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386
TECHNICAL SECTION
As part of our service and thanks for your patronage we do our best to answer questions, whether by phone or letter (please enclose a self-addressed
stamped envelope). I cannot stress enough the importance of a Shop Manual, Assembly Manual and a few books (see page 244). This section will
quickly cover some of the more common questions and problems encountered.
This is an attempt to give descriptions to common problem areas, sounds, "feels" and smells of
a Corvair. Needless to say, a complete book could be written on this aspect alone!
A – FRONT OF CAR
BRAKE SHOES – Dragging, scraping sound when applied – Check if "glazed" or worn out. If drag or pulls when braking, turning corners or even
going straight, brakes may have "over tightened" or soaked with brake fluid.
GAS TANK – In some cases the gauge float hits the side of the tank and rattles or the strap rusts and the tank gets loose.
HUB CAP – Center insert loose can cause rattles.
SPEEDOMETER CABLE – Can "dry out" and screech or rub.
STABILIZER BAR – (rubber bushings gone?) Rattle sound or clunk when going over small bumps.
SUSPENSION – Creaking, rattle, clunk, grating, squeaking, grinding, or loose wandering feeling could be:
(1) crossmember rusted, broken or alignment off (2) shocks worn or broken (3) rubber bushings worn
(4) tie rod ends or ball joints loose (5) broken coil spring or "spring tower" rusted thru (6) control rods broken
(7) pitman arm or idler arm (8) tire pressure off (I suggest 18-22 lbs. in the front)
TRUNK – Something loose in there?
WHEEL BEARINGS – Grinding, scraping, screeching, pulling to one side – check for worn bearings, hub, spindle, or loose retainer.
B – PASSENGER AREA
BOTTOM TUNNEL – Rattles, squeaks from cables, hitting or rubbing on tunnel pan.
RATTLES & SQUEAKS – Loose seats, loose doors, something inside door? Under seat? Loose windows? loose dash?
WEATHERSTRIPS BAD – Whistles, squeaks.
C – REAR OF CAR
Engine, transmission (does sound increase with engine speed?) in neutral? coasting? If possible roll down a small hill with engine off and in
neutral. This will let you isolate it to wheel bearings or axle and probably not transmission or engine. Transmission and differential noises can
be very difficult to pin point as the trans axle unit is bolted together and the sound carries. I highly suggest the use of a stethoscope. I had a
case in which I thought I had a rear axle bearing noise. I jacked up the car and put it in gear. I listened to the bearing and I was sure that was
it. I then "by chance" put it on the differential and the noise was louder. I then checked the front of the transmission and the front bearing was
VERY loud.
BLOWER (FAN) BEARING – (also check idler pulley) – whirring, rattling, screeching, vibration.
CLUTCH DISC – Slippage (starting off or in other gears if you accelerate but speed doesn't increase) – try adjusting (pedal should grab in
first 1-2" from the floor). If adjustment is correct then instead of being worn it may be oil on disc or weak pressure plate.
FLYWHEEL – (Standards) Slight rattle (like a rod knock) that increases in neutral as you rev engine but when you speed up more it
disappears. Also heard when shifting or starting off – probably loose flywheel rivets. (In a few cases this has also been
bell housing bolts loosening and hitting back of flywheel). To check flywheel – See flywheel, page 109.
GENERATOR OR ALTERNATOR – Whirring, screeching, rattling, vibrations – bearings, bushings, or brushes worn out.
PRESSURE PLATE – Usual problem is that the ring gear welded to it gets worn or warped and breaks starter nose.
SHOCKS – Squeaking, leaky, rattling, bouncy, "light" feel or rear end seems "out of control" – We have an excellent range of Top Quality
shocks. See page 138.
SPRINGS – Sagging look, mushy feel – weak springs – See page 140.
STARTER – (1) "it just clicks" – usually bad solenoid OR weak battery, poor connections, or cables.
(2) Spins but doesn't turn engine - starter drive "bendix" not engaging because of worn solenoid not pushing it OR drive is
stripped and not engaging. Could also be a very worn ring gear so starter drive cannot engage. Put transmission in neutral
with key off and "turn engine by hand with fan belt" try key again and it may have been due to "low" spot on the ring gear.
(3) Nothing – bad starter, bad solenoid, bad battery, bad switch
(4) Breaks starter noses – if it does this more than once usually a bad ring gear on pressure plate or torque converter (P.G.).
SUSPENSION – Squeaking, rattles, loose feel – Check the alignment, bolts, bushings, transmission or motor mounts.
THROW OUT BEARING – Squeal or rubbing sound when pushing in clutch pedal – especially in cold weather.
TIRE PRESSURE – This is very critical. We have found 28-30 best in the rear, 18-22 in the front. Check at least once a month. "Someone"
started the rumor that you should never put radial tires on a Corvair – nearly everyone I have talked to that has radial
tires would not have anything else.
TRANSMISSION - AXLE – Scraping, grinding, squeaking, clunking. Check bearing, shims, gears, or low fluid. A rather common problem is
pinion gears breaking and the car just will not move.
AUTOMATIC - Jerky shift, or failure to shift at 20-25 mph – usually modulator or low fluid.
TUNE-UP – Backfire, poor idling, lack of power, etc., can generally be fixed by (1) rebuilding carburetors. (2) Tune-up – points, condensor,
rotor, cap, plugwires, sparkplugs. (3) new rubber vacuum hoses, clean PCV and crankcase tubes.
UNIVERSAL JOINTS – Clunk when starting off frontwards or backwards. Sometimes a squeaking sound or a feel as though something "gave"
slightly as starting off.
REAR WHEEL BEARING – Squeak, scraping, pulling feel – roughness like driving on railroad tracks. We suggest you purchase our 1965-69
rebuilts. If you do it yourself you will need special tools and often you will need access to a hydraulic press.
Whats Wrong?!
386TECHNICAL SECTIONAs part of our service and thanks for your patronage we do our best to answer questions, whether by phone or letter (please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope). I cannot stress enough the importance of a Shop Manual, Assembly Manual and a few books (see page 244). This section will quickly cover some of the more common questions and problems encountered.This is an attempt to give descriptions to common problem areas, sounds, "feels" and smells of a Corvair. Needless to say, a complete book could be written on this aspect alone!A - FRONT OF CARBRAKE SHOES - Dragging, scraping sound when applied - Check if "glazed" or worn out. If drag or pulls when braking, turning corners or even going straight, brakes may have "over tightened" or soaked with brake fluid.GAS TANK - In some cases the gauge float hits the side of the tank and rattles or the strap rusts and the tank gets loose.HUB CAP - Center insert loose can cause rattles. SPEEDOMETER CABLE - Can "dry out" and screech or rub.STABILIZER BAR - (rubber bushings gone?) Rattle sound or clunk when going over small bumps.SUSPENSION - Creaking, rattle, clunk, grating, squeaking, grinding, or loose wandering feeling could be:(1) crossmember rusted, broken or alignment off (2) shocks worn or broken (3) rubber bushings worn (4) tie rod ends or ball joints loose (5) broken coil spring or "spring tower" rusted thru (6) control rods broken (7) pitman arm or idler arm (8) tire pressure off (I suggest 18-22 lbs. in the front)TRUNK - Something loose in there?WHEEL BEARINGS - Grinding, scraping, screeching, pulling to one side - check for worn bearings, hub, spindle, or loose retainer.B - PASSENGER AREABOTTOM TUNNEL - Rattles, squeaks from cables, hitting or rubbing on tunnel pan.RATTLES & SQUEAKS - Loose seats, loose doors, something inside door? Under seat? Loose windows? loose dash?WEATHERSTRIPS BAD - Whistles, squeaks.C - REAR OF CAREngine, transmission (does sound increase with engine speed?) in neutral? coasting? If possible roll down a small hill with engine off and in neutral. This will let you isolate it to wheel bearings or axle and probably not transmission or engine. Transmission and differential noises can be very difficult to pin point as the trans axle unit is bolted together and the sound carries. I highly suggest the use of a stethoscope. I had a case in which I thought I had a rear axle bearing noise. I jacked up the car and put it in gear. I listened to the bearing and I was sure that was it. I then "by chance" put it on the differential and the noise was louder. I then checked the front of the transmission and the front bearing was VERY loud.BLOWER (FAN) BEARING - (also check idler pulley) - whirring, rattling, screeching, vibration.CLUTCH DISC - Slippage (starting off or in other gears if you accelerate but speed doesn't increase) - try adjusting (pedal should grab in first 1-2" from the floor). If adjustment is correct then instead of being worn it may be oil on disc or weak pressure plate.FLYWHEEL - (Standards) Slight rattle (like a rod knock) that increases in neutral as you rev engine but when you speed up more it disappears. Also heard when shifting or starting off - probably loose flywheel rivets. (In a few cases this has also been bell housing bolts loosening and hitting back of flywheel). To check flywheel - See flywheel, page 109.GENERATOR OR ALTERNATOR - Whirring, screeching, rattling, vibrations - bearings, bushings, or brushes worn out. PRESSURE PLATE - Usual problem is that the ring gear welded to it gets worn or warped and breaks starter nose.SHOCKS - Squeaking, leaky, rattling, bouncy, "light" feel or rear end seems "out of control" - We have an excellent range of Top Quality shocks. See page 138.SPRINGS - Sagging look, mushy feel - weak springs - See page 140.STARTER - (1) "it just clicks" - usually bad solenoid OR weak battery, poor connections, or cables.(2) Spins but doesn't turn engine - starter drive "bendix" not engaging because of worn solenoid not pushing it OR drive is stripped and not engaging. Could also be a very worn ring gear so starter drive cannot engage. Put transmission in neutral with key off and "turn engine by hand with fan belt" try key again and it may have been due to "low" spot on the ring gear.(3) Nothing - bad starter, bad solenoid, bad battery, bad switch(4) Breaks starter noses - if it does this more than once usually a bad ring gear on pressure plate or torque converter (P.G.).SUSPENSION - Squeaking, rattles, loose feel - Check the alignment, bolts, bushings, transmission or motor mounts. THROW OUT BEARING - Squeal or rubbing sound when pushing in clutch pedal - especially in cold weather.TIRE PRESSURE - This is very critical. We have found 28-30 best in the rear, 18-22 in the front. Check at least once a month. "Someone" started the rumor that you should never put radial tires on a Corvair - nearly everyone I have talked to that has radial tires would not have anything else.TRANSMISSION - AXLE - Scraping, grinding, squeaking, clunking. Check bearing, shims, gears, or low fluid. A rather common problem is pinion gears breaking and the car just will not move.AUTOMATIC - Jerky shift, or failure to shift at 20-25 mph - usually modulator or low fluid.TUNE-UP - Backfire, poor idling, lack of power, etc., can generally be fixed by (1) rebuilding carburetors. (2) Tune-up - points, condensor, rotor, cap, plugwires, sparkplugs. (3) new rubber vacuum hoses, clean PCV and crankcase tubes.UNIVERSAL JOINTS - Clunk when starting off frontwards or backwards. Sometimes a squeaking sound or a feel as though something "gave" slightly as starting off.REAR WHEEL BEARING - Squeak, scraping, pulling feel - roughness like driving on railroad tracks. We suggest you purchase our 1965-69 rebuilts. If you do it yourself you will need special tools and often you will need access to a hydraulic press.What's Wrong?!

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Main Office Phone: 413.625.9776 Fax: 413.625.8498