<VV> "Brake" Failures

Tony tonyu@roava.net
Sat, 08 May 2004 10:45:56 -0700

At 2036 05/07/2004 -0400, Sethracer@aol.com wrote:
>Once in a while the early vs. late Corvair controversy jumps up and everyone 
>takes a few shots and has a few laughs. This one is serious. I believe the 
>early model Corvair (at least the 62-64 models where kits are easily
>not sure of the 60-61s)   

I've heard of people cutting and welding a transplant firewall section from a
later Vair so as to get past that under-dash master cylinder the '60-'61 Vairs
have.   I'm not gonna get that extreme.  I'll just make sure the MC is in good
shape (recently rebuilt on the '60 4-door).   I also regularly do a
test, and those of you who know me can understand how it's not hard for me to
find a thin brake line or a soft hose.   Over the last decade the '60 has
flunked the test twice, both times it was steel lines that were thin but still
looked OK.   They were replaced, others closely inspected, the others look
but as time passes and opportunity presents itself the others will likely get
changed too, just b'cause.   Yes, I've done the hoses.  

...suckers are getting expensive.  

>Since the axle/yoke is retained by a bolt, with a mild fit, they can fail.

Uh...  your preferences for lates is showing.   The early cars have no yoke
retaining bolts.   They rely upon the bearing press fit for to retain the

>have seen early models where failure of the yoke attachment (and not enough 
>bearing press)causes the axle to move outward from the  body/chassis, taking
>brake drum with it.    

In my decades of fooling with Vairs, I've never seen an early bearing fail in
such a manner without giving at least a weeks worth of expressly vibrant
warning first.   If someone has an early axle depart the vehicle because of a
bearing failure it's likely because someone either didn't do a repair
or they ignored a warning.   The factory press on early bearings is indeed
ferocious, which becomes evident when you try to press off a bad a bearing.  
Watch out for flying shrapnel.   I once removed a bad bearing by cracking off
the outer races, peeling off the race cage and dumping the rollers, then
grinding a groove in the inner race and split it with a chisel... worked OK
was rather time consuming.   The guy supplied a bearing which I "pressed" on
with the time honored method of using a buffer spacer to protect the bearing
and a piece of correct-size heavy iron pipe I keep behind the furnace, doing
the butter churn thing.   It was a Sunday, nobody was open, he was in need and
in a hurry, the car was his daily driver and he was using it to get to and
work.  (yes some people were still using Vairs for daily driver use other than
me)  A press would have been better but the butter churn method works as well
if you're careful and the bearing worked out OK, and he drove the car for
several years before selling it.     

I keep my bearings greased up, and they just keep on going.   The '60 has
on its original bearings and they look good, just recently (a year anna half
ago) pulled them apart and cleaned/regreased them with synthetic high temp WB
grease.   I'd had noise develop on one side, alarmed me (because I heed
warnings), thought it was a wheel bearing, turned out to be a U-joint, cleaned
and repacked the bearings anyway, which looked fine inside when inspected.  
Who knows, maybe they'll go another 40+ years by which time it's likely
I nor replacement bearings will still be around.   Will the car still be
around?   Who knows...?   

I saw a bearing failure result in an axle/wheel exiting the vehicle on an
Interstate exit ramp not long ago, in a Mopar A-body, Dart or Valiant, hard to
tell since it was on the opposite side of the highway in passing, car was
sitting on the rear hub backing plate, wheel and axle was a ways behind it in
the grass standing upright like a hat rack.   

I thought about the axles in the Spyder I was driving... glad I'd repacked its

tony..    will do another hard-harder exam on the '60 when I get the new tires
on it