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Tell me everything wrong with this R2 4 Spd!


Rick64R2
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I am about to pull the trigger on this car after inspecting in person. I need you guys to tell me everything wrong with it and why I shouldn't buy it. Don't be nice, shred it, be brutal. I want to know every possible pitfall. I know its a serious project, but have sorted out the title issues. My pics are too big to post here, but I have over 150 pictures so if you really want to have some fun e-mail me and I will send you a link to all the pictures. rsmith bla bla ricksmith88 yada yada com.

http://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/dealer/studebaker/avanti/1809620.html#

Really appreciate your help.

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Looking at the photos.... I'm sure that you've heard the phrase." There's nothing more expensive than a cheap Avanti"....this phrase definitely applies here. I would say that unless you're one of those lucky folks who are the financial 1% that the presidential candidates speak of .....RUN...RUN....RUN away from...NOT towards this Avanti !

There are many other "fish" in the Studebaker "sea" to choose from !!

Of course this is just my feelings on the matter...GOOD LUCK on your decision (choice).

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Much easier to tell you what's not in need of repair and/or replacement.

Just start by totaling up the cost of an engine rebuild, blower rebuild, carb rebuild, complete repaint job, total interior (except maybe seats), frame repair ( particularly rear cross member), complete front end rebuild, complete brake/caliper/rotor rebuild and I've just only passed $20K. I've got more if necessary like hog trough replacement, rechroming bumpers, front glass replacement et, cetra.

All-in-all it's an expensive proposition. Now!!! If you're young, full of energy and can do all the work yourself it's a possible save. The frame is better than I expected so you will only need to replace the bottom plate in a few sections, 1/8 X 4 in steel plate and the cross member that can be bent by your local exhaust shop. Paint is a couple of grand if you do all the work including painting. So a driver could be $8-10K away but still not a show car.

It's your choice as to your limits but it is in better shape than my 74 was when I dragged it home but I can do my own work and the lower expense of an SBC and a some connections with local race guys so my engine and 6-speed were under $2K. Craigslist and Ebay were my friend, not as easy with the Studebaker parts.

Good luck, if you plan to repair the frame and hog troughs and prep the body and paint it, I'll buy you a couple of beers sometime and we can compare story's. It will be a long night.. Bob

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A restoration is very very expensive. And then it gets more expensive. I have a few expansion tanks that I have found over the years, had them repaired and repainted; serviced by Dave thibeault. If you want one of those Ill sell for $550.00. Expensive yes, I paid nearly $300 for the disassembly, repair, assembly and paint..

Mark

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The price is a little high, but the initial cost is a small part of the total. I bought a running R1 4spd about 10 years ago for $13,000 and have put about that much in it so far doing all my own work. The only thing left to do is paint for it to be factory fresh - so $20,000 is a good guess for a decent restore. The question is, do you have the time, skills, space and money to repair this one? If so, you could have a very desirable car that would be worth $25,000 - $30,000 depending on how far you went with the restore. If you can't do the work yourself, you would be easily upside down - just like most any other car!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, maybe I am a glutton for punishment, but i pulled the trigger on it. First order of business is the drivetrain. On my other Avanti's that had sat like this I just got them running to see how they would do and they ran great so i didnt dive deep in the motor. Thinking of doing a full rebuild on this one?? The others run great but there is always that little doubt in the back of my mind that something might be on the verge of giving way or that the performance might be a little better etc.

Specific to Avanti engines - whats y'alls opinion on value of full rebuild? FYI I plan to drive this one much more than the others.

I have the funds to do the drivetrain/breaks etc. now so plan to get that done ASAP, do the bare minimum to make the interior livable, and plasti-dip the exterior. Drive it like that until I get the $$ to paint it properly.....

I will keep you posted on the pain.

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I have to respectively disagree...safety items such as brakes first. A complete rebuild of the entire system...don't cheap out. That means pads, turn or replace rotors as needed, new hoses and steel lines, rear shoes, rebuild the calipers and wheel cylinder, master cylinder, etc. A car that won't go is bad enough but a car that won't stop is worse. If you're not a purist I would suggest converting it to dual chamber master cylinder for safety. Did I mention safety? I'm big on that. I've had brakes fail...it's not a fun feeling.

For the engine you can do an external evaluation...does it leak oil? Well...who am I kidding...it's a Studebaker V8...of course it leaks oil! Do a compression test and a cylinder leak down test to get some idea of the engine's internal condition. If everything is within factory specs you could be ok. If it's not within specs, you have to determine what the exact problem(s) is or are. If you feel it needs a rebuild, do so. The parts are available...maybe not inexpensive depending on which parts but you can find them.

Rebuilding an Avanti is not for the faint of heart...frustration-wise and financially. It can be very rewarding at the end but also a tough slog while in progress.

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Agree on the safety first but don't turn the engine without adding lubricant into plug holes and pulling the blower. A few seconds can do terrific damage. Personally, I'd run the compression test first and if there is any question just pull the heads. That will tell you about the heads and piston condition, then roll it over and pull the pan. The worst you have then is the need for a new gasket kit, which I'll bet it needs.

If the engine needs a rebuild, contact Jack Vines on this or the SDC forum, he knows what he's doing. Studebaker engines have a couple of uncommon things, so let an expert build it. Pull the trans, pull the side pan and see what you've got inside. Same with the rearend. Gaskets are cheap, grinding metal is expensive.

A lot more to write but enough to get you started. Bob

Edited by Avanti83
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