How to procrastinate and then finally ready your Corvair for a 1500-mile trip


It was still hot outside in Northern Michigan when the clutch on my 1965 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa showed signs of slipping last summer. I knew I could limp it till winter and then have the snowy months to take the engine and transmission out, replace some parts and clean others, put it all back together, and then be ready for spring cruising. Those plans were rather optimistic.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/05/18/procrastinating-projects-can-punishing-you


Ten years ago I had a 1964 drivetrain built up for my 1962 Spyder convertible. Several years later the differential seized on a road trip to a not too far away car show. So I have the Corvair towed home, I had the original builder prepare another differential for me, and having been a Corvair repair guy many years earlier, I had the new differential installed in a couple of days. The first road trip revealed a very serious differential oil leak that was quickly soaking my clutch, so after a couple of differential oil refills, out came the newly rebuilt differential. I discovered that the rebuilder had put in an input shaft seal for the 1964 transmission, when in fact I had had him use my 1962 transmission so I’d have the steeper first gear to go with my 3.27 highway cruising gear. So out it came again, all to change a $2 oil seal. At this point I was getting good at the job, knowing which tools to drag underneath to drop the whole powepack assembly. And my car was turbocharged, which meant extra exhaust pipe pieces to remove and replace. I also made the mistake of going with a “racing” 6 puck ceramic clutch. Its action is rather abrupt, either “off or on”. Luckily the heavy duty pressure plate I ordered actually has a lighter spring than it should, so the pedal effort is less than the previous clutch. I’ve only driven it around the block since I installed it 3 years ago, so this weekends 200 mile jaunt to Hemmings Musclepalooza will be its 1st shakedown…


@CORVAIRWILD - You get it! That input shaft seal just blows my mind. A very basic seal stuffed really deep in the powerpack that takes out a pretty critical piece when it fails!

I think it takes three times of removing a Corvair powertrain before the tools are pretty well engrained in memory. At least it seems that way.