NOTE: This article has many references to our catalog. If you don't have it, get one here.
1) KEEP ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS CLEAN AND FREE OF CORROSION -
especially the ones in the engine compartment which are subject to the
greatest amount of heat and chemical exposure. Pull the connectors apart
every year or so any spray them with WD-40 or its equivalent. Severe cases
may require scraping the contacts. In severe cases you may find that the
only option is replacement of the entire harness. Fortunately, we now have
exact reproduction engine harnesses (see page G 24A). Breakdown in the
wiring because of age, heat etc. is an increasing problem. Because new
reproduction wiring harnesses are available there's no reason to put up
with bad connections and substandard wiring. Our reproduction harnesses
bring your electrical system back to reliable life and are very quick and
easy to install. When a loss of electrical power of any kind is encountered
the very FIRST thing to suspect is poor wiring or connections.
2) CHECK YOUR POINTS REGULARLY (OR SWITCH TO AN ELECTRONIC IGNITION) - Surprisingly Corvair distributor points don't always stay at the proper gap, and we've found some Corvairs to be worse than others. It is not unusual for a car that has been running fine to suddenly start running rough or lose power, especially under acceleration. ANYTIME a normal running Corvair starts to behave oddly the first thing to do is to check the points for correct gap. It should be around .020. While you're at it make sure to check the condition of the points plate. If it is worn at the main pivot point then it will be impossible to keep proper points gap. See page G-14 for replacement plates.
An even better solution is to switch over to a fully electronic ignition
system. We sell the best - The Pertronix Ignitor. This unit entirely eliminates
the points and condenser and can be installed in as little as 10 minutes.
Read more about this revolutionary Corvair improvement on page G-16.
3) TRY NOT TO RUN EARLIES (60-64) ACCESSORIES WITH THE ENGINE
OFF - that is because of the lack of an "accessories" position
on the ignition. I offer this advise with the additional experience that
I have never paid any attention to it and have never burnt any points or
had any other problem. While I am sure that there will be those who disagree
with this , I have to say that my experience (over 33 years driving nothing
but Corvairs, and most early models) shows it to be good advise but not
a panic situation.
REBUILT ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS VS ??
If your starter, generator or alternator needs to be replaced, what are
GENERATORS - USED ON ALL 1960-64 CORVAIRS -This is somewhat complicated. That's because you first have to ask yourself whether you want to continue with a generator charging system or convert to an alternator system. Quite frankly, unless you want to stay original (stock concours?) Conversion to an alternator is advised. Our hi-output alternator conversion kits are inexpensive and give you a much more reliable system that puts out more than twice the amps of a stock generator.
If you want to convert then look over our complete conversion kits listed
on page G-2. If you want to stick with the stock generator then.........
We don't offer rebuilt generators mainly because they weight 30 lbs each
and can be burnt out in 30 seconds - burning one out ruins the generator
and ruins the core because we have to replace the armature as well. You
can burn out a perfectly good generator by 1) still having a bad voltage
regulator, 2) having broken or otherwise bad wiring, 3) having a bad battery,
4) trying to jump start the car and then use the new generator to charge
a dead battery, 5) accidentally wiring the generator backwards.....well,
you get the idea. We DO offer generator rebuild kits (page G-29), but for
your own sake (and the sanity of whomever you buy a rebuilt generator from)
- If the generator "burns up", "throws solder" or the like it means
that there was nothing wrong with that generator - something else is
wrong. A bad generator that isn't charging CANNOT burn itself up.
ALTERNATORS - USED ON ALL 65-69 CORVAIRS - We
can offer you rebuilt stock units, rebuild hi-output units and rebuild
kits. The hi output alternator kits for 1965-69 still give you about 25-30
more charging amps, as well as the simplicity of an internal regulator.
See G-2 for these kits. See page G-2 for stock replacement rebuilt alternators.
STARTERS - We sell rebuilt stock units and rebuild kits.
We've also just added a new hi-torque aftermarket starter (it's part number
is U-5718). Remember that all the starters are the same BUT 1960 only uses
a different starter snout, which offsets the solenoid differently. Stock
rebuilt starters are on the next page. Rebuild kits on page G-29. Starters
rarely have damaged windings or armatures so they are perfect candidates
for home rebuilding.