66 corvair conv body sag

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monzadon
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:35 am

66 corvair conv body sag

Unread post by monzadon » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:04 am

I just bought a 66 corvair conv and it has body sag and the doors won't close right, the rockers look good, what do I need to look for and how can I correct this problem?

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Danny Joe
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Location: Toney, Al (just outside Huntsville)

Re: 66 corvair conv body sag

Unread post by Danny Joe » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:24 am

Check the floors for rust-through. The rockers are drains for the cowl vents, water from them travels the entire length and exits in front of the back tires. They are known to become plugged with leaves and rust the rocker panels from the inside. Try poking with a knife or screwdriver on the bottom side of the rockers to locate any weak spots. Also there could be rust weakening the join between the rocker and A-pillar. Something is rusted Very badly when you have body sag. You can also try jacking the body up in the front, center and rear while observing to see exactly where the body is flexing. You can also open the doors and watch while somebody else stands or jumps on the door sills.
'64 Spyder Convertible
'63 Rampside (to be Rotisseried)
Toney, Alabama (just outside Huntsville)

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terribleted
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Re: 66 corvair conv body sag

Unread post by terribleted » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:56 am

Be sure it is sagging. Doors not closing properly could be the result of badly aligned doors. Open a door about 6 inches with the top down. Grab under the bottom rear of the door and pull vigorously up and down while watching the windshield post for movement. It should move up and down is concert with you pulling on the door. Any movement not in synch or forward an backward indicates weak structure. Jack the body from the forward jackpoint (roughly under the door hinge post) and watch for the nose to sag forward of the jack. Jack the car at the rear jackpoint and watch the door gap at the top rear of the door grow as you jack. Some gap growth is pretty normal but in excess of around 1/4" is not.

Once you have verified the body has structural problems I suggest find a better car to fool with. If you insist on fiddling with a structurally compromised car then you need to find out where the real issues are. Investigation would center on rocker panels and front and rear vertical door posts. Start removing paint and filler to expose rust. Use a magnet and dig away where it does not stick. If it is truly compromised you will find rust. Keep in mind that the Corvair rocker panel actually has 3 main structural pieces, the outer panel (very visible) the inner panel (somewhat visible) and the central beam (not visible strong steel beam that runs front to back down the center of the rocker). Generally repair involves replacing the outer and center pieces of rocker (as well as fabricating significant parts of the door hinge posts). The center rocker piece is not produced and will have to be fabricated. I have used 3x5 1/8 wall steel tubing cut lengthwise and bent to form a suitable replacement. This is a very involved process and if the car needs this work it likely has very significant rust elsewhere as well.
Corvair guy since 1982. I have personally restored at least 20 Vairs, many of them restored ground up.
https://www.facebook.com/tedsautorestoration/

Located in Snellville, Georgia

monzadon
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:35 am

Re: 66 corvair conv body sag

Unread post by monzadon » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:33 pm

Thanks for the info, somebody has already fabricated the outer rockers, I think I need to cut them off and check the inner, I have 38 years of heavy collision experience and can pretty much repair anything

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terribleted
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Re: 66 corvair conv body sag

Unread post by terribleted » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:09 pm

monzadon wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:33 pm
Thanks for the info, somebody has already fabricated the outer rockers, I think I need to cut them off and check the inner, I have 38 years of heavy collision experience and can pretty much repair anything
The problem is that if the rockers are bad there is often bad corrosion between layers of unibody. There are no new parts available and good rust free sections can be hard to find. I have been doing collision and heavy restoration work for over 40 years. I have also been redoing Corvairs since the mid 80's IF I had a late model convertible that was structurally saggy I would not do a repair. I have done a few with good structural results, but, the effort to repair this type damage and end up with a structurally ok but still rusty car (it is normally not realistic at all to get all the rust) is simply not worth it to me. I would sell and spend my time, money, and effort on other areas of a better car. You could strip and repair an entire body with some significant damage in the time it takes to do a couple rocker panels.
Corvair guy since 1982. I have personally restored at least 20 Vairs, many of them restored ground up.
https://www.facebook.com/tedsautorestoration/

Located in Snellville, Georgia

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