<VV> Petronix Improvements

Padgett pp2 at 6007.us
Fri Oct 28 11:44:19 EDT 2005

>So there
>was a fully solid-state electronic component available as an option
>starting in '61.

'62 model year was supposed to have transistor ignition available so a 
transistor tach had to be available. Pontiac went with two versions with a 
cheaper passive circuit for points ignitions and transistor for 
"breakerless". Evidently Corvair just had one.

>Interestingly, the radios didn't go fully solid-state until some time
>later, although the oldest Corvair radios I have seen already had
>transistor output amplifiers.

Delco started producing hybrid radios in 1960 AFAIR (the 12v tubes, 
12DZ6,12AD6,12EA6, 12DV6 could not produce the necessary output power but 
allowed a radio to be built without a vibrator), and went all-transistor 
for most lines in 1963, the same model year most lines dumped generators 
and went to alternators. Just more things the Corvair did not get until 
after the rest of GM or did not get at all..

  And while we're at it, why do
>  And while we're at it, why do the V8 guys get a cute little window for 
> adjusting point gap/dwell with the
>engine running and we have to take the cap off and diddle with screws and
>feeler gauges?

Because that was how earlier distributors were designed. You get the 
feeling that not much engineering effort was ever spent on the Corvair, 
just about everything other than sheet metal was off the shelf or adapted 
rather than being designed from the ground up. Possibly their entire budget 
was spent on making air cooling work and adapting longitudinal 
transmissions to the transaxle.

There is also the issue that the windowed distributor with the unitized 
points and capacitor is about an inch  wider than the Corvair unit and that 
would have caused shroud interference problems. My guess it that GM decided 
not to bother with it for "low line" engines.

You have to look at the Corvair in the context of everything that was going 
on around it. Then at least some of it makes sense.


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