New guy from PA first Corvair

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MikesMonza900
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New guy from PA first Corvair

Unread post by MikesMonza900 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:50 pm

Hello,

My name is Mike and I'm from North Eastern PA just picked up our first Corvair. It's a 1961 Monza 900 68,000 original miles. It runs and drives wonderful. We have always like the Corvairs and we were looking for a car that she could take to cruise nights with me and our son. I'll be restoring the body over the winter. It has some old repairs that need to be repaired the right way. Thanks for having me!
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terribleted
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Re: New guy from PA first Corvair

Unread post by terribleted » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:18 pm

Welcome
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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toytron
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Re: New guy from PA first Corvair

Unread post by toytron » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:23 pm

Welcome Mike! Nice selection.

Ed Stevenson

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Trip
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Re: New guy from PA first Corvair

Unread post by Trip » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:19 pm

Thanks for joining us! Quite a few new people from my neck of the woods the past couple weeks. I'm located in Gouldsboro PA. Black on red is my favorite combo for early model 'vairs (we Corvair nuts call 60-64's Early Models, and 65-69's Late Models).

You are going to love owning a Corvair, unbelievable how much attention they get! They put huge smiles on so many faces, mostly people who haven't seen one for many years. Also, if you are educated about Corvair history and handling, having conversations with people who are critical of the Corvair is a blast. =D No, Ralph Nader did not kill the Corvair, he extended it's production!

My wife has a 61' coupe, with rare factory AC. Does yours still have the manual choke? 1961 is the only year with manual choke. The 1960 model had the choke assembly in the air cleaner housing and it didn't work out too well so GM went to manual choke for 1961 while they got the automatic choke that ran for the rest of Corvair production designed.
Ray "Trip" Rodriguez III
Gouldsboro, PA
66 Corsa 140 coupe
65 Corsa 180 Turbocharged coupe
64 Monza Convertible
61 Air conditioned Monza coupe (Missy's)
See them here: https://tinyurl.com/ydc7txrf

Jerry Whitt
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Re: New guy from PA first Corvair

Unread post by Jerry Whitt » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:52 pm

Looks like a nice car! Getting your son involved is a very special thing. I have 4 sons and each has had a 65 Corvair. The home garage was always busy with the boys friends working on one thing or the other. Great memories. Hope you can have some of these special moments.
Jerry Whitt
ASE CERTIFIED MASTER TECHNICIAN
Retired
Hemet, Callifornia
65 Monza, purchased new
65 Corsa convertible

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bbodie52
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Re: New guy from PA first Corvair

Unread post by bbodie52 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:09 am

:welcome2: :wave: :wave: Welcome to the Corvair Forum! Congratulations on your 1961 Monza acquisition. Your Corvair appears to be amazingly all original! After more than 56 years I cannot spot any substitutions of any of the components in the engine compartment. That beautiful red interior also appears to be amazingly intact and in good condition. Our first family Corvair was a brand-new 1961 Monza coupe that was white with a red interior like yours. I was only eight years old when my parents purchased it, but that Corvair, and the 1965 Corvair Corsa convertible that replaced it four years later started me on a path with Corvairs that continues to this day. It is a pleasure to see your Corvair that has been so well-maintained and is so close to original condition!

I am somewhat familiar with Pennsylvania. I lived in Lebanon, PA from 1993 until I moved to North Carolina to assist my father in 2008. Fort Indiantown Gap was my final Air Force assignment, and I retired from the Air Force in 1996.

You should be aware of some of the unique features of the 1961 Corvair. The very first model year (1960) was essentially a prototype. There were quite a few changes implemented in the 1961 Corvair, and developmental changes continued to appear in the 1962 Corvair. Some of these changes make your 1961 engine unique, in that the distributor, fuel pump, and manual choke carburetors were all redesigned in 1962. Those 1962 changes essentially remained through the end of Corvair production in 1969. The manual choke was eliminated and only appeared in a 1961 model year. The distributor in your Corvair utilizes different internal components and a different distributor cap, and the early design was only seen in 1960-1961 Corvairs. Even the fuel pump was redesigned slightly, with later Corvairs utilizing a fuel pump with a push rod that was a different length. If you plan to drive your Corvair regularly, you need to be prepared somewhat for potential breakdowns and roadside repairs. The unique distributor and fuel pump in your 1961 can cause compatibility problems if you ever need to replace components associated with those parts. Corvair parts are already somewhat difficult to locate, and your unique distributor and fuel pump may present you with additional problems should the components in the distributor or the fuel pump ever fail. It is often a good idea to anticipate the need for roadside repairs by having a few spare parts in an emergency toolkit in the trunk. For example, a spare fuel pump is often a good idea, but if you were to purchase one you would probably also need to purchase a replacement push rod that would have to be substituted along with the fuel pump. The new distributor design is compatible with the 1961 engine. At some point you may choose to substitute the later design distributor to simplify routine tuneup procedures. Many Corvair owners choose to replace the original ignition points with an electronic breakerless ignition system, such as those produced by Crane Cams or Pertronix. But those upgrade systems are only compatible with the 1962-1969 Corvair distributor. Reduced maintenance and increased reliability can be attained by replacing your distributor with a later model distributor coupled with an electronic ignition upgrade.

You will also find that the master cylinder in your brake system is unique to the 1960-1961 Corvair. A replacement design in 1962 uses an entirely different mount. A dual master cylinder was mandated and implemented in 1967. Upgrades to earlier Corvairs to fit the dual master cylinder as a substitute for the earlier single master cylinder is possible, but only on 1962 and later Corvairs. The unique mount of the master cylinder in your Corvair does not allow substitution of the later single or dual master cylinder design.

As previously mentioned, fuel pump design was changed in 1962 and used a different push rod to drive the pump. The 1961 fuel pump rods are only 3-5/8", while 1962-1969 rods (the current design for all replacement fuel pumps) are 3-13/16". The page shown below is from the Clark's Corvair Parts online catalog. It shows the details of the new pump and push rod.

CLARK'S CORVAIR PARTS MECHANICAL FUEL PUMP OPTION (Page 65)
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http://www.corvair.com/user-cgi/catalog ... IN&page=65
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The original steel cooling fans found on 1963 and earlier Corvairs were heavy. To some extent, they acted like a flywheel and caused additional stress on the fan belt as the cooling fan fought with the crankshaft pulley as engine speeds changed. The fan belt in your Corvair will, to some extent, be exposed to less stress because of the shift characteristics of an automatic transmission which applies continuous power without the up and down shift patterns associated with the manual transmission. The lightweight magnesium cooling fan that was introduced in 1964 helped to improve fan belt reliability, and substituting the magnesium blower for the early steel blower has become a popular upgrade.

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1960-early 1961 distributor is shown on the right…
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I didn't want to get "into the weeds" too much by placing too much emphasis on small details. But owners of 1960 and 1961 Corvairs have some unique parts interchangeability issues that they should be aware of. Owning a classic car often places unique responsibilities for maintenance and upkeep on the owner, and knowledge of certain unique characteristics of your car can be helpful.

The link below will provide you with a list of useful websites that are Corvair-related. Some of the links will lead you to an extensive technical library that will allow you to download shop manuals and other technical references in Adobe Reader format at no cost. There is also a link that will help you to locate nearby CORSA (Corvair Society of America) club chapters. While the Corvair Forum can be very helpful as you work on your Corvair, having local friends and contacts in your region who are knowledgeable about the Corvair can also be very helpful. These family-friendly CORSA chapters often offer picnics, group scenic drives, technical training and assistance, car shows, and competition events that can greatly enhance your enjoyment of Corvair ownership. You will also find a list of essential Corvair parts suppliers. Clark's Corvair Parts is the biggest and oldest Corvair supplier in the world. You will find a link that can provide you with a series of videos that amount to a tour of the Clark's Corvair Parts facilities. I think you will be amazed at the quality of the reproduction components they offer — particularly the interior carpeting and re-upholstery items. Parts suppliers such as this truly make our Corvair hobby possible.

Common and Useful Corvair Websites

:link: viewtopic.php?f=225&t=6007

There are seven CORSA club chapters listed in Pennsylvania, and more in New Jersey, but if you are near Philadelphia the clubs listed below would possibly be the closest to you. These clubs also offer car shows, competition events, group scenic drives, technical training, etc.
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Philadelphia Corvair Association

:link: http://jtwiley95.wix.com/pcacorsa


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:link: http://delvalvairs.com/
Delaware Valley Corvair Club, Cinnaminson, NJ

:dontknow: I would like to encourage you to expand on your initial post and tell us more about yourself. If you can describe your personal assessment of your mechanical skills and abilities, that would help a lot. Members of the Corvair Forum love to be helpful in assisting other Corvair owners with technical support and advice, but it helps a lot if we have some understanding of your technical background and mechanical abilities, Corvair-related knowledge, etc. Also, do you have a garage to work in and hand tools, jack stands and a floor jack, etc. to support a restoration project? Helping us to know more about you will help us to write comments to you that are tailored to your needs and experience. Knowing your location is also useful, because knowing where you live can sometimes suggest possibilities.

:welcome:
Brad Bodie
Lake Chatuge, North Carolina
Image 1966 Corvair Corsa Convertible

MikesMonza900
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:29 am

Re: New guy from PA first Corvair

Unread post by MikesMonza900 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:54 am

Grymm wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:19 pm
Thanks for joining us! Quite a few new people from my neck of the woods the past couple weeks. I'm located in Gouldsboro PA. Black on red is my favorite combo for early model 'vairs (we Corvair nuts call 60-64's Early Models, and 65-69's Late Models).

You are going to love owning a Corvair, unbelievable how much attention they get! They put huge smiles on so many faces, mostly people who haven't seen one for many years. Also, if you are educated about Corvair history and handling, having conversations with people who are critical of the Corvair is a blast. =D No, Ralph Nader did not kill the Corvair, he extended it's production!

My wife has a 61' coupe, with rare factory AC. Does yours still have the manual choke? 1961 is the only year with manual choke. The 1960 model had the choke assembly in the air cleaner housing and it didn't work out too well so GM went to manual choke for 1961 while they got the automatic choke that ran for the rest of Corvair production designed.
Yes ours still has the manual choke and still works great! Nice to know we have somebody so close to us here in PA! Our good friend Tiffany who also lives close to us has 2 Corvairs. She has a 63 Corvair Van and a 67 Convertible (see picture below) and being around them made us really want one. In July our friend Tiff and her husband Paul put on an annual car show right at their house and it usually draws a big turnout of all types of cars with a few Corvairs also. Maybe next year you and your wife could bring yours along with any other Corvair friends you have local? It would be awesome to get as many Corvairs as we can! I'll give you more info if your interested.
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MikesMonza900
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Re: New guy from PA first Corvair

Unread post by MikesMonza900 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:30 am

Thanks guys for the welcome and the info!! I was kinda bummed when I found out about not being able to convert the car to a dual master cylinder. That's usually the first thing I do on a car/truck that came with a single. I have gone over our entire brake system including the e-brake and both systems are working perfectly and are in good shape so it shouldn't be an issue. Can I use the magnesium fan even though mine came with the 60-early61 fan?

As for me I've been around cars and worked on them my whole life. It's my passion. My wife has been by my side helping me for the last 19 years and now my son(6 years old) is by my side helping and he loves it!

My son helping me pull the engine on our 66 Chevy C10 pickup.
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Our 27 T Bucket we built a few years ago
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My First Car. 1972 Olds Cutlass
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Trip
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Re: New guy from PA first Corvair

Unread post by Trip » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:13 pm

My wife and I would love to attend next year, just let us know.

You can use a magnesium fan, but it has to be from a 64' if I'm not mistaken. The 65 up fan has a different size hub so it won't bolt onto your engine's top cover.

As for the dual master cylinder, you aren't really missing out on much there. Dual master conversions on Corvairs often don't work as they should, I believe the travel of the pedal assembly is a hair too short. The best thing to do IMO is to maintain your brakes properly and in the unlikely event of a failure use the parking brake. It is capable of stopping the car in a fairly reasonable distance as long as it is adjusted decently.

On that topic there is one thing you really want to watch out for in early model Corvairs: Rear wheel bearings. These are SUPER expensive so most of us manage to open them up and clean them out, replacing the old grease with new synth grease. My memory is rusty but I think your car has the easier type to do this on. The reason this is such a big deal is that if a rear wheel bearing fails catastrophically the axle can pull out of the diff, the drum off of the brakes, and you then have no brakes, no parking brake, and no drag from the engine or drivetrain. Talk about scary! Many Corvair folks have had this happen. The moral of the story is to stop driving your Corvair immediately if you hear a wheel bearing and keep it parked until it is fixed.

I'm not finding the instructions right now on how to open up and re-grease your rear wheel bearings. The bearings are not meant to be serviced this way but again if I remember correctly the 60-62 design are the significantly easier ones to do.
Ray "Trip" Rodriguez III
Gouldsboro, PA
66 Corsa 140 coupe
65 Corsa 180 Turbocharged coupe
64 Monza Convertible
61 Air conditioned Monza coupe (Missy's)
See them here: https://tinyurl.com/ydc7txrf

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bbodie52
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Re: New guy from PA first Corvair

Unread post by bbodie52 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:12 pm

Grymm wrote:You can use a magnesium fan, but it has to be from a 64' if I'm not mistaken. The 65 up fan has a different size hub so it won't bolt onto your engine's top cover...
The 1964 blower would fit on your 1961 hub. The 1965-69 hub is larger in diameter and only matches the magnesium blower from those same model years. If you are considering changing to a magnesium blower, you should check the condition of the hub bearing. It is possible that it may be the original with 50+-year-old grease! If the bearing feels rough or is noisy it may be due for a replacement. 1964 magnesium blowers are becoming harder to find because of the popularity of retrofitting early Corvairs with the magnesium blower. But if you were going to replace the bearing assembly I believe you can substitute the 1965 design in your engine top cover and then make use of in 1965 or later magnesium blower. (I just noticed that this topic is mentioned on the Clark's Corvair Parts catalog page below. It states that the 1960-1964 blower bearing shafts have a diameter of 5/8 inch, while the 1965-69 Corvair bearing assemblies have a shaft diameter of 3/4 inch. Apparently you would have to substitute a used engine top cover for a 1965 or later Corvair in order to fit a 1965-69 bearing assembly and a 1965-69 magnesium blower to your 1961 Corvair).

Used magnesium blowers can probably be obtained through the Corvair Ranch in Gettysburg Pennsylvania. They are very knowledgeable and have a large supply of used Corvair parts. They should be able to confirm that you can upgrade to a 1965 or later hub and bearing assembly in your early Corvair engine, which then opens the possibility of fitting in 1965 or later magnesium blower, which are easier to come by. Corvair Ranch employees should be able to advise you on component availability and component substitution in order to achieve your goal of installing a magnesium blower on your 1961 Corvair.

:link: http://www.corvairranch.com/
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1079 Bon-Ox Road, ​Gettysburg, ​PA. 17325 USA
​Phone: 717-624-2805
fax us by the same number... ask us to hook up the machine
​Email: findit@theranch.today
Our hours are Monday thru Friday 9 to 5, Saturday 9 to 12
or contact us for an appointment.


:link: http://www.corvair.com/user-cgi/catalog ... IN&page=10
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Grymm wrote:...The best thing to do IMO is to maintain your brakes properly and in the unlikely event of a failure use the parking brake. It is capable of stopping the car in a fairly reasonable distance as long as it is adjusted decently...
The brake system in your aging Corvair needs to be monitored. The condition of the aging seals in the master cylinder and wheel cylinders is certainly questionable. All should be inspected regularly. The flexible brake hoses also should be monitored, as they can swell on the inside and restrict brake fluid flow. Of course the drums and brake components should be inspected and repaired, as needed, and the brake fluid should be flushed and replaced every few years. (Brake fluid is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture from the air over time. Excess water build-up in the fluid can rust steel brake lines and cause corrosive damage to the internal wheel and master cylinders. Moisture in the brake fluid will also lower the boiling point, which can result in early brake fade as the brakes get hot).
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The parking brake assembly is also critically important — not only as an emergency brake but because the Powerglide-equipped Corvair has no PARK position to lock the transmission when you park the vehicle. You must rely completely on the parking brake system to secure the vehicle when it is parked. The front and rear cables and the pulleys should be inspected periodically and lubricated as needed. A frayed cable can separate without warning and possibly leave your Corvair rolling down a hill or driveway if it snaps.

Incidentally, if you ever consider upgrading your ignition system to make use of a breakerless ignition system to eliminate the ignition points and condenser (magnetic or optical trigger), there is another option besides purchasing a used 1962-1969 distributor and fitting it with the electronic ignition system. Some time ago Performance Corvair began offering a complete replacement distributor. It is fully adjustable and includes a magnetic pulse electronic ignition system in its design. When you compare the costs involved with purchasing a used Corvair distributor, rebuilding and overhauling it, and purchasing and installing an aftermarket electronic breakerless ignition system, the cost of a brand-new electronic ignition distributor from Performance Corvair really makes more sense. Once you upgrade the ignition system in your 1961 Corvair, the time and labor and parts involved with an ignition tuneup is greatly reduced.

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:link: https://www.perfvair.com/stinger-ignition-distributors/
Brad Bodie
Lake Chatuge, North Carolina
Image 1966 Corvair Corsa Convertible

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Trip
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Re: New guy from PA first Corvair

Unread post by Trip » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:31 pm

Hey that bolt-on HEI sounds great! I see a couple of those in my future. Seth is a great guy too, I trust him 100% when it comes to anything Corvair or racing related.
Ray "Trip" Rodriguez III
Gouldsboro, PA
66 Corsa 140 coupe
65 Corsa 180 Turbocharged coupe
64 Monza Convertible
61 Air conditioned Monza coupe (Missy's)
See them here: https://tinyurl.com/ydc7txrf

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Danny Joe
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Re: New guy from PA first Corvair

Unread post by Danny Joe » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:36 pm

I have heard of remote master cylinders, you may be able to use the stock master cylinder to operate a remote dual master.
'64 Spyder Convertible
'63 Rampside (to be Rotisseried)
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MikesMonza900
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Re: New guy from PA first Corvair

Unread post by MikesMonza900 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:05 am

Thanks guys for your help and info!!! Very much appreciated! :not worthy: The rear bearings seem fine right now no noises or vibrations. I am getting a clunking sound from the front end somewhere. Kinda sounds like a metal on metal sound so have to investigate that. Those distributors look great! I think that's going to be on the list this winter along with the fan

Took the Corvair for a ride last night! The wife did the driving. She absolutely loves it and named her "Stella" :rolling: :chevy:
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bbodie52
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Re: New guy from PA first Corvair

Unread post by bbodie52 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:54 am

MikesMonza900 wrote:...Took the Corvair for a ride last night! The wife did the driving. She absolutely loves it and named her "Stella" :rolling: :chevy:
'Hey Stella!' ~ A [Corvair] Streetcar Named Desire

The name "Stella" reminds me of the 1951 Marlon Brando film...


:emfront: :EMs Rule: :Love it: :emfront:
MikesMonza900 wrote:...I am getting a clunking sound from the front end somewhere. Kinda sounds like a metal on metal sound so have to investigate that...
It is a good idea to inspect the universal joints regularly. These are normally neglected — even if you have the type of universal joints that include a grease fitting. I have found some with the needle bearings in the universal joints are so dry and rusted they have turned to powder, with some of the needles broken and fractured because they have not been lubricated for years. If your universal joints are determined to be worn badly, they should be replaced with the type that includes a grease fitting to allow them to be lubricated periodically as a part of normal maintenance.

Badly worn universal joints can produce a clunking sound — especially in turns — as the cross shifts within the needle bearing cup. That sound may telegraph and the sound source maybe difficult to identify.

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Front-end clunking might also be a badly worn ball joint. The pitman arm bushing can also rot and leave a lot of slop in the steering connection between the steering box pitman arm connection and the steering linkage.

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I've seen them so bad that the rubber part is completely missing, leaving only the bolt floating within the steering link.
Pitman Arm Bushing - Worn Out!.jpg
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Brad Bodie
Lake Chatuge, North Carolina
Image 1966 Corvair Corsa Convertible

MikesMonza900
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Re: New guy from PA first Corvair

Unread post by MikesMonza900 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:57 am

LOL I'll show my wife that video you posted. Never seen that movie either. I''ll check the universals out for sure. The steering seems tight and when I work the steering wheel back and forth while driving it it doesn't make a sound. The sound usually happens on a bumpy road. On a smooth new road it's quiet as a church mouse. Maybe it's shock/spring related. Right now our Corvair is down in our neighbors garage as I haven't had a chance to move the Camaro over to our other garage yet. Still finishing up some things on it. Then the Corvair will have the garage for the winter.

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lostboy
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Re: New guy from PA first Corvair

Unread post by lostboy » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:22 am

MikesMonza900 wrote:
Grymm wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:19 pm
Thanks for joining us! Quite a few new people from my neck of the woods the past couple weeks. I'm located in Gouldsboro PA. Black on red is my favorite combo for early model 'vairs (we Corvair nuts call 60-64's Early Models, and 65-69's Late Models).

You are going to love owning a Corvair, unbelievable how much attention they get! They put huge smiles on so many faces, mostly people who haven't seen one for many years. Also, if you are educated about Corvair history and handling, having conversations with people who are critical of the Corvair is a blast. =D No, Ralph Nader did not kill the Corvair, he extended it's production!

My wife has a 61' coupe, with rare factory AC. Does yours still have the manual choke? 1961 is the only year with manual choke. The 1960 model had the choke assembly in the air cleaner housing and it didn't work out too well so GM went to manual choke for 1961 while they got the automatic choke that ran for the rest of Corvair production designed.
Yes ours still has the manual choke and still works great! Nice to know we have somebody so close to us here in PA! Our good friend Tiffany who also lives close to us has 2 Corvairs. She has a 63 Corvair Van and a 67 Convertible (see picture below) and being around them made us really want one. In July our friend Tiff and her husband Paul put on an annual car show right at their house and it usually draws a big turnout of all types of cars with a few Corvairs also. Maybe next year you and your wife could bring yours along with any other Corvair friends you have local? It would be awesome to get as many Corvairs as we can! I'll give you more info if your interested.
13580387_10153886966509527_3338963971029179527_o.jpg
I could probably make that trip. I'm in central NJ.


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-Steve
1961 Corvair 700 Sedan (80hp 3spd Gasoline Heat)

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