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Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: kenzen ()
Date: June 13, 2018 06:55PM

I want to start an engine (re)build, and I don't want to take the running engine out of my car, but rather build one on the bench and swap it in. I'm debating if it is wise to find another complete engine, and rework it. Or just to start buying parts. I have this gut feeling that buying an engine to rework it will find me with a great rebuilt engine at the end, and all the parts from engine I bought to rework are on a shelf. Parts like the tins, alternator, carbs, and other external parts I can swap in easily I'm not concerned with taking off the currently installed motor. It's really just the "long block".

Any thoughts appreciated - thx!

Ken

kenzen
66 Monza Coupe 110/PG
Bel Air, MD

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: June 13, 2018 07:25PM

It's easy to find a long block. Just look for what you want and if you end up with more than you want sell the rest if it is good stuff.

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: bbakerga ()
Date: June 13, 2018 07:36PM

I agree with Ken. I think you’ll also spend less money if you start with a complete motor and go from there. For example, I’ve seen complete engines sell for not much more than just a set of “rebuildable” heads. Typically, if someone parts something out, they will want more for all the parts than if they sold the whole thing together. Lastly, all the “stuff” will already match each other unless it’s been Frankensteined.

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: June 13, 2018 08:08PM

I know this is not what you want, but if you wanted to build a 145 cu in engine, these cores are very cheap, even free many times!

164 cu in core engines have an inherent value because of the airplane folks. But that is what you are looking for.

Are you a member of Group Corvair or other local club?

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: kenzen ()
Date: June 14, 2018 04:46AM

My life obligations (school age kids, elderly mother, business travel) really doesn't afford being active in a club, but I have local (and not-so-local) friends who cache corvair parts, and I'm only 1hr 40 minutes from the Corvair Ranch.

As I see it, what I get out of starting with a buying another complete engine is a can of bolts that I can pull all the parts together with, hopefully a crank, rods and a block, and rebuildable heads for a core return. I plan on new pistons, cylinders, cam, and spending a good chunk of change on modified heads (eg. big valve 110). All the things like seals, bearings, gaskets, etc, are "must buy" items regardless of where I start. Do I reuse the 50yo rocker arms, or just invest in a whole new head valve train?

If I'm restoring/reconditioning these used parts then I need to factor in the machine work, which I'll probably do at the Corvair Ranch since I can trust Jeff will do it all right, and I don't trust anyone local. But how does that factor in cost (my time/labor/shipping/risk) vs. if I simply buy (say) a nitrided crank from Clarks, and return my core? Is a $300 ebay block cleaned up with good head studs better than my time (and risk) to get to that place from a tear-down of unknown history? Etc...

If I can get myself to simply purchase "new" parts for an assembly of a block, crank/cam/gears, cylinders/pistons/rods, heads/rods/rockers, oil pump, cover/fan bearing (installed), and buy these things as sub assemblies (i.e. gear on cam, matched rods/pistons/rings with pins installed) that save me time/$ at machine shops, then I can "in a day" yank the running motor, move the external stuff over (ie. alternator, oil cooler, exhaust logs, dizzy, tins, etc.), and be left with a remaining partial motor of worn out stuff to return for core deposits. If I buy a second complete motor, then I'm sitting with TWO partial motors of worn parts eating garage storage, or maybe valuable to sell (ie. good jugs) or just give away to friends in need. Am I coherent on this thinking?

kenzen
66 Monza Coupe 110/PG
Bel Air, MD

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: dolomitefan ()
Date: June 14, 2018 06:14AM

I think it also depends on how long you'd like your vehicle off the road.

I've been restoring a Triumph for many years now and I debated doing something similar. Then the project went in a different direction moving from a rebuild to a full restoration including an unused factory bodyshell. From this point I decided to refurbish my existing engine. Now some 10 years since the car came off the road I'm about ready to put the engine into the body.

If you have the space though it's always worth hoarding parts as you never know when they might come in handy. I have a loft full of Triumph parts and increasingly I'm collecting more Corvair bits too, though this is not easy in the UK as there's basically none.

---------------------------------------------------------------
Mark Gibson, Staffordshire, England

1961 Corvair Greenbrier
1980 Triumph Dolomite Sprint
2009 Mazda MX5
2015 BMW 1 Series

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: corventure Dave ()
Date: June 14, 2018 07:17AM

One can start by buying the new parts needed for the engine rebuild. Make a shopping list. The parts will be used on either engine that's rebuilt anyway.

Getting an engine to bench build leaves one with the car still operational and to enjoy in the short term. This also gives one the some extra time to detail the new engine, without a non-running car sitting there looking at you every day.smiling smiley

As far as extra tin's and parts after the project... these can always be sold, given away, or dare I say it...... scrapped.eye popping smiley

Corventure Dave

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: June 14, 2018 10:09AM

Well, if you are not in a club now, (how about CORSA?), then there might not be one once you have the time. All the old knowledgeable people are dying off and with them goes the knowledge gained over 50 years of working on them.

I fully understand time element, and have had long periods of not participating in functions, but letting my dues lapse? Never.

Having always had build-able engines, I always go that route, or the put in a running so so engine while I build the one that goes with the car.

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: kenzen ()
Date: June 15, 2018 03:40PM

I am a CORSA member, and have been since 2008.

The car itself was completely restored over the last 9 years, with the existing engine only getting a reseal and restoration of all he externally attached parts. Despite it having reasonable compression, it burned a quart of oil over the last 500 miles, so it's time. So I know exactly what I'm getting into with regard to moving the external parts over to a new block, but I've never had the heads off nor evaluated the lower mechanicals (besides replacing a dented oil pickup).

I'd like the car to only be down for a weekend.

kenzen
66 Monza Coupe 110/PG
Bel Air, MD

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: June 15, 2018 07:06PM

I still have the original 110 in my coupe. Plans are to get it running on that engine and build my Big Valve engine. Life just keeps changing priorities.

I sent you spreadsheet of parts for my Big Valve engine build project. It is pretty complete shopping list for you. I have a nitride crank. You decision if you want one with the added HP you will be getting. Pistons are stock but may change by the time I get to assemble it.

Good luck on your engine build. But start with a block and find a good used $150 engine you get small parts off. If you need some small parts, email me with your list and I will see what I still have left. Bolts,nuts, etc I have plenty of and can help. You can look in my past posts and see the bags I put together for 3 engines. Still can do it for another 4 engines.

Al Lane
Ellabell GA

1966 Monza Coupe, 110 hp, 4 Spd
1968 Camaro SS Coupe 350 CI 295+ HP PG
1964 Greenbrier Deluxe, 6 dr, 80 hp car engine, PG
2015 Chevrolet Malibu 2LT
2018 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition
1947 Farmall A tractor 15 hp


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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: June 15, 2018 07:35PM

Kenzen,

Is it smoking out the tailpipe? If not them switch to a heavier oil... like 15 w 40 or 20w 40

Actually 500 miles per quart in the 60's was not bad for NEW engines...at that time it was determined oil usage without leaks or smoke was GOOD...
engines [ rings ] seemed to last longer..





MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: June 15, 2018 08:01PM

I'm with Matt, 500 miles per quart and no smoke is a good running engine. Now, smoke or blow-by issues, then yes, time to rebuild.

I'm also with Al, get a build-able engine, take your time to build it into what you want while you still drive and enjoy the car as is. You should have time to do this before it is needed in the car. And then it should be a weekend to swap engines and deal with all the little things that will happen at that point!thumbs up

Looking great!

You are pretty close to Harry Yarnell, he may have some engines/parts around the garage. PM me for his email if this is not one of the friends you mention above.

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: 63ConDan ()
Date: June 15, 2018 08:12PM

I vote to Build one.

Get a case that will work and collect all the cool stuff you want to make it run hard as new parts, and spec the head work to use all the cool stuff to its' maximum capabilities, assemble, the fun part, then swap more fun, and sort from there, then run it hard.

Best to you.

Dan Central MN

1968 Convertible

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: kenzen ()
Date: June 16, 2018 06:57AM

Thanks for all the advice and offers guys!

1 quart in 500 miles to me is bizzare, but I'll take your word for it that its the "old normal". No smoke, but the blow-by seems excessive - I'm not quite sure how to evaluate blow-by other than look at the puffing coming out of the breather tube. (At this rate, a 3000 mile oil change interval is replacing oil that's already been changed...maybe just change the filter at this rate...)

Thanks for the spreadsheet Al! No problem opening it, and its definitely a great resource to plan and acquire needed parts.

I think my approach will be a hybrid of the above between Al and Dan, which is where my gut was telling me to go. In the big picture I really like the idea of spending my time assembling parts from vendors that are ready-to-go, matched, balanced and preassembled in some cases, vs. dealing with testing and restoring locally, leaning on a machine shop. However, getting a cheap engine to have as a source for minor parts, and maybe just the case and crank, and heads for rebuildable cores is worth it.

I realize this will cost more, but the time savings will be significant, it reduces my risk of discovering parts are not salvageable (e.g. cracked crank), and putting cash into the Corvair vendor economy is never a bad thing (as long as I actually get the parts ...) Off the cuff, if spending $1k or so more (after returning the cores) saves me weeks of part restoration work and waiting for machine shop services, its money well spent.

Ken

kenzen
66 Monza Coupe 110/PG
Bel Air, MD

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: June 16, 2018 08:03AM

Always change the oil. The oil that does not get burned is the contaminated unknown compound (water vapor/acids) with lots of dirt. I have fixed many an oil burner by changing the oil back in the day. Including my B&S old (30 +years) lawnmower last year . Always used oil since I got it 18 years ago, did an oil change, no more oil burning....grinning smiley

Thinking back, I'm sure most Corvairs I drove (all used, no rebuilt engines) did not got better than 500/600 miles per quart. They all had the extra quart sitting in the spare tire (early models) or near battery (lates). My 66 AC has two extra quarts....grinning smiley

My "modern" 20 year old cars that make several thousand miles before needing oil are a mystery to me...winking smiley

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: jamesolefjensen ()
Date: June 16, 2018 08:47AM

I rebuilt a 140 HP on the bench and then swapped it into my Corsa. I don't like long downtimes for my cars either. It took me and my dad several months to rebuild the engine but only a weekend to swap it in.

The upside is that we had time to address litle issues we ran ito along the way (oversized studs, undersized bearings, etc). Since we weren't in a rush to shove it all back togeher we had fun with the whole process.

The downside is that I have to keep buying my dad beer so that he won't bug me about the old core in the back of his garage.

I'd say its better to have too many parts than not enough when doing something like this. And when its all done, you can sell or give away any extras to the next guy (or gal)

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: kenzen ()
Date: June 16, 2018 09:08AM

jamesolefjensen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I rebuilt a 140 HP on the bench and then swapped
> it into my Corsa. I don't like long downtimes for
> my cars either. It took me and my dad several
> months to rebuild the engine but only a weekend to
> swap it in.
>
> The upside is that we had time to address litle
> issues we ran ito along the way (oversized studs,
> undersized bearings, etc). Since we weren't in a
> rush to shove it all back togeher we had fun with
> the whole process.
>
> The downside is that I have to keep buying my dad
> beer so that he won't bug me about the old core in
> the back of his garage.
>


Exactly how I'm thinking, but I wish by dad was still around to buy him beer...
Tomorrow's Father's Day (here in the states) - enjoy it if and as you can!
Ken

kenzen
66 Monza Coupe 110/PG
Bel Air, MD

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: June 16, 2018 09:25AM

A lot of good advice here. I'll add something nobody has mentioned. An engine build done correctly is time consuming. Before I retired I wisely had a good shop do the engine rebuilds for the various old cars I've owned. I realized I'd never get it done with all the obligations of work, home, etc.

Once I retired I decided building an engine would be a good way to keep busy. The engine in my car had been ruined by a poor rebuild and I wanted to install a 140HP. I quickly learned what others said - BUY A COMPLETE ENGINE as it will be less expensive. I found a 140HP PG engine that few wanted for $300.00. I pulled the heads and they were great (although I had deep seats and guides done). The crank was good, polished up to spec. I did have to replace the crank gear with a non-PG unit. BTW - It took a year to find a good used engine. I bought a few engines that were junk, but then again I paid little for them and I scavenged some good parts from them to build another engine for my other car.
Again when you retire you have more time for projects.

What I learned is it was easier and faster to build up a complete engine WITHOUT having to remove and dismantle the engine in the car for tin, and misc. parts. You can also bench run it to make sure all is good BEFORE you install it. I had an oil leak caused by a hairline fracture in the end cover. Nice to find that BEFORE I installed the engine.

BTW if your car is not smoking - look for an oil leak. If no leaks just add a can of good ol STP and motor on until you find and build a better engine.

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: June 16, 2018 09:41AM

And especially when it's SUMMER and time to enjoy / use the car!





MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: Engine Build Strategy - Advice Needed
Posted by: kenzen ()
Date: June 16, 2018 04:57PM

This, at the earliest, will be a 2019 winter project.

kenzen
66 Monza Coupe 110/PG
Bel Air, MD

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