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Just Bought a 1981 Avanti and have questions . . .


Greeness
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I just purchased a 1981 Avanti II and have several questions:

1. Where can I find an owner's manual?

2. What do owners use for a "shop" manual?

3. The car arrived without a jack.  Recommendations on where I could purchase one.

4. After starting the car and letting it run for a while, the upper water hose collapsed and anti-freeze poured out of the anti-freeze reservoir.  We suspect possibly a faulty thermostat.  Any diagnostic suggestions would be appreciated.  If it is the thermostat where can I find info on the part number?

Thanks in advance for any and all assistance.

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First...welcome to the world of Avantis.

1)  Avanti Motor Corporation didn't put out an owners manual with every year...they used the same manuals for several years at a time with some changes inserted.  They can be a bit tricky to find.  You may be able to find reprints for some years on Studebaker International's website.

2)  We use the Studebaker Shop and Parts Manuals for most things.  Yes...post-Studebaker Avantis changed a a lot of things and you have to work around that or ask questions here.  Originals and reprints are available online from Studebaker International, Amazon and eBay.  You really need these...that can't be emphasized enough...plus the knowledge and experience here.

3)  Go to Pep Boys, Advance Auto, Walmart, Auto Zone or similar and buy a scissors jack and handle.  It's identical to what the cars came equipped with.  I bought a Mr.Goodwrench scissor jack at Walmart for less than $15.

4)  The thermostat is a standard small block Chevy unit.  I would suggest paying a bit more and getting a fail-safe type...if bad it defaults to staying open rather than closed so the engine can't overheat.  Since you don't know how long since the system has been service it would be good to flush it entirely and change all the hoses.  Don't forget to test the radiator cap and replace it with the proper type if needed.  

Don't hesitate to ask questions here.  There's a lot of experience and many have found workarounds for some needed repairs when the parts to do it the factory way aren't available.  Again...welcome.

Edited by Gunslinger
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To add to what Gunslinger said. There are owners manuals on ebay occasionally. 

If you Google Johnstone Studebaker, you'll find a wealth of knowledge collected by Bob Johnstone over the years on Studes and Avantis. Here an 84-85 manual from that site. http://studebaker-info.org/Avanti/Espey/84-85ownersmanual.pdf

I have the owners manuals from both 74 and 83  models but can't get to them for a month or so. I would send you a copy after that time. Generally, they are not much help but can be handy at times.

For the engine etc as Bruce said just use an 80-81 camaro or similar year GM manual.

Most body and mechanical parts are available from Nostalgic Motors in Wixom, Mi or possibly from other Studebaker vendors.

Welcome

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Another add: IIRC, the lower coolant hose has a spring inside it to keep it from collapsing under suction, so when you change the hoses, check for that spring.

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Is it the stock engine? later  Chevy engines used a reverse flow cooling system (LT-1) . If yours was reversed, or a serpentine belt setup with a stock water pump. That would be the only way there is suction on the top hose. If that is the case you need to replace the water pump with the correct reverse rotation pump. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On ‎2‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 10:34 PM, brad said:

Is it the stock engine? later  Chevy engines used a reverse flow cooling system (LT-1) . If yours was reversed, or a serpentine belt setup with a stock water pump. That would be the only way there is suction on the top hose. If that is the case you need to replace the water pump with the correct reverse rotation pump. 

Thanks for the heads up.  I will definitely check the direction of the water pump.

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2 hours ago, Greeness said:

Thanks for the heads up.  I will definitely check the direction of the water pump.

I don't think the pump will pump in a reverse direction if installed on an older engine. It will just be very inefficient at cooling, lower flow, as it is using the wrong side of the impeller. The reverse direction pumps were developed as the installation of the serpentine belt system turned the pump the wrong way. With the incorrect drive, either pump is just terribly inefficient at cooling.

I'd heed Gunslinger advise on the new hoses, cap and thermostat. The installation of the thermostat is quick and straight forward. SBC's were built from the mid 50's to the 90's and they all take the same thermostat. Just go to any auto store and get a Chevrolet V8 cap and thermostat for the year of your car. Best to get a 180 deg for starters. Get the gasket also.  

Edited by Avanti83
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