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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1963 Hardtop mini-Restore

Well, it has been quite a while since I posted anything, so why not some pictures of what I have been working on. The car is a 1963 Nova, purchased from the Portland, OR area back in December of 2008. The car ran and drove great--but did not stop too well and was a greasy mess. So I set out to clean up the front end and replace leaking engine gaskets; along with an update to the suspension and brakes. As we all know, things quickly grew out of hand and the entire front end was disassembled! I now have the skirts back on after cleaning and painting them and the firewall. The engine was tore down to a "short block" config and all major gaskets replaced (along with a good cleaning and painting). I dove in head first with the CPP mini subframe and I am waiting delivery of the idler arm bearing kit and new tie rod ends. The next purchase will be a disc brake kit and the corrosponding accessories (master cylinder, brake lines, etc.), and I might go ahead and clean up the gas tank and replace the fuel lines, etc.

But I digress, enough typing, on to the pictures!











This is standing in my way of putting the motor back in the car, a super greasy Powerglide. I want to get it cleaned up and bolted to the engine and drop them both in at once.

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks 6Nova4, it sure is great to see it coming back together. Here are some before pictures. The exterior is going to stay the same for a while, just cleaning it up a bit. Of course the wheels will change with the addition of disc brakes. I also need to get the front seat rebuilt because it bottoms out when you sit on it.





 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
disc brake conversion

Well, I went for it and bought a four wheel disc brake kit; complete with master cylinder and all brake lines (hard and braided). Now I need to get the rear axle flanges drilled for the five-lug brakes and find me a set of wheels that fit. Yes, these front rotors will push the wheels out 3/8" according to the manufacturer. I am assuming the rear rotors will also push the wheels out around 1/8" after searching the forums here. But, since I have to buy wheels anyways, I figured I could get the correct backspace to work with this kit. Plus, this complete kit was the best deal I could find, including the options (powder coated calipers, drilled/slotted/zinc rotors, stainless hard/braided lines, and shipping included) compared to some of the zero-offset kits. I love the Aerospace and Wilwood kits, but out of the current price range. Since this is just a 6-banger cruiser, these brakes should work great.

I am pretty sure the hard lines are going to require some "tweaking"; at first glance they don't appear to just drop in place. I'm hoping they will fit with minor adjustments.





I got the steering box cleaned up and painted, then reinstalled; Much better!










 

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what are you suing for paint on the inner fenders/ steering box? Who makes that disk brake conversion kit? That looks like a nice set up
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the words of encouragement.

The disc brake kit is from Right Stuff Detailing. I bought it off of an online vendor and pretty much got all the major options: powder coated calipers, drilled/slotted/zinc rotors, stainless pre-bent hard lines, stainless flex lines, master cylinder/prop valve. It is a complete kit, minus fluid and bearing grease. I bought 5-lug steering arms from CPP, because of course the '63 had four lug drums. I plan on pulling the rear axles and having them drilled for the 5-lug pattern, as seen in the Super Chevy Nova edition magazine and as discussed here at Steves. The only thing so far that I don't care about the kit is how the prop valve is attached and the fact that the pre-bent lines look like they will need more than a little tweaking to fit. I have seen better "under-mount" prop valve brackets, but I guess this one will work.

Oh, the kit does not include new t-fittings for the brake lines going through the inner fenders. I guess I'll clean up the old ones and plug any unused holes; or maybe I'll do some searching for new ones. Not sure if anyone makes some that will work.

The paint used is mainly from Eastwood. This is my first restoration and I figured I would just try some of their products after hearing some good things. The inner fenders were media blasted, primed with master series silver, then finished up with the Extreme Chassis black primer/topcoat. The firewall was degreased and sanded by hand, then finished with Exteme Chassis primer/topcoat. Any item that is Cast Iron in color is Eastwoods Spray Gray (master cylinder/steering box/center link/tie rod ends/pitman arm/idler arm, etc). Many of those items I primed with the master series silver after hitting it with a wire wheel drill. So far I'm pretty happy with the way the Eastwood products work out. The cans seem to have plenty of propellant and they spray pretty well. The durability remains to be seen--only time will tell.

If you have any other questions, or would like to see additional pictures, just let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
hard lines

After test fitting the hard lines today I am convinced I was sent a set intended for a power brake setup. I was checking the Right Stuff catalog and they have listed a conversion line set for a manual set up--I will be calling the provider this week to see if that is available. If not, these lines will be headed back and I will look elsewhere for some pre-bent sets.

I was doing some searching and this is the under mount prop valve look that I like better:

It definitely has a cleaner look; more like it belongs that way, compared to the bracket provided by RSD.
 

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Right stuff

Yes, dont hesitate from calling right stuff to check everything out. Great company, my shop has used them several times, but they seem to get stuff mixed up more times than not. The good news is, they are fantastic about setting things right.
 

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oh yeah

I forgot to add that the finish on your firewall and engine bay look FANTASIC. Satin finish is the only way to go!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yep, satin is definitely the way to go. It is slightly higher gloss then I had hoped, but I still like it.

I have heard nothing but good things about Right Stuff Detailing, and expect that they will definitely make any necessary changes. I just wasn't sure if they do indeed have a different hard line set for a manual master cylinder setup.
 

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Looks like you are doing a really nice job. Keep up the good work. I used The Right Stuff kit when changing my front drums over to discs and ordered the brake line kit. I got the wrong brake lines to begin with so they sent me the right set and told me to just keep the other set. They were really good to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Few more pictures

Here are a few more pics:

I got the spindles and steering arms painted/installed; followed by the rotors. The tie rod ends are temp installed so I can push the Nova out of the garage and pressure wash the rest of the undercarriage. When I go to put the motor/tranny back in, I plan on removing the steering linkage to make it a little easier.

I found a set of rally wheels off of craigslist--15x7 with 4.25" backspacing. I want to run the same size tire all around--thinking maybe a 205/50. I know the rear will probably fit, but the front will be tight. I couldn't pass the wheels up, it was a good deal since they came with chrome police style center caps. I just need to get the wheels painted (or I might go ahead and have them powdercoated). Worse case, if they don't fit, I'll sell them.









 

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Your car looks great and your nice and neat work area reflects the work your doing.

CPP Claims their upper and lower control arm kits provide more tire to fender clearance, so if that is true you'll have a little more room for those 205's.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the comments. Yeah, I sometimes feel that I spend just as much time cleaning the garage as I do working on the Nova. I guess I am somewhat OCD in that respect.

I'm still trying to locate a pressure washer (beg, borrow, or steal) so it will be easier to clean the rest of the undercarriage.

Side Note: I previously contacted Right Stuff Detailing about the brake line fitment issue; the first set was for a power brake setup and they are sending out the proper set for a manual master cylinder. Great Customer Service! They definitely stand behind their products.
 
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