I get a lot of requests about rebuilt engines, so I have prepared this information as a general guide. Additional information, specifically about your inquiry, may be included elsewhere in the reply.

Click image for a closer look...Rebuild vs. Repair

You asked about a rebuilt engine, so that is the information provided here. Do not confuse this information on a fully rebuilt engine with an engine repair such as a ring and valve job, as the two are very different from a cost and result standpoint.

Does The Vair Shop rebuild engines?

Yes, we rebuild complete engines only for Corvair passenger cars and trucks.

We choose to NOT prepare engines for use in dune buggies, sand rails, racecars, airboats, aircraft, Ultra Vans, 8/10 Cords, Volkswagens, and other unusual applications.

Click image for a closer look...We do not modify engines significantly from factory specification.

We DO NOT offer short blocks, long blocks, or other abbreviated assemblies (we do offer individual component pieces that you can assemble). Our rebuild process is complete only after we have installed the complete engine in the vehicle, made all the final adjustments, and have been able to test run/break in the engine for a minimum of 25 miles.

We do not have engines "on the shelf"; each engine is done on a custom, as-needed basis.

Ok, if you are still with me after all the stuff we don't do, here's what we will do.

Click image for a closer look...What does a rebuilt engine include?

  1. We fully disassemble the engine for clean up and inspection.
  2. The crankcase oil feed holes are aligned.
  3. The crankshaft is turned and polished at .010 or .020. (If the crank can be polished only, we do so, but this would be the exception rather than expectation.)
  4. Cylinders are bored .030 (alternate .020 or .040).
  5. Heads are reconditioned with new seats, guides, springs, shims, and seals. Head gasket surfaced machined if needed. Cooling fins are deflashed.
  6. New rod and main bearings; new camshaft (stock or mild performance upgrade) and driven gear; new lifters; new pistons (forged or premium cast as desired or available); moly rings; oil pump rebuilt; new head nuts; fan bearing greased; all gaskets and seals replaced including Viton tube seals, front and rear main seals; new spark plugs, points, condenser, rotor, and distributor cap.
  7. All sheet metal is cleaned and reinstalled using correct hardware.
  8. The rebuilt engine is installed in your vehicle; all adjustments done and test run for at least 25 miles.

At this point, we are currently at about $4500 for the engine itself, give or take a little for your choice on pistons/camshaft, and around $500 to get the engine or drivetrain out of and back into our car.

Now the mandatory extras:

  1. All the above prices are based upon us using your supplied engine as the starting point. If you want us to supply the core, or parts of your core that are normally reused or reconditioned are beyond economical repair, then additional charges apply for the core or needed items. (For instance, if your core has a thrown rod, chances are the crankcase, crankshaft, some cylinders and rods, and the crankcase baffle and or cover will be damaged beyond economical repair. We would supply replacement items at additional expense. A crankshaft that will not "clean up" at .020 will discarded for one that will; cylinders with significant fin damage will be discarded; etc.) Smaller items like pushrods, rocker arms, and fan/idler pulley bearings that are not in excellent condition are replaced at additional expense.

  2. Fasteners and threaded holes. Repair to stripped holes, extraction of broken off bolts/studs, and replacement of crankcase studs if needed is additional.

  3. Sheet metal. Engine shrouding that is missing, incorrect, damaged, or rusted out will be replaced with used pieces in good shape at additional expense.

  4. Accessories. Carburetor(s), air cleaner, generator (alternator), distributor, exhaust system, turbo (when used), clutch parts, perimeter seals, engine mounts, heater hoses, fuel lines and pump, and plug wires are all accessories to your engine; they are not part of the basic engine but are all required for the finished product. Each of these items must be removed for the rebuild process. The accessories are inspected, and any that are not in good operating condition will be rebuilt or replaced at additional cost.

  5. Harmonic balancer. This type of crankshaft drive pulley is used on most '64-'69 engines. Original balancers are a known potential weak point with 30+ years of service, so we will almost always insist on a newly rebuilt DALE balancer as an addition @ $154.95.

  6. Flywheels. Stick-shift Corvairs use a flywheel that uses rivets to hold its 3 pieces together; these are a predictable failure. If your car still has a riveted flywheel in it, we will insist it be replaced with a rebuilt unit (bolted/surfaced/balanced) @ $149.95.

Now for some extras that you may want (but are not necessarily needed to complete the job)

  1. Electronic ignition. We stock and recommend the Perlux Ignitor as a simple, proven ignition upgrade. No points to adjust or wear, operation is unaffected by minor distributor shaft wear. Available @ $84.95

  2. Cosmetic restoration. We can paint the engine shrouding with engine enamel for only about $50 additional. For show quality appearance, I recommend powder coating of the sheetmetal. This gives a super durable finish (unaffected by gas or oil spills) that is extremely close to the factory "shroud black" originally used. (Other colors are available). Top it off with new shroud bolts and fasteners and replating of the various cadmium parts (oil cap, vacuum balance tube, crankcase vent tube, choke rods, etc.) for a better than new look. Available starting @ $1000 (includes blasting of all parts before powder coating).

  3. Duals. Dual exhaust is a popular option on 80-110 HP.engines (not available on truck models). We use stock type mufflers for a pleasant but not loud tone. Factory type hangers and tailpipes are used. Complete systems from $285.


We require $500 down to start on your project. We keep a detailed running total of the job, and will ask for another $500 anytime the current balance exceeds $1000. Final balance is due at delivery.


A rebuild of your engine is a 12-week minimum proposition once we start in on it due to turn around time on machine work. Each engine is done on an as needed basis specifically for the car it is intended to go in. We book no more than 4 complete rebuilds a year, so if you decided today you wanted us to rebuild an engine for you, it could be as long as a year from now before you were driving it. If you need an engine ‘right now’, we are probably not going to be able to satisfy your schedule.

During the engine rebuild, we can often store your (engineless) car in the enclosed car trailer.