The LA 65 Corsa Build

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mdelvecc
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The LA 65 Corsa Build

Unread post by mdelvecc » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:31 am

Hey all! I thought I would follow up my introduction post with some of the progress that's been made on the 1965 Corsa 140 Convertible I bought last summer. http://www.corvairforum.com/forum/viewt ... 13&t=13084

Wife and I knew we wanted a Late Model convertible, and something that needed some TLC was preferred. I felt like I wanted a project to learn on. Looked at a few, then purchased the 65 Corsa 140 Vert at the end of last summer (2016) off Craigslist. I believe I am the 3rd owner - originally a Flagstaff, AZ car. Said 67,000 on the Odometer, but not sure it's still functioning! Ran (rough), stopped, and drove. Gears difficult to find, and wasn't comfortable driving it 100 miles home for sure. Delivered to my house on a trailer, and ran even worse!

Here's what I found upon initial inspection (Aug 2016):

Oil had recently been changed, looked and smelled clean.
Spark plugs were not all matching - some 44F some 44FF - and varying appearance and apparent age.
Found that the vacuum balance hose had come loose on one side at the carb base. Replacement did not make the engine run better oddly.
PO had replaced the mechanical fuel pump with a plug, and added an electric fuel pump in the engine bay (not good - rubber lines feeding to and fro) - no safety switches installed on the fuel pump.
PO had replaced the alternator or internals with an internally regulated unit - regulator was still present in the bay but disconnected.
Shift linkage was horribly vague and loose feeling.
Leaking very slowly but noticeable drips after a day of sitting - mostly from the front of the transmission.
PO had replaced a good portion of the front suspension, and all springs and shocks were new. Many but not all bushings around the car had been replaced. Receipts were provided from Clark's totaling probably 4k in parts over the years.
New metal brake lines were in the frunk, but not installed.
PO left shop and body manuals, as well as assembly manual. I have since acquired CORSA tech guide vols 1-3, Bob Helt's wonderful Rochester H carb book, as well as corvair basics and secrets. Just finished reading Performance Corvairs as well.
Body has a couple of issues beyond the obvious paint. The area under the battery is rusted through the outer panel and inner panel. An outer patch panel was included with the car. There are some bubbles in the paint on the outside of the rocker panels, but underneath they are solid and rust free. Will need to remove paint to see extent of rust here. I have a welder and am not afraid to use it!

Progress so far:

- Removed carbs and found many issues - including dirt and residue in the bowls, idle ports that someone had epoxied over, and clogs/dirt everywhere inside. I've ultrasonically cleaned all 4 - using a small unit I have for my business with Aircraft Simple Green - worked great! Rebuilt all 4 with kits from Clark's

- Replaced the fuel tank, sender, and long fuel lines (not easy!), and mounted the electric pump up near the tank where it should be. I also added a safety switch made by Revolution Electronics http://www.revolutionelectronics.com/Fuel_Pump.html Works great - primes for 3 seconds when key is turned to ON, and uses tach signal to keep pump running. Probably would be wise to add an inertia switch as well for full safety. Added an inline fuel filter in the usual wheel well position in front of the engine bay. No more rubber fuel lines anywhere in the bay.

- Removed shifter and shift shaft assembly. Found that someone had forgotten to disconnect it in the past when dropping the powertrain! Bent quite obviously at the rear connection. Got it straightened out and cleaned up nicely. Rebuilt shaft assembly with bronze bushings at either end (old plastic ones were completely missing) and new rubber all around. Shifter itself is in process of rebuild - the metal pins in the housing were completely flattened, and the plastic base mount was broken in half. PO had shimmed up with some washers in the past. New shims from Clark's acquired and will be installed soon.

- Pumped old and very dark trans fluid out of transaxle, and replaced the shift selector seal with new (was leaking). Added new correct GL4 for the 4 speed.

- Started the motor with new gas, new plugs, and rebuilt carbs. Still running rough and idling poorly despite attempts to balance and adjust. Purchase compression tester... yep... 0psi on cylinder #5. Other cylinders vary from 90-130 psi. Purchased an inspection camera (always wanted one for work anyway) and dropped it down the Cyl 5 spark plug hole. Yep. Valves both open at the same time! Hmm. That will never work. Could pretty clearly see the intake seat dropped a bit, and clear eyebrows where the valve had hit the top of the piston. UG! Lesson learned. Compression test first, all other stuff after!

- Wife purchased me Dave Motohead's wonderful engine cradle and HF trans jack for my birthday. Following the manual, dropped the powertrain out carefully (missed disconnecting one wire, but caught it before it got too tight!) Started pulling the motor apart carefully - only one upper stud threaded out of the case - couldn't hold it even with vise grips! And finally got the heads off.

- So we definitely have a dropped seat in the #5 intake position! Also, the heads don't match. The casting on the left side is a 1966- 3878570, and the right side is a 1965- 3856728. Looks like someone had issues before me! I don't see any obvious damage to either head, and luckily the seat didn't explode and embed itself into the aluminum as I've seen sometimes happens. However, it appears that someone machined the 728 head down, removing the inner or lower fin in the process. So it leaves the left head with 15 fins, and the right with 14. Not only that, but the lower metal cylinder baffle was missing off of that side, and there is serious casting flash on both heads. Contributions to heat buildup for sure.

That is where we stand now. I'm bringing the heads to the Corsa West meeting Thursday night, and hopefully getting some advice and opinions on the condition. I'd like to rebuild them down at EMS with deep seats, but want to make sure they are in a condition to do so. I'm thinking that the 728 head with the odd machine work might not be worth it.

I'll keep updating guys!

Photos: Carb cleaning before and after, powertrain OUT!
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Matt DelVecchio
1965 Corvair Corsa Convertible 140 - Work in progress :chevy:
Los Angeles, CA
Corsa West Member

MarkDustan
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:40 pm

Re: The LA 65 Corsa Build

Unread post by MarkDustan » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:50 pm

Great story. I am doing the same process so I enjoy your update. I am doing a ground up restoration of a 65 Corvair Corsa Convertible #19 from LOS. Glacier Gray and adding C64 AC. You can private message me at markdustan@cs.com and I will send you the 4 articles I have written about the adventure.

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mdelvecc
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Re: The LA 65 Corsa Build

Unread post by mdelvecc » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:48 am

Very cool... I just sent you an email. I'd love to see the story about your Corsa!
Matt DelVecchio
1965 Corvair Corsa Convertible 140 - Work in progress :chevy:
Los Angeles, CA
Corsa West Member

66vairguy
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:44 pm

Re: The LA 65 Corsa Build

Unread post by 66vairguy » Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:10 pm

Matt - I'm in your area - See PM for my email. I have a lead on some heads and other suggestions

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mdelvecc
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Re: The LA 65 Corsa Build

Unread post by mdelvecc » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:36 pm

I've gotten some wonderful advice from my local club members, as well as forum members who have reached out. What a great community we have! Got a really nice looking clean and matching '66 head from a club member - will be bringing everything down to the machine shop as soon as I get a free day!
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Matt DelVecchio
1965 Corvair Corsa Convertible 140 - Work in progress :chevy:
Los Angeles, CA
Corsa West Member

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mdelvecc
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Re: The LA 65 Corsa Build

Unread post by mdelvecc » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:45 pm

Engine tear down photos - will be splitting the case. So much silly-cone found seeping into the cavity from top and bottom. It's everywhere! I've found so far:

Mismatched and dimpled pistons, mismatched in age and type - pushrods, rockers, and lifters (LHS vs. RHS of engine)

Cylinders, crank, rods, and heads will go to the machine shop for measuring and work. Then it's a big parts order!
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Matt DelVecchio
1965 Corvair Corsa Convertible 140 - Work in progress :chevy:
Los Angeles, CA
Corsa West Member

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mdelvecc
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:46 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Re: The LA 65 Corsa Build

Unread post by mdelvecc » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:48 pm

Lastly, a view of the clutch assembly... I'll be going with the bolted flywheel as this one is original riveted.

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Matt DelVecchio
1965 Corvair Corsa Convertible 140 - Work in progress :chevy:
Los Angeles, CA
Corsa West Member

rindress
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:21 am

Re: The LA 65 Corsa Build

Unread post by rindress » Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:21 am

Hey Matt,
Love the posts, very inspiring. I'm working on getting a 65 'vert going. I have a 110 from a donor car and my 17 yr old son and I are working on it together. Love working on it with him. In the last couple years he's learned a ton about cars actually flipping a couple of Volvo's along the way. He is amazed at the simplicity of the engine compared to the one's he's worked on.

Anyway I think I'll start a thread similar to yours, not trying to steal any thunder from yours. I could use some advice and figured I'd document my findings. I've had the car for years now and I was not as thorough as you with the breakdown. The original engine would run only if putting fuel in the carbs. Well after taking that engine out and splitting it I found out the ecentric ring was just flopping around on the camshaft so the fuel pump wouldn't do anything. It was very puzzling indeed. I'm not as quick to pull the 'new' engine apart.

Thanks and keep up the inspiration.

-Rindress
Rindress
Hollis, NH
CORSA Member
1965 Monza vert 110hp
1965 Corsa 110hp

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mdelvecc
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Re: The LA 65 Corsa Build

Unread post by mdelvecc » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:13 am

Thanks Rindress! I'm due for another update here shortly. Hopefully my second set of 140 heads will meet the machinist's approval! Good luck on your build, and definitely start that thread. It has already brought me some great connections, parts, and advice.


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Matt DelVecchio
1965 Corvair Corsa Convertible 140 - Work in progress :chevy:
Los Angeles, CA
Corsa West Member

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