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Engine fell out !
Posted by: ken ()
Date: February 05, 2020 06:31PM

I saw this on H.A.M.B. Get ready to laugh !

About 1965, I was commuting to the University of Minnesota, driving a '61 Corvair my folks bought new. By this time it had been around the block a few times, including engine removal at the dealership a couple of times to solve some valve problems. I was coming down Hennepin Avenue on my way home when I heard a strange grinding sound, and the car kind of squatted down and stopped. When I got out to investigate, I first saw the rear wheels were at a strange angle, and when I got around to the back, I saw the rear of the engine laying on the ground. The rear motor mount had one bolt pointing downward, and evidently, the nut holding everything together had worked itself loose and fallen off.

Luckily, the car had a scissors jack that I was just able to wiggle under the side of the engine and jack it up high enough to set the spare under it. I was then able to reposition the jack and when it was centered, I was able to jack the engine up the rest of the way. The hole in the tab on the engine assembly went right up over the bolt sticking down like it was made for it (it was). By this time, a good-sized crowd had gathered to see what was going on. A remark was made from the crowd, something to the effect of "Well smart guy, now that you got it jacked up, how are you going to hold it there?". To their credit, several in the crowd helped me walk back over the last couple of blocks to see if we could find the lost nut, or maybe even a length of wire or rope so I could lash it back together. Of course, we had no luck.

Sitting on the curb, I had a gnawing thought that that bolt sticking down looked sorta familiar. In an act of desperation, I removed one of the lug nuts from a front wheel and tried it on the motor mount bolt. It fit perfectly. I tightened it up with the lug wrench (I also made sure the remaining 3 on the wheel were tight), and removed the jack. Everything looked good, so I tried the engine. It started right up. I stowed the jack and spare away, closed the deck (remember, this was a Corvair), and drove away to a smattering of applause from the crowd.

Oh yeah, I forgot. The next day I went to the local hardware store and bought the proper size "fibre-locking-nut" (this was before "nyloks") and a brand new lock washer.

Anybody who doesn't believe me, go find an early corvair and check out the rear motor mount and the lug nuts. You'll find they are the same thread size. I believe it is 7/16 UNF.:rolleyes:

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: FLSteve ()
Date: February 05, 2020 07:03PM

Happend to me but I was lucky and found the nut a few feet away. Put a 2x4 under the engine and pushed down on the back of the car. Tightened up the nut and off I went. I must have forgotten the Carter pin and the nut came off about 1500 miles after the engine was replaced. No damage but a little scrap to the exhaust and oil pan.

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: February 05, 2020 07:25PM

Not an unusual situation back then. Just one nut, not self locking, but castellated, which just needed the one cotter key to rust off or never replaced, and there goes the nut....grinning smiley

This is probably why the late models got the locking style nuts and TWO of them.smileys with beer

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: February 05, 2020 07:47PM

Don't EM's have a sheetmetal cover over the Mount and behind the grill?

MODERATOR
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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: February 05, 2020 07:49PM

yes they do

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 114 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: Brizo ()
Date: February 05, 2020 08:07PM

I've heard that story at least a hundred times. It rarely actually happened to the story teller. The only way the nut could come of is if the cotter pin was left off...by someone recently working on the car. Even here in the rust belt I've never seen that cotter pin rust away. No one ever mentions dealing with the rear grill or the mount cover which prevent access to the stud, probably because they were missing, which may be a clue as to the general condition of the car. Just a "Corvair" story that car guys love to repeat.

Dan Brizendine, Circle City Corvairs
'64 8door Greenbrier 140 PG. "In beautiful Wanamaker Indiana...with one stop light and 5 pizza shops"



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2020 08:08PM by Brizo.

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: detroitdude ()
Date: February 05, 2020 10:42PM

This happened to my brother back in the early 1980s in the Southwest area of Detroit he was driving a late model. He was going to work and as he was going over some railroad tracks the car suddenly stopped. He probably could finish the story but I remember him telling me the motor mount broke and he needed help to get the poor little corvair off the tracks before a train came through.
Good times for sure.

Dan Dood
69 Monza Convertible
66 500 Coupe

Detroit, Michigan

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: February 06, 2020 06:04AM

This happened to my son on a 69, even with the double nuts! I don't remember the exact circumstances but the engine had been out and since my son did most of the work I'm sure he forgot to tighten the 2 nuts in the back. He called me, said what had happened, I got a jack 2 different nuts and put the engine up and drove home after fixing the coil power wire.

Real life and almost first person!

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: vesmcd ()
Date: February 06, 2020 06:41AM

After graduating from High School in 1968, my first car was a 1964, red, 2 door,110, 3 speed. Loved it, but after breaking the clutch,spider gears in the dif,main input shaft (twice) AND the rear motor mount bolts, I realized it was not a good choice for red light drag racing.

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: Allan Lacki ()
Date: February 06, 2020 09:06AM

My story is different. The mounting lugs broke where the Powerglide attaches to the transmission crossmember. So, the powertrain dropped down at the front. Needless to say, this affected the accelerator, but luckily, in a way that slowed the car down.

This happened around 1972, when I was a kid. I don't know why it happened, but I do recall that I liked to downshift the Powerglide down into low gear to hear my trombone mufflers cackle!

GM wasn't very good with engine mounts back then. It wasn't limited to Corvairs.

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: guthrie1068 ()
Date: February 06, 2020 04:11PM

That happened to me 2 summers ago. I had just bought my car and was driving it as much as I could. One night my wife and I drove it to a welding class at the local community college, about 35 minutes away. We got home just as it was getting dark, not a problem to be had. The next morning we hopped in the car to head to work, pulled up to the stop sign about 1/4 mile from our house and just as I was about to pull away there was a loud bang and the engine quit. I got out of the car and the rear of the engine was sitting just off the ground. It broke one of the coil wires, ripped the battery ground, but otherwise didn't do much damage. I walked home, got the truck and towed it home. One of the previous owners must have neglected to put the pin in, and the castle nut on the rear mount had come loose and eventually just fell off. I wasn't happy, but man, that could have been so much worse. My wife still thinks telling that story is soooo funny. In my panic and annoyance at the time I didn't think to take a picture that I would consider funny later...

Chad Guthrie
Onondaga, MI
'63 convertible

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: richard1 ()
Date: February 07, 2020 05:31AM

Forgetting cotter pins is one of the reasons I don't like to let others work on my cars.
One of my friends took his Classic Mini to a shop to fit the adjustable struts I imported for him. He picked up that Saturday and drove to our club meeting. As he made the U-turn to come around and then into the parking lot, the left axle/drive shaft slid out, and of course, as it did, the engine couldn't move the car. We all walked over and pushed it to the side of the road, while he called the tow truck.

Restoration in Bolivia
Richard's Mini Pickup
Richard's Corvair
Richard's Renault Dauphine

Selection of the Right Motor Oil for the Corvair
Selection of the right transmission oil for the corvair
How to polish and restore stainless and aluminum trim

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: WhenIm64 ()
Date: February 07, 2020 08:06AM

I can share three such experiences.

The first, in the early 1960s, involved one of the 1961 Greenbriers that my father used in his business. Going over a railroad crossing in town, something odd happened, so the employee who was driving made an immediate left turn into the Chevy dealer that was right there. Upon stopping, the problem was obvious, the "engine had fallen out."

All these years later I can recall no further details of the failure, only that the problem was corrected and the van gave many more years of service.

The second, in the early 1970s, was when I came upon a 1962 Corvair wagon parked at the side of the road in a rural part of the state. The back of the engine was sitting on the ground and there was a long scrape in the pavement leading from the car back to the point where the failure occurred. There was no one around, and I continued on my way.

The third, in the early 2000s, was my own 1964 track car (the car in my signature). The rear mount failed on the track at Lime Rock, on the "No-Name Straight." Not knowing what had happened, only that something was wrong, I drove the remainder of the lap and pulled into the pits. The analysis: No cotter pin, nut backed off, engine fell out.

In this instance, the fact that the car had a lowered suspension and the '64 transverse leaf spring kept the engine off the ground... by about an inch. I jacked it back into place.

But why was there no cotter pin? I had just installed the engine the prior week. I had a helper. Each of us assumed the other had taken care of it. On the morning of the track event, I checked over everything... except that rear mount because the rear center shroud piece, which we had managed to install without noticing that the cotter pin was missing, hid it from view.

One of those "forever" lessons.

My helper and I were equally culpable in this episode, but I do not want to embarrass him by identifying him here. But his initials are Pete Koehler.
grinning smiley

WhyImWhenIm64

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: hardcase ()
Date: February 07, 2020 02:18PM

When I reinstalled my engine in my 64 last month (after having the car painted), I realized that I'd forgotten to bring the castellated nuts to the shop with me. They had a few lug nuts sitting around, so I used those. About a week later, the paint shop brought my car home, and that weekend, I drove it over to Steve Morton's house to put the right nuts in (his shop is heated).

He crawled under the car and asked where the nuts went. Yep, the front of the power pack was being held up by the transverse leaf spring.

I found one nut on the floor of my garage and the other in the driveway.

Drew

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: caroseiii ()
Date: February 08, 2020 12:08PM

All of these stories have a common omission, the nuts were not torqued to 55 ft/lbs. after the the engine was serviced. I doubt a torqued nut would come loose any time soon.The showing of this is that it is not difficult to remove the cotter pin from a torqued nut which it usually would be if the nut had loosened and stopped onto the cotter pin.

Crawford Rose

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: February 08, 2020 06:33PM

So true. If the nut is tight the cotter is just insurance. It should never do anything. The only place on a Corvair I can think of that a cotter pin retains a nut is at the front wheel bearings.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 114 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: playerpage ()
Date: February 08, 2020 10:15PM

Can I tell a story?

I was rear-ended in my 1966 500 Powerglide at 2AM in 2006. (I was in Grad school working late.) The engine dropped when that happened, and I was inexperienced enough in Corvairs at the time that while I could tell the engine was off-kilter, I had no idea how to fix it. So I drove it for about another month until I got the insurance settlement and bought a 65 Monza to replace it. Yep, I drove that car for 30 days with the engine off the mounts. I was and am that stupid.


It drove fine, I just couldn't take it over 40mph; I was a real hit with other cars on the freeway.

____________________________________________

Eric C. Player, Porterville, CA, USA (Seriously! It's the USA out here!)
MEMBER: CORSA National, Central Coast CORSA, South Coast CORSA, Vintage CORSA, Sfba CORSA, and the San Joaquin Valley Corvair Club.
THEN:
1965 Monza 110, Canary Yellow
1965 Corsa 180 Turbo, Red
1966 Monza 110, Purple
1967 Monza 140, Red
1966 500 110, Black; nicknamed "Shadow"
1965 Monza 110, Camaro Yellow; nicknamed "Silver"
NOW:
1966 Corsa 180 Turbo, Blue; nicknamed "Bluvair"

"He cautioned me not to take notes. It would not have helped if I had, as he would start a paragraph with, 'It is therefore obvious. . .'
and go on from there to matters which may have been obvious to him and God but to no one else."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, character of Daniel B. Davis, 'The Door Into Summer.'

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: February 08, 2020 10:21PM

Where you living in CA. at that time?
I can not imagine how you were able to drive 40 MPH on the freeway (for an entire month!) and NOT get a ticket ! ! ! eye popping smiley
Or even rear-ended AGAIN, for that matter!

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border,
I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
Have; '66 Monza Coupe - 140, 4-spd. Daily driver beater
'67 Monza Vert. - 140, 4-spd. Daily driver beater
'67 A/C Moredoor Monza
Have had; '61 Monza coupe, '62 Monza Wagon, '63 Spyder, '65 Corsa
.
non-vair
'04 Dodge Cummins Quad Dualy, approaching 400K
17'Terry

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: 4carbcorvair ()
Date: February 09, 2020 08:07AM

I wouldn't laugh, unfortunately it's one thing with a Corvair that can happen. As mentioned in the stories above, usually due to a simple cotter pin.

--------------------------------
Ronnie
Southern Maine.
www.dirigocorvairs.net
66 Corsa Convertible, 140, 4sp.
65 Monza Convertible, 110, PG.




It doesn't leak, it's marking it's territory.

A mirror is a reflection of the miles travelled.

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Re: Engine fell out !
Posted by: playerpage ()
Date: February 09, 2020 09:01AM

I was South, in Orange County--Buena Park, with a need to get to the city of Orange every day for school. About 17 miles south along the 5 freeway. I would just stay in the slow lane. Many mornings were Stop-and-go anyway (but not as bad as LA. They call the dividing line between the two counties the "Orange Crush," due to the huge slowdown entering Los Angeles County).

When I replaced the car--a lovely 500 that had been owned by a single little old lady all its life. I hated to part with it--I gave the remnants to Jeff at California Corvairs. Looking back, I am sure he did very well parting it out. The 110 engine ran like a song, and I didn't know what I had.

That isn't a swipe at Jeff 14 years later. The owner of any vehicle has the responsibility to understand it. The Monza I got later was the one I drove for years and painted Camaro Yellow. It's a story with a happy ending.

And I got plenty of tickets in that Monza for driving it without a registration. Fun fact: I almost lost it to another freeway accident where again the guy didn't see me. In that case, he was in a truck and looked right over me seeing nothing because I was so low in relation. Just drifted right into me and sent me spinning. Had to hire my cousin the lawyer to get that taken care of.

Nowadays my penchant for adding all sorts of decorative LEDs to my Turbo can be traced back to a desire to be SEEN, and never have that happen again.

____________________________________________

Eric C. Player, Porterville, CA, USA (Seriously! It's the USA out here!)
MEMBER: CORSA National, Central Coast CORSA, South Coast CORSA, Vintage CORSA, Sfba CORSA, and the San Joaquin Valley Corvair Club.
THEN:
1965 Monza 110, Canary Yellow
1965 Corsa 180 Turbo, Red
1966 Monza 110, Purple
1967 Monza 140, Red
1966 500 110, Black; nicknamed "Shadow"
1965 Monza 110, Camaro Yellow; nicknamed "Silver"
NOW:
1966 Corsa 180 Turbo, Blue; nicknamed "Bluvair"

"He cautioned me not to take notes. It would not have helped if I had, as he would start a paragraph with, 'It is therefore obvious. . .'
and go on from there to matters which may have been obvious to him and God but to no one else."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, character of Daniel B. Davis, 'The Door Into Summer.'

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