New guy introduction...

Non-Traditionally Powered Corvairs
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rficalora
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:32 pm

New guy introduction...

Post by rficalora »

Hi All -

I'm considering doing a V8 (or other motor) swap on a Vair. I'm "new" to Corvairs, but not to engine swaps or unibodies. I have an MGB that I did a Ford 302/T5/IRS swap on; you can see what I did here... http://www.britishv8.org/MG/RobFicalora.htm

That car is a bunch of fun, but I'm thinking ahead; it won't be too long before we have grandkids running around so I want my next project to be able to carry 4-5 people. WAY back in highschool (1980 timeframe), I almost bought a convertible '65. I ended up buying an MG instead (the available Corvair had serious rust issues; the MG didn't). But, I've had an affinity for them ever since.

Goals for me are:
* Good torque (my MG is 2419lbs and dyno'd at 257 ft lbs.; want more out of the Corvair since I'll be able to fit more rubber)
* Must retain back seat
* Convertible
* Excellent handling characteristics - street car, back country roads, twisties

What threads, search "phrases", or other info would you guys recommend I read to get up to speed on the various approaches others have taken, what's worked/what hasn't, etc.?

I appreciate any info you can share.

rficalora
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:32 pm

Re: New guy introduction...

Post by rficalora »

Wow, 50 views over a couple of days, but no replies... was it something I said?

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bbodie52
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Re: New guy introduction...

Post by bbodie52 »

:welcome2: :wave: Welcome to the Corvair Forum!
rficalora wrote:Goals for me are:
  1. Good torque (my MG is 2419lbs and dyno'd at 257 ft lbs.; want more out of the Corvair since I'll be able to fit more rubber)
  2. Must retain back seat
  3. Convertible
  4. Excellent handling characteristics - street car, back country roads, twisties
I think your initial post is already in the section that contains threads covering many Corvair engine transplants, mid-engine, front-engine, and rear engine placement, etc. (Yenko Stingers, Fitch Sprints, V8's, V6's, Alternative Powered Corvairs, UltraVans, Dune Buggies, Misc. Corvair Powered vehicles)
:link: viewforum.php?f=201)

Also look in...

Image :link: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=v8+corvair


I doubt that it is possible to perform such a conversion and still attain all of your goals. I believe the best V8 conversion follows the concept started with Ted Trevor's Crown Corv-8. It had achieved good front/rear balance while retaining the good suspension design introduced in 1965 to 1969 Corvair. Good handling would be reduced with a heavy engine mounted in the rear, and I never really understood the desire to mount an engine in the front of a Corvair. There are plenty of Camaros, Mustangs, Pontiac Trans-Ams, etc. with front-engine configurations. If you want independent suspension, the Corvette already has the basic suspension design that was adapted to the rear of the Corvair in 1965. The Corv-8 can certainly benefit from disc brakes to match its handling and power enhancements, and the result can be an exciting, powerful, unique, and great handling vehicle. Much of that would be lost in a front or rear engine configuration (which might be OK in a straight-line drag racing usage). Of course you lose the rear seat, but such a modification is not really intended to be a family passenger car or a "grocery-getter".

Late Model (1965-1969) Corvairs are a little thin-skinned when compared to the heavier body found on the earlier model Corvairs, and the uni-body design needs all of the intact sheet metal it can get. The convertible Late Model Corvair often suffers the most from hidden deterioration in the area around the door frames, so a front or rear engine 1965 or later Corvair convertible that is solid in chassis strength is becoming a rare commodity. I would hate to see one cut up to attempt a front or rear engine modification that may suffer from a weak backbone. I love to see a well-done Corv-8 mid-engine conversion in a Corvair coupe. You may even find a Corv-8 project car that was never quite finished or properly executed that would be a good starting point for a project car for you. I believe your goals 1 and 4 are compatible and found in a good mid-engine Corvair-based Crown Corv-8 (or similar conversion). A few have been done with a Corvair convertible. But if you want to retain the rear seat and do it in a late model Corvair convertible, you are probably better-off retaining the Corvair engine, or looking for a compact, possibly turbocharged light weight modern engine to substitute in the rear.

:Corv-8: :Corv-Eight: :crown:
See V8 REGISTRY :link: https://www.v8registry.com/ted-trevor.html

Image

Hopefuuly others will add their opinions and experience-based comments here for you to consider. Good luck with your project development! If you decide to move forward with a project car, I hope you will choose to document your progress here on the Corvair Forum.

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

rficalora
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:32 pm

Re: New guy introduction...

Post by rficalora »

I doubt that it is possible to perform such a conversion and still attain all of your goals.
That's what I was concluding about the "normal" approaches; was hoping there were some "out of the box" approaches that some folks have done.
Good handling would be reduced with a heavy engine mounted in the rear, and I never really understood the desire to mount an engine in the front of a Corvair. There are plenty of Camaros, Mustangs, Pontiac Trans-Ams, etc. with front-engine configurations.
You're on to my thinking. I'm guessing it's a bit of sacrilege to put the engine in the front but bear with me for a few moments...

First, I like the look of the Corvair. If I liked the look of Mustangs or Camaro's better I'd build one of them. I do like both, but I like the Corvair shape more. It's 60's. It's agressive. It's different. What's not to like? Next, consider that there are pretty proven ways to achieve a great handling front engine car with great balance. Without having a Corvair body shell to inspect, I don't know if it would be easier to incorporate front & rear sub-frames or whether a full custom frame would be the way to go (I did run across one source of a frame designed for a front engine Corvair). The full frame approach would eliminate the flex concerns related to doing a convertible so that could be a plus.

Anyway, I was hoping to find that at least a couple of others have already gone down this path so I could learn from what they've done. Am I looking for unicorns?

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bbodie52
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Re: New guy introduction...

Post by bbodie52 »

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Forums » Grassroots Motorsports
Bad idea of the day: corvair

:link: https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum ... 369/page1/


:doh: ::-): :omgosh: :beavisbutthead: :tease: :jawdrop: Here is some pictures and a thread about a Late Model Corvair full-frame funny car...

:link: https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/122 ... ect-Sanity

1967 Corvair - Project Sanity
Time to post few pics of my current project - 1967 Corvair. I call it Project Sanity.

Here is some background: You may ask why Corvair ? I always liked the lines and the size of the 'late model', 65-69, Corvair, but wasn't too thrilled by the powertrain. I've been looking for a project car for a while, I've seen few G body Malibus - I really like these, but what I've seen was more than disappointing, at least during the time when I was looking around. When I came across this Corvair in April of last year, 2015, I pulled a trigger on it and got it home. On the same day, I also picked up a 87 G body frame. I already had a plan on what's really going to happen to a Corvair if I get my hands on a good candidate. That's how my project was born.

The essentials of Project Sanity - 1967 Corvair: Front engine - RWD drive by means of a G body frame swap, LS1, T56, 18" rims, corner carver.

Few pics of what it looked like back in April of 2015:
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:dontknow: Does this provide you with some inspiration???
Brad Bodie
Lake Chatuge, North Carolina
Image 1966 Corvair Corsa Convertible

rficalora
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:32 pm

Re: New guy introduction...

Post by rficalora »

Thanks Brad! That is very much along the lines of what I was thinking. And it's good to know a G body frame has been used by at least a few. I need to read up on what suspension improvements are available for G bodies now. It's also pretty interesting how well the F body firewall & floorboard panels fit it!

chris
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Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:25 pm

Re: New guy introduction...

Post by chris »

Yes, lots of people have done different swaps and I believe a former Vair of mine turned into one of the G-body swaps. If you want front engine, that’s probably the easiest to do. If you want to keep it rear engine, lots of options there as well, but the stock turbo engine has close to the torque figure you posted.


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rficalora
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Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:32 pm

Re: New guy introduction...

Post by rficalora »

Chris, that's interesting. I'd read it was rated at 232 @ 3,200 RPM. But, that was back when manufacturers were publishing flywheel numbers. Allowing for the typical 15% drivetrain loss, that would equate to about 197 ft/lbs at the wheels. Not sure what the Corvair motor's curve looks like but turbos don't hit peak power or torque at the lower RPMs. Any idea what torque folks are getting say between 1200 up to that 3000 mark? That's where most driving and definitely where you feel it stoplight to stoplight. I did a quick search but didn't come up with any Dyno graphs.

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bbodie52
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Re: New guy introduction...

Post by bbodie52 »

Graphs of the engine output curves can be viewed on page 42 of the attached 1963 (145 CI) and 1964 (164 CI) Chevrolet Corvair GM Heritage Center Specs. They are on page 39 of the 1965 Chevrolet Corvair GM Heritage Center Specs.

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

rficalora
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:32 pm

Re: New guy introduction...

Post by rficalora »

Thanks Brad. The 150 turbo has an even narrower torque band than I expected. I'd definitely want a V8!

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