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The ‘63 Corvair Spyder is liberated!


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Last night the Spyder was loaded up for the trip home to Oregon. She has New Hampshire plates, registered last in the early 80’s and I know she was shipped down here a few years after that.
 

It’s bittersweet to remove her from her long sleep, as she is the very last thing I am taking out of dad’s shop. It’s a relief to know that I somehow managed to get both shops and his home cleared out, but it’s an odd feeling to leave Harper and know that I never have to go back. The timing feels right, as a huge pipeline is going in just behind his properties. I know my dad would have not liked that. 
 

As for the car, I can’t wait to wash her up and see what it will take to get her running again. I’m leaning towards keep her, depending on the price tag to get her running. I’m anticipating an engine rebuild, brakes, wheels, and I’m sure many other things. I am willing to invest up to her value, and keep her for sentimental reasons. I know Corvairs are not worth as much as other makes, but she is a desirable model. Plus, she would be fun to drive and Peggy Sue needs a garage mate. 

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Another significant milestone on life's road.  Indeed, she's a keeper and one it sounds like you'll enjoy for a long time to come. 

We appreciate your fathers service to his country, and we certainly appreciate how this has led to you to us.  Hope to see you on the road someplace- AACA Tours await!

Happy vintage motoring always-

Terry

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Thank you Terry. I often think about how my dad led me to all of you who have supported me so well during this stage of my life. So often in life, you find what you need, when you need it. 

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In spite of the dust, you can see that it really looks great, especially with those real wire wheels. I hope it does turn out to be a keeper for you !    -   Carl 

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I assume you have found Clarks. Would suggest adding a "camber compensator" first thing if it does not already have one. Was stock in '64s.

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Congrats on getting that little gem on its way to your place.

It should be a great car to drive when you're done with it.

 

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That’s a giant step forward. Congratulations on that mile stone. The car is definitely a keeper from the looks of it. It should be at least your Friday thru Sunday driver along with Peggy Sue !  
Hope it all works out for you. 
dave s 

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Take a big break and breathe a sigh of relief! You certainly deserve it after the huge task of liquidating your Dad's stuff. That is a great little car. Years ago when I was a kid, a guy tried without success to swap me a beautiful, Corvair Spyder convertible four speed car for my 1931 Dodge coupe. It was maroon with a black interior and black top. I could not give up the '31.

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4 hours ago, C Carl said:

In spite of the dust, you can see that it really looks great, especially with those real wire wheels. I hope it does turn out to be a keeper for you !    -   Carl 

I have 4 more wheels that are like new condition also! Corvette knock offs. 

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4 hours ago, padgett said:

I assume you have found Clarks. Would suggest adding a "camber compensator" first thing if it does not already have one. Was stock in '64s.

I am under the impression it comes on the Spyder but not sure if it came as early as ‘63 standard. I do intend to have that check out. Thank you. 

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That's the car that dad used to teach me how to drive.  He said that if I could drive a certain route and keep up with required shifts but never use the clutch, then I would be allowed to drive it alone.  He later sold it when the rust got so bad the doors had trouble opening and closing.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, kgreen said:

That's the car that dad used to teach me how to drive.  He said that if I could drive a certain route and keep up with required shifts but never use the clutch, then I would be allowed to drive it alone.  He later sold it when the rust got so bad the doors had trouble opening and closing.

Luckily this one is not rusty and I learned to drive a standard with my first car that my daddy bought me. He also highly encouraged me to learn to drive a stick. It might have been more like a mandatory condition, but I wanted to learn, so I never tested it. 🤣 This is a 4 speed. Paint is shiny but has crackles all over. I suspect the heat caused that. It used to be in beautiful shape. 
 

I need to find someone in Oregon to rebuild the engine. I know they make a kit and Clark’s carries it I believe. I just want to assess what all total it will take to make it safe before I get started. 

Edited by victorialynn2 (see edit history)
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The engine is not difficult to rebuild, but I'll tell you where novice or inexperienced builders fail.  The valve guides run inside tubes that fit between the head and block halves.  They are sealed with o-rings.  The mechanic has to pay careful attention here.  Good luck and enjoy the heck out of that car!

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That looks like an awesome car! I've always kind of wanted a Corvair, they're just so unique. Hopefully you can make that one into a nice driver!

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I'm sure that it will be a nice remembrance to have around.  I was fortunate to have a 62 Coupe back in my high school days in 65 and have always wished I had kept it. Also had a 65 later in life (and another one that should have been kept 🤔) I keep my eyes out for another one and maybe one day will find the one I want. Best of luck with the car and enjoy the memories.

 

Ron of Chicago, now of Florida

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2 hours ago, victorialynn2 said:

I am under the impression it comes on the Spyder but not sure if it came as early as ‘63 standard. I do intend to have that check out. Thank you. 

 

Nope, Spyder had same rear suspension as Monza, 700, and 500.  There was a front sway bar on Spyders.

 

Although all the rage in the 60s with the street racers, You will NOT need a camber compensator in the rear.   I've seen many an early (60 to 63) Corvair autocross well with stock suspension without any rear camber compensator.

 

Questions?  corvaircenter.com/phorum

 

2 hours ago, kgreen said:

The valve guides run inside tubes that fit between the head and block halves.  They are sealed with o-rings.  The mechanic has to pay careful attention here.

 

The push rods are inside the push rod tubes, hence their names. Valve guides are pressed into the head like most every aluminum overhead valve head. Probably way over a million push rod tube o-rings have been replaced by average mechanics, some of which were done wrong..... like smearing silicone seal over the o-rings. 😡    But since the invention of Viton o-rings yeaaars ago, push rod tube o-ring jobs are almost once in a lifetime now. 👍

2 hours ago, victorialynn2 said:

I need to find someone in Oregon to rebuild the engine.

 

What makes you think this? Is it running yet? Unless a rod is hanging out, or other major obvious problem, decide if an engine rebuild is necessary after running it. Again, ask for help : corvaircenter.com/phorum 

 

Many easy tricks to starting a long sitting Corvair without damage.

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2 minutes ago, Frank DuVal said:

 

Nope, Spyder had same rear suspension as Monza, 700, and 500.  There was a front sway bar on Spyders.

 

Although all the rage in the 60s with the street racers, You will NOT need a camber compensator in the rear.   I've seen many an early (60 to 63) Corvair autocross well with stock suspension without any rear camber compensator.

 

Questions?  corvaircenter.com/phorum

 

 

The push rods are inside the push rod tubes, hence their names. Valve guides are pressed into the head like most every aluminum overhead valve head. Probably way over a million push rod tube o-rings have been replaced by average mechanics, some of which were done wrong..... like smearing silicone seal over the o-rings. 😡    But since the invention of Viton o-rings yeaaars ago, push rod tube o-ring jobs are almost once in a lifetime now. 👍

 

What makes you think this? Is it running yet? Unless a rod is hanging out, or other major obvious problem, decide if an engine rebuild is necessary after running it. Again, ask for help : corvaircenter.com/phorum 

 

Many easy tricks to starting a long sitting Corvair without damage.

Thanks for all the great info! Yes I was thinking of the sway bar. 
 

The only reasons I think I may need to rebuild the engine is because it hasn’t been registered since 1983, and i wonder why he left it sitting. Also I found a note that the “turbo is not responding”, Which my dad wrote. Plus there’s not even an oil spot under the car. Lol
 

Of course I hope I have friends who can take the necessary steps and check it out first. Being a Corvair turbo, I’m not sure if my friends know what those steps are. They mostly work on Dodges and other Chevys. 

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1 hour ago, victorialynn2 said:

They mostly work on Dodges and other Chevys. 

  Dune Buggies still run VW & Corvair engines and would be one of the first places I would check with though I don't know how common the Turbo's are.   Moved away from the coast many years ago. 

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I agree this is a fairly modern car the storage should not be that hard on her.

 

Dump the gas, possibly clean the tank, but I would just add an extra in line filter (easy to replace).  Put on a new fuel pump, should be cheap mechanical?, change the oil, pick up a new battery, rebuild the carburetor (might be optional to get her running), and fire her up, forgot replace any flexible fuel lines.  For brakes this should be easy also, new wheel cylinders, new shoes, new master cylinder, new flexible lines...invite a few friends over and make it a weekend job.  After it is running probably want to get some new tires.

 

Good luck, great looking car, it will be fun for years, having Dad as a copilot is priceless

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I think the turbos are notorious for sticking after sitting for extended periods of storage like yours has.  Best to make sure it's free before trying to start it.  I had a couple a friend wanted me to sell for him and they were both seized from sitting though they look like they were stored in nice dry storage. He said they were free when he took them off the cars.

Good luck.

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57 minutes ago, Graham Man said:

I agree this is a fairly modern car the storage should not be that hard on her.

 

Dump the gas, possibly clean the tank, but I would just add an extra in line filter (easy to replace).  Put on a new fuel pump, should be cheap mechanical?, change the oil, pick up a new battery, rebuild the carburetor (might be optional to get her running), and fire her up, forgot replace any flexible fuel lines.  For brakes this should be easy also, new wheel cylinders, new shoes, new master cylinder, new flexible lines...invite a few friends over and make it a weekend job.  After it is running probably want to get some new tires.

 

Good luck, great looking car, it will be fun for years, having Dad as a copilot is priceless

Thanks! Yes definitely new tires also. I will need a mechanic to do all that. I don’t have knowledge or tools in Oregon. It helps to have a plan though. 

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8 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

I think the turbos are notorious for sticking after sitting for extended periods of storage like yours has.  Best to make sure it's free before trying to start it.  I had a couple a friend wanted me to sell for him and they were both seized from sitting though they look like they were stored in nice dry storage. He said they were free when he took them off the cars.

Good luck.

Yes I’ve heard that also. I definitely want to find someone who’s worked specifically on the turbo. 

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Whereas the debate regarding oil preference goes on forever, turbochargers live longer, healthier, happier lives when lubricated by  the highest quality full synthetic oil.    -     Carl 

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12 hours ago, victorialynn2 said:

I am under the impression it comes on the Spyder but not sure if it came as early as ‘63 standard. I do intend to have that check out. Thank you. 

 

You've got a great little car there.  I also have a '63 Spyder project that I hope to have back on the road someday.

 

The "camber compensator" or transverse spring was only available on '64 models.  Unless you plan to race in autocross events or run Tennesse's Tail of the Dragon, I wouldn't be concerned.  Early model Corvairs are completely stable in normal driving conditions.  Just be sure to keep your tire pressures correct.

 

Have fun with your Spyder!

 

 

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14 hours ago, kgreen said:

The engine is not difficult to rebuild, but I'll tell you where novice or inexperienced builders fail.  The valve guides run inside tubes that fit between the head and block halves.  They are sealed with o-rings.  The mechanic has to pay careful attention here.  Good luck and enjoy the heck out of that car!

I think you're referring to the push rod tubes.  Indeed they leaked badly in the early days.  Clarks Corvair Parts sells Viton o-rings for the tubes, which takes care of the problem.

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3 hours ago, Roger Frazee said:

 

You've got a great little car there.  I also have a '63 Spyder project that I hope to have back on the road someday.

 

The "camber compensator" or transverse spring was only available on '64 models.  Unless you plan to race in autocross events or run Tennesse's Tail of the Dragon, I wouldn't be concerned.  Early model Corvairs are completely stable in normal driving conditions.  Just be sure to keep your tire pressures correct.

 

Have fun with your Spyder!

 

 

And what is that tire pressure? Seems I remember front and back are different?

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10 hours ago, Graham Man said:

Good luck, great looking car, it will be fun for years, having Dad as a copilot is priceless

When driving the Skyliner I imagine him with me. It’s hard not to smile and he’s always on my mind. 

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Isn't the "Corvair underground" still in Mac.

The owner used to live just down the street from me. Might still.

I always thought his prices were high, but what do I know.

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1 hour ago, victorialynn2 said:

And what is that tire pressure? Seems I remember front and back are different?

My memory tells me that the front was supposed to be 26 psi and the rears 30 or so to resist oversteer.  I would double check that before driving but think it is correct.

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If any help my notes show the contemporary Olds used a Garrett-AiResearch  73 mm turbo, the Corvair used a TRW 76mm. No wastegate but the single barrel carb limited peak boost. My first turbo car was a Fitch Sprint with the 180 turbo.  Back then all had lags that made autocrossing difficult.

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Victoria,

CORSA (Corvair Society of America) has three chapters in Oregon.   1) Beaver State Corvair Club  in Eugene.    Web address:  corvair.org/chapters/chapter973/

2)  Corsa Oregon in Beaverton     Web address:   corsaoregon.weebly.com      3)  Southern Oregon Corvair Owners in Medford   Web contact:  stanleyfamily1@attbi.com

These clubs may provide you with useful contacts when looking for someone experienced in addressing the waking up of a long stored Corvair.

Keith

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   My first car was a 61 Corvair and at the same time my cousin had a 63.  When Nader came out with his worthless book we actually tried to roll ours several times.  We would slide them sideways through water onto dry pavement and never lifted a wheel.  Spin them and just about everything else and never had one try and roll. This was all done where Portland international raceway is now.  The only real bad trait we found was was if you cornered too fast on wet roads they would spin and there was no way to stop it.  All that weight in the back wanted to come around.  The other thing which just required some common sense was the light front end wanting to understeer on slippery roads if pushed hard.  Why didn't Nader write a book about the VW Beetle? I like driving them too. 😁

   Your going to be driving in a normal manor so don't worry about the suspension and just drive the car and enjoy it.  I still wouldn't mind owning another one but I'm getting too old to get in and out of them. 

PS.

   How come almost every Spyder you see is a convertible?????

 

Edited by Fossil (see edit history)
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5 minutes ago, Fossil said:

   My first car .....them. 

PS.

   How come almost every Spyder you see is a convertible?????

 

Because they’re more fun!  

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