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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there has been a lot of discussion about SS or Non-SS and also about Broadcast/Build Sheets

I am looking at a 350 Nova 2 Door Coupe. I want to verify it is an L48 and that it is an SS

I realize it would not be true for a 72 or later Nova since by that time, any non-SS Nova (or SS Nova) could get the L48. But if a 1969 Nova has a factory L48, would that indicate it was for sure an SS? Can someone verify no 69 novas could get the L48 unless they were SS Novas?

The original actual 350 Engine Block is long gone. But I have the assembly number and of course partial VIN that both would have been stamped on block. Other than the missing block, the cowl tag, Fisher Sheet, VIN, Tranny, and Rear End all match --

From the Fisher Production Broadcast/Build Sheet I see RPO "L48". Was it possible for someone to order a non-SS Nova in 1969 that could have had an L48 if it was not an SS?

Is it possible to verify the 350 is an L48 from the assembly number and VIN?

I believe the Nova is an SS but I need to prove it to someone else.

The car has many the other SS clues (I realize these are only clues): 12-Bolt, Dual Exhaust (4 total exhaust brackets = 2 passenger side, and 2 driver side)(plus it says "N10" on Fisher sheet), front Disk Breaks (and a Brake Pedal Pad with Bright Trim that says "Disc Brakes"), the Rear SS panel has factory holes not hand drilled, original SS hood with louvers and louver support brackets, 3/8" main fuel line, etc

Has anyone heard about the overall length and amount coils on hood springs for the heavier SS hood are more heavy and have more coils than the standard hood springs?

What about multi-leaf rear springs? What do I look for there?

I also hear about something else: In an SS, the A-Arms will have bolt in bump stops not the press in style -- is that true for the 69 or is that for another older year of Nova?

Any thoughts?

-- Thank you for the discussion
 

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Welcome to the Team Ron!

If you bought it without paying the SS penalty congratulations. If you did pay extra for your SS then congratulations on finding one of the true SS cars in a sea of clones.

Without paper work it is just an opinion made by one expert over another expert's opinion as to authenticity. With the required paper work (which you can now buy on line forged documents and trim tags stating anything you want) you have a true SS. Personally, I wouldn't obsess about it; and instead just drive the car enjoying the performance.

The only good thing I can say about the Nova over the Camaro is that there isn't an RS or Z/28 option to further fight over authenticity. Since every one wants an SS Nova before long the only rare car will be a plane Jane straight six PowerGlide two door coupe with full wheel covers.

Big Dave
 

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Here is some info to help...wilma

I know there has been a lot of discussion about SS or Non-SS and also about Broadcast/Build Sheets

I am looking at a 350 Nova 2 Door Coupe. I want to verify it is an L48 and that it is an SS

I realize it would not be true for a 72 or later Nova since by that time, any non-SS Nova (or SS Nova) could get the L48. But if a 1969 Nova has a factory L48, would that indicate it was for sure an SS? Can someone verify no 69 novas could get the L48 unless they were SS Novas?

The L48 was the base engine for the 69 SS Nova...it was not available unless you ordered the Super Sport option...so if it is an L48 car it is a Super Sport.

The original actual 350 Engine Block is long gone. But I have the assembly number and of course partial VIN that both would have been stamped on block. Other than the missing block, the cowl tag, Fisher Sheet, VIN, Tranny, and Rear End all match --

What do you mean by "assembly number" ?? if you are referring to the engine assembly date and application code then my question is..if you don't have the factory motor, how do you know these details? As for the other components "matching"...the cowl tag number must match the Fisher Build Sheet...the VIN does not appear on that document or the cowl tag. The tranny would have the partial VIN and an assembly date and code..is it a 4 speed or automatic? the rear axle code/assembly date should correspond to the build date of the car...but the only place these numbers would appear are on the POP or delivery sheet...there is no VIN on the axle housing...but there is a casting date on the center section...this date must precede the axle assembly date and of course the build date of the car.

From the Fisher Production Broadcast/Build Sheet I see RPO "L48". Was it possible for someone to order a non-SS Nova in 1969 that could have had an L48 if it was not an SS?

NO...the L48 was an SS only item.

Is it possible to verify the 350 is an L48 from the assembly number and VIN?

Again I ask...what do you mean by "assembly number"...?? if you are referring to the cowl tag or VIN then the answer is NO. If you have the pad stamp info form the block...then the engine code would appear.



I believe the Nova is an SS but I need to prove it to someone else.

Why?? are you selling it?? or just proving a point??

The car has many the other SS clues (I realize these are only clues): 12-Bolt, Dual Exhaust (4 total exhaust brackets = 2 passenger side, and 2 driver side)(plus it says "N10" on Fisher sheet), front Disk Breaks (and a Brake Pedal Pad with Bright Trim that says "Disc Brakes"), the Rear SS panel has factory holes not hand drilled, original SS hood with louvers and louver support brackets, 3/8" main fuel line, etc

All of those items would be consistent with an SS car...

Has anyone heard about the overall length and amount coils on hood springs for the heavier SS hood are more heavy and have more coils than the standard hood springs?

Not sure...

What about multi-leaf rear springs? What do I look for there?

There were two options for the suspension..F40 or F41...look at this info from Nova Resource...it will help answer a lot of your questions about the car.

http://www.novaresource.org/rpo_F41.htm

http://www.novaresource.org/rpo_Z26.htm



I also hear about something else: In an SS, the A-Arms will have bolt in bump stops not the press in style -- is that true for the 69 or is that for another older year of Nova?

There was a change in these component from the 68 model...I will have to research my file to confirm...others may know.

Any thoughts?

-- Thank you for the discussion
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you Wilma for all the time I see you putting forth helping people on their Nova issues. Did you ever work for GM or was all this knowledge the product of something else?

Here are the answers and comments back on your questions.

-- NOTE TO ANY READERS: If you do not see the different color fonts in this reply then it will be very hard to read and understand who is asking and who is answering --

Legend:
Blue= My current reply
Teal = Wilma's response to orig
Black = my orig questions

I realize it would not be true for a 72 or later Nova since by that time, any non-SS Nova (or SS Nova) could get the L48. But if a 1969 Nova has a factory L48, would that indicate it was for sure an SS? Can someone verify no 69 novas could get the L48 unless they were SS Novas? -- The L48 was the base engine for the 69 SS Nova...it was not available unless you ordered the Super Sport option...so if it is an L48 car it is a Super Sport. -- Thank you. It is all good so far

The original actual 350 Engine Block is long gone. But I have the assembly number and of course partial VIN that both would have been stamped on block. Other than the missing block, the cowl tag, Fisher Sheet, VIN, Tranny, and Rear End all match -- What do you mean by "assembly number" ?? if you are referring to the engine assembly date and application code then my question is..if you don't have the factory motor, how do you know these details? -- Yes you are correct I do mean assembly date and application code = T0611HA

As for the other components "matching"...the cowl tag (body#) number must match the Fisher Build Sheet (those do match) ...the VIN does not appear on that document or the cowl tag. (agreed) The tranny would have the partial VIN (it does have partial VIN and it matches with the windshield VIN) and an assembly date and code..is it a 4 speed or automatic? (4spd m20 P9E02A) the rear axle code/assembly date should correspond to the build date of the car (it does) ...but the only place these numbers would appear are on the POP or delivery sheet (Finding the POP was the secret I have not shared with you -- sort of the closest thing to the Holy Grail other than the major GM build sheet that I could likely never get now) ...there is no VIN on the axle housing...but there is a casting date on the center section...this date must precede the axle assembly date and of course the build date of the car. (that all adds up good)

From the Fisher Production Broadcast/Build Sheet I see RPO "L48". Was it possible for someone to order a non-SS Nova in 1969 that could have had an L48 if it was not an SS? -- NO...the L48 was an SS only item. (then this is the key, maybe the only thing that shows it should be a true SS)

Is it possible to verify the 350 is an L48 from the assembly number and VIN? Again I ask...what do you mean by "assembly number"...?? if you are referring to the cowl tag or VIN then the answer is NO. If you have the pad stamp info form the block...then the engine code would appear. (So then is it true that the application code "HA - 350cid 4V w/manual" is confirmed as an L48?)

I believe the Nova is an SS but I need to prove it to someone else. Why?? are you selling it?? or just proving a point?? A little of both -- I have had the car for 30 years -- I know it is an SS -- just revived it after 20 yrs of non-op and deterioration -- getting ready to sell it -- so far, only one guy got snippy and cancelled appt before even a look at the car, because I could not provide a "certificate of SS" -- This was before I realized I had the POP and what the POP was telling.

The car has many the other SS clues (I realize these are only clues): 12-Bolt, Dual Exhaust (4 total exhaust brackets = 2 passenger side, and 2 driver side)(plus it says "N10" on Fisher sheet), front Disk Breaks (and a Brake Pedal Pad with Bright Trim that says "Disc Brakes"), the Rear SS panel has factory holes not hand drilled, original SS hood with louvers and louver support brackets, 3/8" main fuel line, etc -- All of those items would be consistent with an SS car... (thank you)

Has anyone heard about the overall length and amount coils on hood springs for the heavier SS hood are more heavy and have more coils than the standard hood springs? Not sure... (I recently found a webnote on SS hood springs -- have not studied thoroughly on it yet -- the webnote was NOT actually about a Nova SSs -- it was about Camaro SS -- so maybe it does not apply to the Nova SS -- but it makes sense that the same would be true for any heavier hood assembly -- from the Camaro Site, it says SS Camaro would use hood spring 3848272 and a non-SS would use 3877203 -- I cannot find an equivalent note about Novas -- I do not yet have enough familiarity with GM parts to even conclude if those Camaro Springs part numbers would be correct for the Nova or how to identify my current springs without removal -- it is not a really important issue at this point, but I have always felt when lifting the hood that the current springs seemed a bit light -- so the car may have non-SS hood springs -- or just worn out 30 year old springs)

What about multi-leaf rear springs? What do I look for there? -- There were two options for the suspension..F40 or F41...look at this info from Nova Resource...it will help answer a lot of your questions about the car. -- http://www.novaresource.org/rpo_F41.htm -- [URL="http://www.novaresource.org/rpo_Z26.htm -- Thank"]http://www.novaresource.org/rpo_Z26.htm -- [/URL]Thank you for getting me started on this. I will need further study to determine whether I have F40 or F41

I also hear about something else: In an SS, the A-Arms will have bolt in bump stops not the press in style -- is that true for the 69 or is that for another older year of Nova? -- There was a change in these component from the 68 model...I will have to research my file to confirm...others may know. -- Thanks again I'll continue to look but I realize it is not of critical importance at this point -- really just curiosity

Thank you again Wilma for all your time and answers
 

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Thanks for the kind words...I'm happy to help...there is more "wrong" info out there than "correct"...I try to help sort out the facts.

If you have the POP...that removes all the mystery...since the tranny stamp and rear axle code match the POP...case closed!

No I did not work for GM...but, I have been a Chevy enthusiast for many years and have focused my efforts on the Novas (68-70)..

My first hotrod was an L78 Nova...back in 1973 (guess that shows my age):p

And yes...the HA engine code means 350/300hp..1969 Nova.

Regarding the hood springs...the only additional weight that is appreciable are the hood louvers...the hood insulation which came with the SS package was also available on non SS cars...as far as I know there is only one part number for the springs. Camaros had a longer hood...and perhaps the cowl hood weighed more...?? A standard 1969 Camaro SS hood would have the simulated chrome stacks...similar to a Nova. But, as you say..after 40 years they all get a little tired..just like people :cool:

Another information source that you can access are the folks at NNN (National Nostalgic Nova) the man who runs it is Wayne Bushey...probably the most knowledgeable Nova guy in the country...if you have specific parts type questions he may be able to help...I have worked with him for many years and he has helped me with restorations, car searches, and is just a great guy..one of the best in the hobby. If you call them..tell him I sent you..717-252-4192.

good luck..wilma
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Welcome to the Team Ron!

If you bought it without paying the SS penalty congratulations. If you did pay extra for your SS then congratulations on finding one of the true SS cars in a sea of clones.

Without paper work it is just an opinion made by one expert over another expert's opinion as to authenticity. With the required paper work (which you can now buy on line forged documents and trim tags stating anything you want) you have a true SS. Personally, I wouldn't obsess about it; and instead just drive the car enjoying the performance.

The only good thing I can say about the Nova over the Camaro is that there isn't an RS or Z/28 option to further fight over authenticity. Since every one wants an SS Nova before long the only rare car will be a plane Jane straight six PowerGlide two door coupe with full wheel covers.

Big Dave
Thank you Dave
 

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So far as the F40 and F41 you could have both. One was an SS only option, but it didn't preclude the upgrade of already stout SS parts offered by the F41 option code bringing the whole suspension package to a higher level. Old racers who knew the order book as well as the salesman would often upgrade the SS suspension for less wheel hop and better handling (not that any of them ever thought about trying to out run the law if caught uncorking their headers on a late Friday night).

So a SS car with the HD suspension added to it, had the stoutest suspension of any production car that GM offered on that model (it was what went under cop cars). It had a rear sway bar hat wasn't offered as part of the SS package, and a larger front sway bar than the SS provided.

If you have only the SS package the answer to your question then that is also a Yes. The SS used stiffer spring rates than the stock spring (wound from a thicker gage wire) but it had the same ride height because it had a slightly shorter free height. It had HD shocks made by Monroe, and the front drum brakes (which were standard equipment on the regular Nova and the SS package) where finned for better cooling. The standard Nova front drum was smooth by comparison.

Finally multi-leaf springs and a twelve bolt rear were not an SS only option. If you ordered the heavy duty suspension package even with a 250 straight six you got the twelve bolt and multi-leaf springs. The Heavy Duty suspension package was included as part of a factory towing package (that included HD suspension, a Reese hitch welded in place, and electric trailer wired with four pin plug at the rear bumper under the license plate. Combined the towing package with the HD cooling option and you could add a tyranny fluid cooler, and a four core radiator with a five blade fan. It was however a very uncommon option on the Nova as compared to a pick-up truck, and I have never even heard of it. I have read were a Camaro was ordered with this equipment, and since the six cylinder Camaro is almost a six cylinder Nova (suffering from an even shorter wheel base) I could believe it was possible.

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So far as the F40 and F41 you could have both. One was an SS only option, but it didn't preclude the upgrade of already stout SS parts offered by the F41 option code bringing the whole suspension package to a higher level. Old racers who knew the order book as well as the salesman would often upgrade the SS suspension for less wheel hop and better handling (not that any of them ever thought about trying to out run the law if caught uncorking their headers on a late Friday night).

So a SS car with the HD suspension added to it, had the stoutest suspension of any production car that GM offered on that model (it was what went under cop cars). It had a rear sway bar hat wasn't offered as part of the SS package, and a larger front sway bar than the SS provided.

If you have only the SS package the answer to your question then that is also a Yes. The SS used stiffer spring rates than the stock spring (wound from a thicker gage wire) but it had the same ride height because it had a slightly shorter free height. It had HD shocks made by Monroe, and the front drum brakes (which were standard equipment on the regular Nova and the SS package) where finned for better cooling. The standard Nova front drum was smooth by comparison.

Finally multi-leaf springs and a twelve bolt rear were not an SS only option. If you ordered the heavy duty suspension package even with a 250 straight six you got the twelve bolt and multi-leaf springs. The Heavy Duty suspension package was included as part of a factory towing package (that included HD suspension, a Reese hitch welded in place, and electric trailer wired with four pin plug at the rear bumper under the license plate. Combined the towing package with the HD cooling option and you could add a tyranny fluid cooler, and a four core radiator with a five blade fan. It was however a very uncommon option on the Nova as compared to a pick-up truck, and I have never even heard of it. I have read were a Camaro was ordered with this equipment, and since the six cylinder Camaro is almost a six cylinder Nova (suffering from an even shorter wheel base) I could believe it was possible.

Big Dave
Very interesting. Thanks again Dave -- I have more questions but Instead of me confusing this thread on a tangent, I think I would like to start a spearate thread to discuss how to figure out which option package I likely have based on what equipment is there -- I will post that very soon --
 

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A few things...

So far as the F40 and F41 you could have both. One was an SS only option, but it didn't preclude the upgrade of already stout SS parts offered by the F41 option code bringing the whole suspension package to a higher level. Old racers who knew the order book as well as the salesman would often upgrade the SS suspension for less wheel hop and better handling (not that any of them ever thought about trying to out run the law if caught uncorking their headers on a late Friday night).

So a SS car with the HD suspension added to it, had the stoutest suspension of any production car that GM offered on that model (it was what went under cop cars). It had a rear sway bar hat wasn't offered as part of the SS package, and a larger front sway bar than the SS provided.

The F41 rear sway was not available on the Nova until the late spring of 1970...

If you have only the SS package the answer to your question then that is also a Yes. The SS used stiffer spring rates than the stock spring (wound from a thicker gage wire) but it had the same ride height because it had a slightly shorter free height. It had HD shocks made by Monroe, and the front drum brakes (which were standard equipment on the regular Nova and the SS package) where finned for better cooling. The standard Nova front drum was smooth by comparison.

Starting with the 69 model year...the Nova SS came standard with power front disc brakes...the finned front drums were a 68 item on the SS.

Finally multi-leaf springs and a twelve bolt rear were not an SS only option. If you ordered the heavy duty suspension package even with a 250 straight six you got the twelve bolt and multi-leaf springs. The Heavy Duty suspension package was included as part of a factory towing package (that included HD suspension, a Reese hitch welded in place, and electric trailer wired with four pin plug at the rear bumper under the license plate. Combined the towing package with the HD cooling option and you could add a tyranny fluid cooler, and a four core radiator with a five blade fan. It was however a very uncommon option on the Nova as compared to a pick-up truck, and I have never even heard of it. I have read were a Camaro was ordered with this equipment, and since the six cylinder Camaro is almost a six cylinder Nova (suffering from an even shorter wheel base) I could believe it was possible.

Yes it is true 12 bolts were available on non SS cars... some of the other non SS V8 models got a 12 bolt ( 350/250hp and the L79).... Can't really comment on the towing package setup...
but the 4 core radiator was never a Nova option...Camaros had it on A/C cars and some BB models.

Big Dave
 

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When I ordered my 1970 Nova SS in December 1969, among some of the options I ordered was a 4 core radiator. If your salesman was willing to do the paper work you can get almost anything.
 

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When I ordered my 1970 Nova SS in December 1969, among some of the options I ordered was a 4 core radiator. If your salesman was willing to do the paper work you can get almost anything.
It is well known that some dealerships were better at the "order process" than others....that being said, I have never seen a Nova with documentation showing the 4 core option. I have seen a few cars that had a 4 core and in one case a curved neck COPO style radiator. It would be interesting for the hobby to have some paperwork or info supporting the 4 core as "factory installed".

Do you have any documentation from your 70 car that details that radiator being ordered for you?? Either way...tell us more about your car and post some photos if you have them.

Thanks for sharing this info...

wilma
 

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In Florida you can order a car without air conditioning from the dealership, but you will have a very hard time selling it when you want to get another car. We have not only cars with A/C, but equipped with automatic transmissions with A/C (the inclusion of an automatic increases the fin count over a manual transmission radiator incase any of out board members didn't know that), and some even order the Heavy Duty cooling option on top of A/C with an automatic to add a transmission cooler and an oil cooler in front of the A/C condenser.

I have found quite a few four core radiators installed in Novas as well as Camaros over the years. Whether they were factory installed, or a dealer installed up grade, or installed by the owner I couldn't tell you. They were factory copper/brass radiators (but back then the only aluminum radiator was out of a Corvette), but they are not as rare as you would think.

This is especially true on fleet vehicles (TECO the local power company had six cylinder Novas with A/C, that were equipped with an oil cooler and a three core radiator with a fan shroud for use by their meter readers before they went to all digital meters with the ability to report usage by way of the power lines). The supervisor's car was a V8 powered Nova with a four core radiator (apparently they had a V8 to quickly be able to drive to power outages, but I think it was more just a perk of rank). I was privy to the maintenance sheds of TECO because I knew several of their engineers as school chums and I used to work with the two guys that then managed their "barns" (service centers).

I was told that the factory never put a four cylinder in a full size Bel Air car but I used to change the oil and maintain a fleet of them used by the City of Tampa as meter readers. They didn't have anything else other than a four cylinder three speed manual trans, not even a heater as the City wanted the occupant out of the car walking the street recording the meter readings rather than sitting around in the car eating Twinkees and listening to the radio (they had to bring their own personal battery powered one, because the Bel Air came without a radio, equipped with a black plastic radio delete plate instead).

Maybe Tampa, Florida is unique in that we had five major Chevrolet dealerships (not counting the two Cadillac and the two Olds/Pontiac/Buick dealerships) serving a physically small area (about sixty miles across from the sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico to the interior orange groves where the Lakeland area begins which also had it's own dealerships). Maybe the concentration of dealers competing for customers promoted a free wheeling "have it your way" attitude (Burger King who uses that phrase in their advertising originated only 204 miles away in Miami).

Every car I ever bought at a dealership was custom ordered, to my specification. I was under the impression everyone could do that. Just open up the order form and start checking off the RPO codes as the salesman explained what each one did or didn't get you. You ordered it (and paid for it up front) and it was yours no questions asked. They even paid the shipping by rail and if I picked it up at the rail head there was no dealer prep charges.

Big Dave
 
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