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Discussion Starter #1
Re: nova 396

I had posted here about a year ago asking about identifying marks on a big block nova which I had thought I found.

I went back this past weekend to look at it, and it has the big block radiator support, heater box, and well tarnished 396 emblems. The car has no engine, trans, rear, interior or subframe. Infact it is pretty much a very beat up shell, but using the information I had gotten here, I believe it to have been a big block nova.

Although I would love to obtain this car and put it back together there are a couple of things I would like to know first. I have a what I believe was a late 68 or early 69 396, and a 69 turbo 350. Would these be the correct parts for this car? What subframes and suspension parts would work for it, were there special 396 specific parts?

Also if while I were working on it, if I were to have to sell it, would there be any market for a car like this?

Thank you
 

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I guess the only true way to know what the car came with is the code tag on the firewall.If you get those im sure someone here could help decode it.I think there is a market for just about any muscle car or parts these days.
 

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Depending on what year big block Nova you're looking at the dates could be good. Late 1968 dates would be correct on early 1969 car. Not really big block specific but it should have power disc brakes and a 12 bolt rear. A great thing that the car you found has is the big block radiator support. Nobody thinks about changing that item.
 

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bb car...

Gates72ss said:
I guess the only true way to know what the car came with is the code tag on the firewall.If you get those im sure someone here could help decode it.I think there is a market for just about any muscle car or parts these days.

The cowl tag will not tell you if it is a BB car or not...original driveline components, paperwork, owner history and other key parts like: rad support, heater core, fuel line, crossmember, in dash tach may all help in solving the riddle. As for trans...all BB nova applications came with a TH400 trans..2 versions..one for the L-34 and the other for SHP L78. Value of car is subjective..that said, a high quality car with extensive detail, correct parts, NOS trim and good paint will always be in demand. It doesn't cost anymore or less to build a clone or a real car to the same finished level..only difference will be initial cost of car and total "real" value when completed. Others may have different views...

wilma:shh:
 

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I think you nailed it there TW. The 'buy-in' cost is the kicker for most folks!
M
 

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rg171352 said:
I had posted here about a year ago asking about identifying marks on a big block nova which I had thought I found.

I went back this past weekend to look at it, and it has the big block radiator support, heater box, and well tarnished 396 emblems. The car has no engine, trans, rear, interior or subframe. Infact it is pretty much a very beat up shell, but using the information I had gotten here, I believe it to have been a big block nova.

Although I would love to obtain this car and put it back together there are a couple of things I would like to know first. I have a what I believe was a late 68 or early 69 396, and a 69 turbo 350. Would these be the correct parts for this car? What subframes and suspension parts would work for it, were there special 396 specific parts?

Also if while I were working on it, if I were to have to sell it, would there be any market for a car like this?

Thank you
Well not a BB Nova expert (well actually not a Nova expert at all) but since you didnt say the year of the car I will mention that I think that '68 BB cars came with a manual or th400 tranny only while the '69's came with the manual, th400, and the powerglide I dont think the th350 was ever offered in a BB car and forsure it wasnt offered in the years your motor would be correct for.:)

http://novaresource.org/codes.htm
 

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I don't think the P-glide was available with the BB whether it was the L34 or the L78. I don't think it could take the torque :D
M
 

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BB Nova trans choices...

Hope this helps:

BB engine was only available as a regular production option in 1968-1970. BB was an SS only item..so if you have a factory BB nova than it has to be a Super Sport. 2 engines were available:

RPO-L34...396/350 hp
RPO-L78...396/375 hp

HD 3 speed trans was the base trans., though I don't think I have ever seen one..all cars came thru with 4psd for manual application. All 3 Muncie trannys were available in 68-69:M-20, M-21, M-22... in 1970 you could only chose from M-20 or M-21...I have been told by some that the M-22 was the only choice in 1968 with the L78, but I have no documentation. The M-20 was considered the base 4spd and the other 2 were extra cost options. Chevrolet also limited rear axle choices dramatically in the 70 Nova cars, steepest gear set was a 3.55... The M-40 Th400 was an option and came in 2 versions: one for the L-34 and a special HD high shift point unit for the SHP L78 engine. These trannys are super strong and have a special 6 lug convertor. The Th400 was only offered on the L-34 motor in 1968, infact only 48 cars were so equipped.The HD Th400 trans was put behind the L78 in the 50 Fred Gibb COPO Novas. The Th400/L78 was offered as an RPO starting in 1969. The Powerglide trans was never put behind the BB in a Nova. The th350 trans was first offered in the 69 Novas and became very popular through out the GM product lines for years to come. As for Powerglide trannys and BB's..the only aplications i know of are some low horse 325hp engines in Chevelles and Passenger cars in the 66-68 era. As for the the Th350 behind a BB motor...I can find no info that this was ever a factory option. You could have a Th350 bolted to a BB but i doubt it is an original setup...why not check the trans and engine for date codes, VIN stamps, casting numbers, etc and post here on the site...we will help you sort it out.

Good luck..wilma:shh:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for your responses

Is there any where that I might find a buildsheet in this car? THe seats are gone and most of the das is apart, but laying inside of it.

Chevy doesn't have any of these records, do they?

Thank you
 

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YENKO DEUCE REG said:
I don't think the P-glide was available with the BB whether it was the L34 or the L78. I don't think it could take the torque :D
M
Well I personally dont know...but the Nova Resource website has it listed as avialable....not sure if it was or not but its there:confused:
The following is from the Nova Resource Website:

1968
8-cylinder (big block)
MQ - 396cid (375hp) w/manual
MR - 396cid (350hp) w/TH400
MX - 396cid (350hp) w/manual

1969
8-cylinder (big block)
JF - 396cid (350hp) w/manual
JH - 396cid (375hp) w/manual
JI - 396cid (350hp) w/TH400
JL - 396cid (375hp) w/TH400
JM - 396cid (375hp) w/TH400 (L89 aluminum heads)
JU - 396cid (375hp) w/Powerglide
KA - 396cid (350hp) w/manual and HD clutch
KC - 396cid (375hp) w/manual and HD clutch
KE - 396cid (375hp) w/manual (L89 aluminum heads)

1970
8-cylinder (big block)
CKO - 396(402)cid (375hp) w/manual
CKP - 396(402)cid (375hp) w/alum heads and TH400
CKQ - 396(402)cid (375hp) w/manual and HD clutch
CKT - 396(402)cid (375hp) w/alum heads and manual
CKU - 396(402)cid (375hp) w/alum heads, manual and HD clutch
CTW - 396(402)cid (350hp) w/TH400
CTX - 396(402)cid (350hp) w/manual
CTY - 396(402)cid (375hp) w/TH400
CTZ - 396(402)cid (350hp) w/manual and HD clutch
 

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BB Nova..

Build sheets are typically found in the top part of the back seat..but could be in the bottom or in front seats. I have heard of some paperwork being found under dash near steering column. We found 2 build sheets in our 70 4spd car: one in the back seat and one in the front. Found one in our 68 car between seat cushion foam??? I have also found them several times in front bucket seats...it is also possible to find build sheets that don't match the car they are in. The assembly process wasn't foolproof, a black seat was just a black seat on friday afternoon at quarter to four!!!! Buildsheets on top of gas tanks didn't start until the early 70's.....so that wouldn't be an issue here. Have you attempted to trace back prior owners...real life history is always helpful. As for the Powerglide issue: I checked Colvin's book again and Motors/Chilton book..no mention of a P/G trans with BB motor. Think about it; Chevy couldn't and wouldn't put that kind of trans behind an L78. It would be an explosion going someplace to happen!!


wilma:shh:
 

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i was curious, are you trying to build this back to its supposed orginal form..if your not going to build a #'s car throe the big block and tran's you have and go have fun with it....
 

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Hey Ron, looks like that one had been punched in the grill b4, as it's got a '70-'72 grill in it. What sad pics :( Somebody has to save these two!
M
 

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YENKO DEUCE REG said:
Hey Ron, looks like that one had been punched in the grill b4, as it's got a '70-'72 grill in it. What sad pics :( Somebody has to save these two!
M
Marlin,
Anybody that wants to come and get it I'll take them right to the car. I think can be saved but it will take a lot of work. The local car appears to be a L-34 car.

Oh yes, I've been hearing rumors of another all original drivetrain BB Nova being discovered near me.
 
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