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  • Frame / Springs: Avanti Frame Reinforcement

    Could an Avanti frame be reinforced enough to take 650 hp with a 5 speed? What all would need to be done?

  • #2
    Good question. Here's a guy that borrowed an Avanti frame from Dwayne Jacobson in Junction City, WI:

    http://jwrodgarage.com/catalog-of-it...s-and-chassis/
    sigpic
    Claude Chmielewski
    Studeski
    http://www.studeski.com
    Fillmore, Wisconsin
    47 M-16 Truck
    53 Commander Regal HT
    53 2R5
    60 Lark VIII Convertible
    60 5E7 Champ pickup
    62 5E7 Champ no box
    62 GT Hawk 4 speed
    63 Lark VI parts car
    63 GT Hawk R2 4 speed
    64 Commander Wagonaire
    64 Daytona Convertible
    50 Champion Regal (parts car)
    36 Dictator
    36 Dictator in pieces

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by studeski View Post
      Good question. Here's a guy that borrowed an Avanti frame from Dwayne Jacobson in Junction City, WI:

      http://jwrodgarage.com/catalog-of-it...s-and-chassis/
      That was going to be my suggestion. First you start with a new frame.... You could probably reinforce a stock frame but it would likely get pretty heavy. Probably easier and stronger to fit the body to a much stronger late model frame, or a purpose built one. I put my '54 Chevy on a '75 Ford truck frame (shortened it 4") and my Model A on a '78 Datsun truck frame. Both have Ford FE's, auto trans, and about half the HP you're talking about.

      Comment


      • #4
        Adding the crossmember from a convertible would add a lot of torsional resistance.
        Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

        Comment


        • #5
          So I'm hearing forget the stock frame and build a tube frame. Maybe a later corvette frame. I hate the mustang 2 set ups on a driver. Yet to ride in one or drive one that drives and rides like they should. They always seem to float on every bump and bump steer and dive every time you brake hard.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by studeski View Post
            Good question. Here's a guy that borrowed an Avanti frame from Dwayne Jacobson in Junction City, WI:

            http://jwrodgarage.com/catalog-of-it...s-and-chassis/
            I wonder if this could be adapted to the Studebaker suspension to save some otherwise parts only Avanti's without going full hot rod?
            Ron Dame
            '63 Champ

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by swvalcon View Post
              So I'm hearing forget the stock frame and build a tube frame. Maybe a later corvette frame. I hate the mustang 2 set ups on a driver. Yet to ride in one or drive one that drives and rides like they should. They always seem to float on every bump and bump steer and dive every time you brake hard.
              That's what came to my mind too. Perhaps a late Corvette complete chassis.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by t walgamuth View Post
                Adding the crossmember from a convertible would add a lot of torsional resistance.
                IIRC, all Avanti came with the same frame as the Lark convertibles.

                Could an Avanti frame be reinforced enough to take 650 hp with a 5 speed? What all would need to be done?
                Define your intended use. Closed course road racing requires completely different frame and suspension modifications than does 1/4-mile drag racing than does street use punching it every once in a rare while.

                Will the 650hp be produced by a turbocharger which often has a soft bottom end and high horsepower or will it be big block horsepower which makes huge torque at the lower RPM? The frame is loaded very differently in those two instances.

                Another concern is to put 650hp to the pavement requires careful fitment of tire and wheel width and diameter. The Avanti is nose-heavy-rear-light and thus traction-limited.

                Bottom line - yes, it could be done with existing hot rod techniques.

                jack vines



                PackardV8

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by swvalcon View Post
                  So I'm hearing forget the stock frame and build a tube frame. Maybe a later corvette frame. I hate the mustang 2 set ups on a driver. Yet to ride in one or drive one that drives and rides like they should. They always seem to float on every bump and bump steer and dive every time you brake hard.
                  I have the mustang 2 based suspension on my CE. It is very stable over bumps and such. It could probably benefit from a larger shock.

                  My Cobra is pretty shady over dips and such on the road, weaving and such. I'd not call it a mustang 2 front end but it is pretty similar.....two wishbones and coil over springs. The coil overs are very nice for adjusting ride height.
                  Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ron Dame View Post

                    I wonder if this could be adapted to the Studebaker suspension to save some otherwise parts only Avanti's without going full hot rod?
                    Ron,
                    I could drive up and ask him. The picture shows not. He's only 20 minutes away. I've known him since he started the business.
                    Claude
                    sigpic
                    Claude Chmielewski
                    Studeski
                    http://www.studeski.com
                    Fillmore, Wisconsin
                    47 M-16 Truck
                    53 Commander Regal HT
                    53 2R5
                    60 Lark VIII Convertible
                    60 5E7 Champ pickup
                    62 5E7 Champ no box
                    62 GT Hawk 4 speed
                    63 Lark VI parts car
                    63 GT Hawk R2 4 speed
                    64 Commander Wagonaire
                    64 Daytona Convertible
                    50 Champion Regal (parts car)
                    36 Dictator
                    36 Dictator in pieces

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by swvalcon View Post
                      I hate the mustang 2 set ups on a driver. Yet to ride in one or drive one that drives and rides like they should. They always seem to float on every bump and bump steer and dive every time you brake hard.
                      I would guess that you have never been in in one that is set up properly. We have done a few in our time and when correctly installed and set up (clip perfectly square, right R&P, shocks, and spindles for the application) we have never had one that wasn't a fabulous driver. Zero bump steer- in fact the main reason for switching is it is very difficult to really get a R&P to work right with the rest being stock. Most we have ever done was to fine tune shocks or spring rates, but if one does the math correctly in the beginning that usually isn't even an issue, more about the owner's personal taste.

                      My opinion re: the original question- if you are really serious about this, contact a few of the major chassis builders out there and have one built. If you do that, you have eliminated all the weak points (Stude frames have a tendency to crack at the upper control arms even from normal use, for one), the comically outdated suspension and steering, and now you are strong enough for any future use, road course, straight line, highway cruiser, with simple changes of shocks and springs. You also get to choose the brakes you prefer without having to figure out modifications, and you can go R&P in your choice of manual or today's very efficient and easy to install power steering.

                      My experience is that every time somebody tries to alter a stock frame, they end up with no end of headaches to overcome; I have seen more than a few of these projects abandoned or scrapped because the unforseen issues suck the enjoyment right out of them. And finally, a well done aftermarket frame can be the foundation for a high dollar-bringing hot rod when it's time to sell. Some guys start with a quality aftermarket chassis and drivetrain and leave it unfinished for awhile, then later on do a high quality build out- justified by having done the foundation right.

                      Some of my favorite chassis builders are Chris Alston, Fatman, and Total Cost Involved. Fatman already builds a front clip for Studebaker cars. Worth looking into.
                      Proud NON-CASO

                      I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it 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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by swvalcon View Post
                        So I'm hearing forget the stock frame and build a tube frame. Maybe a later corvette frame. I hate the mustang 2 set ups on a driver. Yet to ride in one or drive one that drives and rides like they should. They always seem to float on every bump and bump steer and dive every time you brake hard.
                        Mike Van Veghten will be along to agree with you . He's not a fan of the hot rod MII front clips.

                        Having said that, there are probably two dozen different manufacturers of those. Some are better than others, but none I'd choose for a high horsepower project.

                        FWIW, of the later Corvettes are too wide to fit under an Avanti without narrowing. IIRC, the Avanti is less than 60" wide and the Corvettes more than 70"



                        jack vines

                        PackardV8

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bob Andrews View Post

                          I would guess that you have never been in in one that is set up properly. We have done a few in our time and when correctly installed and set up (clip perfectly square, right R&P, shocks, and spindles for the application) we have never had one that wasn't a fabulous driver. Zero bump steer- in fact the main reason for switching is it is very difficult to really get a R&P to work right with the rest being stock. Most we have ever done was to fine tune shocks or spring rates, but if one does the math correctly in the beginning that usually isn't even an issue, more about the owner's personal taste.

                          My opinion re: the original question- if you are really serious about this, contact a few of the major chassis builders out there and have one built. If you do that, you have eliminated all the weak points (Stude frames have a tendency to crack at the upper control arms even from normal use, for one), the comically outdated suspension and steering, and now you are strong enough for any future use, road course, straight line, highway cruiser, with simple changes of shocks and springs. You also get to choose the brakes you prefer without having to figure out modifications, and you can go R&P in your choice of manual or today's very efficient and easy to install power steering.

                          My experience is that every time somebody tries to alter a stock frame, they end up with no end of headaches to overcome; I have seen more than a few of these projects abandoned or scrapped because the unforseen issues suck the enjoyment right out of them. And finally, a well done aftermarket frame can be the foundation for a high dollar-bringing hot rod when it's time to sell. Some guys start with a quality aftermarket chassis and drivetrain and leave it unfinished for awhile, then later on do a high quality build out- justified by having done the foundation right.

                          Some of my favorite chassis builders are Chris Alston, Fatman, and Total Cost Involved. Fatman already builds a front clip for Studebaker cars. Worth looking into.
                          As usual, Bob, we agree on most things technical and so agree the better custom frames will save a lot of labor in the beginning, albiet at huge up-front cost, but there's still all the bits to make it back to a running, driving car. Having agreed to this, I've seen about as many "old body on new frame" swaps turn into abandoned projects as I've seen modified stock frame projects abandoned. Either way is many times more hours of labor and a million-and-one custom bits to fabricate than those who've never done one can believe or can afford to pay for.

                          jack vines

                          PackardV8

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            https://www.motortrend.com/features/...aker-lark-ls1/

                            Here is a nice Corvette suspension and engine grafted on a Stude frame..

                            http://www.nerdrods.com/ has all the pre-cut components for adding C4 on an existing frame.

                            of course they can go stage IV which is a roiling frame with engine $$$$

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C09L0x8F7is



                            FWIW: Mustang 2 suspension were made as "radial tuned suspension" from the geometry of that guy's $14K frames you wont get road handling performance from it. Just a driver
                            Last edited by SScopelli; 08-04-2021, 12:27 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
                              As usual, Bob, we agree on most things technical and so agree the better custom frames will save a lot of labor in the beginning, albiet at huge up-front cost, but there's still all the bits to make it back to a running, driving car. Having agreed to this, I've seen about as many "old body on new frame" swaps turn into abandoned projects as I've seen modified stock frame projects abandoned. Either way is many times more hours of labor and a million-and-one custom bits to fabricate than those who've never done one can believe or can afford to pay for.

                              jack vines
                              There's no doubt, but in fairness it happens with restorations as well. My shop guys LOOVED to see an aborted basket case come in. My rule always was I might buy one and tackle it but would not take it on for a customer; they never really grasp it. I rarely did them anyway; sometimes I get them and find them a new home though. Another issue is customers getting cold feet or running into financial problems midway into a 12-18 month build. Those were good sometimes because you could buy it right and finish it and make a buck because you knew the work already done. I still hate it for the customer, though... sometimes there's no making them really understand, even when they hear that big number... I guess they get stars in their ears...

                              Of course, the last job we took in before COVID, and my health took a downturn and we decided to shut down, broke the rules. Fastback Mustang, worth maybe $20K completed, widow calls- yes, a widow- asking my advice. True story- this was her husband's baby, he gets cancer and told a year to live, so they decide they want to get it restored before he dies. Takes it to an unknown local shop, guy says it'll be done in 6-7 months. 9 YEARS LATER the husband is long gone, she's $50K in, and the guy won't work on it anymore, just promises and invoices. So we go and get the car to evaluate it. The guy did a decent job of panel replacement, driver quality paint... but talked her into a 4.6 5-speed swap. He had cut the crossmember to fit the base; switched the spindles side to side (!) to give it front steer for R&P; and filled the car inside and out with butchered harnesses. Worst thing I've ever seen. In the end we went back stock, fixed every cob job, refreshed the original 351/C6 and added FI and A/C. And charged her about half what the bill should have been. At least we got it done, and it will be a family heirloom, probably spent triple what it's worth. Most of these cases don't have a happy ending, and they happen every day. My heart is always with the cars, and too much of that will break you.

                              Click image for larger version

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                              Last edited by Bob Andrews; 08-04-2021, 03:48 PM.
                              Proud NON-CASO

                              I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it 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

                              Comment

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