Storage and workshop solution building continues. I finished attaching the top to my new rolling workshop table:
The top is recycled from an old office desk, sturdy and solid. I left if overhanging the frame on all sides giving me plenty of space to clamp things to the table without giving up stability. Frame is 2x4 lumber. Locking casters on opposite corners prevent it from rolling away while working.
Still to come:
Decided to go for a drive yesterday and have a look at that core engine that I missed seeing last week due to weather. Also did some shopping for workshop stuff and had lunch with my dad Jim and Barry's wife Linda.
In the afternoon, I finally made it to the home of the guy I've been speaking with on the phone on and off for a month or so. Ed is a salt of the earth retired gentleman, looking to clean out his collection of "anything mechanical" as he calls it. He is a retired machinist and tinkerer with a focus on antique tractors and building working models of late 19th / early 20th century internal combustion engines. A quick look around his barn (it was kinda dark in there) shows both his attention to unique and rare items and also lots of discarded stuff he picked up at junk sales and auctions. Unfortunately, a good bunch of it never made it to the restoration phase and now he just wants to start clearing it out. It's kind of like the places Mike and Frank from American Pickers love to go digging in.
Climbing up an old wooden ladder into the loft, Ed leads me to a corner of the upper barn floor where he uncovers the Corvair engine we've been chatting about.
Cut right from the donor car it came from, it sits still attached to it's transmission and motor mounts. Everything appears to be there, but my first glance tells me this is probably at best a 1964 model, but likely 1963 or earlier. I can tell by the generator mounted on the top front corner. GM started to replace generators with modern alternators around this time, so it's still possibly a 1964.
One of the issues that made me want to attend in person to see this core was that Ed is not online or using e-mail, so describing where to find the casting numbers verbally is an issue. He did have a look, but the only number he found was the cylinder firing order stamped on the cooling shroud. This is the same for all Corvairs regardless of year, so not much to tell from that.
Scraping under the requisite dirt and grime, we found the engine casting number:
T = Tonawanda
12 = December
18 = 18th day of December
YN = many possible blocks (damn)
According to my manual, YN engine block code was a commonly used code meaning the engine could be from 1961, 1962, 1963 or 1964. It gets even more clouded as the 1960-1963 engines were either 140 or 145 cubic inch engines. From 1964 onwards the displacement was 164 cubic inches (the block I need) but the 1964 engines have smaller head gaskets making them less suitable for conversion than later versions. Some 164 cubic inch engines were rated at 95 hp and do not have the harmonic balancer (torsional vibration dampener, also needed for the conversion). This doesn't account for cars built towards the end of 1963 that might have 1964 generation motors in them.
Although it is possible to use a 1964 block, it's not ideal.
Okay, what about the heads? Are they usable? Don't know until we check the casting numbers. Which for some reason don't exist!
I started by cleaning off the crud with brake cleaner and then used light application of a wire brush.
I don't know if the casting numbers are missing from the heads, or perhaps they've corroded away completely but they aren't visible, even with a good light source. The one in the left picture (above) doesn't seem that badly corroded to obliterate the casting numbers, but I'll be damned if I can find them anywhere.
Another oddity is a stamped number "3" that appears to have put there sometime after leaving the production line.
So this just deepens the mystery of what exactly this motor is.
I borrowed a 1/2 inch drive extension (something I need to add to my "go-kit") and tried to turn over the engine using the front pulley bolt. Solid as a rock (didn't expect it would turn).
Peeking through the cooling shroud, the fins of the heads seem clean enough, but you can't tell anything from a little peek. The rest of the engine shrouding and valve covers seem pretty roached.
I think I might offer to purchase the whole thing for scrap value alone to use as a practice engine to disassemble. Perhaps there might be some value in that or some of the internal components I can trade with or send in for core exchange.
The quest continues..... <sigh>
Haven't had a ton of time this week to work in the shop for more than a few minutes at a time, but I've been puttering around in there when I could.
As stated in an earlier post, I've been looking for a way to save space. I discovered this link on Instructables.com for a fold down workbench.
I'm certainly no carpenter (sorry Grampa Sword), but I think my version turned out well enough:
Aside from a buying a couple of wood screws, it is made entirely out of scrap 2x4 lumber I already had and an old large cupboard door as the top. Not heavy duty, but an excellent table to work on light weight projects.
I think I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel :)
Next up... a rolling workbench for heavier items and a place to store some of my tools....
Disappointed the weather Gods decided today was not the day to travel and check out the core motor I've been wanting to see.
Made if halfway there. Oh well, going to use the time browsing the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store in Huntsville for workshop stuff. I know, I know. .... should be purging not acquiring but wait until you see the end project.
Thankfully the owner of the core motor isn't in any apparent hurry and willing to wait a couple of weeks until I have the next opportunity to go south.
Got three more leads to follow up still.
Back the shop.... don't come out until your done.... haha.
Shop muck out continues.
You may recall, this picture is the before. It really can deceive the viewer as to much space we actually have to work with... what a mess:
Now, after sorting the mess and trying to put stuff together that belongs together, I'm well on my way to making space:
It's a pain as I feel like I'm moving stuff around to move stuff around, but it's getting there and it really is my own fault anyhow.
One of the main goals is to create space with, well, better utilization of the space. We are fortunate that the shop area has a fairly high ceiling to work with (open joists as well). Brenda came up with the idea to build a hanging rack from scrap 2x4's to move our long pieces of trim, moldings and tongue & groove boards:
The old closet doors in the corner are going to be sent to the re-build store, but are out of the way in the corner for now.
Another project (every project leads to another!) I've been putting off way too long is insulating the lower wall.
An short amount of time later, voila! Insulated and sealed!
The other walls need work too, but are fine for now. No more bare concrete sucking out the heat.
Off tomorrow to look at a core engine.... fingers crossed!
I'm going next week to look at a core engine that is for sale.
The older gentleman who is selling it can't recall what year chassis it came from and by extension what generation engine it is. I've given him verbal instructions on where to locate the block and head casting numbers, but he says the only number he can find it the firing order stamped on the shroud. Not sure what more instruction I can give him as he doesn't have email to send him an example picture. I think it's a combination of not understanding where to look and not understanding what I'm looking for.
Now, I know a couple things (or at least I think I do). The firing order is the same for all Corvair motors as they came from the factory regardless of year, so that won't tell me anything. I know from the shop manual what the firing order is.
What I can't find anywhere in the conversion manual or shop manual is where exactly the firing order would be stamped on the shrouds.
So, my questions become this.... where exactly is the firing order stamped on the shroud (or elsewhere on the engine) AND was this stamping done for specific model engines only (is that a clue to what generation it might actually be?)
E-mail sent to the Corvair Jedi, William Wynne.
I'm still going to see the motor as I have other means to figure it out and I'm right in the same town for work meetings next week anyhow.
Also have another lead for a core engine.... waiting on answers for that one too.
In the meantime as part of my shop clean-up, I've assembled a "go kit" for evaluating any engines that I get to see in person:
I can feel the force working :)
Happy New Year everyone!
First day of 2016.... who can tell me where 2015 went?
2016 is going to be a watershed year for me. Among other things, I've decided and committed to myself that this will be the "year of the purge". Time to de-clutter, organize and continue to prepare for my build, both in the shop and around our home.
We've got so much stuff around the house that we never use, or had great plans for when we bought or obtained it. As I continue to tidy and organize the shop I realize how much space I've actually got to work with.
The purge is not going to be an overnight process, but it IS a new (or at least better) way of thinking.
For example, taking a break from the shop clean-up today, we reorganized the home entertainment / media centre. The jumble of wires gathered behind are now consolidated and labelled. The dust-monsters have been banished.
We got rid of the old non-functional computer speakers we were using as a sound-bar and they are heading to the library scrap electronics fundraiser. Substituted in it's place we put a component stereo system we weren't using elsewhere. More shelf space for books and pictures, and the TV sounds awesome!
The key is to be ruthless. I think most everything I'm not using can find a home elsewhere. Sell, recycle, up-cycle, donate, or trash in that order. Simple rules to live by.
Yup.... 2016 is going to be great!
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Husband, father and 911 dispatcher. Long time pilot with a licence that burns a hole in my pocket where my student loan money used to be. First time aircraft builder. Looking to fly my own airplane.