Dec 15, 2011 update to the Chevrolet Corvair Monza Spyder project car

Solving the Fan Belt Blowout

No, you can't limp it home: A Corvair overheats instantly after throwing a fan belt. Good thing it's really easy to replace. Always have a spare!
The Otto Superbelt looks more or less the same as other belts, but promises to stay in place. Early results are encouraging.

When we tested our Corvair against a 356 Porsche for an upcoming story, we had a fan belt fly off.

When we tested our 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Spyder against a 356 Porsche for an upcoming story, we had a fan belt fly off. While this was considered a common problem in the early days of Corvair ownership, several things introduced in 1964, including a factory belt guard, helped alleviate the problem.

Even though we have this guard installed on our earlier 1963 Spyder, we were still having the occasional belt problem. We called our partners at Clarks Corvair Parts, Inc. and asked the what they suggest.

They sent us one of their Otto Superbelts. This custom-made belt has a little bit deeper V and is supposed to stay on the Corvair better than lesser belts. We were anxious to give it a try and found it fit well and seemed to solve the problem. The instructions call for about an hour of light duty use to help the belt take a set to the pulleys. The instructions also recommend a bit of silicone spray on the pulleys to help the belt enter the pulleys better at high rpm.

We will report back in a few months, but so far, this has been a cheap and easy cure for an annoying problem.

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View comments on the CMS forums
Andyman260 None
2/7/12 8:37 p.m.

What a wonderful journey. As a fellow long distance Corvair driver I can make one recommendation. CORSA offers a Technical Guide for sale through Clark's that makes an excellent traveling companion along with the factory shop manual. One article in the guide covers a traveling tool kit that allows you to do anything on the car. I have mine in the trunk with the spare and a scissors jack for ballast. It all fits in a canvas tool bag that shapes to the bottom of the trunk! Oh yeah, keep that spare belt and Clark's two piece clutch cable on board! What a great have earned my subscription and respect for tackling a Corvair. Mine is a restored 66 Corsa with the four carb engine and I drive the crap out of it! Love it! Andyman260

2/10/12 4:51 p.m.

I've had my 1965 Corsa turbo convertible since 1987, and I've never thrown a fan belt on it (even when driving it during college like a bat out of hell)... well, except for the one time when my alternator seized up and flipped the belt.

I've alway used "Clark's Ultimate" fan belts, so hopefully their Otto belt will solve this issue for you.

AngryCorvair UltimaDork
4/12/12 11:33 a.m.

The '64 - later magnesium fan is lighter than the '63 part. Lower weight => lower inertia => less belt stretch => reduced tendency to throw the belt. IIRC the belt gets thrown on rapid decreases in RPM, such as lifting for a shift during hard acceleration.

7/5/12 8:22 a.m.

I'm CORVAIRWILD on Youtube... Lol... I've got a few Corvairs, inc Rampsides pickups, but far from enuff time to fettle with them to my desire. I'm just about finished putting a rebuilt 3.27 diffy back into my '62 Spyder convert. It's been equipped with a '64 engine and diffy, to get the 19 extra cubes and transverse '64 only leaf spring. I retained the original '62 tranny for its "lower" 1st gear. You can watch my progress on youtube/CORVAIRWILD. Maybe one day I'll meet up with this feature '63 Spyder -:)))

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