New guy with a few questions.....

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exhogflyer
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Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:51 pm

New guy with a few questions.....

Post by exhogflyer »

Thanks in advance for the help, longtime lurker and finally came out of the woods. I'm a new owner of a 1965 Monza 140 HP that will need some work over the winter.I'm a long time mechanic, no stranger to old vehicles but haven't tinkered with a 'vair since high school days, and boy are there a lot of changes! Now, to my questions: I've upgraded the ignition plate to the Pertronix 2 system and matching coil. The instructions want the resistance wire eliminated to the coil positive, and a Corvair book I have mentions running a non resistance wire, but for the life of me I can't find WHERE it starts from. Does anyone know? The old corvair schematic is not very good.
Question 2: I will need to have the heads redone as cylinder #1 is ZERO and cylinder #6 is maybe 40. What shop can folks recommend that KNOWS vair head work?
Question #3 I'm considering the possibility of doing a full rebuild, and I'm intrigued about the 3.1 big bore kit. Does anyone have any experience with this kit?
Again, thanks for the help
Gene

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

Re: New guy with a few questions.....

Post by joelsplace »

I'm guessing you don't have an automatic. Pertronix 2s don't idle properly with Powerglides.
You'll want deep seats installed if it is in your budget.
If I was spending the money to install deep seats I would want to send them to someone that will also weld up the chambers to get proper squish clearance.
I have no experience with the 3.1 but a lot of them have been installed.
113 Corvairs, 5 Ultravans and counting
Northlake, TX

exhogflyer
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Re: New guy with a few questions.....

Post by exhogflyer »

Yes, I do have a PG but didn't notice any difference in idle ( it sucks anyway with a dead cylinder). Can you recommend a machine shop? Thanks!

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azdave
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Re: New guy with a few questions.....

Post by azdave »

Your resistor wire is wrapped in woven cloth and starts at the large rectangular plug in the top left engine compartment. It runs along inside the harness heading to the coil but then folds back upon itself inside the wrapping and heads back to the 2-pin plug for the the starter solenoid. Power to the coil bypasses the resistor wire while the starter is engaged so that the coil will temporarily see a full 12V for cold winter starts. After the starter turns off, the power to the coil again loops through the resistor wire circuit before reaching the coil.
Dave W. from Gilbert, AZ
65 Corsa 140/4
66 Corsa 140/4
66 Corsa 140/4 w/factory A/C
66 Corsa 455 Toro V8
65 Monza Convertible 110/4
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65 Monza 4DR EJ20T/5

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terribleted
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Re: New guy with a few questions.....

Post by terribleted »

Dump the Pert II if it is an automatic. A Pert I needs no wiring mods. It is well known that there are issues with this ignition in a PG Corvair. Install a Pert I if you insist on Pertronics, or use a Crane/FAST XR700 points replacement or a Stinger electronic distributor. Zero compression is a problem, so is 40. You need to investigate why these are like this. Could be simple valve adjustments or minor damaged valve train parts, or major engine issues like hole in piston, dropped valve seat badly worn or broken rings etc.. Be prepared, fully rebuilding a Corvair engine is an expensive project.
Corvair guy since 1982. I have personally restored at least 20 Vairs, many of them restored ground up.
Currently working full time repairing Corvairs and restoring old cars.
https://www.facebook.com/tedsautorestoration/

Located in Snellville, Georgia

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azdave
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Re: New guy with a few questions.....

Post by azdave »

Gene,

Probably best to chase to low compression issues for now and stay with stock points ignition until you get it running. I use the stock ignition setup on several of my Corvairs without issues.
Dave W. from Gilbert, AZ
65 Corsa 140/4
66 Corsa 140/4
66 Corsa 140/4 w/factory A/C
66 Corsa 455 Toro V8
65 Monza Convertible 110/4
66 Monza Convertible 140/4
65 Monza 4DR 140/PG w/factory A/C
65 Monza 4DR EJ20T/5

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bbodie52
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Re: New guy with a few questions.....

Post by bbodie52 »

:welcome2: :wave: Welcome to the Corvair Forum!

The Pertronix Ignitor II electronic ignition system seems to have slow idle problems with properly managing the ignition pulses. With the Powerglide transmission in DRIVE, the idle slows to the point that the Pertronix apparently skips every other pulse, which effectively causes a misfire and further slows the idling engine so that it stalls. The Pertronix Ignitor I design does not have this problem.

The Crane Cams/FAST XR700 unit utilizes an optical trigger instread of a magnetic pulse to control the ignition coil switching. It has a good reputation, but the design specifically utilizes the input voltage tapped from the positive side of the ignition coil (without bypassing the resistor wire in the primary circuit). The electronics in the XR700 module are designed to run on the reduced primary voltage (with the factory resistor wire in the circuit), and will overheat if powered continuously by a full 12 VDC nominal battery voltage.

The Modern STINGER electronic distributor utilizes a magnetic pulse trigger and requires a full 12 VDC power source. The control circuit can tolerate the high current draw of low primary resistance (0.6 ohms) coils, but will also work fine with 1.5 ohm or 3.0 ohm coils. With the six cylinder engine's longer average duration between ignition pulses, and the lower compression ratio and relatively low RPM operation, the Corvair engine does just fine using a 12 VDC coil like the Pertronix Flame-Thrower (3.0 ohm primary version) ignition coil. It provides a strong enough spark voltage but runs somewhat cooler on 12 VDC due to the 3.0 ohm internal primary, which also permits a full 12 VDC to power both the coil and the Stinger distributor electronics.

I have attached a couple of Stinger distributor technical documents.
bbodie52 wrote: » Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:55 pm

If you decide to install a Stinger distributor, the wiring diagrams below show the easiest location (in the engine compartment) to tap into the Ignition Switch 12 VDC output — bypassing the resistor wire — to power both the distributor electronics and the replacement coil. The Flame-Thrower application chart shows that Pertronix recommends the 3.0 ohm version of their Flame-Thrower coil (or their Flame-Thrower II coil) for use in 6-cylinder applications (coil powered by a full 12 VDC, bypassing the resistor wire). Either coil is designed for full-time 12 VDC operation and will work properly with the Stinger distributor.

Image

I don't think that the Stinger distributor looks that big. Note that the coil in the above picture has been re-positioned to mount on the engine compartment frame, rather than the standard mounting location on the right cylinder head. Moving the coil mounting bracket away from the hot cylinder head mount will reduce the environmental heat the coil is exposed to.
bbodie52 wrote:The illustration below shows the point where you can tap in to the existing engine compartment wiring harness to bypass the existing ballast resistor circuits and provide a direct tie to the ignition switch 12 VDC power source for an aftermarket electronic ignition system that requires 12 VDC full-time. 1962, 1964, and 1965 Corvair harnesses are shown...

Image
Image
1965-1969 Corvair Engine Compartment Multi-Connector

As far as I know, the Crane Cams optical trigger XR700 is the only unit that is designed to have its electronics run on a voltage source that has already been lowered by a ballast resistor. In fact, the instructions state that connecting the Crane Cams electronic unit to a full 12 VDC power source may cause it to overheat and begin to malfunction.

Image

Pertronix Ignitor Specifications
Operating Voltage: 8-V to 16-V DC

According to Pertronix, the Ignitor can operate with an input voltage power source of 8-16 V DC. The ballast resistor in the Corvair primary circuit will drop the 12-14 V DC seen with the engine running and the alternator charging down to approximately 7-9 V DC. So if you are tapping voltage for the red Ignitor wire at the coil positive terminal, you are already close to the minimum tolerable specification. Active circuits in the car such a headlights, the heater fan, etc. can draw the average voltage down.

The stock Corvair Delco coil is also designed to run on continuous voltage that has been reduced by a ballast resistor or resistor wire. The Corvair circuitry is designed to feed the stock coli a full 12 VDC briefly from the starter solenoid while the engine is being cranked, which boosts the secondary output voltage to the spark plugs to help get the engine started during cranking. But the voltage to the coil is reduced by the ballast resistor wire in the harness to a nominal 7-8 VDC as soon as the key is released and the starter solenoid disengages. This lower voltage helps the ignition coil to run cooler, yet still produces a spark that was deemed adequate by GM engineers for normal engine operation. The reduced voltage also helps to prolong the operational life of the ignition points by reducing arcing and burning as the points open and close.

Most high performance aftermarket ignition coils — such as those produced by Crane Cams and Pertronix — are designed for higher voltage output to the spark plugs, and are designed to handle a full 12 VDC power source during continuous engine operation without overheating.

Image

HOWEVER, THE PERTRONIX FLAME-THROWER COIL IS AVAILABLE IN BOTH 1.5 OHM AND 3.0 OHM VERSIONS. PERTRONIX RECOMMENDS A FULL 12 VDC INPUT WITH NO EXTERNAL BALLAST RESISTOR FOR THEIR FLAMETHROWER COILS, BUT ALSO RECOMMENDS THE 1.5 OHM VERSION FOR V8 ENGINES AND THE 3.0 OHM VERSION LISTED BELOW FOR THE 4 AND 6 CYLINDER ENGINES.

The 3 ohm version of the Flame-Thrower coil reduces current flow through the primary winding, which causes the coil to run cooler with the longer 4 and 6 cylinder engine duty cycle (the amount of time the coil primary winding is ON between ignition firing cycles). This average charging time before discharge to fire a spark plug is longer at a given RPM on a 4 or 6-cylinder engine due to the reduced number of cylinders. The coil is able to produce its advertised 40,000 volt output with a reduced current 3.0 ohm primary winding and an associated reduced current flow, which allows the coil to run at a cooler temperature. The duty cycle with an 8 cylinder engine is shorter, so the 8 cylinder engine needs more current flow through the coil from the 12 volt input, therefore a 1.5 ohm primary is specified for an 8 cylinder engine.

In either configuration, bringing a full 12 VDC to the coil positive terminal provides a convenient power source for an electronic ignition, such as a Stinger distributor or a Pertronix Ignitor or Ignitor II module. This would not be recommended for the Crane Cams XR700 electronic ignition module, however, since it is designed to operate with a voltage that has already been reduced by a factory ballast resistor or resistor wire.


Image

40611 Black Epoxy Filled Flame-Thrower 40,000 Volt Coil — 3 Ohm

28010 Black Industrial Oil Filled Flame-Thrower 40,000 Volt Coil — 3 Ohm

40511 Black Oil Filled Flame-Thrower 40,000 Volt Coil — 3 Ohm

40501 Chrome Oil Filled Flame-Thrower 40,000 Volt Coil — 3 Ohm

:angry: :nono: Note that it is never wise to leave the ignition key in the ON position for a long time without the engine running. If the points are closed or the electronic ignition module is conducting electricity continuously to Ground from the coil negative terminal without the engine running, the battery will be draining and the coil may overheat and possibly be damaged. Some early Pertronix Ignitor I electronic modules were also known to be damaged if the key was left ON without the engine running.
The link below will provide you with a list of useful websites that are Corvair-related. Some of the links will lead you to an extensive technical library that will allow you to download shop manuals and other technical references in Adobe Reader format at no cost. There is also a link that will help you to locate nearby CORSA (Corvair Society of America) club chapters. You will also find a list of essential Corvair parts suppliers. Clark's Corvair Parts in Shelburne Falls, MA is the biggest and oldest Corvair supplier in the world. You will find a link that can provide you with a series of videos that amount to a tour of the Clark's Corvair Parts facilities. Parts suppliers such as this truly make our Corvair hobby possible.

Common and Useful Corvair Websites

Corvair Forum :link: http://www.corvairforum.com/forum/viewt ... 225&t=6007

:dontknow: I would like to encourage you to expand on your initial post and tell us more about yourself, your Corvair interests, and your goals for your Corvair. Helping us to know more about you will help us to write comments to you that are tailored to your needs and experience. Detailed pictures of your Corvair — including the engine compartment — would possibly be useful. Knowing your location may also suggest possibilities in supporting your Corvair interests.

:welcome: :welcome2:
Attachments
Stinger Distributor - Care and Feeding of.pdf
Stinger Distributor - Care and Feeding of
(1.81 MiB) Downloaded 15 times
Stinger Distributor - Information on Distributor Applications.pdf
Stinger Distributor - Information on Distributor Applications
(636.64 KiB) Downloaded 11 times
Brad Bodie
Lake Chatuge, North Carolina
Image 1966 Corvair Corsa Convertible

66vairguy
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Re: New guy with a few questions.....

Post by 66vairguy »

exhogflyer -- I'm the electrical guy at our club so I've seen a lot of Pertronix issues. Sadly Pertronix instructions are generic causing confusion.

I do like the Pertronix unit, but there is no denying many have problems with Pertronix.

TTed is correct, the Ignitor II has an issue at low RPM causing a "mis". It's a known issue that the Ignitor I does NOT have. As long as you stay above about 700RPM they tend to work at idle - which with a PG in drive is typically too high an RPM. The Pertronix coils have had issues in the past, I avoid them now. Just me but I'd dump the Ignitor II and Flamethrower coil.

With a 140HP engine a Pertronix Ignitor (sometimes called Ignitor I) works fine with a stock coil and stock ballast resistor. More than adequate spark with a stock gap. The old DELCO coils are not available, but fortunately the 140HP coil was almost the same as the 1965-66 SBC V8 coil used on 283/327 engines (not the F.I. engines). A quality brand replacement works fine. I've done many in this confirguration without issues . Also move the coil off the engine to the rear panel brace as done on A/C equipped cars, which requires a longer coil wire. Seth Emerson is renowned for making Corvair spark plug wires and can make up the longer coil wire, or buy his complete set - NOTE on 140HP engines it is suggested you order the extra cost right angle spark plug boots to clear the carburetor linkage. https://www.perfvair.com/ignition-wire-sets/

Note the 140HP PG engine is unique!! After a few intial engine builds, GM went with a milder cam vs. the manual transmission cars and used a special crank gear to offset the cam timing a few degrees. This was done to boost low RPM torque while preserving some higher RPM HP. I'm assuming your engine is original as "transplants" are common in Corvairs. Post your engine number and folks will state if it's a real 140HP PG engine.

State were you are located for head rebuild recommendation. BEWARE VW shops as the Corvair head is different. Unfortunately finding a good Corvair machine shop is getting more difficult.

Good luck with your car.

exhogflyer
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Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:51 pm

Re: New guy with a few questions.....

Post by exhogflyer »

Thanks all for the good info! I'll take it to heart, and I plan shortly on investigating the cause of the low/no compression. I'm in upstate NY, so again, if anyone can recommend a good Corvair machine shop please do so!

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bbodie52
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Re: New guy with a few questions.....

Post by bbodie52 »

Here is some additional information on the Stinger distributor and general wiring information...

ELECTRONIC DISTRIBUTOR UPGRADE/REPLACEMENT OPTIONS
:link: viewtopic.php?f=225&t=15101

CORVAIR COMBINED WIRING SCHEMATIC DIAGRAMS
:link: viewtopic.php?f=225&t=12968

Common and Useful Corvair Websites
Corvair Forum :link: http://www.corvairforum.com/forum/viewt ... 225&t=6007
exhogflyer wrote: » Tue Aug 25, 2020 4:21 pm

... I'm in upstate NY, so again, if anyone can recommend a good Corvair machine shop please do so!
Image :link: https://www.corvair.org/index.php/compo ... =9&reset=0
There are several CORSA (Corvair Society of America) club chapters in New York. CORSA clubs vary with membership participation, but generally they are helpful, family-friendly groups who organize meetings, picnics, car shows, competitions, scenic drives and technical training sessions. In comparison with websites like the Corvair Forum, the CORSA chapters are local in nature and represent "the other side of the coin" in obtaining Corvair support and guidance. Face-to-face contact with like-minded Corvair owners can be very helpful in finding your first Corvair, and can increase your enjoyment of your Corvair once you are an owner. There are five CORSA chapters in New York. I would suggest contacting one club chapter that is near you and inquiring about membership and for advice concerning good Corvair machine shops in your area.

Here are some links to investigate...

Image
Long Island Corvair Association
West Babylon, New York - Chapter 117
:link: http://longislandcorvairassociation.zohosites.com/

Image
Central New York Corvair Club
P.O. Box 616 Jamesville, NY 13078 - Chapter 130)
:link: http://www.cnycorvair.com/CNYCorvair.php

Image
Capital District Corvair Club
Delmar, New York - Chapter 120
:link: http://www.corvair.org/chapters/chapter120/

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ACORNS (Association of COvaiR NutS)
Rochester, New York - Chapter 148
:link: http://www.corvair.org/chapters/chapter148/

This CORSA club chapter has been around for many years, but their website is no longer active. Below is the contact information I could find, so perhaps a few phone calls will have you talking to the right Corvair locals who may be able to advise you about local Corvair mechanics.

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Niagara Frontier Corvair Club
Buffalo, New York - Chapter 140
Joe Pendolino, Age 68
187 Glenhurst Rd, Tonawanda, NY 14150-8423
(716) 837-3531

President: Joe Pendolino, (716) 837-5070, joe@62vairragtop.net
Vice President: Gary Swiatowy, (716) 439-5194 , gswiatowy@rochester.rr.com
7838 Chestnut Ridge Rd, Gasport, NY 14067-9503
Secretary: John Dawley, (716) 832-8551
Treasurer: Jon Miller, (716) 655-6735
Membership: Joe Pendolino, (716) 837-5070

Facebook: :link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/653154108162085
About This Group
The Niagara Frontier Corvair Club is located in the Buffalo, New York Metro area and
exists to promote the ownership and restoration of the Corvair and Corvair related items.

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

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