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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well I finally had the chance to buy a Nova. My story starts as a young lad, who like any other kid loved muscle cars growing up. I was born in 1975 so seeing these monsters going down the road made an impression. I remember going to Grandmas house and seeing an old blue nova sitting by a pile of wood rusting away. I kept asking my mom if we could take it home and fix it. Well 30 years later, I finally have a garage, with ingersol airtool set up and tools for the job. I decided to start looking for a project car. I searched craigslist and found a lot of nova's here in the Denver area, but they all seem to have been already modded or through the chop mill at some point. I then stumbled upon this rusty ol heap. The lady that owned it, said her it was her dads car and has been passed down to her brother and then to her. She stated it sat in an RV lot for 10 years and finally talked her dad in to giving it to her. She ran it for 6 years in this condition with a tarp on the roof. It stand bone stock from what I can tell and nothing done to the motor. It starts first try everytime and sounds like it runs well. Has 78k original miles on it. She said the engine has not been rebuilt or touched beyond changing the oil and plugs. It looks it too.. I don't know a lot about 350's, but it seems to be strong from what I can tell.

I'm hoping to tear it down and bring it back to life. I know nearly every detail of this car is going to need to be restored. So I'm going to look for lots of advice from you guys. My intention is to tear it down to the frame and see what needs replaced, what can be salvaged and then begin the long journey of putting it together. The Skyroof is a cool feature and doing the research I found that its a pretty cool thing to have in addition to a sweet old classic 73 nova.

I think I want to retain most of the stock features but bring some modern ties to it.

INTERIOR

  • Swap to bucket seats
  • New interior and restore the SkyRoof
  • Updated Dash and Cluster, Gauges
  • etc..
EXTERIOR

  • Disc Brake Conversion
  • Update the 350 (not sure what additions yet)
  • Get transmission checked and updated if needed
  • Not sure about the bumpers yet, leave with stock 73's or go earlier
  • New Wheels, Tires etc...
  • Replace the fenders
  • Patch rears with donors
  • New hatch (came with one from another 73)
  • What ever I find after blasting it down.....
  • etc...
That is all for now - I'll keep updating as I do the work! :thumbsup:




















edit** added few more I forgot.. and video of engine start.










[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTo0rDIWj_s"]Nova Start - YouTube[/ame]
 

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WOW Eric, that car is going to make a great project. Nice to have the born with 350 in her to. I would make an ultra sleeper out of it. Keep the stock look but rebuild the 350 into a 383. Good luck....Jack
 

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I would be curious to learn more about the sky roof. Is it just a hole in the roof (how is it finished inside) with a canvas tarp you snap down like a tonnaeu cover or is it more like a convertible top with ribs and folding frame that moves aside at the touch of a button (or some where in between). I have never seen one. They are quite rare.

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll snap some shots later of the inside. It's a factory sliding top with ribs. Has inner and outer fabrics. It need completely restored. But yeah its going to rock when its done up..
 

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Wow, I'm not sure I've seen a skyroof hatchback. Cool to see it's an original Denver car too by the Stevenson Chevy dealer tag on the hatch. I grew up about 10 minutes from that dealership.

I parted out a 73 Ventura last fall that was a hatchback. Unfortunately it was rolled and pretty messed up or else I wouldn't have ripped it apart. Of the parts I pulled was the back seat. If you need one for your project, let me know. I'm only a couple of hours south of Denver in Pueblo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, I'm not sure I've seen a skyroof hatchback. Cool to see it's an original Denver car too by the Stevenson Chevy dealer tag on the hatch. I grew up about 10 minutes from that dealership.

I parted out a 73 Ventura last fall that was a hatchback. Unfortunately it was rolled and pretty messed up or else I wouldn't have ripped it apart. Of the parts I pulled was the back seat. If you need one for your project, let me know. I'm only a couple of hours south of Denver in Pueblo.
Yeah that cracked me up about the original Stevenson dealer tag. She said her father bought it there. She is trying to dig up some old photo's for me so I can look at it in the original state. I wanted to know the original color of the top.

I'll let you know about the back seat. The one it in is pretty beat, but most likely able to be restored with some new threads and foams... I'm just wondering about these Camaro Seats. From what I read they seem pretty similar to the stock buckets of the Nova and are somewhat inexpensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So today picked up the camaro bucket seats. Not sure how these will work, but will give it a shot after I tear down the inside of the beast! I'm sure at some point maybe someone that has done the Camaro switch will read this.

I found a brand new gas tank for 60 bucks on CL as well. Nice find! Also located a media blaster here in Denver to do the blast. Tear down starts tomorrow....

For those interested in the Sky Roof, I got around to snapping a few pics in its current state. Obviously seen better days, but cool that all the working parts are there minus the fabrics... It has a rotary handle that has a basic latching mechanism that locks it into place, and then has tracks that roof folds back in to. Researching Ventura II roofs, you will see lots of cars tried this feature out. Studas and the like!! It then folds back accordion style and rests on its own in that position. Should look a lot purtier once the new top goes on, but you get the point.




Here you go...










 

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Yeah that cracked me up about the original Stevenson dealer tag. She said her father bought it there. She is trying to dig up some old photo's for me so I can look at it in the original state. I wanted to know the original color of the top.

I'll let you know about the back seat. The one it in is pretty beat, but most likely able to be restored with some new threads and foams... I'm just wondering about these Camaro Seats. From what I read they seem pretty similar to the stock buckets of the Nova and are somewhat inexpensive.
The car I swiped the seat out of looked to have been recovered in the last 10 years or so. Other than being tan vinyl and brown cloth it's in really good shape. Let me know if you need it.

As far as the Camaro buckets go, they are pretty similar but if you got a bench seat up front you won't have the inner mounting points for the buckets to mount to. You'll have to fabricate some inner mounts to make them fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Today I got a little carpet pulling in to the bare floor. I had to pull the tar insulation out too... I then installed a bucket seat and took a 100 mile drive up to loveland to my buddies hot-rod shop. All the cool kids came out to check out the crazy nova with the skyroof. Everyone seemed to think the car is going to be a sweet project.

So here is the rust damage. Looks like new floor panels in the front and new trunk panel. Looks like i'm buying a welder! Any suggestions on a welder good for both welding panels and some heavy duty stuff? I also own a very built 07 wrangler that I need to weld some trusses and things like that. My garage is wired for 220, but obviously a 110 welder would be cheaper..

hmm....:confused:







 

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The welder I have is a Lincon HD1200(i think). It was one of the biggest 110v lincoln forlight duty use. If you have the 220v available and you think you will need it then buy the 220v welder, you won't be sorry. My 100v welder has done everything I have asked of it but sometimes I do wish I had a 220v welder. Miller makes excellent products also. I primarily use the self shielding wire, but have used the gas bottle with mine for some of the heavier jobs I have done. Welding with gas comes out a lot cleaner also

matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The welder I have is a Lincon HD1200(i think). It was one of the biggest 110v lincoln forlight duty use. If you have the 220v available and you think you will need it then buy the 220v welder, you won't be sorry. My 100v welder has done everything I have asked of it but sometimes I do wish I had a 220v welder. Miller makes excellent products also. I primarily use the self shielding wire, but have used the gas bottle with mine for some of the heavier jobs I have done. Welding with gas comes out a lot cleaner also

matt
Thanks for the input. I'll have to look around and see if I can a good deal on craigslist! Tomorrow is another tear down day. Hoping to have the interior out to the firewall. Should be interesting!! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looks to be a nice car, in reasonably good shape. I see you have the Nova Custom emblems on the front fenders. They are not reproduced so take car not the damage them when removing.
The sky roof was a rare option, had to be even fewer installed on a hatchback.

Thanks... I didn't know that about the emblems. I planned on tagging everything in baggies and catalog it. Hopefully I can salvage those and make them look new again. Its a really neat car, the skyroof is really cool driving around in. Feel so open and free... BTW your Nova is baddass!! Are those Boss wheels? Did you use stock bumpers or go older? I think I'm going with something similar. 400 in it eh? My buddy at the rod shop stated I should do a 400 in it too if the 350 wasn't enough for me.. :)

I ended up getting some collector plates. Ended up with 007 for the number. LOL I love it!!
 

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Now all you need is a dash tag saying beware of ejector seat. Or forget about the the dash plaque and just put a yellow and black striped three quarter inch in diameter plastic loop sticking up behind the passenger seat head rest!



Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
LOL @ Big Dave! Ejector seats!! :yes:

Most of the interior is pulled. I ended up killing my pressure valve! After reading reviews on this kobalt I realized it is a common problem for the whole assembly to just blow apart. It scared the **** out of me when it blew itself up and hit the ceiling! Off to buy an ingersol to match the T30 compressor.


Okay so at a stand still and looking for some direction. I have for the most part got the inside torn down, parts cataloged and every screw accounted for in ziplock bags. So... What from experience would be the best way to go at this point? Get it torn all the way down pull the engine and tranny and send it over to media blast? Or should I replace the panels in the floor and fenders and then send to blast? Seems like it may be good to send it as is to blast so I can see what's left and do a better job and cutting out the rusted crap. I can work the suspension and motor while the body is off to get blasted. What do you guys think?








 

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I would pull the drive train and suspension and trim parts then send it over to be blasted, then you only have to do the panel repair/replacement once. If you try to do some repairs first you might just wind up cutting them out to do a bigger repair.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I would pull the drive train and suspension and trim parts then send it over to be blasted, then you only have to do the panel repair/replacement once. If you try to do some repairs first you might just wind up cutting them out to do a bigger repair.

Matt


Good thinking Matt... That is kinda what I was expecting to hear.


So today was a nice score!! I ended up finding some misc parts on craigslist. Another guy named Eric, just finished his 73 Nova Build or should I say WAS a 73 Nova. Its a fire breathing 496 beast now!! He did a lot of cool stuff to it. Including buying parts and then replacing them with Wilwoods and racing control arms and a fuel cell. SOOO I lucked out and for 100 bucks picked up, a front end disc brake conversion, a new gas tank, and a set of reconditioned stock control arms.

The disc brake conversion kit is missing some parts, so I will have to piece it together, but seems to be there for except for the booster, master cylinder and some rings... The control arms have new ball joints pressed in to them, however the boots got torn in the process of taking them off it seems..


Couple questions I have for you guys..

1. Any suggestions on completing the missing parts for the front disc conversion. What booster / cylinder I should get? Missing rings??

2. I was thinking since I'm gonna have to replace the trunk pan in the rear, should I think about doing anything to run wider tires in the rear while making this change anyway. I'm replacing the stock tank, so I guess I'm limited with that, but for those of you who wish they went a little wider in the rear, any thoughts before I weld in a stock pan again?

3. Can I get new boots for the ball joints so I don't have to get new ones? These ones look nice, with greasable zerks..

that's it for today! I think I'm going to start pulling out the front end and fenders today. Have a good one... Don't roast too much!! :D

 

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Simple as 1,2,3!

Stock booster was a Delco-Moraine 11 inch single diaphragm. You can buy them in repop houses or at a chain auto parts store if you are not worried about date stamps and chalk marks.

You can keep the stock trunk pan after triming it up a bit, as you widen your wheel tubs an inch or so at the same time. To use that added space you need to weld in an upper shock mount between your frame rails and get a DSE front spring hanger and offset rear spring hanger to move your springs in board. The upper shock mount is for when you move your shocks to the other side of the spring for more room for a bigger tire (needs another shock mount plate with lower mounts on the inside or you can buy slapper bars that have four shock mount holes on them).

Energy Suspension and Global West sell new ball joint boots in red plastic or black.

Big Dave
 
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