<VV> Vair Block Casting--was DeLorean

henry kaczmarek kaczmarek at charter.net
Wed Mar 23 10:34:51 EST 2005

For those who saved Tony U's reply to the Mopar list re: Corvair Block and aluminum part casting, I wanted to give a short update.

The Aluminum company's complex at Messina NY was where the aluminum was smelted, and the casting was done in their plant a short number of miles away. As Tony mentioned, there were insulated vats on rail cars to take the aluminum in molten form from the smelter to the plant where the casting was done, a special line made just for this purpose.  

As Tonawanda is "as the crow flies" over 350 miles from Messina, and even further by rail,  there is no possibility that the molten aluminum could be transported that distance in that form.  I believe an older Communique article on the process spells this out in much more detail than is necessary here. 

Of course, the Cylinder "jugs" were sand casted, and poured at Tonawanda Engine Complex Plant #1 (The Foundry), as retired foundry workers have told me in the past. Also, all the work on the parts coming from Messina (like that flashing they never got out of the heads) was also done at Tonawanda. All engines were Assembled and shipped from Tonawanda. 

For those who aren't aware, most all of the differentials for Corvairs were assembled in the Saginaw Gear and Axle Plant, about 15 miles away from the Tonawanda Engine Complex, inside the city limits of Buffalo on Delevan Av.  When I attended the GNFCC's mall show in 1988, several retired Saginaw workers saw the differential display from the factory there, and related how they could still "set up" the backlash on a Corvair ring gear in their sleep. 

Would be nice to have some of these retired Assembly line workers at the 06 National Convention to relate their experiences "working the line" making our engines and Diff's. 


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