<VV> dumb things i've done

Rick Norris ricknorris at suddenlink.net
Mon Nov 19 09:15:55 EST 2007

Been there, done that but,
Not with a Corvair.
Back in my just out of high school days my buddy and I were working at the 
local Pontiac dealer as lot boy/gophers. He had a 57 Chevy with a worn out 
motor so we undertook a replacement project. We picked up a 283 short block 
from the local NAPA store and began the tear down. We used my buddy's garage 
which was a garage apartment with his parents living above. We pulled the 
engine using a chain fall fastened to the main beam of the apartment and 
cracked it doing this! His mom was not thrilled at the prospect of us 
pulling her home down but we got the motor out. Since my buddy was not very 
savy when it came to mechanical things we gave him the parts cleaning job.
Actually, this was the first time any of us had done anything like this but 
being budding gear heads we didn't let that stop us.
We got the motor back in the car and all hooked up. It was my job to set the 
distributor and wire it to the plugs. Having never done this I referred to a 
Motors Manual at the dealership and much to our surprise that sucker fired 
right up! It didn't run too well as we did not know how to adjust the valves 
or carb. When we tride to back it out of the garage it barely moved and 
squeeled loudly. We had no idea what was wrong but it was Saturday morning 
and the dealership was open so we drove the two blocks to the shop very 
slowly. As soon as we pulled in the lead mechanic grinned from ear to ear 
and said; you installed the clutch disc backwards! We never knew there was a 
front and rear to the disc but we dropped the three speed tranny and sure 
enough we did exactly that.
I always remembered that lesson and have never repeated it on any car that I 
fixed clutch problems, especially Corvairs.
During this episode my buddy who was cleaning parts had also completely 
disassembled every one of the hydraulic lifters and was sloshing them around 
in a can of Varsol! I don't remember how we got them back together but we 
took that old Chevy to the local drag strip and it made many runs without a 
hint of trouble except when we broke the shift lever off the Dragfast 
conversion kit we installed. You should have seen the hole we cut for that! 
Also burned up his dads electric drill doing it!
Ahh...the good old days!

Rick Norris

>>     I know the most time consuming dumb thing I've done is to remove an 
>> early
>> model drive train,
>>     install a new clutch assembly. Put it all back togheher.take a test 
>> drive,
>> to find out i've installed the clutch disk
>>     in backwards.The clutch just slipped all the time. I'm sure i'm not 
>> the
>> first person to do this, but I still had to do it all over again. I hope 
>> the
>> next time you do a clutch job you'll remember the little print on the 
>> disk that
>> says "Flywheel side"
>>     Steve Petrelli
>>     '68 Monza Fitch Sprint
>>     '64 Spyder Sprint Conv.
>>     '63 Spyder Sprint Cpe.
>> - Done.

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