Corvair Mechanic -San Diego area

Anything Corvair related
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63corvairmonza900
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:36 am

Corvair Mechanic -San Diego area

Post by 63corvairmonza900 »

I am a new owner of a 63 Corvair. Would like to find a mechanic in the area that knows this engine. Would like it inspected so that I can feel safe driving it.

It stalled at a light after I purchased it. Guy said the engine was rebuilt 20k miles ago. Anyone know someone.

They can contact me at

Nathan Hale
858-883-1622
1963 Corvair Monza

Location
Rancho Penasquitos, CA....... San Diego for those not local

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bbodie52
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Re: Corvair Mechanic -San Diego area

Post by bbodie52 »

Is the car equipped with a Powerglide automatic transmission or a manual transmission? The torque converter (fluid coupling) in an automatic transmission car places the engine under load while stopped and in DRIVE. The additional drag on the engine can cause the idle speed to slow somewhat when compared to the idle speed in NEUTRAL. In addition, the ignition points (a mechanical on/off switch inside the distributor) can deteriorate over time with normal operation, affecting the engine ignition timing. This change can slow the engine idle speed to the point where the engine might stall the engine at a stop. A minor tune-up that includes checking the point gap (Dwell) and resetting the ignition timing may be all it needs to restore a normal idle speed ands prevent the engine from stalling when stopped with the engine in DRIVE.

Checking the ignition timing and the condition of the ignition points is a simple procedure that is essentially identical for all older Chevrolets that are equipped with ignition points. Just about any mechanic should be able to handle this simple evaluation of your engine, if you cannot locate a mechanic with Corvair experience. (The local CORSA club chapter members should be able to recommend Corvair-qualified local mechanics in your area, or they may be willing to volunteer to quickly check the tuning of your engine for you).

Purchasing a 1961 Corvair Shop Manual and the associated 1962-1963 Corvair Supplement would be a good idea. If you are inclined to learn some basic maintenance procedures as a beginner DIY home mechanic, the possession of these references would be useful. In addition, most modern mechanics will not have these references available to them. In the case of an emergency roadside repair or the need for a simple tuning procedure, having these reference books in your trunk could make it possible tor a skilled mechanic to tackle small problems that may crop up while driving your Corvair. I have attached the 1962-1963 Supplement - Chevrolet Corvair Shop Manual - Section 7 - Engine Tune-Up for you to refer to. (The design of the 1962-1969 Distributor is different from the one described in the 1961 Shop Manual. The supplement covers these differences).

Of course, the engine stalling could be a carburetor issue or something more-complicated than a problem with the ignition system. But checking the point dwell, the condition of the ignition points, and the engine timing would be a good place to start.

A logical tuning/troubleshooting sequence is needed to help to identify and correct faults or problem areas. Jumping around or improperly adjusting one area to compensate for or mask another problem area can make achieving a properly tuned engine difficult. The two GM/Corvair training videos below are pretty good in providing guidance in performing a logical and methodical tune-up on a Corvair. Hopefully you will find them to be helpful.

Watching the video presentations below helps to provide insight and understanding about proper sequencing of the tune-up steps and procedures. Skipping around can insert obstacles and problems with getting the engine properly tuned.
Tuning the Corvair Engine — Part 1



Tuning The Corvair Engine — Part 2

:wrench: :chevy:
Attachments
1961 Chevrolet Corvair Shop Manual - Section 7 - Engine Tune-Up.pdf
1961 Chevrolet Corvair Shop Manual - Section 7 - Engine Tune-Up
(644.51 KiB) Downloaded 21 times
1962-1963 Supplement - Chevrolet Corvair Shop Manual - Section 7 - Engine Tune-Up.pdf
1962-1963 Supplement - Chevrolet Corvair Shop Manual - Section 7 - Engine Tune-Up
(899.84 KiB) Downloaded 24 times
Tuning the Corvair Engine - Sound-Slide Film Reprint.pdf
Tuning the Corvair Engine - Sound-Slide Film Reprint
(4.6 MiB) Downloaded 18 times
Brad Bodie
Lake Chatuge, North Carolina
Image 1966 Corvair Corsa Convertible

63corvairmonza900
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:36 am

Re: Corvair Mechanic -San Diego area

Post by 63corvairmonza900 »

@Bbrodie

Thanks. See if I can get those manuals. Thanks for the attachment as well.

It is a powerglide automatic
1963 Corvair Monza

Location
Rancho Penasquitos, CA....... San Diego for those not local

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

Re: Corvair Mechanic -San Diego area

Post by 66vairguy »

Years ago the San Diego area had a very active club. Then some folks passed or moved away and club activities dropped off. This year they seemed to be coming back as they were going to do the convention before Covid-19 hit.

I'd contact the San Diego club and see who they suggest. At one time you could join a club and a few folks would help with minor fixes and tuning at "garage runs". Now that's on hold due to Covid.

63corvairmonza900
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:36 am

Re: Corvair Mechanic -San Diego area

Post by 63corvairmonza900 »

Nobody knows of a shop that works on them? I have never worked on a car like this. So until I have seen it pulled apart. I would prefer to have someone inspect it to make sure I don't screw anything up. I have wanted this car since I was 16. I am now 45.

Only car I have ever rebuilt was a 1969 Chevelle with a 327. That was with my grandfather.
1963 Corvair Monza

Location
Rancho Penasquitos, CA....... San Diego for those not local

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bbodie52
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Re: Corvair Mechanic -San Diego area

Post by bbodie52 »

The ignition system in Corvairs is basically the same level of design and engineering found in all 1970 and earlier cars. The six cylinder distributor found in Corvairs is nearly identical to the distributor found in V8 and inline-six or inline-four cylinder cars from that era. The points/condenser/rotor and distributor cap in the Corvair distributor is the same used in Chevrolet six cylinder engines from that era. Electronic, computer-controlled ignition systms gradually replaced the ignition coils/points and distributors form that era, as the new designs were generally more-reliable and required less-maintenance. On the carburetor side, mechanical and vacuum-controlled carburetors were phased out and were replaced with computer-controlled, sensor-based electronic fuel injections systems. The fuel and ignition systems became much-more tightly integrated and electronically controlled than as possible with carburetors and coils/mechanical distributors. Eventually the automatic transmission system joined-in and became part of the tightly controlled and engineered power plant found in modern cars. The latest mid-engine Corvette appears to be the latest example of this integration, with a manual transmission option not even offered (as the design engineers would lose control of a critical element of power plant operation).

Many modern mechanics should not have too much trouble working on a Corvair ignition system — especially if you provide a shop manual to guide them and to provide tune-up specifications for the Corvair. But if you are inclined to give it a try, learning to tune-up and provide routine servicing and oil changes for your Corvair is a very basic skill that you probably can quickly master. It is a good way to learn more about your Corvair and to develop understanding and self-confidence while driving a vintage classic car.

Electronic points-replacement units are available from FAST/Crane Cams and Pertronix or the Stinger electronic distributor are available as Corvair upgrades, to modernize the ignition system and reduce maintenance.
:link: viewtopic.php?f=225&t=15101
Brad Bodie
Lake Chatuge, North Carolina
Image 1966 Corvair Corsa Convertible

66vairguy
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Re: Corvair Mechanic -San Diego area

Post by 66vairguy »

Sadly the number of experienced mechanics that can work on 60's cars is shrinking. As a hobby interest I've worked on many 50 and 60's cars over the decades and the multi-carbureted Corvair engine isn't like tuning a one carb V8 or six. It took some reading, talking with Corvair club members, and trial and error to learn how to "fine tune" a Corvair engine. In the last couple years I've had a few club members ask me to look at Corvairs that ran awful after an "expert" had tuned them.

The biggest error I find is not getting the engine RPM down to where the mechanical advance is static (not advancing) to set the timing. Also balancing carburetors is easy if you UNDERSTAND the process, but it seems to be a mystery to many mechanics as they don't take into consideration disconnecting/adjusting the carburetor linkage when balancing the carburetors.

As for modern automotive technicians - they understand computer controlled ignitions and fuel injection, but distributors and carburetors might as well be magic items to them. I recall talking about "dwell" and a young technician said "That's how we check the fuel injection idle speed solenoid signal". He was absolutely correct, but he had no idea "dwell" was used to check points close/open duration (points gap) of an old distributor.

Anyway - I suggested you contact a local club. I NEVER buy and old car until I check out the local club(s) as they tend to supply me with knowledge that makes buying an old car more rewarding.

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