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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All from the roasty toasty state (currently) of Arizona. Just signed up here, So I am to this site, but would like to share the resurrection of my newly acquired 70 Nova PROJECT. As everyone knows finding the old muscle cars are getting harder to find almost everyday. Fortunately I wandered into this GEM on craigslist down here in Mesa AZ. Now mind you, this was about the only GOOD DEAL to be found this late in the game, but none the less, it is now mine in all of its glory. LOL
Currently the Nova is waiting in cue for room in the back yard to become available, which within the next month I should have the 66 Chevy C10 shortbed done for an old friend and the 69 Trans Am tribute car to be finalized for my Step Son. Then it will be my daughters 67 Camaro time for a complete build, (I really mean a COMPLETE Build), every panel has/is being replaced along with some inner structure to get rid of the Salt water corrosion. The 70 will get shuffled into the deck along with the Camaro build. The good thing about the Nova is I have all of the parts for the build, which were given to me when I purchased it from the previous owner.
The Nova is getting a 383 stroker engine with the usual items that will accompany it when everything is stuffed between the frame rails, along with a 200-4R for the driving portion of the drivetrain, Still looking for a ford 9 inch to slip into the rear area, but that is still a deal I am trying to work out with my neighbor whom has his own shop over in tempe. A good person to know, especially when he lets me use his paint booth to paint my 70 Camaro.
Some of the things I am going to do to the Nova are:
Custom instrument cluster
383 stroker motor
4 speed automatic (this is going to be my daily driver as much as I can with the gas prices as they are.
Buckets from a Mercedes/Black interior (Carpet/headliner and recovered and modified dash pad)(All new)
Still thinking I may just stick with the stock rally wheels, this is all contingent with the tires fitting inside the wheel wells in the rear, otherwise may end up going with a wheel with a 4 1/2" to 5" offset.
Painless wiring harness (Received with the car)
New quarter panel frame rail and rear support and tail panel structure along with some very clean tail light assemblies.
Digi-Tail LED tail lights
Frost white paint with Satin black rally Stripes
Rear Spoiler fashioned to look like the Camaro rear spoiler.
Let me know your thoughts
here are just a few of the pic's I have of the Nova so far, its still setting over and my Step Sons house under a tarp. 馃様 I'm sure there are a lot of things I am forgetting to post, but I will ad more things as time goes by.
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Welcome, Richard59, sounds like a pretty aggressive build. Keep us posted.
Thanks... This one wiI have lt be a walk in the park considering my last 70 Camaro build and the coming up 67 Camaro build I will be doing for my Daughter.
The Nova should <--- (SHOULD) be an easy build, I already have 90% of the parts, just have to get the quarter panel put on the correct way and throw the parts at it. Right now in Arizona it is Monsoon season, which means we are above 20% to 35% humidity and the heat is right around 105/106 degrees during the waking hours. So there is limited time to work outside under the awning until your brain starts to bake. So I have roughly 3 to 4 hours of productive time, then i go into hiding (Air Conditioning). That's how we survive the heat of the summer in good old southern Arizona, by going from A/C to A/C, I don't own a boat so I can't go out to the lake. LOL
These are some pic's of the 67 Camaro, this puppy is Rough. But I have almost all of the bad metal cut out and replaced already, the floor will be next. I'll work between the Nova and the camaro when I finally get rolling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update for the 70 Nova, in the last post I said this was going to be a walk in the park. All i have to say is "SHUT MY MOUTH", I should not have said that. After finally getting the Nova home from its temporary home, gave it a bath and stripped the from end sheet metal off to expose the old subframe. Lots of good parts for the 67 Camaro, but the new subframe from the 67 Convertible is ready to go under the Nova. In case I haven't made this clear, the new (different) front subframe came from a donor car that the owner went with a new Roadster shop full frame setup and tossed the Engine (LS) 5 speed Tremec, full hotchkis front subframe with Wilwood front disc and CPP variable pitch steering box, plus a ford 9 inch Quick performance rear equipped with a 4 link setup and Wildwood disc brake setup.
So the easy portion was done by swapping out the front subframe. That was the easy part..
Stuffed everything in the back for the next day and the biggest surprise was the whole rear section that someone (Not ME) butchered into the back end of the car.
We will just call him Curtis, Curtis as I found out doesn't have a clue on how body panels or a welder works!!! OMG, I have to totally dis-assemble the rear trunk floor pan driver side frame rail and re-do everything, UGH !!!!
here is where I am at right now, more to get dis-assembled tomorrow, weather permitting.
There is a solid 8 hours of removing the frame rail/straightening and removing the bird **** half inch tall welds that were barely hanging on to the trunk pan, I couldn't figure out why the trunk pan was almost 2 inches higher on the driver side compared to the passenger side. Surprise surprise... LOL there were a total of (Really) 12 welds that were actually attached to the trunk pan. Needles to say there are many more days ahead before the new drivers side quarter panel can be attached. Have to get the body straight before the new panels will fit.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Another day another massive finding of chicanery on the 70, holy crap batman, the guy who tried to assemble the back half of the car should NOT have been allowed to use a welder, let alone put these panels on the car and call it repaired. HOLY ****!! I just have a couple of pics of the welds that I haven't ground down yet.
Everything that this guy put together on the back half of the car was crap. The whole back half needed to come back apart get cleaned up and rejigged to put the frame rails in the proper spot and actually sandwich the metal together so the welds will bond everything together. trying to save the trunk pan and frame rails cause these things are getting expensive. None the less, the majority of the clean up is done, so now it's time to get the tape measure out and set the rails in place. One good thing that I didn't mention is that there is at least one good side to the rear of the car, so I can base my ride height off of that side.
One more thing that will need to be fabricated will be the rear portion of the floor pan, holy ****, this guy got loose with a plasma cutter and just went to town. Damn good thing I have some metal fabrication skills, otherwise I would be screwed!!
Here are some pics
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In my day, yes I am 63
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Yes, in my day,(Damn that sounds old) Yes, I'm 63, there was a saying, The bigger the blob the better the job, well this douche bag definitely has me beat. I haven't seen this shitty kind of work since I was 15 and that was some really BAD work back then!!! LOL
Well enough for the day, I can see thousands of people are reading my blog here, so I will stop and let people read.. HA HA HA too funny..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just got done cutting the back half of the Nova off to fix the F__ Ups from the previous idiot, holy smokes is all I am going to say, the deeper I dug the more crap I found of things haphazardly throw together to get the car out the door.
I was figuring go back under remeasure make some corrections to the initial welding that Bozo the Clown welded in, BUT, I ended up carefully cutting the trunk out and finding that the seam ed area where the Main floor and the trunk floor mate was pretty much non-existent. An emphasis on NON-existent. the area was so hacked up I doubt there was anything that was really connected, to the point I had to fabricate the main floor lip that wasn't there anymore, Thank goodness for bead rollers,
Cut 2 pieces of flat stock 18 gauge mild steel and bead rolled the lower portion of the flat stock about 3/8" above the bottom, which just happened to match up with the existing partial rolled metal on the original floor.(Yes there was more metal left than I thought, BUT NOT MUCH).
Laid the flat stock down and plug welded it into place where the remnants of the main floor lip was and I have to say, it fit rather well. As the trunk floor went into position the joint went together so well I had to get a strap and ratchet it into position. Tomorrow that gets welded into place and seam sealed. Very little if any air gaps between the 2 sections.
The wheel tubs get welded into place tomorrow also, then it is time to put the leaf springs back in and drop in the Ford 9 inch from Quick Performance. I was going to use the original brackets that came with the 9 inch, but decided to go back stock with the leaf springs, I really didn't feel like making brackets and jigging up the rear end just so I can say I have a 4 link installed. (I was going to fab up all of the brackets, but kind of lost interest in that, I want to get back to the 67 project for my daughter. LOL, doing 2 projects at the same time is kind of hectic, but since I don't really have a dead line, its actually nice, simply because it breaks up the monotony of working on one car all the time.
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1969 Nova . . 2dr . . Chino Valley,Az USA
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Richard59 - - looking better .

did you see this - coming up :



jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Richard59 - - looking better .

did you see this - coming up :



jim
"NO, NO I did not..I'll go look at the flyer.
I will have to put this on my calendar..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got everything welded up, no grinding done yet, that's tomorrow..
But I did get the rear leaf springs on the car and the differential in and bolted down. Going to put the older end in the car, sized up the Quick Performance diff and found out it is too narrow, I would have to stuff some min tubs in it and then do the 4 link setup.. Soooo, that ain't gonna happen on this car. still doing the frame connectors though.
I'll post some pics tomorrow with the wheels on the ground.. Lots of hurdles to jump over today, but got-r-dun !!!
 

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Got everything welded up, no grinding done yet, that's tomorrow..
But I did get the rear leaf springs on the car and the differential in and bolted down. Going to put the older end in the car, sized up the Quick Performance diff and found out it is too narrow, I would have to stuff some min tubs in it and then do the 4 link setup.. Soooo, that ain't gonna happen on this car. still doing the frame connectors though.
I'll post some pics tomorrow with the wheels on the ground.. Lots of hurdles to jump over today, but got-r-dun !!!
Looks like Lf rear qt panel being used to feed some sharp teeth'd metal eating goats. Don't let em work around the other side. Cut em off @ the pAss end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well another day another chunk out of the 70,
Got the Nova down on the ground and everything measures out nicely. From the level ground to the bottom of the rear frame it measures 24 inches on the drivers side rear and 24 3/16" on the passenger side. Remember this car was hit in the ass end on the driver side, but I think the saving grace to the hit was that it must have been a small compact car that didn't have too much weight behind it, thus only slightly tweaking the left side lower area of the quarter panel, just enough to crunch the quarter, dent the gas tank screw up the floor and bend the frame rail. Now to what extent I don't know what the damage really looked like, because I bought the car after Schmeadly had taken the plasma cutter to the quarter panel and floor.
here is some pics of the Nova on the ground with some junk in the trunk. The rear sits exactly where i want it to, YES, I installed springs with a 3 inch drop on them, also going to move the shocks to the rear of the axle with a support bar in the middle for the shocks. You can purchase the kit, but I can do the same thing for about half the price.
anywho, here are some pics of the progress so far.
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Most of the quarter panel is cut off, just need to grind the spot welds off, clean everything off and start the fitment of the new quarter panel. I may note that I have been looking at the cars primary structure to see if there is any hidden damage and so far, everything looks "GOOD". wheel, there is always that chance that there is more damage to a car, but you never know it until you start to peel back the layers.
Oh caveat, I may expand the wheel wells just a smidge, I'll fill everyone in after tomorrow. The Quick performance rear end is too narrow, dam, 49 inches from backing plate to backing plate and the rear that is in the Nova now is 56 inches, I'm not going to cut the inner tubs out and install mini tubs after all I have been through with this car, that diff will go into the 68 Camaro, I'll stick the 4 link into in and do the mini tubs to that.
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Subframe from the 67 Convertible is in, Aligned and ready to install the components, but only after I fix the windshield lower area that is rotted. No pics on this, maybe sometime next week after I have the back end together.
Notice way in the back of the shop...That the 67 RS in build for my daughter.
 

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All I can say is it鈥檚 apparent you are well versed in the body and frame repair work, not intimidated by it, and don鈥檛 talk about something for weeks, you get it done. Very impressive work. Trying to fix others work is the biggest complaint I think I see most often. I am not a body guy or welder, so I find people with your learned skill set very interesting to watch. Keep posting progress as I鈥檓 sure you鈥檙e helping many other members on here that are learning from you. This is what this site is about, sharing knowledge. Good job brother!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
All I can say is it鈥檚 apparent you are well versed in the body and frame repair work, not intimidated by it, and don鈥檛 talk about something for weeks, you get it done. Very impressive work. Trying to fix others work is the biggest complaint I think I see most often. I am not a body guy or welder, so I find people with your learned skill set very interesting to watch. Keep posting progress as I鈥檓 sure you鈥檙e helping many other members on here that are learning from you. This is what this site is about, sharing knowledge. Good job brother!
I'm the better part of 63 and I have been doing some kind of mechanical all my life, at least from the age of 14. I love every facet of the older muscle cars, so I have learned through good mentors and not so good teachers (Of what NOT to do) I've picked up a lot of expertise and enjoy taking my time and doing it right. Knowing my limitations that are related to certain things keep me in check, but mostly its the things that require the specialty tools that stop me. Body work is the most painstaking thing to do on a car, but in the end almost the most rewarding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As it goes, I got bored sitting around the house, so I went a tore the windshield out of the Nova, to my Surprise (Not Really), the lower portion of the windshield area is rotted away. OMG nooooo.
Well more S*&^ to fix, but what the heck, its a Project right. I think I am going to fix it myself since just the top pan of the dash is a $100 after shipping and handling and I would have to graft the lower section of the dash to the upper section, so more metal work. The fix is actually pretty easy, just a straight piece of 20 gauge flat stock, cut it with the plasma cutter and graft it into position.. ( I'm lying you know, there is actually a bit more to it). this will be the front of the car work, after the Drivers quarter gets on next week and everything in the back of the car is completed.
Oh, yeah, I have to replace the outer portion of the Tulip panel , weird **** I found as far as body damage when I took the fender off. It looks like a forklift smacked the tulip panel, just enough to push the panel in an crinkle it to the point I couldn't hammer it out. (I could, but I would have to hammer the dog **** out of it and the panel would be so stretched that it would take hours to get it fairly close to cosmetically looking good. But there is this thing that I would have to cut the damn thing off anyway, Soooooooooooo, it gets replaced, LOL, another $100. Damn and this isn't even a Harley Davidson!! Remember the joke, What does HD stand for ?? Hundred Dollars !!! LOL
I guess talking to other Chevy people they have the same problem, so its not just limited to Nova's... I can attest to that, the 67 Camaro I am rebuilding for the daughter, the whole Cowl assembly was rotten all the way threw into the interior. <-- Yes the whole friggin front section from the firewall back got replaced. It also seems the lower area around the driver side seems to always get the most water damage, must be the way the vehicle sets. The damage in the pic's actually look worse than it really is, I say this, because the rot is specific to one layer only and that is just the upper dash panel. {Everyone in the congregation stood up and said HALLELUJAH.} Anyway, enough talking, here are some pic's of the rot,
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Hey Richard59 - good work going on there. I also see that you have a " 113270W " car. My 69 is also a 113279W car . . . and, that brings up another question from me - ?

You're right there - - too check out your 3rd gen 'Hidden VIN numbers' - sure can't hurt :


Nice work ; "git-r-done" .


jim
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey Richard59 - good work going on there. I also see that you have a " 113270W " car. My 69 is also a 113279W car . . . and, that brings up another question from me - ?

You're right there - - too check out your 3rd gen 'Hidden VIN numbers' - sure can't hurt :


Nice work ; "git-r-done" .


jim
About those Hidden VIN numbers, tracked them down and surprisingly they all match, Couldn't find the one on the subframe though, I think this poor car has had a really hard life, lots of small accidents, except for the drivers quarter panel debacle, The first pic is from the cowl panel, notice the cowl was smacked hard enough to fold the cowl in, which is 18 gauge metal. The second pic is of course the number under the heater box.
Very cool, I have all of the basic body components and this hasn't been hit hard enough to turn it into scrap.. LOL
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Spent a good six and a half hours drilling spot welds and cleaning up the area for the new quarter panel. Ran into something a bit different on the 70 when removing the remnants of the upper portion of the quarter panel, the lip for the quarter panel is wedged under the roof skin as normal, BUT, it was also welded to the primary structure on the inner portion of the support structure, I have never seen that before, as on the first and second Gen Camaro's its slid under the roof skin and the 2 skins are welded to the structure, but there is a lot more room to get all this done, the Nova skin will have to be welded from the interior and then from the outside. Had a hell of a time getting all of the quarter panel remnants out from between the skin and the structure, but persistence and a 4 inch high speed wheel really helps. Also noted that the front door jamb support is not a full support. It rely's on the rear area sheet metal and the upper pillar for support and doesn't tie into the rocker panel like the first and second gen camaro's do. Just a bit weird if you ask me.
And a question to all of you out there, How in the blue Blazes does the new quarter panel go on, the camaro's you just kind of fit it over all of the structures and using a bit of elbow grease some cussing and a putty knife, it goes on and comes off with not too much effort, Now the Nova Quarter is a different animal all together. I wrestled with it for a bit, but called it a day after getting frustrated. I know it has to be a lot like a friggin Rubik's cube, you just have to hold your mouth right.
Here are some pics of the almost ready areas to accept a new quarter panel Plus some pics of the areas in question. (Like how in the hell does this quarter fit in there??)
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good Evening everyone that is not reading this Blog.. A bit a sarcasm tonight, the election thieves have got my hackles up and I need to focus on something other than the destruction of our country.
So about the question I asked about in the last blog entry, about how to put this quarter panel on the Nova?! Well I figured it out and it wasn't exactly a walk in the park, considering this is my first Nova quarter panel and thinking it was going to be a lot like the first gen Camaro's. Well they are similar in ways, but getting the quarter to fall into place you really have to understand where to trim the metal off ib certain areas, One place in specific is the drip rail piece and the second being the small corner piece that supports the rear quarter glass window, there is a angled piece of metal that is welded to a brace and that is one of the culprits.
the third is trying to get the upper portion of the quarter to go into the area that is under the roof, NOW, this projects a bit of a stuff meet agenda, so I took a piece of 18 gauge scrap and stuck it in between the roof line and the drill spot welds held my mouth just right and everything slid in.. now mind you it didn't just slide in, but it went in and that's all that matters, there was some action with the putty knife feeding the rain gutter metal into the rain gutter (You have to trim just enough metal off of that area for the quarter to slip into position) So with these two areas addressed and some geometrical adjustments, the panel goes into position relatively easy. The quarter panel is on and some more adjustments need to be made, but about 80% of the fitment is complete. here is a pic of the semi finished product.
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Finally got the panel all lined up and screwed into place, tedious work, but worth it. Spent about the last 3 hours welding, hardest part was welding the panel on the inside area where the quarter window goes, it sucks when the welding area is hard to get a got position with the welding gun. Low and behold, it is completely welded together. Now tomorrow I going off the welds in the trunk area, clean everything up and then install the rear panel and melt all of that schtuff together.
 
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