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R-2 Avanti probably will NOT be sold, but will try re-building heads!

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  • #16
    Originally posted by gordr View Post
    it might have mouse nests in the mufflers...
    A good thought, but last month I ran it for about 30 minutes at 3,000 rpm. That would have cooked everything in the mufflers. But I have a funny story. About 8 years ago, when I had both Avanti's in California, where I had access to a great mechanic (Joun Metzker), I was driving one of them to work regularly. I think it was the other Avanti, the R-1. About 10 minutes down the road, I smelled something cooking, just as I was driving past the Burger-Q on Whittier Blvd., now a Green Burrito. I assumed they were cooking something, which didn't smell too bad. After a few times doing this, and for some reason I looked under the hood while the engine was warm. Lo and behold, I had cooked a FRUIT RAT under the intake manifold. Those little buggers were a real problem on my place in So Cal, where I had about 70 avocado trees. Another time they ate all the rubber vacuum hoses on my Honda CRX while it was covered for about a month. And another time I found one in the engine compartment of my Acura Legend. Solved the problem by starting the engine, and the critter tried to exit through the belts. Result = well-shredded rat. Not much of a clean-up problem though as I hosed it right out.
    sigpic
    Jack, in Montana

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    • #17
      Originally posted by jnfweber View Post
      (I don't have an air compressor). And I will ask if it can be "scoped". IF I can get the thing to start and drive to the shop. Thanks for the useful suggestions.
      WOW! All those great cars...a terriffic set of skilled hands...and no air compressor? Man, go get a good compressor (capable of about 22-25 cfm at least) and open up a great new world of possibilities (and frustrations)!

      That is unless you live in one of those sissy developments with all kind of restrictions about what you can and can not do on your own property. We have some of those around here now where people seem to enslave themselves to million dollar homes on postage stamp lots. I don't understand why they don't just build a barracks in town and just move in together. (Pardon the short rant)

      Keep us informed once you find the real solution. I bet there are others with similar problems that could use the info.
      John Clary
      Greer, SC

      SDC member since 1975

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      • #18
        No sissy developments here!

        Originally posted by jclary View Post
        WOW! All those great cars...a terriffic set of skilled hands...and no air compressor? Man, go get a good compressor (capable of about 22-25 cfm at least) and open up a great new world of possibilities (and frustrations)!

        That is unless you live in one of those sissy developments with all kind of restrictions about what you can and can not do on your own property.
        Actually, I built an eight car garage to house my collection, then felt so bad about leaving a dumpy crummy-looking house on the front of the property that I tore it down to the frame and added a second story in a design to blend into this 100+ year old neighborhood.
        Attached Files
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        Jack, in Montana

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        • #19
          A cheap, quick fix!

          I think yours is the best reply to this thread, maybe because you agree with me. I hate to give up on this nice car, but realize the folly of pouring out $5,000 (including transportation 225 miles) for a questionable re-build or pulling the engine and taking it 225 miles for a good re-build. The man I know in Great Falls who will do a good re-build will not pull & re-install the engine. He is 63 years old and has gotten smart as he aged! Then, with a rebuilt engine, there is still the problem of a 47 year old transmission, a power steering pump that leaks where two "rebuilds" both by Mike Myer and Orange County Studebaker failed to cure the leak. And still only a 47 year old, 320 point car with a crummy AM radio, uncomfortable seats for anything longer than going down to the auto parts store, in other words, an ANTIQUE. I'll take a cheap, quick fix any day!

          I also attached a thumbnail of the almost completed, as of July 2006, house I had built on the lot in front of my garage. It is now complete and furnished, and the guy standing next to the excavation in the previous post built the whole thing with only the help of an overweight, middle-aged friend, no other help--sort of an amazing feat



          Originally posted by wolfie View Post
          You say compression is 85-100. I think you are on the right track with the plan to do the heads. Since you state you have driven the car less than 1000 miles a year for 12 years it COULD be that the compression rings have collapsed but I would bet on the valves. I will ask though was it always underpowered? Did you do a lot of driving (say 5-6000) at first then park the car? Before you tear everything apart do the compression test dry then wet by adding a tablespoon or so of oil to each cylinder. A major change in compression would indicate rings, a more minor change valves. Of course check your valve adjustments and make sure the valves havent been overtightened before you do the major teardown. Good Luck, Steve
          Attached Files
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          Jack, in Montana

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          • #20
            The fact that it started right up with a new condenser and then died under load and then wouldn't start, suggests that something is amiss in the ignition circuit. Something is killing the condenser or grounding it out or something else is going on. Is there a possibility of high voltage getting to the condenser, perhaps by flashover at the coil tower? If you have a spare distributor, drop it in for a try. A single point 8 cyl. type will do.

            BTW once you solve the engine problem, re-stuffing the front seat bottoms with good 3" high density upholstery foam will make the world of difference in seating comfort. I can offer you tips on doing it yourself, when the time comes.

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            • #21
              What is the purpose of the ballast resistor and its condensor?

              Originally posted by WCP View Post
              The fact that it started right up with a new condenser and then died under load and then wouldn't start, suggests that something is amiss in the ignition circuit. Something is killing the condenser or grounding it out or something else is going on. Is there a possibility of high voltage getting to the condenser, perhaps by flashover at the coil tower? If you have a spare distributor, drop it in for a try. A single point 8 cyl. type will do.

              BTW once you solve the engine problem, re-stuffing the front seat bottoms with good 3" high density upholstery foam will make the world of difference in seating comfort. I can offer you tips on doing it yourself, when the time comes.
              That is a good suggestion. How would one check that out? Yesterday I also noted that the ballast resistor got hot enough to smoke with the ignition on but engine not running, and I thought, "What is the purpose of the ballast resistor, anyway?" I don't think there is one on my '64 Cruiser or my 56 Sky Hawk, both 289's. I don't have any spare distributors lying around, at least not for 8 cyl cars, and am reluctant to pull the distributor off either of these two cars which run great and risk not getting it hooked up right later.

              Regarding the seats, I had an opportunity to buy an Avanti back in 1974 and took it for a 100 mph test drive. I found the back support lacking, especially compared to the comfy seats in my Sky Hawk. It also did not ride as nice as my long wheelbase Sky Hawk, and at about 95 mph the side windows started flapping because of the negative pressure outside compared to the inside. That is why I did not have an Avanti until 1995.
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              Jack, in Montana

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              • #22
                The ballast resistor drops the voltage to the coil during normal operation, but is or should be by-passed during starting to provide a full 12 volts. This is accomplished by the green wire with black trace from the starter solenoid to the coil. You should not leave the ignition in the on position with the engine stopped for any length of time. The capacitor at the ballast is there for radio frequency emission suppression, and is not the unit to which I was referring. The condenser in the distributor is the one that may be faulty and the source of your grief. I had a new one go bad after 2 weeks of operation and cause my wife to have to walk home. It took me over an hour to drive the car home just a few blocks. It would start and run but barely had any power and then it would die. After several repetitions of this, I finally got it parked in our driveway. Over the next month, I performed all sorts of diagnosis without any success, and the car got to the point that it would pop but not start. Then I got smart and dragged out an old scope that I had that would barely maintain a trace and bingo! There it was! The answer was the condenser in the distributor. I put the old one back in ( I never throw anything away) and the car fired right up like there had never been a problem. I had wasted a lot of time and money on unnecessary replacements for naught. The simple things will often come to bite you. We tend to over-complicate things. Keep at it. You'll sort it out.

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                • #23
                  This is the best suggestion I have received! After your first post regarding the distributor condenser I went out and bought a new one for $9.95. Then, using my running R-1 Avanti as a model, I hooked up the wires as you suggested, although I did not see the green wire with the black trace, just a green wire, a pink wire, and two black wires, one from the distributor, and the other probably from the battery. After this the car started! It had been left several months ago with the ignition on, and this may have depleted the condenser. I had several "near disasters" along the way: The first time I screwed the ballast resistor with the radio condenser to the car, the contact must have been touching "ground" and the black wire began to smoke, filling the engine and passenger compartments with black smoke. Fortunately I was able to shut off the ignition, and pull the negative connection off the battery.

                  After checking everything out and determining the cause of the short, the next mishap was: I may not have correctly seated the rotor, as the next time I tried to start the car, it gave a pop, then a squeak, and I noted the distributor had jumped to a new position, and was locked! Also broke the rotor, which dropped behind the distributor when I removed the cap. Must have also jumped a gear, as it was securely bolted to the block. So, I pulled the distributor, retrived the broken rotor, looked at the distributor gears, and everything looked ok. Hopefully no damage to the camshaft gear. Made another trip down to "Parts Plus", they were out, so got a new rotor at "Car Quest", only $5.95. Looked at the Avanti manual replaced the distributor with number 1 piston at TDC. Manual said "with number 1 piston in ignition position at TDC, pointer at zero on vibration damper." How the heck can you tell if it's at "ignition" vs "exhaust" position with valve covers on? Well, it didn't start the first time I secured the distributor in place, so I figured if I advanced the engine one complete revolution, and repositioned the distributor again.....Yes! It started and seemed ok. Since I was worn out, I decided to quit while I had done no apparent damage, and went in and had a beer.

                  Next day, today, refreshed and relaxed, I will go out and see if I can get it out of the garage, then back up the slight incline (just barely less than causing the frame to bottom out) into the garage. Still scheduled for diagnostics Thursday 11 am unless it runs great today. Thanks.

                  Jack
                  sigpic
                  Jack, in Montana

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by jnfweber View Post
                    This is the best suggestion I have received! After your first post regarding the distributor condenser I went out and bought a new one for $9.95. Then, using my running R-1 Avanti as a model, I hooked up the wires as you suggested, although I did not see the green wire with the black trace, just a green wire, a pink wire, and two black wires, one from the distributor, and the other probably from the battery. After this the car started! It had been left several months ago with the ignition on, and this may have depleted the condenser. I had several "near disasters" along the way: The first time I screwed the ballast resistor with the radio condenser to the car, the contact must have been touching "ground" and the black wire began to smoke, filling the engine and passenger compartments with black smoke. Fortunately I was able to shut off the ignition, and pull the negative connection off the battery.

                    After checking everything out and determining the cause of the short, the next mishap was: I may not have correctly seated the rotor, as the next time I tried to start the car, it gave a pop, then a squeak, and I noted the distributor had jumped to a new position, and was locked! Also broke the rotor, which dropped behind the distributor when I removed the cap. Must have also jumped a gear, as it was securely bolted to the block. So, I pulled the distributor, retrived the broken rotor, looked at the distributor gears, and everything looked ok. Hopefully no damage to the camshaft gear. Made another trip down to "Parts Plus", they were out, so got a new rotor at "Car Quest", only $5.95. Looked at the Avanti manual replaced the distributor with number 1 piston at TDC. Manual said "with number 1 piston in ignition position at TDC, pointer at zero on vibration damper." How the heck can you tell if it's at "ignition" vs "exhaust" position with valve covers on? Well, it didn't start the first time I secured the distributor in place, so I figured if I advanced the engine one complete revolution, and repositioned the distributor again.....Yes! It started and seemed ok. Since I was worn out, I decided to quit while I had done no apparent damage, and went in and had a beer.

                    Next day, today, refreshed and relaxed, I will go out and see if I can get it out of the garage, then back up the slight incline (just barely less than causing the frame to bottom out) into the garage. Still scheduled for diagnostics Thursday 11 am unless it runs great today. Thanks.

                    Jack
                    Put your finger over the open number one plug hoe as you tap the engine over and stop on the top of the compression stroke. (You'll feel e pressure) BTW, if you left the ignition on, it won't hut the comdensor, but could fry the points or the coil.
                    JDP Maryland

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