Chevy Nova Forum banner

The Little Crate Motor That Could

2159 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  nova64000
Well, I made my first trip to the drag strip this year. The baby, baseball season and work (lots of traveling) got in the way. My buddy drove his GTO from NYC and he wanted to challenge my Nova cause we thought it would be a pretty even match with 400 hp in the 6.0L. I have a stock GM 260 horse crate motor with a 125 hp NOS big shot kit (purge, bottle heater, high flow valve, etc). The car is set up pretty well.

I ran consistent 12.80's @ 107 in the heat. After a quick rain shower/cool off it went 12.64 @ 108. My buddy's GTO would only muster a 14.4. My other friend has a turbo AWD Celica. He couldn't get the thing to launch and was running mid 15's so I Stigged the car once side stepping the clutch at 6,000 rpm and power shifting and got it down to 14.88. He has a lot of tuning to do. I went 3 rounds in no box and lost after forgetting to open the bottle valve on the bottle DUHHHHHHHHhhhhhh. All fuel and no nitrous means no speed.

Overall a fun night at Quaker City!
See less See more
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Looks like you guys had a great time! Mid 12's is great for a little crate motor with some spray! I'm sure your car is much lighter than your buddy's GTO as well. What was your 60 ft times?

I think those GTO's usually run mid to high 13's at best, lots of times you see them in the low 14's. I have a newer Challenger R/T that runs mid/high 13's. It has a lot of power, but its heavy, and has a hard time getting it to the ground.

I hear you about things getting in the way. I struggled this year myself to get my car back on the road and running good enough to hit the track. I finally made it to the track a few weeks ago for a TNT night. It's hard to line everything up with work, school, babies, other obligations, etc. You just have to do the best you can with the little time you have available.

The main thing is you guys all went and had a great time. Its fun getting away for a few hours at the track and just worrying about your ET and stuff instead of all the other stuff you have to do in regular life.

Glad you guys had fun!
See less See more
60 foots were 1.78 - 1.80. It's a mild combo all the way around. TH350, 2800 stall, 3.73's. It's got frame connectors, SSM lift bars and drag radials, but the rest of the suspension is all set up to autocross.

My buddy's GTO didn't seem to want to launch. With the traction control on, it would essentially shift into 2nd gear immediately to avoid tire spin. With the TC off, it would unload the suspension and blow the tires off half way through 1st gear. I think a better driver or better tires would have fixed it, but he had fun screwing around anyway.

That's cool. I found out after running my car earlier this summer that I need a higher stall speed based on my crappy 60 ft times. Hopefully next summer with a new converter I can get into 1.7 or 1.8 territory. Right now its only stalling up to around 2000-2200 RPM.

My Challenger is a 6 speed, so launching that thing at the track is a total nightmare. Between the tirespin, wheelhop, and bogging without enough gas, its a real chore to get it out of the hole. Once its moving it really hauls, but you lose lots of time when you dont hook up good out of the hole. But just like you're buddy, its fun to go and run your car regardless. Sounds like with more practice and some better tires he'd probably get into the 13's pretty easily.

Where do you take your car to autocross? I'm only familiar with drag racing or circle track racing, not up on the other stuff as much.
Hey Kev - I would think that GTO can run faster that that, I got my stock 2002 camaro down to 13.39 only to tear up what I think is a lifter! But I left barely above idle on street tires. Nice to see ye old nova pounding the track again!
GTO needs a better driver...even still it's not going to run your times. What does your car run off the bottle.
13.80's off the bottle. We went head to head N/A and I beat him by 6 car lengths or so.

The GTO should have been running close to your 13.80 if its stock. With more practice your buddy should easily get into the 13's.

Main thing is you guys all went out there and had some fun! Lots of guys talk about what they're car SHOULD run or how much horsepower it SHOULD have, but then they never run it or dyno it to actually know. You'll never know how fast your car is unless you run it, and sometimes you may not know you are leaving power on the table unless you run it and read your timeslip.
I'm leaving well enough alone for now. The car is getting a complete tear down and repaint/ cosmetic upgrade as soon as I finish my garage. Baby, family and work are slowing down my progress on these activities but I think this winter is reasonable goal.

I'll consider going with some sort of fairly mild vortec combo at that point. I'm putting a stick in the car and making it a little more family friendly, including such amenities as a back seat and working radio. Won't be as good for drag racing but it fits in with my current version of life a little better. I'll probably keep the bottle because it makes things more exciting when I need it to!
Everyone that I have heard of who has installed a GM crate engine was really happy with the performance. Someone on here with a 3rd gen broke into the high 12s with the 330HO vortec motor. It had an RPM airgap intake 650 carb, 3000 stall and 3.73 gears though...
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.