Chevy Nova Forum banner
1 - 20 of 434 Posts

· Premium Member
1974 Nova SS pro-tour resto-mod.
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
8.5" 10 Bolt posi swap

Thanks guys!

I started accumulating replacement parts and decided today that I'm running out of storage space. I had bought a junkyard rear end for the posi differential and decided to swap the parts over today so I can sell one and get some space back.

404197

404198


I'm happy to report that the posi differential unit went in without objection. It's just a temporary assembly for now to consolidate parts and make sure everything fit. I'll have to properly rebuild it a little further down the road...but at least I don't have to store 2 full rear end assemblies anymore.

so...I'm going to do a mini-tub and 4-link next. I know...why not a 9" right? Money at this point. I'm not planning on planting massive torque to the ground anyway...not enough to break it hopefully. This will not be a drag car.

I just ordered the steel for the rear frame sectioning so...more pics and updates soon hopefully...
 

· Premium Member
1974 Nova SS pro-tour resto-mod.
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
looks like a good start to a great project! I guess I'm surprised to see a 74 with drums up front, I was under the impression that 74 was the first year for discs standard up front :confused:
Yeah, I wish it did. Would have saved some $ since I'll be going with disk brakes all around.

The car came with an M21 4-speed and bucket seats...pretty much the reason I bought it. I was disappointed to learn that it's originally a bench seat car. 4-speed and yellow paint is correct color though. I'm planning on keeping it yellow.

I've got a 327 I've been lugging around for the last 15 years that I'll build and put in the car. Right now, I'm thinking twin turbo, low boost...500HP range. This car will be a non-flogged driver. My vision for the car is a classic Chevy potent enough to keep up with or beat the new Challengers, Camaros and Mustangs in stock trim...light to light anyway. I know, thats a stretch considering the suspension and gearing not to mention HP of those new rides.

Hey...a guy can dream can't he? And also...there's something to say for the fact that I built it right? Right!
 

· Premium Member
1974 Nova SS pro-tour resto-mod.
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Driver side rear frame section. Part 1

I finally got to start cutting on the car to get these rear frame rails moved inward.

Earlier in the week I made some adjustable supports for the rear of the car. I used 1" steel pipe and 3/4" threaded rod with some threaded floor flanges. I tack welded the top to the frame and tapcon screwed the flanges to my garage floor. Does the trick!





Once i had back half of the car supported, I started cutting out metal. I cut out the trunk pan to make access to the frame rail easier. I need to replace the trunk pan anyways so...

404203


Sectioned the inner wheel well to get access to the frame rail on the outer side and cut some relief slots in the remaining trunk pan material to allow the flaps to be bent up and out of the way. Drilled the spot welds and used the air chisel to start separating the welds.

404204

404205

404206

404207


Almost ready for the big "hope I don't @#$% this up" cuts on the frame rail...
 

· Premium Member
1974 Nova SS pro-tour resto-mod.
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
A little progress...

Its been difficult to find time to work on the car as much as I would like. I have made a bit more progress on the driver side frame mods.

Marked and cut the frame section:
404208

404209


Mocked up where I wanted the rail to be:
404210


I had to weld 3/16" plate to extend formed body support plate over so the relocated frame section had something to attach to:
404211

404212

404213


Bend and cut and fit and bend and cut and fit this little ***. Also had to fill holes and add a little metal here and there:
404214


I'm about 75% sure it will get welded back in like this:
404215

404216


Once I get the other side done, I'll get the 4-link in and then beef up the structure with a crossmember while installing the fuel cell. I sure hope I can make the other side of the frame mod go quicker.
 

· Premium Member
1974 Nova SS pro-tour resto-mod.
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
almost forgot to mention DSE

I purchased the DSE deep tubs. Funny thing, I didn't realize they were in Mooresville, NC. I was working on a project right down the road from the shop so I decided to stop in and check it out. That place is awesome! Great people. They took me on a tour of the entire shop and they have some very nice pieces in there. I think they were planning an event for the upcoming races in Charlotte too. If you ever get the chance, stop by and meet these folks. You won't be disappointed.
 

· Premium Member
1974 Nova SS pro-tour resto-mod.
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Also...went to the Autofair in Charlotte last week and finally ordered my wheels! 17"x11"x6"BS for the back and 17"x8"x4.5"BS for the front. I desperately needed the back wheels so I can get the final width on my rear housing and axles. The next big milestone for me is to get this freaken thing rolling again!

Anybody know what a good front wheel size is? I'm looking to go as wide as possible on the front (17" diameter). The guy I was ordering from thought 17" x 8" x 4.5" BS but he said he'd give me a week to double check.
 

· Premium Member
1974 Nova SS pro-tour resto-mod.
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
Started ripping my DSE tubs last August and then took a long break. Got one tacked up but was having problems butt welding the sheet metal with my cheapo welder...Eventually bought a good welder and finished them up.

I wised up on the 2nd one and used a single strip of metal from one of the quarter panels I cut off the car. The steel they used back then is so much better than the crap that's out there today!

Tip...save the good parts of the metal you cut off your car. You will probably be able to use it for various patch panels.


405176


405177


405178


Then new welder.

405179


Old quarter panel steel.

405180


2nd tub.

Another tip: When you are going to be butt welding sheetmetal, make your cut as straight as possible and a little long. That is, leave a little bit of extra material. Then use a flat file to level/flatten it to the final dimension. The joint needs to be straight with 1/16" to 1/8" gap between it all the way. If the 2 pieces are touching and you weld on them, they will distort and buckle. Be patient and take the time to fit very carefully. Believe it or not, widening these tubs has been the biggest challenge for me so far with this project and I learned so much doing it.

405181
 

· Premium Member
1974 Nova SS pro-tour resto-mod.
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
ok, so I clamped the inner and outer wheel houses in there. That was a fair bit of work to get everything trimmed and fitting correctly. Unfortunately I don't have any pics of that process...not that I can find yet anyways.

Next...I'm thinking about getting my new quarter skins on. I guess I have to deal with the rotten old taillight valance first since technically I have 70/71 quarter skins which have subtle differences from the 73/74 cars. I was surprised to find that they still do not offer repo quarters for the 73/74 cars btw. Why the hell not is what I want to know.

Anyway, I have the new piece already along with the trunk drop off and quater(ish) trunk pans that the drop off attaches to. I think I even have a complete trunk pan somewhere. I'm glad I thought to buy this stuff a year ago!

Before
406555


After...btw, check out the factory spot weld locations. Notice any difference? Left was welded by a pro and right was amateur.
406557


406556




New valance roughly fit into place. FYI - I had to remove the trunk lid latch assembly from the trunk pan (more spot welds) to get this jigsaw piece in.
406558


Here you can see the where I have to keep the very corner of the old quarter panel so the taillight valance has something to attach to. Since I'm using skins instead of full quarters...because they still don't make full quarters for this year. :mad:

406559
 

· Premium Member
1974 Nova SS pro-tour resto-mod.
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
As you can see from this next pic, the trunk pan behind the wheel and the trunk drop off were shot. Also, I should note that I am test fitting the new quarter skin all through this process to make sure things are lining up correctly. I haven't welded anything yet. So far I'm using clamps and cleco fasteners to hold all this stuff on.

406560


Here is how the skin fit over the old before I trimmed it. Note the top body line of the new quarter is different...since its for a 71/72 Nova instead of a 74. :mad:

406561


While it was clamped on the car I traced the opening on the back side and trimmed away the mismatched body line on top and bottom piece near rocker so it would lay flat on the car.

406562


406563
 

· Premium Member
1974 Nova SS pro-tour resto-mod.
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
Next...off with the rotten old trunk drop off.

406564


And then start fitting the new trunk piece.

406565


Pic of left and right trunk pieces. You can see how much I had to cut away from the left piece so far to fit it.

406566


Cut the old trunk piece away and cleaned up the frame rails. Started using a spot weld cutter instead of drilling and it works much nicer.

406567


It took a good chunk of time to get the trunk piece to fit. Now I'm using cleco pins to hold things in place and I don't know how I survived without them up till now.

406568


And then the new trunk drop off.

406569
 

· Premium Member
1974 Nova SS pro-tour resto-mod.
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
Then I used clecos to temporarily hang the rough fit quarter and threw a wheel under there to see how she looks.

406570


406571


406572


406573


That should be pretty close (hopefully) to the rear stance. The tire is tucked up there pretty well and I still have good shock travel. I just don't know if her belly will be too low at that stance. Might even be able to get a little more stuffed up in there. As a bonus, I have more tire to wheel well clearance than I originally thought I would. I have about an inch on each side as it sits right now.

And that's where I left off today.

Next: put the door and trunk lid back on to check body gaps. Paint, weld through prime inner panels and weld er up...then on to the passenger side.

But 1st I have to deal with this pesky little gap left from using the DSE tubs.

406574


I may have to buy inner wheel wells just to cut that piece off and use it. Either that or get creative with metal work!
 

· Premium Member
1974 Nova SS pro-tour resto-mod.
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
Hi again! - update

I've obviously been out of touch for a while. Been working off and on on the car as time allows. I have the driver side trunk pan, drop off, inner and outer wheel wells welded in. Just welded the passenger side trunk pan and drop off in. Need to weld in the inner and outer wheel wells on the passenger side.

Been sourcing parts and tring to figure out what I'm going to do for the rear diff/axles. Junkyard posi is shot so...rebuild or new. Looking like new is the better value at this point.

here are a few new pics...

407455


407456


407457
 

· Premium Member
1974 Nova SS pro-tour resto-mod.
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
Here is what I'm thinking...?

407458


407459


407460


Time to order custom length axles and get the housing narrowed. With the wheels and tires roughly mocked in place, I measure about 54.25" face to face of the wheels. I want a temporary solid axle to put the wheels on under the car so I can check clearances.

I have the old axles and I'm considering cutting them to the correct length and butt welding or sleeving them together to achieve this. Not sure how hard the metal is or if I can even do this with a band saw. I hate to destroy the original axles but I want to be certain I have the right width to work from. The axles are tapered so I also know that getting them straight and true will take a bunch of fitting and jigging. I doubt they will be perfectly straight but I feel like I can get them close enough for what I'm trying to achieve.

Any thoughts from guys who have experience with this kind of thing? Do I even need to worry about it at this point or do I just go with engineering an axle/housing assembly that measures 54.25" with discs? I have at least 3/4" clearance on both sides of the tires as they sit now but I haven't tried to plumb and square the tires accurately. Basically I shoved them up in the wheel well and aligned them using the structure lines in the wells.
 
1 - 20 of 434 Posts
Top