The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

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hrm2k
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The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

Unread post by hrm2k » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:06 pm

The name is a little long but what the heck, it is still going to be a rear engined Corvair.......sort of

I have had this coupe since the mid 90's. I think it may have traveled a total of about 100 miles in that time frame. I got tired of Corvairs and went to traditional hot rods a few years ago. Turns out I like to go fast ! who knew ? :dontknow: So about 6 months ago I started looking at doing a mid engine for my coupe. I was sold on using a 944 transaxle simply to put some room between me and the motor in the back seat. I had decided to do a 13B Rotary motor with a couple of hair dryers our of a 98 Mazda RX7. Then it happened. One of my buddies called and said he had just picked up a TH425 transaxle from a 73 Cadillac. The guy who owned the transaxle just wanted it our of his garage so the price was perfect. I had a partially built 350 sitting in the garage so the project was born............

Here is what we are starting with

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One of the first tasks that we encountered was doing a notch in the oil pan for the passenger side axle. Luckly for me I got to use one of our plastic layout blocks from work.......got to save those back muscles for important things
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Then was time to empty the car of everything that might get in the way. Seats, door panels, quarter panels, power windows, rear window, all sound deadening
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Of course, the engine ,transaxle and powerglide trans
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Now the fun begins. Wednesday the 29th of February , we started cutting.
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We stopped a little short of cutting out everything. Our reason for stopping was to think the radiator position over. The front of my car was used up a long time ago with a fuel cell and stereo gear. After studying The White V8 in Arizona ( I am copying your build with a different engine ), We have decided to put the radiator in the back seat. The plan is to cut a hole in the floor space behind the front seats along with holes in the floor of the back seat to allow air to the radiator. There will be a shroud ducting all the air to the radiator and no place else. There will be draw through fans on the back of the radiator to provide cooling. The radiator is from a 74 El Camino big black. I think it will do the job.

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So there you go ! The start of what should be a really good and quick project. We are shooting for around 400 HP. We think the car will tip the scales around 3,000 lbs. This is the first phase. Get it running and get rid of any problems. Phase two will be heat and A/C. Then we will think about interior and paint...........
Until then, it is the build of The Spousal Avoidance Unit :checkeredflag:
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God.favored
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Re: The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

Unread post by God.favored » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:21 pm

Very cool project! I love those seats, I need to get some :)

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UNSAFE
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Re: The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

Unread post by UNSAFE » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:25 pm

That car looks familar --- was it pink before the yellow ?
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Kevin Willson
1965 Monza 3.1
Juneau Alaska

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hrm2k
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Re: The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

Unread post by hrm2k » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:13 am

Yes it was Kevin. I saw your one of your posts the other day and couldn't figure out why your name sounded familiar until I read this post. I think you bought a bunch of speed parts from me about 10 years or so ago.
For anyone else who might not remember it from before, here is the Communique Cover from 14 years ago

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The car represents a lot of bad memories for me. The only way to really feel good about it was to cut it up and make something else out of it.......

and for anyone questioning the color, it was built for my youngest daughter's 16th birthday. Not really my favorite color :nono:
Last edited by hrm2k on Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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UNSAFE
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Re: The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

Unread post by UNSAFE » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:11 pm

The car represents a lot of bad memories for me. The only way to really feel good about it was to cut it up and make something else out of it.......
Some will whine but I'm all for doing whatever you want to do !
I think you bought a bunch of speed parts from me about 10 years or so ago.
Yeh - it musta been 10 or 11 years ago. It was a 4.11 4 spider posi diff and a 4 speed. I still have both and I'm running the diff now but I did manage to break the gears once already
][I got tired of Corvairs and went to traditional hot rods a few years ago. Turns out I like to go fast ! who knew ?
At first I thought the car might have a new owner but the part about getting into hot rods sounded awfully familar so I thought it might be you.

I still have of pic of that fuelie engine that was in the pink car but I think that probably brings back some bad memories too.

Welcome to our small but growing forum and good to hear from you again.
Kevin Willson
1965 Monza 3.1
Juneau Alaska

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cad-kid
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Re: The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

Unread post by cad-kid » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:31 pm

Welcome, Love the french tail lights!
Jeremy (cad-kid)
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Re: The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

Unread post by hrm2k » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:31 pm

Thanks Kevin........stick around, I think this build is going to be a lot of fun
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Re: The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

Unread post by azdave » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:09 am

hrm2k wrote: We stopped a little short of cutting out everything. Our reason for stopping was to think the radiator position over. The front of my car was used up a long time ago with a fuel cell and stereo gear. After studying The White V8 in Arizona ( I am copying your build with a different engine ), We have decided to put the radiator in the back seat. The plan is to cut a hole in the floor space behind the front seats along with holes in the floor of the back seat to allow air to the radiator. There will be a shroud ducting all the air to the radiator and no place else. There will be draw through fans on the back of the radiator to provide cooling. The radiator is from a 74 El Camino big black. I think it will do the job.
One thing to remember about my 66 Toro conversion with the radiator inside the passenger compartment is that I'm trying to make it work that way since that is how I brought it home from the previous owner. I got unsatisfactory results with that layout (stock Toro radiator, shroud and mechanical fan). I would not choose to put a radiator there again if starting from scratch.

I have made it work by using two strong fans (dual 35A Taurus fans), a high-output alternator and a very large all aluminum truck radiator. The problem I have is that the faster you drive the more air pressure builds up on the back side of the radiator. You are fighting air that is trying to go backwards through the radiator. I have studied it quite a bit using manometers and many, many test drives measuring airflow and pressure down the freeway. I shot lots of video of yarn taped all over the chassis to study air movement. I have scoops on the bottom as well to try to force air up and through the radiator. I even thought about intentionally flowing the air backwards through the radiator and having it exit out the sides of the car so it wouldn't re-enter the radiator. With your smaller engine you might be okay with that layout. In the Phoenix summer (+100F) I can't drive on the freeway for more than 5-6 miles before the gauge gets too high for my comfort. I have never boiled over but I'm careful not to push my luck. I can drive all summer long at 45-50 MPH but at freeway speeds it's another story. When I do the next V8 the radiator will go up front. The trunk was already cut open on my other Toro Vair so it is already started . I'll get much better air flow, will use a smaller radiator and will have better weight distribution.

Good luck on the build. I remember seeing that car previously and posting some questions about it a few years back when I found some pics online.
Dave W. located in Gilbert, AZ
66 Corsa 140 4-speed w/factory A/C
66 Corsa 140 4-speed w/factory A/C
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65 Corsa 140 4-speed
66 Corsa 455 Toro V8
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Re: The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

Unread post by hrm2k » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:43 am

time for some clean up grinding and starting to fit some pieces back in

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Dave, thanks for the radiator information. I still have some uneasy feelings about the pressure build up in front of the radiator at speed. I am going to do in car heat AFTER I get the rest working to my desire. I do plan on driving this thing before summer of this year.

Added Note : Dave, I appreciate your information regarding the cooling. It made me think that there was a way to stop the back pressure. I made arrangement last night to have about 110 louvers punched into the trunk lid. That might get rid of all the back pressure...........hopefully !!!!
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Re: The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

Unread post by hrm2k » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:04 pm

Things have been progressing along. I have spent some time getting the T ready for some summer cruising as well as getting all the bits and pieces ready for the motor build. We decided we needed to take a look at how this thing might go together. So here is a plastic motor block against the transaxle sitting within an inch ( either axis ) of it's final resting place. Really does look like it was meant to be there.


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Re: The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

Unread post by hrm2k » Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:42 pm

I have been doing a bunch of things to the car but today was really special.
after reading AZDave's tales of trying to cure some overheating, I decided that I had a good idea :dontknow:

Louver the Deck lid :cool:

Today I drove up to Robesonia PA and had a guy I know do a number on my engine cover........the first one sort of puckered my butt :eek: .....then i got used to the idea.........enjoy my day taken down to 2 minutes


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Re: The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

Unread post by hrm2k » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:05 pm

Things have been progressing at a little slower rate than I like ...........and I remembered to take the camera with me.

We are switching over to aluminum bushings and coilovers for the trailing arms. Since we are asking more than they were made for, we made a template last week for boxing plates for my trailing arms and today made the plates happen. We did want a little hot rod touch so we drilled the plates that got attached

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There is still more to do to the trailing arms. more to follow................

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Re: The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

Unread post by Greybeard » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:42 am

I don't know how you mounted your fuel cell, but I like the front radiator position. It works well on my car. I don't even have the front facia cut up, using a bottom breather system. It was a little short of cooling in over 100 degree days, but now I'm out on the coast and it works just fine. The main advantage is I have the rear seat in, mounted in the original bolt holes. I've thought about installing a big SBC. Will be watching with interest.
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Re: The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

Unread post by hrm2k » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:46 am

Hey Mike, nice coupe !!
I thought about doing a front radiator but that area is already full of fuel cell and stuff. The car hasn't had a back seat in 15 years. When we did the frame connectors several years ago, the back seat became a thing of the past. I am not trying to look stock or carry any other passengers other than the driver and one other. Kind of a hot rod of sorts if you know what I mean. we are going to finish up the aluminum bushing later today. When the arms go back in, it will be up and down only. It will probably ride pretty hard but that is OK by me.
Stay tuned for more of the build. It is going to be fun !
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Re: The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

Unread post by hrm2k » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:26 pm

So you saw the trailing arms which have been boxed a couple of posts back. We spent some time on the lathe at work making the aluminum bushing for the trailing arms
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Once they were completely cut, we pressed the bushing into the trailing arm

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We can now think about the placement and size of the coil overs we are going to need. First order of business was to find ride height. We had already removed the coil spring bucket from the frame.

This is how it looked from the inside

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and from the outside

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Monday I am going to order up some QA-1 coil overs, 13 inches in length with a 350 lb spring. We are going to mount the coil overs on top of the control arm running up to an area between the frame and the wheel tub. Sometime this next week, we will make the brackets for the control arms. You can see the control arm laying inside the car in the inside shot.....I'm getting excited........film at 11 :checkeredflag:
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Re: The Spousal Avoidance Unit build

Unread post by cad-kid » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:10 am

Nice custom work! :ty: for the updates.
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