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Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: ken ()
Date: March 01, 2008 08:21PM

Hello: I am currently looking into a rampside pickup that is solid and mostly original but it is well used. It supposedly has a rebuilt 140ci motor and while the current owner assures me it is in running order I will contacting him later on a test drive.

I have owned many cars and build them for a living. I would like to use this as a daily driver shop truck and parts runner. I live only a few miles from work but I cannot afford a lot of headaches with my daily vehicle. This is uncharted territory for me. I have never owned a Corvair. I currently have a 1969 Porsche 912 "beater" that is fantastic and it never fails me. Air cooled is not foreign to me.

What should I expect for MPG around town? (and please don't be overly optimistic-- worse case scenario please) and what should I look for and look out for? What about availability of parts? Can I use "regular" gas or do I need to use premium?

Any other info would be helpful and remember I aint afraid just want to know what I'm getting into.

Thanks to all


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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: KEN ()
Date: March 01, 2008 10:01PM

IS THERE NOBODY HERE WITH ANY INPUT ON THIS?

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Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: Steve O ()
Date: March 01, 2008 10:22PM

Patience, Ken, patience! You just asked your question 1-1/2 hours ago and people do have lives elsewhere than attached to their computers...

Also, the "heavy" users of forward control Corvairs will be found on the Corvanatics list at [www.vv.corvair.org]. You can find some basic info on Rampsides at [www.mindspring.com].

A little more info will help everyone answer your questions. What year? What has been done to the 140? Manual or powerglide? Gear ratio? You will need to use premium gas and parts are reasonably easy to come by, though some forward control parts are somewhat scarce. Check out the websites of the Corvair parts vendors via the "Links" button of this forum while you're waiting on some additional answers...

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: monza66mo ()
Date: March 01, 2008 10:27PM

Ken,

You gotta use premium with the 140 HP engine (BTW, it's not 140ci). As for MPG,

I get about 20 in my coupe with a 140 / 4 speed in town if I keep my foot out of the carbs.

Parts are plentiful for the most part but some body parts on rampsides are hard to find.

Just stay on this forum and you will learn all there is to know about COrvairs. Get a shop manual and an assembly manual for the FC corvairs.

Check out Clarks Corvairs [www.corvair.com]

Good luck with the Rampy! I wish I had one!!!


- Art in Missouri
'66 Corsa clone (140/4SP)
[www.facebook.com]

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: WalterElias ()
Date: March 01, 2008 10:35PM

Hi Ken,

Two hours since your initial post! Give it some time, most people are out enjoying their weekend, working on or driving their cars!

Your mileage depends on a couple of things. Gear ratio, transmission type, tire size, engine type, city/highway and driving style.

Our Greenbrier which is a little heavier gets 16 city/19 highway. It has a 4spd, 3.89 rear end, 110hp engine and 195/75 tires.

I always run premium. Some get by with regular unleaded but that really depends on the climate and engine.

Parts are readily available but don't expect to go down to the FLAPS and get everything. There are many Corvair specific vendors to mail order from.

Dan Kling
1961 Greenbrier Deluxe, 110 HP, 4spd, 3.89 stump puller
1963 Spyder Coupe, restored, converted to 4spd Saginaw
1967 UltraVan #299, The migration has begun, we're on the road again......Save the Whales!

Photos of our Greenbrier, UltraVan and work-in-progress @

[www.flickr.com]

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: Noah ()
Date: March 01, 2008 11:08PM

Whoa guys! Not 140 engine! 140 cu.inch!
Likely very low compression engine in your truck, 2 carb. Every Corvair engine is different. No way for anyone to predict exactly what your engine will run on. If you're willing to do some engine work, the heads could be cleaned, examined and a little work could reduce your chance of detonation, pinging, knocking.
Depending on climate (temperature) I am able to run regular in the coldest months here. But my engine is a high compression, 164 cu.in. and I invested a good amount of time prepping the heads before use. In the hottest months I will use premium. Never had pinging.
Mileage could be anywhere from 12-22mpg city & highway depending on load, grade, ethanol content, lead foot, etc. etc.
Parts for powertrain/ drivetrain are very good and mostly shared with the cars. Body parts are not reproduced. Kits for disk brakes, dual master. The latter is recommended, I haven't found the former to be needed. It's a really handy truck.

Noah
Milwaukee

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: ken ()
Date: March 01, 2008 11:11PM

Sorry guys but I guess I'm used to the Porsche board. You usually have 10 responses in less than 15 minutes. I'm just afraid if I don't get some info and act quickly it may go away. He has it in high profile location -- lot of traffic and with the old ET aluminum five spokes it looks way cool. I meant to put that in at 140HP not C.I. It is a 1963 model and all the body panels are there and decent. It appears to be pretty complete, ie.--I won't be hunting down a bunch of parts.

It has a four speed. I see a set of numbers at the bottom of the speedo at various MPH markings (2 - 3 - 4). Am I to assume that's a recommendation of the best gear selection?

I did do some other research while I was waiting and found that the brakes are the same for the Chevy P/Us of the same year. The production at 2046 is kind of surprising. Kind of rare.

Like I said the seller is a private guy and he "says" the engine has been rebuilt but has no proof to show so who knows what has been done. It does have and alt. but if it's rebuilt it's had some miles put on it since. The motor's kind of dirty and untidy.

I'm basically interested in any weak points. I've owned a lot of old stuff and I know usually everything has certain weak points to look out for.

I did visit Corvanics and got some good background but was looking for guys with hands on experience.

Plus, and I know this is a tough one, but any idea what it should be selling for?

Let's say it runs out OK and the body has some minor rust issues but the underside is pretty darn nice as far as rust (it came from North Carolina) A price range maybe?

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: ken ()
Date: March 01, 2008 11:16PM

Actually, I looked it up and I think it is an 80HP engine with something like 120FT LBs torque. It certainly looked like multiple carbs.

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: beaminscott ()
Date: March 01, 2008 11:31PM

I have a 63 Greenbrier van (same category as the Rampside...both Forward Control Corvairs) and it works great as a daily driver. It has the same 80hp engine you are talking about with the 4-speed transmission. I have swapped my 3.89:1 differential out for a 3.55:1 for improved highway economy. I get a little better than 20 on premium gas.

With any Corvair engine once you address any leaks (engine oil, drive train, and exhaust) you are pretty much done assuming the engine has good compression in all cylinders. Note: all Corvair engines have atleast 2 carbs...the 140 have 4 carbs. With a good engine the only other things are brakes, shocks, rust, clutch cable, accelerator cable, and wheel bearings that may cause the vehicle to need some additional attention.

IMO they are worth 500 - 5,000 (obviously prefect Rampys can bring much more) depending on the shape and records available.

Now back out to drive the last of 3. It's a beautiful day here and I'm making sure all 3 get some good road time in today...especially the one that has been parked since Winter began.

Scott
Kansas City, MO
67 Sedan
66 Coupe
CORSA, HACOA, MCCA, PCG, SCCA, and Corvanatics



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/01/2008 11:32PM by beaminscott.

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: ken ()
Date: March 01, 2008 11:34PM

Noah Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Whoa guys! Not 140 engine! 140 cu.inch!
> Likely very low compression engine in your truck,
> 2 carb. Every Corvair engine is different. No way
> for anyone to predict exactly what your engine
> will run on. If you're willing to do some engine
> work, the heads could be cleaned, examined and a
> little work could reduce your chance of
> detonation, pinging, knocking.
> Depending on climate (temperature) I am able to
> run regular in the coldest months here. But my
> engine is a high compression, 164 cu.in. and I
> invested a good amount of time prepping the heads
> before use. In the hottest months I will use
> premium. Never had pinging.
> Mileage could be anywhere from 12-22mpg city &
> highway depending on load, grade, ethanol content,
> lead foot, etc. etc.
> Parts for powertrain/ drivetrain are very good and
> mostly shared with the cars. Body parts are not
> reproduced. Kits for disk brakes, dual master. The
> latter is recommended, I haven't found the former
> to be needed. It's a really handy truck.
>
> Noah
> Chicago
> 64 110/4 Rampside, running but rusty
> 63 convertible Spyder, dead, but up next
> 65 Corsa HT, 180, complete, dead and mothballed


The 12 MPG is what I'm afraid of. Premium vs. regular not as big a deal as the MPG. I live in Florida which is a flat as the motor in the thing. Not really running into steep grades nor will I be burying the pedal. But 12 MPG -- that hurts. I quit driving my 58 Caddy (sort of)ratrod everyday because of 10 MPG. At over three dollars a gallon I had to give it up as a daily driver.

I bought the 1969 Porsche 912 (1600cc 4 cylinder -- 5 speed) to drive daily and I doubled by MPG from the 58 Caddy but it's a little tough to carry anything of size!
However..... the trunk of the Caddy could carry almost anything, really.

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: WalterElias ()
Date: March 01, 2008 11:49PM

The speedo marking for suggested shift points would only really apply to the original engine where they would correspond to torque curve.

Weak points....Well, in a rampside, you're really isolated from the engine, meaning that it is hard to hear, another reason for the shift points on the speedo but also harder to hear if the engine is pinging. A reason to run premium for the added insurance.

I'm trying to think of other weaknesses. Having trouble with that! Rear wheel bearings. They are very dependable but you should at least check and regrease them so you know what you have. Up until Clark's Corvair Parts had them reproduced, they were very rare. Still expensive though so check what you have and grease them. We've put over 150,000 miles on ours since we got our van. Who knows how much mileage they have on them but they still look great. Stock master cylinder is a single so make sure the brake system is in tip-top shape and think about converting to a dual system.

I think the FC are one of the best designed vehicle of their time. Very space efficient and nice riding.

Dan Kling
1961 Greenbrier Deluxe, 110 HP, 4spd, 3.89 stump puller
1963 Spyder Coupe, restored, converted to 4spd Saginaw
1967 UltraVan #299, The migration has begun, we're on the road again......Save the Whales!

Photos of our Greenbrier, UltraVan and work-in-progress @

[www.flickr.com]

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: WalterElias ()
Date: March 01, 2008 11:55PM

ken Wrote:
> The 12 MPG is what I'm afraid of. Premium vs.
> regular not as big a deal as the MPG. I live in
> Florida which is a flat as the motor in the thing.
> Not really running into steep grades nor will I
> be burying the pedal. But 12 MPG -- that hurts.
> I quit driving my 58 Caddy (sort of)ratrod
> everyday because of 10 MPG. At over three dollars
> a gallon I had to give it up as a daily driver.

If the engine is in good tune, minimum 16 mpg around town. Heck, the hugh UltraVans get around 15mpg. They're 22 ft long, 8ft wide and weigh more.

When we go camping in our Greenbrier carrying 1000+ lbs, we still get 16 mpg city and 19 mpg highway going up mountain grades. Even when I had a 140 hp motor in ours, it was never 12 mpg.

Dan Kling
1961 Greenbrier Deluxe, 110 HP, 4spd, 3.89 stump puller
1963 Spyder Coupe, restored, converted to 4spd Saginaw
1967 UltraVan #299, The migration has begun, we're on the road again......Save the Whales!

Photos of our Greenbrier, UltraVan and work-in-progress @

[www.flickr.com]




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/01/2008 11:56PM by WalterElias.

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: ken ()
Date: March 01, 2008 11:58PM

Walter and the rest: Thanks for the input. I would always give any new addition as a daily driver a once over; wheel bearings, oil change, plugs, carb settings, brake inspection, etc. Thanks for the tip on the wheel bearings! Nice to know you had a hard time thinking of any weak points.

And yes, a dual master cylinder would be in order.

Walter: What kind of MPG do you get in town / traffic?

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: ken ()
Date: March 02, 2008 12:02AM

Walter: Sorry, you're too fast for me! I read your post after I typed in my question. I can live with 16 MPG. I don't drive far to work and will probably just park it on the weekends.

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: Noah ()
Date: March 02, 2008 12:02AM

Check that engine! The 80hp, as mentioned, will have 2 carbs. The 140hp will have 4.
These two engines are on opposite ends of the Corvair engine spectrum. Many think the 95hp or 110hp 64-69 engines are the best for the FC's.
The FC's are as aerodynamic as a brick. However, they are light and nimble- great for city driving. Drive it and see. It'll take a little getting used to judging a turn. Can't expect better mileage out of most other trucks anyhow! I tend to be around 16mpg around town with my aggressive accelerator use!

Noah
Milwaukee

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: ken ()
Date: March 02, 2008 12:10AM

Noah: You know I think it was 4 carbs. I thought that's what I saw but it was hard to see the engine. They kind of looked like downdraft Webbers. Is that possible? Could they be Holleys? Would that not be the correct engine for the '63 with the four carbs?

Brick is right!! I use to have a Ford Econoline pickup (1964) and it too was a complete aerodynamic nightmare!! Full throttle (poor little 170ci inline six) was gasping for it's life at 58 MPH!!

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: Noah ()
Date: March 02, 2008 12:24AM

Probably you saw the stock Rochesters in there. People have adapted two twin Webersin other vairs, but I don't think that would fit under that Rampside engine lid. No 4 carb engines in 63 and not 140cu.in either.
I've been able to cruise with my only very slightly massaged 110 at 75mph! ROAR!!!
Rampside will beat the pants off an Econoline!

Noah
Milwaukee

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: ken ()
Date: March 02, 2008 12:47AM

I think an arthritic camel could have out run my old Econoline. I guess if it does have the 140 HP motor I would be in good shape power-wise. Will the four carbs do worse on MPG in comparison to the 2 carb version? Or will all and any combination thereof still result in about 16 MPG driving "conservatively"?

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: ken ()
Date: March 02, 2008 12:54AM

According to Corvanics there should be a 145ci motor in there (for 1963) and a 164 ci. motor for the 1964-65.

And you're right, come to think of it Webbers would be waaaaay to tall for that engine arrangement.

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Re: Corvair rampside pick up
Posted by: WalterElias ()
Date: March 02, 2008 01:14AM

ken Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think an arthritic camel could have out run my
> old Econoline. I guess if it does have the 140 HP
> motor I would be in good shape power-wise. Will
> the four carbs do worse on MPG in comparison to
> the 2 carb version? Or will all and any
> combination thereof still result in about 16 MPG
> driving "conservatively"?


I think if you have a 3.55 rear end, you'll get better mileage than we do. Lower gearing means more shifting, more squirts from the accelerator pump. If you "get into" the secondary carbs, your mileage will suffer some. Adjusted properly, the secondarys don't really open until you're maybe 2/3's into the throttle. That being said, I really don't miss the 140hp in ours. I found that I had to be cautious of not getting into the secondaries when I needed low-end torque or what I had disappeared. They were great on the open road pulling moderate grades though, but they also increased the heat load. Some people like them in the FC's though. Not my cup of tea.

I meantioned the rear wheel bearing though because they are around $200 a pop. They're not weak, just need to keep them greased and they last a really long time.

Dan Kling
1961 Greenbrier Deluxe, 110 HP, 4spd, 3.89 stump puller
1963 Spyder Coupe, restored, converted to 4spd Saginaw
1967 UltraVan #299, The migration has begun, we're on the road again......Save the Whales!

Photos of our Greenbrier, UltraVan and work-in-progress @

[www.flickr.com]

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