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Discussion Starter #1
I would be satisfied with a 13.99 from my basically stock 72. Doesn’t sound too ambitious, I know, but there are 2 parameters: 2.73 rear and factory 72 cylinder heads. Casting 487X, I think.
I want to stick with my 2:73’s so I can run with traffic with my relatively short 14” tires. OE heads because that’s the factory equipment. I will attempt to find some extremely short sticky tires for the rear. But with my gears, I probably won’t have traction issues, and I should be able to run thru the end in second, maybe upper 90’s on the speed.
I know this would be easier with about a 3:42 gear and a set of Vortecs, but I’m hoping for the best. Anyone running a similar setup in a full weight car with a tiny cam?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
PHR mag years ago had a 72 Monte Carlo, Project Ecoperformer: similar motor in a slightly heavier car. I remember they stuck with the 2:73 rear for mileage reasons, and added the usual headers/ intake/mild cam. I’m pretty sure it ran about 14 flat, maybe 95mph thru the quarter.
They were trying to show the potential of a reasonably streetable combination, good performance and liveable mileage. OD transmissions weren’t common back then, and of course FI wasn’t either. One comment they stressed was the OE Quadrajet carb was hands down the most efficient
 

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What does it do now..?
Is it a 350/350 combo..?
2 or 4 barrel carb..?
What kind of tires on the rear..?

13.99 doesn’t really sound too ambitious but you do have some handicaps working against you.. 2.73 is clearly not an ideal ratio.. 3.23 and a taller rear tire would be better and still have similar highway rpms.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
307” at this time, I probably won’t take it to the strip without swapping to a 350” first. But yes, 350/th350 with tiny cam, quadrajet and performer intake, and cast iron manifolds initially. Thinking about 15.0 with this combo, that will be my baseline. From there, probably headers next. Then I’ll see what mph it’s turning, regardless of the tires and rearend, I’m going to need to see 95-98 mph. If not, then a set of Vortecs. That with a pair of short slicks, should get me there.
 

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Honestly, if the 307 runs fine leave it alone. Swap your trans to a 700r4 and differential gears that 3.42-3.55. You can still have better highway rpms and a 3.06 first gear which will get you out of the hole.. The 0.70 overdrive will be the icing on the cake..

Baseline your car as it is right now to see where it’s at..

Go to an online calculator to figure out your current highway rpms and find a gear ratio that will give you better launch gears and highway cruising speed rpms..
75218E5C-E461-4E96-AC5D-066A28AE36B6.png
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I’ll have to pull the 307” either way, the trans is weak also. But I might re-ring it, with bearings, and use it to: test my rebuilt trans, test my carburetors and in general provide a good baseline. Could throw about 75 nitrous HP on it, this would be roughly the equivalent of a 350/ Vortec combination.
Before I start buying parts for the 350, probably ought to consider a 383. With excellent prices on Scat cast cranks, building a larger engine doesn’t really cost much more. The 383 would easily pull a 2:73 rear gear.
 

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I'd pull the engine and trans - and save it for a rainy day build off of craig's. Something that looks good, but is missing a drive train, for a couple hundred bucks. A cruiser.

This car, though; go ahead and run a 350 with cam, intake, vortecs and a nice carb. Definitely run headers. Swap that trans for something else - even just a fresher th350 with a shift kit. That rearend... maybe plan on changing gears atleast to the next higher option. All still super streetable, cheap, readily available and will make a massive difference.

Then stick that old engine and trans into a $500 beater and flip it for 2k. Then put that 2k into suspension!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
These are all excellent suggestions from a performance point of view, but I’m more interested in keeping it looking as stock as possible. My RS came factory with. 165hp, 2 bbl 350”. The original engine is long gone, but the 307” in it is a factory stock 72 Nova motor out of my 4dr donor car. With the original 2:73, this car would have been painfully slow, but of course the original owner probably would have cutoff the exhaust and installed some kind of 4bbl intake. I remember several of these cars, new from my youth. This is what all the locals did with them. Honestly, at this point in my life, the last thing I need is another race car. I get plenty of motor building practice on my son’s mud truck, and another son who would like to try the truck- pulling game again.
This is a pic of my 307”
I’m leaning towards the 75hp nitrous kit idea, this is simple and cheap, and easily reversible. I had a blow- thru kit that mounted in the air cleaner on a PU about 30 years ago, it was completely hidden and worked great on the stock 400” motor. I’m not sure which way to go on my spare motor, a 350 out of a 72, 4wd PU, not original to this car, but the casting numbers and dates are correct. I’ll post as I go along, this car is going to be driven as I work on it. ?
 

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Not saying anything productive on this, but going from any kind of legit race car at the track to 13-15 second car is going to make that quarter mile feel like an eternity.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The guys at the track are just like anywhere else, Motorsports wise. Very few budget efforts, very slow. And then the professional quality, enclosed trailer, high dollar people. And not much in between.
A few years back, I went to a local pulling event with my soon to be ex-wife. She was quite impressed with the quality of the competition, an un-believable display of hi-dollar truck and tractors unloading off 48’ van trailers pulled with matching semis. At that time, we had attended several mud-races together, and she was equally unimpressed with the muddy trucks pulled in with 20 year old pickups. She asked “why we didn’t go truck-pulling instead of mud-racing?” I pointed out a father and son working on their PU that had competed earlier, it had finished dead last. “That is what I can afford to bankroll” was my only reply.
The nearest dragstrip to me is about 2 hours, I’ll go a few times this summer.
But that is too far to drive, to be a regular. And I know I can’t be competitive with the other guys, even in a slow bracket class.
 

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Some of the most fun days I've had have been trying to get one of my junkpiles quicker and quicker at a test and tune. I went from a mid 10 second stick shift car to a naturally aspirated 4.8 LS/TH400 in my Camaro, and had an absolute blast! 12.80's were never so much fun since it was all about tuning/driving and the quest for a lower ET. I just love watching cars go down the track and people learn. For that reason I say this sounds like a pretty sweet quest for 13's.
 

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Man. I guess it was misinterpreted to be talking down on folks. By no means was my comment above intended to offend anyone. Just a simple observation that the OP not needing "another race car", assuming the OP has had cars faster than 13 seconds, going from a "race car" to a 13 second car feels like an eternity.

That is all. Race on with whatever you got!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I’m 61 years old, probably not safe in a really fast car anymore. But no offense was taken, the car guys and gals in this website have been great 👍
I work the night shift on my current job, and this Nova site is a welcome distraction during that forever stretch between 2:00 and 4:00 am. 🙄
And probably a good distraction for everyone as we go thru this Coronavirus crisis? It is surreal to go to the local WMT and see rows of shelves totally empty.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok, the summer is speeding past and I’m not even close to track ready. I’ve been trying some painting and bodywork, I seem to be slowing down on that project. So everything goes in primer for now, and I’m gathering parts. A pair of 906 Vortecs and a off-brand intake for $250. And more basic parts for my 72 350”, and a trans kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I picked out my best used pistons, and ordered a rering kit from Northern Auto. This will go together with a borrowed TH350 no one has ever seen run; what could possibly go wrong there? The same son (transmission) also has a pair of 28” slicks, I’m going to need to install a used set of 3:42 for those to work. All of this may get me close to my goal of 13.99.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I’m running short on time. I may just use another Vortec head 350”, already assembled, from the same source as the Mystery trans. This will get me going sooner, and I don’t really want to blow up my only 72casting 350” block anyway. Still have to sort out fuel lines, possible brake issues on the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Mystery Motor looks fine with a quick inspection. I knocked off the pan, looked at 4 rod bearings and cleaned out the worst of the gunk. It has been rebuilt at some point, the bottom of the pistons are perfectly clean and the (undersized) bearings looked almost new. The block stamping indicates a 1970, 250hp 350”, out of pass car. Not that it matters, the bare block is the only original part.
 

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