Chevy Nova Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I am building my first car a 78 Nova. It’s in pretty good shape, good engine and solid body (AZ car). There is not much of an interior and need to replace the driver side door and hood. I’m on a budget so I’m thinking getting another low cost car and pulling parts off to use for my car might be a good approach? If not some tips about salvage yards would be appreciated.
Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
Hi all, I am building my first car a 78 Nova. It’s in pretty good shape, good engine and solid body (AZ car). There is not much of an interior and need to replace the driver side door and hood. I’m on a budget so I’m thinking getting another low cost car and pulling parts off to use for my car might be a good approach? If not some tips about salvage yards would be appreciated.
Thanks!
Recommend you make a list of everything you want to fix and decide how far you are going to go...full restoration, partial or just get it back on the road. Each of these approaches are viable, but they can vary greatly in price and in time. That will determine what you need to do and how much stuff you want to take off or replace and whether you need a parts car.

A parts car is an invaluable resource. Try to find one that is complimentary to yours. In other words, if yours a has a good engine, trans and body but no interior and no trim, look for a parts car that has the interior intact and the trim...you don't care about the drive train etc on the parts car.

Other things that were good with having a parts car...we did not take our parts car apart. I left it intact until near the end. It became our source of information when reassembling our car and a source for odds and ends brackets, screws, fasteners that either weren't on our car or we broke, lost etc. Many a time we would be working on something and get confused on how it was supposed to look....run and look at parts car...ah hah...now I see how it is supposed to work/look/fit together etc....so keep it in one piece as long into the process as practical.

One item we overlooked was the windows. I would have a glass guy come over and remove the windshield and the rear window at least early on. Clean up the rust around them and do any dash work and work around the rear window, speakers, etc while they are out. Then at the end have the glass guy put them back on with fresh sealant. Keeps the wind and water out and would make working on the car so much easier in those areas.

In general look for leaks early on...spray the whole thing down good and then inspect interior and trunk for leaks. They are no fun to find after you got it all together.

If you are going to fully restore it, seriously consider if your budget can afford all new wiring. In hindsight I wish we would have rewired the whole car with a fresh kit. It would have blown our budget but would have saved countless hours of hunting for bad grounds, broken or missing wires and trying to figure out what previous owners had done. We could have skimped on something else to make up the budget. If the car has never been 'fixed up' by previous owners then you may be ok here...but I would look carefully at the wiring early and if you have the interior out etc...test the wiring then...not after you get it all assembled and find out your blinker doesn't work or the overhead light turns on and off randomly because of a short somewhere. LOL.

In general, HAVE FUN! It is an adventure. My son and I had zero experience and made it through the 2+ year restoration and were very happy to find out we ended up with a running fun car on the other side. This forum and many youtube videos were a great help along the way. Once I realized that I couldn't really 'ruin' it or 'break it' completely....life got a lot easier and less stressful. The worst that can happen is you have to spend more money or time because you did something wrong. For example we cut out some rust and welded in a patch...it looked terrible and warped the panel a little...ugh...then I realized...cut it back out...make a little larger hole, a little larger patch, less heat to prevent warping and ha...now it looks acceptable, some grinding, bondo, sanding, voila.... Same thing on other things like a over tightened bolt...snap...uh oh...looks like I need to make a run to Autozone and get a new part...also learned a lot of lessons about the order to do things...we got to put on and take of some things LOTS and LOTS of times, but in hindsight that was all part of the joy (joy is typically felt best after the fact...at the time it was often painful) of this hobby project.

Again have fun with your restoration and post some pictures and keep us informed. Hope this helps you on your journey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Very Helpful

Thank you so much for the info! Awesome to hear you and your son also did something simulator and had good results. I have been around cars all my life and have helped friends work on their cars over the years. I am very excited to work on mine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
Welcome to this community, you will find lots of help on here. Read through the other build threads here to get ideas of how you want to approach your build and how you may want to customize or copy someone else's approach. We had literally never done anything like this, so our build log on here is filled with things we discovered along the way...it is still a work in progress :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,133 Posts
Great advice from Miles. Thinking ahead is very helpful. I didn't always do that and paid for it later. Of course it is sometimes unavoidable to have to backtrack. What he says about the windshield (front and rear) is good advice. I wish I had done that--and still haven't. I'm not sure but I think I may have some rust-through under my windshield. It would have been nice to deal with that before I finished body work.

One thing I also wish I had done when I had all the front sheet metal off was rebuild all the heater stuff. I replaced heater core & blower but should have redone vacuum hoses,seals and cables so that all worked properly. It would have been MUCH easier with the sheet metal off and the engine out.

Also, on the mechanical side determine where you want to go with engine, transmission and rear gear. I originally started out converting to 4 spd manual and chose rear gears of 3.42. I didn't anticipate changing to a 5 spd with overdrive... I may have chosen 3.73 gears instead because they may have worked just a little better.

Like he says try to envision where you want to go and make decisions accordingly. If you know you will want a certain part but can't afford it might be better to just wait rather than buy cheaper now and then buy better later.

Remember its just a hobby and have fun. Here's my thread in case it's any help.

http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192016
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top