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Discussion Starter #1
Back at it with my third nova. I picked this car up pretty cheap and drove it two hours back to my house. Mechanically the car is pretty good but the body is beyond beat.
This will be a project in where i will not pay mind to originality but rather make the car my own.
She has a 350 with a 750 double pumper(Already ordered a quadrajet, way too much carb for this engine) intake, headers and a mild cam backed by a turbo 400
First pictures of when i got her(my little miata in the back!)


And here is why she is so cheap!





Ouch right? She drives straight, good oil pressure and doesnt overheat. I thought i would never own a 73-74 but they're not that bad
 

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Discussion Starter #2
So my goal currently is to give her some basic love(plugs, wires, oil, all fluids etc) clean her up some(the interior is disgusting) and drive her as is till it starts snowing, then ill park her and start tearing into the metal. hopefully she should be solid by spring time.

So far she needs:
-Random trunk patches
-driver side upper and passenger side lower floor pan
-both quarters need to be skinned
-tail light panel
-rocker panels on both side
-small door and fender patches

The car was the former owner's daily for a good 5 years in new york winters so it really got to it. I cant weld very well and my welder is a pos so this will be a great learning experience.

To start off i ordered all my maintenance parts plus a quadrajet from national carb. The 750 on it now is just dumping fuel, bogging out at high rpms and stalling at low rpms sometimes.

Next i decided i sure love being healthy and not catching odd infections so cleaning the interior was next on the list

Before:



Thats mold on the steering wheel and door panels!!

After some intense work with chemical guy products:




All in all i do not see a reason to tear her down now. her frame is rock solid, she runs, sounds great and its still car meet season around here. Just clean her up and enjoy. Will never be a show queen and will always be driven like it's ment to. Might even make it my daily for awhile.
 

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Yep, you win with being the bravest taking that on. WOW.

Since 73 was the first year for a decent amount of body changes compared to the 68-72 models, you probably need to start looking for the hard to find parts now. Years ago hatchback parts were an easier find, but it seems today they are getting harder to come by and I'm glad I bought what I did years ago for my 74 hatchback.

The rockers and taillight metal should be an easy find but a skin will not have the metal going into the whole door jamb area but you may be able to use the bottom half of a 68-72 full quarter and just use the metal below the side molding/belt line.

Also be prepared to replace the outer rear wheel housings as the lip between them and the quarter is a normal rot area.

As far as the hatch floor this is the same as the coupe but only from 73 and up with minor differences. In 73 and up they want to a larger gas tank and this added capacity was from a raised trunk/hatch floor area and a raised fuel neck height.

Also too, the hatchlids have been know to rot out due to pinholes developing in the lower glass channel and then the water gets inside and rots out the underside and towards the inside back edge. I had two hatchlids chemically dipped and then chose the best of the two to use and the other was for donor sections of metal off of it.

Be careful taking the pins out for the hatchlid and remove the retainer clips before driving them out.

The nice thing is a lot of parts from the sister models (73 omega, 73/4ventura, 74 GTO, and 73/74 apollo) can be a source of things like floor metal, interior panels, and so on.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yep, you win with being the bravest taking that on. WOW.

Since 73 was the first year for a decent amount of body changes compared to the 68-72 models, you probably need to start looking for the hard to find parts now. Years ago hatchback parts were an easier find, but it seems today they are getting harder to come by and I'm glad I bought what I did years ago for my 74 hatchback.

The rockers and taillight metal should be an easy find but a skin will not have the metal going into the whole door jamb area but you may be able to use the bottom half of a 68-72 full quarter and just use the metal below the side molding/belt line.

Also be prepared to replace the outer rear wheel housings as the lip between them and the quarter is a normal rot area.

As far as the hatch floor this is the same as the coupe but only from 73 and up with minor differences. In 73 and up they want to a larger gas tank and this added capacity was from a raised trunk/hatch floor area and a raised fuel neck height.

Also too, the hatchlids have been know to rot out due to pinholes developing in the lower glass channel and then the water gets inside and rots out the underside and towards the inside back edge. I had two hatchlids chemically dipped and then chose the best of the two to use and the other was for donor sections of metal off of it.

Be careful taking the pins out for the hatchlid and remove the retainer clips before driving them out.

The nice thing is a lot of parts from the sister models (73 omega, 73/4ventura, 74 GTO, and 73/74 apollo) can be a source of things like floor metal, interior panels, and so on.

Jim
Believe me when i say that i wrote this stuff down! I appreciate the info i truly do.

For the door jambs i've investigated that i could use 72 full panels and just cut below the quarter window. Being honest i was just going to use similar thickness sheet metal and lay floor pans down with sheet metal if i couldnt find any floor pans. They seem to repo those thankfully(along with the tail panel and rocker panels) I was also thinking about taking some sheetmetal and beating it into the shape i want for the odd patches ill need. Again considering how gone most of the body is, i dont care if it's not "correct" as long as it works.
 

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When I was doing a lot of work on my 74, I didn't take a bunch of pictures and the car has been sitting waiting for me to get back on it for too many years but just take your time and fit things before doing things like your final welding.

We all have to learn and I weld a lot better than when I first started doing it and can still do better but it's a learning curve and you need a decent machine and direction. The same holds true with myself doing bodywork. I used to use a lot of "bodyman in a can" stuff but learned it's better to work the metal and work on the fit to minimize the amount of filler's.

Here is an album of the way I modified the hatch hinge to allow the lid to come off easier AND allow for adjustments since this hinges are also welded in:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157644849045917

And some other bodywork on mine as well as some other's I saw:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157651221728907

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157652326305064

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157652326305064/page2

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157649723111507

Years ago I used to make regular trips to the salvage yards and now and then got parts for mine and then also found things on craigslist, ebay, and from other members.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's been 156 days since i owned the car and i have quite a few updates!
Please do note that i'm 21 yrs old and broke. I'd love to tear the car down completely and do it fresh but that's not in the cards right now.
Starting off with what i did to her since i last posted:
Basic maint. New rebuilt quadradjet from national carb(thats too rich for this car)
Nothing crazy. At this point she looked like this



Shortly after the master started failing so i went on to replace that. After getting 3 faulty units i was able to hold pressure and stop as well as drum brakes can stop.

Hanging with a friend for motivation


This is where stuff gets interesting


two hours away but i just had to get it. Borrowed a friend's car and got started on the transformation(All on the street!)

Before the operation


getting there


painted the sides of the fenders to get rid of the white


took a day but done!


That ****in bumper almost blew my back out, it weights so much!!:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Following up, compared to my idol's car she's getting there


Did i mention i do all my work on the street? It's very cold here


Next thing to go was the hood, does not fit my car at all look wise


My good friend just happened to have a 73 4 door parts car he so willingly traded me hoods for :rolleyes:
I will have a bit of problems with the trim but **** nobody else wanted to trade me a stock hood for a $500 cowl hood :bored:

4 door enjoying it's new hood


Next to my friend's 3rd nova(a 68) to get the hood and hinges right


Next up new tires on semi bent corvette rally wheels! I mean it works and rides good. Not correct but it's what im running with



Checked up on the front suspension and it all looks good, bushings arent the best but not needing urgent attention


new brakes all around but there's a problem with the rear driver side that ill explain eventually
More stupid snow
 

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Now time for the current look. Basically did a semi botched satin black paint job on the street to make the car one solid color, installed some trim and swapped some parts around.





Buttoned up with the new trim rings and hood trim


comparison



There's lots of other little details but i cant remember between 156 days of working on it.

Considering i have half a shoe string budget, i think i made out pretty good. The amount of compliments i get now is amazing.


The good news? I'm moving to florida! I will have my own garage and a better job. She will get the love she deserves with due time
 

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1974 hatchback

She's a "BEAUT!" Nice work!
Yeah, you're only 21 and therefore reek of enthusiasm but man, I gotta hand it to ya!
No power tools, vices, work bench, weather shelter/heat and no privacy/security but a heart and a lot of passion. We should all do this at least once. We might appreciate what we have more. My hat is tipped to you, Sir.

Good to hear you're "coming in from the cold!" but keep the passion!
 

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looking better ....... FYI -- u'r front bumper is a 68 - 69 .

By the front park lights ........ go back up to u'r other picture & look at the car parked next to yours -- look at the bigger park lights ... 70-72

same size just different color front lens amber or clear.

The 68-72 fronts are simple & look better ------ good job .

Then, with that last shot -- with the "NOVA" hood emblem on the 'left front corner' ---- that may-be a 73 hood ....... but ......... it all works, keep going.

just Nova info , looks good
 
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