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Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: February 21, 2011 05:24PM

The late (65-9) Corvair convertibles had a damper bolted in each corner of the body. They look like big cocktail shakers, therefore the nickname for them.

Steve Silvia wrote an article for the Bay Area Chapter #17 newsletter about them.

Per Steve: "These weights are also the same ones used on the Corvair’s cousin, the 67-68 Camaro convertibles, so many are snapped up for restorations by the Camaro guys as well. They actually originated in the square body big
Thunderbirds of 1958
and later found their way (the design) into GM (cars)." ---- "If you were to open one up, and please never do as they contain a large spring under tension, you would also find transmission fluid. The sole purpose is to reduce harmonic vibration inherent in the Corvair Convertible due to the uni-body construction. They also weigh approximately 26lbs each and bolt into the corners of each fender. If you were to drive your Corvair without them and lowered the top, the car would not be as stable as it would with them installed for the simple fact that the body flex exhibited in a Convertible would be transmitted to the windshield pillars. I was impressed with the difference they made once I installed them (in my car)."
NOTE: The rear dampers were missing in Steve's convertible which seems to be a common problem based on my observations. The dampers are often removed to repair the tail lights or replace the rear outer cove trim pieces.

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: Banjo800 ()
Date: February 21, 2011 06:24PM

Good info to know. I believe the front ones are missing on my '65.

Martin
Kennesaw, Ga
'65 Monza Convertible

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: azdave ()
Date: February 21, 2011 07:29PM

Banjo800 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Good info to know. I believe the front ones are
> missing on my '65.

FYI,

I have a front set of cocktail shakers and I know they will ship together in a USPS Large Flat Rate Box.

To get the rear shakers I had to buy a complete set of four (after I already got a front set) so these are spares now.

I'm asking $75 including delivery to any USA address.

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: swi66 ()
Date: February 21, 2011 08:02PM

That article is not completely true.
most Camaro guys don't want the Corvair shakers.
None of the mounts are the same, and the mounts are welded to the cylinders.
So old mounts need to be cut off, and new ones fabricated and welded to the cylinder.
Anyone want to try welding an oil filled cylinder?

I did have one Camaro cylinder.
Got $150 for it.

Corvair cylinders, lucky if you can get $20 for a pair.
I had a full set at the Buffalo Convention for sale.
No-one wanted them.

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: vairchet ()
Date: February 22, 2011 12:19AM

Same here. I had at least four sets of late model dampers from cut-up convertibles. I couldn't give them away. Into the scrap pile they went along with straight and rust free body parts.

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: James ()
Date: February 22, 2011 12:24AM

My convertible doesn't have any in the rears- anyone have some available? More importantly does anyone have any images of these? I have no idea what they even look like.

Thanks-
James

1963 900
Oswego, IL

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: davemotohead ()
Date: February 22, 2011 12:27AM

I have 2 converts,,one has them the other dont,,do you still have them vairchet? I want them if you do, also I dont think it makes a difference if the the top is up or down,,the top is not structural and will just flex with the window post,,the dampers eliminate a vibration/front rear flex bounce at certain speeds.they do make a difference that I could feel when I took them out.

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: ihscomputers ()
Date: February 22, 2011 12:47AM

So, is it bad to have only the fronts installed??

Dean F. Gemberling
Columbus, Georgia
CORSA Eastern Division Director

Click here for the slideshow of my '62 Rampside

1962 Rampside - ORANGE - Driving & showing it
1964 Monza Convertible - WHITE - In pieces awaiting restoration
1969 Monza Convertible - AZTEC BRONZE - Working on finishing touches

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: azdave ()
Date: February 22, 2011 12:49AM

> More importantly does
> anyone have any images of these? I have no idea
> what they even look like.


LM verts do shake more without the cocktail shakers in place and it is the worst when the top is down. Verts also need to have the door shims installed and many are missing those too.

Where were all of the these free offers for shakers when I was asking around for them? smiling smiley

Pics of LM rear shakers.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2011 12:50AM by azdave.

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: vairchet ()
Date: February 22, 2011 12:59AM

I have two each front left & right and one rear, left I believe. I have no idea what happened to the rest.... could be buried within my stash of junk. It's possible I've already scrapped them. Anyway, what I do have, they're yours free, gratis, no cost to you. I hope you're not in a hurry, 'cause I'll deliver them personally. Just need to take a couple days off from work.

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: jrdriver8 ()
Date: February 22, 2011 01:22AM

Hey Gang (Steve here aka JRdriver8) SInce writting my article I have been asked about early models. The EM does not use the shakers, only LM. I was told by some of my Camaro buddies they are the same unit. Not sure on the brackets but they do bolt on. They also are designed to stop panle drumming in the car as well. My Dad, a long term Corvair mechanic, had learned of these back in GM Training school from an engineer. People may claim they do serve no purpose, however, I can notice a difference in my car with them and they were put in place for a reason.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2011 01:24AM by jrdriver8.

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: azdave ()
Date: February 22, 2011 01:29AM

Front Corvair dampers with welded on brackets.

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: 66cv8 ()
Date: February 22, 2011 01:38AM

I have 2 verts, 5 front and 0 rear dampers. I sure could use the 4 rears, anyone have em in the north-east?

Joe

66 500 Crown 350/4 on road
66 Corsa Convertible 140/4 rough
69 Monza Convertible 140/4 in progress (original 95/3)
Nu Joisey

" A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS A DANGEROUS THING"

"STUPID is the NEW SMART"

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: Banjo800 ()
Date: February 22, 2011 02:43AM

Vairchet,
I'd like to have a set of fronts, please!

Martin
Kennesaw, Ga
'65 Monza Convertible

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: russmcd ()
Date: February 22, 2011 04:16AM

That was a pretty cool read there from Steve. I knew what and why, but not the "where from". Kinda cool, I just finished shooting an email off to him regarding another subject, then the "next thing" I do is read a thread about one of his articles in his Newsletter (I'm assuming). thumbs up

Put mine on June of 2009 and here is my thread and pics

Here's the Cocktail Shakers-Where's my Drink?

They made a HUGE difference as I have stated in many threads on here. I got mine for shipping only from a member here out of Chicago-Land. I think the full set cost me $75.

Russ McDuffie
Albuquerque, NM
CNM / CORSA
1965 Corsa Convertible (Blk/White-wrecked)
1965 Corsa Convertible (Blk/Red-in process)
1955 Chevy 210 Del Ray - neglected :-(
1972 Chevy C-10 Pickup (waiting for love)

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: devairguy ()
Date: February 22, 2011 09:58AM

Must be no one looks at the for sale sticky, I put a pair of fronts in there last week.

Todd Klawitter
De Forest WI


1963 Monza Coupe
1965 Corsa Turbo
1972 Olds 442 Convert

[www.capitalcitycorvairs.com]

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: swi66 ()
Date: February 22, 2011 10:18AM

Here is some interesting Q and A from a Camaro topic.
Seems they even had different part numbers between Camaro and firebird, and different numbers year to year!
And I still say, None of the Camaro/Firebird shakers are the same as Corvair.




Q. What are the canisters or dampeners in my convertible? Can I take these out and install something else? Also ... My convertible has a bad vibration while going down the road what could it be?

A. On the corners of convertibles there are what's called "cocktail shakers" or vibration dampeners which were originally installed on every first gen convertible Camaro to help prevent vibrations. They were installed due to a very flexible body in the convertible models because of the lack of the roof structure. Some reinforcement was added to the convertible rockers and floors but it wasn't enough to prevent all vibration problems. The cocktail shakers are large cans with a suspended mass on a spring in a viscous fluid that are mounted on the corners - 4 in all. They were tuned to a resonant frequency of the convertible that caused the vibration problems. When the body was subjected to loading that would otherwise tend to make it oscillate, much of the energy was instead absorbed by the motion of the masses in the cocktail shakers - which reduced the vibration in the convertible body. The cocktail shakers weight about 25 pounds each.

It certainly would be possible to add a large amount of structural stiffness (subframe connectors won't be anywhere near enough) to the mid-section of the body to reduce or eliminate the vibration to the point of being able to remove the cocktail shakers. However that possibility would be very remote without a complete understanding of the Camaros stress and flex points. Another option would be to design and build your own vibration dampener. That, however, would require knowledge of the structural frequencies of the Camaro convertible body not to mention knowledge of how to tune the damper you are creating. The cocktail shakers are filled with automatic transmission fluid or ATF. The fluid is not subjected to friction, high heat or contamination as is the case with other fluid applications in the vehicle so it should not "wear out". The springs would be the only thing that could change or break, that would keep them from working properly. We have never found a "bad" one, if it still has fluid in it, only cars missing them which have the common 'cowl shake' much worse than normal. If your convertible Camaro has all four cocktail shakers and you still have bad vibration problems be sure to check that your tires are balanced properly and also new OEM body bushings can help reduce some of the vibration transfer. Be sure to check your springs and shocks as well. You should also try adding subframe connectors to help with flex and vibrations

If your original cocktail shakers are missing you would be better off trying to find an original set to replace them.

Camaro Cocktail shaker Part Numbers:

Years Location Part Number
67-68 Front Left 3909919
67-68 Front Right 3909920
67-68 Rear Left 3909927
67-68 Rear Right 3909928
69 Front Left 3950101
69 Front Right 3950102
69 Rear Left 3950109
69 Rear Right 3950110


Here’s some part numbers from the Pontiac Parts book for you to compare with the Camaros:
67 RH Frt 9789448 Dampener and bracket
67 LH Frt 9789449 Dampener and bracket
67 RH Rr 3909928 Dampener and bracket
67 LH Rr 3909927 Dampener and bracket

68 RH Frt 9792469 Dampener and bracket
68 LH Frt 9792470 Dampener and bracket
68 RH Rr 9792319 Dampener and bracket
68 LH Rr 9792320 Dampener and bracket

69 RH Frt 9797614 Dampener and bracket
69 LH Frt 9797615 Dampener and bracket
69 RH Rr 9796673 Dampener and bracket
69 LH Rr 3962787 Dampener and bracket

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: swi66 ()
Date: February 22, 2011 11:53AM

For general interest, I went to e-bay and searched both camaro and firebird cocktail.
The pictures are quite interesting to see some of the differences, year to year, and between Camaro and Firebird.

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: Banjo800 ()
Date: February 22, 2011 01:56PM

The Corvair Gods must be smiling because I found the dampers AND a stabilizer rod in a box of junk the PO had given me. The box had a bunch of greasy torn manuals and Clarks catalogs in it. I found them when I was taking the stuff out of the truck getting ready to do the front suspension. Whew!!

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Re: Corvair Trivia - Convertible Dampers aka Cocktail Shakers
Posted by: jrdriver8 ()
Date: February 22, 2011 02:07PM

Gang- The folks I know in the Camro world have told me that they can be interchange. I based my statment on what I learned from them. Perhaps the brackets ARE differnt, if so then I stand corrected as several of you have chimed in on that topic. In any case, I would bet that the Camaro units can be used succesfully on a Vair if needed. Form what I see they weight the same.

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