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64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: arctic_man ()
Date: August 12, 2022 04:48PM

Greetings,

I recently purchased a 64 Spyder and the engine is seized. I am wondering if any Corvair owners have clever ideas to free it up. I have both heads off and one side soaking in trans fluid. With the pistons being aluminum I don't want to try beating on the pistons with anything but a block of wood.

The problem I see is I am not sure if a piston or several are stuck or the crank may be frozen? I am no stranger to turning wrenches but this is the first stuck engine I have encountered.

The trans is separated and I have the engine on a stand. I have the harmonic balancer off and have been working the bolt. Careful not to break it.

Honestly the engine itself looks pretty good considering its age. Cylinder walls looked real good. The heads looks alright. A few intake valves will probably be replaced. So I am not sure if I am just not giving it all the beans I got or if it is truly stuck or stuck somewhere I am not thinking of.

Other fun facts: I was told it ran when it was parked 10 years ago. Oil smelled like gas and real thin when I drained the pan. Has a non electric fuel pump.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2022 04:49PM by arctic_man.

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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: DOUG WARD ()
Date: August 12, 2022 04:57PM

Artisman, I acquired a seized engine too. It had sat in a coastal salty environment for several years. I had to actually cut a couple of the head studs off so the head could be removed. Lots of beating on that too until it gave up & let go. It takes a lot of patience with a wood block & large rubber hammer. The damage amounted to a broken cylinder & 2 cut studs. I was surprised at how nice the engine was internally though. It did get a complete overhaul & ran strong.

Doug Ward
Orange, Calif.
65 Corsa 180, 64 Monza convertible, 61 Lakewood, 61 Monza


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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: arctic_man ()
Date: August 12, 2022 05:10PM

The stories of an engine freeing up at least make me feel better, lol. I am trying not to get impatient and have only had it soaking for a tad. In fact, I just got the 2nd set of heads off today.

The studs themselves look good. One side had three pull up. The other had only one. I am debating on replacing them all but they look good. This rebuild is a slow burn so I am telling myself that it is okay that it is not free. But I don't want to toss money into additional parts until I know the engine itself is good.

I guess that money could go to more PB Blaster, trans fluid, and the good ole WD40.

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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: Timothy Shortle ()
Date: August 12, 2022 06:10PM

Have you removed the top crankcase cover to inspect the rods?

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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: roger65180 ()
Date: August 12, 2022 06:33PM

I would use a block of wood and a good hammer place the block on the horizontal sides of the pistons give each piston a good rapp on both sides of the piston and all 6 pistons . do not put much torqk on the balancer bolt . from your discription it should come loose

Roger R
Madison Wi
62 ct pg turbo
65intercooled 180 4sp,autocrosser
62 Rampy

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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: Darrin ()
Date: August 12, 2022 06:37PM

I have freed up a few and had them run great with some work, one only had 10k miles on it from new and it took weeks. Runs perfectly. Soaking and rocking on the wrench a bit every time you pass by rather than force.

Darrin Hartzler
Bethesda, MD/Catlett, VA

Northern Virginia Corvairs & Group Corvair

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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: arctic_man ()
Date: August 12, 2022 06:52PM

Yes, rods look good. Again, minor surface rust on a few areas. But overall it looks pretty good.

I figure as I do just that, Darrin; and every so often I give it a nudge I will buy the parts I will probably need either way. Also work on restoring and painting the parts I have already taken off.

The problem I have which I assume there is no solution to other than a giant dunk tank is that I can only soak one side at a time, as it is a boxer engine. Right now I have the passenger side facing upward which is the head I just removed. I will probably let this side soak and massage it while I am out in the shed and eventually soak the other side some more, and then eventually turn it correctly and work both sides when I start to get real serious about it.

Here are some pictures in no particular order. I can get better shots this weekend. But this is where it stands so to speak. lol

[imgur.com]

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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: DOUG WARD ()
Date: August 12, 2022 08:05PM

As you soak the cyl's that are facing up, try putting some penetrant down the bottom ones from the inside, now that you have the top of the case opened up. I wouldn't but any parts until you can clean & inspect all the components of the engine. ( bearings ( usually marked on the backside as to what size they are), rings ( depends on what the bore size is ), cylinders, pistons ( check the ring lands & the pistons are usually marked as to what bore size they are),journals, cam wear, condition of the 2 piece damper pulley at the rear of the engine, valves, guides. Especially get the crankshaft checked & ground / polished before you get bearings.It's sometimes less expensive to let the crankshaft people supply the bearings with the job. Also holds true if the cylinders need boring. Let him get the correct rings. Do NOT accept Grant rings ! They have a bad expander under the oil control rings & they will never seat.
Now, get busy & get to it. LOL

Doug Ward
Orange, Calif.
65 Corsa 180, 64 Monza convertible, 61 Lakewood, 61 Monza


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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: arctic_man ()
Date: August 12, 2022 08:10PM

Oh yea. I ain't buying anything related to the engine itself. But whatever happens I do intend to keep the body and suspension. It also looks good. But brake lines, fuel lines, clutch cable. So on and so fourth. Tires... I am sure we all have had that battle.

And yes, don't worry. I will get cracking. Watching penetrating oil work is just as exciting as watching paint try. Ha.

Oh and the lower cylinders are also filled. So I am working both ends. It just takes time.. Sigh.

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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: caroseiii ()
Date: August 12, 2022 08:52PM

Cut the rods and remove the assemblies.
Sometimes you have cut off the cylinders.
Crawford

C.A. Rose
Metairie, LA
1962 Spyders

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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: JimBrandberg ()
Date: August 13, 2022 06:29AM

Ditto on putting it sideways on the stand to get oil in there from above on one side and below on the other side, rotating every day or two. I use 50/50 ATF and a
Acetone.

I've never heard Grant rings have a bad expander, is that common knowledge or an isolated experience? I use moly most of the time but Grant cast iron sometimes.

Jim Brandberg
Isanti, MN
CorvairRepair.com



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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: DOUG WARD ()
Date: August 13, 2022 10:55AM

Jim, it happened to me on 2 different engines. Massive blow by & U S Navy smoke screen amounts of exhaust smoke. The engines went thru a quart of oil in less than 100 miles The ring expanders are too small in the vertical dimension as it sits in the land, behind the rings. The rings just slide by the expander & rest against the bottom of the land depth.They will never seat if the expander isn't pushing them out to press against the wall of the cylinder.
Jeff at California Corvairs also said he has had bad experiences with these rings. I am referring to the cast ones, not the chrome ones.

Articman, you have probably done it but since the heads are off, try heating the cylinders with a propane torch. It might help loosen things up.

Doug Ward
Orange, Calif.
65 Corsa 180, 64 Monza convertible, 61 Lakewood, 61 Monza


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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: arctic_man ()
Date: August 13, 2022 11:40AM

Ha. I don't want to go start cutting things off yet. But I will certainly keep that in mind. Obviously the issue with boxer engines is I cannot get the cylinder rod bolts out as one side is blocked.

I have tried heating it up a tad. I haven't gone full throttle yet. Originally I was heating it up to get the first head off. But that was before I had it on a stand. So I did not have the leverage that a stand provides. Way easier when you can beat on both sides of the head instead of just one.

Once I clean an oil catch pan up I will probably start rotating it. I would like to collect the fluid to both recycle and also re-use. As I am using it to just soak I figure there is no harm in collecting it and using it on the other side. I could try filling up one side to the top with fluid, putting a bag or something over it, and then rotating it around. But that seems like a lot of work.

I have an aluminum piston from a caliper that I was trying to use to tap the cylinder. But I left a few witness marks. So I will have to find some wood that will fit. A 2x4 is just a tad too long, so I will have to find some stock 2x2.

If it continues to not budge, I will take some detailed pictures. Not that I guess it matters. She stuck. Ha. But like I said, cylinder walls look good. The intake valves that were open are rusty. So I am thinking it must have been moisture over the years. It was stored inside but on a dirt floor, which isn't the best.

I have a family member that is hooking me up with a professional valve grinder from the 80s. So my goal is to re-grind the valves and then lap them to seat them. Replace the ones that are bad, and go from there.

Once this thing rotates I will probably start a build thread. Plenty of work to be done, and I am not going to lie... I did not take the best of notes when I took all the sheet metal off. But I doubt I am the only one.

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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: DOUG WARD ()
Date: August 13, 2022 08:06PM

artic, the rod cap nuts are a bit hard to reach. You are going to have to be able to rotate the engine so you can get the nuts up to where you can get a good wrench on it to get it loose & then finish removing each one with a small 1/4" ratchet with a short 7/16" socket. Just bring each one up to where you can reach it . It's probably the hardest to reach parts to work with on these engines.

Doug Ward
Orange, Calif.
65 Corsa 180, 64 Monza convertible, 61 Lakewood, 61 Monza


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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: arctic_man ()
Date: November 21, 2022 06:30PM

Alright, I am back with an update. I know it has been awhile but progress has been made.

Engine turns over, with the help to some forum members I got some cylinders I needed. New rings, new gaskets, new bearings, Working things back together as I clean and paint some things. It certainly isn't perfect. But it looks way better.

I have a few irons in the forge. I have some questions I am hoping to get some answers to.

First, for the blend doors or whatever they are called that are under the exhaust. By default those should be closed, right? I am having a hard time understanding any documents I can find. I can find adjustments but not what default position should be.

Second, Heater ducts. Is it worth putting in new insulating material? Mine has all fallen apart and I am in the process of cleaning and painting. I see that Clarks sells some replacement material. But is it really worth it?

Third, stripped out an engine stud. timecert, right? With a stud that has been chased by a die to remove the tapper. Any other notes? I don't suppose someone has a kit they are willing to loan before I buy a timecert kit from Amazon?

Fourth, harmonic balancer. I am truly not trying to spend another 300 or so dollars to replace it. My timing mark is good. Is there another way to validate it is sound? I am all for 'while I am here' but 300 for one part is a hard pill to swallow and I know many have complained about remans.

Right now I am waiting on paychecks to buy parts. Ha. That is where it stands. New ujoints and the suspension can go back together. I need some sound deadening material for the engine bay and also some paint. I need that timecert kit before I can get the other side of the engine back together.

Anyway. Here are some pics. I have the drivers side rocking and rolling. I included some pics of the car itself. Not sure if I had them there before.

[imgur.com]


Oh, and I totally didn't forget the cylinder shield AND the exhaust stacks. I also totally didn't have to re-torque the drivers head three times.

64 Spyder
04 Jag XJR
04 Cadillac SRX
05 Grand Cherokee 5.7

Good ole Minnesota

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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: JimBrandberg ()
Date: November 22, 2022 05:39AM

First, the thermostats when tight hold the doors closed. If the thermostat fails it relaxes to the open position.
Second, I don't usually worry about the foam insulation on the engine shrouding unless you want best heater performance in the winter but no one is driving them in the winter anymore. I usually block the fresh air duct in the top shroud with a piece of sheet metal.
Third, if a stud just unscrews I just put it back in with red Loctite. If the threads pull out I go to other measures. Usually they will pull out when torquing the heads, not when disassembling. The studs are very hard and difficult to get a die over, they are 3/8-16 but special because of they are going into aluminum. I only torque heads to 30# in stages. I've been using Helicoils with special longer inserts. I never remove the studs if I don't have to, the eroded portion on the end doesn't have thread engagement anyway.
Fourth, the rubber on HBs often starts to deteriorate with segments missing. I don't always replace the HB but was recently reading Bob Helt book where he said the rubber loses its dampening characteristics long before the rubber looks bad. I still send original ones to Dale Manufacturing for rebuilding, about the same price as new Chinese option from Clarks with shipping and all.

Jim Brandberg
Isanti, MN
CorvairRepair.com






Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/2022 05:41AM by JimBrandberg.

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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: arctic_man ()
Date: November 22, 2022 06:42PM

Jim,

Thanks for the replies.

For the stud, it did pull out while torquing. What special stud do you use? Do you use the ones from Clarks? I got the impression that those still needed a die run to ensure correctness.

For the thermostats, is there a way to then tell if they failed? Both of mine are open, but that is how I got it. I assume I adjust it and if nothing changes they are bad?

Thanks again for the other responses. Sometimes finding the minor details are a bit challenging as no one thinks to mention that well no one cares about the felt. Ha. I figured that since I was not driving the car in the winter I shouldn't care, but someone might have a good reason. Likewise, while the part is out it is easier to get to. So on and so fourth.

Oh, and I assume this Dale?
[www.hbrepair.com]

64 Spyder
04 Jag XJR
04 Cadillac SRX
05 Grand Cherokee 5.7

Good ole Minnesota

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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: November 22, 2022 08:45PM

Look at the bellows are they about 1" long and stiff? = OK

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Re: 64 Spyder stuck engine
Posted by: JimBrandberg ()
Date: November 23, 2022 05:42AM

Yes Dale Manufacturing link above. He used to do Corvair flywheels and distributors too but now only does HBs and makes violins. David Langsatheris a good guy.

If you'e pulled crankcase threads out an oversize stud probably won't do it so you're looking at a thread insert. I've only used special long Helicoil. I think Timeserts are better but haven't invested in 3/8-16.
With any insert it's imperative that you run a die over the stud threads. It's a horrible sinking feeling when the stud galls halfway in and won't budge either in or out.
I guess I've never considered if someone makes a replacement stud with a normal 3/8-16 thread.
There's an article in the Tech Guide about making an insert. Seems like I remember it being pipe thread into the aluminum and then you drill and tap the center to 3/8-16. Maybe I'm remembering it wrong and I've never done it.
I get the long Helicoil inserts at a Machine Tool place on Cty Rd C in Roseville. They have high quality nifty stuff at a premium price. Good place for special counterbore tools and such when needed.

Jim Brandberg
Isanti, MN
CorvairRepair.com



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