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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Year: 1968

Model: Nova

Engine: Small block 383

Body/Exterior: Mostly intact

Front End: OEM subframe with QA1 handling kit, CPP drop spindles with C5 hubs, Baer 6P 14" brakes

Transmission: BorgWarner T-56 from ~2003 Camaro

Rear End: a complete disaster

Exhaust: fits OK but still needs work

Wheels/Tires: 18x10 American Racing (pending)

Interior: missing

Electrical: American Autowire Classic Update kit

Accessories/Options:

Sound system: just the exhaust

Comments:



As you can see this is very much a project car. Ill maybe update this post with the best looking picture of the whole car as I get more of it put together.

Bought the car in December 2018. The engine was "not running" and was hanging in the car by a few bolts. It came with the BorgWarner transmission which is exactly what I was looking for. As youll see in later posts, nothing was done on the car and if it WAS done it was done incorrectly for the most part. Still, the car is a great base for what I want to build. My aim is a road track worthy car that is solid but isnt necessarily primo when it comes to fit and finish.

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Since the engine wasnt running, I pulled it and started to dig in to understand what was going on. This thing had a crazy aggressive super small base circle cam. Seems like it was over-rev'd maybe and the linkage between the lifters broke. My guess is then the lifter rotated and when the cam came around it exploded the roller of the lifter. Check out the parts I found in the oil pan (and this isnt all of what was in there).

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
While the block was at the shop getting cleaned up, I started fitting the transmission. I had a trash block fitted to the trans so I could still get fitment correct while the good block wasnt here. The cutout shown ended up being a bit tight so once the tunnel was in place I ended up opening it up more. Cut, fit, and weld!




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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Luckily the engine blocked checked out at the shop, so I got the engine back together pretty easily. I took my time and measured everything plus replaced anything that didnt look great. I re-used the pistons, crank, connecting rods, and heads. Took me a while to get the correct clutch setup to fit this transmission to the small block chevy. Ive used ACT before so I went with their kit. In order to get the clutch slave in the right place, there needs to be a 2" spacer block between the bellhousing the slave. These are like 7 bucks for the OEM part but you cant find them anywhere. Aftermarket pieces are like 150 bucks, so I just made my own which cost me ~30 for the billet of aluminum. The black part next to the billet part is the 3D printed mock up before I machined the real thing.

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PXL_20210410_214446748.jpg
PXL_20210410_191217154.jpg
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Looks like a cool build! What are the specs on the revised engine?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks like a cool build! What are the specs on the revised engine?
Thanks!

Engine is still a 383. I never nailed down the compression ratio since I didnt have all the exact measurements, but its somewhere between 11.1:1 and 13:1.

Components:

Block is a 2 bolt main with ARP studs
SCAT forged stroker crank
Icon aluminum 5cc flat top pistons
SCAT 60 I beam rods
Patriot Freedom 64cc aluminum heads
ARP head studs
1.5 roller rockers, trick flow pushrods
Lunati Voodoo cam
Lunati retrofit hydraulic roller lifters
Melling 55HV oil pump
Summit oil pan
Edelbrock 7525 air gap intake
Dual Edelbrock 600cfm carbs
DUI distributor with DUI live wires
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I relocated the battery to the trunk. Bought the aluminum box kit from Summit and powder coated it to the grey im using on the car. I welded a tab with a threaded hole to the floor of the trunk. The all thread which holds the battery bracket threads in to the tab and everything gets snugged down.

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Don't forget the kill switch if you want to take it to an NHRA event. Sound like you're more into the road course stuff so I'm not sure if those types of events require the kill switch like drag racing does.

Your build looks killer so far. Sound like you have a similar engine to what I'm putting together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Don't forget the kill switch if you want to take it to an NHRA event. Sound like you're more into the road course stuff so I'm not sure if those types of events require the kill switch like drag racing does.

Your build looks killer so far. Sound like you have a similar engine to what I'm putting together.
Yeah thanks for bringing that up! Road course does require a kill switch. I am building the car to fit the NASA American Iron series, but I probably wont compete for a long time. Ill need a cage as well. I have a kill switch but have not figured out where to put it yet. The immediate goal is to get the car back on the road with all the new parts, so I'm hoping I can find a spot for the kill switch later on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you build a car to meet SCCA specs it can run anywhere. Not so much with some of the other sanctioning bodies........
I dont have a full handle on all the requirements yet, so that is super helpful to hear. Ill look more at the SCCA specs (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I stuffed the now fresh engine back in the car and got all the clutch hydraulics worked out. My biggest question at this point was did I get things right with the engine, drivetrain, etc? Also, I had never driven the car, so it was worth getting it going to understand what I would want to tackle next.

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71 SS Triple Black (real SS, maybe?)
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Nice build you got going. Was that the Speedtech tunnel patch that you used?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Nice build you got going. Was that the Speedtech tunnel patch that you used?
Thanks. Yes, that is the speedtech tunnel. I did some minor massaging to get the fitment right. It was definitely worth it vs trying to fab my own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I got the 3rd pedal hung and working using a McLeod hydraulic clutch kit. The color scheme for the car is satin black (except engine and chassis is gloss black), texas grey II (a prismatic powders color), and neon yellow (also prismatic color). Things like brake calipers and such that are buried in dark areas are going to be neon yellow. I modified the OEM brake pedal to look like the McLeod part and then made some grip tape stickers to go in the middle.
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Of course there are lots of steps between reinstalling the engine and getting the thing ready to move, but we can jump to the first test drive.

If you look at the stance of the car when its in the street, you can see that the front suspension is about as tall the A-arms will let it be. The springs are insanely stiff even with the extra weight of the V8 in there.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
There were now 2 big issues with the car. One being that the front suspension was very wrong, and the second was there was a pretty bad oil leak at the back of the block. I spent a bunch of time poking around with a flashlight and mirror, and found that the leak seemed to be the freeze plug behind the cam. Since it has a brand new clutch setup in it and the leak was enough that I couldnt just ignore it, I pulled the engine again.

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So here is the culprit of the oil leak. I did an absolutely terrible job installing the freeze plug. I welded a nut on to the plug and used a "slide hammer" to pull the plug out. In buying new parts, I learned that there are 2 sizes of plug available for this location. One of them is 1/64" smaller than the other. I ended up with the small one, and upon install found it was way too easy to put in place. I read some horror stories of the small plug blowing out, so I welded on another nut and got the right size plug for the 3rd and final install. I found a slug of aluminum which fit perfectly on the lip of the plug and used that to drive it in to place.



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The proper plug, installed properly.

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