View Full Version : Wheels for Michaels Avanti

03-02-2007, 09:48 AM
Hello Guys:

My brother gave my son Michael his 1972 Avanti 400/4speed. This car has sat in storage for the last 23 years and has about 90,000 miles. We discovered the engine was frozen some years ago. When Dad died and Mom sold the storage garage we towed the Avanti to Moms home last fall and had a look.

I made a grease fitting from a sparkplug and started pummping grease into the engine. We found it would turn backwards but when we bumped the starter it would lock up in the same place. I pulled the pushrods out and noticed I had the number 7 cylinder exh valve stuck solid. Mike and I pulled that head and found a crack that allowed the coolent to rust that valve up tight. Well time ran out and we had to return to Tennessee without getting his car running.

Further progress was hampered by surgery on my right leg Nov 17. During my 5 day internship at Vanderbilt Univ Medical Center my lovely bride bid on and won a set of 400 sb heads off a running engine. Gotta love a girl like that!!!!!!

It's now approaching spring break and Michael has two weeks off from school and I'm still home on Short Term Disability. This gives us the opportunity for Michael to do all the work while I supervise from a lawnchair at Grandmas' house. I finally get to be a supervisor!!!

NOW TO THE POINT OF THE THREAD. Hope I haven't lost my audience.

The 4 Maypop GT radials on the car are at least 25 years old. I'm thinking that it would be best to replace them with 205/75/15 on the original wheels to get his car home from Connecticut. He's (me really) is going to want spiffier wheels for the car. He'll want Dubs for the car, but since his only job is honing his basketball skills, money talks, Dad wins. I found this post on the forum with some very good information:


It got me thinking about the Ranger/Explorer wheels. I thought about S10 wheels since they mimick the original spokes, but the bolt pattern is to big.

Has anyone used these wheels to their satisfaction? I noticed on Ebay, some of the wheels list an offset, such as 7J. Can someone tell me what that means?

Thanks for the help on these [?]'s

Kevin Edwards


03-02-2007, 05:59 PM
Besides wheels and tires, I would also be concerned about other important things like the brakes after sitting for 23 years and the frame and torque boxes after 90K miles of use/rust in Connecticut. Be sure that the car is safe before you let your son drive it anywhere.

A 1972 is the first of five years that Avanti used the 400. 1972 is also the last year before the "safety" bumpers.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY

1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)

03-02-2007, 06:09 PM
Good Points:

I have a new master cylinder in the travel kit and also have the drum puller packed. Best part of this car is my brother got it when he was in the Navy in San Diego. He only drove it one season in CT. Sure is nice not to have that dodgem car bumper too.

Kevin Edwards


03-02-2007, 06:53 PM
I'm here to tell you- just 'cuz it's from San Diego don't mean a thing!!! ;) :(
We get lots of good ol' salt air right off the Pacific Ocean. :( [V]
Not all Califonia cars are from the desert... [:0]

StudeDave [8D]
V/P San Diego County SDC
San Diego, Ca

'54 Commander 4dr 'Ruby'
'57 Parkview (it's a 2dr wagon...) 'Betsy'
'57 Commander 2dr 'Baby'
'57 Champion 2dr 'Jewel'
'58 Packard sedan 'Cleo'
'65 Cruiser 'Sweet Pea'

03-04-2007, 11:22 PM

You are right. I saw a Packard Hawk from Miami that was like swiss cheese.

I think this one escaped serious corosion. If not, we'll fix it.

Anyone have any modern OEM wheel ideas?

Kevin Edwards


03-05-2007, 12:41 AM
Most your "modern" OEM wheels have a much different offset than the
wheels on your Avanti. I went with '03 Mustang Cobra wheels, but they
require either spacers, or disc setup that moves the hub surface out.

If you do a search you can find out how I installed them.



'63 Avanti, zinc plated drilled & slotted 03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, soon: 97 Z28 T-56 6-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves, 'R3' 276 cam, Edelbrock AFB Carb, GM HEI distributor, 8.8mm plug wires

03-05-2007, 08:34 AM

Thanks for the info. I enjoyed the photo's of your walk to Vandenburg.

I plan to buy tires next week for the drive home using the stock rims for now. should I just plan on 205/75/15 with teh idea of upgrading tires later?

Kevin Edwards


03-05-2007, 05:12 PM
As I have read from some, getting 75 series tires is getting rather
hard and expensive. You should be able to run a similar size in a 70
series tire. It will be hardly noticeable other than quicker steering
response. The 75 series tires have a LOT of sideway flex, this is
noticed when making a lane change. You turn the wheel, the car will
not respond, and then finally will change direction. Mopar wheels
from the 80s from rear drive cars will work in the 6 inch wide range.
Early Ford Mustangs used similar offset to Stude as well. Both Ford
and Mopar use the same 5 on 4-1/2 bolt pattern. When I got my Avanti
years ago, I picked up a set of four Mopar wheels at a salvage yard
for less than a 100 bucks, had four almost new tires on them. Factory
Studebaker Avantis got 5 inch wide wheels, not sure what AMC used. Try
Bob Johnstones site for info.


Here is my Avanti with the Mopar wheels and stock hubcaps.



quote:Originally posted by Studebakerboy

I plan to buy tires next week for the drive home using the stock rims for now. should I just plan on 205/75/15 with teh idea of upgrading tires later?