Bought a new old car. Only 6 cylinders this time!

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MinisterofDOOM
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Bought a new old car. Only 6 cylinders this time!

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:41 pm

This:

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Is the 1962 Chevrolet Corvair 900 Monza I bought today.

For those not familiar with the Corvair, they're basically the American VW Beetle. They have a rear-mounted, air-cooled flat-6 mated to a 2-speed auto or either a 3- or 4-speed manual transaxle. They have four-wheel independent suspension, weigh only about 2600lb, and come in coupe, convertible, sedan, wagon, and even van bodystyles. It was GM's first compact car, and intended as an affordable, reliable entry-level model.

The Monza was the top-end performance model in 1962, with a 102-hp engine and the 4-speed manual. Later years offered a 140hp turbocharged version of the same motor.
They're very very odd, which makes them very interesting. They also were not very successful for a variety of reasons, not least of which being negative press thanks to politician and activist Ralph Nader, whose book Unsafe at Any Speed condemned the Corvair as dangerous due to its rear suspension design (a design shared with contemporary Porsche and VW models which managed to escape such judgement). 2nd-gen Corvairs improved the rear suspension, but by then it was too late.

Chevy killed the Corvair in 1969, with the Nova (nee Chevy II) filling in the compact-car role.

Some more pictures:
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darylzero
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Re: Bought a new old car. Only 6 cylinders this time!

Postby darylzero » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:37 pm

Pretty cool.

I like the 2nd gen body style better though, like this one. https://petrolicious.com/articles/why-i ... ed-classic

So what are you going to do with it? Tear it down and rebuild? Or just cruise around as is?

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MinisterofDOOM
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Car: 1962 Corvair Monza
2005 Lincoln LS8
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1995 Ranger XL 2.3
1984 Coupe DeVille
Location: The middle of nowhere.

Re: Bought a new old car. Only 6 cylinders this time!

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:45 am

Yeah, the 2nd gen nose is one of the best looking of it's time. I don't like the more angular rear of the 2nd gen as much though.

I wanted a 2nd gen coupe for years, but the first-gen stilling grew on me. I think it's a more cohesive design, and I like that it embraces it's air-cooled weirdness.

I like them both a lot, as well as the 95s.

I'm going to drive it as-is, bit I'll also put some work into it. The previous owner did a ton of resto work, so most of what's needed now is cosmetic. Front left fender has been hit and poorly repaired, do the front bumper doesn't fit anymore. Driver seat is a bit worn. That kind of thing.

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Bubba1
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Re: Bought a new old car. Only 6 cylinders this time!

Postby Bubba1 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:22 am

The second picture confirms a well kept secret:
Corvairs attract..."pu$$y". :biggrin: j/k

One of the fun perks of Corvair ownership is random baby boomers coming up to you to chat about how much they missed their 'vairs from their youth. Such cool little cars.

Enjoy.

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Re: Bought a new old car. Only 6 cylinders this time!

Postby float_6969 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:04 am

Love it! Though when I read the title I said, "NO WAY", out loud. I should have known better...

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RicerX
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Re: Bought a new old car. Only 6 cylinders this time!

Postby RicerX » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:20 am

Freakin awesome!!!

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MinisterofDOOM
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Location: The middle of nowhere.

Re: Bought a new old car. Only 6 cylinders this time!

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:27 pm

Some updates for folks without Facebook:

Engine cleaned up, tuned, and put back together. That is the stock location for the spare. It makes a great toolbox holder as well.
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The rear axle and suspension, driver side head, and exhaust. That metal duct is for the heater core; instead of heating cabin air with hot coolant, it uses hot air off each head. The ducting should be rubber hose, but I haven't had a chance to replace it (the heater core isn't easy to get to).
Image

Closer view of the head and diff, with the hot air ducting removed. You can see the intake manifold above the painted valve cover. The diagonal straight bar running from the red flashlight up toward the right above the heater duct flange is the throttle linkage. It comes out on the driver side of the engine bay where it connects at the right side of the driver side carb, and links with the cross-bar that connects to the passenger side carb (all of this can be seen in that enginebay photo). The carbs are both the same, they're just rotated 180* from each-other.
The exhaust is an aftermarket setup with a glasspack and resonator on each side. Stock exhaust was a single muffler/tip on the passenger side, with a crossover in front of (toward the transaxle) the engine. No crossover pipe with this setup (though some people add it, and I've given it some thought).
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Transaxle (actually semi-separate transmission and differential). The Trans is on the left, forwardmost of the powertrain stack. It's VERY tiny. The diff is on the right, between the trans and engine. It's also tiny. No CV joints here, just universal joints with easy-to-replace bushings. You can see the stamping on the diff showing the configuration (HB in this case: 3.55 without positraction) and manufacture date (6th day of June 1962). Really early models like mine have drain plugs for both trans and diff; you can see them facing each-other on the lower near corners of each (the diff's just below and left of that stamping). Also visible is the forward part of the same angled throttle linkage. It connects at that stamped Z-bar where the forward action of the pedal is reversed before it links to the carb. The oil is all coming from the seal for the transmission input shaft, which you can see along with the stock shift coupler (the cylinder that looks kind of like a U-joint that disappears into the trans housing just left/ahead of the oily mess). Stock shift couplers have rubber isolator bushings between the actual input shaft and the section of shaft that goes forward to the shifter. This reduces shifter vibration, but makes things REALLY sloppy, especially as the rubber wears. Billet (bushing-less) or nylon bushing models exist which tighten things up a lot at the expense of a little shifter vibration, and I'll probably witch to one of those when I replace that seal.
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Here's the car after its first car wash. Front bumper still doesn't fit as the driver side fender is collapsed at the front corner from a collision (before I bought it). Once that's fixed I'll put the bumper back on. There are very very very rare split bumpers that were made by a couple companies and look great, but I doubt I'll find any for anything resembling a reasonable price.
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And last night in the snow! One of the weird quirks of a rear-engine car is that instead of engine heat thawing the hood, the cold winter air over the hood freezes any rain and snow just doesn't melt off, so you want to brush it if it's light or you'll just get a windshield full as soon as you start driving.
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MikeRL411
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Re: Bought a new old car. Only 6 cylinders this time!

Postby MikeRL411 » Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:33 am

Don't forget the oil cooler assembly! It's near the rear of the engine compartment ad covered with a sheet metal plate. Blow it out periodically to clear the fins and keep the engine running cool, oil and air over the finned cylinders are all that cools the engine.

Further caution, oil capacity is 3 and a half quarts, not 4. If over filled, the excess oil will be forced up to and gum up the distributor. It will also over pressure the engine oil temperature sender's seal on the engine block and coat your car's rear with fine oil and dirt mist. Also, your heater will stink.
There used to be finned cast aluminum after market oil pans that upped oil capacity to 4 quarts. They also had the boss for the head temperature sensor undrilled. The recommendation was to clip a VW temp sensor to one of the middle cylinder cooling fins and not to drill out the pan boss.

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MinisterofDOOM
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Posts: 34204
Joined: Wed May 19, 2004 5:51 pm
Car: 1962 Corvair Monza
2005 Lincoln LS8
Former:
1995 Q45t
1993 Maxima GXE
1995 Ranger XL 2.3
1984 Coupe DeVille
Location: The middle of nowhere.

Re: Bought a new old car. Only 6 cylinders this time!

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:25 pm

Thanks for the tips! You a former (or current?) Corvair owner?

There are still a couple types of finned oil pans and valve covers available, so I will probably switch to those at some point.

I thought it was 4.5 quarts plus a bit for the filter? Mine doesn't leak much (pan gasket is good, surprisingly!) and it had had a fresh oil change right before I bought it so I haven't had to change the oil yet. I just drained some to verify it had been changed, then added it back and checked the dipstick, which is right in the middle.

I'll definitely pull off the head shrouds in spring and do a nice cleaning of the oil cooler and head/cylinder fins before things warm up. Right now, a high temp is 45, so I'm not too worried about cooling. No knocking or pinging even on ethanol-free midgrade in these temps.

MikeRL411
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Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:46 pm
Car: 1997J30T, 1967RL411, 1990240SX

Re: Bought a new old car. Only 6 cylinders this time!

Postby MikeRL411 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:14 am

Former owner, bought my 1964 Corvair from Seibu Motors, Yokohama Japan and had it delivered to Cheyenne Wyoming. One option I seriously considered was Right hand drive and metric speedometer. Yes, it was an option on the order sheet!

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MinisterofDOOM
Moderator
Posts: 34204
Joined: Wed May 19, 2004 5:51 pm
Car: 1962 Corvair Monza
2005 Lincoln LS8
Former:
1995 Q45t
1993 Maxima GXE
1995 Ranger XL 2.3
1984 Coupe DeVille
Location: The middle of nowhere.

Re: Bought a new old car. Only 6 cylinders this time!

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:36 am

That's pretty cool! I didn't realize they had that much presence outside North America. A metric 'Vair would be unique for sure.


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