<VV> Turbo question

jim bannister jimster1 at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 7 04:49:19 EDT 2014

I've had a Turbo for over ten years now.  Zero problems unique to the turbo.
If the turbo itself is lame, yes, it will need rebuilding\replacing.  On the
plus side, it has only one carb and it is pretty simple.  We have vendors
that do successful rebuilds at minimal cost. Keep an eye on your oil, and
use the good stuff.  Remember, in its day, the turbo had the most horsepower
per cubic inch displacement of any GM engine.  Hot stuff back then.  Yes,
the turbo does have a lag, but once it kicks in, hang on to your hat.  I
doubt if you can hold it on the floor for more than 30 seconds.  Mine is
still pulling hard on the expensive side of 100 MPH.  Fun......but keep an
eye on the rear view mirror.  
Jim, '66 Turbovert

-----Original Message-----
From: virtualvairs-bounces at corvair.org
[mailto:virtualvairs-bounces at corvair.org] On Behalf Of RoboMan91324 at aol.com
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2014 12:42 AM
To: virtualvairs at corvair.org; joelewis33 at cox.net
Subject: <VV> Turbo question

Turbo engines' maintenance is similar to other engines but  there are other
issues.  Yes, if the turbo itself and/or carb needs to be  rebuilt, it is an
additional expense but not too bad depending on how you define "expensive."
They are far simpler than most any other turbo.
Yes, there is a turbo lag and the engine performs like an 80  hp until the
boost kicks in.  However, you probably won't get the great gas  mileage of
the 80 HP because the advance/retard characteristics of the turbo
distributor are different.  On this point, make sure it has  the turbo
Superficially, it looks the same but is very  different from a non turbo
dist. They can be hard to find and expensive to  buy.
While you are checking the numbers on the dist, make sure the  car was an
original turbo.  There should be a scooped out section in the
right/rear/bottom where the exhaust pipe exits.  Only turbo cars have  this.
However, I have seen the "turbo scoop" created on non turbo  cars.  Check
the metal tag in the engine compartment to verify turbo  originality.  The
VIN tells you it is a Corsa but the body tag in the  engine compartment
tells you if it is an original turbo car or a 140.  You  may want to check
numbers to verify that you have the proper turbo and carb for  a 65 as well.
I have seen Frankenstein setups.  Properly set up, they  can run fine but it
depends on what value you place on originality.  If the  parts need to be
rebuilt, the rebuilder may work with you swapping proper parts  for whatever
you may have.  You can find the numbers to check in a number  of Corvair
Under boost, the exhaust runs very hot, so expect to do  exhaust work more
often if you have a lead foot.  If you rarely send it  into boost, its not
much different than the other cars.  The exhaust parts  on the turbo engine
are very different from others.
Like anything else, the "pretty stuff" can cost you and a  missing or dented
heat shield, air cleaner or a rusted intake manifold can  be an added
At this point, you probably know the usual stuff to check  whatever model or
year the car is.
I am sure others will add to this.
Good luck,
1960 Corvette, 1961 Rampside, 1962 Rampside, 1964 Spyder  coupe, 1965
Greenbrier, 1966 Canadian Corsa turbo coupe, 1967 Nova SS, 1968  Camaro

In a message dated 4/6/2014 8:51:54 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
virtualvairs-request at corvair.org writes:

Message:  8
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2014 19:53:45 -0700
From: Joe Lewis  <joelewis33 at cox.net>
Subject: <VV> Turbo question
To:  virtualvairs at corvair.org
Message-ID:  <5B766688-A02F-4BC3-ADF2-2BD3C0D53E79 at cox.net>
Content-Type:  text/plain; charset=windows-1252

As some of you know I'm looking for a  car and I came across a 1965 corsa
with a turbo. I?m still trying to get more  information from the owner of
the car but I?m wondering if turbos are hard to  maintain. I do understand
that they have a high cost to rebuild and there is a  turbo lag but what
other questions do I need to ask the owner? 

Joe  Lewis

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