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  • Avanti- unbearable Interior Heat/lack of ventilation

    As a relatively new owner of a 1963 Avanti R2, I am really surprised by the amount of ambient heat in the interior. Even opening the floor vents gives me... more blasts of hot air. I have searched the forums on the topic and found relatively little, which encourages me that this is not a problem for everyone and can be addressed.

    First, let me say that the rear-hood gasket is present and supple, though probably the last two inches of it on the passenger side, where it curves around to head towards the front of the car, are missing. I have removed and reinstalled a new heater valve (procured from Studebaker International) that seems to operate in REVERSE of the old one (shut is now "open"). I have checked the heater core and the vent doors for proper operation. There are no obvious gaps to the engine compartment. I removed, cleaned and reinstalled the under-dash heater assembly to assure myself that something was not stuck "on", and to the best of my limited knowledge it seems to be working properly.

    It is June- and this is rather unbearable. Is this normal? Any ideas?

  • #2
    Welcome to the world of Avanti ownership. Heat buildup is a common problem under the hood and later post Studebaker production models had holes in the inner fenders to help relieve it.

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    • #3
      Apparently the center tunnel is of concern because there was a Factory service bulletin about installing a cooling fan in the console.
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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      • #4
        Welcome to the world of Avanti ownership!
        Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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        • #5
          Make sure all gaskets going though firewall are good. The engine compartment in the Avanti is essentially pressurized when in use and if any gasket in firewall is missing or old and not sealing, hot air will get into the passenger compartment. There were two culprits in my 63 R1 with automatic and AC.

          Culprit #1 .... The rubber plug for the hole where a clutch pedal would go through (my car was automatic, no clutch) was missing. I found a plumbers test plug that fit it perfectly.
          Culprit #2 .... The steering column gasket where steering column goes through firewall was crumbling away and not sealing. I constructed a new one in part using a toliet bowl mounting gasket (had about the right inner diameter to go around column) and then I sandwiched it between firewall and gasket plate and then used three machine bolts and nuts to mount to firewall.
          sigpic
          John
          63R-2386
          Resto-Mod by Michael Myer

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          • #6
            Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
            Apparently the center tunnel is of concern because there was a Factory service bulletin about installing a cooling fan in the console.
            No fan, but a kit to duct air from the cowl vents to the console to help cool the blast furnace of heat. I recall having to wear a sweat band on a really hot day to keep the sweat out of my eyes. Basic rule of thumb, drive a R2 on rain free day when it's from 50-78 degrees, no air gets in the cockpit. They are hot in the summer, cold in the winter and wet in the rain, otherwise they are fine.
            JDP Maryland

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JDP View Post
              No fan, but a kit to duct air from the cowl vents to the console to help cool the blast furnace of heat. I recall having to wear a sweat band on a really hot day to keep the sweat out of my eyes. Basic rule of thumb, drive a R2 on rain free day when it's from 50-78 degrees, no air gets in the cockpit. They are hot in the summer, cold in the winter and wet in the rain, otherwise they are fine.
              I'm still on the floor laughing. That's one you won't find in the factory brochure!

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              • #8
                Maybe I don't want to get an Avanti.....
                The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chris Pile View Post
                  Maybe I don't want to get an Avanti.....

                  They may not be comfortable at times, but they are so damn pretty, I've owned dozens. They are a pain to drive, except with AC, and murder to work on, but on occasion, they are worth it. BTW, N8 and I successfully installed a Avanti dash pad today on the newest cheap Avanti. I'm keeping track of the labor hours out of curiosity to see what a pro would charge for our labor.
                  JDP Maryland

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                  • #10
                    An Avanti is still more comfortable to than any Hawk or Lark I've ever owned. I should admit my '64 does have nice cold A/C, now that I finally got around to fixing it.

                    I think the extra ducting so ram air can cool the transmission tunnel was standard on '64s, I know mine has it. Works great until your sitting in traffic for awhile, then the shifter gets yowie!!! hot. Russ Farris
                    1963 GT Hawk R-2 4-speed
                    1964 Avanti R-1 Auto

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                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=wfhenderson;465285]As a relatively new owner of a 1963 Avanti R2, I am really surprised by the amount of ambient heat in the interior. Even opening the floor vents gives me... more blasts of hot air. I have searched the forums on the topic and found relatively little, which encourages me that this is not a problem for everyone and can be addressed.
                      First, let me say that the rear-hood gasket is present and supple, though probably the last two inches of it on the passenger side, where it curves around to head towards the front of the car, are missing. I have removed and reinstalled a new heater valve (procured from Studebaker International) that seems to operate in REVERSE of the old one (shut is now "open"). I have checked the heater core and the vent doors for proper operation. There are no obvious gaps to the engine compartment. I removed, cleaned and reinstalled the under-dash heater assembly to assure myself that something was not stuck "on", and to the best of my limited knowledge it seems to be working properly.
                      It is June- and this is rather unbearable. Is this normal? Any ideas?[/QUOTE]

                      As others have said, this is characteristic of Avantis. In fact, that's the reason I sold my black/black '63 R-2 4-speed even though it was the tightest, best assembled Avanti I've seen. A 250 mile trip in 90 degree weather was the final straw.
                      There have been discussions of using a foil insulating material under the carpets and under the firewall cover- both reduces heat and noise. The '64 R-1 I just bought has new carpets and the seller put a product called Dynamat (a layer of rubber covered by thick aluminum foil) under the carpets to reduce noise. The car is air conditioned and has the tunnel cooling update so I doubt if Dynamat is as critical for cooling. You might look in to it.
                      Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
                      '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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                      • #12
                        The steering column, gas pedal, and shifter boot holes were all guilty in our car. The stick-on products or the brushable insulating products are very good for heat resistance and sound reduction. I don't think it will ever be as cool as non-fiberglass cars tho'. Sure miss ours. Good luck and they are worth putting up with , nothing else like 'em, even the comedic value you will get from people trying to guess what it is. John

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                        • #13
                          I added A/C to my R2. I had the excessive heat build up troubles especially on long trips in hot weather. I did the trans tunnel duct and it worked very well. I put heat shields over the mufflers and sealed the firewall along with insulation under the floor.
                          So far it is quite acceptable to drive in hot weather

                          Peter Sant
                          KOOL R2

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                          • #14
                            Someone said, "Beauty is its own excuse for being." I guess he left out the part about it being HOT!! Be that as it may, I think I'll pass on the next Avanti I see--cheap or not.

                            John

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                            • #15
                              Mine is an 83 so it may be better, but I've driven it recently in 85 deg weather and it was reasonably comfortable with the vents open.

                              Just to cover what I've done recently. I've installed a well modified SBC so I have a pretty good source of heat. Before I put in the engine, I detailed the engine compartment and renewed all the rubber parts and sealed them all with caulk. I installed Megamat (Dynamat clone) to the entire interior including the tunnel and firewall and then installed new carpet.

                              To me the car is no warmer than driving my 2008 Impala with the air off. I may install air in the Avanti in the future but I'm currently not driven to do so by the current interior temperatures.

                              Bob

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