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Buick/Olds V8 in Corvair
Posted by: corvarious ()
Date: January 29, 2019 10:32AM

Hi,

I am looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. I need a reverse rotation camshaft and compatible distributor, for an Oldsmobile aluminum 215 cubic inch V8, and any other items that I am not aware of needed to install the Olds engine in my Corvair. I have the adapter and clutch/flywheel.
Any help and advice (other than "forget it") would be most appreciated. Thanks,

John

needpart



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/29/2019 11:42AM by MattNall.

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Re: Buick/Olds V8 in Corvair
Posted by: v8vair ()
Date: January 29, 2019 12:31PM

Contact Ken Arnold. He is on this website

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Re: Buick/Olds V8 in Corvair
Posted by: Demon-Xanth ()
Date: January 29, 2019 01:09PM

I've heard this done once. The work needed was far from trivial and a fair degree of custom work was required. I believe the camshaft was 100% custom. The seals to handle the reversed rotation were also needed to be sourced. If I'm remembering correctly the engine decades later it developed serious issues and was replaced by a 4.3 V6, where all the parts were off the shelf thanks to marine applications.

'vairless. But not forever.
Cars need to drive to be alive. One that never leaves the garage may be perfect, but dead.

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Re: Buick/Olds V8 in Corvair
Posted by: cnicol ()
Date: January 29, 2019 01:24PM

I have an Olds, reverse rotation, V8 in my '66.

In addition to the adapter and custom flywheel, as you know, you need the rev-rot camshaft but you also need a reverse distributor drive gear set. Jim Briggs of Ventura California made a batch about 10 years ago; he may have some left.

The required distributor is basically stock except for a small modification to handle up-thrust rather than down-thrust. You'll also need to add an oiler for the distributor gears and modify the belt drive system to turn the water pump the right way and a reverse fan for the alternator. Of course the pistons need to be turned 180 so the pin offset is on the opposite side.

If I had the budget, it would have been much simpler to use a Porsche transaxle and keep the normal engine rotation. The 4-speed trans from a Porsche 930 is ideal since you definitely don't need 5-speeds. With my Corvair trans, I skip 2nd and just go 1-3-4. Skipping 2nd isn't even noticeable.

Craig N. Coeur d'Alene ID.
66 Black Monza 4dr, 4.2L V8 49k
61 Seamist Jade Rampside 140 PG
60 Monza coupe (sold, sniff sniff)
66 Sprint Corsa convt - First car! Re-purchased 43 years later
2+2 gnatsuM 5691

+17 Tons of parts

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Re: Buick/Olds V8 in Corvair
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: January 29, 2019 02:35PM

At one time Dave Stratland in the Los Angeles, CA Corsa West club had such a car. He MIGHT be of some help.

Note the Old's engine used different heads (with one more bolt) vs. the Buick engine. The Buick engine ended up being built and used by Land Rover for many years.

Sadly a lot of these Olds/Buick aluminum engines were not maintained and developed block corrosion issues. A good inspection is advised.

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Re: Buick/Olds V8 in Corvair
Posted by: Phil Dally ()
Date: January 30, 2019 08:08AM

930 "turbo" four speed Craig mentioned.

Is stronger than the average 915 five speed.

Plus the fourth gear is an overdrive ratio.

Also shorter overall and will fit better.

But all things Porsche are bigger bucks.

A few years ago the 930 was running $6K.

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Re: Buick/Olds V8 in Corvair
Posted by: cnicol ()
Date: January 31, 2019 11:21AM

I have an extra 215 Rev-Rot camshaft. Great condition. PM if interested.

Craig N. Coeur d'Alene ID.
66 Black Monza 4dr, 4.2L V8 49k
61 Seamist Jade Rampside 140 PG
60 Monza coupe (sold, sniff sniff)
66 Sprint Corsa convt - First car! Re-purchased 43 years later
2+2 gnatsuM 5691

+17 Tons of parts

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Re: Buick/Olds V8 in Corvair
Posted by: dolomitefan ()
Date: February 01, 2019 05:29AM

There's plenty of 'Rover' V8's knocking around and lots of performance parts too. They only stopped making this engine a few years ago. It's been a staple of modding cars in the UK for many years.

---------------------------------------------------------------
Mark Gibson, Staffordshire, England

1961 Corvair Greenbrier
1980 Triumph Dolomite Sprint
2009 Mazda MX5
2018 Infiniti Q30

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Re: Buick/Olds V8 in Corvair
Posted by: old Jerry ()
Date: February 01, 2019 10:06AM

The 4.3 is reversed by all off the shelf parts but the pistons and rods all have to be moved from side to side. Have one in my 66 and is do smooth and runs strong. The 4.3 is a 86 with an aluminum intake and Q jet. Running a PG because I am old and don't want to shift gears. LOL.

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Re: Buick/Olds V8 in Corvair
Posted by: corvarious ()
Date: February 05, 2019 03:55PM

Are you saying that you bought a reverse rotation camshaft for the Rover engine "off the shelf"? If so, please advise from whom you ordered it. Thanks,
John

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Re: Buick/Olds V8 in Corvair
Posted by: john.jackson ()
Date: February 05, 2019 05:37PM

corvarious Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Are you saying that you bought a reverse rotation
> camshaft for the Rover engine "off the shelf"? If
> so, please advise from whom you ordered it.
> Thanks,
> John


Suspect he is talking about a 4.3 Chevy V6.

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Re: Buick/Olds V8 in Corvair
Posted by: Jim Stukenborg ()
Date: February 06, 2019 07:09AM

Corvarious, don't stop at 215 cubic inches. Take a 300 Buick crank, grind the mains down to fit the 215, bore the block 0.034 over, use Chevy 2.8 pistons, cut valve reliefs, and end up with 266 cubic inches. Could also use the 300 heads and get bigger valves, but the compression might be too high with flat top pistons.
Jim

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Re: Buick/Olds V8 in Corvair
Posted by: steve c goodman ()
Date: February 06, 2019 07:46AM

Making a 300 ci is common but the stumbling
block is still the reverse turning cam PLUS
the dist drive gears.

Seems best/most reliable/ease of replacement
parts is using a Porsche gearbox.

NOTE: the word 'inexpensive' is not included
but if the engine is built as reverse turning
and cam/dist parts fail then the car is
parked and the parts search begins again.

I think this is why the reminder from OLD JERRY
above that 4.3L Chev is easy to find reverse
turning parts. GOOD LUCK

best wishes, Steve
Rear Engine Spec. Inc. Golden, Colo.

1962 spyder 3.0L turbo---1965 Crown V8
1967 monza 110/4---1968 monza 110/4
1971 amante gt 110/4
CORSA/RMC/PPCC

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