<VV> Overheating WAS LM turbos and no lower shrouds

Ken Pepke kenpepke at juno.com
Tue Oct 25 07:49:05 EDT 2011

The following comments pretty much follow my life experience ... with a whole bunch of Corvairs from nearly new to highly experienced.  The only one that ever gave the slightest hint of overheating was a '63 that I bought in Southern California and had to drive up out of Death Valley on my way home to Michigan.  Of course, it did not have a complete set of engine compartment gaskets.  The factory tested Corvair engines beyond anything anybody could imagine ... partially because of the three cylinders per side design.  It is true compromises were made between cooling the engine and having to provide heat for the passenger compartment.  None-the-less, back in the day when new out of the box, while not unheard of, overheating was not much of an issue.

Still, overheating problems are a way of life with many, if not most, Corvairs today.  I have seen no definitive studies on the cause of todays overheating problem.  However, re-engineering by John Q Public has become a popular, yet frequently less than successful, answer.  Oil and gasoline of today share few of their properties with their counterparts of yesterday.  Oil temperature is not often mentioned as a problem today.  Perhaps there is an incompatibility issue with the new fuels and the old combustion chamber design.  Sadly, Corvair gained the reputation of a 'poor boy' car otherwise the aftermarket parts industry would have put tens of thousands of dynamometer hours on the redevelopment of the Corvair engine like they did on other models.  Air is the other main ingredient in combustion so perhaps 'global warming' is responsible ... in one way or another :-)

Ken P
Wyandotte, MI
Worry looks around; Sorry looks back, Faith looks up.


> From: "Eric S. Eberhard" <flash at vicsmba.com>
> Date: October 24, 2011 5:35:52 PM EDT
> To: jvhroberts at aol.com, virtualvairs at corvair.org
> Subject: Re: <VV> LM turbos and no lower shrouds
> I really think that a stock engine with the stock cooling is more 
> than adequate.  In fact, I would bet money that a stock engine with 
> stock cooling runs COOLER than one with the shrouds removed.  And I 
> dare you to drive spiritedly and get that lower part really hot and 
> then splash through some cold water.  And, I really like my heater in 
> the winter.
> You don't get much worse (for straining the cooling system) than the 
> spirited driving in AZ where 105 is common, 120 happens .... I never 
> had cooling problems even on steep grades.  I drove my little Spyder 
> 30k miles and it never complained.  I've gone over 100 mph in that 
> car when it was over 100.  My coupe has A/C and PG and I can drive it 
> up a 6% grade with A/C on (which blows ice BTW stock except Sanden 
> compressor) at 75 (my engine is tweaked a little, it is a 110 instead 
> of 102) when it is 105 out, no problems.  In fact in all of my life 
> of having Corvairs (including 2 LM turbos and 1 EM turbo) and always 
> with stock shrouds, bellows, doors, and very importantly the sealing 
> of the engine compartment -- I have never had a Corvair 
> overheat.  Not even after losing a belt (STOP fast!).  In fact, if 
> anything I'd complain that it warms up too slow on cold days ... 
> seems to take forever even with the doors closed and the summer 
> plates off.  And I am not in-experienced -- I've had them 35 years, 
> 10 more years if count the ones I worked on with my grandpa, and I 
> have owned as many as 10 at a time, never zero, and currently 
> 2.  Last time I checked I have had more than 30 Corvairs.  I actually 
> do know what I am talking about.  So I will simply have to agree to disagree.
> E

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