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Hey guys. My name's Ryan and I just bought a '69 Nova SS Clone. The owner didn't do much of the work himself, and didn't have a whole lot to tell me about the car. I've had it for about 2 weeks now and absolutely love it. I looked at the VIN, and found out a little bit about the car. Basically, the VIN tells me it was an L6. I'm still a beginner when it comes to working on cars (I've helped my dad a little bit here and there), but I'd like to know what kind of extras that model came with. I'm assuming that's the V6 model. The only thing to owner has told me is that he has a 350 c.i. bored .030. He also has a 2-Speed Powerglide, with a Hurst Pro-Matic Floor Shifter put in. He tells me it has a Holley 4-Barrel Carburetor, but didn't give me the specifics on it. I don't think the car came with A/C, but, like I said, I'm a newbie at this so I wouldn't even know what to look for (the heat panel with the arms to control the temperature has a "cool" option, if that helps). I haven't gotten under the car to look at the exact exhaust it has, but I know it's aftermarket. Also, there are some headers put on there. Here are some of my questions about the car, and if anyone could help, that would be awesome!

1.) Did the car come with A/C from the factory?

2.) How can I tell the specifics on the carburetor?

3.) I hate the Powerglide transmission. It simply does not give me enough power off the line. What other transmissions can I drop in to fix this problem, and what does that usually cost if I take it to a mechanic to rebuild and drop in?

4.) Assuming I drop in a new transmission, what do Powerglides in good condition usually go for on Craigslist or eBay?

5.) The windows seem to be leaking a bit around the edges. What can I do to fix this (any links to seals I might have to buy would be helpful)? Or would I be better off letting a glass place do the work?

6.) The driver-side door is off a bit, and when you try to close it, it latches, but there is a half-inch gap open between the door and the body. Anyone know how to fix this? This and the window seal problems are actually on the top of my list of things to fix right now, as they allows water to leak in.

7.) How difficult is it to install power locks, and where would I find the necessary parts to do this? What about power windows?

8.) The guy who owned the car before me used Velcro and some weird sticky pad glue-type thing to stick some aftermarket emblems on the dash. Now, I know the dash is metal, but a couple of days ago it got so hot outside that the Velcro glue melted. What is the best way to mount these emblems without having to worry about whether the heat will melt them off?

9.) I am about to tune the car up (I have no idea when this was done last). I want to buy an ignition system for it, and I was looking at the MSD 6AL system, but I have heard a lot of bad reviews. Is there a certain system anyone here prefers? I heard Summit's system has been getting good reviews. Also I hear good things about Mallory and Crane. Also, should I go ahead and replace everything ignition-wise? I'm talking about the distributor, cap, rotor, plug wires, plugs and adding the new ignition system? Any insight on this would be extremely helpful.

I guess that about sums up my questions on my car for now. Like I said, I'm new to all this, so don't be too hard on me. Keep in mind, I'm going to try to make this car my daily-driver, so when you suggest things to modify, I would rather it make my car run smoother and more efficient than suck down more gas. I will very rarely be racing this car, but I would like it to have a good amount of power if the time ever calls for it :) I would rather do the work myself... that's the fun of having an old car, after all! I will try to post a couple pictures here so you guys can get a better idea of what I'm talking about. Thanks for any and all opinions and help!








 

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1968 Chevy II Nova, Central Arkansas
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Welcome to the nova world. Looks like you got the making of a really nice car. I can't answer all of your questions. The L6 that originally came in it was a inline 6 not a V-6. For the transmission you should be able to straight bolt up a turbo 350 or turbo 400 in place of your power glide. Lots of guys just like to build up the powerglide. Dirt track racers love the old powerglides you should not have any problem getting rid of it if you wish. Since there has been an engine swap you will definetly have custom exhaust but you do not have headers. Those look like regular exhaust manifolds. I really could not tell from the pictures does it have a vynal top? It either had a vynal top or at one time was two tone.
 

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Thats a great looking car you've got! The turbo 350 will swap in using the same crossmember as the powerglide. It really shouldn't be too much trouble. Having a floor shifter already will make it easier too. You may have to do some mods to the shifter but nothing to big of a deal.
 

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I'll save you around $550-600 by telling you not to get an ignition box. Just buy a $65 HEI unit on ebay and be all set.:yes: If you want the powerglide to have more pep, install a higher-stall torque convertor. Nothing beats flying past someone @ 70mph in first gear:D
 

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Welcome. To answer number 6, the pin on the door jamb that the door latches onto is adjustable. Just loosen it up and move it inwards until the door closes flush. I think you might be able to adjust the latch mechanism in the door as well but not sure about that.

as for the leaking window if you want to try and fix it yourself, try to clean up the edges of the glass by removing any old silicone sealant. Then reseal the entire edge of the glass with silicone. If that doesn't fix the leak then I suggest you take it to a shop so that they can remove and reseal the glass. I would not recommend doing it yourself if you have never done it before. It's very easy to break the glass if you don't seat it properly.
 

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Nice car. If you using it as a daily I would put an overdrive trans in it, or if I was you a 6 speed manual. It does not have AC there is no cmopressor/box ect for it, if it had it in the past I dont know
 

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69's are my specialty!

1) No it's not an AC car
2) Post a pic and any numbers on it
3) 350th, or 2004r the 200 leaves more gearing options too
4) I would say $200 up, JMO though
5) Check soft seal or Classic Industries for these parts
6) You need to figure out what is out of adjustment, it could be the striker needs to be moved inward to pull the door closed tighter
7)Not sure on this
8) 3M 77 spray glue
9) I run a stock style HEI with an upgraded coil on my BB 396. Cheap and reliable:yes: I highly recommend them.

Welcome to the site I hope this helps you out. If you go with an HEI distributor you'll need to give it 12volts direct and disconnect the original power supply to the coil, it's pretty easy to do, I can walk you through the steps if you go this route.:yes:
 

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^^^ All good advice.

As far as power locks and windows go - what are ya, some sort of sissy? :devil: :turn: :stir: LOL! Now that you have been properly razzed...

Power accessories can be purchased through Classic Industries or similar classic car restoration catalogs. Keep in mind that they are UNIVERSAL kits and will require lots of fiddling around and are not a direct fit. You will need to cut holes for switches and cover the old window crank holes somehow. Not worth the $$ or the effort IMO.

And transmission wise, the 200-4R is an excellent choice - but be sure you get one from a reputable source that has built it to handle V-8 power.
 

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I agree with the above fixes. MSD is good - but can give you fits with the wrong timing light. (ask me how I know this) Just do a factory HEI setup for now. It looks like you have some pretty decent wires on there now - so more closer pics of that stuff and the carb with the air cleaner off would be helpful... X2 on the window sealer idea and the silicone. The drivers door window probably leaks like crazy cuz it isn't shut all the way. Either adjust the striker pin in or the latch in the door until it closes right. You do not have headers - those are factory manifolds. Headers are not hard to put on, and I can pm you the name of a local shop that's good with exhaust on performance cars - and is reasonable.
I would suggest the 200 4 R tranny if you are he!! bent on changing it. You could probably get rid of the powerglide on stlracing.com
Where in the STL area are you? There are several site members from STL, including me....:yes::D:D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm in South County. And for all the people who said it didn't have headers, that was my bad. That picture of the engine was taken before the previous owneer put headers on it. I didn't even realize how old that picture was.

What is the difference between a factory HEI setup as opposed to an ignition box? Why do people suggest the factory HEI? Am I wasting my time buying an ignition box?

As far as all the transmissions being suggested, which would be the best to put in? I'm keeping it an automatic, and as far as I knew, the only direct replacements were the TH 350 and TH400. I am just looking for more power off the line. Someone suggested putting a higher-stall torque converter on and just beefing up my Powerglide. What are everyone's opinions on this? Should I beef it up or replace it? I was reading a Hot Rod article saying a TH350 was an easy, semi-affordable way to go. I have seen a bunch of them on Craigslist also.

For the person who said it looks to have had a vinyl top at one point, yes, you are correct. He cut it off (which is fine, I'm not a fan of vinyl). I hope to get the chrome where the vinyl ended taken off and filled in to look like a normal hardtop over the Winter.

But yeah, as far as the ignition and transmission questions go... what do you all suggest?
 

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The PG's are better for a lighter application in race trim and not the best out of the hole in a street application, so a 350 and possible a rear gear change will help. You probably have a real tall rear gear if it a PG. The HEI is pretty straight forward and parts are readily available, an ignition box is about $300 and unless your turn upwards of 6000 rpm I wouldn't recommend spending your money on one. You will still need a good distributor with a box anyway, so start with the distributor and then go from there, IMO.:yes:
 

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1968 Chevy II Nova, Central Arkansas
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[QUOTEFor the person who said it looks to have had a vinyl top at one point, yes, you are correct. He cut it off (which is fine, I'm not a fan of vinyl). I hope to get the chrome where the vinyl ended taken off and filled in to look like a normal hardtop over the Winter.
][/QUOTE]

Remember anything you take off do it with care. One man's junk is another man's treasure. There is always someone looking for any orginal parts. The best deal is to trade them for something you were looking for.
 
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