‘63 Spyder Convertible

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Beers
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:38 pm
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

‘63 Spyder Convertible

Post by Beers »

Hey all, just wanted to post a few pictures of a 1963 Spyder convertible I recently picked up, car had been stored since the late 80’s, a real barn find.

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A little cleaned up before going on the trailer. The seller got the engine started with a separate gas container, cleaning the carbs, and a new fuel pump and fan belt. Runs rough but it runs.

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The turbo pieces were in the trunk as it had been converted to the two carb setup. Fortunately it has what looks to be the original YR block, dated Sept. 12th which lines up with this car’s 2nd week of Sept. 62 build date.

It came originally with a 3spd. (doubt many Spyders were ordered with the base trans?), but it was replaced in the past by a ‘64 4 spd and differential (3.27 gears). Otherwise, this car looks mostly original. The paint is the factory 922 Ember Red.

Got it home now, changed the oil/filter, and will pull the gas tank this weekend to clean out and seal (still have a left over POR-15 tank sealing kit I didn’t use from a previous restoration). Also have some new tires coming next week. Then the basics, change the transaxle oil, go through the brakes/steering/suspension/carbs etc. Will plan on rebuilding most of it due to the age.

The previous owner from 1981-1987 kept crazy detailed records, including recording every gas fuel up - with the last one on 6-29-1987 at 69,711 miles. 67 miles less than the 69,778 on it now, 33 years later. He sold it to a collector who just stored it along with lots of other vehicles till he passed and I bought it from the estate.

Picked up the shop manuals and such, now it’s time to get this car back on the road ::-):


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1963 Monza Spyder convertible

64von
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:25 pm

Re: ‘63 Spyder Convertible

Post by 64von »

Very nice. And good luck with the restoration. Love the early models


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Bruins_Fan
Corvair of the Month
Corvair of the Month
Posts: 240
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:45 am
Location: North Shore, MA

Re: ‘63 Spyder Convertible

Post by Bruins_Fan »

Nice, enjoy it!
'66 Monza Convertible 110hp Powerglide

Beers
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:38 pm
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: ‘63 Spyder Convertible

Post by Beers »

Thanks guys, let the fun begin!
1963 Monza Spyder convertible

Beers
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:38 pm
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: ‘63 Spyder Convertible

Post by Beers »

Got the tank cleaned out and sealed. Some rust, but nothing too bad.

All cleaned up and installed.

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1963 Monza Spyder convertible

Beers
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:38 pm
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: ‘63 Spyder Convertible

Post by Beers »

Old sender was inop and filter gummed up so replaced that as well. Tank back in.


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1963 Monza Spyder convertible

joelsplace
Posts: 1023
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:51 pm
Location: Northlake, TX

Re: ‘63 Spyder Convertible

Post by joelsplace »

Wow. That tank looks new inside. How did you do that?
114 Corvairs, 5 Ultravans and counting
Northlake, TX

Beers
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:38 pm
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: ‘63 Spyder Convertible

Post by Beers »

Thanks Joel!

I used the POR-15 tank sealer. I had a kit from a couple years ago, it included the degreaser and the metal prep solutions, as well as the sealer. Just followed the steps, the trick was to make sure the tank is 100% dry before you pour in the sealer, and to keep slowly rotating the tank around to get sealer coverage over everything. I plugged up the fill and vent holes the whole time, but uncovered the sender hole after a while so I could look through it and make sure I had uniform coverage.

With these tanks not having a petcock for draining at a low point, it did take a little work to get the extra back out. I’d probably only pour in about 3/4’s of the sealer next time. I also did this to the inside of the filler neck, since I had everything available.

I think this sealer is the same one Clark’s offers, though I don’t think they include the degreaser and metal prep.
1963 Monza Spyder convertible

Beers
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:38 pm
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: ‘63 Spyder Convertible

Post by Beers »

Well, tie rods worn out, ball joint are marginal, rubber on bushings cracked + a few days off next week =

Time for a refresh
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At least with the crossmember out I got to see that the body VIN matches :tu:


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1963 Monza Spyder convertible

Beers
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:38 pm
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: ‘63 Spyder Convertible

Post by Beers »

Got the front suspension put back together and now back in the car. Cleaned up everything and all new bushings, ball joints, etc..

The sway bar mount on driver’s side lower control arm was broken off and the sway bar was missing as well as the upper sway bar mount on that side. Since I had to replace all these parts, I decided to upgrade to the larger ‘64 3/4” sway bar. Just had to swap the passenger lower control arm and sway bar upper mount.

You can see the difference between the ‘62/‘63 upper sway bar mount on the left and the ‘64 one.

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All cleaned up and ready to go.

Since I wanted to use ‘64 lower control arms, I decided to get the rebuilt control arms all the way around from Clark’s. I’ve done a few 60’s GM front suspensions and have a 12T press but since I only had a few days off work figured I’d speed it up and use the rebuilt ones. Some extra $, but really nice. Got the sway bar from California Corvair.

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Also cleaned up the underbody while I had the crossmember out.

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Now time for brakes and steering...
1963 Monza Spyder convertible

Beers
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:38 pm
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: ‘63 Spyder Convertible

Post by Beers »

I’m certainly not an expert on Corvair front end alignments, but why would an alignment shop just put shims on the front bolt instead of both? Just easier than adjusting the rod?

Strut rod threads in good shape and had at least a 1/4”-3/8” of thread left. For now, I just put it back the same way.

Seems like they could have just backed the rod off some more.


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Got the new front brakes on

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1963 Monza Spyder convertible

joelsplace
Posts: 1023
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:51 pm
Location: Northlake, TX

Re: ‘63 Spyder Convertible

Post by joelsplace »

Sometimes that is done to adjust where the wheel sits in the fender well for clearance. If caster is increased at the rod it moves the wheel forward. If it is increased at the upper control arm it moves the wheel back.
114 Corvairs, 5 Ultravans and counting
Northlake, TX

Beers
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:38 pm
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: ‘63 Spyder Convertible

Post by Beers »

Got it, that makes total sense. And the wheel on the pass side is a little close in front, a 1/2” or so from the fender.

Thanks Joel.
1963 Monza Spyder convertible

RoaringRiverRanger
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:09 am

Re: ‘63 Spyder Convertible

Post by RoaringRiverRanger »

Following....if you have a chance, can you detail your "clean up" process? It all looks so amazing!

Thanks!
Steve
Steve
Cassville, MO
1963 Monza Coupe 4 Speed

Beers
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:38 pm
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: ‘63 Spyder Convertible

Post by Beers »

Thanks Steve!

For the crossmember and suspension/steering components, brake backing plates, etc. I used a wire wheel cup on my angle grinder, like this one

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MT ... UTF8&psc=1

And also scrubbing with hard bristle or wire brush with degreaser, especially for those hard to reach parts. Then used metal prep.

For the crossmember, it was a little bit pitted in a couple places, so I painted on black POR-15, followed by their semi-gloss topcoat while the POR-15 was still tacky. On most of the other parts, I primed and then painted with VHT GM satin black engine paint, feel like it goes on well and leaves a good finish. On the sway bar, I used Dupli-Color cast coat iron engine enamel.

For the body, when I removed the gas tank and crossmember, most of the underlying paint was that rust red/maroon color, with a few places painted in dichromate green (on the underbody above the frame rails next to the sides of the gas tank, and behind the front valance onto the front few inches of the frame rails). After scrubbing it with degreaser and using a wire brush, I painted with either Rustoleum heavy metal primer (have used this a lot, it’s great stuff BTW) or green dichromate primer to match what was there before. Then covered with a satin clear coat. On a couple spots on the underbody where there some surface rust, I put down a little POR-15 under the primer (primer again went on while the POR-15 was still tacky).

I left the Rustoleum primer uncovered (except with a clear coat) on the inside of the brake backing plates, not factory but liked the look. Also added the lt. blue stripe to the new coil springs from Clark’s since I could see remnants of it on the old springs.

Probably would have been easier to sand blast the crossmember, but had a few hours free on a Saturday morning so went at it with the wire cup. :assault:

Paul
1963 Monza Spyder convertible

RoaringRiverRanger
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:09 am

Re: ‘63 Spyder Convertible

Post by RoaringRiverRanger »

Appreciate it! This helps a bunch! Hoping you continue to document your process. I'm getting ready to tackle rear axle replacement and really want to clean everything up while in there.
Steve
Cassville, MO
1963 Monza Coupe 4 Speed

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