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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, first post, so nice to meet you.

I bought a 1969 Nova, far from cherry but a good starter: $1000 for a running muscle car with a brand new paint job and sony stereo. The previous owner had noted a lot of electrical problems and it would only start in reverse. Fixed that right up, neutral safety switch, loose wires, nothing really.

It runs a straight 6, 230 hp gets me from point A to point B. I'm thinking scrap the inline for a short block or something... anybody have some advice? I only spent $1000 for the car, so I'm willing to go to the expense of a new engine, not looking to make a 10-second car or anything, but the knock in the engine is a rod or [knock on wood] the head gasket. It leaks oil, not profusely, but enough that I still have oil under my fingernails from changing out the starter this weekend... Might be a better investment to buy a new motor, feel me?

So anybody willing to feed me some experience with this conversion? Will I need to do transmission work? is it all compatible? please advise. And any tips on doing this on a budget would be much appreciated.
Also, I'm in Orange County, LA area, probably a lot of shops around, but I want to study up beforehand. So If you would be so kind as to help learn me about the specifics on dropping a new block into this clunker and making it a nice cruiser, feel free to post away. It's already a looker, but you can hear it coming a block away and I'm willing to spend some bucks to get it good.
 

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Not much to the V-8 swap; frame mounts (what the motor mounts bolt to) will be needed, the trans from your 230 will bolt up, but depending on which trans it is, you may want to swap it too, or just use it. Your budget is the only limitation. You could buy an engine locally, off the internet, buy a used one, have one built to your specs.........Anything can be squeezed in there for the right price.
 

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Jegs has a new GM goodwrench 350 longblock for $1549.99 jegs headers $89.99 jegs distributor $89.99 edelbrock 600 carb with free black air cleaner $264.99 edelbrock performer intake with install kit $200.99
 

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It runs a straight 6, 230 hp gets me from point A to point B. I'm thinking scrap the inline for a short block or something

QUOTE]

Welcome to SNS.
You might want to consider a complete engine.:devil: JK. There is alot of good info on this site. Don't be affraid to use the search link at the top and ask plenty of question's.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for teh replies, keep 'em coming

considering this guy who's local:

"I have a 350 long block attached to a turbo 350 at my house. Both need a rebuild. They are together on a custom stand. Asking $500 obo for all three (motor, tranny and stand). I am in Orange and can help with loading/delivery. "

but if they need a rebuild, I'm not so sure I will have the time to make it a quick swap. but that's a pretty good price if you ask me. Does anybody have some experience asking a shop to rebuild a tranny and block? asking for any price experience. I decided that a couple thousand into my junker by the end of the summer was reasonable, but will definitely be flexible when it comes to gettin it done with something i'll be happy with. I can rebuild the transmission at my leisure because I have a little bit of experience there. I would rather trust the block to a mechanic, even though I know I can do it. Well, come to think of it, I guess I can do that too. So also if you have any experience with the swap from 230 straight 6 to 350 long block/350 turbo please let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
hmm...

"Hello, I have a gm crate 350 4bolt main, with about 8000 miles on it. hooker comp headers, eldlebrock manifold, holly carb, crinkle black chevy valve covers! Strong strong motor. Also have 700R4 trans, need to sell, call me if interested, can bring motor to you!"
actually this might be a better motor, what y'all think?
 

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My guess is that you have a Powerglide trans resting up against that boat anchor inline 6. I converted my 1970 from the same engine to a small block Chevy 350, and kept the Powerglide. It's a four bolt mains so it's better suited for only 2 gears. Some folks like the Powerglide, some folks don't, but your stock drive train is geared low and may rob you of low-end power. For the conversion itself, it's pretty straightforward - here are a couple gotchas that I remember, although it was a good 10+ years ago - most of this is obvious to a lot of the more experienced folks.

1) Make sure you use the correct flywheel (aka flexplate) to mate up with your transmission. If the V8 you're going to be dropping in was bolted up to a TH-350 or something like that, you may need to double check to make sure it's the right flexplate. I've heard some say it's a different flexplate between the hydramatics and aluminum Powerglide, others say you can re-use it. Just make sure you do the proper research.

2) That 6 cylinder is one heavy engine. Make sure you have the right stuff to hoist it and set it down, it's a lot heavier than a small block chevy. A cheap 50 dollar engine stand won't hold it very securely.

3) Make sure you purchase or find the kickdown linkage required for the new engine (Small block Chevy?) going against your stock transmission. Assuming you have a Powerglide, the kickdown linkage mounts differently on a small block chevy than that inline six. For example, the small block chevy kickdown mount is a bellcrank that bolts up with the bellhousing to engine bolts. I don't think the Inline 6 had the same thing - it had a long rod that went directly to the transmission. You will want to be sure to research the setup and how to install it correctly - and don't forget to put the dang thing on when you're struggling with those bellhousing bolts.

4) Make sure you replace the front pump seal on the trans while everything is apart. I think the Timken part # is 6712NA.

5) Make sure before you swap anything that you write down any quirky behaviors with the car. That way, you won't mistake funky malfunctions for something you did versus something that was pre-existing.

6) Not sure what you want to do about exhaust, but obviously you will have to investigate some options when converting from the inline 6 to a small block chevy. I ended up running headers + a dual exhaust kit from JCWhitney. Everything fit up nicely, although you have to be a little creative with mounting some sections to the frame. The old inline six stuff was so badly rotted away that I had to go with universal mounts to keep the stuff hanging properly.

7) My GEN and OIL lights seemed to act up after doing the swap, but real gauges verified proper operation for me. Just be sure to be extra careful with any wiring. You will have to mess around with the alternator wiring because the Inline 6 alternator wire isn't long enough.

8) Make sure you use the correct motor mounts. You will also need a better radiator. The inline 6 radiator was beefy, but the difference between that one and the v8 version was significant enough for me to make the change.

9) If your new v8 isn't brand spanking new, here are a couple of pointers:
- If you are buying it from someone you don't know out of Craigs list or Auto Trader or something, make sure you can hear it run first.
- If you are buying from a junkyard, make sure they offer insurance in case it's no good. Don't buy
it from a junkyard that either won't accept returns or offer insurance.
- If you are using an engine you already had and it hasn't run in a while, try to verify it is operating properly before going through the trouble of the swap.
- In other words, do everything you can to make sure it's going to start up the first time, don't cut corners and purchase something that may not run.
 
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