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Progress Oh, Glorious Progress!!!

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  • Progress Oh, Glorious Progress!!!

    For the last few weeks I've been deconstructing the rear frame and running gear of the 74 Avanti.

    Now after being showered with rust scale, cleaning more grease off me that any time in the last few years and putting ointment on a few scattered weld burns, I can see progress.

    The frame has been opened up, POR-15ed, new 1/8" X 4" bottom plates installed, new lower spring/frame connectors fabed out of 3/16" X 6" plate, reinstalled and coated with 3M's best undercoat.

    New rear springs (courtesy of my local A1 Truck Shop) installed with new bushings in the springs and connector arms.

    New rear cross member bent by my favorite local muffler shop, installed by me and rust proofed.

    Dana 44 rearend opened up and a new posi and 3.54 gearset installed by me. PITA messing with all the shims in and out several times but it is set up to the Dana/Spicer specs. All new bearings and seals.

    Here's what it looked like at the start.

    Today, after finishing lawn, I turned XM 50's on the Ipod and finished the axle install.

    This is a shot of the new cross member.

    An added note: Today was the best day of music I can remember on XM 50's, not a bad song for hours.

    Lastly, As I was putting the tools away, I noticed a wrench with my now deceased brother-in law's initials on it in my hand. That stopped me for a minute to reflect on him and how good a guy he was. Putting away more of the tools, I counted among the tools that I used those from my DAD, my GRANDFATHER and two deceased BILs. A lot of fond memories as I write this tome, they were all great people. The saying may be correct, "The good die before their time".

    Great day. Now on to those pesky hog troughs.

    , ,

  • #2
    That looks great. Very nice job. All of the Dana/Spicer/ GM corp axles are tough, but once set up they are great. The Toyota, ford 8" and 9"...are a bit easier with the nut style carrier adjusters, but the pinions are still a pain.

    Really looking good.


    • #3
      Great post. Looks like we are gaining another expert on "cheap" Avanti projects! Hang in there.
      John Clary
      Greer, SC

      SDC member since 1975


      • #4
        You're a better man than I, Bob. Rust such as that just scares me. Great post and great work.


        • #5
          You can do anything with the right music and ancestors. Yup.


          • #6
            In reading your last paragraph, I also am in debt to my father, who give me my beginning desire to work on cars by patiently answering questions and teaching me the use of tools. Also to my wife's father, grandfather and and uncles for some of the tools I use frequently. I remember my dad reminding me when I would be cutting a piece of wood or metal to use long strokes, that he had bought the entire saw blade, not just the little portion I was using.
            \'50 Business Champ,
            \'50 Starlight Champ,
            \'60 Lark Convertible,
            \'63 GT R1,
            \'67 Triumph TR4A


            • #7
              Good show, Bob!

              I respect a fellow that will tackle that kind of work!
              Dave Lester


              • #8
                Keep up the good work Bob. Working on Stude's keeps you young. There's no telling how many men retire and just sit on the front porch and waste away very quickly.
                Jerry Forrester
                Forrester's Chrome
                Douglasville, Georgia

                See all of Buttercup's pictures at


                • #9
                  Wow, that's some nice work Bob.
                  Dave Nevin
                  Corvallis, OR
                  1953 Champion Deluxe Coupe
                  Stud-e-venture blog


                  • #10
                    Bob, like the work, love the story. I always enjoy progress reports, but the added personal aspect was excellent. Great post.
                    Proud NON-CASO

                    I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                    If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth—let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                    GOD BLESS AMERICA

                    Ephesians 6:10-17
                    Romans 15:13
                    Deuteronomy 31:6
                    Proverbs 28:1

                    Illegitimi non carborundum


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mbstude View Post
                      Rust such as that just scares me.
                      As does writing for a great publication and restoring deceased stainless scare me. Thanks, Matt

                      Posted by jclary

                      Looks like we are gaining another expert on "cheap" Avanti projects!
                      John, When you do them as a driver they are just another old car, albeit, with great style and crowd attraction. At shows, 98% of the public can't tell home built from restored, so they can be driven and repaired relatively cheaply. When you restore them, As JDP says "nothing more expensive". The current post on the Ebay Avanti shows one to avoid for restoration. In fact, I'd probably look past it as a driver.

                      , ,


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jerry Forrester View Post
                        Keep up the good work Bob. Working on Stude's keeps you young. There's no telling how many men retire and just sit on the front porch and waste away very quickly.

                        You set a tremendous pace to try to keep up with. Luckily, my health remains good and Judy doesn't mind finding me with the other lady on the lift out back. Thanks

                        , ,