Chevy Nova Forum banner

41 - 60 of 150 Posts

·
Premium Member
1972 6 Cylinder Dragster :)
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter · #42 ·
May 18th, 2021
Didn't have a ton to do today, but I still managed to make it more difficult than I needed to. I started by reinstalling the passenger side header. I got it all bolted back up and tightened down and went to bolt the collector to the exhaust and I quickly realized two things. First, the gasket I had was shot. Secondly there was ZERO play in the exhaust. Upon this realization, it was back to unbolting the header, getting a new gasket, bolting it up at the collector first and then bolting the header back to the head.

Next it was onto cleaning up the rotors, which would have been easier to do had I decided to clean them PRIOR to putting them back on the spindles, but work harder not smarter right? Disc brake quiet on the back of the pads, pads into the caliper and back onto the car. Bled the brakes.

Attach the sway bar. I read the QA1 instructions and I'm not sure who the actual F$%$ writes their instructions but c'mon. The sway bar came with shiny new spacers and some bolts and washers that didn't fit this car. I was trying to figure out whether I needed to run my existing spacers WITH theirs or not. Ultimately I settled on using theirs alone. I still need to tighten up the end-links but it's on.

I pulled the passenger side tire out from under the car and grabbed the lugs out of the center cap. Tossed the wheel on and went to the drivers side..."I'm one Mississippi short...where is the lug?" i spent the next 15 minutes looking for the lug nut when I realized where it was. I had mixed it in with the passenger lugs and I was certain it was inside of the center cap, already mounted to the car. Awesome, I removed the passenger side wheel to get the "missing" lug and put it all back together. We are FINALLY ready to drop her back down onto the ground. She's been up in the air for many, many days.

done_1.jpg done_2.jpg



i throw the jack under the crossmember, jack it up a few times, grab the jackstands out from the subframe and slowly turn the jack handle counter-clockwise. She touches down after what feels like an eternity. She's sitting low and is looking mean, except...I can't get the jack out from between the ground and the crossmember. I have to bring in cheap Jack #1, which also happens to be the brand of bourbon I drink (kidding), to get the good jack from underneath the car. Wow, she's sitting low. I have the coilovers backed out all of the way and this is what it looks like:

done_4.jpg done_3.jpg


Being that I JUST put the wheels back on, I didn't want to jack it back up and put it on stands and take the wheels off to adjust the coilovers. I hooked the battery back up and took her around the block. I still need to adjust the steering column. Hard to really tell how it rides when the steering is sketchy because it's binding. I definitely think she looks meaner with that forward tilt but damn, she's almost sitting on the ground. Getting out of my driveway that has massive frost heaves had me a little worried.

Also today I called Classic Performance and ordered all new steering linkage and such. I plan to harass @RifRaf sometime soon to figure out what I should do about a steering box. The plan is definitely going to be to fix the existing steering binding, see how she rides, drives, steers and then decide if a new box is necessary.

I was supposed to meet with FTW the welder today and I cancelled on him. I think he wanted to lay eyes on the car and the job and I just wasn't ready, didn't have my stuff together. I need to read through some documentation and make sure I plan on the next part accordingly. We're going to be tackling the rear suspension with Calvert Racing components throughout. I have Chris Alson subframe connectors with the G-connector or whatever it's called to install. I also figure if I'm dropping the rearend in this car, now is the time to have that gone through and beef it up and install new gears. I'm likely not going to be rebuilding the rear myself and I haven't settled on what to run for gears. I'm open to suggestions from anyone and would like to hear what others have along with their transmission and the primary use of the car. I'm really leaning towards 4.10+

Next month I have an appointment at the DMV and I plan to get her nameplate...just not sure if the state will let it fly or not. We will see.
 

·
Premium Member
1972 6 Cylinder Dragster :)
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter · #43 ·
May 19th, 2021
today was supposed to be a low-key, back out a couple of bolts/screws, pull the steering column toward me to stop it from binding after popping new body bushings on.

it turned out to be a bigger pain in the butt that I planned for. What I found after pulling back the carpet near the tow board was what appeared to be rusty screws and lots of por-15 over the top of everything. I was able to get 2 backed out and 2 met the dremel. I wasn’t able to get the plate up but after backing out 4 bolts on the column and pulling it toward me the steering didn’t seem to be bound up anymore.

I watched some videos on steering boxes and I think I’m going to buy a new one with more resistance
 

·
Premium Member
1972 6 Cylinder Dragster :)
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter · #45 ·
The ratio is one of the key factors, 1:12, 1:14, 1:16, read up on them all. Some have such drastic feel they're not enjoyable, depending on the box. Check 'em all out and watch some vids...
I was looking at this thread: Steering box upgrade and impressions where @TheBandit changes to a heavier T-BAR and I think that's going to be what I want to do. I own a model year 2016 car and I'm not really able to steer it with a pinky, yet the Nova I can...and that seems sketchy. I like the feel of the modern car and would like to replicate it in the Nova. Heavier than what I currently have, but perhaps less heavy than what he did. More research is required.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
473 Posts
@unstable Great post and thread! Thank you for sharing!!! Learn something new every day. Guess I need to do some homework and read up a bit more before I replace all my steering components in my '70. I had a plan, but now my plan has unraveled, and that's a good thing! I could have been terribly unhappy with my result.
 

·
Premium Member
1972 6 Cylinder Dragster :)
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter · #47 ·
@unstable Great post and thread! Thank you for sharing!!! Learn something new every day. Guess I need to do some homework and read up a bit more before I replace all my steering components in my '70. I had a plan, but now my plan has unraveled, and that's a good thing! I could have been terribly unhappy with my result.
@Stroker Ace Ventura my previous post regarding the steering box was a little misleading. From what I'm gathering, RATIO is one factor in steering but the TBAR is another factor. In re-reading what I wrote, it sounds as though you can just swap in a new TBAR and that is NOT at all what I was trying to say. I'm looking at purchasing a new steering box that has a higher TBAR level than what I have now. In the post made by TheBandit, he has three videos. The first is with his stock steering box, the second I believe is the installation of the new higher TBAR box and the third video shows him driving with the new box. It appears to me that there's a goldilocks place for the tbar level. I believe TheBandit bought a heavy box that was set to 225 and that looks closer to what I'm looking for. "Pinky Steering" is not for me at all. I hate it. I hate this steering box.

May 20th, 2021- Ramblings
Just spent another $200 on parts that I need to actually make this car street legal. When I purchased the car, the side markers were not installed, I suspect the last guy had it painted not long before he sold it and he didn't want to put the old markers back on. Apparently the windshield wiper motor is toast and there's a new one in the trunk that I need to install and SEATBELTS. I think seatbelts are going to be required to pass inspection also...and that makes my OCD kick in bigtime.

I foresee throwing some kind of rollbar or cage in this car in the near future. I'd like to go to bucket seats, get rid of the column shifter etc. The problem I'm facing at this point in time is that although I do not need them with how the car is currently setup, I'd like to run 5-point harnesses. Investing in lap belts seems kind of pointless, plus it seems that the stock and cheap lap belts are backordered in most places.

Another dilemma of sorts is the subframe connectors, rear end and rear suspension and rear-end work that I'd like to have done. From what Calvert said, I'm going to need some welding done on the rear end to locate the leafs. I didn't notice that in any of their instructions so I may have to give them a call, obviously the rear end will need to be out of the car for this to happen. Installation of the subframe connectors is going to require the leaf springs to be disconnected at the front and also requires welding at the front of the subframe for the bracket for the connectors. There's also the question of whether all of the stuff I ordered from Calvert is going to be compatible with the Chris Alston subframe connectors...which may sound dumb, but I think I'm swapping out the forward front leaf mounts with the Calvert split setup. I'm going to have to look at everything and assuming it all will fit together, I still have to come up with an "order of operations" to do this in a way that minimizes downtime.

I'm thinking maybe get her up on jackstands, drop the rear and send it out for a rebuild, maybe with some luck I can have some welding done on it at the same time. Throw it back in along with the new rear suspension and then address the subframe connectors last. Time to get a quote on the rear and see if it aligns with what I am willing to spend.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
473 Posts
@unstable Hey, I didn't think that at all :) Just not terribly familiar with the TBAR differences and weights as far as the boxes I am currently evaluating for my ride,. The post from @TheBandit and the subsequent videos are really eye-opening as to the difference from one to the other and it really helped me re-evaluate my choices for a new steering box and other components including my pump. I'm really glad you hooked us all up with that link to the post. Much appreciated!!! (y)(y)(y):coffee:

As for the rest of your above post, I'm headed fishing/camping for the rest of the week/weekend so... wish me luck. I'll catch up on your progress when I get back. No reception where I'm going and the point is to get away, right?!? hahaha... NOVA on my mind 24-7... speaking of order of operations... NOVA is a constant!! HAHA :p:geek:

Have an awesome weekend, one and all!!! Fish pics if any!! :cool:

~Andy
 

·
Premium Member
1972 6 Cylinder Dragster :)
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter · #49 ·
May 21, 2021
Actually took the car for a little drive around town last night. She's still sitting really low but she handles so much better and, I'm not sure how it's possible but she looks cooler! Even the girlfriend has remarked on how "sexy" she looks.

I called a shop yesterday and got a roundabout number on what it would cost to rebuild the 8.5" 10 bolt. Since it's possible it might have to come apart a few times to get everything setup right, it could be as much as 5 hours at a shop rate of $100 per hour for performance work. I think that's right in the ballpark. I meant to pull some numbers off of the rear last night and jack her up and do a few things to see what she's currently running...I mean it's not outside of the realm of possibility that someone has already been inside of this rear and changed out the gears.

In this thread: 3rd Gen - 12 Bolt or 9 Inch? there's a link to NovaResource - Nova Rear Axle Codes where it appears that the 72 model year 6 cylinder cars came with 3.08 gears. All I can say is that the currently acceleration even with a SBC in it, feels absolutely anemic, pathetic might be another word I could use. Car is some show and no go...I hate it.
I entertained renting a u-haul and buying an engine hoist and driving down to the ex-wifes house to get my compressor, other tools and my big block. I just have to keep things in perspective and accept that I can't have everything I want tomorrow. As much as I'd like to avoid duplicating work and effort, there's going to be times when I have to undo what I did (i.e. install rear suspension then remove the rear for a rebuild). I guess it's just going to boil down to me becoming more familiar with the car, enjoying the journey instead of being fixated on some destination or end game.

@Stroker Ace Ventura CATCH SOMETHING! Hopefully it's nothing that requires a visit to the clinic though brother.
 

·
Premium Member
1968 Chevy II Nova, Central Arkansas
Joined
·
2,120 Posts
3.08's will certainly give you a sluggish start out of the hole. I stepped up to some 3.73's and it hits much harder but you pretty much have to go to some kind of over drive to drive on the freeway. Still looking for the "I hate this car" part. So far sounds like all the stuff we love!
 

·
Premium Member
1972 6 Cylinder Dragster :)
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter · #51 ·
3.08's will certainly give you a sluggish start out of the hole. I stepped up to some 3.73's and it hits much harder but you pretty much have to go to some kind of over drive to drive on the freeway. Still looking for the "I hate this car" part. So far sounds like all the stuff we love!
@BLYOTH since you're the first person to ask, I'll share. I have a Belgian Malinois dog, he's trained for some personal protection. The dude is like a German Shepherd on methamphetamine. He can be a handful at times, actually pretty much always. My girlfriend would "joke" and say "I hate this dog." I'm actually hoping to build this Nova into a little bit of a bracket car of sorts, maybe it's a pipe dream but I figured I'd call her hateful / h8ful. I'm just not sure if my states' DMV is going to allow that for a plate. I'll find out in a few weeks when I go to apply for registration.
 

·
Registered
Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
Joined
·
1,877 Posts
The resistance in a power steering box is controlled by the torsion bar inside the box. I don’t know if you can make any adjustment to it without knowing what you’re doing. @RifRaf has discussed it on this site in several posts maybe he can chime in to enlighten us.
I did touch base with unstable in another post with regards to his steering/handling concerns.
... but as I kept reading the additional posts (I've been away from the computer for a few days),
I noticed that unstable has viewed the information about the various types of steering box torsion bars (T-bars) and is on the right track (see quote below).
I was looking at this thread: Steering box upgrade and impressions where @TheBandit changes to a heavier T-BAR and I think that's going to be what I want to do.
 

·
Premium Member
1972 6 Cylinder Dragster :)
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter · #53 ·
@RifRaf I very much appreciate the insight and knowledge that you're sharing. I may seem a bit like I'm all over the place, I do have a bunch of balls up in the air that I'm juggling...and I might be trying to rush this process a little bit. I need to be careful to not burn myself out on everything. Finish something, take a breather, enjoy it all, plot my next move. Unfortunately I plotted a little far in advance and I've got parts sitting in my living room that need to go in. I'm just not super thrilled with how the car steers or accelerates. Rebuilding the front suspension definitely has helped, I also have new steering linkage on order with Classic Performance that's 3 weeks out or so. I do expect to change the steering box in the near future. I will say that the new components up front definitely helped but it's not dialed into where I'd really like it to be.
 

·
Registered
Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
Joined
·
1,877 Posts
I've been reading your posts and I think you are doing a fine job with your upgrades. The most important thing that you are doing is asking questions and doing your research with regards to planned car projects.

When your at the point where you need to get a front end alignment (after you replace front steering linkage components), I think will will notice additional improved handling once you get your Nova aligned with "modern specs" that are more in line with your new steering/suspension upgrades.

Recommend Front End Alignment Specs:
Caster:
+5° Drivers Side / +5.5° Passengers Side
Camber: -.5° Both Side
Toe-in: 1/16" to 3/32" Total Toe-in
(+ = Positive / - = Negative)
 
  • Like
Reactions: unstable

·
Premium Member
1972 6 Cylinder Dragster :)
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Even though replacing the control arms etc. calls for an alignment, I thought that was silly to do when I know I'm going to dork with the linkage soon. I'm not driving this thing very far so why bother right?

I'm going to jack up the rear tonight and see if she's got an open rear or a posi. I'm guessing it's the former but maybe, just maybe it will surprise me. I also read a few articles on rebuilding the rear and while it doesn't look too hard at all, most of the information I've seen on this says that setting up the dial indicator and such takes some practice and you have to know what you're doing...which I don't. I think I'm going to have to hire out the work.
 

·
Registered
1972 Nova
Joined
·
420 Posts
While I've only driven mine on my dirt road, my stock 350 and a set of 2.73's in the rear is enough to punch us back in the seat. Are you sure the gears are anemic, or is the engine the item that is anemic?

Wish I had this kind of progress/timeline on my 72...
 

·
Premium Member
1972 6 Cylinder Dragster :)
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter · #57 ·
@sudden_impulse I have zero history on this motor. About all that I know about it is that she's running 882 heads and has roller rockers and an Edelbrock RPM air gap intake, hei dizzy and headers. I think the previous owner got the car with this motor in it and he had ZERO knowledge about how many miles were on it and what had been done to it. VIN checks out as a 6 cylinder car so we know that someone put a V8 in it. It's entirely possible that it's not even a 350. It's also possible that the gears and convertor are really holding the motor back from making power wherever it does. I've got another motor that I had built for another project at my ex-wife's house. As much as I'd love to go get that motor and order a few parts to drop that into the car, I'm going to hold off. I'm pretty sure I'm going to yank the rear-end out next and send that to a local shop to have them rebuild it. When it comes back I'll bolt it back up with a new rear suspension. I would expect that swapping from 3.08 to 4.11 is going to make a world of difference and will hold me over until the fall when I'll rip this power-plant out and put the new guy in. Perhaps over the winter I'll address some of the bodywork and by next spring she should be a whole new car....just contingent on how I want to juggle my time, money and credit. I think the 4.11's is going to be worthwhile at this point and will hold me over for this summer.
 

·
Premium Member
1972 6 Cylinder Dragster :)
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter · #58 ·
May 21, 2021
Got home from work and the gym. Jacked up the rear and spun the rears and...surprisingly it’s a posi, pleasant surprise that’s going to save me a few dollars.

I think I’m just going to get a new ring / pinion and pay to have a shop throw it in. Yeah I could go to 31 spline axles at the same time but that would be another $200-300 in addition to the cost of a rear + labor.

I’m typically a fan of buy once, cry once but if I keep using that strategy I’m going to be broke sooner rather than later. If anyone has concerns about this approach, please say so. I figure 4.11 will be much more fun and if / when I throw enough power at this rear that it blows up I’ll invest more money into it.
 

·
Premium Member
1972 6 Cylinder Dragster :)
Joined
·
163 Posts
Discussion Starter · #59 ·
May 22, 2021
Greased up all of the front end stuff because I failed to do that on installation: non-pro tip, do it before you put it back on the ground and life will be much easier.

swapped in a new fuel filter on recommendations of the guys here.

4579E571-6B93-4DC5-BD68-E559ADF22A46.jpeg

Took the GF for ice cream. I have a miss somewhere. Decided to be cute and did a burn out in my driveway resulting in the car stalling and then I see coolant purging out of the overflow. I’m really thinking this isn’t the right radiator for even a 350.

Still looking for feedback from anyone on the rear. It’s a posi, likely 3.08 with 28 splines. I figured since it’s already posi I’d just pay for a new ring / pinion and jump to 4.11. I know that’s not great for highway cruising but she won’t be doing much of that.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
473 Posts
@unstable Thanks! can't wait to hear more about your ride and the progress! Sounds like you even got a thumbs-up from the GF (y)(y)

We just got back in town, it rained, snowed, hailed and blew the heck out of our trip. We fished, only had one catch and many bites but found a great abandoned boat at a dam we were fishing from for a few minutes. Small block Targetmaster powered too! Had to cut our trip short by a day and glad we did. Trip home it starter really coming down and we were pretty much done with the weather at this point.
419621

419622


ROACHED!!!

The lake was so low we couldn't even get to a launch to put in our kayaks... sad day for California... our summer is going to be really really bad this year. I'm in the fire service and we're totally F'd!! Probably worse than the last two-three years combined considering the lack of water in the reservoirs and lakes...

Hope you all had a great weekend!!!
 
41 - 60 of 150 Posts
Top