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1969 Nova SS Assembly/Options Investigation:

The info and the terminology I will use below is just so everyone will know the same thing. I am not claiming to be an expert nor am I saying the terms I use to describe this post to be correct for those in the know. I certainly welcome any education if I am off-base. Please mention it.

There is the GM Broadcast Sheet (aka Build Sheet). I do not have one of those for this car. The closest I have to that is the Protecto-Plate (aka POP). There is also the Fisher Body Broadcast Sheet (to pre-empt any confusion please note these Fisher Sheets are aka "Build Sheet" -- same as for the GM sheet a totally different and theoretically more valuable thing).

From my reading I do believe a few people think when they have these Fisher Sheets that they are the same as the GM Build Sheet since they both became generically referred to as "build sheet". But since the entire GM build sheets are not found so often (probably especially not in 70s era and older cars, I think) it is easy to see how the Fisher Sheets are more commonly known as Build Sheets by now. Not too many enthusiasts have even seen a real GM Build Sheet for their older cars.

For anyone new to this theme: There were so many chances for so many different Fisher Employees to leave one of the many identical Fisher sheets in the car -- often in a spot that could survive not only the immediate threats of being thrown away by a GM Employee (like before it leaves factory assembly line or upon the final detail of car after delivered to dealer) but also the later threats (like an owner throwing it away). There just are not so many chances to find one of those coveted GM Sheets. But many chances to get a Fisher sheet

With all that clear ...Ok here we go

I know it would be impossible to recreate my entire GM Build Sheet. But I would like to see if by review of info on hand and then review of parts on the car could help to verify which SS package was ordered and/or which heavy duty package was ordered

I have investigated and discovered a series of details that have built a partial list of RPOs for this car. I would like to further that investigation for no reason other than curiosity.

The first thing I do not recognize on the Fisher Sheet is any SS related instruction (we know for sure it is the right Fisher sheet for a true SS) -- No RPO for SS package is noted, but understandably, the fisher employees did not need to know ALL the SS options so the ordered package would not have been of any need to fisher. But the specific body items needed to allow for install of SS related items will be on the Fisher sheet (Like N10 for Dual exhaust) -- But where is the instruction for Front Fender Bright Louvers, SS Hood and Hood Ornaments, Etc

The only code on the Fisher sheet that is related to SS is the L48 code. Was this an SS instruction to Fisher employees (I mean something more than just what 350 engine was going to be installed)

My Fisher sheet for an SS shows RPO ZJ1 but it does not say RPO Z26

My car would have come with either F40 or F41. Since the Fisher sheet tells nothing about this, can I tell by the parts on the car if it was F40 or F41?

So what are the thoughts from The Team?
 

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I'll try...wilma

1969 Nova SS Assembly/Options Investigation:

The info and the terminology I will use below is just so everyone will know the same thing. I am not claiming to be an expert nor am I saying the terms I use to describe this post to be correct for those in the know. I certainly welcome any education if I am off-base. Please mention it.

There is the GM Broadcast Sheet (aka Build Sheet). I do not have one of those for this car. The closest I have to that is the Protecto-Plate (aka POP). There is also the Fisher Body Broadcast Sheet (to pre-empt any confusion please note these Fisher Sheets are aka "Build Sheet" -- same as for the GM sheet a totally different and theoretically more valuable thing).

From my reading I do believe a few people think when they have these Fisher Sheets that they are the same as the GM Build Sheet since they both became generically referred to as "build sheet". But since the entire GM build sheets are not found so often (probably especially not in 70s era and older cars, I think) it is easy to see how the Fisher Sheets are more commonly known as Build Sheets by now. Not too many enthusiasts have even seen a real GM Build Sheet for their older cars.

For anyone new to this theme: There were so many chances for so many different Fisher Employees to leave one of the many identical Fisher sheets in the car -- often in a spot that could survive not only the immediate threats of being thrown away by a GM Employee (like before it leaves factory assembly line or upon the final detail of car after delivered to dealer) but also the later threats (like an owner throwing it away). There just are not so many chances to find one of those coveted GM Sheets. But many chances to get a Fisher sheet

You are correct the Body Broadcast and Chassis Broadcast sheets are rare and seldom found...the small Fisher Body "build sheets" are much more common.

**I have a set of the Body and Chassis sheets for one of our L78 cars...these are the holy grail of paperwork.

With all that clear ...Ok here we go

I know it would be impossible to recreate my entire GM Build Sheet. But I would like to see if by review of info on hand and then review of parts on the car could help to verify which SS package was ordered and/or which heavy duty package was ordered

I have investigated and discovered a series of details that have built a partial list of RPOs for this car. I would like to further that investigation for no reason other than curiosity.

The first thing I do not recognize on the Fisher Sheet is any SS related instruction (we know for sure it is the right Fisher sheet for a true SS) -- No RPO for SS package is noted, but understandably, the fisher employees did not need to know ALL the SS options so the ordered package would not have been of any need to fisher. But the specific body items needed to allow for install of SS related items will be on the Fisher sheet (Like N10 for Dual exhaust) -- But where is the instruction for Front Fender Bright Louvers, SS Hood and Hood Ornaments, Etc

Fisher Body dealt with the body of the car...moldings, seats, interior/exterior trim, holes and mounting items for consoles and shifters, etc...so they did need to know these things. The ZJ1 designated the "SS Body Conversion"...more about that in a minute.


The only code on the Fisher sheet that is related to SS is the L48 code. Was this an SS instruction to Fisher employees (I mean something more than just what 350 engine was going to be installed)

1969 appears to be the only year that all the V8 engine choices were listed on the Fisher Sheet...why?? I'm not sure...they were not on the 1970 sheets...and the 68's only listed the L48...no mention of the BB motors....even on Fisher build sheets from known BB cars...:confused:

My Fisher sheet for an SS shows RPO ZJ1 but it does not say RPO Z26

Here is the follow-up to your earlier question...the Fisher Body code for the SS conversion was not the same as the RPO that appeared in the sales guide or on the window sticker. This code told the guys "on the line" what they needed to do that car...the RPO Z26 was the sales code option for the Super Sport Package....confusing?? yes, but this is GM we are talking about. When they did this stuff 40 years ago...they never thought guys like us would be crunching numbers and searching for paperwork :eek:

My car would have come with either F40 or F41. Since the Fisher sheet tells nothing about this, can I tell by the parts on the car if it was F40 or F41?

F41 included:
Special front and rear multi-leaf springs
Special front and rear shocks
I'm pretty sure the F41 had the 4 leaf...but, springs were computer selected based on all the options on the car..so there are variations to this scenario...4 vs 5 leaf...this thread from the SYC may help sort it out.

http://www.yenko.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/425806/1

of course there are specific part numbers on the shocks that will note the application...the springs will also have tags...more likely to find the tags intact on the front coils...leaf spring tags usually didn't last.



So what are the thoughts from The Team?
 

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Like Wilma said: the Fisher body group did just that, built the body. The body in white as received from Fisher Body, included the doors and trunk, but not the dog house (all of the sheet metal in front of the firewall). There where no SS trim parts installed, though the rear header panel had the holes to mount the trim panel stamped into the header before it was welded to the car. The fenders and hoods which were stamped and formed by Fisher Body as well. All SS parts were prepunched for the SS trim to be installed; with the hood having an additional brace spot welded in place when the hood was assembled.

The SS Nova was "made" on the assembly line based upon the difference (choice) in interchangeable parts that ended up on the car. Since assembly line workers do not have time to read tags or part numbers as the line flowed by, parts were stored at their workstation coded by colored tag or paint or chalk marks. Because GM had so many parts (building seven different car and light truck lines that all used interchangeable parts), somebody had to read the part number to install the correct tag on it. This usually fell to the receiving and QC department.

The Assembly manual lists every SS part used to make a Nova SS, the part number, and where it goes, in the order of assembly. The Fisher Body Repair manual offers the body shop tech the dimensions of where to put on SS trim on service replacement parts (generic sheet metal without prepunched SS holes) that could just as easily be sourced from a salvage car using standard Chevy Nova parts. With this information and the ever expanding reproduction houses selling more and more SS trim parts it won't be long before every Nova on the road is an SS.

The Parts manual can be referenced to determine if any part you find on your car is an F40 or F41 part as the parts manual lists the two different part numbers by description (SS or HD). This assumes you can find and clean the area easily enough to read the number. I would be shocked to discover, and awfully suspicious of any paper tags still on the car.

Every part installed on the car has a part number stamped permanently onto it, or was identified by a temporary paper tag attached to it, or it was enclosed inside a box containing many similar small parts (such as screws and clips). This was done not so we could identify a true SS Nova fifty years after they were made originally, but for purposes of inventory control; because the federal government wants to tax businesses (a stupid idea on it's face, but that is a political decision not an economical one).

If the parts were identified only temporarily by a paper tag it can usually be identified by it's dimensions and referencing back to the original vendor that sold the OEM part to GM. Raybestoes, Monroe, Moog and Eaton were the principle source of suspension parts. They are still in business and sell parts by application that list the dimensions of the new service replacement parts.

A set of calipers can discover the free standing height, wire diameter, and number of turns per foot for a spring. This will allow you to determine the part number (Though there may be some question with old springs that have sagged over time).

If you need help I would be glad to research what I can to help identify any parts you need sorting out. I am a retired engineer that lived in a Chevy dealership as I spent two to three hours a day waiting for my partner and best friend to get off work so we could first eat at our favorite steak house and then work half the night away on race cars at our shop. He was the lead tech on the biggest dealership's service line so I got to see a lot of Chevy cars being repaired, as well as spending some time in air conditioned comfort talking to the parts techs who supplied the service line with repair parts.

Big Dave
 

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"I would be shocked to discover, and awfully suspicious of any paper tags still on the car."

It is not unusual to find the paper tags on the front coil springs...we have several survivor cars and all of them had the tags intact. Tags on rear springs are rare...since most of the driving wear/tear impacted the rear more severely. I have found partial tags on power brake hoses...occasionally on tranny lines...it all depends on the how the car was stored or maintained.

I really enjoy looking at the survivor cars...they are time capsules...and if you know what to look for they can be a lot of fun.

wilma
 
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