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Discussion Starter #1
FROM LStTech forum. Just wanted to post here too:

Hello, I am Clint, and I wanted to share some of my build progress with you. I have seen a few of these that have really inspired me to start my own log (crusin73 and the bandit [same first name]). I saw a bunch of people give them suggestions and such so hopefully people can do the same with me.

I have a 1974 Nova Sedan that I love. I call it the four door dinosaur. I am thinking of calling it Frank for short (four door dinosaur = fdr = Franklin Delano Roosevelt). Anyway, I got this car when I was 15, and I blew up the 250 when I was 17. My brother in law, for my 18th birthday, put a 307 (full headers), rims, and beat in it for me and surprised me with it. Well, now I am 28 and ready for my LSx swap. I am doing a pretty much full restoration. I cannot remember who said it, but I saw this on the forms "this was my first car and it will be my last", but big facts. My wife is super supportive and tells me I can spend whatever I want to make it right. She loves me. I know the car will never be worth it, but I still love it. It is a hobby, not an investment.


So my progress so far,
I have pulled the front clip off
pulled the interior (working on the headliner and tar matts)
bought a 2010 Chevy Express Van with 222k on it (l96 and 6l90e) for 2500 shipped. I was able to drive it and hear it, good oil pressure. I am having a local shop rebuild and cam it for me.
I do have some rot
in the rear that I am pretty sure was caused by junk getting in between the quarters and the trunk (I pulled out mega blocks, newspapers, forks, radiator hoses, and brake lines from there that I know were before me because I play with legos not mega blocks).
dime sized spots near under the front windsheiled on either size. Looks like the previous owner "fixed" these because there is no rust near these holes, just the holes.
and on either side of the rear window. Again, no rust, just holes that look like they were caused by rust.
then I just have a bunch of surface rust.
Plans:
While, my wife did give me all the money, I still want to keep it some what budget. I do not want to go above 40k. There is a lot of stuff I still need to figure out:
Brakes: I have disks on the front, do I want them on the rear too. Do I want a smaller booster, what master cylinder will work.
Steering: it is pretty bad, but I am not sure what is wrong yet, so once I pull the motor I can see
Suspension: It creaks when you get into it (I am a small guy 5'7 120LBs). So I am going to get Hotkins full package and A-arms.
Seats/Interior- The thing with a 4 door is not being able to find certain parts, interior is one of those parts. So I am hoping I can use paint to paint my green interior black. I think I found some seats, but I need to get my rear to match.
Electronics: I am a software engineer so naturally I am going to put a computer in it (raspberry pi) and I am going to use that for auto start, fingerprint recognition, tracking, and gauges. I am also making the wiring harness for the car (not the engine, that is coming from the van)
Color: It is dark green now, but it was light green. I am thinking a baby blue, white, or flat black. Idk yet.

Well that is all for now. I am hopefully going to get the 307/th350 pulled this weekend. Then as the engine is being rebuilt I want to get the steering, brakes, fuel, and transmission installed. Then I want to get the wiring figured out.

Oh also, I am a full time cyclist. I ride my bike everywhere. This car will be for funzies and road trips.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I have laid down a coat of Eastwood's Rust Encapuslator Platinum on the floors. I have tasked my wife with doing the rest of the inside with it. I am going to be working on the electrical. The stripping process and painting process took a lot longer than I thought. Soon I will be starting on the fun stuff.


I need to figure out what steering box to get and find a new booster for the brakes. I have seen people recommend a early 90s jeep for the swap. Any recommendations?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks :) The people at LS1tech told me about this forum.

I do have a few questions if someone wants to take a stab at them:
1) I am looking at the hotchkis tvs system. It says it lowers the front by 2" and rear by 1.5" from stock. Being that my suspension is saggy I have no idea what stock is and I am worried my 18" rims won't fit or that I will be too low. Does anyone know where I can find what stock was? OR does anyone have any information about this drop and if things will work?

2) Does anyone have any information on if the stock accessory set will fit in the subframe? I am thinking it all will minus the AC.

3) Any recommendations for a quick ratio steering box?
 

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My experience with drop suspensions on Novas has been that if you have saggy factory leaf and coil springs, the 1-2" "drop" aftermarket suspension will be at about the same height, or slightly higher. "Factory" springs usually sit sky high and will need lowering blocks or a chop to get them to fit right.

I wouldn't be afraid of the TVA kit, but I don't have personal experience with it either.

Kev
 

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Thanks :) The people at LS1tech told me about this forum.

I do have a few questions if someone wants to take a stab at them:
1) I am looking at the hotchkis tvs system. It says it lowers the front by 2" and rear by 1.5" from stock. Being that my suspension is saggy I have no idea what stock is and I am worried my 18" rims won't fit or that I will be too low. Does anyone know where I can find what stock was? OR does anyone have any information about this drop and if things will work?

2) Does anyone have any information on if the stock accessory set will fit in the subframe? I am thinking it all will minus the AC.

3) Any recommendations for a quick ratio steering box?
Love your energy and enthusiasm.. Welcome to the site..

The thing about doing a four door is that most modern cars and SUVs are four doors as well. Finding really nice bucket seats should be a breeze. There are so many vehicles to choose from you can be as selective as you like.. Then it will just be a matter of adapting the tracks to mount up to your floor. Honda Accords, Toyota Camerys, and BMWs all have many seating options to look at as well as other makes and models.

Your suspension may have already sagged a good bit having been originally a 6 cylinder car that had a V8 swap. The spring rates are probably different when delivered with 6 cylinders, sbc, and big block V8 engines. Spring rates can vary on optional equipment selections made when the vehicles are ordered from the factory.. Handling packages, air conditioning, towing packages can all affect how a car leaves the factory.. I wouldn’t worry too much adout the ride height until you get the car fully assembled with all the interior, body panels, drivetrain, etc.. ldeally I like to take ride height measurements prior to making any suspension modifications or changes.. Pictures are also helpful but offer less technical information.. I suspect the ride height change won’t be too dramatic when it is all said and done..

Additionally, once the car is together you will need to put some miles on it to settle the new springs. Typically 1000-2000 miles should be adequate to get them to their normal ride height..

Quick ratio steering boxes are out there but not super common. I don’t know what steering box you have to start with but GM/Chevrolet use a lot of the same parts on multiple vehicles and finding a quick ratio box version of that box will be the easiest way to go.. Alternatively, may be you can get your box rebuilt with a quick ratio gears set or do a core exchange at a rebuilder for a quick ratio box.. I know of a couple of places in SoCal that deal in steering gear, hardware, and rebuilding steering components. I can give you those contacts if you need..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I also have a 2010 honda civic, and when I get the interior put together I want to see if the seats can be persuaded to fit in the nova. I really like them. They seem pretty easy to come by.

My only worry was the car sitting too low, but it sounds like it should not be too much different to how it sits now. Hell it might be higher. lol.

I guess by quick ratio I meant the 12.7:1 I keep reading about. People are swearing they changed the game when the put them in. My current steering needs an overhaul so I figured since I am there I might as well swap the box out too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Update

The interior is mostly done with rust pervention. I cleaned the floors down to bare metal and applied some rust encapulator platinum...when I shook the can it blew the lid off (I am guessing because if it sitting in my hot garage). I still need to do under the dash, in the b pillar, the roof, and all the nooks and crannys. My wife said she would finish all that up this weekend (she was a lot better at it that I was).

I have the engine ready to get yanked out of there. I will be doing that this weekend as well. Then I can clean it up and start getting parts.

I have changed the name AGAIN...it is now Jane. I think I am going to keep it green. I have been thinking something like a British racing green or Toyota Spruce Green (It is a 2010 toyota color like a green/gold). I went to a shop here to talk about possibility of painting it and dude said they start at 30,000 for paint jobs. I am going to try a few more places lol.

I will hopefully have some more interesting stuff to post next week. I am planning for a busy weekend.
 

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Thanks /forums/images/smilies/smile.gif The people at LS1tech told me about this forum.

I do have a few questions if someone wants to take a stab at them:
1) I am looking at the hotchkis tvs system. It says it lowers the front by 2" and rear by 1.5" from stock. Being that my suspension is saggy I have no idea what stock is and I am worried my 18" rims won't fit or that I will be too low. Does anyone know where I can find what stock was? OR does anyone have any information about this drop and if things will work?

2) Does anyone have any information on if the stock accessory set will fit in the subframe? I am thinking it all will minus the AC.

3) Any recommendations for a quick ratio steering box?
I jave pretty much the whole tvs Hotchkis package minus the control arms. I couldnt be happier with it. The ride height is low in the nack my 17's with 255 meats will rub on a hard bump with an adult or two in the back seat. The rubbing is on the outer fender well ip high where it starys to curve in. The difference in handling is incredible over stock suspension and surprising for that age of car.

For quick ratio box a lot of people have installed the monte carlo ss box...its in my plans someday when life stops attacking me lol
 

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There is a company that rebuilds stock steering boxes and can replace the gear ratio for you. Sorry, but I don't remember where I read about it. Do enough searching on the Internet and you should find it. I seem to remember the cost being very reasonable given that they do a total rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I jave pretty much the whole tvs Hotchkis package minus the control arms. I couldnt be happier with it. The ride height is low in the nack my 17's with 255 meats will rub on a hard bump with an adult or two in the back seat. The rubbing is on the outer fender well ip high where it starys to curve in. The difference in handling is incredible over stock suspension and surprising for that age of car.

For quick ratio box a lot of people have installed the monte carlo ss box...its in my plans someday when life stops attacking me lol


nice thanks. I will look into the monte one.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Busy weekend, but productive.
I was able to get the engine and trans out. Holy crap pulling it out of this car is 10000x easier than pulling the ls from that van. The hardest part was getting a wheel stuck on the crack between my garage and the driveway. My wife came in and put some cardboard under it and we got it out. Took like 45 min and most of it was moving it through the garage to its final place until I sell it.

I was able to get the rest of the exhaust off, pull the fuel lines up to the fuel tank (I am still a bit scared to pull that with fuel inside so I am waiting until my gas can gets in), remove the brake booster, and the gas pedal.

My wife took care of painting the inside of the car with the rust encapulator platinum.

This week I am hoping to start to treat some of the rust I cannot reach with the wire brush. I am going to use some ospho and rustoleum paint for those places. I also ordered a power washer and small air compressor so I can degrease the sub-frame and under the car. There is not a lot left before I can start putting it back together.

I am hoping to get it 100% stripped and all the rust treated (minus the places I need to replace) by the 19th of July so I can get the electrical figured out. Then after that I can start putting the new shiny stuff in.
 

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The tare down is always fun and rewarding as it happens pretty quickly.. Cleaning, repairing, refinishing, prepping, fitting new parts, making modifications and painting all take way longer to get to the gratification stage..

Just keep at it and you’ll get there..:yes:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
true. I just have a bit more to take off before it is all stripped. I am just looking forward to ordering the parts.


I have some questions if anyone wants to take a stab at them:

1) headers/exhaust. I was going to run a 1 78" headers for my swap. I was wanting to connect a decent cat in there too (for cleaner air and to have the rear o2 sensor reading). Does anyone know a decent cat they can recommend? Does 1 7/8" seem like a good size for general street driving? My current exhaust that I want to hook it up to 2 3/8" flowmaster 40s. Should I be considering something else when it comes to this decision? My cam?

2) Brakes. Is stainless steel the best material to run for brake lines?

Also, if anyone has a 4 door 74 or 73 there is a model for us. It is from a 007 movie (live and let die) and it is a cop car. I ordered mine and will be modifying it to match Jane. https://www.hobbylink.com.au/1-43-chevrolet-nova-james-bond-live-and-let-die
 

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true. I just have a bit more to take off before it is all stripped. I am just looking forward to ordering the parts.


I have some questions if anyone wants to take a stab at them:

1) headers/exhaust. I was going to run a 1 78" headers for my swap. I was wanting to connect a decent cat in there too (for cleaner air and to have the rear o2 sensor reading). Does anyone know a decent cat they can recommend? Does 1 7/8" seem like a good size for general street driving? My current exhaust that I want to hook it up to 2 3/8" flowmaster 40s. Should I be considering something else when it comes to this decision? My cam?

2) Brakes. Is stainless steel the best material to run for brake lines?

Also, if anyone has a 4 door 74 or 73 there is a model for us. It is from a 007 movie (live and let die) and it is a cop car. I ordered mine and will be modifying it to match Jane. https://www.hobbylink.com.au/1-43-chevrolet-nova-james-bond-live-and-let-die
On the brake lines you may find that stainless steel is your only option unless you want to create them yourself. SS lines aren't that expensive and won't have to be replaced again, so why not.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
On the brake lines you may find that stainless steel is your only option unless you want to create them yourself. SS lines aren't that expensive and won't have to be replaced again, so why not.
I just wasn't sure if there was something better. I am super new with messing with brakes. Should I buy the spools of SS cable or get a premade one. Idk what premade one to get. There are so many options.



here is the 4 door nova model https://photos.app.goo.gl/5vykhKLPtVqCmbsi9 it came yesterday.
 

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I just wasn't sure if there was something better. I am super new with messing with brakes. Should I buy the spools of SS cable or get a premade one. Idk what premade one to get. There are so many options.
/QUOTE]

I posted a reply to this in the thread you started just for the brakes. I don't have all the answers but if Right Stuff has a kit for your car, you should be happy with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Update time

I contacted Pirate Jack and got a quote. 1315 for everything I need. Rear conversion, drilled and slotted rotors, lines, master, booster, and a valve. I am going to call Right Stuff again today and see if I can get a quote from them too. Does not hurt to shop around.

Yesterday I got the gas tank off. I did not realize I had 12 gallons in there. That was a PITA to empty by myself. (I am small, and not very strong.) I bought a siphon and had to lift the tank on my counter...that was not fun. I turned off my gas water heater just to be extra safe. I spilled some so my garage is airing out now. My roommate came in my room freaking out because it smelled like gas in the kitchen. oops.

I also managed to get one of the engine mounts off. I cannot figure out how to get the other one off. I got 1 bolt off, but one I cannot get my wrench around the nut, and the other the control arm is in the way. I was reading online that you can lift the car to move it a bit so I might try that. I know normally you should not lift in the middle of the sub frame, but since there is not much there I assume it will be okay.

I also got the brake booster/Mc/PP off. I had to cut two of the lines because I did not have the right size flare wrench and was too lazy to go back to Orielly to get the right one. So snip snip.

My power washer comes today, and my oven cleaner comes tomorrow. So I will be cleaning the engine bay on Friday night. The hopefully Sunday I can tackle the rest of the inside rust and get it treated. Then I want to try to get the undercoating off.

As for paining. I thought I found someone to do it, but when I called yesterday they apparently don't do anything but collision anymore...changed within a week. So I am thinking of stripping the paint off, fixing the rust holes with new metal, getting it as straight as I can, then priming it. I then will take it up to MAACO and have them color it. 5 year warranty. I am sure in 5 years I would like a new color.

I am now hoping to have everything done (excluding paint and body) by the first week of September. There is a car show. This is not a hard deadline, but I think it is a good goal.
 
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