Why is my '67 corvair shutting down as i drive down the road?

Asked by Mar 10, 2016 at 04:05 PM about the 1967 Chevrolet Corvair

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

After more than 15 years and 100,000 miles I did a much-deserved rebuild of
my 95 hp corvair convertible.  She is running like a dream, but every so often I
would be driving down the road and, poof! she'd shut down entirely and i'd
coast to the side of the road.  Tried changing the alternator - 3 times - new
battery, voltage regulator, solenoid, but every so often it would still happen.  
Finally narrowed it down to that it only happens when my headlights are on.  
About 30 minutes after I turn on the lights, it happens.  Is this a faulty headlight
switch?  Someone told me the headlight relay, but when I called Clarks they
told me the late models don't have the relay.  Can anybody point me in the
right direction?

5 Answers


It is possible it would be the headlight switch as they get hot and threw time do break down. Also I would clean up any and all ground wires, and ground wires that involve the headlight system.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

thanks, i am changing the headlight switch as a first option. have checked all the grounds and nothing seems awry.


It might be as simple as a coil or capacitor for the points that is old and shorting out when it gets hot....after it cools down it works.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

My battery actually drains, so much so that I cannot merely jump the battery, but have to charge it overnight. I have converted to an electronic system for the distributor, so I no longer have the original points. I have pulled out the headlight switch and have found a funky looking wire, so I am starting with that. Thanks so much for the help!


The Corvair electrical system is not very complex. There can be problems when you add accessories to the original system it can cause overloads. Everything goes thru the ignition switch (KEY) so does the key get HOT? If it does that is a clue. Another place to look is the big electrical connector on the left side - back of the engine compartment. The big red wire is carrying current to everything up front and have been know to get hot and melt in that connector...next time it happens see if that connector is hot. You ultimate solution may be to find a good automotive electrical shop and have them do some upgrades

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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