<VV> LM Suspension / Engine / Trans/ brake questions - LONG

Norman C. Witte ncwitte@wittelaw.com
Wed, 4 Aug 2004 07:48:43 -0400

John, I am a little late on going through my VV stuff, and I was a little
disappointed that there seems to be plenty of time for imaginary dream
engines and parts trivia, but no time to answer your questions, at least
from what I saw posted to the list.  Maybe you got some off-list responses.
I'll take a stab at it, although I know there are people on the list who are
far more knowledgable than me.

> Suspension:  The suspension is a stock with quick steering
> arms.  After
> getting the vehicle in the air I was able to see that I needed some
> front suspension work.  I need to replace the center link, passenger
> side idler arm, sway bar bushings, and sway bar links.

Man!  The guy who owned that car obviously didn't take care of it! ggggg

  I would also
> think about doing the shocks / springs.  My question is this:  Are
> there any specific brands of those items that work the best or give
> good performance?  Also has anybody replaced their setup with
> an airbag
> system for improved ride?  If so what brands, how was the
> installation
> and what is their impression?

I know you are already talking to Bruce Weeks at Airlift about a custom
application for LM Corvairs.  I would suggest that if there are other owners
who are interested, that might be helpful in either getting the kit designed
or lowering the cost.

I think the HD springs from any of the vendors are the way to go.  You
probably didn't notice, but I have springs and shocks on the shelf for the
red Corsa if I ever get around to doing it.  The fronts I got from Lon and
the rears from Clarks.  Availability seemed to be an issue at the time.

As far as shocks go, I will tell you what I have heard in the past; I am not
speaking from personal experience.  The Carerra shocks are good, but I think
are no longer available.  The KYBs also have an excellent reputation, and
ARE available at Corvair Motorsports.


> Brakes:  I'm going to have to also replace all of the wheel
> cylanders,
> front and rear shoes, and brake hardware.  Doesn't have to be
> done ASAP
> but it needs to be done.  Plus I was also going to do the dual master
> cylander conversion.  I was already thinking of going disc brakes all
> around so I don't want to spend the cash on the old brakes if I'm
> replacing them anyway.  What are your thoughts on front and rear disc
> brakes?

Rears are actually more important because, due to the bias of weight toward
the rear of the car, they do most of the work.  Actually, the factory drum
brakes are pretty good.  I would suggest you post to FastVairs and ask how
many of the serious race guys are running 4 wheel disc.  Certainly would
look cooler, but I am not sure that that would be your best use of money.
Also, there are two kits from Clarks for the front, and if you go that way,
from what I understand you don't want the cheap set.

> Engine:  The engine in the corvair is a stock 110.  I would
> still like
> to replace this with a 180 mainly for more get up and go and
> because I
> have already purchased a 180.  I was going to rebuild with a
> set of 140
> heads, new ot30 cam, KB pistons, inter cooler, oil cooler,
> large valve
> covers and oil pickup, DIS, and FI.  After hearing a post
> this weekend
> about "needing extra umph" I was wondering what are some mid / high
> performance setups that have been proven to work well with the 180?
> Mostly looking for combinations or things to look out for.

I think you will have more success posting this question to FastVairs.

> Trans:  Has anybody ever replaced the 2 speed power glide with a
> completely different automatic trans?  As of right now I'm
> thinking of
> replacing with a four speed manual but I was wondering if
> there are any
> conversions that would allow me to keep an automatic but mate better
> with the 180.

I am not sure how one would go about using any other auto trans.  I
unsubscribed to FastVairs about a week and a half ago (no time) but as I
left they were having a very interesting discussion about using Porshe
transaxles in Corvairs.  That might be a way to get another cog in the
gearbox, which would be nice in a Corvair.  However, that's a decision that
needs to be made upfront because depending on the transaxle you may need to
have a reverse rotating motor.  I don't know if the FastVairs list has an
archive or not.

> Has any body tried the billet stuff from american-pi.com?

I haven't but I know Ray Sedman enjoys a very high reputation in the Vair
community, so I would have no qualms about purchasing from him.

Hope that helps.

Norm Witte