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Customs Corvair trucks?????

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jarzenhotrods, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. Jarzenhotrods
    Joined: Feb 20, 2007
    Posts: 821

    Jarzenhotrods
    Member
    from .......

    I'm looking at a 61 rampside that is in pretty decent condition. What should I look out for when buying one. Pros cons etc....

    Also I'm going to do.some things to it with a custom paint job. Anybody have any pics of ones that have been customized ......
     
  2. BadassBadger
    Joined: Oct 24, 2010
    Posts: 461

    BadassBadger
    Member
    from wisconsin

    well there awesome, theres nothin wrong with them, most parts are reproduced for it. just make sure the thermostats in the shrouds work as they should, be a good idea to flush out oil cooler as well.
    just use google to find pics......
     
  3. Jarzenhotrods
    Joined: Feb 20, 2007
    Posts: 821

    Jarzenhotrods
    Member
    from .......

    Thanks! Anybody else?
     
  4. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    I drove a Greenbrier van for a year or so. If it happens to be an automatic, walk away. Probably not. Mine was a 4sp. They have a very different feel when driving. You sit right over the front tires. The sensation of rising and falling when you start off and shift gears is strange at first. Learning to go farther out into an intersection before you turn will come after you bounce the rear tires off the curb a few times.:D

    I look back fondly about their quirky feel. It was fun to drive because with the low HP you have to keep it in the correct gear(power range) so you do a lot of shifting. If you are used to just steering and stomping on the gas you might be a little disappointed.

    I loved the fact that hot air was coming out of the gasoline heater before the vacuum tubes in the radio were warmed up enough to hear the music.

    Back in the 60s there was a ramp truck in my area that had a Chevy in the bed. He'd come into the Mo, park it and let the ramp down. It was pretty cool at that time. Always a big crowd of lookers.
     

  5. They leak oil. Where the cases are mated and from the rocker boxes as well as the push rod tubes.

    They have no chassis so look for rust underneath.

    When they run they are fine and when hey don't they are a pain in the neck until they run again.

    I like them greak bike haulers I think better than a van. But that is just my own personel opinion.

    I have a pretty humerous story about one that belonged to a friend who made the mistake of wanting me to tune once. Maybe I'll tell it someday.
     
  6. Jarzenhotrods
    Joined: Feb 20, 2007
    Posts: 821

    Jarzenhotrods
    Member
    from .......

    Thanks guys! Yeah it is a 4 spd. He also said that it leaks oil. This one is the rampside version too.
     
  7. 18n57
    Joined: Jun 29, 2007
    Posts: 577

    18n57
    Member

    IMO the most likely oil leak is from the pushrod tubes(think Harley bike) these tubes lie horizontally and have o-ring seals on each end, after time these seals harden fron engine heat and they leak oil into the air shrouds that enclose the engine. My Pop was a Corvair mechanic and replacing said seals was a common repair. Don't remember the exact procedure, but you should be able to DIY if you find instructions online.
    Just returned from LSR in Austin, rode up there from San Antonio in my buddy's '61 rampside. Definately, an attention getter, most people have never seen one.
    Good Luck
     
  8. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,492

    bonez
    Member
    from Slow lane

    love'em! but then i like all of them crazy 60s small vans, like the Econoline, A100 and such....
    its prolly gonna feel like VW buses being that you sit on top of the front suspension.

    Hamb NotStockPhoto has a cool one, the blue one on the Jones drawing.
    a quick google search produced a cool lowered van an a couple slammed on photochop.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. You replace them just like a HAWG, pull the push rod and the tube and put them in place.

    The Ol' Man used to lap the cases on glass just like you did with a triumph motor cycle, but that was pre silicone seal. The gaskets on the valve covers [I guess I shouldn't have used rocker boxes originally] also harden and leak.

    I would think that a set of chromies and a panel fade paint job would be about perfect on one. I would avoid wide whites if it were me maybe a set of pinners would be the right way to go with tires.
     
  10. Jarzenhotrods
    Joined: Feb 20, 2007
    Posts: 821

    Jarzenhotrods
    Member
    from .......

    Thanks guys and thanks porknbeaner. I was thinking o doing exactly what you described. When I do cars I try and make them as correct as possible. I do like the van pictured above with the wires and thin whites.

    How is the suspension set up on these, is it easy to lower?
     
  11. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,492

    bonez
    Member
    from Slow lane

    Thumbs up! you sure have good taste!:D
    those are 13" Corvair wires btw, just so you know.

    about the suspension....im not 100% on this, but i think theyre straight axle, which would make it a bitch to prperly slam it.
    Straight axle or not, i know all these vans arent exactly easy to make lay on their belly.....to be hoest thou, the aqa/white lowerd one on my ptrev post is prety nice.
     
  12. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,521

    Hellfish
    Member

    Mechanically the engines are pretty much the same as the cars. Oil leaks are common UNTIL you do some very simple, inexpensive repairs, like replacing the push rod tube o-ring seals with viton ones (about $15). If you decide to get it, I HIGHLY recommend getting a book by Finch (or Fitch) called "How to Keep Your Corvair Alive". It is full of great tech, repair and performance tips, including where the Chevy Shop Manuals are wrong. Lots of simple, inexpensive improvements.

    Also join up to the Corvair Center forum for when you have specific questions.

    Apparently the FC (forward control) vans and trucks have a lot of unique, hard to find parts, but most parts are available new from places like Clarks, Raffe, Corvair Underground, etc... but some parts, like rear wheel bearings, are ungodly expensive and hard to replace.

    I forget his HAMB name, but look up Non Stock Photography and you'll find a lot of threads and pics on a really nice custom Greenbrier.
     
  13. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,521

    Hellfish
    Member

    I'm sure it can be done, but NOT easily. Lowering the rear will severely affect pinion angles and cause a lot of problem..unless maybe you channeled the body. Lowering the front will likely cause all the same geometry/engineering steering problems you get when trying to lower and 1st gen Econoline (also forward control). Huge PITA.
     
  14. oldblu65
    Joined: Jan 29, 2009
    Posts: 121

    oldblu65
    Member
    from Tennessee

  15. nonstockphoto is Johns nickname. He lives in Houston. He drives that thing everywhere; you've seen his photography in all the big custom car and truck mags.
     
  16. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 2,134

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    I was looking for some pipe-building parts for one of my '47 Indians at the Reno Swap Meet last year, and found this pair of Thunderheader bodies- but when I got closer, they had some bent 2-1/2" pipe welded into them, with a car-type bolt-on donut flange at the other end. So I asked him about them, he started laughing and said he used to have a Corvair pickup with a 500 Caddy mounted in the bed, and had the Thunderheaders on it- bet that sounded interesting... I think I'm going to have to hook them up to one of my 427's before I adapt them to the bike pipes, just to see what they sound like
     
  17. Model A Vette
    Joined: Mar 8, 2002
    Posts: 1,072

    Model A Vette
    Member

    "about the suspension....im not 100% on this, but i think theyre straight axle"

    All the Corvair trucks have an independent front suspension which shares a lot of parts with big chevy cars of the same era.

    I don't ever remember hearing of a leak between the case halves. The case bolts together and there isn't any sealer used from the factory.
    As others have said the two spots for leaks are the pushrod tube O rings and the valve covers. Both leak areas have been addressed by using newer materials: Vitron O rings and various valve cover materials and modern sealers.

    The Corvair trucks used 14", 4-3/4 bolt pattern wheels, i.e. standard Chevy stuff. You have to be careful about backspace because of clearance issues.
     
  18. blackbirdpilot
    Joined: May 9, 2011
    Posts: 3

    blackbirdpilot
    Member
    from California

    I know this is an old thread.... but....
    Corvair FC's, just like the cars, are all four wheel independent suspension. No straight axles any where.
     

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