Memoirs of a Monza

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joefarmer
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Memoirs of a Monza

Unread post by joefarmer » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:00 am

For those of you who haven’t met me yet, I recently purchased a 1964 Monza 4 door with the intention of restoring it back to its original glory (or pretty close). This thread will serve as a diary of my progress and most likely where I will come to for help when I get stuck. To give proper credit, I took this idea from County98’s “Learn as I go” thread. He does an excellent job of documenting his project and sharing with others on this forum; you should go check it out for yourself. So here we go! ::-):

Myself:
I’m a 26 y.o. mechanical engineer in the oil and gas field. I live in Tyler with my wife (Emily) and our seven month old daughter (Everly). I’ve been messing with cars (alongside my dad) for as long as I can remember. Our resume of restorations includes a 63 Pontiac Grand Prix, 71 Ford Ranger, 79 Corvette and several others. I should go ahead and clarify that the true car knowledge lies with my Dad. It’s safe to assume that he has already forgotten more about cars than what I will ever know about them. This will be the first project I have attempted in my own garage. So just because I’ve turned wrenches and hooked up some wires, don’t think I really have any clue what I’m doing here!

The Monza:
Here’s what I know after a week of nothing but researching. I ended up with a 1964 Corvair Monza 4 door with the 900 series trim package. It was manufactured at the Willow Run plant in Michigan and was number 55,401 to roll off the line. According to the Fisher body tag the manufactured date is the third week of November, the body style is 0969 (4 door Monza sedan), original paint code was Silver Blue (912), with the matching trim package (732). The car came with the following accessories; tinted windshield, Powerglide trans, 2 speed wipers w/ washer, day/night mirror, glovebox light, backup lights, rear antenna, and custom dlx seat belts w/o retractors. Thanks to http://www.wileenet.com/Corvair/vin_calc.htm for the vin decoding guide, ncwitte for extensive information on body tag decoding, and Scott Howey for decoding the accessory line. :ty:

The Goal:
This will be a weekend warrior project, completed in a 2 car garage with only basic tools, less than basic knowledge of Corvairs, and a marginal budget. I would like to get the car where it is safe/reliable to drive around town by this summer and then complete the aesthetic restoration components before end of year. My town has a Christmas parade and invites classic car owners to show off their stuff. I’ve never seen a Corvair in this parade, and would love to be the first to show one! :vert:

Plan for this afternoon:
- Run a scope down the gas tank and see what condition it is in. Will drop and drain if it’s nasty in there.
- Put car on stands and inspect underbelly (gas tank, floor pans, suspension components, etc).
- Vacuum out the engine bay and inspect (still need to find out exactly what engine I have).
- Pull the plugs and run a compression test (this is what I’m most nervous about due to the fact that the car wants to die every time it goes into gear).
- If time allows, pull the carbs and prepare to rebuild each.

Will try my best to update as I get deeper into it. - Joe
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IMG_1016.JPG
Found sitting in a field on the way to Hot Springs Arkansas
IMG_1068.JPG
Fisher Body Tag (after cleaning)
Joe Farmer
64 Corvair Monza 900
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County98
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Re: Memoirs of a Monza

Unread post by County98 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:40 pm

Hey Joe, thank you for the kind words my friend. Good luck on your project and I can't wait to follow along!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Corvair Forum mobile app

Cheers!

-Shayne
Lawton, OK

'66 Corsa work in progress
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=8079

joefarmer
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Re: Memoirs of a Monza

Unread post by joefarmer » Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:20 pm

Quick update - All new plugs in the car. Autolites removed and NGKs installed. Compression results listed below by cylinder. Please feel free to provide feedback here. At this time I believe the engine will stay in the car (unless I hear otherwise from those with more experience than myself). If the trans has to come out, I'll probably bite the bullet and go through the engine as well. Any thoughts on best practices for pulling the engine on these models? I've seen on youtube where they jack the body up and roll out the entire back end of the car (wheels, trans, engine, everything).

1 - 100
2 - 90
3 - 95
4 - 90
5 - 95
6 - 110

The shop manual says each cylinder should hit 130 minimum, but I'm guessing that's "brand new from factory" specifications and would be unlikely for a car that has been sitting in a field for 4-6 years. Do y'all recommend a rebuild here, or just keep on trucking?

Now for the underside inspection results -

The fuel tank looks like it has been replaced by the previous owner. It is remarkably clean while everything around it has an inch of road gunk build up. If this is the case, I'm not sure why the fuel gauge is not registering (perhaps wiring issue?). I scoped the inside of the tank and it is clean as can be. Put another 5 gallons in and will let it be for now. The floorpans are all in one piece, but the suspension components will need to be gone through 100%. Same with brakes. I'm thinking new shoes, new hardware, wheel cylinders, flexible hoses, drums if needed, and go ahead with new master cylinder after blowing out the existing lines.

Plan for next weekend is to go through the vacuum lines front to back and compare with the diagram provided by bbodie (thanks!). Change the oil and filter, and go ahead with carb rebuilds. Since engine is staying intact for now, will probably hit the bay with some heavy duty cleaner and see if it will shine back up. Brakes will come next, followed by suspension components.
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Joe Farmer
64 Corvair Monza 900
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County98
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Re: Memoirs of a Monza

Unread post by County98 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:07 pm

Definitely looks like new tank and sender, so that's a nice bonus. Not sure on compression #'s, as I haven't even begun on trying to get mine running.

My guess would be since they are all pretty close, you might be good to run it for awhile. Maybe after you get it running with new oil and it gets all nice and juicy, do a quick valve adjustment and they may all come up some.

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Cheers!

-Shayne
Lawton, OK

'66 Corsa work in progress
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b74eqcm
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Re: Memoirs of a Monza

Unread post by b74eqcm » Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:14 am

Joe, the compression numbers are fine. The front suspension does look crusty, but before you dive in check to see if anything is worn out and needs replacing. Cleaning things up and a lube job may be fine for now. The place not to skimp is the brakes. With a single reservoir master cylinder, a leak or busted hose means total loss of brakes. Inspect all lines, replace all four rubber hoses, rebuild or replace all wheel cylinders and the master cylinder. Flush all the old brake fluid out, bleed, and then do the hard, harder test.
Jim Thomas
Bethel, VT
63 Monza Coupe

joefarmer
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Re: Memoirs of a Monza

Unread post by joefarmer » Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:18 pm

Hit the vacuum lines tonight. As bbodie had predicted they were all dry-rotted and brittle as glass. I've got them all bagged up and will match them to new lines at the auto parts store tomorrow during lunch. Hoping that will make a huge difference on my neutral vs 'in gear' idle speed. Did run across a few items which I had questions about:

First off, the curved tube that runs up through the fan shroud and is connected to the carburetor vacuum balance tube... what is it and where should it terminate to? Right now mine is just open and points straight up in the air. Does this connect to the air cleaner in some way? I have the original air cleaner but just used these stick on filters for convenience while messing with carbs. Photos of correct assembly would be great if anyone has them!

Secondly, there is a small cylindrical thing bolted to the side of the generator that serves no apparent purpose. It has a hole in the front like there should be a wire coming from it, but nothing is connected currently. Could this be part of the reason my gen/fan light stays on all the time?
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Joe Farmer
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bbodie52
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Re: Memoirs of a Monza

Unread post by bbodie52 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:06 am

The condenser (capacitor) bolted to the side of the generator is there only to suppress radio noise interference that might be heard on the car radio (a whining sound on the radio that increases and decreases in speed as engine speed varies). It is not important to the function of the generator charging system. A similar capacitor is usually found on the side of the ignition coil, to suppress the "ignition popping" sound you might hear on the AM radio.

The PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) breather tube draws (vents) crankcase pressure that is normally present as some combustion chamber fumes leak past the piston rings into the crankcase. The design uses engine vacuum to draw these fumes through a fixed orifice (controlled vacuum leak) into the vacuum balance tube to be recycled back through the intake manifolds and burned before exiting the exhaust system. The system also allows some fumes to be drawn through the carburetor intake via the air cleaner, which also filters any air that may move the other way back into the crankcase. The open tube should be connected to one of the custom air filter assemblies. You may have to fabricate the attachment of a brass fitting of some type to the inside base portion of one of the aftermarket air filter assembies, and then connect it with a hose and clamps to the PCV tube.
PCV System Layout (1964-1969) Sedan-Coupe-Convertible.jpg
PCV Tube Connections.jpg

Mr. Gasket PCV Air Cleaner Smog Fitting
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:link: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/mrg- ... gQodpLEOZg

You might try the following polarizing procedure to see if this gets your charging system working again. If it does not further troubleshooting will be needed to check the function of the generator and the proper operation of the voltage regulator. You may have to replace the voltage regulator or overhaul/replace the generator. Alternately you might consider replacing/upgrading the old charging system (if it is faulty) with an alternator system (possibly with an internal integrated electronic voltage regulator). Such a conversion also requires replacing the oil filter/generator adaptor with a mount designed for an alternator (from a 1965-69 Corvair).

CHARGING SYSTEM (GENERATOR TYPE ONLY)

Whenever the battery is disconnected from the vehicle for any reason the polarization procedure should be performed.

The recommendation on how to polarize a charging system is the following: After the installation of a battery, generator or voltage regulator follow these procedures. The terminals on the voltage regulator are labeled with letters and this is where you will do the polarizing procedure. Both of the components will have battery power so do not start the vehicle or turn on the ignition switch before polarizing them. You will need a small piece of wire fourteen or sixteen gauge with alligator clips on the ends. Find the "Batt" terminal on the regulator and attach one of the alligator clips, find the "Armature" terminal and touch the terminal with the other alligator clip. You can touch the terminals a few times and it will produce a soft light spark.

:nono: Under no circumstances touch the "Field" terminal or any other part of the regulator or you could damage the regulator.

:link: http://www.vv.corvair.org/pipermail/vir ... 13475.html

Image
What you want to do is polarize the generator. If in fact it ran with reverse polarity, everything should be fine after this process. You should not have damaged anything yet.

With key off, use a piece of 14 gage or larger wire to jump between the battery and armature terminals of the voltage regulator. I am at work without a shop manual, so I forget the actual writing on the terminals. BUT, it is the top and middle terminal on Corvairs (with the regulator mounted stock position, red wires on top terminal).

It will spark! Hold for 1 or 2 seconds. The wire may also get warm, be prepared.

Start engine again and check for red light going out.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO POLARIZE A NEW GENERATOR BY FOLLOWING THE PROCEDURES IN THE CORVAIR SHOP MANUAL. THIS PROCEDURE IS DESCRIBED ON PAGE 8-18 OF THE ATTACHED SHOP MANUAL SECTION. This polarizing procedure applies ONLY to vehicles equipped with a GENERATOR. It does not apply to vehicles equipped with an alternator.

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Brad Bodie
Lake Chatuge, North Carolina
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joefarmer
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Re: Memoirs of a Monza

Unread post by joefarmer » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:25 pm

Thanks Brad! Will try polarizing tonight as you mentioned. Ordered ultra delux carb rebuild kits from Clarks today as well.
Joe Farmer
64 Corvair Monza 900
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Re: Memoirs of a Monza

Unread post by joefarmer » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:43 pm

New vacuum lines made a world of difference! Ran like a dang singer sewing machine!! :clap: :clap: :clap: $6 worth of rubber hoses had more of an impact on this car than anything I have done thus far.

Brad - I tried the polarizing procedure tonight before driving around the neighborhood and to my surprise the fan/gen light actually went out once I made it over about 20mph! However, as soon as the PG shifted, the light came back on until I gained more speed. Is this a sign that the gen needs to be gone through? Or just the downside of having a generator instead of alternator?

Also, I dug through the boxes that came with the Corvair and found the original air cleaner assembly (pictured below). From what I can tell this was stock for the 64 model which was produced late in the year. The setup contains two individual air filter housings (one for each carb) and then a joining piece with an oil bath mounted right in the center. No clue how this oil bath works or how I can get it taken apart to clean it....

Last question for now: is there a way to tell if your temp/pres sensors are working? When I turn the key to the 'on' position only the gen/fan light comes on. I'm not sure if I just need a new bulb in the temp/pres light or if I'm not even getting signal from the sensors at all. I really don't want to overheat this little engine (or run it without good oil pressure) now that I feel comfortable leaving it in the car. Any ideas here? :helpsos:
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Joe Farmer
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Re: Memoirs of a Monza

Unread post by 64powerglide » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:31 pm

That air filter is from early 64's, mine has the same one. The center one is an oil bath unit, my 64 was an October 63 build. The PCV hose connects to the right carb.. I'm not using my oil bath filter now. Pretty sure yours was a November 63 build.
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b74eqcm
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Re: Memoirs of a Monza

Unread post by b74eqcm » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:15 am

Joe,

If the temp/press light does not come on when the key is on and the engine not running, try this simple test: remove the wire from the oil pressure switch and ground it. See if the light comes on in the dash. If it does, your problem is the switch. If it does not, the problem is either the bulb or the wiring in between. This will at least narrow it down for you. Let us know what you find.
Jim Thomas
Bethel, VT
63 Monza Coupe

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Re: Memoirs of a Monza

Unread post by bbodie52 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:03 am

The oil bath air cleaner found on your Corvair was a somewhat rare option that supplemented the normal paper air cleaners on each carburetor. The design reuses the early 1961-1963 Corvair air cleaner design with a filter container on each carburetor, plus a center-mounted oil bath unit. (The option was RPO (Regular Production Option) K47, listed in the attached 1964 Chevrolet Corvair GM Heritage Center Specs). The normal dual carburetor air cleaner assembly seen in 1964 95hp and 110hp engines in coupes, convertibles and sedans looked like the one in the picture below...
1964 Corvair 110 hp Engine Compartment.jpg
1964 Stock Engine Compartment
...Last question for now: is there a way to tell if your temp/pres sensors are working? When I turn the key to the 'on' position only the gen/fan light comes on. I'm not sure if I just need a new bulb in the temp/pres light or if I'm not even getting signal from the sensors at all. I really don't want
As shown in the schematic diagrams below, voltage is applied to the bulb in the instrument panel. The ground connection is wired to BOTH the oil pressure sending unit and to the engine temperature sending unit. A ground provided by either of these sending units will illuminate the warning light. The oil pressure sending unit defaults to provide a ground when the engine is not running (no oil pressure). This serves to test the warning light bulb when the key is on but the engine is not running. When the engine starts oil pressure opens the sensor switch, and the ground is removed so the warning light goes out. (I have never seen the temperature sensor on any Corvair cause the warning light to come on. Corvairs almost never overheat unless the fan belt breaks, and the driver would have to continue driving the car without a charging and cooling system to cause such an overheat condition!) You could have a faulty bulb, faulty wiring (the plastic multi-connector in the engine compartment can have a damaged or corroded pin, causing a bad connection), or a bad oil pressure sending unit. Test by disconnecting the wire from the oil pressure sending unit next to the generator, and then ground the wire with the key ON. If the warning light comes on, the sending unit is bad. If the light stays off, the bulb is bad or the wiring is faulty.

LEFT-CLICK EACH IMAGE WITH YOUR MOUSE TO ENLARGE THE IMAGE FOR BETTER VIEWING
1964 Combined Passenger Compartment & Engine Compartment Wiring Diagram.jpg
1964 Combined Passenger Compartment & Engine Compartment Wiring Diagram
1964 Corvair Instrument Panel and Body Wiring Diagram.jpg
1964 Corvair Instrument Panel and Body Wiring Diagram
1964 Corvair Engine Compartment Wiring Diagram.jpg
1964 Corvair Engine Compartment Wiring Diagram
As for your charging problem, check your battery ground to ensure that the ground cable is attached to BOTH the car chassis AND the engine, as shown in the diagrams below. The engine and transaxle are physically and electrically isolated from the car chassis because of the three rubber engine mounts. If a single battery ground cable is only connected to the chassis, the starter, generator and engine may not be adequately grounded. This could cause starter or generator problems.
EM Corvair Proper Ground.jpg
EM Corvair Proper Ground
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If everything has been properly grounded, and if polarizing the generator has not fully cleared your charging problem (apparent low engine speed output) the problem could be a faulty voltage regulator, or possibly a worn generator. There is a troubleshooting chart and troubleshooting procedures provided in the attached shop manual section: 1961 Chevrolet Corvair Shop Manual - Section 8 - Electrical Systems.
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1961 Chevrolet Corvair Shop Manual - Section 8 - Electrical Systems.pdf
1961 Chevrolet Corvair Shop Manual - Section 8 - Electrical Systems
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1964 Supplement - Chevrolet Corvair Shop Manual - Section 8 - Electrical Systems.pdf
1964 Supplement - Chevrolet Corvair Shop Manual - Section 8 - Electrical Systems
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1964 Chevrolet Corvair GM Heritage Center Specs.pdf
1964 Chevrolet Corvair GM Heritage Center Specs
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Brad Bodie
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joefarmer
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Re: Memoirs of a Monza

Unread post by joefarmer » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:02 pm

Brad - once again, thanks for your incredibly detailed response! Thanks to Jim and Jeff as well! This forum is an excellent source of knowledge and support for a first time corvair-er. So glad I signed up.

Got both tell-tale lights working tonight; turns out the temp/pres light was just a simple wiring issue. Also discovered that I had some loose ground cables which I suspect will help with the generator issue as soon as I can replace them. Is there a way to test the temp switch (even though overheating is uncommon)? I'm thinking maybe hook to an ohm-meter and dip in boiling water to see if the switch actually operates?

Question of the night tonight... what are the hinged vents at the bottom of the engine bay (below the rear bumper and grill assembly)? Looks like these are spring loaded and I'm guessing serve to help with air flow coming from the cooling fan? Took the rear grill assembly off to clean it and discovered that one of these vents is broken and stays open all the time. Is this an issue? Also discovered what seemed like 10lbs of dirt dobbers nests, leaves, and other debris inside these vents. Makes me wonder what the fins on the jugs look like. Planning to take the upper shroud off when carbs get rebuilt and do a deep cleaning.

Last thing I did before calling it a night was to clean and take a photo of my engine cast code. "0205RD" is what I have. Plan to research this more later. For now its time to sit on the back porch and enjoy this great Texas weather.
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Joe Farmer
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b74eqcm
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Re: Memoirs of a Monza

Unread post by b74eqcm » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:06 pm

My list shows an RD as a 1965 110 hp.

The air outlet doors work on a thermostatically controlled bellows. They should be closed until the engine heats up, then open to allow more air flow. One that's open all the time has let the magic smoke out (well, into) the bellows. Easily replaced.

You will want to take off the top cover ('turkey roaster') and clean out mouse nests and other junk. Also clean the cylinder fins, and remove the bottom covers to clean out from there. Replacement bellows are available.
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Bethel, VT
63 Monza Coupe

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Re: Memoirs of a Monza

Unread post by bbodie52 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:52 am

Apparently your engine is not the original 1964 engine. "RD" was not used in 1964. Also, the letter "T" may be hidden under the top sheet metal shroud...

T0205RD
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T = Tonawanda, New York (GM Tonawanda Engine Plant)
http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/comp ... wanda.html
0205 = Engine manufacturing date (month and date). February 5th.
RD = 1965-1967 164 CID 110 HP Manual Transmission (Corvair 500 and Monza)

:chevy:
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CORSA Corvair Technical Guide 1+2 - Corvair Code Numbers.PDF
CORSA Corvair Technical Guide 1+2 - Corvair Code Numbers
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Re: Memoirs of a Monza

Unread post by joefarmer » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:00 am

Well darn, that's somewhat of a disappointment. It is what it is though! Aside from the value of the car as a whole (which this won't be a professional restoration by any means), are there any negative implications on having an engine that's not original?
Joe Farmer
64 Corvair Monza 900
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