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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys, I just posted in the introduction forum, but I have some tech questions that I wanted to get some opinions on, so I can start ordering parts.


My wife and I finally found a project car that we both liked, and that was cheap enough for us not to feel guilty about it. For $800, we scored a 2-owner 74 with a L6 and no options at all. It's really clean, although there is some surface rust and rot in all 4 quarters and the tail light panel. (Is this typical?) Only a couple dime-sized dents, and no trunk rot that I've seen so far.

Anyway, first things first, it has NO brakes. The pedal sinks all the way down, so I had it towed home. I'm thinking that if I need to replace a bunch of brake parts, I might as well go with a disc conversion kit right up front to save time and money in the long run. My wife is behind me on this, since she's all about safety. I found a kit for the front that also includes a power brake booster on Summit for $615. I'm not going to go crazy fast in this thing, but a v8 swap is probably in this car's future.

My question is, it looked like my car has no power brake assist, and is there any reason the kit I'm looking at would not work for my car? This is what I found: http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?part=SUM-BK1203&FROM=MG

Anyway, tomorrow I hope to do some digging and find the source of the soft pedal, but it's either rotten brake lines or leaky wheel cylinders, I'm guessing. I didn't see evidence of a leaky master.

And just for the sake of having a build thread, here are the pics of our first day with the car. (Sorry about the cell phone pictures)

how I found her




after a quick wash at work, waiting for the tow truck












and the worst of the rust




On her way home
 

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brakes :confused::confused: who needs brakes? :D cut some holes in the floor so you can use your feet to stop it! :devil:
 

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Another option, this kit gets you the factory style 11" booster and a new hub/rotor combo rather than using your old hub with a new slip-over rotor. This kit is on ebay from gearhead world, but there are others as well. Just make sure you know what all is included for your price comparisons, appears this kit has no hoses included, need to do your homework. Nice car!!

Here's a link to the page
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1968...ryZ33564QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


 

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It sounds like you need a new master cylinder. A bad master cylinder won't show any outward signs of leaking. You could replace ite car, so you can drive the car, but it will stop much better with a disc brake upgrade.
Rust in the bay area is probably typical, especially if the car has been very close to the ocean for extended periods of time.
 

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Well, then you may want to consider a kit more like this...you don't want to buy new stock height spindles if you plan on drop spindles. I,m not sure who is building these spindles, there may be some wheel size limitations. Also, you would need the booster/mc kit but sometimes these companies will make a custom auction or let you buy direct so you get what you need.





http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/68-6...ryZ33564QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

 

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Both kits seem like pretty good deals. But if you have drums all around, want power brakes and have to change the master cylinder you might as well go with the first kit. JMO.
 

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And if you're going to all the trouble to install all new brakes and do a disc conversion, replace all the steel brake lines. Steel lines like brake and fuel tend to rust from the inside out, so you can't tell their condition by just a visual inspection, and if the do look bad on the outside, it's definately time to replace them. You can get all the lines prebent for around $250.00 from any of the restoration places.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
and so the scheming begins...

Thanks again, those all look like good options. We'll see what diagnosis my buddy and I come up with tonight.

so.....

I was trying to think of stuff I don't need anymore that I could sell on craigslist for some Nova $$. I remembered that I have a Pontiac 400 motor and tranny from a 76 firebird that has been sitting for 8 years or so, since I sold my firebird. It came from a junk yard, so would need a rebuild and all new accessories.

Would it be blasphemy to put a Poncho 400 in my 74 Nova? I know it would be unique. It would also sound cool, and go pretty fast, I think. Opinions?
 

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1968 Chevy II Nova, Central Arkansas
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Build how you want it. Just don't but a fomoco in there:devil:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Last night a buddy came over and helped me with the brake issue. We discovered 2 leaky rear wheel cylinders, which we repaired and bled. The pedal was still quite spongy, and it looks like the master is DOA. Not a big problem, since after bleeding the front drums, I don't ever want to have to mess with that poorly located bleeder screw again.

In addition, the front shoes at some time in the past were worn down past their rivets, which gouged both drums. New shoes were put in at some point with the damaged rotors, so now the shoes have the same gouges in them. So, I decided to say screw all that, and ordered the disc brake conversion kit with brake booster and master cylinder from Summit, along with some 2" spindles, since it will all be apart anyway. I decided not to go with the Ebay kits, mostly because I want to be able to go back 2-3 years from now and find out what rotors/pads I'd need to replace them, etc. That and they ship really fast. I'll post some pictures once the stuff comes in.

How do folks usually lower the rear? Can a leaf be taken out of the pack? I'd rather not spend another $350 on lowering springs right now, those brake parts made a good dent in my wallet.
 

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Lots of good tips in this thread. Yep, look for a new MC. Not a big deal (and not expensive) but think about what brakes you want before buying it. Disk front and drum rear work just fine and are much cheaper that disk all around. The Corvette MC from late 1970s will work fine on that setup or disks all around if you go that way.

No, you do not need a brake booster. These cars are not that heavy. Since you don't have to have one it is completely your choice whether you think there is a cool factor to having one. I did go with the booster route and would not do it again (its harder to adjust the pedal with a booster).

There is a lot of cool Nova stuff happening here in the Bay area. Be sure to check out the NorCalNovas calendar in the Southwestern forum.
http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=20
You do not have to drive your Nova to come to any of these events. All you need is an interest in these great old cars.

By the way....there are very few 6-poppers around. Unless you are just dying for a V8 you might want to consider just how cool a somewhat built-up 6 would be! Take a look at what 1BadNova did with the 6 in his wagon-extreemo!! He has a lot of pics at http://public.fotki.com/1badnov/

Dave
 

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I believe the Summit kit uses standard D52 pads and stock Nova rotors. Some of the lowering spindles limit your wheel width options. I prefer lowering springs unless you are trying to slam it, then you need both. The springs will lower it and improve your handling. I would have bought the Summit kit too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, I am considering just running the 6. I used to have a 73 Mustang with a 250, and before I got rid of it I had all sorts of plans for dual-outlet headers, cam, etc. The mustang was a stick though, and the Nova is an Automatic, so I'm worried that robs a bunch of power.

At least I took off the belt for the air pump last night. That should help. I'm gonna do a full tune up on it, possibly this weekend. These cars have points right? How about a conversion to a more modern setup? This was one of the things I was planning to do to my mustang.

Anyway, here are a few pictures from last night.


Here's a couple horsepower waiting to be unclogged... any suggestions for a louder but not obnoxious muffler?




Leaky wheel cylinder unchecked for who knows how long...



FUBARED front shoes and drums








And lastly, what rear end is this? I'm new to the old chevy world. My experience is mainly with Jeeps.

 

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Yeah, I am considering just running the 6. I used to have a 73 Mustang with a 250, and before I got rid of it I had all sorts of plans for dual-outlet headers, cam, etc. The mustang was a stick though, and the Nova is an Automatic, so I'm worried that robs a bunch of power.

At least I took off the belt for the air pump last night. That should help. I'm gonna do a full tune up on it, possibly this weekend. These cars have points right? How about a conversion to a more modern setup? This was one of the things I was planning to do to my mustang.


Here's a couple horsepower waiting to be unclogged... any suggestions for a louder but not obnoxious muffler?




I have a Raptor muffler on mine and it sounds pretty good. For the record, I too have a '74 more door with the I-6.:D
 

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Better pics?

I did not get to see the original ones you posted. It seems they got deleted. Please post some more. It'd be nice to see what you're working on.:yes::D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I fixed the pictures. Sorry about that. I'm starting to like the idea of sticking with the 6 cylinder, but it just seems so far off before I'll be able to afford to rebuild the engine. Gotta get it road worthy first. Should I be doing other suspension/steering stuff while I have the spindles off during the brake conversion?
 
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