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  • Ghostly Avanti behavior strikes again!

    Drove my '63 R2 auto about 60 miles today. The weather was beautiful; dry, sunny and about 55F. The car was full of 100+ octane fuel and running like a top. No spark knock. It would bark the tires as it was manually shifted into 2nd. Punched it a couple times at about 55 mph and it would toss your head back. Ran her up to 80-85 mph one time. Running Temp = 175F, Oil pressure = 60 psi, Ammeter ~ 0 Everything's great! But on the way back home tonite, only 4-5 miles from the house, she suddenly shuts off. It was just like I had turned off the ignition switch. No symptoms like a sudden fuel starvation or anything. I rolled up to a stoplight, one of 3 in the big city of Denver, NC and stopped. The car would turn over but not start up. Pumping the gas pedal made no difference. There was no smell of gas from flooding out. No apparent leakage. I have a super powerful battery so I was able to turn it over and over again. I cut the lights off and on. I had to leave at least the park lights on so I wouldn't get run over. Then, after about 4-5 mins, I hit it again and it cranked right up. I drove it home without further incident.

    I'm totally mystified. And I wonder if it could have anything to do with the electronic Mallory distributor I put in it over 2years ago? Guess I'll give Mr. T-bow a call about that one. I also wonder if there's any kind of ignition wiring that could be overheating or something. Any ideas or advice would be appreciated as usual. Thanks!
    edp/NC
    \'63 Avanti
    \'66 Commander

  • #2
    Sounds like it might be a case of vapor lock.
    Mike O'Handley, Cat Herder Third Class
    Kenmore, Washington
    hausdok@msn.com

    '58 Packard Hawk
    '05 Subaru Baja Turbo
    '71 Toyota Crown Coupe
    '69 Pontiac Firebird
    (What is it with me and discontinued/orphan cars?)

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    • #3
      A similar experience (minus the awesome stats) with one of mine was a worn ignition switch.
      ACC-fine, START-fine, RUN-would cut out without warning, exactly as you described.
      A new ignition switch and removing all but the most essential weight from the key ring solved it for good.
      Andy
      62 GT

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      • #4
        Too bad You didn't pop the carb bonnet and check for fuel 'squirt' when it stalled. At least that way You'd know if the problem was fuel or ignition related. I really hate 'ghost' problems. (I own a similar car to Yours).
        Good luck.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by hausdok View Post
          Sounds like it might be a case of vapor lock.
          Yes, but I previously re-routed the fuel line away from the engine heat and also insulated it. The ambient temp on the way home tonite was about a cool 50F.
          edp/NC
          \'63 Avanti
          \'66 Commander

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Andy R. View Post
            A similar experience (minus the awesome stats) with one of mine was a worn ignition switch.
            ACC-fine, START-fine, RUN-would cut out without warning, exactly as you described.
            A new ignition switch and removing all but the most essential weight from the key ring solved it for good.
            Now that's a potential solution. When I got the car the ignition switch had been replaced cause a key had broken off in the old one. Maybe something's come loose there. Thanks!
            edp/NC
            \'63 Avanti
            \'66 Commander

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SN-60 View Post
              Too bad You didn't pop the carb bonnet and check for fuel 'squirt' when it stalled. At least that way You'd know if the problem was fuel or ignition related. I really hate 'ghost' problems. (I own a similar car to Yours).
              Good luck.
              Yes, in hindsight that would've been the wise thing to do. But I was stuck at a stoplight with traffic going around me and didn't have a flashlight. And I got it cranked before I could even get it pushed out of the road.
              edp/NC
              \'63 Avanti
              \'66 Commander

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              • #8
                I had a similar problem years ago with a TR-7 the electronic pickup in the distributor would get hot and fail. When it would cool down the car would run fine again for a while. I replaced the pickup in the distributor and the car ran fine from then on. Also happened to my Avanti ll replaced the pickup in the distributor and cured the problem. I hope this helps.

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                • #9
                  Why do you need to run such a high octane with such low temp. Is your compression ratio over 11:1? Do you just want to run some crazy timing? I understand an R2 Avanti is supercharged, but I would think it should run fine on premium.
                  Alex Nelsen, certified Studebaker nut.
                  Driving a 1954 Champion Coupe powered by a Chrysler 383.
                  Lizella, GA

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                  • #10
                    Do you have a pink wire going to the coil? if so replace it with a regular wire and a resistor. Also coil itself could be suspect. NT
                    Neil Thornton

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                    • #11
                      Besides the other checks mentioned here....
                      I'd check your coil.
                      Coils get hot when they start to break down.
                      When they get hot, they stop working.
                      When they cool down a bit, they start working again.

                      When (or if) it happens again...
                      Immediately put your hand on the body of the coil.
                      If it is too hot to keep your hand on it, it's bad.
                      HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

                      Jeff


                      Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



                      Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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                      • #12
                        Years ago when I had my '63 R1 Avanti I installed an optical electronic ignition. It ran fine for about a year than suddenly started having issues similar to yours. I went back to points and no more problem.

                        I'm with the others who have experienced ignition problems...look there.
                        Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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                        • #13
                          Two more possibilities...1) A small amount of water (condensate) working its way through the fuel supply can cause an engine to shut down.

                          2) Microscopic sediment in the bottom of a fuel tank can become "fluidized" from the vibration and motion when a car is underway. This material gets sucked up into the fuel line and eventually packs around the fluid filter element shutting off gas flow. After sitting for a few seconds, this material will settle off the filter element and float back down allowing fuel to pass through again. If this is your problem...it will continue to occur until the filter is replaced.
                          John Clary
                          Greer, SC

                          SDC member since 1975

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                          • #14
                            another "vote" for coil...
                            Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

                            '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

                            '40 Champion. sold 10/11. '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.

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                            • #15
                              Ectoplasm......"who ya gonna call"........
                              Bez Auto Alchemy
                              573-318-8948
                              http://bezautoalchemy.com


                              "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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