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Discussion Starter #1
i have recently purchased a 79 nova thinking that i have finally gotten a somewhat classic car for a hell of a price. the body is straight, interior isn't terrible and there is only 78,587 miles on it. but this car is slow. how slow?
0-60\ 24sec.:sleep: this car wont even brake torque on gravel. its got a 305 in it with a th350 behind it. i know its no neck breaker but i was honestly expecting a little more. PLEASE HELP!!!
 

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A stock 305 only had about 170hp and 270lbs of torque. So it probably will not be all that quick in a 3300lb Nova. I'm sure you could build it up to get more out of it but you'd be better off just getting a 350in GM crate motor with 260hp or the next one up has 290hp. Probably cost you the same over rebuilding the 305 with new heads, cam and lower end. Just my 2 penny's
 

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I had the same feeling when I started driving my 77 with the stock 305. after adding headers, intake, and a 650cfm 4 barrel it woke her up a lot. I raced a 80 z28 got beat bad and raced again after the add-ons smoked the camaro.
 

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My 78 would smoke the tires off the rear with the 2barrel carb and 305. I wouldn't have picked a fight with a z28 but it wasn't bad. By buddy slapped a 4 barrel on it and dropped it as is in his luv, pretty quick too. Mine is a rally but as far as I know the 305 was the same for them all.

You sure the cat isn't clogged or the exhaust hasn't been crushed/kinked? A bad dirty air filter can even cause power to drop. The carb might need a rebuild/tune.
Sparkplugs, wires, and rotor/cap might need to be replaced. What's the timing set at?


Before you start shopping for 383s and a ford 9 with 3.73s I would do a good tune up and see where it goes from there.
 

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My stock 2 barrel 305 with 2:73 rear single traction single exhaust no cat ran 16.81 in the 1/4 at almost 90 MPH, It would fry the right rear to the point I wore the center out of a set on G-60s, I think you may have a bigger issue, Maybe a plugged cat or just poor tune. Shouldn't be that bad, no race car but still better than that
 

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Discussion Starter #12
thanks guys, i really appreciate everyone's input. i have plans to throw a 350 in it within the next couple of months. just saving up funds for the swap. so i guess what i have on my plate now is a new carb and intake. is a 600cfm carb going to be too small when i change over to a 350 or should i jump to a 650? and i have been looking into the edelbrock performer intake but was wondering what other people would recommend. RPM? air gap? also some opinions on carbs. this is going to be a dd so nothing too drastic. thank you guys once again.
 

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My 78 Nova was slow Not Now !

Best thing to do to a 305 is as follows- Change cam shaft and lifters - Edelbrock performer intake -650 cfm Edelbrock carb. - Best thing I did was modify my exashast system, I cut off my cat and replaced it, put on new muffler and tailpipe. Car is quite and runns GOOD!!! So do what I did and that old 305 will get you by untill you can drop in a 350 or 502 or what ever. Drive it donot let it set!!! Don in HOT Indiana! Pray for RAIN!!!
 

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Start with a good tune-up. It did wonders for me. I'd swear I was driving a golf-cart when I first tried to drive the car. A little carb tuning, valve adjustment, cap and rotor, spark plug gap check, and it felt like I had a V8 instead of a hamster wheel.
 

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If your car still has a vacuum advance check to see that it holds vacuum,then check to see the both advance mechanisms are free.If the car sat alot those are common problems that will kill power.
 

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I sold my high school ride, a 77 Nova in 1992, with a Goodwrench 350, Performer, Holley 600 vac sec, T350 with a BM shiftkit, dual 2.125" exhaust, no cat and the original 2.56 gears, it was a hoot from 70-100 but 0-60 was pathetic.

I swapped the 10 bolt for a 3.08 out of a Firebird and it felt like a new car. However, 87-92 Mustangs continued to smoke me and the LT1? F-Body's were brutal. I sold it to buy an 89 5.0/A40D with 3.27's that only ran 15.2's in the quarter and later, a 93 5.0 5sp with 3.08's. I had the gears swapped for 3.73's and I was stunned, acceleration was fantastic, the coupe ran 14.9 at 98 on the stock Gatorbacks and lots of tire spin, I suspect it would have run 14.5's with slicks.

I would say the best bang for the buck would be gears and a LSD, at least 3.54's with a TH350 but 3.73's would be even better. If you plan to drop in a 700R4/4L60/4L80, 4.10's would get the Nova off the line much better.
 
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