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Corvair 5 Speed UPDATES!! smileys with beer
Posted by: vairsnvettes ()
Date: December 20, 2015 09:24PM

The 5 speed manual transmission for the Corvair is alive once again. Kent Sullivan and crew took on a task that probably seemed to take on a life of it's own as they progressed. After a lot more than expected time and effort, the completed transmissions are arriving at their owner's homes. Our thanks to Kent Sullivan, John Barnes, Duane Cartwright, and Scott Anderson, and others I probably missed, for their hard work. (Kent, please feel free to add names of any other players.)

I would propose this thread be used to post your progress, lesssons learned, and pictures of your installation. My own installation will have to wait completion of my current project (Ferarri 365GTB4 replica), so i won't have much to add for a while, but will be looking forward to seeing the progress of others.

Mark Emmert
Memphis
1966 Corsa Coupe



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/25/2016 11:22AM by MattNall.

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: JamesD ()
Date: December 21, 2015 03:57AM

What was the biggest issue to resolve?

James Deplorable
'65 Corsa 4-speed, '65 Corsa V8                                                       Santa Clarita, CA.
“I may not always drive a car, but when I do, I prefer a Corvair.  Stay loose, my friends.”

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: December 21, 2015 04:33AM

I know the Corvair 5 speed trans rights were sold and the person that has the rights is working on a new revised trans with all of the issues fixed. The trans should be going in a car this winter and being tested probabaly in the coming warmer weather.

I don't know the time frame for sure but I'm sure the 5 speed will be available again. Start savin' your pennies!

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: NMCarNut ()
Date: December 21, 2015 04:45AM

Really good to hear the transmission project is actually alive again!! If the issues, including shifter routing, are resolved you can sign me up for one.

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: paulvair ()
Date: December 21, 2015 10:20AM

I for one would like to have one for the street and one for the track. What kind of ratios can be had for it? I am aware that there were many applications for this gearbox. So maybe a good selection of ratios can be had.
Paul Fox

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: gnvair ()
Date: December 21, 2015 12:17PM

This is a chart of the common ratios on the Ford units
[www.merkurtech.com]
The F body T5's typically had a 2.95 1st gear as did the 83-84 5.0 Mustangs and the Ford Motorsport/Ford Racing replacement t5's.
The very common 85-95 Mustang T5's have a 3.35 1st gear

Lee J

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: OttawaCorvairGuy ()
Date: December 21, 2015 05:27PM

I know John has one of the older ones. I met him through Ray when I got the extra Wayne 100 engine and out drive years ago.
I spent a lot of time talking to John on the phone about different things. He's good people.. Very nice and a helpful guy.

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: strangecars ()
Date: December 21, 2015 06:21PM

Maybe ratios close to the Yenko box with an overdrive.

Steve Morton
1967 Monza, 1961 Rampside, 2 1964 Monza's, 1963 GB Custom
Nampa, Idaho

"If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong"

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: Ratt643 ()
Date: December 21, 2015 06:25PM

Was the original 5 speed prototype an S-10 5 speed? I would love to have it!


1964 Monza Coupe

Maryville, TN
U.S. 129 The"Tail Of The Dragon"

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: Jonathan Knapp ()
Date: December 21, 2015 07:00PM

I don't think the mission of the above mentioned all-star team was to produce new 5-speed kits for Corvairs. I believe the purpose of all of the collective work that was put into this project was to correct the mistakes that were part of the original design and to make the 18 (or so) 5-speeds that were produced and are out there in owners hands viable to use for the first time.

You can thank John Barnes for the diagnosis of the problem. I can't tell you how many times the alpha gearbox was taken out of his car and some part of it was re-engineered and then put back in for more testing.

You can thank Duane Cartwright and Kent Sullivan for producing the ultimate solution to the reliability problem: a completely new, one-piece (not welded) mainshaft. Not an inexpensive proposition by any means!

If you don't already have one of the units, I don't think you're going to get one out of this deal, although so much time has passed it is possible that one or two of the units have lost their owners. I think Kent would know.


Jonathan Knapp
Seattle, WA
'66 Corsa Autocrosser

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: 63turbo ()
Date: December 21, 2015 07:57PM

There is at least ONE of those units out there somewhere that was specially modified to have the transmission selector shaft mounted upside down from it's normal orientation so that most of the linkage issues went away, as the selector shaft was then more or less positioned at the same level as the stock
Corvair position. I know this because I requested mine be set up that way.
Unfortunately, I sold my 5 speed to someone else, and I don't know for sure who
has that upside down selector thing anymore.

------------------------------------

Kevin Nash
Friday Harbor Washington
63 Spyder, Daily driver, EFI read about my project here: [corvaircenter.com]
first test start on EFI here:[www.youtube.com]
first official EFI boost test here:[www.youtube.com]
My new fan! [corvaircenter.com]
engine less 62 Spyder
Canadian 64 Monza Parts car



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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: cnicol ()
Date: December 21, 2015 10:24PM

Reality check: As I recall, the 5-sp kit was $3500 fifteen years ago. New ones today would be more.

Craig N. Coeur d'Alene ID.
66 Black Monza 4dr, 4.2L V8 49k
61 Seamist Jade Rampside 140 PG
60 Monza coupe (sold, sniff sniff)
66 Sprint Corsa convt - First car! Re-purchased 43 years later
2+2 gnatsuM 5691

+17 Tons of parts

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: Kent Sullivan ()
Date: December 21, 2015 11:29PM

Responding to Mark's request, many people have contributed in a significant way to the re-engineering and upgrading project. I probably am not remembering everyone at the moment so I'll add people as they come to me.

John Barnes -- soooo much testing and diagnosis, re-engineering and machining work, creating new parts, improving existing parts, doing all of the re-assembly work, and for making everything fit like it is supposed to. Even though 18 of these units were produced, every one of them is a little bit different.

Duane Cartwright -- for finding a company that would take on the small-in-numbers but large-in-complexity project of machining new one-piece main shafts, and for shouldering the financial burden with me to get them produced.

Ken Holm -- as the owner of American Boxer's intellectual property of the design, for providing his blessing to do the project and for copies of plans.

Ric Smith and Tim Purcell -- for putting miles on their T5s and being willing testers (meaning they drove them until they broke so that the failure points were found).

Jerry Bullis -- for documenting many of the key failure points, researching replacement parts, and getting some units back on the road for further development and testing.

Vern McIntosh and Bill Devecka -- for communicating the upgrade process they implemented on Vern's transmission.

Rex Johnson -- for helping get the project off the ground and providing storage space for the disassembled units for several years.

Scott Anderson -- for finding a great price on some key parts, especially the bearings.

John Bolender -- for being a very willing go-fer when parts needed to be ferried from "here" to "there".

Jim Acker -- for providing some crucial moral support at a few low points in the project.

Dan Sorenson at American Machine & Gear -- for taking on the main shaft fabrication project and doing everything possible to keep the cost down.

Bill Ericson at EGT -- for sharing his huge wealth of T5 knowledge and for supplying parts at very reasonable prices.

Steve and Dan at Tech Marine Enterprises -- for doing some precision boring and honing.

The owners of the 12 units who participated in the project -- for their patience and trust that we would get the project done after 7 long years!

--Kent



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/21/2015 11:30PM by Kent Sullivan.

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: Kent Sullivan ()
Date: December 21, 2015 11:48PM

Jonathan Knapp is in the same CORSA chapter as John and me (Corvairs NW) and is correct about what the purpose of the project was. Three of the units came up for sale during the project but all found new owners quickly, so there are none for sale at this time that I know of.

Now, to answer some questions people posted.

@JamesD: We will be recording soon a discussion of what the project covered. Hopefully I can find a place to post it, like YouTube, and share the link.

@NMCarNut: Several installs are happening over the next few months, so I imagine any lingering linkage issues will be worked out. At least one of the current owners has an under-the-floor arrangement that he is happy with and will probably post about on this thread. I am going with over-the-floor since my car already has a fake hump in it, to support a '62 Impala SS console.

@paulvair: The 18 units American Boxer produced are based on the T5 "standard" design and aren't really designed for the kind of abuse racing can dole out.

@gmvair: At least five 5th gear ratios are possible for each available first gear ratio, because several gear sets were used in different applications, and can be substituted across models. But not all of them make sense. One of the "mix-and-match" results yields a .99 ratio while another yields .53. The Ford table you referenced is not directly useful since the spline count is different and can't be used easily on GM products. American Boxer offered three models, which corresponded to three different 1st gear ratios (which are controlled by a hub that is pressed on to the main shaft, so not easily changed): 3.76, 3.50, and 2.95. (Compare to stock Saginaw 1st ratio of 3.11.) With the 3.76 first, the most usable fifth gear ratios are .72 and .76, with .81 and .86 for specialty applications; 3.50: .73 and .78, with .69 and .65 being limited-application choices; 2.95: .73, with .63 as a limited-used case.

@Ratt643: All of the American Boxer T5s used a S-10 housing because it puts the shifter mechanism in the most-usable location for the Corvair application.

@63turbo: None of the 12 units that participated have the modified housing that you speak of. My memory is fuzzy, but I think it might have been changed to a standard affair when it was resold?

@cnicol: Clark's sold the first 10 units for $2200 each. Linn sold the next 8 for $2500 each. I think a $3500 price point would have allowed him to actually make some money.

Merry Christmas,

--Kent

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: 63turbo ()
Date: December 22, 2015 07:59AM

Kent Sullivan Wrote:
> @63turbo: None of the 12 units that participated
> have the modified housing that you speak of. My
> memory is fuzzy, but I think it might have been
> changed to a standard affair when it was resold?

Kent- Yes, it was changed to a "standard" when it was
resold, as there was ALOT of extra r/d on that one
version left to be done- I cant remember what happened
to that housing.

------------------------------------

Kevin Nash
Friday Harbor Washington
63 Spyder, Daily driver, EFI read about my project here: [corvaircenter.com]
first test start on EFI here:[www.youtube.com]
first official EFI boost test here:[www.youtube.com]
My new fan! [corvaircenter.com]
engine less 62 Spyder
Canadian 64 Monza Parts car



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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: Frogfinder ()
Date: December 22, 2015 10:36AM

The Corvair moon mission. Great work team members and test pilots!

jeff

66 Corsa 140 4 spd
Houston, Tx

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: ScottS ()
Date: December 24, 2015 07:50PM

thumbs up

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
1969 Monza Coupe
1966 Nader Invader !
1966 Monza Coupe
www.vaircooled.com
I love Corvairs
Ohio

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: 67 airvair ()
Date: December 25, 2015 05:59AM

Ok, after attempting to read through all this, I am still not sure about the results. Specifically, 1)if more kits will be available, 2)if the too-high shifter shaft was successfully relocated, hopefully making 3)it a bolt-in replacement, or does it still require some bodywork/modification to the car itself?

Not that I'm in any condition at the moment to purchase one (am in the middle of a pavement-up resto at present), but am interested in the project, just in case I would happen to acquire a suitable car in the future.

Bottom line: could you offer a condensed version of what all the above posts say, and put it in terms of what it all means to someone who might be interested in having a 5 speed in their Corvair? Thanks all! Great job! smileys with beer

-Mark

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: NMCarNut ()
Date: December 25, 2015 07:07AM

67 airvair Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ok, after attempting to read through all this, I
> am still not sure about the results. Specifically,
> 1)if more kits will be available, 2)if the
> too-high shifter shaft was successfully relocated,
> hopefully making 3)it a bolt-in replacement, or
> does it still require some bodywork/modification
> to the car itself?
>
> Not that I'm in any condition at the moment to
> purchase one (am in the middle of a pavement-up
> resto at present), but am interested in the
> project, just in case I would happen to acquire a
> suitable car in the future.
> . . .
-------------------------------------------------------

You are not alone in your questions although regarding #3, body and mount modifications are almost certainly a given. Hopefully vairmech's optimism is correct, one would hope the folks spending the time and money to engineer, test, and produce parts for the existing transmissions would be at least considering an additional run to help recoup their time/costs.

For what it is worth, if the $3500 price range would make additional production feasible with the above mentioned issues addressed I'd bet there would be at least a few (I know of at least one for sure) that wouldn't hesitate in making the plunge.

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Re: Corvair 5 Speed
Posted by: gnvair ()
Date: December 25, 2015 07:22AM

NMCarNut Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 67 airvair Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Ok, after attempting to read through all this,
> I
> > am still not sure about the results.
> Specifically,
> > 1)if more kits will be available, 2)if the
> > too-high shifter shaft was successfully
> relocated,
> > hopefully making 3)it a bolt-in replacement, or
> > does it still require some
> bodywork/modification
> > to the car itself?
> >
> > Not that I'm in any condition at the moment to
> > purchase one (am in the middle of a pavement-up
> > resto at present), but am interested in the
> > project, just in case I would happen to acquire
> a
> > suitable car in the future.
> > . . .
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>
> You are not alone in your questions although
> regarding #3, body and mount modifications are
> almost certainly a given. Hopefully vairmech's
> optimism is correct, one would hope the folks
> spending the time and money to engineer, test, and
> produce parts for the existing transmissions would
> be at least considering an additional run to help
> recoup their time/costs.
>
> For what it is worth, if the $3500 price range
> would make additional production feasible with the
> above mentioned issues addressed I'd bet there
> would be at least a few (I know of at least one
> for sure) that wouldn't hesitate in making the
> plunge.

Some of the modifications are viewable on Kent's website [www.corvairkid.com]
Kent might be able to clarify if those same modifications are still necessary.

Lee J

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