Chevy Nova Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
Joined
·
1,597 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For the last couple of months, I have been working on improving the appearance of my 1974 Nova. This post is a recap of the upgrades I made. During the upcoming weeks, I plan to write separate threads (with detailed installation instructions, part numbers, and photos) for each specific upgrade that was made. This way, it will be easier for others to find the information they were interested in for future projects.

Radiator Project
Ever since I installed my 31" wide universal fit aluminum radiator several years ago, I never liked how the final installation looked.

Every time I opened the hood, the upper radiator support looked like the San Andreas fault line :eek:

My goal was to lower this radiator within the core support and install a new upper radiator cover that would have the appearance of a factory installation. Below is the result.

I was able to lower the radiator by cutting off the excess upper and lower “U” channel structure of the radiator and used an early model Chevelle upper radiator cover… but I did have to do some cutting and filing to the cover around the radiator filler neck. I did luck out that I was able to attach the fan shroud directly to the radiator cover.

New (Replacement) Front and Rear Bumpers & Bumper Tuck
It’s amazing that I have owned my 74 Nova for almost 40 years and I'm finally getting around to a bumper tuck! I figured that since I was installing new replacement bumpers, now would be a good time to also complete the bumper tuck. For the front tuck, I just drilled and compressed the bumper shock absorbers. Below are some before and after photos.

Front Bumper Tuck - Before


Front Bumper Tuck – After

Note that I also removed the Tow Tabs and fixed the gouge on the impact molding strip (drivers side corner of molding).

For the rear tuck, I removed the bumper shock absorbers… but I did not install the bumper directly to the rear frame. I retained the rear bumper filler panel (cut down to fit tuck) and used some spacers (large nuts) positioned between the inner bumper brace and the rear frame... along with some new attachment bolts to achieve the look I was going for.
Rear Bumper Tuck - Before


Rear Bumper Tuck – After

My bumpers no longer look like “swim platforms” on a power boat!
I was amazed how much the bumper tuck improved the overall look to my Nova!

Side View - Before


Side View - After


1969 Camaro Chin Spoiler Installation
Since I was installing new bumpers and doing the bumper tuck, I thought now would be a good time to install a 1969 Camaro Chin Spoiler. I chose the 1969 Camaro Chin Spoiler because it is flat at the top center of the spoiler (unlike the 67-68 Camaro chin spoiler that has a “V” section cut out on the top center of the spoiler). I made a custom bracket that attached under the Hood/Grill support to make the installation of the spoiler pretty easy. Below are a couple photos of the results.



I also positioned the chin spoiler so that it directs air up into the radiator.
The addition of this spoiler definitely gave my Nova a much more sporty, aggressive look.

Final Results


Installation details shown in new threads listed below

*Link to Universal Fit Radiator Installation Details*
https://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=665943

*Link to New Chrome Bumper Details*
https://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=666039

*Link to Bumper Tuck Details*
https://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=666143

*Link to Chin Spoiler Installation Details*
https://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=665999

Just Added on 9/27/19
New Interior Door Panel Installation

*Link to Interior Door Panel Installation Details*
https://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=667741
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
423 Posts
New Appearance upgrades on my 74 Nova

Man RifRaf, that overall change in looks is incredible. Nice piece of work!
 

·
Registered
1969 Nova . . 2dr . . Chino Valley,Az USA
Joined
·
4,841 Posts
Kinda like watching 'OverHauling' ... nice "Tuck -- on both ends"

your Nova looks very Sharp ... good job
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
upgrade to 74 nova

the car looks great. I am about to finish my wifes 74 nova, and will looking at all of your pics. Hope mine can be half as good as yours. Doug!
 

·
Registered
Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
Joined
·
1,597 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I wanted to thank everyone that responded with their generous words... they are never taken for granted and are always appreciated :yes:
Kinda like watching 'OverHauling'
I am a big fan of 'OverHauling' and have looked to this show (and Chip Foose) for my inspiration in planning and completing car projects. Thank you for the comparison!
 

·
Premium Member
1968 Chevy II Nova, Central Arkansas
Joined
·
2,040 Posts
Looks like you put the 74 on diet and it is really looking good. Those kind of details makes it really stand out.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
913 Posts
Clean Lines

The bumper tucking is a great improvement. Nice work.
I am looking forward to how you installed the chin spoiler.
More air is always good.

Keep up the innovations!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Chin spoiler

I really like the chin spoiler add on. Can't wait to see the info. on how you installed it. Might do the same to my 72.:yes:
 

·
Registered
Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
Joined
·
1,597 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks again to everyone for the positive feedback!
Since there seems to be some interest in the chin spoiler installation details, I will work on that write-up next.
 

·
Registered
Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
Joined
·
1,597 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
New Interior Door Panels

I just installed new driver's and passenger's side interior door panels, new interior & exterior door handles, new window crank handles, and new door bumper stops on my 74 Nova Custom.
My drivers side door panel was cracked in several places and the upper door trim was held in place with rivets... and it never stayed attached to the top of the door frame.


Below are some photos of the new door panels and door hardware.






The new door handles (and all other new door hardware) were very easy to install and fit perfectly... but the new interior door panels were not that straight forward of an install. I needed to drill additional door panel retainer clip holes in both driver's and passenger's sides of the interior door skins/frames to get the door panels to fit correctly.

*Link to Interior Door Panel Installation Details*
https://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=667741
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
878 Posts
Rif, as all have said your workmanship is awesome.
Please walk me thru the interior hood lock. Is that a kit or your handiwork?
Thx
 

·
Registered
Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
Joined
·
1,597 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Alf, Thanks for the feedback and your kind words!
I think you are referring to this contraption that is mounted on the front of my radiator core support (circle).

It's my homemade Low Tech/Low Budget Hood Lock.
My fiberglass hood is held closed by two hood pins that go thru the front of the hood... but I wanted something that would keep the hood secure if the hood pin clips were removed by someone other then me.

Attached to the underside/front of my fiberglass hood's inner structure is an eye bolt. I had to drill/file another opening within the underside of the hood structure (arrow) so that I could install another washer and nut to keep the eye bolt in place.

When the hood is shut, the opening in the eye bolt is directly in line with the sliding bolt (arrow in 1st photo).
The sliding bolt is held in place with metal "L" brackets (bent and drilled as needed) that can be purchased at most hardware stores.

All of this is controlled by a manual choke cable (that is connected to the sliding bolt)... that I ran into the car's interior and attached the push/pull lever to the underside of the dash.

Very basic... but it works as intended.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
878 Posts
Thanks, Mike. I like to make my stuff as well. I'll borrow your idea go from there.
Appreciate the detailed pix.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top