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V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: OttawaCorvairGuy ()
Date: January 08, 2020 07:36AM

Anyone ever used, on their V8 Corvair, the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?

IF SO - What was the results?

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: didget69 ()
Date: January 08, 2020 10:56AM

You're referring to a 'bottom feed' air intake path?

bnc

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: OttawaCorvairGuy ()
Date: January 08, 2020 11:03AM

YES. So one does not have to cut or modify the front and/or to help keep the stock - sleeper look...

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: 2ragtops ()
Date: January 08, 2020 11:54AM

Picture please, I am rebuilding my radiator and intake now as we speak

Bob Bauer

Show-Me Corvairs

1966 Monza Convert 140 P/G with A/C, plastic wheel with tele-column am-fm posi-traction
1966 Corsa Convert 180 wood wheel tele-column am-fm sport steering posi-traction
1965 Corsa Coupe Crown V8 temporarily red lined for repair
House Springs, Missouri

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Date: January 08, 2020 12:34PM

I can tell you from my firsthand experience with another "bottom-breather", my 1963 Avanti R2 4-speed; that even with a couple of puller fans, and airdam was required to get sufficient cooling. The reason may have been the size of the air inlet (grill) or the curved path the cooling air needed to take to reach the upper radiator. Both factors should be kept in mind.

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: Caraholic4life ()
Date: January 08, 2020 01:10PM

When I bought my Kelmark car it had a bunch of one inch round holes drilled unevenly across the front panel, above the bumper and between the headlights.
The car had been painted White and the holes looked like **** (Not Good).

Initially I was thinking about having the new front panel Louvered above the bumper, but time constraints kept me from going this route.

I replaced the front panel and cut openings below the front bumper on either side of the license plate as large as I was able to and still install a 1969 Camaro spoiler up there. I also used the stock Camaro support brackets to keep it firmly in place.

On the inside directly behind the front panel the radiator sat straight up at with no angle.

I constructed partitions on either side of the radiator between it and the front panel and above it to direct the air through the radiator with an electric fan behind it to draw air through.

The area ahead of the gas tank was cut out to direct the air out beneath the car and the space above the radiator between it and the trunk floor (above the gas tank) had another panel to help direct the air the direction I wanted it to go.
This also afforded me some storage space while keeping the air pressure off of the underside of the trunk lid.

Initially I was going to paint the car a bright Blue which is why I replaced the front panel. I ended up painting the car Black so I might have been able to get away with the one inch holes, but I think having the opening below the bumper looked much better regardless of the color I ended up with.

IF I were to do this again today I might have trimmed out the existing cut up panel and have about a half inch return "Lip" around the perimeter of the opening then have a custom fabricated Billet Grille made to fit the opening. I might even do the same below the bumper in a way to match or compliment the upper opening. I would also spend more time designing and executing the exit of the air as well.

My apologies for the lousy photo but it is the only one I could find at the moment.

1962 95 F.C. Van
1965 Monza Coupe
Westminster, Maryland

MID ENG enthusiast &
prior Kelmark owner.

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: hardcase ()
Date: January 08, 2020 01:57PM

One of the guys in my car club has an FC with a mid-engine big block. The radiator sits just behind the cab and draws air from under the truck through a plenum that is behind the seat. The opening is about 3/4 the width of the cab and maybe 10 inches long. He has a couple of fans on the radiator as well. No problems with overheating.

Of course, the advantage of having the radiator where it is, is that the air has a place to go after it's drawn through. That's a little harder in a mid engine car.

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: firevair66 ()
Date: January 08, 2020 05:58PM

Caddy STS grill

John Shoemaker,Riegelsville,PA.
1958 Impala Sport Cp. 348 ,pg/ac
61 Rampside full custom show truck
65 Monza 110/4 vert driver
65 Full Custom Monza 140 Cp
66 Monza 110/PG Vert
66 Corsa FITCH SPRINT Documented ( in Process,recondition)
66 CorV8 350 "firevair"Custom Show

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: ihscomputers ()
Date: January 08, 2020 06:52PM

My approach to the on-going race car to street car conversion is vairy similar to Carholic4life's description above.

Mine has not yet been put into service, so I have no proof that it works...but I am more confident than ever that it will based upon Carholic4life's post.





Dean F. Gemberling
Columbus, Georgia
Heart of Georgia Corvair Club Webmaster
Springfest Webmaster

1963 Rampside w/305 V8 - Built by Ken Arnold in 1998

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: OttawaCorvairGuy ()
Date: January 08, 2020 07:02PM

What I was wondering was if anyone has:

1. set the radiator a little farther back in the trunk

2. cut a hole in the trunk pan (not under or over the front bumper) and place the airdam just behind the new opening.

Just like a 87-89 Firebird the airdam will force air up to the radiator.

However, unlike front engines in the firebird which rely on mechanical coolihng fan. This setup only has the electric fan and I was not sure it would draft enough air at highway speeds to not really need the fan.

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: cnicol ()
Date: January 08, 2020 09:25PM

While my V8 is a bottom breather, the Firebird takes it to another level lower!

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: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: ihscomputers ()
Date: January 09, 2020 02:48AM

IMHO, unless you place the radiator with the base at the bottom rear side of the trunk and at an angle facing forward, there would not be enough room for air to exit the other side assuming that you placed the air entry point in the bottom front side of the trunk.

This arrangement also assumes that you retain the stock gas tank and that the air exit point(s) from the trunk is/are through the trunk lid.

Dean F. Gemberling
Columbus, Georgia
Heart of Georgia Corvair Club Webmaster
Springfest Webmaster

1963 Rampside w/305 V8 - Built by Ken Arnold in 1998

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: OttawaCorvairGuy ()
Date: January 09, 2020 04:07AM

cnicol Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> While my V8 is a bottom breather, the Firebird takes it to another level lower!


YES it does. I copied it for a setup on UV520... It made a difference...
However, with both the radiator behind the power-plant all the way in the back; it was still not getting enough forced cool air at highway speeds.

But I thought, with the V8 Corvair with it's radiator up front - one might be able to reproduce what Firebird did and use it to disguise the radiator and its location and still get the proper air flow when needed.

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: January 09, 2020 04:36AM

Having had an 86 Firebird with a V-8 there were NO cooling issues! The thing that made it work was the spoiler that is pictured above just behind the air uptake. It works. The only time the fans came on was with the AC or idling for an extended time.
If you pay attention that is a substantial air dam!

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: OttawaCorvairGuy ()
Date: January 09, 2020 05:14AM

vairmech Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Having had an 86 Firebird with a V-8 there were NO cooling issues! The thing that made it work was the spoiler that is pictured above just behind the air uptake. It works. The only time the fans came on was with the AC or idling for an extended time.


> If you pay attention that is a substantial air dam!

I know personally as I purchased and installed one from the aftermarket Firebird vendor...

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: OttawaCorvairGuy ()
Date: January 09, 2020 05:18AM

My thinking on this is two fold.

People put airdams on LMs...

So why not (if at all possible - due to space restrictions for the radiator) try to install an airdam like this to also provide the cool air up into the radiator while disguising that there is even a radiator.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2020 08:05AM by MattNall.

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: VairKing ()
Date: January 09, 2020 11:28AM

Here is what I am doing on my V6 GTP car. Will it work? Time will tell. You can't see the cutouts unless you get down low. 69 Camaro spoiler to direct air in.

_________________________________________
Ryan Counterman (Moderator)
1965 Corsa Kelmark V8 400 HP ///1965 Monza Sedan 110/PG /// Ultimate Corvair Hauler/// Don Eichstaedt's 1965 Corsa Racecar
West Michigan Corvair Club /// 1966 Corsa GTP Convertible Mid Engine 3.8L Supercharged project stalled

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: VairKing ()
Date: January 09, 2020 11:29AM

And the radiator. 2 large fans with good shrouding. I have mocked up the radiator covers out of cardboard and am in the process of making them out of aluminum.

_________________________________________
Ryan Counterman (Moderator)
1965 Corsa Kelmark V8 400 HP ///1965 Monza Sedan 110/PG /// Ultimate Corvair Hauler/// Don Eichstaedt's 1965 Corsa Racecar
West Michigan Corvair Club /// 1966 Corsa GTP Convertible Mid Engine 3.8L Supercharged project stalled

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: Caraholic4life ()
Date: January 09, 2020 01:00PM

OttawaCorvairGuy Wrote:
------------------------------------------------------
>
> However, unlike front engines in the firebird which rely on mechanical coolihng fan. This setup only has the electric fan and I was not sure it would draft enough air at highway speeds to not really need the fan.

You absolutely want electric fans to draw air through the Radiator!
While you should probably get adequate air flow while driving at moderate speeds and higher (20MPH+).
The problem is when traffic comes to a complete stop, or stop and go slow traffic on any day with temperatures above 70 degrees (Fahrenheit, NOT Celsius).
You also need to be Positive that your fans are pulling the air through the Radiator and NOT trying to push it back out into the incoming air.

Generally speaking my car ran around 200 Degrees when hot, but one day I got stuck in Destruction Traffic on a bridge for about a half hour on a very warm day.
My car over heated to the point that the center of the temperature switch on the side of the block melted and allowed water to exit the block.
Fortunately after the car cooled down, the Temperature Switch was replaced and new coolant was added, fortunately for me, I did not suffer any long term consequences.
On cooler days (Under 60 Degrees) it could idle for hours while sitting without any issue.
I bought my car around 1983 and sold it in 1999 and had a blast while I had it. I would love to have it back in the condition it was in when I sold it.

1962 95 F.C. Van
1965 Monza Coupe
Westminster, Maryland

MID ENG enthusiast &
prior Kelmark owner.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2020 01:06PM by Caraholic4life.

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Re: V8 Owners - Has anyone ever used the late 80's Firebird style air intake for the radiator?
Posted by: OttawaCorvairGuy ()
Date: January 09, 2020 04:29PM

Ryan, You may want to put 2 small rectangle openings with light rubber flaps covering them right in the top middle area of the 2 fans.
Check out other aftermarket electric fan shrouds and you will see the rectangular flaps for the openings.

What this will do is allow more air to pass through at higher speeds - should the pressure build up from the restriction of the shroud and the 2 fans.
Any other time the flaps will remain down and the air will only flow by the fans.

BTW Ryan, Please check out and reply to my post to you, recently in my thread, about an update on those infloor lights.

Thank you

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