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ended up getting a 71 Nova for $200 <3 Has the original Inline 6 which i plan to keep. and a PowerGlide Tranny thats in great condition and low mileage. Plan to sell or trade it for Other parts If anyone is wanting it, as im gonna switch to a TH350 so that some drag racer can put it to more use then i ever will. Plan to do a stock restore.

This crosses off two bucket list items: Build a car from damn near nothing, and getting my dream car. Please no negative comments they get old quickly, we are all here to work on the cars we love, for me this is mine. Yes i realize this is going to cost a lot and take a lot of time. I went into it knowing that.


So far i have gotten the Trunk lid reattached so that water stops getting into it. Gonna Drill two drainage holes tonight to get the puddle thats in there out. As well as pull the Doors off. Which i plan to beat out, because i have time, and hitting stuff is really relaxing hahaha. ($20 says i end up still buying new doors). Will do my best to post progress pics and updates regularly.
 

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You should just be able to pull the stock drain plugs from the trunk and hopefully get most of the water out, same with the interior. Looks like a long road ahead of you, but aren't they all? I have almost 7.5 years into mine, and it's almost ready to do some road runs but far from complete.
 

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Congrats! looks like you have a plan and some idea of what lies ahead. I'm 3 years into mine and almost to the point of shooting it in epoxy. Its therapy. Some guys spend their time/money on fishing, some hunt, some golfing, some cars. Just keep everyone updated with any progress and pics.
 

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1970 Nova SS 350 Brandon, MS
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Congrats! $200 entry price is very good and that car has lots of potential but will require lots of work/$$ to realize the potential. Take it one step at a time, try not to get overwhelmed, and you could end up with "the car of your dreams".

About the negative comments, I don't think anyone will intentionally say negative things about your dream but you may interpret them that way. Everyone here has been in your shoes in some form or fashion before and has attempted and/or completed what you are starting. They (we) are sharing past experiences and passing down hard-earned, and most often expensive, wisdom. It's human nature to try to be efficient and not want to take unnecessary steps so we share what we have learned so the next guy or gal has it a little easier. We do this with cars also. Most folks that would say your car is too much of a project are only trying to save you from lots of potential frustration/expense down the road...because they have been down that frustrating and expensive road. If you are willing to endure that "road", then attack this project as a hobby and not an occupation and make it happen. This build doesn't have to make sense to anyone but you!

And, I'll take that $20 bet...I don't think you will need new doors because of the dents...maybe if they are rusty, but not for just the dents. You can learn valuable auto-body skills making those doors useable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'll take that $20 bet...I don't think you will need new doors because of the dents...maybe if they are rusty, but not for just the dents. You can learn valuable auto-body skills making those doors useable.
So i do know how to do the auto-body work, i just also feel like the driver side door im gonna get to a point where im cussing up a storm fixing it and end up buying a new one out of spite lol.

That said time for todays update!

So heres what i accomplished:
1.)Verified Odometer works and Mileage of 33k was accurate.
2.)Junked the ruined Radiator and bad Alternator
3.)Got the Direct drive Radiator fan turning The spindle housing was filled with dirt. Once that was working i was able to turn it freely by hand to make sure the engine wasnt siezed. Was able to test and somehow after sitting 27 years it still has full compression. So getting a Gasket and Seal rebuild kit friday! One step closer to its first start!
4.) Removed Carb(will need rebuilt) and Original Air Filter Assembly for Restore. Need to source a place to have the OEM stickers remade, as the ones on there are too far gone to be removed and reused during the restore and im a stickler on OEM stickers lol.
5.) Got the Doors Removed from the body so that i can start restoring them
6.) Tore out all interior Vinyl from the floor to get down to floor pan. and Cleaned out the trunk as best i could. Just need to powerwash and Shop vac the remaining crap thats too tedious to pick out by hand.

All in all a rather Productive day! The wife even helped with tearing out the vinyl and clean up! Heres some Photo Updates!









And now for my next "To Do List"
1.) Pickup New Alternator, Carb Rebuild Kit, Gasket and Seal Rebuild Kit for engine.
2.) Remove the 2 Transmission cooling Lines that broke removing the radiator
3.) Powerwash and ShopVac Interior, Trunk, and Exterior
4.) Remove and Clean the Trunk Latch Mechanism so its not so damn hard to unlock with the key
5.) Pick up Unispotter and Studs from friends house
6.) Start Door Restoration
7.) Start Air Filter Assembly restoration

My current plan, is to pickup all the Engine Parts/components i will need first and then once i have everything i need, to do the entire engine Rebuild all at once. After Engine is Repainted, Rebuilt, and all the essential components are in place, Including New Radiator, Radiator Support, and Lines. I will then move on to getting New Tires, and New Brake system, going to do a full 4 conversion to power disc brakes as i hate the 4 drum system is has right now. Then ill install new fuel tank and fuel lines, reconnect Rear Subframe Bolts, and the Drive shaft and do the first test fire! My current goal is to have this all done By September so that I can move it into a rented garage for the winter while I work on the body, which will be where 90% of the Restoration Challenge lies.
 

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Now is a good time for upgrades, such as a newer internally regulated larger alternator. If you feel the door isn't working the best, you can buy just door skins rather than a new door. AMD has them listed for $140 per door.

Classic Industries and others might have the decals you are looking for.
 

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Kick some ass and take some names, dude. You're committed, and you have my respect for that.

Looking forward to your progress!
 

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1970 Nova SS 350 Brandon, MS
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You may want to get an "assembly manual" to help you figure out where everything goes when reassembly starts to happen.

Check out this thread for more info:
https://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=654337

I ended up getting the 4 manuals from Rockauto.com and have really used the assembly manual and the wiring diagram manual.

As far as resto parts (and decals) you can also try Ground-Up (SS396.com), J&W, plus all the other interweb places.
 

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1970 Nova SS 350 Brandon, MS
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Can you post some detailed pics of how all of the rear seat belts are arranged and attached? Mine came in a box so I had nothing to reference when it came time for reassembly. I would like to install them correctly.
 

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You may want to get an "assembly manual" to help you figure out where everything goes when reassembly starts to happen.
I actually ordered the Shop Manual Set from Ground up, Comes with Fisher Body Manual, Factory Assembly Manual, and Service Manual. Just waiting on it to arrive.

Can you post some detailed pics of how all of the rear seat belts are arranged and attached? Mine came in a box so I had nothing to reference when it came time for reassembly. I would like to install them correctly.
Hi Yes, i would be happy too! I will try to get them taken and posted for you sometime tomorrow.
 

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Now is a good time for upgrades, such as a newer internally regulated larger alternator. If you feel the door isn't working the best, you can buy just door skins rather than a new door. AMD has them listed for $140 per door.

Classic Industries and others might have the decals you are looking for.
So as Far as upgrades go, their going to be minimal, and my reason for this is i love Stock Novas, and i love the inline 6. Im going to go with a factory restore with some minor upgrades.

The upgrades i have planned are:
1.) Inline 6 Dress Up/Performance Parts
2.) Converting from All Drum Brakes to All Disk Brakes (I avidly hate drum brakes)
3.) Custom Interior Color Scheme Because the wife pressured me into agreeing to a Light Blue/White w/ Red Accenting Color scheme for the whole car lol. Shes been helping out a lot as well which is awesome. She pulled most of the interior vinyl yesterday!
4.) Upgraded Suspension for better handling.

Probably also going to look into more Fuel Efficient Upgrade parts for the Inline 6 when i start actually rebuilding the engine. Once the car is done i plan to make it my daily driver and give the wife our honda pilot.

I am pleased to say my wife caught the bug too because shes looking at a 74 Nova for 2500 on Tuesday of next week that is a lot farther along and closer to done for herself. Of course ill still end up having to pay for it hahaha.
 

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You've got the right attitude to get it going, glad you're wife is with you on your project , sometimes it makes it hard if they didn't want you to get it,to begin with !
 

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Go man GO!

one detail you left out...how much change, lighters combs etc. did you find as you removed the interior? any other treasures?
 

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Now is a good time for upgrades, such as a newer internally regulated larger alternator. If you feel the door isn't working the best, you can buy just door skins rather than a new door. AMD has them listed for $140 per door.

Classic Industries and others might have the decals you are looking for.
If you go the door route take extra measures while attaching at several points. Its not as easy as bending the tab over and straightening it with a dolly. This will have a huge affect on the door gap to the fender and quarter. Done correctly it is a time consuming task.
 

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All-Righty-Then ....

really Good to Hear === keeping th' six ..... you got my vote.

They are really great motors --- My 69 , has the original (matching #'s motor) 250 ci 6 and is all stock (inside) , just the "add-ons to the motor".

just a thought ... you want too dump your 'powerglide trans' ... Think about using a Chevy - GMC s-10 or s-15 5 speed tranny. If you enjoy shifting ... this is the way to-go. Makes your car even more FUN to drive. and, a very easy change-over (my Nova came as a 250 / with a p/g trans). I did have to do the complete change : pedals, z-bar, bell housing, stick flywheel/clutch assembly. start checking 'Craigslist' , looking around, you never know.

you can check out some pictures here :


https://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=661681

have fun ..... what's your "city & state ? .... jim


ps. --- I DO have 'two complete front 'clips' (both fenders, hood, grill, bumpers, ... NO Radiators or a/c cond. ) I can take pictures .
#1 .. 69 Nova , #2 .. 71 Nova ... (and, the 71 trunk lid).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Go man GO!

one detail you left out...how much change, lighters combs etc. did you find as you removed the interior? any other treasures?
So for all the fun finds:
1.)original Bill of Sale was in the glove box after i popped it open although the majority of it is too faded to read.
2.)Some original paperwork havent gone through it, but i believe its mostly just the extra new owner leaflets that came with the owners manual etc. its in pretty rough condition.
3.) Super Epic 1970's Camel Logo Zippo style lighter
4.) a craftsmen micro wrench set
5.) a small micro screwdriver set

and that was about it, no change or anything else unfortunatley but was still some really cool stuff to find.

If you go the door route take extra measures while attaching at several points. Its not as easy as bending the tab over and straightening it with a dolly. This will have a huge affect on the door gap to the fender and quarter. Done correctly it is a time consuming task.
Picked up unispotter Kit yesterday so i can work on repairing the door dents in between waiting for parts, rainy days etc. Will assess from there whether or not i want to order door skins.

All-Righty-Then ....

really Good to Hear === keeping th' six ..... you got my vote.

They are really great motors --- My 69 , has the original (matching #'s motor) 250 ci 6 and is all stock (inside) , just the "add-ons to the motor".

just a thought ... you want too dump your 'powerglide trans' ... Think about using a Chevy - GMC s-10 or s-15 5 speed tranny. If you enjoy shifting ... this is the way to-go. Makes your car even more FUN to drive. and, a very easy change-over (my Nova came as a 250 / with a p/g trans). I did have to do the complete change : pedals, z-bar, bell housing, stick flywheel/clutch assembly. start checking 'Craigslist' , looking around, you never know.

you can check out some pictures here :


https://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=661681

have fun ..... what's your "city & state ? .... jim


ps. --- I DO have 'two complete front 'clips' (both fenders, hood, grill, bumpers, ... NO Radiators or a/c cond. ) I can take pictures .
#1 .. 69 Nova , #2 .. 71 Nova ... (and, the 71 trunk lid).
Please shoot me a PM with the front clip for the 71 nova and a price and location, im definitley interested!!!

As for the Powerglide, i was offered $750 for it, so im probably gonna sell it. have already been on the fence about switching to a TH-350. Im gonna leave it automatic though. (I know im a heathen lol) Assuming the buyer pans out, im gonna drop the transmission, clean it up and sell it, and turn around and get a TH350.
 

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So a little update about what ive gotten done the last couple of days.
I pretty much spend all my time outside of work either spending time with my wife and son or working on the car. I think my favorite part so far has been knowing that theres plenty i can do on the car to keep me busy.

So that said heres what ive gotten done:
1.) Bought a powerwasher so i can start removing dirt/grime buildup from car exterior/interior so i can get a better look at things and start moving in the right direction body wise.

2.) Picked up a Unispotter, so that i can start working on repairing the doors when theres nothing i can do mechanically due to waiting on parts etc.

3.) Compiled a full list of everything i need to mechanically get the car running. Seeing as i need fuel lines, new radiator, alternator, etc. plus some engine maintanence stuff id like to do before it starts for the first time. Im looking at about $2k in parts. A huge chunk of which was the new complete wiring harness for the car. I decided to go with the American Autowire Harness.

As for today, my plan is currently once i get off work, to get the powerwasher connected and then spend a couple hours Stripping as much dirt grime and gunk as i can from the interior. and then to give the outside a good wash. Then off to the parts store to start knocking off some of the items i need from the list. Will upload some pictures later tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Another Update:
  1. Power Washed Car
  2. picked up surface welder and Mig Welder
  3. Started pulling out the driver side door dent (about 80% done, just down to the last section of pulls)
  4. Ordered New Subframe Bolts/Bushings Get here Saturday
  5. Located 4 New Tires/Rims to get the car moveable once i put in the new subframe bolts/bushings
  6. Ordered Haynes Manual, Assembly, Service, and Fisher Body Manuals.
Pics to come later tonight, wanted to get the update posted before i have to leave for work.
 

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So time for another Update.

My wife has talked me into considering upgrading to a small block. Im considering it but im being stubborn. Since im working tons of overtime and saving up to do this car, im not sure its worth the extra 3k to upgrade, at least to me personally. idk though, time will tell.

Ive got the new subframe bolts and bushings sitting on a shelf, trying to locate some cheap tires before i put them in, as i really don't want to attempt it on flat tires.

In the meantime while im saving up for some more parts, and deciding mechanically where i want to go, its been back to body work. Ive spent the last few weeks, working hard on the passenger side door, and the end is in sight on it. If i can figure out how tf to get this last crease dent out. Its about 1/4" deep, shaped like a slow winding s, and about an inch accross. But unlike the rest of the dents i can't pull it out with surface studs, as now they just tear out from the metal fighting the pull. and im not putting anymore tiny holes in it, already got about 10 or so i have to weld back up and grind down.

And with it being right under the largest closed metal section of the door frame, not 100% sure how im gonna hammer and Dollie it, gonna head to an autobody shop on thursday and see if anyone has any good ideas for how to get at it that im not thinking of.

But since im at about 28 hours on this door. Heres a couple update photos.
Got the grinder, Sander, Bondo and clear coat paint ready to go once i finish getting it the last of the way there. Then time for the drivers side door.


 
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