It’s been a while since I posted, so this update should be a lengthy one. The only problem is I haven’t done much Corvair work since my last post. Even though I’ve been off work nearly two weeks, houseguests, cold weather, and mostly laziness all conspired to keep me out of the garage. The upside was there were no breakdowns that forced me to get greasy.
What did I accomplish? Well, with the help of my father-in-law, I got the 95 HP engine out of Betty and tested it for compression. After bolting on a starter using lug nuts for spacers and spinning the oil pump for a minute or two with a drill mounted shaft, I proceeded with testing all six cylinders. The first two got me quite excited when they pumped up to 150 psi. Sadly, three of the last four were under 100 psi, so the engine was not usable as-is. I pushed Betty back out into the driveway, moved the 102 engine pieces all to the front corner of the garage, shoved Ringo back into the garage, and tore down the 95 engine. So soon after disassembling the 102, it was like déjà-vu. With the cylinders, piston and rod assemblies removed I called it a day. Yesterday, I took the cylinders up to the Corvair Ranch with hopes they’d be acceptable to just hone and use with stock pistons and rings. The machinist inspected them and we found porosity in a couple and excessive wear in others. So it looks like I’ll have to come up with the $300 dollars for new oversize pistons to go in Ringo’s engine.
I did make the decision to rebuild the 95 HP engine for Ringo instead of the 102 HP engine that we got him with. My reasons are: 1) the rebuilt engine can run on 87 octane without the timing retarded, and 2) the engine will have more low-end torque which matches better with the Powerglide transmission. When I told Ariel this, all she cared about was that the new engine retained the pink air-cleaner assembly.
My next task will be to gather all the “right” parts and then decide what to do with the “extra” pieces. I’ll probably take advantage of the change and swap the generator for an alternator while I’m at it.
While I was at the Ranch, I talked with proprietor Jeff about the rust repair Ringo requires. His recommendation was to clean up and neutralize as much of the rust as possible and just weld in enough new metal to make the structure stiff again and seal off the leaks. As long as the rust is not worse than I can currently see, I should be able to do that with cut and formed pieces from flat stock sheetmetal. I shouldn’t have to buy entire new floor pieces. This is all pending the removal of seats and carpet and evaluation of what’s there.