My 1981 Volvo 240 estate suffered an interesting related problem. The electrically switched Overdrive (I'll get there, OK ?) was tripping out occasionally. Unsure what was going on, I changed its oil (ATF), but to no avail, and frankly I don't like getting inside gearbox assemblies. Soon enough, I lost all drive almost instantly, and had the car towed to my usual garage, offering everything I knew. Two days later, all good, the O/D being fixed by- new engine mounts ! The old ones having gone a little soft after 125,000 miles, were deflecting, chafing the O/D wiring on the transmission tunnel, causing an intermittent short which caused the O/D to trip out. The loss of drive was due to a worn out clutch, which came on so suddenly because of Volvo's outstanding build quality, which had allowed the lining to wear down to literally ten thousandths of an inch thickness, worn away all the rivets and fallen away during a gearchange; new clutch assembly, no damage to the flywheel, and away. So, an odd one on the engine mounts, but frankly a testament to the great engineering of real rear wheel drive Volvos. What these rebadged Fords are like, I don't know, but in terms of Engineering quality, that Volvo beat any of the many Fords I've had, though I confess I've always been happy with them.
I had an old Oldsmobile Omega that had that problem. The bad mounts also damaged the transmission. They seemed to fail regularly on that car. It finally cought fire and burned, which eliminated that problem for good.
I had a similar experience on my '68 Cougar a few years back. I stepped on the clutch pedal as I went to start the car, and things just didn't seem to disengage. In fact, the clutch felt like it was binding. What'd happened is that a motor mount had gone bad enough that the position of the engine had slipped to where the bellcrank linkage for the clutch -- which is mounted at one end on an inner fender panel and at the other end to a boss bolt on the rear of the engine -- had come out of alignment.
Fortunately the car was parked at the top of a hill and I was able to get the clutch to release just far enough to get it rolling downhill in neutral. I then *very* carefully felt for the opening in the dog teeth in the transmission and got it eased into second gear, at which point the engine started and I limped the five miles home in 2nd.
When I got home, two new motor mounts and a little clutch adjustment set everything to right again. This time, however, I opted for a set of racing motor mounts that didn't have rubber. The vibration is a little harsher, but the whole car is set up to be a little on the gritty side, anyway.
Wow, that's an amazing story. I can understand the difficulty with the cooling, since it had to be built into the back. I would imagine you didn't take corners too sharply. I'm sure you're aware Corvair's are weak on sharp turns. It's the car Ralph Nader cut his teeth on. I enjoyed mine, though.
While not as energy absorbing as rubber, polyurethane resists breakdown from oil. Aftermarket motor and transmounts are available in polyurethane. Cost is a little higher and installation is identical. I just did a froint end rebuild on my old 89 honda accord. Most all of the replaced bushings got poly instead of rubber. Only the upper control arm bushings stayed OEM rubber. My 67 Plymouth barracuda will be getting poly motor mounts, trans mount, and suspension bushings too. Sources are Energy suspension and Prothane.
IF memory serves me, GM had a VERY serious problem w/ engine/transmission mount failures several decades ago. So much so that the gov't really came down hard on them as they continued to deny warranty claims & out-of-warranty claims for defective mounts. It was an across-the-biard problem, affecting just about every make & model from Chevrolet to Cadillac. Could it have been in the era when GM was cross-populating their vehicles with engines from their sister divisions?
I had this problem with my 1963-1/2 Ford Galaxy. It was after that that I noticed that engine mount were made with the metal interlocking and the rubber between. The rubber could fail and the metal would still hold it.
Why would they have to learn this thing all over again?
During the 60's and 70's when US manufacturers offered big, high torque engines, the standard bonded steel-rubber-steel mounts had a tendancy to de-bond. After some un-planned engine departures, the manufacturers started making interlocked or caged engine mounts where rubber separated the steel parts and isolated noise but prevented excessive engine movement in case of failure. Today, unplanned departures seldom occur but the bonding process to attach rubber to metal hasn't improved much. In my experience, a significant percentage of high-mileage cars and pick-ups have one or more faulty engine mounts. Leaking oil, road salt, solvents, phase of the moon all seem to cause debonding. Many suspension components are also steel-rubber-steel and debonding of them is an issue. Auto manufacturers have done well to engineer mounting assemblies that continue to work safely even after wear, rust and chemical decomposition have taken their toll.
At least the V8s usually were cradled on the front suspension in such a way that the forward and back movement of the engine and transmission seemed to be limited by exhaust systems, block shape, oil pan, and bellhousings nestled between the firewall and the cross-frame members. Forward and back, the worst I ever saw was a radiator "decored" by the fan and engine pulleys. The engine torque on the other hand could have the engines get positively UNGLUED. The misalignments could take-out drive shaft U-joints or unplug the spline from the back of the transmission.
Buddies that modified thier engines for more horsepower and raced them at the track often installed chains or metal turnbuckles at the front of the engine to limit travel. This chain was the cheaper recall fix that GM chose in the 1970s before the improved motor mounts came from the factory. The more serious racers would go to solid metal mounts or front plate mounts, but that added a whole new dimension to the vibration in the car.
I don't believe GM did the more standardized factory engines across marques until the later 1970s after the beefed-up mounts were standard equipment. Even then, I believe there were many unique engines to Cadillac, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Chevrolet until the V6s became more common.
I had the mounts on my dad's 66 Impala break in the middle of town at a stop sign. Main problem was, I had my Mom with me & I was 17! Throttle hung wide open scaring the fool out of me & Mom.Years later I had another 66 Impala, an SS 300hp 327. I broke several until GM recalled all models including Dad 69 Impala. The "fix" was a short cable with bolts that went from the head to the frame. Dad used the cable, I found some solid mounts at a Speed Shop.
Fifty-six-year-old Pasquale Russo has been doing metalwork for more than 30 years in a tiny southern Italy village. Many craftsmen like him brought with them fabrication skills when they came from the Old World to America.
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