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Discussion Starter · #821 ·
Problem fixed! Rebuilt Edelbrock w/new accelerator pump, needles and seats for floats and went with larger main jets/metering rods to make cruise mode slightly richer and power mode slightly leaner. Found a lot of gunk in carb which I suspect was the main cause of the problem. Re-set idle mixture and timing to 12 degrees. Car runs excellent! No more surging!

Next step is a new set of Summit cast iron heads which should be as good or better that what I have but with screw-in rocker studs which won't pull out! I have been frustrated for 10 years with rocker noise that keeps coming back no matter how many times I adjust them... Should have the heads in about a month! :)

Summit Racing SUM-152123 Summit Racing® Cast Iron Cylinder Heads for Small Chevy | Summit Racing
 

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Discussion Starter · #822 · (Edited)
Got my new heads Tuesday, prepped them, blew out filings from passages, tested for intake valve leaks (none), installed rocker studs, cleaned and painted. Started tear down and got the intake off tonight, Next the headers and then pull the heads. Here's a few pictures...

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Discussion Starter · #824 ·
Not sure what I'm going to do...I was surprised to discover a terrible situation last night... See post #39 in link below... I don't know why this happened but 9 of the pushrods are damaged and some of the rockers...
 

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Discussion Starter · #825 ·
I'm sticking with the stamped rockers but going with one-piece pushrods. My cam lift is 455/465 so the stamped should be fine. Got one head on the other day. Will put other head and hopefully intake on this Wednesday...



 

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Discussion Starter · #826 ·
Haven't had much time lately but got both heads torqued down, did a test to make sure stock 7.8" pushrods are the correct ones and the rockers do hit in the middle of the valve stems with stock pushrods (as expected). I have installed new pushrods and rockers. Need to adjust valves and re-install intake--hopefully Wednesday... Here is where I'm at now...

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I also found out these new heads require different plugs than the Autolite 26s I've been running. I'm leaning towards NGK TR5s which are also a mid heat range plug...I just can't verify exactly how they compare heat-wise to the Autolites I've used that worked well... This thread explains...

Spark Plug Question | Chevy Nova Forum (stevesnovasite.com)
 

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Discussion Starter · #827 ·
Haven't had much time lately but got both heads torqued down, did a test to make sure stock 7.8" pushrods are the correct ones and the rockers do hit in the middle of the valve stems with stock pushrods (as expected). I have installed new pushrods and rockers. Need to adjust valves and re-install intake--hopefully Wednesday... Here is where I'm at now...

View attachment 427326

I also found out these new heads require different plugs than the Autolite 26s I've been running. I'm leaning towards NGK TR5s which are also a mid heat range plug...I just can't verify exactly how they compare heat-wise to the Autolites I've used that worked well... This thread explains...

Spark Plug Question | Chevy Nova Forum (stevesnovasite.com)
 

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Discussion Starter · #829 · (Edited)
Didn't quite get there this evening. I have a good new set of wires and I don't want to burn them on the headers so I ordered some heat shields. Wed will be startup day. A few things I have discovered along the way about using these Summit Cast Iron heads...

Spark plugs should have a .460 reach like NGK UR4 or similar NOT .708 reach like I almost used.


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Also this head casting is about 1/4" higher at the top than stock height so it can make some clearances tighter.

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I have a crate 350 with long tube headers. Burned through the spark plug boot on one new wire and the covering on two more even though I used the insulator sleeves on the wires up through the headers. My solution was to run the wires "below" the headers and up back of the engine to the HEI. Fabricated two brackets for each side to hold the wires next to block for support.
 

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Discussion Starter · #831 ·
Hi-- Thanks for the tip. I appreciate it! I have used the shields successfully before. But if I can't get them to work as they should I will check out the underneath way... Hopefully I would have enough length to do that if I need to. If I do I may be asking you for a picture of your brackets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #833 ·
RUNS GREAT! Noticeably smoother on power curve from low RPM/high load right through higher RPM. So far noticeably more power on low end with no hint of pauses, bogging or surging. Seems much more efficient. ALSO, minimal valve train noise just like I have always expected it should be but could never quite get there... It runs better than it ever has...you would almost think it's fuel injected with the way it behaves and responds! THESE ARE MY IMPRESSIONS SO FAR-- VERY PLEASED :) .
 

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Discussion Starter · #834 ·
Phoenix continues to run great but my gauges are acting up. I think the problem is in the printed circuit that I modified about 5 years ago or the actual gauges are most likely the problem. The tach & speedometer work well (except the lighting and trip meters). The other gauges , printed circuit, etc. are 43-47 yrs old (79 Phoenix & 73 Grand Prix). The gas gauge works well...but oil & volt just quit working. Temp hasn't been working right for over a year. So, I have decided to put modern reliable gauges in. I really like the Phoenix gauge layout but have never found 1 3/4" gauges to replace the 4.

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So I have decided to go with a 76 Nova bezel and layout on my 79 Phoenix because it uses the same dash. I got one this morning out of a 75 Omega. I have gotten other parts off this car and not much left that's useable...except this bezel which is in great shape! Also price was great at $25!

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I would like to work out a custom gauge layout but I can't see a way to put 6 gauges in the existing space and still have it look similar to a factory install. I'm open to suggestions.

I hate to spend the money but am considering Dacota Digital units that will fit a 76 Nova dash.

1976 Chevrolet Nova Parts | DD816R | 1969-76 Nova Dakota Digital VHX (classicindustries.com)

1976 Chevrolet Nova Parts | DD1015B | 1969-76 Nova Dakota Digital (classicindustries.com)


Has anyone used Dakota Digital gauges? I would be interested in anyone's thoughts, comments, opinions or suggestions. :)
 

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I love the layout of those stock Phoenix gauges! I would love to see a backlit aftermarket electrical gauge upgrade in that configuration... IN MY VENTURA!
Quality gauges to pull that off would be less than the Dakota set up but would cost enough time, money and trouble to justify strongly considering it. The Dakota set up will look n perform phenomenally. let me know if selling your phoenix panel is an option to help offset the cost of whatever you decide. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #836 ·
The main problem I had was finding good gauges small enough (1 3/4" I think) that would work with the 4 center gauges and also matching gauges that would work on the tach & speedometer. The big gauges are glo Shift. . But I do have extra gauges and cluster parts from a Grand Prix or 2.
 

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Phoenix continues to run great but my gauges are acting up. I think the problem is in the printed circuit that I modified about 5 years ago or the actual gauges are most likely the problem. The tach & speedometer work well (except the lighting and trip meters). The other gauges , printed circuit, etc. are 43-47 yrs old (79 Phoenix & 73 Grand Prix). The gas gauge works well...but oil & volt just quit working. Temp hasn't been working right for over a year. So, I have decided to put modern reliable gauges in. I really like the Phoenix gauge layout but have never found 1 3/4" gauges to replace the 4.

View attachment 431314


So I have decided to go with a 76 Nova bezel and layout on my 79 Phoenix because it uses the same dash. I got one this morning out of a 75 Omega. I have gotten other parts off this car and not much left that's useable...except this bezel which is in great shape! Also price was great at $25!

View attachment 431317

View attachment 431318





View attachment 431313

I would like to work out a custom gauge layout but I can't see a way to put 6 gauges in the existing space and still have it look similar to a factory install. I'm open to suggestions.

I hate to spend the money but am considering Dacota Digital units that will fit a 76 Nova dash.

1976 Chevrolet Nova Parts | DD816R | 1969-76 Nova Dakota Digital VHX (classicindustries.com)

1976 Chevrolet Nova Parts | DD1015B | 1969-76 Nova Dakota Digital (classicindustries.com)


Has anyone used Dakota Digital gauges? I would be interested in anyone's thoughts, comments, opinions or suggestions. :)
I really like the factory gauges in your dash. I will need to update my dash when I do my LS swap and If I could get something that looks stock and works well into my dash I would be very happy! I'll have to see if there is an easy way to graft in a panel like yours into my (or another) stock bezel.
Thanks for posting, I've been following your build for a while. It's always interesting to see how you keep improving your car!
 

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i went with Intelletronix, It fit well and if there is any issue at all its the speed of the speedo and tack ramping up. If you have a hard revving engine and let her eat through the gears the tach and especially the speedometer can't keep up. When you pull back the throttle and watch where the speedo ends up settling at it makes you look around and make sure no cops are in site. I guess the installation would work with any digital gauge panel. I cut a sheet of carbon fiber to fit where my old cluster was and kept the factory lens.

 

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Discussion Starter · #839 ·
I really like the factory gauges in your dash. I will need to update my dash when I do my LS swap and If I could get something that looks stock and works well into my dash I would be very happy! I'll have to see if there is an easy way to graft in a panel like yours into my (or another) stock bezel.
Thanks for posting, I've been following your build for a while. It's always interesting to see how you keep improving your car!
Thanks! It's been fun these last 10 years or so working with it. I always hope the "improvements" really do end up improving it. So far most have. Pontiac always seemed to have some neat looking dashes even in the 70's. The Phoenix bezel was one of the neatest ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #840 · (Edited)
I've been slowly moving forward on the Dakota Digital install.

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The cluster will fit right into the 75 Omega bezel (See Above) which will fit right on to my dash which is 76 Nova style. This is probably where I will mount the processor...

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Here is complete install thread...

Dakota Digital Installation | Chevy Nova Forum (stevesnovasite.com)

So far, I have installed new temp sensor and new oil pressure sensor supplied with Dakota cluster. I moved the temp sensor from passenger side head to intake manifold. Because radiator hose was in the way, I installed a new swivel thermostat housing and spliced in a curve to avoid any contact with temp sensor.

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