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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well I've decided that my first ever car build would be a 76 nova. Now im looking for dedicated amount of help from a community as im not the savviest car person ever but I'm a fast learner. My plan is to put a nice engine (most likely a 350) a manual trans and other things. I have plenty of questions such as what motor will drop right in and if I wanted to put "x" motor what will need to happen, and how hard is it to convert an automatic to manual? how would I go about doing so? is there anywhere I can get replacement interior panels? etc.

Sorry for the complete lack of knowledge this is my first build after all :D
Thanks for any help in advance

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Looks like you have some work ahead of you but the car looks solid. Take your time and don't despair if things seem to take twice the time you excepted them to. And yeah buy quality tools even though they are a bit more expensive.

Good luck!
 

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Hi and welcome to the site. This place is a great rallying point for info and tech stuff, especially for 4th gens.

Most SBCs will swap in, you just need specific 4th gen block-side motor mounts. The frame-side mounts work for both 6s and 8s. I suppose once you have a specific engine & trans combo in mind, it will make answering specific questions easier.

As far as converting to manual, the clutch pedals and linkage were specific to 4th gens. Occasionally you will find a setup on eBay. Just have to be patient.

Aside from seat covers, the only 4th gen specific interior items available are door panels (they come without the top metal part that you will have to switch from your old door panels), kick panels (which I think are the same as 3rd gens) and rear speaker shelf. Nobody makes the hard plastic stuff, so it's a matter of finding online via eBay or Craigslist.

I hope this was helpful. Again, this is a great place to learn and share knowledge. Don't be afraid to ask.

Jay
 

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Hey man, welcome to the site. Like stated above, this is a great place for info. I would reccomend spending a few days searching this forum for some of the topics you are interested in. While researching you should learn a lot, and hopefully see some good pictures to give you an idea on what you have ahead of yourself.

I would start with identifying what you have. Engine, transmission and rear end. The manual conversions are possible, but require some rare parts. You have to REALLY want this conversion to make it happen. Even if you find a set on ebay, best believe you will be competing for it, plan to spend around $300 for the pedal assembly. I found a guy on ebay selling a rolling chassis that no one bidded on, I noticed it was a manual and asked the seller to part out the pedal.
 

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Welcome aboard! The good news is www.classicindustries.com just started making the hard plastic interior parts for 4th gens. Just flip through their online catalog. They are pricey though.

And like everyone above said, it'll be challenge finding clutch assembly's as less than 6,800 manual Nova's were built between '75 and '77, and supposedly weren't offered '78 and '79. I wish you and all of us luck that one day they will start reproducing that assembly....


Good luck with your build!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
yeah thanks for the help guys I'll start looking around for info to research, but for right now any small block or big block chevy will bolt right in correct?

Would this be good to install/Will it bolt right in:
http://www.enginefactory.com/350_430hp.htm
I like the fact that they have a layaway plan so I can make payments.

Would I be able to use manual with that engine?
What other parts will I be needing to use that engine?
What would be my best bet of achieving manual drive?

Thanks again for the help

Oh and thanks for that link corts that was a life saver, the original owner managed to really ruin those and the front seat.
 

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The part numbers are all that is available from Classic. Every part I have tried to order is "out of stock" and on "back order". So do not get your hopes up looking at the pretty photos in the catalog.

There was more like 100,000 75 - 79 Novas built with manual tranmissions, about 10% of the total run. I have just sold 2 complete set ups to convert, beware that some of the stuff advertised as 4th gen clutch pedals are not. When you are ready just ask and I can post photos and information about the manual conversion. In the best of 4th gen section is the info needed to convert to a V8, again do not hesitate to ask for information. My 77 started life as a 6/auto just like yours.
 

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Honestly, I owned a pedal assembly and z bar and sold it for two reasons. I knew it was going to be a long painful conversion, especially when you have to collect out of stock pieces and calibrate the clutch to work properly. Also I learned you can make an automatic shift manually and still keep its automatic mode. I'd rather have the flexability. But don't be discouraged, its very possible, remember oldsmobile omega, Pontiac Ventura and maybe some other cars are almost identical GM models so open up your search
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well these past few days I've really gotten to work on the interior, im getting the old seats re-upholstered, cleaned out pretty much 33yrs worth of garbage in the car. I have a few questions though

Im thinking I should capitalize on the fact that I am down to the bare metal and spray it with an Anti-rust, should I?

I took out the seat belts to really give them and what was underneath them a good cleaning but realized one of the had stripped bolt, now im pretty sure this can be taken out with the proper tool, which I dont have :(, but my main concern is I dont want to risk the other bolts stripping so where can I find these bolts?



This is the stripped bolt:
 

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Welcome aboard! The good news is www.classicindustries.com just started making the hard plastic interior parts for 4th gens. Just flip through their online catalog. They are pricey though.

And like everyone above said, it'll be challenge finding clutch assembly's as less than 6,800 manual Nova's were built between '75 and '77, and supposedly weren't offered '78 and '79. I wish you and all of us luck that one day they will start reproducing that assembly....


Good luck with your build!
My 78 Rally is a factory 4 speed car it was missing a few things when I bought it and found a 78 4 door with 3 speed that had parts I need will soon be taking auto out and putting the 4 speed back in
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Hi and welcome to the site. This place is a great rallying point for info and tech stuff, especially for 4th gens.

Most SBCs will swap in, you just need specific 4th gen block-side motor mounts. The frame-side mounts work for both 6s and 8s. I suppose once you have a specific engine & trans combo in mind, it will make answering specific questions easier.

As far as converting to manual, the clutch pedals and linkage were specific to 4th gens. Occasionally you will find a setup on eBay. Just have to be patient.

Aside from seat covers, the only 4th gen specific interior items available are door panels (they come without the top metal part that you will have to switch from your old door panels), kick panels (which I think are the same as 3rd gens) and rear speaker shelf. Nobody makes the hard plastic stuff, so it's a matter of finding online via eBay or Craigslist.

I hope this was helpful. Again, this is a great place to learn and share knowledge. Don't be afraid to ask.

Jay
I might have a found a pedal assembly for a 4th gen (it came off of a 75) what else is needed if I obtain that?

Thanks :)
 

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I might have a found a pedal assembly for a 4th gen (it came off of a 75) what else is needed if I obtain that?

Thanks :)
You will need the pedals, the bolt they hang on, the linkage from pedal to z bar, frame bracket.

The linkage to the clutch fork, the clutch fork and the engine side ball stud are available new if they are not there.
 

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Im thinking I should capitalize on the fact that I am down to the bare metal and spray it with an Anti-rust, should I?
yes...I am no pro though, but on a budget, I would get a few heavy duty wire wheels that fit in any drill and wheel the surface. Clean it with some rags and maybe engine degreaser and finish with soap and water. Let it dry then spray that anti rust. The metal looks good enough to hold from the pictures but cant really tell. Just dont spray anti rust on top of what is there. Looks good though
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You will need the pedals, the bolt they hang on, the linkage from pedal to z bar, frame bracket.

The linkage to the clutch fork, the clutch fork and the engine side ball stud are available new if they are not there.
I'll pm you the link to what it is I found because im thinking it comes with most of that.

And I'll make sure to wash it good inside then anti-rust spray it.
 
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