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Preparing for Cross-Country Avanti Journey

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  • Engine: Preparing for Cross-Country Avanti Journey

    Let me first star by saying hello to the community as this is my first post as a new member and new "care-taker" of a 1982 regency bronze Avanti II. This car was my Grandfather's, and was one of his prized possessions.
    Click image for larger version

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    He had very particular and keen taste in design that was reflected through his work in advertising and in his choice of furniture, toy collection, and importantly cars. He was a really influential character in my life and as such, many elements of his style rubbed off on me. When he passed away this July, my lovely grandmother was tasked with taking care of the Avanti. The pictures above were actually taken at his memorial service. I spent a couple of days detailing the car and getting it running again so that we could drive it to the service. It was really great because so many of my grandfather's friends who came remembered my Grandpa driving the car to work, were stunned to see the car again. I think they got a real kick out of it.

    Since this car held a great deal of sentimental value to me as my segway into gear-headom, I asked my grandma if she would let me take over care of the vehicle. Surprisingly she said yes, as long as I get it out of their 1 car garage, so she can park her car in there before winter. Fine by me, I want to be able to drive the car regularly anyway.

    One catch is that the car is located in the Chicago area and I'm located in Houston, Tx. A little more than just a short drive down the road. Now my Grandfather took meticulous care of this car, but as his health and mobility declined in recent year he simply could not physically give the car regular attention. Therefore, in the past 5-8 years it hasn't been driven much and when it was once or twice a year, it only went up the street to the gas station to fill the tires and top the gas off. So in that time its been driven probably less than 50 miles.

    In short I'm a little concerned that the car might be shocked into disrepair by the 1,200 mile journey to its new home. In preparation for the trip then I'm going to perform a basic service on the car; Change all fluids (brakes, oil, coolant, transmission, power steering, brake), new tires, new brake pads/shoes, parking brake cable and spark plugs. And that brings me to the next catch of this endeavor. Since I live in Houston and given my work/school schedule I can only come to Chicago to pick the car up over Thanksgiving and then I only have 1 week to get the car prepped for the trip and get it back to Houston. So that means that I need to have every part I need ordered and already in Chicago before I get there to ensure I can keep to my tight schedule (plus being around Thanksgiving a lot of places will be closed).

    I've been pouring over the Avanti literature (printed and online) to learn as much about the specific nuances of the 1982 year to ensure that I order the right parts. The one thing that I've learned is that these year Avantis are sort of like hot dogs, made with parts from all over. I've worked on modern cars and motorcycles in the past, but this will be my first "oldish" American Classic. I'm looking for some input for recommendations and clarifications on parts and fluids. Any help will be greatly appreciated. So here are the specs on the car:

    1982 Regency Bronze Avanti II (completely stock no modifications or upgrades, RBQ3526-305)
    Engine: 305 V8
    Transmission: 4 speed automatic
    Tires: Front, 205/75R15 Rear, 225/75R15 on the stock 500 mag wheels
    Mileage: Around 55,000
    Last date of service: Maybe 2000, but not certain and I don't know what exactly was done (my grandpa's short hand is a little confusing)

    Parts I Need to Order:
    • Tires (looking at Hankook Optimo H724 as an inexpensive whitewall option)
    • Spark Plugs - These
    • Front Brake Pads (I'm seeing conflicting parts on vendor sites, which of thse will work HPS, Monroe DX154, or these from studebakerparts.com
    • Rear Brake Shoes (these are the only option I've found. Are there other?)
    • Parking Brake Cable - ?
    • Air Filter - ?
    • Fuel Filters (going to buy 2 so I have an extra while on the road)
    • Coolant - Anyone know the Volume the system holds?
    • Transmission Fluid - Sugestions and reguired volume?
    • Power Steering Fluid - Suggestions and required volume?
    • Brake Fluid - Volume?
    • Oil Filter - Fram TG30
    • Oil (from what I've read 15w40 with GM Engine Oil Supplement is a good choice. Remember the car will be driven 1,200 miles from IL to TX and then driven regularly in TX city/highway)
    • Power Antenna (the current one doesn't go up when you turn on the radio, may just be seized from never being used, but will have to investigate)
    • "Avanti" Decal on Center wheel Hub (light background with black lettering). Not important, just bothers me that one is missing.


    Thanks in advance for your help. If all goes as planned I'll try to document my little journey with pictures and post it on here.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    What a beautiful Avanti...The gold metallic color is going to turn a lot of heads! Good luck and have fun!

    Comment


    • #3
      Add to your list:

      Re-pack your front wheel bearings and replace the front wheel seals.
      Buy a couple extra fuel filters and keep them in the trunk.
      Replace your wiper blade re-fills.

      I am sure others will add some good suggestions.
      Jeff
      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...)

      Comment


      • #4
        Tires...whatever floats your boat.

        Spark plugs...whatever brand you like as long as it's the appropriate one for the application.

        Front brake pads...your choices are slim for that application. Buying from one of the Avanti vendors might be best...at least you'll know they fit. Whomever you have install them make sure they follow the shop manual precisely or they'll squeal like you won't believe. The composition of today's brake materials is prone to that and for such a slow moving part number brake suppliers don't use their best technology and materials.

        Rear brake shoes...go ahead and get them from the Avanti vendors too. They're a GM application but few if any parts houses will likely list the correct number.

        Also...get new brake hoses while you're at it and rebuild kits for the calipers and rear wheel cylinders. Do it once and do it right...brakes are far too important to scrimp on.

        Parking brake cable...it may simply need librication and adjusting. If you actually need replacements, Dan Booth at Nostalgic Motors is the place to go. 1976 and later Avantis use a different design from prior years.

        Air filter...whatever good brand that fits is fine. The engine is a Camaro 305 HO...the air filter may well be the same.

        Fuel filters...whatever brand should fine...Purolator, FRAM, house brand...proper application is what matters.

        Coolant...I'm not sure of the capacity but it uses more coolant than modern designs. You can buy the pre-mixed coolants and simply fill the system to the proper level and not worry about mixing it correctly.

        Transmission...it's a GM transmission...any shop will know how to deal with it and appropriate ATF.

        Power steering fluid...a shop that flushes it will have the ability to fill it properly...it's a GM system.

        Brake fluid...verify whether it has silicone DOT 5 or non-silicone DOT 3 or 4...they're not compatible so no mixing. If you have the entire brake system completely rebuilt and flushed out, what you replace it with is immaterial but know what it's replaced with for future reference.

        Oil filter...whatever brand you like. I think regular oil and filter changes are more important than what brand.

        Oil...motor oils are far better today than when your grandfather's car was built. Your choice is more than reasonable.

        Power antenna...that can always be fixed later. It could be seized as you said, may have a separate fuse that could be blown or a bad electrical ground.

        Avanti disc on wheel..they're easily available from several of the Avanti vendors.

        The already given suggestions are excellent...wiper refills, repacking the front wheel bearings.

        it sounds like your grandfather's car is in good hands. Best of luck and enjoy.
        Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'd install new brake flex hoses.

          I'd not worry about brake pads/shoes if an inspection shows them to be serviceable.

          I would run a quart of so of brake fluid through the system to flush it out.

          I wouldn't replace the parking brake cable if the parking brake works correctly. You may want to lube the existing cable.

          I'd inspect closely for leaking calipers/wheel cylinders/master cylinder.

          Beautiful car! You will have a great adventure for sure!
          Dick Steinkamp
          Bellingham, WA

          Comment


          • #6
            Killer color! welcome to the forum! Seems like you are pretty much on your game. Add a credit card, cell phone and you should be good to go. Not to sure about the 'newer' Avanti, but I'd throw on new belts, and if it has an HEI ignition, I'd be tempted to purchase a new module. For the most part they last a long, long time, but when they 'go' it can be instant failure leaving the car needing to be towed to a garage, or fix it yourself (fairly easy roadside job) if you have the module on hand. They are not terribly expensive...just a suggestion. Take your time on the road, enjoy the drive and have fun. Cheers, junior.
            sigpic
            1954 C5 Hamilton car.

            Comment


            • #7
              A paid up AAA card, and a copy of the most recent SDC Roster may be helpful. Also, you might wanna tell us your planned route, so some of us could volunteer to be in standby mode during your trip, in the event of urgent need.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would replace the thermostat, with a redi-rad brand fail safe unit. they don't stick closed. Keep an eye on the thermostat housing for deep corrosion. The fuel lines are likely to be not in the best shape. Replace rubber lines with alcohol compatable fuel injection rated hoses. The fuel pump is also likely to not be compatable with todays fuels. The pump confines make aftermarket pumps hard to fit AC is the best fit. I have also fit Holley without it hitting the frame.
                If you have any problems on the way, I'm in St.Louis on the way back. and always ready to lend a hand.
                Bez Auto Alchemy
                573-318-8948
                http://bezautoalchemy.com


                "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sorry for your loss. Keeping the car in the family will help you keep connected to your Grandfather. Did your grandfather have the car serviced at one particular shop that might be able to go over the car for you and let you know what is needed to get it back in traveling status? They might be able to shorten your list of whats needed. The car is chevy motor and transmission, with easy parts availability and serviceability. The chassis items like brakes, shocks, are more Studebaker specific. but any competent shop should be able to get the parts. There are some good Studebaker mechanics in the Chicago area. Through my membership contacts in the Chicagoland AOAI and the Black Hawk SDC, I'm sure we could get someone who's close to your car that can take a look at the car and determine its needs. PM me if interested.
                  sigpic[SIGPIC]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would take a completely different approach. I have purchased MANY vehicles at a distance. I recommend having the Avanti shipped to your home location and then going over the car at your leisure and without a tight time deadline. Shipping sometimes seems expensive until you add up all of the costs of getting to your starting point, fuel, tolls, lodging, etc., etc. - not to mention your time.
                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by studegary View Post
                      I would take a completely different approach. I have purchased MANY vehicles at a distance. I recommend having the Avanti shipped to your home location and then going over the car at your leisure and without a tight time deadline. Shipping sometimes seems expensive until you add up all of the costs of getting to your starting point, fuel, tolls, lodging, etc., etc. - not to mention your time.
                      I highly recommend you NOT ship it. If you drive the car, it will be an opportunity to get acquainted with it, a confidence builder, and a trend setter for your future use of the car. OTOH, if you trailer it, that will also be a trend setter; you will not become acquainted; will worry about anything other than local drives; it will wind up a trailer-queen, and next you will need to invest in a truck & trailer to haul it around.

                      You seem adventuresome, and I say you & the car are more than up to the trip. Even though it may be a bit more hectic for your schedule, and maybe even more expensive (in the short run), it will pay dividends in miles to come.

                      Plus, as a "show car" you will show it to more folks on the road to Houston, than most trailer queens will be shown to in the next ten years.

                      JMHO, but I have nothing but encouragement for you in driving your car.
                      Last edited by JoeHall; 10-07-2013, 06:18 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        When I sold my 63 Avanti a few years ago, I had to rush to find a replacement vehicle. It was my ONLY vehicle and used daily. They were built to be driven, and can do so just fine.
                        Last edited by bezhawk; 10-07-2013, 08:27 AM.
                        Bez Auto Alchemy
                        573-318-8948
                        http://bezautoalchemy.com


                        "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you plan to drive it, I'd do so right away while the weather is decent. Nothing much worse than roadside repairs in the snow, rain, cold, ick. Personally, I'd do just the basics, most of which you list, get in and go... Think of the excitement of the trip! I've bought and crossed the country in several vehicles now, and always with success, fun, and an enjoyable trip. AND, most importantly, a new love and respect for that vehicle!

                          Remember, almost everything that would be a trip stopping problem is Chevy, and there is a Chevy garage in every mid sized town. Good luck and have a blast with it! (But keep that AAA plus card handy!)
                          Corley

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Dispite others..fix it here...now...attitudes........

                            You are working out of a 1 car garage with a LOT of undone...upkeep work to be done, a LONG way from home. I know how difficult automotive work is in a 1 car garage and that doesn't even account for the approching winter months..!

                            I would NOT recommend "rushing" to get the car done in these circumstances to beat the cold of winter and the long distance.
                            Personally, the ONLY way of this long distance relationship is to have the car professionally "shipped" home to your location...THEN...you can take your time to sort all of the known and the UNKNOWN problems that the car has/may have before you start using it. This is the best way of learning about the car intimately.
                            NOTE - Even trailering it yourself is a very viable option.

                            Trying to repair/fix this many things, this far from home, in a very short timeframe....IS disaster waiting to happen.

                            Your car, your time.

                            Good luck, and most importantly...have fun learning the car.

                            Mike

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mike Van Veghten View Post
                              Dispite others..fix it here...now...attitudes........

                              You are working out of a 1 car garage with a LOT of undone...upkeep work to be done, a LONG way from home. I know how difficult automotive work is in a 1 car garage and that doesn't even account for the approching winter months..!

                              I would NOT recommend "rushing" to get the car done in these circumstances to beat the cold of winter and the long distance.
                              Personally, the ONLY way of this long distance relationship is to have the car professionally "shipped" home to your location...THEN...you can take your time to sort all of the known and the UNKNOWN problems that the car has/may have before you start using it. This is the best way of learning about the car intimately.
                              NOTE - Even trailering it yourself is a very viable option.

                              Trying to repair/fix this many things, this far from home, in a very short timeframe....IS disaster waiting to happen.

                              Your car, your time.

                              Good luck, and most importantly...have fun learning the car.

                              Mike
                              I'd think a good start would be to have a competent & trustworthy mechanic look the car over (as was offered above), and include a test drive of maybe 50 miles. Then decide what needs to be done before and after the trip. Its a 1982 car, maintained and driven regularly till 5-8 years ago, not a barn find that's been sitting 30 years.

                              After the mechanic made any necessary repairs and gave a thumbs up, I'd probably bring a tool box, an electric fuel pump, and a few other insurance items. Then simply fire it up, gas up at the nearest gas station, check the air in the tires, fluid levels, and hit the road. But that's just me.
                              Last edited by JoeHall; 10-07-2013, 12:46 PM.

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