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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
well it has been somewhat of a long road with this car already. I origionally got the car when I was 16 years old, I am now 23 and in a possition that more allows me to really make this car the way i have always wanted to make it. As it sits right now its a 1971 L6 250 car with a powerglide transmission, stock suspension with mono leafs in the back and origional rearend 8.2" chevy.

The plans are
-Chevy SBC 400 backed by a TH350
-New tubular A arms up front with coilovers (undecided on brand)
-4-link out back (leaning towards ridetechs weld in one)
-subframe connectors
-roll cage
-pretty gutted interior with race harness and buckets, have some special plans for the dash but we will just have to cross that road when we get to it
-undecided on the rearend currently may go with something after market like a currie or may just rebuild the one we currently have.

anyways i think pictures always say a LOT more then words so here is the progression i have made so far.

The paint looks pretty good but sadly photos much much better then it looks upon closer inspection (like we havent all heard this a million times).





the paint was almost "lifting" in areas and chipping badly in others, so it simply wasnt going to work. I had once read somewhere that on poorly prepped paint jobs you can little scrape the paint off with a razor blade so i figured what the hell, invested a steep $2.00 in a scraper and $1.50 in a pack of refil razor blades for it. the pictures pretty much speak for themselves

shows how the paint was litterally peeling back


after about 2-3 hours of scrapping away this is how the car sat, although the other side on the rear quarter the paint wouldnt scrape away like it would the rest still need to do the hood fenders and trunk


 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So far i have been pretty lucky with the rust, the drivers side floor pan needs some work so cut that out



the only "suprise" hidden under the paint was this little gem of rusted out area patched with pure bondo





Currently been working pretty long days but starting to sand the car




The most interesting thing is all this time i thought i had a just quicky paint job sprayed right over the top of the origional and it was lifting because the surface wasnt prepped the right way. Well once i scrapped off the paint it appears that the primer they used actually adheared properly to the origional paint, it was the new paint that didnt at all stick to the new primer, i'm no expert so cant truly say why at all, but the body work itself and filler that was applied seems to have been done pretty good but i am no expert. Anyways what i do know for sure is that new paint was sprayed VERY thick and is going to be a lot of work to sand it off the quarter on the other side where it wouldnt scrape off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yea i am actually further then my profile says probably time for an update now i live just outside Nashville, TN now. Would love to find someone with a nova who wants a good L6 setup (mainly the exhaust). The valve cover is off so i could pull the head and check the bores, and because i blew the old head gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
not sure may be custom, they hung a little lower then i would have liked on my nova, i picked them up off another guy a LONG while back, with a clifford intake and holley 390
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes they weren't originally on the nova can't remember what the guy said they came off of but the fit wasn't to bad on the nova and they cleared everything fine just hung a tad low.

Ok so update as you can see from the pictures I am not taking the car to bare metal as the original paint underneath is in good shape, but you can see in some areas I did hit metal while stripping the car down so far, just the nature of the beast. Unfortunately I am going to be heading out of town unexpectedly for almost 2 months and while it's stored inside in a garage don't want to leave those metal areas exposed in fear of coming back to a bunch of surface rust on those areas. I am somewhat lacking in knowledge on body work but won't have time to apply filler where needed and patch the needed areas before I leave so don't want to spray my primer. Would just some cheap cans of rustoleum spray paint do the job to somewhat seal the car for the time being until I can get back? Then I would just sand that off do body work and spray with actual high build primer from a gun. Any thoughts and knowledge will be appreciated
 

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I would recommend Rustoleum high zinc primer that they sell at the big box hardware stores. It will stop rust in it's tracks.

As to your rear end build I would have say do not throw any money at the 8.2 inch ten bolt. It is too weak to handle a 400 inch motor. There are a number of higher horsepower rated rear ends that can be adapted to fit under your car; especially if you are thinking of gutting the interior and going to a four link rear end suspension system.

The same could be said for the all aluminum TH350. The factory put a TH400 behind all motors that made more than 250 horsepower for a reason. The larger cast iron TH400 can handle well over five hundred horsepower as is stock. Any transmission (TH350, 700R4, 200R4, or even the TH400) can be modified to accept more power. Difference is if you start with a 500 horse base tranny it will cost you less to build up the transmission to accept your level of power.

let me express my condolences; as I am also assuming that a number of former rich relatives were all recently killed (perhaps they were riding in a bus full of retirees coming back from a Bingo game in Las Vegas) as what you are proposing is going to set you back about $20,000 for the car's suspension and cage. Consider another $2,00 to $15,000 for the motor (depending upon how much power you want). A cage indicates you anticipate speeds that will get you into the low tens or faster, which is going to drive up the price of the motor. As a fer instance I bought all new parts for my 406 build (didn't use a single Chevy part in the motor except the block), and it cost me $13,600 for just parts and the machine work to the block.

Why do I bring this up? Because in the back of every National Dragster you can find a bunch of old farts, like myself, who are selling off their stuff for ten cents on the dollar. So instead of dropping $34,000 to build your car you could buy a race car already running high nines (with or without a professionally built race engine) from $5,000 to $17,000 if you should want one running on the national record. Save that pristine body for a cruiser.

Or you could do what I used to do and have both cars identical in appearance (at least as identical as could be determined with a flash light on a late Friday night). And then ask to go home to "get your slicks". You then drive back with the race car you saved all that money on, by not having spent it on your bait car ... er, I mean your cruise car.

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well big dave thanks for the advice, and it was actually a plane crash.....

Just kidding, no one has died nor given me any money, although joking aside i do see and realize your point. Trust me i already see just planning how quickly it all adds up and thats not even including all those little bits and pieces that seem to end up costing you more then anything else. Some numbers are maybe a little high like $20,000 for suspension and cage is WAY high to me, there is no way i will be blowing that much but many many of your points are right on and valid. I can promise you i will be that guy shopping around for all the steals i can get weather it be at local swap meets or junkyard diving. I plan to do as much of the work i possibly can myself, I enjoy working on cars not planning out and paying for cars, while there are constant swear words and heated discussions with a car that is unable to talk back somehow at the end of the day I truly do find enjoyment out of actually working on a car. I believe this could be said for many car guys.

The idea of 2 very similar cars is a funny one to me, unfortunately i just dont have the garage space or time.... Dave this is my cruiser.... I do not plan to take this thing to the drag stip to often although I like the idea of being able to have that option. This will be a mainly street car that will see very very little strip time and will be set up for the street, the plus with going coilovers all around is if i decide to go drag it I atleast can have the option of easier suspension adjustment.

My hopes for this car are to keep the budget in the neighborhood of $20,000, although i think we all know that the last time a car guy didnt blow his budget was never but i would like to try to keep it somewhere in there. About the only work i plan to outsource and have someone else do is the engine maching, and possibly the rearend work. I want to have a car i can say i built that! not I PAID someone to build that. I am sure throughout i wont always do things the best ways, and I will do about a million things when i look back i will say this way would have turned out better, or this would have taken me 1/10th of the time this way but its all part of learning. I will be picking the peoples brains who have paid those prices as much as I can like you throughout of course to avoid it but at the end of the day somethings you just have to learn for yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
well small update still just sanding down all the old paint, probably wont take the whole thing to bare metal as the origional paint underneath seems to be in pretty good shape. As you can tell from the first pictures i posted the roof and drivers are pretty straight and in pretty good shape. Unfortunately now that i have moved onto the passengers not such luck. Still no rust to be found which is good news, but most of the quarter had bondo. Luckily as i have been sanding away most of the bondo is just a skim coat to cover up minor imperfections and no large dents or defects yet. The worst news is the passengers side door is pretty warped, it was like this when i bought the car and i'm not totally sure i will be able to straighten it out completely, so may just opt to reskin it, still have to look a little closer to see just how warped it really is.
Next will be to scrape then sand the fenders and trunk lid, planning to use a fiberglass hood so i wont waste time on the current one. The plan right now is to paint the car satin black.

Right now waiting for my buddy to get back to pull the old engine and transmission out. Since i am leaving in about half a week that wont happen till after i get back. I am planning to use the stock front clip but clean it up and grind down and redo some of the welds (this car was clearly built on a friday it feels like). Also am going to be ordering the new tubular A arms and coil overs to be waiting for me when i get back. Still researching and deciding on what i plan to do for brakes want to do disks all the way around. Anyways i will post some pictures of where i am at body work wise later today.
 
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