Friday, February 15, 2013

Avanti Replacement Fender

(Photo Credits - GBZ)

New re-pop fiberglass fender fitted and glued into place on '74 Avanti II.

Sanding down and re-contouring passenger side door
to correct body alignment parameters

 It took some finessing and extra time, but I was able to
properly fit the re-popped fender to the body. 

I'm sure I'd fall on the floor in shock if any of these reproduction 
import parts actually fit on the first go around.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New Resto Job In Shop

On Paul Regna's 1974 Avanti II, I'm replacing bowed out, cracked and full of bondo passenger side front fender. Will also repair the not-working mechanism of moonroof slide and will rebond fiberglass surrounding moonroof. Water leaked into the seam, rusting the metal underneath, pushing the fiberglass out.

In the past, this car was rear-ended and poorly repaired. The back window does not fit into weather seal rail - I'll rework this body area to make the glass actually fit. (Ventilation is great, but this type was not originally engineered into the car.)  New paint, in Avanti Red, to follow when body work is finished.

Ground away filler on fender top to bare fiberglass.

Exposing the factory seams before cutting away damaged fender.

1974 Avanti II with Chevy 350.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Avanti Fiberglass Door Repair

Avanti doors are notorious for cracking and outright breaks in the fiberglass. Almost every car I've worked on has needed extra reinforcing and fiberglass work on the doors. 

In my opinion, Studebaker did not adequately engineer the doors for the torque of the window regulators. Also the door opening stop is abrupt and this creates high stress fractures around the hinges where they bolt to the door. 

I believe had Studebaker stayed in business they would have addressed and corrected these issues. Because of the short run of Avanti production, they did not have the time to work out all the bugs in these cars.  

Photo Credits - GBZ

In the above picture, you can see where I've repaired and built up layered fiberglass areas on the inner panel.  

Doors tend to have weak points, not only on the inner panel area, but around the latch and front hanger hinges. In the above picture, you can see the steel flat straps that I've glued and riveted onto the inner panel.

Many of the earlier Avanti have problems in the surface of the door skins around the handle. In the above picture you can see where I've inserted and attached to the inner door a second metal strap support. This is in addition to the factory installed single support. This strap helps support the handle to prevent cracking around the holes where the handle bolts on. 

Above is a repair in the latch area. This area of the fiberglass often breaks in the sharp 90 degree cutout turn directly above the latch. I made a L shape steel insert that is hidden in the inner door and repaired the fiberglass.