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Discussion Starter #1
Im starting my own build thread mainly to keep me motivated but also to show you all what Ive done with your great advice (which I appreciate so very much!).

I'll start with, well, where i started...

I bought a 69 Nova 2 years ago after saving up just enough to buy my dream car. Turns out, I should have saved up more and bought a better one. The 69 was far too rusted for my skills. I cut my losses and sold it. Then a few months back I bought this 1972 Nova. It has a dead 305 in it but Im getting a crate motor soon. But as you can see, its a copper color with a white top and white interior. Has a 2" cowl, and a lot of new trim.


I wanted a personalized plate for it and went with El Nova. El Nova means...the nova



Because I was so upset that my first nova was so rusty, I decided to tackle any and all rust I saw very first thing. I pulled the carpet out but what I found was pretty funny. I guess the last guy created his own rear seat partition with beer boxes :yes:



But I treated all the surface rust and coated it with a product called KBS Coatings. I was super happy with how it turned out.






Also while I was at it. I put down a layer of Fat Mat, I dont know if it really matters or not. But I always see them doing that on car shows so i guess it helps some.



After I did the inside I got under the car and knocked off any rust (wasnt much) and then painted the underside with a low gloss black. But really it turned out more of a flat black. I hope its ok. I dont know, I kind of regret it not being more shiny but its the underside so maybe Im over thinking it. I also put in new body bushings.



I found a good deal on a 3 row aluminum radiator and even though i dont have a motor, I went ahead and got it. Also made a small Classic Industries purchase and picked up some odds and ends just to keep moving on the car. New pedal pads and trim. (that gas pedal was a bear to put in). I got new locks, new shifter knob, and seat adjuster knobs, and a lock for the glove box. I wont bore you with all the pics of them. Just a couple.







Ohh and even though the motor is dead, its cool that it came with headers. i assume the 305 longtube headers will work on any 350 I get later



Here is a front pic.



So thats where Im at right now. My buddy and I started installing a Hotchkis TVS on the car saturday but ran into some trouble with a rusty front leaf spring mount bolt. I'll update you guys on how that goes when I get the new parts in and can tackle that fun job. I love suspension work. Always seems like the easiest job to do with the most return.

I hope you all like it. Im always open to suggestions, comments, and constructive criticism. Im so honored to join you all in working and enjoying these Chevy Novas. Ive waited a long time to get one and I cant wait to get it on the road.
But till then. We build!
Ryan
 

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Off to a Great Start and a Great body looks like. You will know your car well and will appreciate it more also. Good luck we're watching your build.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all! I know its probably not the most desirable color, but more than anything I wanted a solid car to have forever. And since now it will be in a garage it should stay rust free. I will say the color has grown on me and I like that its different.

I'll post my TVS install pics this weekend. Assuming I dont run into anymore problems
 

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Don't worry about people that don't like the color.
It's a good looking car.

I would not choose that color, myself.
...But I wouldn't turn down the car because it was painted such.

I think Gen III Novas are just old enough to get away with something like that, and the choice of the white accents works well.

It looks good.
Just because I wouldn't choose it, doesn't mean it doesn't look good.




I just noticed the photo of the header... Are there no inner fenders in the car?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Don't worry about people that don't like the color.
It's a good looking car.

I would not choose that color, myself.
...But I wouldn't turn down the car because it was painted such.

I think Gen III Novas are just old enough to get away with something like that, and the choice of the white accents works well.

It looks good.
Just because I wouldn't choose it, doesn't mean it doesn't look good.




I just noticed the photo of the header... Are there no inner fenders in the car?

Ohh no worries, I know people have their own tastes. Ive gotten a lot of baby poop comments from friends. Its all good. I like it in a more classic looking way and not as much a muscle car way. But again its grown on me and I think I'll keep the color how it is. I do need to figure out how to get some touch up paint for it. No idea how to do that.

It does have inner fenders. I took them off to paint them and I havent put them back on because I figure since I have them out I might as well tackle the blower motor and and heater core replacement. Im doing all the odds and ends now since I cant get to drive it.

Still doing my research on what motor and trans to get. I know I want a 700R4. Just dont know what manufacturer to go with. So many bad reviews out there. I have to get this right the first time. Dont want to deal with bad customer service to resolve things and I just want a trans that can handle 450hp and get me around town.
 

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I know its hard on a budget but buy a crate engine! I ended up having a short block built and ordering some of the other parts well it took 3 months to get those parts and needless to say car is not together and now wont be till next year.

great to hear you got a good car the color is cool glad to hear you have friends that will help, mine say they will but dont do much. enjoy
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have been all over the map on what motor to use. I do know it will be a crate motor and Im now sure it will have a roller cam. I was going to get the GM SP350, but now Im leaning toward a blueprint 355 w/ alum heads and a roller cam. I wont be ready to make that move till I finish up this suspension work. Plus I want to nail down what kind of 700r4 I will be getting.

And yeah Ive got a good buddy helping me now. Having a second mind and set of hands really ups my confidence level that I can tackle anything.
 

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Go with the aluminum head crate, the weight savings off the nose is beneficial.

Nice looking ride too!
 

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Aluminum heads and roller cam is a must these days. We're not living in the 80s any more. Still love the music tho... :turn: Take this 355 and get you a nice TH700 with some upgrades and you'll be fine!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Rear half of the Hotchkis TVS install was a success.

Its such a sweet complete package. Came with everything. Even the nut clips for the front leaf eye brackets. I didnt need to reuse anything.







I had to drill out the spring perches. 16 holes that needed drilled out to a massive 5/8s. I burnt a regular bit after 4 holes. 5/8s bits cost a ton. Then I went to Harbor Frieght and got this step up bit for like 5 bucks. It was awesome. Keep spraying some lube on it and it rocked through the metal.





I also went with the Hotchkis shocks made by Fox. They look amazing but only time will tell on the ride.



Also I used as much of the lube that Hotchkis gives you and then I switched over to a synthetic grease. No idea if this will keep the car quite for long but I made sure to coat everything as well as possible, inside the frame rails, the bolts, bushings, all the things.



There was also doubt that the front spring brackets from a 68-69 camaro would fit a 72 Nova. Well I can tell you they are the same in everyway. Only issue was one of the holes needed to be opened up but about a 1/4" just to align. Im guessing thats just a reproduction issue.



Here is a pick with the leaf springs in and one of the sway bar. Going from no sway to this 7/8s bar should be sweet.





Since the car doesnt run I cant tell you about how this stuff works yet. But I can say 3 things.

1. This stuff is of amazing quality. Ive used Hotchkis swaybars on other cars, but this kit is complete and I think it will be super.

2. I lowered the car down off the jack rather quickly and the car hardly moved at all. No bouncing or anything. The rear of the car is rock solid.

3. This kit did not lower my particular car 1.5" in the rear. In fact it looks exactly the same. Im 100% positive thats due to my 45 year old mono leafs sagging. Not i have beefy springs sitting at 1.5" down as designed.

Cant wait to tackle the front springs, tie rod sleeve, and 1 1/8" swaybar. I'll let you know how that goes. Im debating waiting on that job until I decide if im switching to fron discs now or just keeping the drums.

If you all have any questions on the rear install of a TVS on a 3rd gen, Id love to help. You all help me so much, as I learn I want to give back :yes:
 

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I had to drill out the spring perches. 16 holes that needed drilled out to a massive 5/8s. I burnt a regular bit after 4 holes. 5/8s bits cost a ton. Then I went to Harbor Frieght and got this step up bit for like 5 bucks. It was awesome. Keep spraying some lube on it and it rocked through the metal.

I bought two of those from Oreily Auto parts one just like that one and one bigger. Made super easy work out of drilling my perches on the rearend and that was drilling upside down before I took the rearend out for rebuild. Makes super easy work with those bits.
 

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Looks like a Prothane shackle kit, I have the same one on my car. Nice beefy pieces and shouldn't squeak, just don't tighten them too tight with those nylon lock nuts. I left just a tad of an airgap between the shackle and bushings when I tightened mine otherwise when they dry out you will get some squeaks and moans. Better to leave them a little loose to free up the rear suspension anyways.

Great job!:yes::yes::yes:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Looks like a Prothane shackle kit, I have the same one on my car. Nice beefy pieces and shouldn't squeak, just don't tighten them too tight with those nylon lock nuts. I left just a tad of an airgap between the shackle and bushings when I tightened mine otherwise when they dry out you will get some squeaks and moans. Better to leave them a little loose to free up the rear suspension anyways.

Great job!:yes::yes::yes:
Thanks all!

And I dont know if the shackles are from Prothane. But they did come with the kit. Also good advice on how tight to make those bolts. I may back those lock nuts off a bit. I think I snugged them up pretty good
 
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