61lakewood
61lakewood New Reader
Oct. 12, 2010 6:59 p.m.

Greetings! New here, and recently purchased a 1961 corvair wagon with no powertrain. I want to put a modern power system in it but don't want to lose the back seat. Would like to stay rear/mid engine if possible. Any ideas? Thanks, Roger

skruffy
skruffy SuperDork
Oct. 12, 2010 7:07 p.m.

Well, my first thought it to put whatever is supposed to be in there back in. Then I go subaru, porsche, and LS1, though I don't think you can keep the back seat with the latter.

I don't really know anything about corvairs

SVreX SuperDork
Oct. 12, 2010 7:20 p.m.

I'm thinking Subie. They'll mate up to VW stuff, which should mean they'll mate to Corvair.

Look up 914Driver. He did it (almost). IIRC, he channeled the floorpans onto a Buick chassis and then set up a smallblock. The project was never finished, but far enough along that most of the engineering challenges had been addressed.

AngryCorvair SuperDork
Oct. 12, 2010 7:42 p.m.

fiero transaxle with something cooler than a 2.8. transverse packaging plus manual transmission!

Mikey52_1
Mikey52_1 Reader
Oct. 12, 2010 7:43 p.m.
AngryCorvair wrote: fiero transaxle with something cooler than a 2.8. transverse packaging plus manual transmission!

And there you have it!!!

mad_machine SuperDork
Oct. 12, 2010 7:44 p.m.

I would do the subie transplant.. the only problem is you have a wagon.. the sedan would be easier as you would not have to worry about engine height

SVreX SuperDork
Oct. 12, 2010 7:58 p.m.

Engine height should not be a big issue with a Subie.

Wow- can't believe I overlooked Angry. 914Driver's Lakewood started in Angry's hands.

Not too many people around here know more about Corvairs (and modifying them) than AngryCorvair.

Marty! Dork
Oct. 12, 2010 9:20 p.m.

Nothing to add except post some pics please! I love me some Corvair.

M2Pilot Reader
Oct. 12, 2010 10:03 p.m.

In the late 60's or early 70's someone sold a kit to put a small block chevy in the rear seat area of Corvairs. One of the docs where I worked had one. Never rode in it but the Corvette mechanic at the local chebby dealership said it was fast as hell. That's about all I remember about it.

Knurled HalfDork
Oct. 12, 2010 10:13 p.m.

Find a C3 Corvette frame and plop the Corvair body on it.

You'd have to drive from the backseat. But as an upside, since the firewall would have to be moved anyway, you could use some of those sweet Shoenfeld 180-degree bundle-o-snakes headers that collect over the transmission and spit out over to the right.

This is probably more work that you'd like to do.

914Driver SuperDork
Oct. 13, 2010 6:01 a.m.

http://v8vairs.com/images/DoverJay/JayDover.htm

Oct. 13, 2010 6:38 a.m.

Congratulations- the Lakewoods are very cool cars. I've had a few slip through my fingers, though I did manage to land a Rampside (about the only thing cooler than a Lakewood, in my opinion. Forward Control!).

Corvair drivetrains can still be had dirt cheap. And as far as I know any 60-63 drivetrain should work in your car. '64 was also considered an "early", but they have a different rear suspension. I bought a non-seized, good compression engine for my Rampside for $175.

Oct. 13, 2010 6:41 a.m.

Incidentally, a member of our local Corvair club has converted his stock Corvair engine from carburetors to FI, with dual throttle bodies and electronic ignition. Its an automatic convertible, and he still manages low 20 mpg fuel economy, and averages about 150-200 miles per day of driving (he's a computer sales technician). Its his only car.

SVreX SuperDork
Oct. 13, 2010 4:24 p.m.
M2Pilot wrote: In the late 60's or early 70's someone sold a kit to put a small block chevy in the rear seat area of Corvairs. One of the docs where I worked had one. Never rode in it but the Corvette mechanic at the local chebby dealership said it was fast as hell. That's about all I remember about it.

V8 swaps are pretty simple in Corvairs, but he said he wanted to keep it below the existing deck and keep the back seat.

The easiest V8 swap usually involves flipping the diff to face forward, which puts the V8 sitting where the back seat used to be (and offers very nice weight distribution at the same time). Kennedy makes adapter plates for an awful lot of engines.

Was the Lakewood mid-engined? I though it was rear-engined like the rest of the Corvairs.

wlkelley3 Dork
Oct. 13, 2010 6:52 p.m.
SVreX wrote: Was the Lakewood mid-engined? I though it was rear-engined like the rest of the Corvairs.

It was.

JThw8 SuperDork
Oct. 13, 2010 7:21 p.m.

Subie Subie Subie.....having finally done a conversion I will never take an aircooled VW or Corvair seriously again without the swap.

61lakewood
61lakewood New Reader
Oct. 21, 2010 2:20 p.m.

Picked up a '78 malibu, so front engine, full frame rwd. Let the fun begin! (appologies to the purists!) Roger

Mikey52_1
Mikey52_1 HalfDork
Oct. 21, 2010 5:12 p.m.
61lakewood wrote: Picked up a '78 malibu, so front engine, full frame rwd. Let the fun begin! (appologies to the purists!) Roger

Purists? Where'd you find purists? We were mostly egging you on to do something really silly like put it on a Malibu chassis...

61lakewood
61lakewood New Reader
Oct. 22, 2010 10:14 a.m.

The stories I could tell of "sillier" things I have done....This one looks easy?! Time will tell... Roger

AngryCorvair SuperDork
Oct. 22, 2010 12:56 p.m.

In reply to 914Driver:

did your lakewood go to the scrapper, or to someone who's gonna scrape the rest of the fetus?

car39 Reader
Oct. 22, 2010 2:41 p.m.

A friend bought a sedan that was coverted to an early Toronado drivetrain. It was fast, but the suspension was completely off, and it was scary as heck. A tuner shop was able to get it to the point where you could drive it without constantly trying to swap ends.

AutoXR Reader
Oct. 22, 2010 7:00 p.m.

The easiest early swap will be a Subaru motor and Vw tranny, due to suspension pickup points.

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