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Re: Valve Seals or Something worse?
Posted by: vairsUPnorth ()
Date: January 09, 2022 02:49PM

I would have to agree with 66vairman. Back in 2010 I purchased a 1967 500 4-door 110/PG off eBay. It was in a suburb of Minneapolis about 7-hr drive from me. Some messages back and forth with the seller confirmed that it was a 87k survivor from southern CO and worth placing a little more than the minimum bid of $1200. I ended up being the only bidder.

I met the seller at a storage unit with my trailer. At about 60F the car started after a bit of cranking and ran seemingly okay until the chokes started to pull off, then it settled down to a rough idle. The car had dual mufflers installed and I could tell it was mostly running on the left side. The car was not registered [not driven much] so we drove it a few laps around the storage complex. Up off idle the engine seemed strong but smoked out of the right exhaust. The seller was a diesel mechanic and showed me the receipts for parts from Clark's including carb rebuild kits. He explained that the carbs were simple to rebuild and that he went by the shop manual for synchronizing them. He was suspicious of a broken ring on the right side but after looking at the cost of rebuilding the engine he lost interest.

Once I got the car home I started doing some checking. I found that the rough warm idle was due to a plugged idle circuit in the right carburetor. After cleaning it out and rebalancing both carbs with the Uni-Syn the car started and ran better but still smoked from the right side, now just sooner after starting because it was actually heating up right away. I also replaced a failed damper door thermostat on that side. I changed out the oil to high-mileage synthetic and started driving it regularly to work. Within about a week [~150 mi] the smoke was down to a trace and in another it stopped altogether. To this day the car runs great.

I also agree with Jim B. and nirvairna; get the fuel system all in order and drive the car for a while. You might be surprised.

CO origin of this car was confirmed when I found a set of tire chains under the back seat.

Dale Dewald
President - Corvanatics
Hancock, MI


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Re: Valve Seals or Something worse?
Posted by: markedvair ()
Date: January 09, 2022 06:01PM

I appreciate all of the responses so far. I spent the weekend doing some maintenance (engine oil (Lucas classic car 10w-30) and filter (Wix), flushing brake fluid, changing the diff/trans (sta lube gl 4 gear oil) and changing the after market fuel filter) so I would feel more comfortable putting some miles on the car. I also installed an electric oil pressure gauge. The gauge shows 20 psi oil pressure at hot idle and 45 psi at 3000 RPM which is somewhat reassuring. I drizzled almost a whole can of Berryman B12 down both carb banks and into the carb vent hole while it was running to try and get some of the carbon deposit removed and even out the compression.

I put 20 miles or so on the car today and gave it the beans when I could (hard to do in LA). The old Italian tune up as Derrick would say. There was no smoke at idle, it seemed to smoke at random but mostly on acceleration after coming to a stop regardless if the secondaries where open and only out of the even/DS bank (140 dual exhaust). The smoke got worse the more I drove it.

Now for the bad news...or the even worse news, I cut open the old oil filter and found a few dozen very small pieces of silver metallic material in it (photo attached). There wasn't any "glitter" in th there just the pieces. All of them where silver in color (no bronze or brass colored material). I put a magnet to the pieces and the magnet picked up what wasn't embedded in the filter, so it's ring, cylinder or cam/vavletrain material.

With all of this in mind here's my plan (which I'd love to here feedback on): I'm going to continue using and enjoying the car as is hoping the rings "reseat". I have ordered a copy of Bob Helts carb book and I plan on going through carbs in the meantime as well. I simply don't have the space for another long term dead car right now (I have sloped driveway and pushing a car up it is less than ideal) so I'll look for complete engine that I can rebuild and swap in a relatively short amount of time. Pulling this engine, doing the machine work etc will just take too long.

I'll do a CLDT and compression test if things get substantially worse or if I wind up fouling a plug/s. I'll report back if when this happens.

Again, I appreciate the wealth of knowledge this forum captures and all of the responses are read and consider. Thanks to you all.

68 Monza Coupe 140 4 Speed
74 K5 Blazer 4x4
96 Land Cruiser 3x Locked
13 Tundra Crew Max 4x4

Torrance California

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Re: Valve Seals or Something worse?
Posted by: The Stig ()
Date: January 09, 2022 06:31PM

You have two options. Drive it -or- Tear it down and rebuild it right.

Drive it.

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Re: Valve Seals or Something worse?
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: January 09, 2022 07:30PM

Curious about what method you used to cut the filter open.
Is it possible that those pieces of metal you saw, were not slivers from the cutting process?

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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.

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Re: Valve Seals or Something worse?
Posted by: markedvair ()
Date: January 09, 2022 07:58PM

I used a Sawzall and cut around the parimeter just above the flange with the flange being clamp in a vise. Then cut the gauze/filter material from the base with an exacto blade.

I know I contaminated the filter with the sawzall somewhat but the pieces were buried throughout the filter deep in the gauze folds and far away from where I cut. The pieces looked smooth like they were compressed (hard to see in photo). I seriously doubt the pieces came from the cutting process. Definitely not the best process though.

68 Monza Coupe 140 4 Speed
74 K5 Blazer 4x4
96 Land Cruiser 3x Locked
13 Tundra Crew Max 4x4

Torrance California

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Re: Valve Seals or Something worse?
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: January 09, 2022 10:12PM

The oil filter results are a concern.

I'd drop the oil pan and look for broken ring parts, or broken lifter parts. The oil filter screen blocks the pickup of large pieces, so they will be in the oil pan and easier to identify. On LM engines the bottom of the cylinder is notched and requires loading the pistons from the top. Unfortunately the shop manual says to load from the bottom (which was fine on EM engines, but is NOT RECOMMENDED on LM engine cylinders). Loading LM pistons into the bottom of the cylinder can cause the cylinder notches to catch and break the rings when loading the pistons.

Wix is a good oil filter.

Sta-Lube GL4- 85W90 is O.K. in S. Calif., but it's a little too thick and tends to cause hard shifting until the transaxle warms up. That said it's fine as long as temperatures are 50F or more.

Per a recommendation on the forum I went with Brad Penn 80W90 (GM weight spec) and the transmission shifts better when cold. Brad Penn is sold by Summit racing.

Agreed that building up a Corvair engine takes time, but keep in mind the 140HP engines used a nitrided crankshaft and big valve heads. Finding a good used 140HP engine to rebuild is not easy now like it was three decades ago.

Anyway --- don't get too far down the road until you pull the oil pan and determine were the metal is coming from.

Good luck.

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Re: Valve Seals or Something worse?
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: January 09, 2022 10:28PM

Getting everything exercised and the carbs dialed in needs to be done anyway no matter what you end up doing with the engine. It will reduce down time also. Good plan.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 138 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Valve Seals or Something worse?
Posted by: KenHenry ()
Date: January 10, 2022 10:27AM

What a bummer to have engine problems in your beautifully repainted car!! If you go with fairly stock rebuild you should be able to minimize downtime. My engine was down for quite a while during the rebuild but most of that time was spent waiting on custom parts. CA Corvairs sometimes sells 140hp heads ($1600) but I don't see any listed. Perhaps they could rebuild yours on an expedited basis. And you could get pistons, cylinders, and rods delivered before you even remove your engine if you wanted. One unknown is the crank, but sometimes (often?) it is possible or even recommended to just use new standard bearings on nitrided cranks (as used in 140s and turbos). Ken

Ken Henry, Rochester, NY USA
1965 Corvair Corsa
140 hp, 4 speed



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2022 10:31AM by KenHenry.

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