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69 Nova, 454 BBC, TKO
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I thought I would start a thread for my car, as I am working on a bunch of different things.

Quick background: Car I bought in San Diego in 2007, already big block swapped 454 (mid 70s truck motor with a cam), and a saginaw 4 speed at the time. I decided to name the car after my grandma Vivi because its got that grandma grocery getter vibe, but with a bit extra punch, grandma is still alive and deep in her 90s.

I did an overhaul of the engine, keeping just block and crank pretty much, and at some point along the way broke the poor saginaw and replaced it with a Tremec TKO600. Otherwise the car has Hotchkis handling upgrades all around and a beefed up 10-bolt, 8.5" with higher splined axels and a posi.



2019 - Hwy 1 outside of San Francisco



2020 - Test and Tune run around San Francisco International Airport



2019 - Engine bay as it was then

Click here for some more pictures, will add more later.

(I've been a member on Novas.net for a long time, but its gone a bit quiet lately, so I am trying over here)
 

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69 Nova, 454 BBC, TKO
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Current list of things I am working on are:

#1 Clutch Geometry is not correct, causing out of adjustment for throwout bearing

#2 Installation of buckets seats

#3 Data logging setup using some off the shelf components and some diy

#4 Tuning the Holley 4150
 

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69 Nova, 454 BBC, TKO
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
#1 Clutch Geometry is not correct, causing out of adjustment for throwout bearing

I haven't been able to adjust the clutch linkage to get enough free pedal play, without having trouble in going from 1st to Reverse on my Tremec TKO 600, seems like a not so uncommon issue if you Google around. I adjusted it further and used a tiny camera to check for 1/8-1/4" of clearance between diaphragm spring and throw out bearing, but the noises got worse.

So I decided to got to the bottom of it, and do it right. I tore out the gearbox, clutch and flywheel and all the linkage. This is what I found.

Flywheel deck height = 0.970 (O.E height is supposed to be 0.960", and this was resurfaced when I put the Tremec in, so it has even more meat than stock, but that one checks out. Flywheel surfaces has some smaller imperfections, but I can still see the machine grooves from the cutter.

Diaphragm fingers on my RAM clutch has a little bit of wear, but seem fine. Clutch disc is missing some rubber around the anti chatter springs. Will see if I can replace them.

Throwout bearing shows wear from the diaphragm fingers, but not a whole lot, its not a self aligning one, but has a little bit of wiggle play. Height from finger to fingers is 0.6545"

Clutch Z bar is small block variant so, and the engine used to be on small block motor mounts but I corrected that, and from reading it seems like not just the length for the z bar is longer, but also the arms have different geometry. I will order the correct one, not sure how much this contributes for the overall geometry.

Bellhousing is a stock aluminum cast housing, that measures 4.7735" from engine flange to pivot ball, this should be 4.75" assuming stock flywheel (0.910-0.960" flywheel deck height), so that is off by 0.0235", not massive but something. I will either get a stock replacement pivot ball or an adjustable one to set it back to stock.

Clutch fork is stock GM and its showing some wear on the fingers where it manipulates the throw out bearing. Considering swapping it out, but it is also just a couple of thou off.

Questions for the audience:
  1. Do you think think the correct Z-bar is the biggest contributor to the out of whack geometry or is it something else? correct throwout bearing, probably?!
  2. Should I consider hydraulic setup, if I feel I can spend the money? Its a heavy clutch after all?
  3. I haven't seen any cracks in my bell housing, but what are the consideration for going to a steel scatter shield, now would be the time to sort that out, don't want to crawl around doing this in the future.
  4. While I have it all tore down, should I replace pilot bearing, its a cheap part, but it looks good to me, and input shaft on gearbox looks good.
  5. And to the final point, I have a tiny oil leak from my rear main seal, and yeah its not a whole lot, and it drips a bit, but less when driven frequently. It seems like the internet it split on this matter, on what to expect from big block and tiny oil leaks from rear main seal. Worth trying to do that now?
I will post some pics in the next post.
 

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69 Nova, 454 BBC, TKO
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
RAM clutch finger wear


Flywheel


Clutch disc with broken anti chatter springs


Wear on Clutch fork


Clutch linkage


Difference between Small block and Big block z-bar
 

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69 Nova, 454 BBC, TKO
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Small update the clutch manufacturer (RAM) said the clutch setup was half way through its life (4500 miles on it) and the fingers are a bit worn but can be run for a bit longer. I will be getting some replacement springs for the clutch disc.
 

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69 Nova, 454 BBC, TKO
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
#2 Installation of buckets seats

As the car is transformed from bouncy grandma style to more or a road carver, I decided to ditch the bench seat, even though I love the look and vibe. They are just not cutting it from keeping my *** in one place, and the springs and foams was seeing some age.

I browsed my options and settled on Cobra Classic CS in vinyl


Quick mockup on the floor, as I wait for the bucket seat brackets to arrive.


and why not a face to the usually face less posts...
 

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69 Nova, 454 BBC, TKO
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
#1 Clutch Geometry is not correct, causing out of adjustment for throwout bearing

I re-checked the bell housing concentricity, and it is within spec, max 0.0002" total runout, just so awkward to setup the dial indicator and doing it without help, it is a lot of running back and forth.

I also took a stone to the mating surfaces to get rid of any burrs or nicks.

Dial indicator setup, under the car!
 

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69 Nova, 454 BBC, TKO
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Got new brackets from Ground Up. Had to return a set from AMD because they had sent wrong parts (two brackets identical), and Ground Up was cheaper anyways, and slightly better finish.

 

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69 Nova, 454 BBC, TKO
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Phew, so that was my latest posts from over there. Should have some more updates in a bit.
 

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are you sure yer not over thinking this?...and why does yer steering wheel angle look funky...not to mention going to LS power...but you chose a BB...why? ...LS power would get better results,better mileage, 150 lbs lighter on the front and the same power...I use that term loosely...BB is mostly bottom...LS hooks up and eats on top...JMO...I wish my motor would fit under that hood...rant over
 

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2,701 Posts
welcome to the nova site. an it looks as though you know your way around a car. its a good looking nova, enjoy the cruise.
 

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yes . . . .. ^^^^^^^^^^^^ . . . . Welcome to SNS , glad to have you over , from ' Nova.net ' .
I've looked around over there & Nova Nation . . .

I might say - - - Why would there be a difference between the z-bars ?
But, they list them as different . . . . may be that's the issue . I was going too ask " B/H alignment " . . .
you did that , (y)
Changing the s/b to b/b z-bar , could be better ? Could be a 'little longer DROP' from the tube to
the pivot point " . . . . ?

Then, (for my 69 - I like the stock z-bar set-up ) ; but, I'm just a cheap ' six - banger car ' . . . . .
simple , 'Grand - Pa's ' . . . ride .
Keep us posted . . . . . and, nice Nova you have there . . . .

. . . later , jim
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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1,467 Posts
Nice looking Nova with a very clean build (y)
I hope you are able to sort out the clutch geometry.
 

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69 Nova, 454 BBC, TKO
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
are you sure yer not over thinking this?...and why does yer steering wheel angle look funky...not to mention going to LS power...but you chose a BB...why? ...LS power would get better results,better mileage, 150 lbs lighter on the front and the same power...I use that term loosely...BB is mostly bottom...LS hooks up and eats on top...JMO...I wish my motor would fit under that hood...rant over
Ha are you implying I should just dump the BBC and go twin turbo LS with a manual 4L80e, and be done with it? Do want to build that setup, but maybe for a different car. :cool: oh and the steering wheel angle? its just the photo?
 

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69 Nova, 454 BBC, TKO
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter #18

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69 Nova, 454 BBC, TKO
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
yes . . . .. ^^^^^^^^^^^^ . . . . Welcome to SNS , glad to have you over , from ' Nova.net ' .
I've looked around over there & Nova Nation . . .

I might say - - - Why would there be a difference between the z-bars ?
But, they list them as different . . . . may be that's the issue . I was going too ask " B/H alignment " . . .
you did that , (y)
Changing the s/b to b/b z-bar , could be better ? Could be a 'little longer DROP' from the tube to
the pivot point " . . . . ?

Then, (for my 69 - I like the stock z-bar set-up ) ; but, I'm just a cheap ' six - banger car ' . . . . .
simple , 'Grand - Pa's ' . . . ride .
Keep us posted . . . . . and, nice Nova you have there . . . .

. . . later , jim
The difference mainly is from the offset of the engine mounts as the BBC is offset towards the passenger by ~1" to clear steering box etc, but yeah I am curious if the leverage is different, either way nice to have matching parts, takes some things out of the equation. I will measure and the two when the new Z-bar arrives, and report back.
 

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69 Nova, 454 BBC, TKO
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Discussion Starter #20
Nice looking Nova with a very clean build (y)
I hope you are able to sort out the clutch geometry.
Thanks, its a build that could be cleaner, its kinda been sproradic work over the years, because of my location and the cars location. Wish it was a bit more consistent as a project, but I mean who am I to kid myself, they are never finished.
 
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