Chevy Nova Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
21 - 40 of 100 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
Yikes!!:eek: ...and I thought we had it bad here!! Unlike a 9", the brakes will always come with an 8.8 as the hub is part of the axel (these are c-clip beasts). Maybe they were from newer Exploders. My info is for the years '95-'01 (before '95 they had drum brakes, and I just don't have figures for post '01).

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,151 Posts
Yikes is right! Holy jumpin catfish, Robin, $650 for a stock open rear? You shouldve told em you just wanted to buy the rearend...you didnt want it installed! :D I think around here theyre $150-200, but I think they have gotten a lil more scarce since people have figured out theyre good to use on other vehicles.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
Yeah Charlie, but you're getting a discount for the 2 copperheads and the 6 black widows that are living underneath it!:D

Dave (an old East Texas boy)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,151 Posts
You probably right about that. Snakes, mud...I guess its worth it to save $500 though hehe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
Very cool info, I've been looking into getting rid of my stock 3.08s....Thanks for the valuable info!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
Here's somehting else I just found out today. Be sure to hang onto the Ford U-Bolts that held the springs on. Turns out the axle is just a little bit larger in diameter than the GM 8.2...just enough to spread the GM U-Bolts too much to drop thru the spring mount plates. The Ford U_Bolts drop thru just fine.

Thought you might like to know!:D

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,151 Posts
Good info, Dave...I was thinkin the tubes were the same. But I thought you had an 8.5??
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
If I had an 8.5 I probably would have just upgraded it (although looking at Summit prices it might have cost more that what I did!!). The Ford 8.8 is basically a GM 8.5 plus 0.3 ... right???:eek:

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I'd love to do this on the wifes Nova, but what are you planning on doing about the bolt pattern?
Isn't that rear the standard Ford 5 on 4.5 pattern? :confused:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
Yeah Zak, you are right. The Ford hubs are 5 on 4.5 and the GMs are 5 on 4.75. Also the Ford studs are 1/2 fines and the GMs are 7/16 fines so they take different lugnuts.

What I did was buy a set of chrome rally wheels from Pete Paulson (petepaulsen.com). His are drilled for both Ford and GM, so each wheel has both sets of holes. Also the look (15" chrome rallies with derby covers and 235/60 Firestones with raised white letters) was just the sort-of retro look that I was going for. Alternatively I could have taken wheels to a machine shop and had the extra holes added. This solution won't work for some wheels (like torquethrusts or any other spoked wheel I suppose) and you would need different wheels front and rear and a spare drilled for both.

The most "elegant" solution, I suppose, would be to have a machine shop redrill either the front or rear hubs to match. Redrilling the fronts would probably work better since moving the rear lugs out would not leave much material. Also these axles are your basic C-clip design so they are a pain to get out.

Hope this helps,

Dave
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
I hope you folks aren't getting sick of this thread, but I feel like I should keep updating it with what I find out with my own '71 Nova.:eek:

Today I finished installing the spring mounts and the CalTracs, and it was a major pain. I chose to use the bolt-in subframe connectors, and getting those last 2 holes to line up was a bear.:mad: Of course I got mad and cranked on the cheater and snapped off the cheesy little nut on the spring inside the body. So I used a 2" hole saw from inside the car to get to the nut in a civilized way and everything went together just fine. Typical for me:eek: ... I can see why so many of you have used the weld-in subframe connectors!:p

However, there is a problem with the shocks in the stock locations. The passenger side shock goes into the stock location no problem. I had to relieve the eBrake bracket just a little to clear the shock, but not a problem. On the driver's side, however, the shock will not fit in the stock location. The disk brake caliper sticks out too far in the back. Clearly I am going to have to move the shock but I'm not sure where at the moment.

There are several options, all of them fairly difficult, but I want to wait until I get my wheels and tires mounted before committing myself to any one of them. I should have them in about a week. I am hoping I don't have to move the shocks inside the springs to clear the tires. I am still shooting for a simple but effective solution and a clean, streetable ride.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Dave
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
Another update to this thread for those who may be interested. Finally it is up on all fours...just in time for the rainy season to start! LOL!!

The rear end is installed now with the CalTracs. Here is what I have found so far:

1. There isn't room for the shocks behind the axle due to the disk brake caliper. Not a problem on the passenger side, but the driver's side has to be moved and a new upper shock mount fabricated The CalTrac lower spring mounts have 2 shock mounting holes already, and could even be moved to the inside of the springs if necessary. (If you are using the stock Nova lower spring mounts you will have to do something clever on the driver's side) I have jigged up a pattern for an upper shock mount and will add a picture if and when it actually works!:rolleyes: !

2. Be sure to get the Ford ebrake cables along with the axle. They do not fit, but can be modified. I cut the housing on the cables long enough to stick through the subframe brackets on the Nova (hope I cut them long enough:( else they may pull out). Then I clamped the Ford cables to the GM cables after stripping off the plastic coating. Don't know if they will hold and may end up finding someone to swage ends on the Ford cables. So far they work OK. They are, by the way, a B*#@H to cut without also cutting the cable inside!:( Do not ask how I know that!LOL!!

3. I solved the issue of 2 different lug bolt patterns with dual pattern rims (10 holes). Eventually I will put together a spare on a similar 10-hole rim. I am using 15x7 rims with 3.5" backspace and mounted 235/60R15 tires that fit just fine. It looks to me like I could go up to at least 245s and they would still fit with the shocks outside the springs. Frankly I like the way 235/60s look with chrome rallies and derby caps...but that's just me.:D

Just a note...the CalTracs definitely made the job easier. They were hard for me to get in along with the subframe connectors, but once in they make moving shocks and spring around much easier. I know that GM mounted shocks before and behind the axle to stabilize it, but I am hoping I will achieve the same stability or better with the CalTracs.

The thing hanging down on the driver's side is the spare Ford ebrake cable that I have not cut yet. I know...you can cut it off but you can't cut it on!!

Dave
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
I just want to close out this thread now that I have finished mounting the driver's side shock .... hey! It only took 2 months!!:awkward:

The shock bracket I faked up out of cardboard ended up being harder to fab than I expected. In retrospect I probably should have just cut the pieces and welded them together. I tried to bend it on a friend's break but it was too heavy (4" hot rolled 3/16 steel strap) so we played blacksmith. Actually, he did...not me. Interesting as this guy's great- and great-great-grandfathers were both blacksmiths up near the goldfields!. Anyhoo, here is what it ended up looking like, painted and set in place.

After this the shock just bolted right in (well...right after I broke my last 3/8" bit and had to find another one on new years day).


So would I do it again? You bet! I got a plenty strong rear end with posi, big axles and the right ratio, and it ended up costing just a little under $300!:D

Happy New Year!

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,151 Posts
Kewl, Dave! Now will ya come down here and do mine? :p
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
Sure thing, Charlie! Just as soon as you come do my paint!! LOL!!

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
778 Posts
Just a heads up for anyone thinking about this axle, I found mine on EBay from US Powertrain I believe. They sell NEW factory takeoffs. I got mine for $400 or so...its brand new with 4.10s and a LSD.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
That's great...ummmm...Poopy!:eek: Seriously, do they give you any choices of where the spring perches go? That is really the only semi-significant problem with this modification.

Dave
 
21 - 40 of 100 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top