View Full Version : Avanti for Bonneville

04-04-2005, 12:54 AM
I am working on an Avanti to run at Bonneville this year and I am wondering if there are any people in California (San Francisco bay area) interested in helping?

David L

04-04-2005, 07:47 PM
If I weren't 3 hours from you, I'd do it. How about some details about the car and your goals on the salts?;)

Miscreant at large.

04-14-2005, 03:31 AM
The Avanti is a 64 that I purchased a few months ago to use at Bonneville.

I will be running a 259 cubic engine in E Clasic Production Supercharged. Dave Bloomberg holds the record in D Clasic Production Supercharged at about 197 MPH (I don't recall the exact speed). By the way he should be back at Bonneville this year attempting to go over 200 (both runs). I decided that I would run a different size engine class so that we could have two Avantis with records at Bonneville. Also due to the breathing characteristics of the Studebaker heads I believe that I can get enough power with the supercharged engine to go over 200 MPH.

One of the unfortunate problems is that the limit for the class is 260 cubic inches. With a standard 3.25 stroke any overbore will place you over the limit. As a consequence I will have to destroke the engine to 3.15 inches. In my area this is expensive ... about $500. With nitriding etc it will come to $650 I am buying 2 new cranks (just in case the grinder makes a mistake) so with shipping I will have over $$850 into the crank. So if anyone know someone who can do good crank work like offset grinding etc let me know so that I can consider it before my crankshafts are shipped.

I will give some more info in the next day or so.

David L

04-14-2005, 09:20 AM
Have you thought of resleeving the block and staying with the stock bore? This would give you new cylinder bores and stay with the 259 stock crank stroke and meet the 260 limit. E-mail me a PM. I know an excellent race shop in my area.

Start and Stage Your Studebakers

04-14-2005, 10:32 AM
I did consider sleeving it but one of the problems with the Studebaker is that the small bore limits the size of the valves and shrouds the valves. So I would rather have the larger bore.

David L

04-20-2005, 03:08 AM
A little more information on the Avanti for Bonneville.

The engine will have between a .050 and .060 overbore. This with a 3.15 inch stroke will give between 258.28 and 259.72 cubic inches. The destroked crankshaft will use the larger honda journal size of about 1.88 inches. This is a fairly common size and has bee used in NASCAR and other race applications. The only other choices were weld the crank and use a 2.00 inch journal or to have a custom crank built. A custom crank costs about $2500 so that was not an option for this year. With a welded crank I couldn't nitride it. Another option would be to use hard crome on top of a welded crank.

The rods will be custom to accommodate the bearing size, a special length and designed to take at least 750 HP.

The heads will ported and modified to take 1.84 intake and 1.6 exhaust valves. There are some significant changes I wanted to make to the heads but that will have to wait until next year.

The camshaft has not been sellected. Someone has offered to loan me a roller cam but it has too much lift and too much duration in my opionion. (If anyone has a roller cam that they want too sell, even a damaged one, let me know an let me know the specs. If it has too much lift I can have it reground.) I have some roller liftes and will receive some shaft mounted roller rockers in the next week.

More soon

David L

Mike Van Veghten
04-20-2005, 12:29 PM

Whos rocker system are you getting?
Do they have increased ratio?
If I can find it, I've got a layout for an adapter plate to install big block Chevy rockers to the Stude heads.
Rather use a shaft though IF the geometry is correct. I looked at the H.S. rockers. They seem to have messed up the geometry, at least as it was explained it to me.


04-20-2005, 08:58 PM

I think you are on the right track with your bore and stroke combination. You will need about 630 - 650 HP to go 200 in an Avanti. You will have to spin a 259 close to 8,000 Rpm to get there. The Honda rod journal will allow this with no bearing speed problems. You will need a dry sump oil system. The rod will need to be longer than 6.625 to keep piston compression height and piston weight down and maintain quench distance. I would use the biggest valve that will fit in the bore without notching. Shrouding becomes an issue with notched bores. I can tell you what we did 12 years ago if that will help. E-mail me.

Jim Pepper

04-21-2005, 01:05 AM
I am using 6.8 inch rods and custom pistons to make sure the quench distance is at the proper distance to be effective. I will send an email.

David L

Mike Van Veghten
04-22-2005, 10:31 AM
Still interested in the rocker choise?

Also, If I may ask, what manifold are some of you guys using?
I just called Extrude Hone, they want $645 to open up my Offy manifold to gasket size. I'd like to run an aluminum manifold if possible, but $645 seems a bit pricey right now.

I'm looking to get my 54 solidly into the 13 sec. bracket at the drag races and do it carbureted only.
I've got head work experience, so that's not a problem, well getting the spark plugs moved over may not be cheap!!



04-23-2005, 02:08 AM
I will be using what is basically a Ford FE roller rocker. This requires special shafts and stands.

I will most likely use a Chrysler single plane manifold with adapters this year. This is what Dave Bloomberg is using and it works fairly well. Some of the other people in this forum have experence with theese manifolds. It will be too tall to fit under the hood of the Avanti but you can use a scoop even is production class. I will use a cowl type scoope which will offer some aerodynamic advantage.

Next year I will most likely build my own manifold and switch to fuel injection.

David L

06-26-2005, 01:44 AM
I just thought I would update everyone on my 64 Avanti for Bonneville. I don't know if the car will make it to Bonneville in August but I am trying. It is about 7 weeks away. I am busy installing the brackets into the car to mount the roll cage. That should be complete Sunday evening. I am just about done with the design for The tubing for the roll cage is sitting waiting to be bent. I will complete the last details for the roll cage this coming week and hope to have the roll cage itself done in about 2 weeks.

I have received my pistons, connecting rods, rocker arms etc. Someone was asking about the rocker arms. I had originaly planned to use Ford FE rockers with different shafts etc. I have done this in the past with an R3 cam. Anyway with all of the required to build a car for Bonneville I decided that I couldn't afford to have a roller cam built to my specs (or anyone elses for that mater). Dave Bloomberg is loaning my one of his cams and because of the lift of the cam I needed to use 1.5:1 ratio rockers. So I now have some roller rockers designed to be used on a Studebaker. These are made here in Californis by Rocker Arm Specialists. These are not cheep but they will make them in other ratios also. They will normally supply these with shafts that are chrome plated and reground. My crankshaft is being destroked and should have it in about 10 days. It then goes to be balanced. That will take a couple of days. I am working on the block and dry sump system. I haven't started working on my heads yet but should start at least 2 weeks before Bonneville.

I have been waiting for Paxton to ship my blower for about 6 weeks. I don't have it yet and can't design the mounts and drive system.

I have just ordered a Tremec 5 speed (close ratio version). I had originaly planned to use a Ford 9" rear end but in the interest of saving money I am going to use a Studebaker rear end. I will either take the unit out of my 73 Avanti or modify a set of original R3 axles to fit in the standard Studebaker rear end. Anyone want to buy a set of R3 axles? If so I will sell them and buy a set of axles to fit standard rear end. Otherwise I am going to modify them unless I run out of time a pull the unit from the 73.

I will order a bell housing this coming week in order to adapt it to the Studebaker engine.

Still haven't ordered seat belt, fire extinguiser systems, seat, carburetor, fuel pum etc. etc.

Well as you can see there is still a lot of work to be done. I have registered for Bonneville but time and money are running short. I never did find anyone in the area interested in helping. Lots of people out of the area expressed interest.

If we don't have it complete we will be out at Bonneville anyway to help Dave Bloomberg. There is an event in October at Bonneville that we will go to if we don't make the August event.

David L

Chris Pile
06-26-2005, 04:51 PM
David - have you been on the salt yet? Surely you are hip to www.landracing.com - the hub of landspeed racing. There are many folks with answers on a forum there, and don't forget to sign up for Land Speed Digest. You'll need to have your Avanti inspected first, have a SCTA membership, room reservations (unless you're camping at the "Bend in the Road"), and so on. Just don't want you to be a disappointed newbie....... Good luck, too! Chris Pile aka aircap

06-26-2005, 07:08 PM
Dave who are you ordering your bellhousing from???

06-26-2005, 07:13 PM
Is your car running right now?
Are you running a scoop?
I have a high rise air gap dual plane intake and adapters that I want someone to flog. But I want feedback from a running car, so I can better plan making the pieces to sell.

Harland Sharpe was making a high ratio rocker assembly.
Ted Harbit had a set for sale at South Bend.

quote:Originally posted by Mike Van Veghten

Still interested in the rocker choise?

Also, If I may ask, what manifold are some of you guys using?
I just called Extrude Hone, they want $645 to open up my Offy manifold to gasket size. I'd like to run an aluminum manifold if possible, but $645 seems a bit pricey right now.

I'm looking to get my 54 solidly into the 13 sec. bracket at the drag races and do it carbureted only.
I've got head work experience, so that's not a problem, well getting the spark plugs moved over may not be cheap!!



DEEPNHOCK at Cox.net
'37 Coupe Express
'37 Coupe Express Trailer
'61 Hawk

06-26-2005, 07:35 PM
I have been on the salt before. My wife and I was there last year and helped. I have about 6 rooms registered and will get rid of at least 3. The car is registered you can see it on SCTA-BNI.com web sight. They show the preregistered cars there. Car number is 1112.

David L

06-26-2005, 07:45 PM
Jeff and Transtar60,

The bell housing will come from either Lakewood or Mcleod. Mcleod is supposed to be working on one for Studebaker V8 but I don't know the status. Unless they have it done I will adapt a Chevy safety bellhousing.

The Rocker arm system manufacturer is listed in last nights post.

The engine is not yet together. Jeff I would be interested in adapter plates for Chrysler manifold. I am quickly running out of time and don't know how I will find time to do everything.

I just noticed that I said my wife and I was there .... I added my wife after I wrote the sentence and forgot to change the verb.

David L

07-06-2005, 03:44 PM
Luck doesn't appear to be on the side of Studebaker Bonneville racers this week.

I received my transmission and they shipped the wrong part. I got my pistons and they were not correct. I did receive the blower and it was correct. So now I can start working on the mounting plates for the blower and dry sump pump.

Dave Bloomberg (holds D clasic production supercharged record at Bonneville) was puting his engine back into his Avanti and the bolts attaching the chains to the engine broke (it is a long story) and the engine dropped about 3 or 4 feet. There were no heads on the engine and it hit at the front corner near the head surface. A large chunk of concrete was removed from the driveway. They have examined the engine and couldn't find any sign of a crack and the cylinder bore in that area is still round. The engine turns over ok.

They are going to go ahead and try it as is. I offered them a block if they need it.

My car will go to the shop that is going to bend the tubes for the roll cage.

If you are wondering how this will get done in time, so am I.

David L

07-07-2005, 06:38 AM
Let us know what Mcleod says about the bell housing.
I pm'd you about the adaptor plates. Here are a few pictures of the conversion using the 318 size mopar manifold, not the 340-360 port size which is larger and may adversly affect performance according to Ted Harbit. Dave L. told me that their
drag times went down when they switched to the bigger port manifold.

53commander HDTP
53 Champion HDTP
61 Cursed Purple Hawk
64 Champ long bed V8
64 GT

08-11-2005, 02:42 AM
Just an update. I spent the last 3 weeks working about 14 hours a day on the car and it was obvious last Sunday night that I was going to be about 100 hours short of completing the car. I got everything rebuilt on the steering, suspension and the rest of the chasis. The roll cage is complete. This took about 60 hours more than anticipated.

The engine is ready to be assembled but I haven't started on it. This is something that I need to do after getting a good 8 hours of sleep instead of the 4 to 6 I have been getting.

We will be at Bonneville to help Dave Bloomberg and will go back in October with the car.

David L