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Okay, newbie here. Here is the story.

I got a '70 Nova that was an original 6 cylinder, but was switched out with a sb 350 but kept the powerglide that went with it. Rear is a 2.73 10 bolt. Drove great until the day the prior owner he parked it. In 1993. Decided to drive his trucks instead and left it in his field in Texas. I got this info a few weeks after I got the car through an intermediatary so I am sure it is solid.

Zoom forward to 2009, yours truly finally gets the Nova he wanted to work on for years but distractions like wife, job, and children get in the way of what's important. I don't have a garage, because I converted it to offices for me and the missus, but I am in the military so I can use the car garages and tools they have on post for gentlemen who see the value of fingerbowls prior to eating. I would like to get it running so I could drive it there and back, maybe store it there for longer term things like engine rebuild etc. limited storage space.

The goal is to have a '70 SS 350 clone (I perfer tribute). I am not religious on orginality, so things can be modern so long as the look vintage. One thing though, no computer chips, don't ask me why, they just seem obscene to me.

I am currently in Iraq for another 5 months, so while I give my sons some minor assignments I can study auto mechanics while I am here. I think something else is going on over here as well, either that or the neighbors make a lot of noise at night.

Here is the question: What parts should I try to keep/test? I am trying to get it running first. Should I clean/change the fuel tank/lines, change the fluids, and a battery and cross my fingers? Or do all that and fuel pump, water pump, starter, radiator, hoses, check electrical circuits and then go for it?

I just don't know how long these things can sit and still work. The car itself is in decent condition, some dents (apparently from a irritated bull), floors basically solid. complete as far as parts.

Also if you could, what are some the questions I should be asking.


Thanks ahead of time
 

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70 Nova Project...

First off....thank you for your service to our country !!

Now, to the Nova...at very least you need to clean out the fuel system ( this may mean dropping the tank, cleaning out the lines and carb...see what it looks like and go from there), remove spark plugs and pour some Marvel oil in cylinders and let it sit for a day or so to loosen things up.

Next thing is to make sure you have oil pressure...hook a battery up and try to spin it over with the plugs out just to see if everything seems ok. You can hook up a cheap oil presuure gauge or remove the valve covers and make sure oil is coming out the pushrods. Once ou get past this, change the oil and filter...also get another filter and some more oil for another change once the motor is running for awhile and everything is warmed up good. I would add some more Marvel oil to the oil and some to the fuel.

Once you have oil pressure you can move on to fresh fuel and ignition. A new set of plugs will help....check the points, condenser, cap, rotor, wires....they may be fine for the initial start up. If anything looks bad, put in some new parts. Check radiator for coolant, make sure belts and hoses will survive initial start up, fresh battery (well charged)have a fire extinguisher handy....get a friend to help and let her fly.

Good luck....and stay safe.

wilma
 

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I'm in Iraq too right now and will be headed home about the same time as you.
Your from Texas right? If so I'm around about the Ft Hood area. I'm more than willing to help you out when I get back if you bribe me with beer after the work has been done:D
 

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Wilmasboy pretty much covered it.

Marvel or some other penetrating oil in each cylinder (a medical needle makes this job easy). Take out all the plugs and turn the engine over by hand.

After sitting so long, I would personally replace the following, regardless of condition:
  • Spark plugs
  • Points
  • Condensor
  • Air filter
  • Fuel filter
  • Oil and oil filter
  • Gas
These are pretty cheap things to replace. After you've done all that, spray a little starting fluid down the carb and let 'er rip! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the feedback. I think I will have to take up some of the generous offers of help when I get back. Don't worry about the supply of booze. To no surprise I was planning to drop by the store anyway after the deployment.

I do have a follow-up question if anyone is reading this far. On the stopping part of the equation, the brakes are all drum and questionable, I assume I have to replace all the drums, brake lines, and master cylinder before placing in gear?
 

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I can help you out there, just before I left I did a a drum to disk swap on my 68 and have all the parts laying around. Just did them when I got the car they might have 300 miles on them with all new hardware and if you don't have power brakes I got the master and the booster too. I'll let them go dirt cheap or trade for some block sanding time on my car.........

If the car has been sitting around in the Texas heat for years then first thing you'll want to do is replace all the dry rotted rubber fuel line.
 
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