EvanB Dork
July 15, 2010 8:49 p.m.

So if I had a Corvair (which I don't) and wanted to swap a Subaru engine in (which I do) how feasible would that be?

Would some louvers punched in the "grille" be enough to cool a radiator in the front?

How about using the Subaru transmission with the rear driveshaft input blocked off and flipping the ring gear? Although five rearward gears would be fun for about five minutes.

AngryCorvair SuperDork
July 15, 2010 10:07 p.m.

How about mounting the sube powertrain mid-engine/RWD? That's what I'd do.

Most people who put water-pumpers into Corvairs cut the front valence, below the bumper and between the "frame rails" of the unibody, and construct a duct to seal this hole to the front of the radiator core. With a small air dam attached to the pinch weld where the front valence meets the trunk floor, there's plenty of airflow when moving. A Taurus SHO electric fan or similar will take care of business when sitting still. Vent the frunk to let the hot air out, either through the wheelwells, the trunk floor, or for super bad-ass points, through the lid.

with the surrounding panel blacked out, the opening in the front valence is pretty subtle. with a chrome bumper above it, most people wouldn't even see it.

pimpm3 New Reader
July 16, 2010 1:54 a.m.

The problem is the transmission. A corvair engine spins the oposite direction of most cars making it difficult to use the transmission and keep the car rear engined. A porsche tranny would work but is expensive. The most reasonable path would be to use a built up VW bus transmission. They make adapter plates for the subaru engine and it would allow you to keep the car rear engined so you can retain the rear seats.

I have been thinking about this swap myself because corvairs are relativly cheap compared to other cars of that vintage, and the second gen ones look awsome and are light and have a fairly sophisticated for the era suspension.

ddavidv SuperDork
July 16, 2010 5:30 a.m.

Subaru H6 bolted to a VW bus trans. That would be uber sweet.

Grtechguy SuperDork
July 16, 2010 6:29 a.m.
spitfirebill
July 16, 2010 7:24 a.m.

Could the Corvair transmission be turned around and hooked up to a Subaru engine in mid engine form?

Streetwiseguy Reader
July 16, 2010 8:14 a.m.
spitfirebill wrote: Could the Corvair transmission be turned around and hooked up to a Subaru engine in mid engine form?

The corvair trans is just a saginaw 4 speed with a hollow mainshaft so the input can come from the wrong end. Bolt a bellhousing to the front, install a normal input shaft, bolt your engine in where the rear seat used to be. Stock trans, stock suspension V8 Vairs were not uncommon.

JThw8 SuperDork
July 16, 2010 9:09 a.m.
EvanB wrote: How about using the Subaru transmission with the rear driveshaft input blocked off and flipping the ring gear? Although five rearward gears would be fun for about five minutes.

If it were that simple you'd see a lot more subie 5 speeds in VWs. The ring gear cant be flipped on the subie trans. Something to do with the gears being directionally cut so they wont work on the opposite side like a VW. There are some internal case clearnace issues too but those can be fixed.

There is a company now making proper reversed ring gears for the subie trans but it is $$$. You send them your core and a large check and they send you back a reversed trans.

aircooled SuperDork
July 16, 2010 10:12 a.m.
ddavidv wrote: Subaru H6 bolted to a VW bus trans. That would be uber sweet.

Not that easy. The transaxle is part of the suspension in a Corvair (lower arms attach to it, upper arms are the driveshafts). There are conversions for putting Corvair engines in VW buses, but going the other way would involve rebuilding the rear suspension (been done, but not super simple).

A mid engined Subaru powered Corvair would interesting, but for the same amount of work you could have had a V8.

I personally like the concept of dropping a MazdaSpeed 3 drivetrain in the back seat, the wheel track is the same, I have measured...

GTwannaB New Reader
July 16, 2010 3:30 p.m.

I always thought a Honda swap would be the deal for the Corvair. Don't the Honda B engines spin the same way as the Corvair.

docuome
July 24, 2011 11:20 a.m.

In reply to EvanB: I'm really interested in this thread. Here's what I have in mind for my 1966 convertible. Subaru 2.5l in the rear, Porsche 914 5 speed trans, cable shifter. What to do with the rear suspension? Graft rear trailing arms from a sand rail supplier ( variety of lengths) to the original corvair trailing arm. Like VW IRS without the torsion bars. Then would not have to bolt to bottom of tranny. Radiator could be front or rear, yet I'd like not to run pipes forward or lose front trunk. I've been spending way too much time thinking about this. Thoughts?

SVreX SuperDork
July 24, 2011 12:06 p.m.

Anyone who is REALLY serious about this- I've got a '67 Convertible (complete, project) AND a '95 SVX parts car with a great H-6 motor in it.

I've got an offer for the 'Vair of $1500. I'll give it to a GRMer and INCLUDE the SVX for the same price. There's enough parts on the SVX to zero out the entire deal.

If it helps, I've also got a FWD Subby manual trans.

But you'd better move quickly. I've got about a week to decide on the offer on the 'Vair.

plance1 Dork
July 24, 2011 4:23 p.m.
SVreX wrote: Anyone who is REALLY serious about this- I've got a '67 Convertible (complete, project) AND a '95 SVX parts car with a great H-6 motor in it. I've got an offer for the 'Vair of $1500. I'll give it to a GRMer and INCLUDE the SVX for the same price. There's enough parts on the SVX to zero out the entire deal. If it helps, I've also got a FWD Subby manual trans. But you'd better move quickly. I've got about a week to decide on the offer on the 'Vair.

Bump! seems pretty generous! I hope someone takes you up on your offer and posts some pics of the car when they're done.

Osterkraut SuperDork
July 24, 2011 4:54 p.m.

Sort of random, but what would life be like with a Corvair as a three season daily driver? I kinda sorta really want one.

AngryCorvair SuperDork
July 24, 2011 6:22 p.m.

In reply to Osterkraut:

how much highway driving would you do with it, and at what speed? stock corvairs have no overdrive option so if you're going to do 80 mph you're looking at around 3600+ rpm depending on rear axle ratio and tire size. they handle great on radial tires with the factory HD suspension springs cut by one coil (but I think they could use more bar), they have chevelle brakes but they weigh 1000# less than a chevelle. with the air-cooled powertrain in the rear, even in summer heat the cockpit doesn't get too bad.

i'd rock one. you're probably surprised to hear that.

AngryCorvair SuperDork
July 24, 2011 6:25 p.m.

oh, and there are well-documented fixes for all the weak links.

July 24, 2011 7:28 p.m.
AngryCorvair wrote: stock corvairs have no overdrive option so if you're going to do 80 mph you're looking at around 3600+ rpm depending on rear axle ratio and tire size.

Damn! That sounds nice! That is about what our '01 GTI does.

plance1 Dork
July 24, 2011 7:44 p.m.

All I know is corvairs were great handling cars, I like the looks of the earlier ones but the later ones were better though.

rustyvw HalfDork
July 24, 2011 8:38 p.m.

I don't have a tach in mine, but It doesn't seem to rev very high on the highway. I think heavy duty springs and better shocks would make a world of difference though.

It would make a decent year round car though. I wouldn't hesitate to drive it in any weather.

fasted58
fasted58 Dork
July 24, 2011 10:13 p.m.

fires would keep the homes warm and free from evil

... and GRMers would keep the forums free from your canoe

rotard Reader
July 24, 2011 10:43 p.m.

I kind of want a Corvair, but I haven't seen any good ones for sale around me.

AngryCorvair SuperDork
July 25, 2011 8:10 a.m.
ditchdigger wrote:
AngryCorvair wrote: stock corvairs have no overdrive option so if you're going to do 80 mph you're looking at around 3600+ rpm depending on rear axle ratio and tire size.
Damn! That sounds nice! That is about what our '01 GTI does.

the way i look at it is 3600 - 4000 rpm is no big deal in my probe GT that has a 7k redline and a fuel cutoff at around 7500. but this air-cooled pushrod engine has a redline of around 5200 rpm.

IDK, maybe i'm just looking for an excuse to build something else. i've owned 24 cars, and 12 have been corvairs.

AngryCorvair SuperDork
July 25, 2011 8:17 a.m.
rustyvw wrote: I don't have a tach in mine, but It doesn't seem to rev very high on the highway. I think heavy duty springs and better shocks would make a world of difference though. It would make a decent year round car though. I wouldn't hesitate to drive it in any weather.

another huge, and i mean huge difference to ride quality, is replacing the original seats with something from the last 20 years or so. the OE seats are constructed like a 1950s couch, with very bouncy metal springs covered by a little bit of padding and some slippery vinyl. my '02 challenge vair had recaros from a '90s Opel Astra and my '03/'04 challenge V8Vair had OE pontiac fiero seats. a cloth seat with some side bolster to hold me in place, plus the reduced bounce of the modern seat construction, totally transformed both cars. seats are now #1 on my retrofit list.

Osterkraut SuperDork
July 25, 2011 10:39 a.m.
AngryCorvair wrote: In reply to Osterkraut: how much highway driving would you do with it, and at what speed? stock corvairs have no overdrive option so if you're going to do 80 mph you're looking at around 3600+ rpm depending on rear axle ratio and tire size. they handle great on radial tires with the factory HD suspension springs cut by one coil (but I think they could use more bar), they have chevelle brakes but they weigh 1000# less than a chevelle. with the air-cooled powertrain in the rear, even in summer heat the cockpit doesn't get too bad. i'd rock one. you're probably surprised to hear that.

Anywhere I go regularly, I've gone in a worn-out old Land Cruiser, so not much, I guess. The drive to work is all < 60mph.

Basically I have a huge boner for this car: A/C is a must, though, I'm a Bob Costas.

AngryCorvair SuperDork
July 25, 2011 1:10 p.m.

In reply to Osterkraut:

there's a pretty well-known A/C solution for these cars as well. i think it's a Vintage Air kit with a Corvair-specific mounting for the compressor. the trunk floor gets cut out, as does the lower valence, and the condenser is mounted up there. ductwork is fabbed to flow air through the condenser and out the bottom of the trunk.

http://corvaircenter.com/phorum/read.php?1,304323,304394

this guy didn't even cut the valence, he just built and "up and over" wall inside the condenser box.

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