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1972 Avanti II
One of 127 Built

350 GM V-8 w/Automatic
Air Conditioning
Tilt Wheel/Power Steering
Power Disc/Drum Brakes
Cruise Control/Power Windows
Blaupunkt AM/FM Stereo

August 6, 2020 - Now that the engine is freed up, I want to paint it and put it together with new gaskets and accessories.  That way I only have to take it back apart of the engine is bad, which I don't think it is. And that's just as well, because nothing seems to be attached properly!  Three bolts and no gaskets for either exhaust manifold, one bolt missing from the fan assembly and none of the water pump bolts tight.  Also, the suspension A-arm bushing bolts and cup washers are missing!  I'll need to check everything on the car to make sure the job is finished.  Still, the fasteners should all be standard and I wanted to replace most of them anyway.  The fuel pump wasn't on tight, but at least had both bolts snug.  All the parts are very cheap and available - I'll keep the old stuff as emergency spares.  Looks like the replacement 350 was black - I will probably repaint it Chevy orange as it would have been in 1972.
August 5, 2020 - Car Buddy Dan suggested using Kroil (a super penetrating oil) to free up the Avanti's engine, and provided some for me today.  However, when my neighbor John heard the plan, he produced his own can of Kroil for me to try on Monday.  I put a small amount in each cylinder, and was going to put another dose using Dan's supply tonight.  I had stopped off at Northern Tools to pick up a good strap wrench this morning, and decided to give it a try.  The engine turned with the first pull!  Now it's time to rotate the engine and put clean oil in, then start putting it back together! I have friends with a 1967 that I can get photos of, which will be a lot more helpful than trying to follow the factory manual.
August 1, 2020 - As I had pretty much expected, the Avanti's engine is stuck from sitting for what tuned out to be about 17 years.  The prior owner sealed off the engine intake valley with newspaper from October 11, 2003.  It looks pretty clean inside, so I filled the intake ports on the heads with ATF and will do the same with the cylinders through the spark plug holes.  Once it has time to soak I'll work the engine until it frees up.  Expectations (or hopes) are high that I can get the engine back together and running.
July 31, 2020 - Weather reports for the weekend looked iffy at best, so I scrambled to make room in the garage and got the Avanti delivered today.  The seller got the car down off the jack stands for the first time in 20 years, and was very pleased by the results of his suspension work. He had lowered the front end slightly with new springs to restore the Studbaker Avanti 'rake' that the Avanti II folks had evened out.  The trip was made without incident, and I also brought home the boxes of removed parts.  The Avanti got the 'Kitty Seal of Approval' in the form of 'I'll punch you in the nose if you ever get rid of this car.'  Garage space is a little tight, but I can get in and out of both cars and have room to get around them and to my toolbox in the back.  Car skates are coming for both the Avanti and Morris that will let me move them around easily for better access.
July 29, 2020 - The Avanti seems to have been meant to be - Car club buddy Richard presented me with a major treasure trove today - the original 4-barrel manifold, carter 4-barrel carb, factory air cleaner assembly, and Delco distributor from a late 1960s Chevelle, all correct for the Avanti. Of all the parts, I am happiest about the original air cleaner, which can be very hard to find for a 4-barrel.  Best of all, the parts are in excellent shape, nearly new in condition.  I think a restored car was modified with aftermarket components.  This all means I can restore the Avanti to original specs, which makes me very happy!
July 28, 2020 - After watching the listing in Craigslist for many months, I finally had to go look at this 1972 Avanti. The car has been sitting for 20 years, and there was a good chance it was rotten underneath. But close inspection turned up a perfect chassis, nice interior, and crack-free body. The owner had done a lot of work to it in 1999 and 2000, then other things gradually took his interest and the car sat. At this point, the engine bay is down to the radiator and long bock, with all accessories and the manifold/carb to be attached. Wiring is loose, but undamaged, and the engine bay itself is cleaned and painted like new. The car started life green with orange velour seats and shag carpet (1972), but the second owner took it back to the factory in 1984 to get updated as a replica of the factory black and white rally cars. The original special-order 400 ci engine was replaced with a more standard GM 350 crate engine, which is still plenty (pre-emissions) for the fiberglass sports coupe.  The main work will be reassembling the engine bay and the front brakes.  Most everything else is done. A bit of a scary project, but friends in my car club have Avantis I can look at for reference. And of course, I bought it. After all, I need another project!

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