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aircooled SuperDork
9/13/11 1:19 p.m.

If you look at the car again get the info off the VIN tag and the FIsher Body tag. Take a pic (maybe etch it with a piece of paper) or just write the info down.

The VIN is located in the engine compartment, left side frame rail, near the battery. The body tag is located in the engine compartment, rear frame rail, right side. Both may be covered in grease.

If its a real Corsa Turbo, the VIN will start with 107.

The body tag should have a 4 with a O after it in the info area:


The turbo engine is very basic, but funky cool in that way. Not as fast as you would think (good on hills though), the 140 4-carb engine will drive faster. The turbo engine is also not really the best choice for a daily driver pretty bad gas mileage and kind of quirky. They can be modified pretty easily though. As long as the bottom end of the engine is good you can make pretty good power with a more modern turbo, bigger carb, FI, wastgate etc.

Regarding the American Boxer 5 speed mentioned. That has been out of production for a long time, they are very hard to find and rather expensive. It also had a number of issues. I have #7 of 15 or so made. I love it, but it has been a pain in the wallet.

Vigo Dork
9/13/11 3:18 p.m.
Not as fast as you would think (good on hills though), the 140 4-carb engine will drive faster. The turbo engine is also not really the best choice for a daily driver pretty bad gas mileage and kind of quirky.

It would probably drive miles better if it had a properly-sized turbo on it, like a gt2860. That would make 100hp over stock and feel like you bolted 2 more liters on instead of a big laggy turbo.

Also, if you weren't limiting boost with an inlet restrictor you'd have a cooler intake charge at a given psi, so you could probably run a lot more timing with a proper setup. Honestly, with the amount of room and the ease of access in that engine compartment it doesnt look very hard to fabricate a WAAAAAAY better induction setup all the way from the air filter to the cylinder head.

Graefin10 HalfDork
9/13/11 6:07 p.m.

I wonder what you would have if you used the 4 carb. engine with a proper intake manifold, modern turbo, wastgate, and ignition system.

I bought and sold many cars during my college years. Many of them were Brit. sports cars and even one Mk. 1 Jag. Often, I'd have a sale on one of them which would leave me with no ride. There was a used car lot not too far from my parents house so 3 times I had to go there for a new ride and came back with 1st. generation Corvairs. I actually liked them and the handling only caught me out once. I went over a hill and left the ground and when it came down it did a very long tank slapper. Scared the crap out of me. I also did a complete engine rebuild on a 2nd. generation 2 carb. model. I was amazed at how strong that one was. I've wanted one of those ever since but never found a decent one for the money.

Jim Pettengill
Jim Pettengill HalfDork
9/14/11 12:24 a.m.

Subie won't work, Corvairs run backwards like earlier Hondas. You'd have 4-speeds in reverse.

The Super Turbo Air was the early model 2-carb "performance" engine, i.e. 98hp, 102hp, 110 hp, depending on year and displacement. They dropped the Super Turbo Air designation with the late models, '65 - '69. Source: factory option sheets, reproduced in 'The Corvair Decade" by Tony Fiore.

AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/14/11 7:40 a.m.

Vigo, you are correct but would then run into pistons and connecting rods that are not strong enough, as well as a cooling system that was marginal for the original output and would certainly be overwhelmed if you ran max boost for more than a few seconds.

here's a cool speech by one of the Corvair development guys back in the day

pres589 Dork
9/14/11 7:57 a.m.

That chrome pipe in Vigo's picture, the one with the right angle and etc going on... is that the "intake manifold"? Did they really siamese all three jugs into a single inlet port, or is there more going on that covers hide from casual view? I've never touched one of these cars and they seem quite interesting.

AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/14/11 12:07 p.m.

In reply to pres589:

yes, that chrome pipe is carrying air/fuel mixture from the turbo to the heads. there is an "intake manifold" cast into each head, which on the turbo and non-140hp engines has a single carburetor (or turbo intake crossover) mounting pad on it. the 140hp engines got larger valves and two carbs per head.

BITD someone got smart and milled off the cast intake, and made some bolt-on manifolds to accept the three-barrel webers from the porsche 911.

some people have had great success using the 140 heads in turbo applications using current materials and control systems. EFI, water/air IC, piston coatings, etc.

aircooled SuperDork
9/14/11 1:37 p.m.
Vigo wrote: It would probably drive miles better if it had a properly-sized turbo on it, like a gt2860...

This is actually one of the things that makes Corvairs very interesting for engineer / tinkering types. There are all sorts of different approaches that can be taken with them and all sorts of variables to deal with that aren't in other engines / cars.

The turbo engine are especially good for messing with, the design is a VERY early turbo design (2nd mass produced turbo car ever, just behind the Oldsmobile Cutless F85 Jetfire) and have lots of room for improvement. Just do a quick search, you can come up with all sorts of variations, here's one with an intercooler and blow through carbs!:

Hey don't worry about the cooling issue, who runs at full throttle for much of a distance anyway Besides you can just add a water tanks and dump water mist into the fan intake.

Vigo Dork
9/14/11 11:39 p.m.

When you say add water tanks i assume what you really mean is reroute your windshield sprayers like i just did for my caravan's intercooler..

kreb GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/21/11 4:10 p.m.

I'm thinking about purchasing one of these beauties, and have decided that although the second generation were the better cars, the first generation gets my aesthetic fires burning more. Now the 1964 models had the anti-jacking built in, but the 1965 on non-swing axle cars were still superior. Is there a chance that the later suspension is a bolt-on to the earlier chasis? Taken a step further, the really trick setup would seem to be a late-model turbo motor and suspension in the earlier chasis. In Northern California there's tons of old Vairs floating around, so finding the pieces wouldn't seem to be too hard....

car39 HalfDork
12/21/11 4:42 p.m.
pinchvalve wrote: My father's first car out of college, drove it until he literally pushed it into the junkyard with mom. .

You might want to rephrase this, if not just for Mom's sake

AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/21/11 4:49 p.m.

In reply to kreb:

yes, there's a chance. no, that chance is not greater than zero percent.

the key to early model handling is probably to lower it as much as possible, then make it uncomfortably stiff with spring rate.

alex SuperDork
12/21/11 5:37 p.m.
Vigo wrote:

Don't forget about the right angle in the fan belt.

kreb GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/21/11 5:46 p.m.

In reply to alex: Your post brings up another question: Is there enough vertical space in there to fabricate a custom fan mounting and shroud that's configured like Porsches? That would fix the belt arangement, and if one combined it with improved intakes, it could be a HP boost as well.

kreb GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/21/11 5:59 p.m.

Ah, google is my friend. Look at the engine shots in here:

SyntheticBlinkerFluid Dork
12/21/11 11:34 p.m.

Everyone crybabies about the fanbelt. It's not a problem. Always carry a spare in case of a total fanbelt failure, but otherwise it doesn't happen all that often. I've been driving Corvairs since god knows when and I still haven't popped my fanbelt cherry.

I've seen worse belt angles on riding lawnmowers.

AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/22/11 10:04 a.m.

problem with porsche fan on corvair engine is that they spin opposite directions. some people have used the fan from an old Austin product (not sure which) on their corvairs. another "throw money at it" solution could be to adapt a Porsche G50 transaxle, then get a reverse-rotation kit for the engine (cam, distributor drive, oil pump?). i believe someone in the corvair world is designing a proper vertical fan, but don't recall who and don't know the status.

triumphcorvair New Reader
12/22/11 10:18 a.m.

Angry, I believe Tom Knoblach @ American Flat Six has re-engineered the vertical fan. Here's the link http://www.americanflat6.com/products.html

Jim Pettengill
Jim Pettengill HalfDork
12/22/11 11:13 a.m.

Belts are not nearly the problem they are portrayed- use good quality belts from the 'Vair specialists, keep it adjusted properly, and keep 2 spares. If one does let go, it will almost always hit the throttle linkage, which will cause the gas pedal to slap your foot and tell you to look at the gen/fan light. Once you've changed one, it takes all of about 5 minutes to put on a new belt.

And with good belts, it won't happen often. Back in the day we ran 15 SCCA stage rallies with a Corvair turbo (this was between 1975 and 1985), mostly Nationals, and never lost a belt.

On vertical fans, once the SCCA loosened up the production class rules around 30 years ago, someone sold a vertical fan setup that some of the Stinger racers used in DP - I've slept since then, so I don't remember who.

triumphcorvair New Reader
12/22/11 11:51 a.m.

Bob Coffin made (makes) a vertical fan setup.

spitfirebill SuperDork
12/22/11 12:58 p.m.
SyntheticBlinkerFluid wrote: I've been driving Corvairs since god knows when and I still haven't popped my fanbelt cherry.


iceracer SuperDork
12/23/11 10:08 a.m.

I have a friend who has been a Corvair fan(atic) for years. He now has a highly modified normaly aspirated engine. A few things I know, he uses Rabbit connecting rods, modified Porsche three carb per side, with re-ported heads.. He runs the stock fan with a stiffer tensioner. Also a front mounted oil cooler. The suspension is also highly modified. It is very fast.

81cpcamaro Reader
12/23/11 10:22 a.m.

You can always repower the Corvair like an LS7: http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3180748/1966-chevrolet-corvair

There are a couple Corvairs that still run in CP at nationals.

6 http://www.gotcone.com/pgallery/2011_scca_tirerack_solo_nationals/cp/img_4994/

99 http://www.gotcone.com/pgallery/2011_scca_tirerack_solo_nationals/cp/img_5064/

theenico New Reader
12/23/11 11:29 a.m.

That's Charlie Clark (green) and Dick Berger (blue). I built the improved 5 link rear for Dick's car based on Charlie's car. I worked for Charlie for a few years and if IIRC Charlie is who first made the mini fan based upright fan that was then copied by Clark's. Charlie started running the green car in the early 70's in DP and then in GT3 and finally retired it from road racing in 2001. It is Solo only now.

Another interesting tidbit. Charlie is one of only a few people who have been to every Solo Nationals.

AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/23/11 1:12 p.m.

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