Updated 31-Jul-2023 = Copyright (c) 2023 Corvairs of New Mexico
TECHNICAL ARTICLES AND NOTES
Mounting Radial Tires on Classic Vehicle Rims
Transaxle Lubricants Revisited by Bob Helt
Corvair Torsional Dampers Revisited by Bob Helt
The Preventive Maintenance Series
On the Demise of 13-inch Tires
WD-40 -- What is it?
Ethanol in Gasoline
Oil Filter Update
Corsa Dash Lights
Old Car Garage Strip Show
A New Wave of Shortages
Seth Emerson on Steering Arms
Flywheel/Pressure Plate -- Larry Blair
Newsletter Production Notes
MOUNTING RADIAL TIRES ON CLASSIC VEHICLE RIMS
Condensed from SEMA Member News, July/August, 2011
by Brad Hunsinger of Colorado V8 Club
Over the past 100 years, tires and the wheels that support them have gone
through significant changes as a result of technical innovations in design,
technology and materials. No single factor affects the handling and safety of a
car more than the tires and wheels it rides on and how the two work together as
a unit. One nagging question has been whether rims designed for bias-ply tires
can handle the stresses placed on them by radial-ply tires. The answer depends
on how the rim was originally designed and built, as well as the number of
cycles on it and how it has been used. More importantly, it depends upon the
construction of the tire and how it transmits the vehicle's load to where the
rubber meets the road.
The terms radial and bias describe two different ways to structure a tire using
similar, rubber-covered fabric cords of nylon, polyester, rayon or steel. The
bodies of all tires are made from layers of such cords, and the layers are
called plies. Within each body ply,tire cords lie parallel to each other encased
in rubber, and each cord distributes stresses along its length to its ends,
which are anchored around steel hoops called beads. Because the beads also hold
the tire tightly to the rim, the bead areas transfer body tire cord stresses to
and from the rim. Radial tires and bias-belted tires have additional belt plies
located only beneath the tread area, and the cords of those plies are anchored
only in rubber.
Why is there a possible rim concern between Radial and Bias tires? The fitting
of radial tires to wheels and rims originally designed for bias tires, is an
application that may result in rim durability issues. Even same-sized bias and
radial tires stress a rim differently, despite their nearly identical
dimensions. Stresses that exceed any rim's design limits can result in rim
failure with possible tire and vehicle consequences.
When radial tires began to be widely accepted, engineers and customers noted
occasional rim-cracking failures that led to higher strength standards for light
truck and large agricultural tire applications. Rim cracking was not prevalent
in all wheels of that era ('70's), but wheels and rims of earlier years (with
different design standards and many, many usage cycles) were not - indeed could
not - be fully tested for use with every possible radial. Therefore, it is
likely that all old rims - and even some new rims made to old designs - may not
perform satisfactorily with newer-technology tires, even if compatible sizing
makes it very easy to install the radials.
Construction features of radial and bias tires make them bulge differently when
deflected. So the radial's localized bulge puts more stress on the rim flange.
Why? Bias tire cords cannot bend or bulge independently because they are
rubber-bonded to adjacent ply cords that go in the opposite, reinforcing
direction. Therefore each bias cord transfers some of its stress to each of the
cords that crosses it. Radial tire cords can bend and bulge independently by
stretching and/or compressing the rubber between them because (except in the
belt and bead areas) there is no other reinforcement between the cords. The
radial tire concentrates its wheel-to-ground loading stress in a much smaller
portion of sidewall than a bias tire does, and extreme bulging is the result.
Rim fatigue and cracking can happen to any wheel from normal flexing, cyclic
loading and cornering, but radial stressing of the rim can accelerate metal
fatigue and rim failure that is uncommon with bias tires.
What are the possible results of radial tire rim stress? Radials can add
bulge-induced stress at various rim flange area points which increases the
possibility of fatigue cracking in these areas. Additionally, wheel stress
caused by a radial's improved handling actually results in additional flange
area and stress point loading as the tire distorts and rolls sideways. The most
likely failure mode for an overstressed rim is circumferential cracking at one
or more stress points.
What can be done to check for rim cracks? Small cracks may offer no symptoms in
a tube-type product, since air leakage will not occur unless the crack's motion
nibbles through the tube. So, only vigilant physical wheel examination offers a
way to catch early cracking in a tube-type application. Small cracks in a
tubeless application will result in immediate, noticeable air leakage. A key to
discovery is to remember that cracking is a possibility, and don't always assume
that air loss is a puncture or a valve issue. Most importantly, don't "correct"
a leak by periodically adding air, as a crack could be growing in your wheel.
With reasonable inspection and careful maintenance, it is likely that rim
cracking issues with any tire (radial or bias) can remain limited to a nuisance
issue rather than a safety concern.
REPRINTED BY: NEW MEXICO COUNCIL OF CAR CLUBS
TRANSAXLE LUBRICANTS REVISITED by Bob Helt
Reprinted from: VEGAS VAIRS - July 2011, page 4
With a constantly changing technology and industry, it's sometimes hard to know
what to do. Yet we have to make decisions based on current understandings and
limited data. For all of these reasons, this seems like now is a good time to
review just what lubricants we should be putting in our Corvair transmissions
Unfortunately, neither the Corvair Owner's Manuals nor the Shop Manuals provide
us with much usable information due to the significant changes that have
occurred over the last 40-50 years.
So let's review just what the latest thinking and recommendations are for
selecting lubricants for our Corvair transmissions and differentials. Chevrolet
called these differentials rear axles but we will refer to them as
First, let's cover the simple ones starting with the Powerglide transaxles.
In the Powerglide transmission, one should use the latest Automatic Transmission
Fluid (ATF) version of Dexron available, that currently is designated as either
Dexron III or Dexron III-H.
In the Powerglide differential, also the latest gear lubricant designated as
GL-5 is recommended in either the conventional oil viscosity of 80W-90 or the
synthetic oil viscosity designated as 75W-90. Note that GL-5 is recommended only
for the Powerglide differential and higher viscosities are also not recommended.
MANUAL TRANSMISSION CORVAIR TRANSAXLES
Since all Corvair manual transmission transaxles have a lubricant recirculation
system that transfers the lubricating oil between the transmission and
differential (and back) our choice of lubricating oil must satisfy the
requirements both the transmission and differentials.
Let's take a look at what these requirements are. In the transmission, the key
concern is that of having the gear synchronizers work correctly and provide long
life to these. Here is the problem. These synchronizers are made of brass and
must be able to force the two mating gears, in either an upshift or down shift,
to reach the same speed for a clashless shift to occur. This is done by allowing
the sharp edges of these brass rings to "cut thru" the lubricating film and make
contact with the mating parts causing enough friction to force the two gears to
reach the same speed. Thus, film strength must be within certain specs and the
sharp edges of the syncho rings must be maintained. So the lubricant must not
attack the soft brass.
Things are different in the differential. Here, the main concern is for the
hypoid ring and pinion gears, where there a potential for excessive wear exists
since the teeth contact surfaces move against each other in a sliding action
with of course significant power being transmitted via these gears. So
protection against gear wear is a major concern in the differential.
So here is the problem. The sulfur/phosphorus additives that are used in the
differential to protect against gear wear tend to increase the lubricant film
strength in the transmission making it more difficult for the synchronizers to
cut thru this film and do their job. This increases the wear on these brass
rings. In addition, the differential additives tend to attack brass, so
neutralizing components must be added to the transmission oil to prevent any
In order to establish and maintain the correct balance between both the
transmission and differential requirements, the use of the correct lubricant is
Therefore it is highly recommended that you look for and use only a gear
lubricant designated as GL-4 (either conventional lube or synthetic). You don't
want any other designations shown on the container such as GL-5 or MT-1. You
want just GL-4 by itself. GL-5 gear lube contains about twice the
sulfur/phosphorus ingredients of GL-4 and thus is likely to increase the wear of
the brass synchronizer rings. According to lube expert, Richard Witman, the SAE
says GL-5 should not be used in synchronized transmissions. And MT-1 is not
wanted either since it is designated for non-synchromesh transmissions.
And for the Manual Transmission and differential, viscosities are recommended in
either the conventional oil of 80W-90 or the synthetic oil viscosity designated
as 75W-90. Note that higher viscosities are also not recommended.
CORVAIR TORSIONAL DAMPERS REVISITED by Bob Helt
Reprinted from: VEGAS VAIRS - August 2011, page 4
After considerable study and research I have come to some new conclusions that I
would like to share with you regarding our stock Corvair torsional dampers. As
you know, the piston power strokes tend to slightly twist the crankshaft, which
then untwists afterwards. This sets up a vibration in the crankshaft which can
build up to a damaging force when these pulses occur at the crankshaft's natural
To avoid crankshaft damage from these vibrations, Chevrolet included a vibration
damper on most of the 164 cid engines. They called this damper a Harmonic
Balancer which we now call by its correct functional name of Torsional Damper.
But whatever you might call it, its job is the same.....to protect the
In rebuilding these dampers, I have found that almost all of them have hard or
inflexible rubber in the section separating the two cast iron pieces. So it is
apparent that this factory rubber doesn't last long in use. It deteriorates
rapidly from heat and exposure. And as it deteriorates, it hardens, losing its
flexibility and thus REDUCING ITS DAMPENING ABILITY. Since the design of the
stock damper specifies that it be tuned to the crankshaft vibration frequency,
this hardening of the rubber shifts the tuning upward to a higher frequency that
will not sufficiently dampen the crankshaft. Dale Engineering who has rebuilt
over 6,000 dampers has found the the tuned frequency has shifted upwards as much
as 26% (from 222 Hz to around 280 Hz) in dampers that still seem to be useable
with a still flexible rubber section.
This means that stock dampers that still appear to have good flexible rubber and
be otherwise stock appearing may not provide sufficient crankshaft protection.
Stated simply, you can't tell a good damper by its appearance or any simple
Vendor-rebuilt dampers now use a more durable synthetic rubber that doesn't
deteriorate like the stock dampers did. But the lifetime stability of these
rubbers is not known and may possibly be subject, to some extent, to the same
kind of hardening and tuning shift of the stock dampers. In addition it is
possible that some vendors may be using better rubber material than others.
Thus, the hardening and tuning shift problem may not have been totally solved.
Unfortunately, there is little technical knowledge or in-use experience to guide
us on these vendor supplied rebuilds. Dale does warrant his dampers for their
lifetime, but their extended lifetime dampening abilities seem to remain
Since crankshaft breakage is the result of many undamped vibrations over the
crank's lifetime, it's hard to know the actual cause. But I have come to the
conclusion that these broken crankshafts are mainly due to the continued use of
an aging damper that appears good but that has shifted its dampening frequency
and thus lost its damping capability over time.
Because of our inability to evaluate the damping capability of any given damper,
the only solutuion is to replace any damper periodically with a vendor rebuilt
one. The replacement cycle is subject to opinion but annually would seem to be
appropriate for racing and daily use vehicles in warmer climates, and every five
years for all others. If you are still using a stock damper, we recommend that
it be replaced immediately. It doesn't have to separate to cease working.
THE PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE SERIES
Article by Mike Dawson in July/August 2011 Corvantics
Reprinted from: VEGAS VAIRS - August 2011, page 4
Things that need double (or regular) checking:
Oil Filter Bolts: Some of the fiber washers used under the head of the oil
filter bolt will crush just enough under heat cycles and vibration to cause the
torque (20 ft lbs) to vanish. Almost all of the various filters in use have the
problem to a certain extent. I reviewed all of my cars recently and found two of
the bolts one half turn loose. One car I know of began to leak oil on the
highway from that exact problem. Best defense would be to check the bolts,
including the right angle adapter, on a regular basis until you are sure the
torque has stabilized.
Belts: Most new belts will need to be adjusted at least once after a break in
period. If you install a new belt, be sure to recheck the tension after a period
of time. A brand new belt would be particularly susceptible to loosening up
after high speed driving. As was mentioned above, check until you are sure the
belt has stabilized. If you have belt guides, adjust the clearance to 1/16th
Carburetor Inlet Nuts: These also loosen up from heat cycles and vibration,
however, when you tighten the steel line nut, you should make sure that the
spring action of the line is not trying to unscrew the inlet nut. Gently bend
the line once you have tightened the flare nut so that the line is at least
neutral and possibly even trying to tighten the nut. Gaskets, if needed, are
available in an inexpensive plastic pack on O'reilly's shelf.
Gas Filler Pipe Pocket: The early model cars have a drain and a plastic insert
with a rubber hose leading down the back of the wheel well. If that small hole
in the bottom of the filler pocket gets plugged with debris, collected water
could rise above the fuel pipe if any of the following occur: the hoses
connecting the pipe to the tank have been replaces and are a little shorter, the
gasket under the cap has shrunk or the vent opening may be on the low side of
the cap. Late models have a bigger drain and the filler pipe is higher.
Battery Cable Ends: These should be removed from the battery about every six
months and you should clean both the inside of the clamp and the battery post.
They may appear clean on the outside but that is only for show - the real issue
is the mating surfaces. Not attending to this item causes all electrical
operations to cease, usually at the time you turn the key to start.
Oil Pan Bolts: If you have a cork or rubber pan gasket there is the potential
for leaks as the gaskets experience hot and cold cycles along with vibration and
oil sitting on the gasket at all times. A regular check of the bolts may be
necessary. My favorite method for the pan is to use a late design pan that you
have carefully straightened, a hard paper gasket (allows use of a toque wrench),
high temp RTV on both sides of the gasket, use of 1/4-20 grade 8 bolts by 3/4
inch length with lock and flat washers. Torque to 10 ft lbs.
Fuel Pump Mounting Bolt: Check your pump simply by grabbing the top towards the
front of the car and attempt to move it - any movement or clicking sound needs
to be corrected by loosening the lock nut and tightening the mounting bolt, then
tighten the locknut. The mounting bolt should have an "L" stamped on the head -
if not, shorten the point slightly as it may try to punch through the pump
casting when you tighten it properly. (See Vaircor 09)
ON THE DISAPPEARANCE OF 13-INCH TIRES
The New Jersey "FANBELT" for May 2010 reprints this article about tires:
The End of 13-Inch Tires by Ken Maxwell, Louisville, KY
Well, it's finally happened. I can no longer get the P185/80R13 tires for my
I work for a large tire company with a huge warehouse and we are direct with all
major manufacturers. Firestone informed us yesterday that their FR380 tire is on
national backorder and "there are no plans for future production." Hankook has
discontinued its H714 tire and Kumho has discontinued its 795 tire. Cooper has
discontinued its Alpha 365 tire. Tire Rack and Tire Discounters don't list any
13 inch tires except for trailer tires (don't use those).
I searched all over the internet and was able to find a leftover set of five
FR380s in Oregon which I ordered. If you think that you will have a need for
13-inch tires for your Corvair any time soon, I would recommend you check with
your local tire supplier as soon as possible to see if they have some stashed
away. The only alternative that we will soon have are classic reproductions like
the BFG "Silverstone" tire with a very wide whitewall that runs $173 each! I
just paid $47 each, plus shipping, for the Firestones.
The future isn't much better for those of us that have 14-inch tires either.
Tire makers are dropping those sizes as fast as they can. There simply isn't
enough of a market to make it worth their while to manufacture them. The 13-inch
tire used to be the entry level size but now the 16-inch tire has that position.
Editor's Note: Clark's Corvair Parts has, as of this writing, a good inventory
of the P185/80R13 Hankook tires with the 3/4" whitewall. But Clark's admits that
the tires are getting harder to find, and suggests that you order now before
they are gone. Clark's part number is C12601 and the price is $75.10 each.
WD-40 -- WHAT IS IT?
What is the main ingredient of WD-40? I had a neighbor who bought a new pickup.
I got up very early one Sunday morning and saw that someone had spray painted
red all around the sides of this beige truck (for some unknown reason). I went
over, woke him up, and told him the bad news. He was very upset and was trying
to figure out what to do... probably nothing until Monday morning, since nothing
was open. Another neighbor came out and told him to get his WD-40 and clean it
off. It removed the unwanted paint beautifully and did not harm the truck's
paint job. I'm impressed! WD-40 = Water Displacement #40. The product began from
a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts.
WD-40 was created in 1953 by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical
Company. Its name comes from the project that was to find a 'water displacement'
compound. They were successful with the fortieth formulation, thus WD-40. The
Convair Company bought it in bulk to protect their Atlas missile parts. Ken East
(one of the original founders) says there is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt
you. When you read the 'shower door' part, try it. It's the first thing that has
ever cleaned that spotty shower door. If yours is plastic, it works just as well
as glass. It's a miracle! Then try it on your stove top. Viola! It's now shinier
than it's ever been. You'll be amazed.
1. Protects silver from tarnishing.
2. Removes road tar and grime from cars.
3. Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
4. Gives floors that 'just-waxed' sheen without making them slippery.
5. Keeps flies off cows.
6. Restores and cleans chalkboards.
7. Removes lipstick stains.
8. Loosens stubborn zippers.
9. Untangles jewelry chains.
10. Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
11. Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.
12. Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing.
13. Removes tomato stains from clothing.
14. Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.
15. Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
16. Keeps scissors working smoothly.
17. Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes.
18. It removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor! Use WD-40 for those
nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring. It doesn't seem to harm the finish
and you won't have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off. Just remember
to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
19. Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly! Use
20. Gives a children's playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
21. Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding
22. Rids kids' rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
23. Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open..
24. Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
25. Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards and vinyl bumpers in vehicles.
26. Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
27. Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
28. Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles.
29. Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
30. Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.
31. Removes splattered grease on stove.
32. Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
33. Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
34. Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
35. Removes all traces of duct tape.
36. People spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.
37. Florida's favorite use: clean and remove love bugs from grills and bumpers.
38. New York: WD-40 protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
39. WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a little on live bait or lures and you will be
catching the big one in no time. Also, it's a lot cheaper than the chemical
attractants that are made for just that purpose. Keep in mind though, using
chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some states.
40. Fire ant bites: it takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.
41. Remove crayon from walls. Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag.
42. If your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load
of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash. Presto! The
lipstick is gone!
43. Spray WD-40 on the distributor cap to displace the moisture and allow the
car to start.
P.S. The basic ingredient is FISH OIL.
ETHANOL IN GASOLINE (1)
Reprinted from: VAIRIFIABLE NEWS Central Virginia -- July 2011
July 2011 Car Hobbyist News from the Council by Fred Fann
Big Ethanol wins again, then loses - on June 14th a vote was taken in the US
Senate to end the $6 billion a year ethanol subsidies - and it failed. Then on
June 16th another vote was taken in the Senate and by a 73 - 27 margin the
ethanol subsidies are supposed to end. It is not expected to make it into law.
Attachments to the bill and a possible veto by the president will most likely
prevent the subsidies from ending. It does show that people in DC are getting
very worried about the deficit.
More people are getting concerned about E15 and other ethanol blends and the
damage these blends could do to engines. More ethanol also means less gas
mileage and possible engine problems. What I have heard is that the EPA is
working on the approval of so called blender pumps for ethanol. The blender
pumps would allow varying amounts of ethanol fuel such as E10, E15 and E85 to be
dispensed. These pumps would be similar to the old Sunoco pumps that would
dispense economy, regular, super, premium and super premium gasolines all from
the same pump. The problem the EPA will have is making sure people don't make a
mistake in fuel selection. The EPA recently releases a picture of an orange and
black label that will go on E15 pumps. The problem is many people will just
ignore the sticker just like they ignored warnings about putting leaded gasoline
into unleaded cars until the government mandated a nozzle and gas filler size
Car hobbyists are not at all happy with ethanol. There is an abundance of
information on the internet about ethanol and older vehicles. Ethanol is a
solvent and can dissolve rubber and other materials causing problems. The EPA
says E15 and greater ethanol blends should not be used in vehicles made before
2001 and should not be used in any air-cooled engines.
ETHANOL IN GASOLINE (2)
Reprinted from: VAIRIFIABLE NEWS Central Virginia -- July 2011
Ethanol and Your Small Engines
During a recent visit to my local lawn equipment dealer, I found a notice
regarding the use of gasoline containing any ethanol.
This is a quote from the notice: "Small engine manufacturers are now
recommending the use of high octane gas in small engines. We highly recommend
USING ONLY 91/93 OCTANE OR 89 WITH STARTRON FUEL TREATMENT!"
The notice went on to say "Do not use regular Stabilizer, it no longer works due
to the 10% ethanol in all fuel today." They recommend storing gas containing
ethanol for only 30 days.
The dealer claims that small engine manufacturers will not pay warranty for
anything fuel related.
When running ethanol-blended gas in your older car or small engine equipment,
most technical sources recommend completely running it out of gas before storing
it for an extended period.
ETHANOL IN GASOLINE (3)
Reprinted from: VAIRIFIABLE NEWS Central Virginia -- July 2011
HAGERTY Old Cars web-site reprint:
Ethanol's effects on older cars are many and varied. Depending on the exact
make, model and year of your vehicle, as well as the percentage of ethanol in
your fuel, you may experience any of the following:
* Galvanic Corrosion
Corrosion caused by contact between two dissimilar metals when the
metals are in contact with an electrolyte, like ethanol.
* Deterioration or swelling and hardening of rubber components
Rubber components such as fuel hoses, carburetor seals and gaskets, and
fuel pump seals may be hardened, dissolved or distorted by contact with ethanol.
This may lead to fuel leaks.
* Oxidization Caused by Water
Ethanol holds water very readily and can expose fuel system components
and steel gas tanks to rust. This is especially prevalent in boats.
* Fiberglass Fuel Tank Damage
Even low concentrations of ethanol have been shown to damage fiberglass
fuel tanks. Ethanol dissolves the lining of fiberglass fuel tanks, often
depositing a dark "sludge" inside marine engines causing costly damage.
Eventually, fiberglass tanks dissolve until they fail, leaking fuel.
* General Corrosion, Pitting and Rust on Metal Parts
Metal parts, such as in-tank fuel pumps and carburetor floats, may be
subject to pitting, rust or corrosion when in contact with ethanol blends.
ETHANOL IN GASOLINE (4)
[Editor's Note: where this article says "British cars" I believe]
[we can read "our Corvairs" with equal or greater justification.]
Reprinted from NEWSLETTER OF THE ST LOUIS TRIUMPH OWNERS ASSOCIATION
www.sltoa.org - VOL 15 - ISSUE 4 - APRIL 2013
By Tony Panchot
I would like to pass on a bit about ethanol in our gas and octane.
First off, Ethanol and Phasing in your fuel tank.
1. Use a fuel stabilizer when you put gas in your British car, even if you have
upgraded your head to use modern unleaded fuel. Most of us don't drive our
classic cars on a daily basis, so the short gasoline/ethanol life of 30 to 45
days in a vented tank, or 90 days in a closed tank. In order to extend the life
of your car's fuel and delay the phase separation that will eventually occur,
you can add a fuel stabilizer to your tank every time you put fuel into it if
you're not sure you'll use the gas within the product life span. I am not going
to recommend any product, but please do your own research and find what works
best for you.
2. Test your tank periodically for water presence and phase separation. I have
actually bought watered fuel, in southern Illinois, and drove back home
wondering what could be wrong. So, when you're not driving your car and putting
fresh gas into the tank, or after the car has been sitting over the winter, or
if you have a performance issue out of the blue, you can test your tank to
determine if water is present or if phase separation has occurred.
One test method is loosening the fuel tank's drain plug and capturing a small
sample of fuel from the bottom of the tank in a clear container for inspection.
Some of you aircraft guys will recall this as preflight. Since water collects at
the bottom of the tank, you should be able to see the two layers if water is
present there will be a pink layer of gasoline on the top, and a clear or white
layer of water and ethanol on the bottom. It looks a lot like unmixed salad
dressing. You can use a test kit on the drain sample if it appears mixed up.
If your tank construction allows a dipstick (a dowel or rod works well) to go
from the filler neck all the way to the bottom of the tank, you can use a test
kit for easier and more reliable results. (This test method won't work on car
models with a bent filler neck, unless you can figure out a flexible dipstick
that hits the tank bottom.)
3. Add an emulsifier to treat separated fuel layers. If you find water in the
tank and phase separation has occurred, you can add an emulsifier to the fuel to
remix the gasoline, ethanol and water. (Note that if there's an excessive amount
of water, you may have to drain the contaminated fuel from the tank.)
Emulsifiers attack the water/ethanol layer at the bottom of the gas tank created
by fuel phase separation. The water and ethanol mixes back into the rest of the
fuel in the tank. The water passes with the gasoline through the engine and is
released as steam. The fuel regains the octane (up to three points) that was
lost when most of the ethanol separated from the gasoline. You'll have to
agitate the fuel and emulsifier in the tank by rocking the car from side to
side, and bouncing it up and down. Make sure your suspension can handle this!
Now for octane, I have been recommending to everyone that experiences run-on or
knock try using higher octane fuel, and at this point I will save that
information for next month.
Happy motoring folks
OIL FILTER UPDATE
Reprinted from: Northern Virginia Corvairs HOT AIR MAIL
Oil Filter Update
by J. R. Read
At the 6/15/11 CCE meeting I did a brief presentation-an update on what is going
on with available oil filters for our Corvairs. Some of you will remember that I
did a session on filters five or so years ago. At that time, I brought in a
fixture with a sawed off edge of a Corvair filter housing. This made it possible
to see the contact area between the inner, smaller diameter filter seal and the
At that time, most filter manufacturers had gone to placing a U shaped gasket
around the outer edge of their filters. The problem with that style was (is)
that the inner seal does not make proper contact with the housing and allows at
least some oil (maybe most? - don't know) to pass over the top end of the filter
without actually passing through the filtration medium. (While I tested many
filters 5 years ago, I did not test every possible brand. The only filter with
the U gasket around the top which did not present a problem at that time was the
orange Baldwin filter. That part number is B-4.
If you crank down on the filter bolt hard (something more than the 20 foot
pounds listed in the chassis/shop manual) in an effort to close the gap between
the housing and the inner seal of the filter, you run a strong risk of splitting
the outer U gasket and/or pulling the top of the filter loose from the canister
Now for the good news. Dom Perino contacted the folks at Purolator and they have
wisely decided to go back to the style that we were all used to in the AC Delco
PF4 filter. The part number for the Purolator Filter is L20014 and the box has
the word "Classic" on it. That is still the same part number that they were
using before, so if would be a good idea to inspect the actual filter in the
"Classic" box before you make a purchase.
Some neat things about the new Purolator filter:
1 - Inner and outer seals are like those on a PF4
2 - Plain white in color with NO logo on it
3 - Made in USA
4 - Price is around $6.00
I'm now working part time at Advance Auto Parts on Roosevelt Road just a block
West of Route 53 in Glen Ellyn, IL. We will be stocking these filters at that
store. So, if you are in dire need of a filter-for whatever reason-know that you
could get one there by just walking in. Of course, it never hurts to call ahead
just to be sure.
CORSA DASH LIGHTS
Reprinted from: Corvair Atlanta THE CONNECTING ROD
Corsa Dash Lights
I've noticed that over the 45 years that I have owned my Corsa that the
instrument panel lights seemed to get dimmer. This is caused by several factors:
dust inside the instruments and on the bulbs, the brighter headlamps that come
on many newer cars that shine through the rear window, and last but not least,
the aging eyesight of many Corvair drivers.
In trying to increase the brightness, I have cleaned the instrument housings,
cleaned and replaced the bulbs with new ones and installed brighter LED's. The
only thing that achieved the results I wanted were the LED's, but there were a
couple of drawbacks. The LED's are expensive (about $35 for a set of seven), and
the light pattern left something to be desired as it was uneven.
Finally, I tried a different bulb. The Shop Manual and the Owner's Manual both
list bulb #1816, rated at 3 candle power. What was installed in my dash were
#1895, rated at 2 candle power. The #1816s are elongated bulbs, while the #1895s
are round. I bought the #1816 bulbs and found out that while they would not fit
the bulb mounting holes in the tachometer, they would fit all the other
instruments. The tachometer uses a clear plastic lens in the mounting holes that
interferes with the placement of the bulbs. My guess is that the manuals were in
error and printed before the that the designers decided to use the dimmer, round
I discovered the reason the #1816 bulbs would not fit is because these lenses
are not used in the other instruments. All I had to do is to remove the
tachometer and punch out the clear lenses. Will this work on the Monza and 500
instrument panel? I don't know. The only late model Monza I owned was a rust
bucket beater and the car was probably held together by the dash. The new bulbs
adds a total 7 more candle power to the instrument panel lighting with only a
slight increase in current draw.
OLD CAR GARAGE STRIP SHOW
Subject: CNM Newsletter Article
From: Robert Gold ( beisbol30 AT msn.com )
Date: 2013-Aug-06 21:07:18 MDT
Old Car Garage Strip Show
I think you might remember a Car Council article I wrote a few months ago
where I mentioned a revolutionary method to strip paint and rust from cars.
The technique was different in that it uses an approach that eliminates the
drawbacks from most current processes. This technique uses a combination of
ground glass and water to strip the metal (or fiberglass) without damaging the
metal in any way. It saves both time and money.
All Bob Agnew could do at the council meeting was describe the technique and
show us the results. Last night I actually got to see the "stripping" in
action. Bob invited folks to witness a vehicle being worked on and to marvel at
the results. We were not disappointed. My brother, Alan, and I watched as the
tech first suited up with the necessary protection, and then proceeded to go to
work on a bondo laden Porche 911. In no time a section of the roof was wiped
clean of the old paint and made ready for an application of epoxy primer to
All I can say is that if you are looking for a way to quickly and economically
strip your car for that concours paint job you need to contact Bob Agnew. He
said he can do a whole car down to bare metal for about $1,500. It may sound
like a lot, but traditional techniques wind up costing a lot more, with not as
good results. This is such a good way to go that you can strip those pesky
louvers on an early deck lid in no time.
I guess that's all for this report. I just want you to know that I was not paid
by Bob Agnew for publicizing his service. Of course Bob, if you want to
contribute to the Gold Family Corvair Fund... -- Robert Gold
A NEW WAVE OF SHORTAGES
by George Hamlin
(Reprinted from THE COMMANDER, Newsletter of the Potomac
Chapter of Studebaker Drivers Club, Lynda Welsh, Editor)
We're all familiar with the usual shortages and difficult-to-find aspects of
this hobby: shiny parts, certain electrical and mechanical things, upholstery
that is available only from a notoriously slow source. This is a heads up on
some other shortages that are approaching very quietly while your attention is
on the shiny stuff.
Nobody has used the PAR-56 size (the larger ones, pre-quad era) of round sealed
beams for some time, had you noticed? Every make seems to have its own design
now. That has resulted in the stores' using their limited space for the
faster-moving (and higher-margin) new stuff. Six-volt lamps aren't on the
shelves at all, available mainly at swap meets - and we're now seeing prices
north of $25 EACH for these things. Start stocking up if you haven't already;
there are Websites that have them cheaper, primarily those catering to
Volkswagens. And yes, this is starting to apply to the 12-volt lamps too. And
eventually, the shortage will work its way up to the PAR-46 size that came in in
Used to was, you wandered into the parts store, went down the display until you
found your length, bought two, zipped them in, and Bob's your uncle. Forget
that. Almost overnight, refills in varying lengths disappeared pffffft. That's
because of the stylists too; each make has its own unique wipers now, and
they're not using the same refills your car used. In their place, on one end of
the rack in one lonely display, is a Trico product called "Break-to-Fit Blade
Refills." The idea is, it comes in one length, you slip it into the blade, and
snap it off. We're here to tell you that this product is unmitigated junk. The
universality means that there's no substance to the metal edges; it's too slim
to stay in the blade tracks; "breaking" it off will cause the product to
disintegrate; and even if you use snips instead, the resulting assembly falls to
pieces the instant you activate the wiper. If you can find some refills in the
right size, stock up immediately; unfortunately, rubber has a limited shelf
life, so we don't know how long you'll be able to use those wipers (get some
Rain-X; the stuff really works). We wonder what the new-car owners of today will
do in 20 years.
Once upon a time, tire shortages almost strangled the old-car hobby in its
crib; the hobbyists of the early fifties were using truck tires, old tires,
recaps, wrong sizes, anything that would go around. People like Ann Klein saved
that particular bacon, and now we have lots of specialty tires - but not all of
them are good tires. The act of desperation, if you're going to stay with
first-rate rubber, is modern radials. Those products have a few problems of
their own, like limited service life even sitting in the garage, and the gradual
fattening of the design; it's getting hard now even to find 75%-section sizes
that correspond to what suits the car. Because you can't make your own tires, we
don't see this situation getting anything but worse, and the current
administration's sudden imposition of a huge tax on Chinese tires has resulted
in several radials of good sizes going off the market very quickly (this action
was held to be illegal, but the damage is permanent). While you were sleeping,
good substitutes have just disappeared; the 185, 195, 205 sizes all went away
and suddenly, the only 215-75R15 tires you will find easily are for ATVs or
trailers - and they're all BLACKWALL. If you're on the cusp of needing new
tires, we'd suggest that you do it now, this week, while the warehouse might
still have a set of four available. Oh, and here's a note of cheer: they're
probably already four years old, so they probably won't last you to 2020. Happy
happy joy joy. What we're really afraid of is those new-look tires, the ones
with a very thin tread supported only by rubber-flap spokes. If those become
standard, you can even say good-bye to tire shops.
You already know about Freon's disappearance, of course, because it took
several years. Now the good substitutes, like Freeze 12, have also been forced
off the market. Without getting too deeply into the politics of this largely
symbolic act, the fact remains that the only refrigerant you'll be able to find
is R-134, which will leak out of your old system quite rapidly; in the end, you
may decide to let the system go and just have it in the car for looks.
Those familiar cartridge-type fuses found all over your car are no longer used.
A recent visit to a NAPA store to buy a simple 15-amp fuse resulted in a
15-minute search through the archival bins. Find all the fuses used in your car
(they're listed in the owner's manual) and lay several of them aside while it's
Do any new cars use any of the familiar small lamps you're used to, and which
number dozens in your collector car? 57, 67, 1034, 1157, all those familiar
lamps? Every lamp we see in new cars is a different (newer) design. Same
recommendation as with fuses: your owner's manual lists every one in the car, so
stock up... Won't cost you too much.
SETH EMERSON ON STEERING ARMS
Re: Factory FAST Arms on ebay
Posted by: Seth Emerson
Date: August 27, 2015 09:20PM
A history lesson is in order here, I guess. If you already know everything, just
skip on ahead to the next subject.
In 1960, when Chevy brought out the Corvair, one of the selling points was easy
steering. The stated goal was to feel like an 59 Impala with power steering. For
regular driving the slow steering of the original Corvair was fine. As soon as
the more "enthusiastic crowd" started driving the "Poor Man's Porsche" the
complaints about slow steering started. I heard it referred to "like winding an
alarm clock" (that is a reference for really old people, like me).
Several of the Corvair enthusiast suppliers (IECO,Fitch,EELCO, others) invested
in making steering arms with a shorter distance out to the tie-rod point. Not
all the engineering was completed and there were -and are- issues with the
shorter arms. Yes, the tires/wheels turn a certain number of degrees with less
steering wheel input. But the wheels do not turn as far, which increases the
turning circle. ANd, depending on the actual arm tip location, can cause poor
Ackermann response (look it up on the Wiki) But the shorter arms had a great
advantage, they were cheap and easy to install. (They did require a toe
adjustment to return the wheels to straight ahead.) They only added a little bit
of extra steering effort, so they were quite popular.
I installed a set on my 65 Corsa Convertible, about three weeks after I bought
it in 1967. Since I was doing car rallying a lot, I really noticed the turning
circle issue. Skip forward a few years (in and out of the Army) I found out
about the "Quick-steering option" added late in the 1965 model year. This was
Chevrolet's response to the original slow steering. They replaced a few parts
inside the box and built the shorter steering arms. Together they vastly
improved the steering. I suppose those factory arms have a little of the same
issues as the aftermarket ones, but no way near as bad, because they had the box
doing most of the work. At the time, all the parts guy knew about was the faster
I went to my Chevy dealer in 1970, after buying my next Corvair (another 65) and
ordered a new box ($70 at the time) and adapted it into my 65 with the
tele-column. I autocrossed it, then went road racing with another car, using a
fast box and a found set of the factory arms. In 1967, Chevy modified the quick
box option to work with the new collapsible column, the only real difference
being the input shaft.
About 10 years ago, the quick GM boxes started reaching strange prices. The laws
of supply and demand being applied. I was at the SEMA show in Vegas and I talked
with the President of Flaming River, a hot-rod company that already made
steering boxes for other cars. They were working on a modified box to replace
the Corvair boxes in T-bucket hot rods. The input shaft enters the box from the
other end of the box. I convinced them to make a regular Corvair version, and
supplied them with several boxes as samples. They had no idea there was more
than one steering ratio used on the Corvairs. At least at that time, they had no
interest in making the quicker arms, and the real racers had the Clarks arms, or
decades of other aftermarket arms as sources. For many people, the 65% of the
way to a fast steering is enough, especially with sticky tires of today. But I
have been trying to get the duplicate of the factory arms made for several
years. I actually had a bid, but the rebound in the Auto industry a few years
ago filled the vendors work space.
Earlier this year, I contacted a couple of casting houses to see if any new
procedures had been developed. I had some interest and supplied my pair of
factory arms for their review. Now an update: I wanted to have the factory fast
arms reproduced as Cast steel (plenty strong enough) The tooling cost went over
$9,000 for the pair. (Then add on the unit costs for the parts and some
machining.) AT $3,500 - the intermediary's original "Guestimate" I would have
done it. But I have other things I might need $10,000 for. The thrilling day was
the day the powder coated arms returned back from the casting house. If they
were seriously selling for $875, this pair would be for sale and I would be
running down to that casting house! Not sure where I would find the $10K, but I
would look for it. Ted - I would be happy to talk with you about this.
Check my new Performance Corvair Web site [www.perfvair.com]
FLYWHEEL / PRESSURE PLATE by LARRY BLAIR
I had difficulties with assembling a pressure plate / clutch disc / flywheel.
At the February meeting I did a semi-tech session, and presented the club with
my dilemma. I had measured every specification in the CARE & FEEDING manual,
but the pressure plate fingers would only depress about 1/8th inch when I bolted
everything together. An article from CORSA specified 1/4 to 1/2 inch is needed.
A call to Clark's confirmed that, as did a call to Steve Goodman.
There were lots of opinions, with the best suggestions from Fred Eduskuty,
Pat Hall, and Tarmo Sutt, plus advice to contact Steve Goodman.
To close the loop on the issue:
The problem was that my reconditioned pressure plate had too much milled off
the surface that contacts the clutch disk, so when I bolted the two together,
the PP fingers only deflected 1/8th inch. Pat Hall found a good used pressure
plate, and invited me to check it out.
Pat's pressure plate had at least 1/8th inch left on the face, so when we bolted
it up, we got over 1/4 inch deflection on the fingers. Pat then graciously and
patiently balanced the flywheel, then balanced the bolted-together unit, with my
bumbling assistance and runny nose in the sub-freezing wind.
Then, as advised by Fred, attributed to Steve Goodman, I assembled the flywheel,
clutch disk, and pressure plate, and pressed down on the fingers about 3/4 inch
in the shop press, at which point the clutch disk floated free.
So, the assembly is now securely bolted to the engine, using new bolts, properly
sealed and torqued.
Page 44 of the CARE & FEEDING manual needs to be changed so that "The depth
from the mounting surface to the pressure plate face should be between .090 and
.100 on the late models (64-69)...." instead of ".095 and .220" as it now says.
Perhaps the manual should also add Steve Goodman's procedure to check everything
by using a hydraulic press.
My sincere thanks to all who helped me through this dilemma. This is the joy of
being a member of CNM and CORSA.
1. NEWSLETTER PRODUCTION OUTLINE
a. Create text files as ASCII text.
b. Receive files via email. Convert to ASCII text.
c. Take photos or receive image files via email. Convert to JPG files.
d. Put newsletter together with a page layout program. I use InDesign.
e. Save the resulting newsletter as a PDF file.
f. Send this file to ABQ Grafix, 1930 Juan Tabo NE 87112, 505-275-2393
g. ABQ Grafix has an excellent on-line file transfer capability.
h. Pick up the printed and collated copies.
i. Print a set of current address labels. I use an Apple IIGS emulator.
j. Obtain 6x9 "catalog" envelopes. Office Depot Item 683-199 / 24639241
k. Obtain 2-ounce USPS stamps.
l. Fold and crease newsletters, stuff envelopes.
m. Mail newsletters several days before next club meeting.
n. Email members and friends to notify them that newsletters are ready.
o. Install new newsletter PDF on web page.
p. Start getting ready for next month's newsletter.
2. NEWSLETTER PRODUCTION NOTES
a. Use a computer editor you are comfortable with. Microsoft Word should
work fine. I never used it and have my own set of programs. I prefer
to use ASCII text files for everything, for several reasons:
* Any computer program can read the files
* No word processing overhead "control" characters
* ASCII files are far simpler and smaller than word processing files
* With a fixed-pitch font, columns are easy to "line up"
* I learned how to do this stuff circa 1980 and don't want to change
c. I think many graphic programs are available for JPG file manipulation
but the one I use is GraphicConverter for Macs.
e. The PDF file format is close to a universal standard.
f. We have used ABQ Grafix for many years. Our once-a-month print jobs
are relatively simple for them to print and they do good work and
their prices are reasonable. I do not have time to look for "better"
prices or "better" service. You may decide otherwise.
h. I use a method of printing labels that works for me. The program I
use is an Apple IIGS adress-printing program "ADDRESSED FOR SUCCESS"
that runs on an emulator on an old Mac. It produces a PDF file that
is ready to print onto Avery 5160 "Easy-Peel" address labels. I have
never taken the time to develop a way to print labels with a modern
computer system since my method just works.
i. We have been mailing newsletters in envelopes for many years because
folded and stapled newsletters will inevitably get mangled by the
post office. Envelopes eliminate that problem.
j. We have been getting 2-ounce stamps by mail order or online from the
U.S. Postal Service "Stamp Fulfillment Services" at P.O. Box 219424,
Kansas City, MO 64121-9424 or the web site www.usps.com/shop
k. The post office has an extremely complicated postal rate system. Our
newsletters, mailed in 6x9 envelopes, kept to 6 or 7 sheets of paper,
with the folded newsletters CREASED to keep the thickness below 1/4
inch, will qualify at the two-ounce flat rate. A thicker or heavier
envelope will cost a lot more to mail. You don't want the post office
to return a bunch of newsletters for more postage!
l. The mailed newsletters should reach members just before meetings if
they are to serve as reminders of meetings. Some people need that.
m. Many years ago we developed a "newsletter exchange" with several
other CORSA chapters. This was back when all serious Corvair clubs
produced newsletters and mailed them to members. We'd mail them ours,
they'd mail us theirs, and I would save the newsletters and bring a
month's worth of them to meetings for our members to look over. Our
members really liked this.
At the end of the meeting Sylvan Zuercher would collect the news-
letters and take them home. He said he was collecting them in order
to find and pull interesting articles from other clubs for me to
reprint. Sometimes he did that, but really, Sylvan was a pack-rat
and accumulated any and all documentation on Corvair mechanical work
he could get his hands on. This was good for the club because he
became "the man to see" for nearly any technical question.
Clubs started printing newsletters in color. We never did that due to
costs -- color was very expensive unless you accepted degraded
printing quality. I never wanted to do that.
Then the internet came along. Dennis Pleau and Steve Gongora
developed a CNM web page under CORSA's domain and I developed a web
page with my computer account at work. Bill Reider suggested that I
could produce a full-color newsletter as a PDF and make it available
on my web page. I was able to do that sometime around the year 2000.
I already had on my web page text versions of newsletters dating back
many years. My web page did not have room for very many PDF versions
plus my other club information such as Tri-State reports and photo
collections, so I only kept the three most recent newsletters as
PDFs. Every month when the newsletter had been mailed and the PDF was
available on my web page I would send out an email notice to our
members to let them know they could download the full-color version.
I included our "exchange" email addresses in this mailing.
This list now includes some 100 addresses. Many are probably obsolete
because I have not checked them in a few years. We could try to
remove obsolete addresses by requesting that people who want to
continue getting the notification REPLY to the message. If they do
not reply, that address would be removed from the mailing list.
3. MEMBER LISTS
Since I print the mailing labels and maintain "dues due" dates, I have
been the de facto keeper of the member list. It would be a good idea
for someone else to take over this job.
When anyone joins CNM and pays dues, and when a member pays dues, the
treasurer or other board member has been sending me the information. I
add new members to my member lists and update dues date information as
We have an application form that theoretically all new members fill
out. I do not know if there is a collection of application forms or who
keeps the collection. I probably have a few, not in any organized place
but just here and there.
On my web page there is a "master list" of members with dues due dates
and email addresses, but no mailing addresses or other demographic
information. I maintain a 5-page member list as a PDF file which has
more information and in the past I have printed (or emailed) copies to
Board members or other members on request. It is not easy to keep such
lists updated and corrected.