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"I'm looking at a battered '62 Nova wagon. My plans would be to build a fun but super low-budget daily driver out of it.
I'm curious if the stock 6-cyl & manual trans are up to highway speeds & extended cruising. I'd need to be able to cruise at around 75mph w/o straining the engine. Halfway decent gas mileage would be a huge plus.
If that isn't the case, is there any later model engines and/or manual transmissions that I could swap in? I don't want to go V-8 because of all the brake & suspension upgrades that would require. Plus I still want halfway decent gas mileage.
I've done engine & auto trans swaps before, but have basicly no experience with manuals. But I've got buddies with the skills needed I can sucker...errr. convince to help. So I'd be willing to attempt most anything that doesn't require extensive welding or fabrication to fit. Bolt in or near bolt in would make my day.

Cheap & relatively easy is what I'm shooting for. What I'm looking for out of this is reliability, capable of keeping up with highway speeds & decent gas mileage. Horsepower, etc. Come in far far behind (me + fast cars = legal problems :))

So what crazy ideas do ya'll have?

P.S. car has already be converted to floor shift, and I'd be leaving it that way, so shift linkages aren't a concern. but throttle & clutch linkages might be.
 

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why not stay with gm :chev: component by using the inline 5 cylinder engine from a wrecked 2wd chevy colorado and using its manual tranny... you will get decent power ,great gas mileage, ok, it requires some electrical diagram reading and know how, but think about it for a minute, almost new engine ,overdrive,fuel injection
and uniqueness,enough space in the engine compartment,take all you can from the truck, harness, dash cluster,tranny, o2 sensor, cooling fan and the like + redo the driving shaft and enjoy your new car feel and ease of drivability.



1963 acadian beaumont sport deluxe
montreal,canada
 

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Discussion Starter #4
acadian: That is exactly the kind of thing I'mn hoping to do (though prolly going older, too keep costs down). I know GM made a lot of solid reliable drivetrains. I just don't know what would fit into the Nova w/o major weldiing/cutting etc.
I don't know if it is possible but I would love to find something newer that bolts in.
Changing the driveshaft, figuring out wiring harnesses & mounting computers & sensors,etc doesn't worry me. But I don't want to have to DO major modifications, as all of this will be done either in my driveway or in a friend's shed. Plus I don't want it to take forever, the least amount of time off the road the better.

I can't help wondering about S-10 v-6s & v-4s. There were a ****load of those produced, and lots were backed by 5-spd manuals.
 

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A 4.3 wouldn't be a great choice in a car imo, they are kinda slow and I didnt really like the one I had in a truck.

Whatever you pick, make sure you get all the parts from the same vehicle, dont try to mix and match computers.
 

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Keep It Simple

If your thinking about doing a quick simple job; find a good Chevy 292 inline 6 truck motor it will drop right in using your mounts, bellhousing and trans. Tons of torque, and good gas mileage. Will run forever, and easy to work on and any replacement parts are cheap. Later if you want to "hot rod" it up there are some goodies available to do that.
We had a local roundy-roundy track that had a straight 6 cyl. Sportsman class, you would be amazed what these motors will do. Ran as good as alot of small blocks.
 

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acadian said:
why not stay with gm :chev: component by using the inline 5 cylinder engine from a wrecked 2wd chevy colorado and using its manual tranny... you will get decent power ,great gas mileage, ok, it requires some electrical diagram reading and know how, but think about it for a minute, almost new engine ,overdrive,fuel injection
and uniqueness,enough space in the engine compartment,take all you can from the truck, harness, dash cluster,tranny, o2 sensor, cooling fan and the like + redo the driving shaft and enjoy your new car feel and ease of drivability.



1963 acadian beaumont sport deluxe
montreal,canada

I have a 2wd Colorado that shares the garage with my Nova. I've always though that it would be a GREAT engine for Chevy II. For 3.5L, it moves the heavy crew cab truck VERY well. I'd bet it would be a high-14 sec combo in a light CII.

 

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SparkysSS said:
If your thinking about doing a quick simple job; find a good Chevy 292 inline 6 truck motor it will drop right in using your mounts, bellhousing and trans. Tons of torque, and good gas mileage. Will run forever, and easy to work on and any replacement parts are cheap. Later if you want to "hot rod" it up there are some goodies available to do that.
We had a local roundy-roundy track that had a straight 6 cyl. Sportsman class, you would be amazed what these motors will do. Ran as good as alot of small blocks.

Unfortunately a 292 is not a simple job. The right side mounts are in different locations and depending on what intake manifold and carb used there can be hood or master cylinder clearance issues.

A 230 or 250 is a direct drop in however and since you likely have a 3:36 rear gear it should be able to survive at 75mph. You might consider a S-10 5 speed, even with your 194 as it is a fairly easy install and will drop your cruising rpm by ~800.

One thing to consider is when the car was new, everybody drove them at 70mph + all of the time. If the drivetrain is not clapped out, you may be able to get by just the way it is.
 

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Go with a 250 and a 700r4

If you find a 250 inline 6 in good shape GRAB it! Then lookk for a 700r4 trans. You will have the easiest swap and o/d trans as well. I am almost doing that it mine. But I acquired the th350 trans for nothing.

James
 

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I have a 62 wagon with a late 60s 250, an Isky cam and a Holley 350, backed with a Muncie 4 speed, a later 10 bolt posi. It is a very easy switch. I think the 4 speed is more fun than the auto and is easy, if the car was a stick.
The 194 parts you need interchange. It looks clean and except for the carb it looks stock.

Dean
 

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Why are you tossing the 194? if it runs stay with it. Ive had mine cruising at 80 with no problems. MPG may not have been all that great but it ran like a top up there. I have a 3speed behind mine.
 

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Just a few questions re. previous posts:

* Do you need the front sump pan on the 250 to clear stock steering, etc?
* Isn't the T5 trans longer requiring a shorter driveshaft and a shifter hole further back, possibly obstructed by a bench seat?
* What are the original rear gear ratios for the wagon?
Thanks.
 

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From the research I have done it take a combo of a F body and a S10 T-5 to get it in the car and clear the bench seat. I was told that the tunnel is too small for the T-5, ie needs alot more room. All this said I'm still in the debate of T-5 or trying to find a old saginaw 3 speed with overdrive, if I can find one.
 

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Envoy, trailblazer inliner.. Some working fabbing up engine/tranny mounts but would be nice way to roll., wrecking yards should be full off them by now with fairly low mileage..
Vortec 4200 inline 6-cylinder with 275 horsepower @ 6000 RPM and 275 LB ft torque @ 3600
 

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OK, thanks for the reply. So putting a close ratio M21 (2.20 first) behind the 6 and in front of a stock 3.36 rear sounds do-able (similar to what Beygon did, just with a stock rear.)

Math puts first gear at about 7.4:1. Can a 194 handle this ratio or will you eat clutches every couple of months?
 

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I wish I were an expert but I'm not... but here are my thoughts anyway. I got my Nova (65 sedan) to use as a daily driver with the goal of getting the best milage I can out of it. My car came with a '70s vintage (thought it was stock when I got it) 250 and powerglide, and I assume 3.08 gears though I don't know for sure yet. I average about 19 MPG. I have had the car going 70 on the innerstate for well over an hour straight (and actually got over 20MPG when I did) and faster than that but of course not for as long :) The 194 has a shorter stroke and should do more RPMS yet. One reason I got the car is because a 200-4R or 700R4 overdrive automatic can easily be bolted to the stock motor, there are even conversion kits for the shifter. The 90 degree V6s have the same trans bolt pattern as well, would motor mounts make that swap tough? If gas prices really go up I've even thought about getting an I4, from what I read, it looks like the 153 and earily (until mid 70s?) Iron Duke 4 cyls have the same trans bolt pattern as well. I don't know if it would be possible to fuel inject one, but it would be cool, if it were built right it might even be better than the straight six, I don't know. I've thought about the T5 as well, and would love to find a stock-style 3 speed overdrive, but the automatic overdrive looks to be easier to come by. I would think you'd want a wide ratio trans for daily driving/milage, you'd have a low gear for take off and high gear highway, close ratio is great for racing but that's not what I'm doing. I was fortunate enough to get a freshly rebuilt '63 Nova 194 that was abandoned at the machine shop and was cheap, so that'll probably go in my car at some point. I'm still looking for a 200-4R locally (Oregon) though :( Hope I'm not pointing you down the wrong track!
 

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250 Inline is the way t go

Like I said...250 Inline is the way to go. You DO NOT NEED A FRONT SUMP SET UP. Check out Twisted 6's website and he posts pictures of what must be done with modern 250 oilpans. It is MINOR. I just finished doing this on mine. Not real pretty but hey, it's way down there and who will see it?

I am going with the turbo 350 trans for avaiabilty. Somewhere down the line I will go with an overdrive trans but I still have some bugs to work out with the trans-formation from the 194/powerglide column shift to a 250 inline with Turbo350 trans shifting on the floor. Oh yeah!

Even the 3 speed turbo350 trans will help mpg's.

James:cool:
 
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