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New Frame for 81 Avanti 11

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  • Frame/Springs: New Frame for 81 Avanti 11

    Hello all-
    I have just imported a 1981 Avanti II- Dammn nice condition EXCEPT for the Frame. It has been salt ravaged and despite the promise of making some relatively minimal repairs, personal inspection reveals a whole new game. (The 'Hog Troughs' are a whole 'nother issue- they're non existent, BTW). The frame problem leads me to ponder what options I have , i.e.
    Repair the existing one in-extremis ad nauseam,
    Import another frame (if I can get one),
    Commission a newly manufactured custom frame, or
    Modify a Lark frame like the originals.
    The last option interests me, although I'd have to be very lucky to source a frame here in Australia these days, but I'm willing to pursue this line. Nevertheless, I'm interested in what others might advise me on this latter option - exactly what frame might I need? I'm aware the Avanti Frame has a big 'X' member in the middle- I may be able to salvage that part and re use it on a straight frame. Your opinions and advice on this topic are most welcome.
    Steve

  • #2
    Nostalgic Avanti has new frame rails in stock.
    Robert Kapteyn

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    • #3
      The Lark frame is probably your best option....and you do not have to limit your search to the 109" wheelbase versions....a Lark frame of ANY wheelbase can be rather easily shortened to 'Avanti' specs.

      The original Avanti 'X' member would definitely have to be swapped into the 'new' Lark frame, but those 'X' members are made of a much thicker steel, and never go bad.

      (Of course, if you happen to luck out and find a Lark convertible or sliding roof wagon frame, this step is already done!)

      Three of the Avanti's frame 'outriggers' (both sides) have to be cut off the Avanti frame and welded to the Lark's frame. Also, the traction bar mount has to be transposed.

      The Lark's frame also has to be 'bobbed' (or shortened) about 4" at the rear, and the rear frame 'kick-ups' (or brackets, L&R) from the Avanti's frame need to be transposed to the Lark's frame.

      A repo Avanti tubular rearmost crossmember would also need to be purchased and welded in between those rear 'kick-ups'.

      Also, the brackets (L&R) for the Avanti rear sway bar need to be cut off and welded onto the Lark frame.

      At the front, two small brackets (L&R) need to be removed from the Avanti frame's 'horns' and welded onto the Lark frame.....These support the Avanti rectangular radiator support.

      Fun project, there has to many solid Lark donor frames in OZ.....Good luck with it!
      Last edited by SN-60; 06-07-2015, 04:53 PM.

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      • #4
        Hello Steve,
        You can swap everything over to a short wheel base Lark chassis.
        I have done that a couple of times over the years. Beware there are a few internal brackets you need to install as well.
        I do have a chassis here in Western Australia if you are interested.
        I need it for a few more months then it might be surplus to my needs.
        Peter

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        • #5
          I think I would take a hard look at building a custom frame. You could put in any front suspension that you want that way.

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          • #6
            We have a 1963 Wagonaire x member chassis that we are giving away to a good home. Apart from shortening of the wheelbase, it will also need some repairs to the rear lower plate but is otherwise a pretty good chassis.

            Chris.
            STUDEBAKER of AUSTRALIA

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by 63r2 View Post
              Hello Steve,
              You can swap everything over to a short wheel base Lark chassis.
              I have done that a couple of times over the years. Beware there are a few internal brackets you need to install as well.
              I do have a chassis here in Western Australia if you are interested.
              I need it for a few more months then it might be surplus to my needs.
              Peter
              Hi Peter
              Thanks for the offer, mate. It's really early days on this project but on the likelihood I can't find a donor chassis closer to home (melbourne), you might be on! Would you mind dropping me an SMS with your contact details please.
              My mobile is 0413840254

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Chris- Thanks for your offer. would you please SMS me on 0413840254 and let me know where you are. I'm in Melbourne, Thanks mate.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 63r2 View Post
                  Hello Steve,
                  You can swap everything over to a short wheel base Lark chassis.
                  I have done that a couple of times over the years. Beware there are a few internal brackets you need to install as well.
                  I do have a chassis here in Western Australia if you are interested.
                  I need it for a few more months then it might be surplus to my needs.
                  Peter
                  I just wondered what the "internal brackets" were?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks SN-60. In the event that I have to 'shorten' the frame- How is this accomplished? Is it done by moving the rear spring perches or is the frame physically cut in two, shortened, then re joined?
                    Steve

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Steve Winzar View Post
                      Thanks SN-60. In the event that I have to 'shorten' the frame- How is this accomplished? Is it done by moving the rear spring perches or is the frame physically cut in two, shortened, then re joined?
                      Steve
                      If you end up buying a 'long' frame, it would have to be cut ahead of the forward rear spring hangar then welded (and plated). I would think even a 120" wheelbase Hawk frame would work.

                      (The old saying "Measure twice-Cut once" comes into play here!)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rkapteyn View Post
                        Nostalgic Avanti has new frame rails in stock.
                        Robert Kapteyn
                        Hi Robert- Thanks for that lead, I will look it up.
                        Steve

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SN-60 View Post
                          I just wondered what the "internal brackets" were?
                          Where the brackets weld on to the frame they place an internal bracket inside the chassis.
                          I assume it's for added strength or to stop the chassis from crushing or twisting in that area.
                          Check out your chassis by looking into a hole or feel around with your finger in those areas and you will see or feel it.
                          pb

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                          • #14
                            Thanks SN-60, I will study the chassis drawings and come up with a plan of attack.
                            steve

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Steve Winzar View Post
                              Hi Chris- Thanks for your offer. would you please SMS me on 0413840254 and let me know where you are. I'm in Melbourne, Thanks mate.
                              We have a website - www.studeparts.com.au

                              Email - chris@studeparts.com.au

                              Comment

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