70 SS where to start? - Chevy Nova Forum
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Old 18th-June-2017, 02:42 AM   #1
watts5565
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70 SS where to start?

Hey guys. I have a 70 SS, 4 speed, 350 my dad bought brand new for his first car. It's 100% original never restored. I am needing some pointers on where to start... I am almost sure a frame off is out of the question budget wise. I just want to get it looking nice for my dad to enjoy one last time.
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Old 20th-June-2017, 01:18 AM   #2
Dave B.
 
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First, welcome to the site! I have a feeling that the reasons you haven’t received any replies are that (1) you posted in a forum that is 'read only' for everyone except original posters and (2) there just isn’t enough information in your post to go on.

To make an accurate list of how to approach your project, we would really need to look over the car in person. Since that’s not possible, detailed photos of the car would be the next best thing, along with a description of what you know is and isn’t functioning.

Not having that either… I’m going to make a very generic list of what I’d do.

1. Does it run? If you can start it, does it smoke or run rough? Can you get it to at least ‘yard drive’? If so, you can begin to evaluate the drive-line and fuel system. Does the transmission shift properly? Is there any ‘play’ in the u-joints? Is the fuel system free of leaks?

2. If it runs on its own power, the next thing I’d do is evaluate structural integrity of the car itself. Is there any serious rust around the suspension attachment points or in the floor-pan? Novas are unibody cars, which means that they don’t have a frame that extends the length of the car. They depend on the body structure itself for integrity. If you find structural rust; take a long, serious look at whether or not you want to proceed with the project. Rust repair is NOT cheap and driving a car that’s compromised with structural rust is not a smart thing to do.

3. If the car is reasonably solid, the next step would be to thoroughly inspect and test the brakes and steering. Look for any leakage around the master cylinder, calipers and wheel cylinders. Apply the brakes at low speed in a safe (car-and-people-free) environment and see if the brake pedal stays firm and that the car doesn’t ‘pull’ right or left. Check the ball joints, idler arm, pitman arm, drag link and control arm bushings for free-play and/or deteriorated seals. If you haven’t done this before, enlist the aid of someone who knows how to check these parts.

4. Take a good look at all the seals. Look for oil leakage on the engine and coolant leakage around the ends of the hoses and the water pump. When you're inspecting the brakes, look for gear oil around the rear axle seals and the rear axle cover plate. Also check the transmission for leaks.

5. How old are the tires? Even tires that ‘look’ good can be badly deteriorated and can possibly fail quickly. If the tires are over 5 years old, they’re automatically suspect. If they’re 10 or more years old, plan on replacing them before driving the car any distance. Again, if you’re not experienced in evaluating tires, take them to someone you can trust who does understand what to look for.

6. If you’ve made it this far, my next step would be to change ALL the fluids (oil and filter, transmission, power steering, rear axle, coolant, etc.) before actually putting the car on the road. Be sure to flush the engine block and heater along with fitting a new thermostat. If it’s been sitting much over a year, a drain-and-refill of the gas tank is probably also in order.

There are lots of other things to inspect and test. We haven't even touched on wipers, shocks, lights and a dozen other things - but the points listed above are the first things I do with any project that I buy. If you make it through the list, start asking more questions. And, while you’re at it, please post some photos of the car as it is now – everyone I know on this site likes pics!
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Last edited by Dave B.; 20th-June-2017 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 20th-June-2017, 08:59 AM   #3
carcrazy615
 
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Very good advise.
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Old 20th-June-2017, 11:52 AM   #4
msaul

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Red face I tried to reply too.

Humm, "Read Only"
For starters I suggest, wash, wax, vacuum, change fluids and tune-up.
But I have no idea what condition the condtion is in...
Dave B's advice is a much more comprehensive list.
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