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changing my 6 cyl. out for a V8 in my 64 nova.I have my engine done. but have several questions. tried a search but was overwhelmed!! if someone is willing to give me a phone no. so I could ask a few qeastions and get a little advice. thanks from MN.
 

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Hi there,
Unfortunatley Im in Sweden, so I guess the phone aint such a good idea =)
Anyway, I wrote this down years ago when I did this swap myself. I know there may be some info missing, so feel free to add....
Hope this helps at least a bit:

NOVA ENGINE SWAP
Are you going in thoughts of pulling the old L6 engine out of your Nova/Chevy II and replace it with a small-block Chevy? This seems to be a very popular swap but there are some matters that need to be considered before you take action! I have done the swap myself so I’m well aware of what obstacles you will meet during the installation process. Reading this may help you to avoid some usual mistakes and get better prepared for the job. I know that there are small differences in chassis and parts. No car from this period is identical with another. Trust me! But I'll base my article on experienced facts and not theoretical calculations so I think the information will guide you in one way or another.

First & foremost: Get yourself prepared for some minor modifications. The engine will fit the compartment without problems but it will be tight, real tight! If you are using under chassi-headers they will almost get in contact with the inner fenders and the starter. Some of them will even make it very difficult to change the oil filter without pulling out the tranny and the flywheel/flex plate. There are more things to consider, but let’s start with an inventory of the parts needed for a lucky engine swap.

Oil pan device
First you’ll need a small-block Chevy engine, if you haven’t already figured that out. Take your time and do a rebuild if you are in doubt that the engine is in perfect shape. It will cost you some bucks, but when it’s done you won’t regret it. Then you’ll need the “infamous” Chevy II oil pan together with the special oil pump, pickup and oil pump-slot. This oil pan has the sump at the front instead of traditional Chevy pans, which have the sump at the back. The alternative is to buy an aftermarket oil pan or welding your own setup. Be sure to mount the long pickup to a main cap-bolt and weld it to the pump with care. (Be careful so you not weaken the spring in the oilpump by the heat). Make sure to do this coz Its no fun if the pick up come lose and end up rattling in the pan.

V8 engine mounts & throttle linkage
You will also need a pair of Chevy II V8 mounts (the ones that is bolted to the chassi) because they are not similar to the one that is used along with the L6 engine. You’ll also need the mounts that are bolted to the block. Then you will need a throttle linkage adopted for the Chevy II with V8. You can build one yourself, but it’s not worth the effort because we are not talking “big bucks” here. You can save yourself some time and buy one of these throttle linkages at Year One or Chevy II Only for 40 dollars or less.

Distributor
I have a word of advice when it comes to the distributor. Don’t pick a HEI distributor if you want to have a smooth installation without trouble. The cap on the HEI is too big and it will in most of the cases not clear the firewall (note, there are exceptions but they are rare). In other words, if you must use one of these distributors you will either have to modify the firewall or moving the whole engine forward. And I just don’t see why you should do that when there are lots of other good distributors on the market.


Transmission
When you have equipped your engine with the unique Chevy II oil pan and the rest of the parts needed its time to look at the choice of transmission. I will suggest you to use an automatic tranny because of the clearance problem on Chevy II. I know that many have used, and still are using manual transmission on this type of cars, but I have no experience about using a manual tranny in a Nova, so I will skip that in my article. Now, when I am assuming that you will use an automatic tranny, let’s go on!

I think the TH 350 transmission is the best bet for your Nova, if you not choose to play in a higher division and mount a 700R4/200R4 tranny. I prefer TH 350 simply because it’s light, reliable and cheap. First you’ll have to modify the crossmember. It’s really no big deal, just cut off about ¼ inch on the lip that is going toward the transmission oil pan. You will need the extra clearance to clear the pan. Use great patience when it comes to installing the dipstick tube into the TH 350. There is not much space here and maybe you’ll have to modify the tube a bit to get it where you want it. Expect at least an hour of frustration for this “under normal conditions” easy task. Lokar is selling flexible braided hose tubes, I guess those would help. Mount the floor-stick, speedometer-cable, vacuum hose and the cooling lines together with a good oil-cooler preferably placed in front of the engine cooler. Hook up the kick down wire and adjust it right. Check your drive shaft (TH 350 is using the small yoke) and replace/modify it if it won’t fit, then you are in business.

Cooling system
Of course you will need a bigger/better radiator for the V8 Nova, there are lots of aftermarket radiators to choose from out there. I have also used a radiator from a Volvo 240 diesel with success. Remember this radiator was used with a mild 305CUI V8 engine setup and might not be sufficient with a maximum output hot rod V8. To get even better cooling you can buy/fabricate a shroud for the radiator. I did this and noticed a big difference in engine cooling! At last, dont forget to use a good cooler for the transmission as well.


Here is a list of parts required for the engine swap:

Small-Block Chevy engine & TH 350 automatic transmission

Chevy II V8 Front sump oil pan (Or aftermarket Chevy II pan)
Chevy II V8 Oil pump
Chevy II V8 Pickup tube
Chevy II V8 Drive rod
Chevy II V8 Dipstick tube
Chevy II V8 Dipstick
Chevy II V8 Motor mounts
Chevy II V8 headers (available as either fenderwall or under-chassi headers)
Chevy II V8 Throttle linkage
Here is list of a few things that will improve your Chevy II & make your life a lot easier:

Oil filter relocation adapter (If you are looking for effortless filter changes) needed with some under-chassi headers.

A good transmission cooler

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the input nova 63, you covered a few things.
66 Dave, I'm in alexandria, MN. west central part of the state.
I want to have all my parts ready before I pull the good running six.
my V8 engine is rebuilt and has the correct oil pump,drive,pan,mtr. mts,and dipstick. the car has power steering and I want to keep it. SO
a few things that come to mind are:
brackets for PS.
headers? brand and type.
can I use HEI ? I would consider modding the fire wall.
waterpump, long or short?
pulleys that will work with alternater and power steering?
Radiater, any more options (used)
Fan? steel,aluminum,flex,5 blade,7 blade,spacer lengh????
thanks again.
 

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I installed HEI

And only had to "massage" the firewall. It went right in after a few nice whaps with the rice hammer. Can't even tell it was smacked
 

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I believe they make a distributer that will fit without altering your firewall. Try nnn. (national nostalgic nova)
They also make a kit to convert your original distributer to electronic. This is what I done.
Most use long neck water pumps. I took my spacer out. I was told the ideal setup is half the blade in the shroud.
I had a flex fan, took it out and ordered a 7 blade with steel center and aluminum blades, seems to work better. You can get them from jegs, summit and others I'm sure.



Good luck:)
 

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We used flowtech headers on our 63 with power steering and they worked fine no issues at all. The frame mounts we bought from Chevy2only and they also worked great. Then the motor mounts we just bought at an Advance Auto store. We use an HEI also and it fit no problem but it is close. I have heard it varies from car to car. We were lucky enough to find a drag racer friend who had a V-8 original radiator and traded him our good small 6 cyl for it. He wanted the smaller lighter one for his drag car. We also use a long waterpump and a flex fan. And found brackets at the junkyard for the powersteering. Not sure what they came off of and basicaly used the pulleys that came with our small block. We pulled it out of a late 70's halfton pickup.We used a powerglide and it bolted right up to the trans mount. Make sure with the HEI you use a full 12 volt source for power and not the original resistor wire. One thing I might reccommend is a kit from Madelectrical.com that rewires the charging system and engine compartment. It was one of the best things we did. Also the good people on this board and at Chevy2only helped us through every other question we had. ccnova
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
first start?

thanks to all who replied, I'm going to run my new engine on a stand before installing it. its been A LONG time since doing a V8. looking for some advice >> they say start and run at 1500-2000 rpm for several minutes to break in the cam BUT I had my pistons fitted on the tight side. there not coated so I'm worried about scuffing them. any thoughts?? (cam is non roller)
 

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exhaust manifolds

I put a 350 in my 1964 Chevy II. I bought a new pair of 1972 chevy pickup exhaust manifolds, and with a little bit of grinding...they went right in. The manifolds rubbed up against the inside of the wheel wells but a little grinding on the manifolds did the job.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ex.

I went with hedman hedders for my exhaust . got the cheap painted ones, incase I have to remodel them a bit.
 

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engine swap

I too swapped out the 6cyl for a 350 ci motor.Like he mentioned,be ready to "finess" things to work/fit.Test fit your headers on the engine(w/o gaskets) BEFORE installing to check fit along starter(had to hammer on mine from Summit),and had to hammer on the other side to clear the steering gear. I used a rear sump oil pan from Moroso(7 qrt pan hits speed pumps!!!),then swapped to a stock nova front sump oil pan,then to a 6 qrt Moroso oil pan,had to disconnect the steering linkage between idler arm and pitman arm to do that.I swapped a t350 trans in behind the 6yl earlier(mangeled the dipstick tube,replaced with a Lokar flexible one...)and had to modify the trans crossmember like he said,too.I ran a HEI,but it's so tight that the timing wasn't optimized due to not being able to turn the distributor much.I replaced the throttle arm thru the firewall with one from some old chevy in a junk yard that had a v8(maybe an impala?) and then some small rod ends and some thread-all to go between the likage and carb.Alt brackets and such I've changed between long and short waterpumps(modified as needed due to camel hump heads without end bolt holes..),but had to change the radiator to a 4 core v8 radiator to keep cool in traffic. Fun little car,a blast to drive,wished I hadn't blown the motor at the race track(blew it around the 1/8th mile,still beat the RICER in the other lane to the finish line!!:yes:)
 

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This is extremely helpful. I am putting a 305 in my 62. With this info I can prepare for the biggest issues ahead of time. Almost makes me think I should stay with the 6 but it is a mild "Almost".
 

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I got to be honest, I have never done this before and I am really nervous but so excited to get it done. Not a ton of old gear heads in my town anymore but there are plenty of old cars that have already been done so I know if i get into to many problems there is going t be a fix. I wish i knew how to save these threads so i can reference them when i need to. Thanks guys.
 

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I'm currently doing this engine swap on my 63 ragtop. See the thread "project 63 engine swap has started". I'm waiting on some parts from Classic Industries. I'm currently prepping the engine bay for new paint. Also part of the project is to make it an SS clone so I'm also looking for parts. If you have questions post them or send me a PM.

:ragtop:
 

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cool thanks Tmack63nova. I'm sure I am going to have a ton of questions along the way. I don't see me getting started on my swap until after the holidays. Is there a way to add you into a list of friends on here?
 

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SLC 65 X Body

Where in Utah are you living? I swapped in a 350/350 combo about 13 years ago.
 

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SSWATERHOG, we live pretty close, I'm in Clearfield!! PM me with your address &/or cell #... & you should bring your car over to the Layton Mall Friday Night's Shot the $hit!
 

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Engine swap

Hi there,
Unfortunatley Im in Sweden, so I guess the phone aint such a good idea =)
Anyway, I wrote this down years ago when I did this swap myself. I know there may be some info missing, so feel free to add....
Hope this helps at least a bit:

NOVA ENGINE SWAP
Are you going in thoughts of pulling the old L6 engine out of your Nova/Chevy II and replace it with a small-block Chevy? This seems to be a very popular swap but there are some matters that need to be considered before you take action! I have done the swap myself so I’m well aware of what obstacles you will meet during the installation process. Reading this may help you to avoid some usual mistakes and get better prepared for the job. I know that there are small differences in chassis and parts. No car from this period is identical with another. Trust me! But I'll base my article on experienced facts and not theoretical calculations so I think the information will guide you in one way or another.

First & foremost: Get yourself prepared for some minor modifications. The engine will fit the compartment without problems but it will be tight, real tight! If you are using under chassi-headers they will almost get in contact with the inner fenders and the starter. Some of them will even make it very difficult to change the oil filter without pulling out the tranny and the flywheel/flex plate. There are more things to consider, but let’s start with an inventory of the parts needed for a lucky engine swap.

Oil pan device
First you’ll need a small-block Chevy engine, if you haven’t already figured that out. Take your time and do a rebuild if you are in doubt that the engine is in perfect shape. It will cost you some bucks, but when it’s done you won’t regret it. Then you’ll need the “infamous” Chevy II oil pan together with the special oil pump, pickup and oil pump-slot. This oil pan has the sump at the front instead of traditional Chevy pans, which have the sump at the back. The alternative is to buy an aftermarket oil pan or welding your own setup. Be sure to mount the long pickup to a main cap-bolt and weld it to the pump with care. (Be careful so you not weaken the spring in the oilpump by the heat). Make sure to do this coz Its no fun if the pick up come lose and end up rattling in the pan.

V8 engine mounts & throttle linkage
You will also need a pair of Chevy II V8 mounts (the ones that is bolted to the chassi) because they are not similar to the one that is used along with the L6 engine. You’ll also need the mounts that are bolted to the block. Then you will need a throttle linkage adopted for the Chevy II with V8. You can build one yourself, but it’s not worth the effort because we are not talking “big bucks” here. You can save yourself some time and buy one of these throttle linkages at Year One or Chevy II Only for 40 dollars or less.

Distributor
I have a word of advice when it comes to the distributor. Don’t pick a HEI distributor if you want to have a smooth installation without trouble. The cap on the HEI is too big and it will in most of the cases not clear the firewall (note, there are exceptions but they are rare). In other words, if you must use one of these distributors you will either have to modify the firewall or moving the whole engine forward. And I just don’t see why you should do that when there are lots of other good distributors on the market.


Transmission
When you have equipped your engine with the unique Chevy II oil pan and the rest of the parts needed its time to look at the choice of transmission. I will suggest you to use an automatic tranny because of the clearance problem on Chevy II. I know that many have used, and still are using manual transmission on this type of cars, but I have no experience about using a manual tranny in a Nova, so I will skip that in my article. Now, when I am assuming that you will use an automatic tranny, let’s go on!

I think the TH 350 transmission is the best bet for your Nova, if you not choose to play in a higher division and mount a 700R4/200R4 tranny. I prefer TH 350 simply because it’s light, reliable and cheap. First you’ll have to modify the crossmember. It’s really no big deal, just cut off about ¼ inch on the lip that is going toward the transmission oil pan. You will need the extra clearance to clear the pan. Use great patience when it comes to installing the dipstick tube into the TH 350. There is not much space here and maybe you’ll have to modify the tube a bit to get it where you want it. Expect at least an hour of frustration for this “under normal conditions” easy task. Lokar is selling flexible braided hose tubes, I guess those would help. Mount the floor-stick, speedometer-cable, vacuum hose and the cooling lines together with a good oil-cooler preferably placed in front of the engine cooler. Hook up the kick down wire and adjust it right. Check your drive shaft (TH 350 is using the small yoke) and replace/modify it if it won’t fit, then you are in business.

Cooling system
Of course you will need a bigger/better radiator for the V8 Nova, there are lots of aftermarket radiators to choose from out there. I have also used a radiator from a Volvo 240 diesel with success. Remember this radiator was used with a mild 305CUI V8 engine setup and might not be sufficient with a maximum output hot rod V8. To get even better cooling you can buy/fabricate a shroud for the radiator. I did this and noticed a big difference in engine cooling! At last, dont forget to use a good cooler for the transmission as well.


Here is a list of parts required for the engine swap:

Small-Block Chevy engine & TH 350 automatic transmission

Chevy II V8 Front sump oil pan (Or aftermarket Chevy II pan)
Chevy II V8 Oil pump
Chevy II V8 Pickup tube
Chevy II V8 Drive rod
Chevy II V8 Dipstick tube
Chevy II V8 Dipstick
Chevy II V8 Motor mounts
Chevy II V8 headers (available as either fenderwall or under-chassi headers)
Chevy II V8 Throttle linkage
Here is list of a few things that will improve your Chevy II & make your life a lot easier:

Oil filter relocation adapter (If you are looking for effortless filter changes) needed with some under-chassi headers.

A good transmission cooler

Matt
I didn't ask the original question, but you gave a lot of good advice.
Thanks so much, Steve in Texas, USA
 
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