chicago to St Louis, then on to Santa Monica CA touring old Rte 66. After the tour, I shipped my 76 back home and my wife and I drove Hugh's 02 from CA to IL with a family vacation/reunion stop over in Grand Junction CA.

    The gentleman in NZ is getting a very nice car. Godspeed to its safe arrival in NZ.


  7. I had a cruise installed on my 76 that had been updated with a 200R4 trans around 4 years ago and its been ok. I'd have to look to see what the brink of cruise is was, Dakota doesn't ring a bell with me. At first it was sensitive and hitting a bump would release it or it would just drop off cruise going up a slight grade, but the bugs have been ironed out and its been working fine. I have gotten 27.5 mpg with the 400/ 200R4/3:31 combination if I keep it at 65, but what's the fun in that? It cruises very nicely between 72 and 75 and still deliver 21 - 22 mpg.

  8. Sounds like it was a real adventure cmholm! You drive with more abandon than I would dare with my 76 or 89. The brake booster went out on my very first Avanti, a round headlight 64 during the summer of 1966 and I went off a gravel road and just about rolled the car over in a ravine. You had quite a ride. Keep us informed on how you are getting along with the car after getting it home.

  9. Unless the rosters include the serial numbers, it would be hard to take the roster numbers as fact due to cars changing ownership. Also, I'm assuming some of those 17 were 4 doors as well? I've only seen some pictures of a 91 convertible, I'd love to do an up close inspection of one.

  10. GarageHawk,

    Welcome to the AOAI Forum. I also have an 89 convertible. My antenna was not working when I got the car in December 2013. A stereo shop putting in a radio for me also replaced the antenna. The power antenna was a generic item that looked identical to the non-operating one that I had.

    I can make you a copy of the Service Policy and Procedures Manual as one was included with my car when I bought it, PM me regarding it. It does have information regarding some of the wiring and other items in the car, but is not a shop manual. Instructions for removing the dash are in the manual as well. As Bill Daly suggested get a 89 Caprice shop manual for the chassis specifics.

    Differences between the 87's, 88's and 89's look to be minor on the outside, but the Monte Carlo chassis was used for the 87's and 88's, while the Caprice chassis was used for the 89's. Gas tank fill for the 87's and 88's was located on the top of the left rear fender for the tank mounted behind the rear seat. The 89's had the tank mounted under the trunk, eliminating the tire well for the spare in the trunk with the gas fill just to the rear and above the left rear tire. The space saving donut (a real oxymoron) takes up over half of the trunk space. I believe the ground effects were added to the 89's to cover the perimeter frame of the Caprice. I'm sure the foot wells were also shortened up for attachment to the frame as my 89 has a lot less leg and foot room than my 76 has.

    There were around 7 91 convertibles made (only 4 doors were made in 90), but they are larger than the 89's. I've heard the 91's were supposed to have been the best of the lot in terms of build quality. I have not been able to see any 91's to compare the cars. One of the biggest issues with the 89's are the power window switches. Mine have flared up a few times, usually its a ground situation.

  11. Anyone know how many different years there were problems with paint for the Avantis? I was able to contact the original owner of my 76 Avanti II, RQB-2392 and he said he traded the car after 3 years back to Avanti Motors for a new 79 as the paint was fading. He did not say how long he had the 79, but said there were paint issues with it as well. The 3rd owner of the 76 had the car repainted in 89, changing from a tawny gold to a dark red metallic. I used the same body shop to paint the car last year and in talking with him about the 1st painting he did on the car in 89, he remembered there being a ton of paint on the car, probably a couple of resprays Avanti Motors that put on it, when he took it all the way down to bare fiberglass.

  12. The car was sold from the collection of the Chicagoland AOAI President to, I believe the buyer was from Ohio. I'm also certain the car is undergoing a restoration. It truly was a barn find last March or April when members of the Chicagoland chapter helped get 9 or 10 Avantis out of the shed they had been stored in for several years. The Granatelli car had a couple of inches of dirt and assorted animal excrement over it, sitting on flat tires. The paint was peeling off big time around the cowl area. I'm glad that its being restored.

  13. Studemike, make sure that the bedding putty is used under the windshield and under the back window as needed. My 76 went through a thorough repaint the 1st six months of this year with the paint shop having a glass shop reinstalling the windshield and back window. One day after getting the car back and driving through some heavy downpours on I-55 enroute to St. Louis, We found lots of leaks between the windshield and rear window because the shop did not use the putty. Putty was not used between the drip rails and underside of the top as well, causing rain to wick through the top of the weatherstripping an on our shoulders as well. The car spent a week back at the shop getting windshield and rear window properly installed using the bedding putty as well as the drip rails reinstalled properly. The car now looks great and doesn't give me a shower when it rains.

    Mfg, how right you are about not wanting to remove a non leaking windshield or back window! Its really hard to get a great paint job without taking both windshield and rear window out of the car. If a shop is doing the work for you, many glass guys aren't well trained in the "old school" installations, so take an Avanti shop manual in with the car to enlighten them as well as saving you some grief about leaks.

  14. I'll bite and say false. I'd think that that large of amount of air getting under the fiberglass might make those skirts pretty hard to keep on the car. Metal ones would be easier to fab and attach the mounting hardware to.

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