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First time away from the house in R5527

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  • First time away from the house in R5527

    In the month or so since I bought and brought home our "new" '64 Avanti I haven't driven it more than a few hundred yards. With the early surprises I experienced, I wanted to be sure it would get me back if I did go any distance. Yesterday was our Potomac Chapter Spring Picnic which was about 15 miles away so we decided to debut it there. Problem was, the outside temperature was mid to upper 90s and humid to boot. The car was described in the eBay listing as the R-12 A/C blows cold air no matter how hot it is outside. Well, maybe it did one time, but not yesterday. It did work, but the air wasn't cold by a long stretch- only slightly cooler than outside. The car did hold to 180-185 degrees even with the a/c on full. Another kind of puzzling thing was the car was listed as having a new pan gasket and no oil leaks. When I got it home from Memphis there was a sizable puddle on my trailer and it has been marking its territory ever since. However, yesterday, after parking in the driveway when we got home, only one small drop appeared under the car (and the oil level was still at the full mark). A couple other things I noted on the trip- The power steering seemed erratic. Sometimes it felt like there was no assist and other times it was fine. I think it must have the wrong length belt because the pump is pulled up tight against the bottom of the surge tank (have to loosen the pump to get the off the cover. It just isn't real tight even when pulled up as far as possible. The other thing was the other day I noticed a vacuum line plugged by a golf tee (pix below). I determined that it should be going to a throttle kicker which was no longer there. First time I stopped in traffic it died. I was afraid I vapor locked (the return line is capped off too), but it re-started and accelerated after some scary hesitation. For the rest of the drive I had to keep it well above an idle whenever I stopped to avoid the same thing. Sure could have used that kicker. It's supposed to have quiet mufflers, but they aren't. When I get the cracked right manifold replaced maybe it will quiet down some (can't even hear the stereo at any speed). I had also forgotten how many revs Avantis turn at modest speeds. This car has a 3.54 TT and smaller diameter wheels and tires (P225x60x16s) so it is indicating about 2500 rpm at 50 (which may be even less than 50 with the tire difference). While the Powershift is a good tranny, I may seriously look at the GM automatic overdrive installation. I can't imagine driving all the way to Springfield next summer at 3500 or more rpm.
    Another interesting thing is the tilt wheel has to be just below the mid setting for the turn signals to work correctly. Higher the right one goes out and lower takes out the left.
    And I just had the air conditioned Daytona convertible (just sold) running the best it has since I got it. Guess I'm a slow learner.
    Last edited by 53k; 06-28-2010, 09:30 PM. Reason: forgot pix
    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

  • #2
    The signal switch on the tilt wheel is activated by a cable from up top and the position of the wheel will effect its operation. You can get to the switch easily, it's down on the column and I adjusted mine so it works best with the wheel in the driving position I prefer.



    • #3
      It sounds like you're problems aren't that bad to fix. A pain, nevertheless as you just bought the car and expected more.

      The anti-stall dashpot...or idle compensator, depending on what different people call it, is available as a repro through one of the main vendors (I forget which...I believe either SI or John Myers but I could be wrong on that). You could also get an Edelbrock electric idle's for their line of carburetors which is an updated AFB. I don't know the difference in cost, though the Edelbrock part is something like $80 or so. You'll have to compare that against the cost of the repro dashpot.

      Your tires are over 2" less in height compared to a stock 670-15, so that translates into a significantly shorter distance per revolution. Your 3.53 rear axle ratio is effectively a much higher numerical ratio so there's no wonder your engine rpm's are so high at 50mph. Your solutions are to replace the rear end with a numerically lower ratio or get proper size tires. It will give better fuel economy, less engine rpm's and wear and better tire wear.

      Are you sure the oil leak is from the pan gasket? It could be from elsewhere just as easily. Maybe you should clean off everything under there (if that's reasonable), and then keep an eye on where the leak is from.

      If you go to an overdrive automatic, that would greatly improve the drivability of the car. I replaced the Powershift on my '70 with a 700R4 and it is a very positive thing to do..less than 2000 rpm's at cruise (my car has a 3.31 rear). It would be more difficult on your car since you would need an adapter to fit the new transmission to a Studebaker engine. Michael Myers sells a really nice one but it certainly adds cost to the conversion. Some report clearance problems with 700R4 trannies with Avanti tunnels, though there were no such problems with my car. A 200R4 would fit with no issues and some say it has a better spread of gears.

      For your a/c, I would take it to an a/c specialist and have the system completely pumped down, then refilled with a leak detector. Go from there and see if it's fixed or more is needed.

      We live close enough feel free to ask about what I went through or if you want to see how some things were done on my car. You'll have that car all sorted out into something to be proud of. One thing I've learned is nothing worthwhile comes easy.
      Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.