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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back in 1972 my Mom graduated from highschool. She took all her money and with some help from my grandpa traded in her 67 stang for a new new 4 spd light blue 72 nova. She always talked highly about the car, and how she would like to get one again. She doesn't have the money for 2 cars. Naturally new cars are far more drivable than the old. So my plan is to buy, and restore a 72 nova for her 55th b day.(gives me almost 2 years)

So where did you guys find your nova? Local adds come up with complete piles or frame off cars out of my price range.

I want to update the car. I have a lt1 (gen2 sbc not 70's vet) that I want to use infront of a t56 or 4l60e if cash is low. Motor mounts, and trans x memebr is a big concern. Does someone make trans members for OD trans? What style are the motor mounts? If I find a 6 cyl car how hard is it to convert to v8? This is most critical as it will determine what car to look for.

I read nova resource, and accroding to it all 72's had a 8.5 10 bolt.
I know the older 8.5's used 30 spline, and the newer ones use 33. Other than changing axles is there anything to stop me from putting in a set of 3:73's, and eaton I have laying around for the newer 8.5?

I'm sure any car I find in my price range will require new trim, and misc odds and ends. I've never done an old car so my parts books do me little good. Year one any good? Where else should I look for those pesky little nickel and dime things that kill us all.

Thanks for any help
 

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Welcome to the site. Good luck with finding that just right project car. I can not help there other than saying caveat emptor when dealing with e-Bay.

The second generation LT-1 SBC shouldn't pose a problem from a mechanical point of view and will bolt right in. I would choose a 4L60E over the T-56 if I was picking one for a 55 year young woman (unless she routinely kick starts her pan head Harley, then I would go with the manual). Painless or some similar vendor will be needed to get the wiring as fourth gen Camaros, have an engine bay that is smaller than a '72 Nova; and the Impala SS's are too big for an exact fit (better to grab a wiring harness out of an Impala SS, bigger, than to be too small.) You will need a new fuel tank (electric fuel pump in the tank) and new supply and return fuel lines.

The 10 bolt corporate rear end will do just fine with a 3.73 behind the OD tranny, and unless you think mom is going to be out hunting ricers she probably will be perfectly happy with the open rear end (a Eaton Posi-traction unit will have different handling characteristics in wet or icy conditions than she is currently used to). You must ask yourself; do we really want to surprise mom?

Hate to point out the obvious but the sponsor for this site has an excellent reputation for restoration parts, though I haven't had a bad experience with NDP, Year One or Classic Industries (I've also dealt with Impala Bob cause I've got an Impala and a Caprice too). So far as that goes GMPP (and their authorized vendors) can sell brand new parts for the price of a rebuild in some cases.

Sounds like this is going to be a great birthday present, and let me be the first to ask "Do you want to be adopted?"


Big Dave
 

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Welcome to the site.

I picked up my 72 SS shell on E-bay. I've also picked up a 69 Nova parts car and 74 Nova parts car. The 69 wasn't a really good deal, but I think the 74 was a pretty good deal. You will find some things are not reproduced for these cars, so you need to either get good enough stuff with your first car or you will have to get parts cars since the wrecking yards do not seem to keep these things around anymore.

If I remember right my 8.5 for my 72 is a 28 spline axle unit. It uses the same axles as the older 8.2 ten bolts. 30 spline axles were stock for the 12 bolts. They do make upgrade kits to change 10 bolts to 30 spline axles. The 8.5 10 bolt for Nova's are getting harder to come by due to the 1st gen Camaro crowd taking them and the guys driving Nova's older then 72 replacing their 8.2 rears with the stronger 8.5.

For most women over the age of 50 I would think they would prefer an automatic particularly considering how traffic loads have increased. It is no fun to be in bumper to bumper traffic in a stick shift. Then when you hit open interstate it is alot easier to set and forget a cruise system with an automatic tranny than it is a manual. Now that I've covered most women over the age of 50 we will go to the other hot rod mama's that really like stick shift cars. By all means if your mother is one of these few get her a stick shift, but you might want to convert to a hydraulic clutch set up since they are easier to actuate than the old mechanical linkage set up these cars had origionally.

As for the nickle and dime stuff remember to label every nut and bolt as you take apart the project car and any parts cars. Make sure you add an identifier as to what car it came off of also. This will help reduce the number of 50 cent to $1.00 fasteners you end up buying since it is easy to restore a nut or bolt, all you need is a good set of taps and dies and a blackening kit simular to what can be gotten at Eastwood (excellent place to get specialty restoration coatings and tools, a little expensive but excellent tech support and shipping).

As far as swapping in a new fuel injection system or something I have no idea. I prefer a carb personally, but I'm able to pull over on the side of the road and make minor adjustments when I change altitude or climates significantly.

Have fun and if all goes well your mother will recapture some of that youth with your sacrafice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I found a car and went with my buddy who does collision repair. I thought it was good for the 3,100 the guy was asking. Turns out I know nothing about autobody. Took him 6 seconds to figure out both A pillars were more filler than metal. One thing I wonder about is all these guys selling rollers for 9-15k. Do people actually buy them?


If I remember right my 8.5 for my 72 is a 28 spline axle unit. It uses the same axles as the older 8.2 ten bolts. 30 spline axles were stock for the 12 bolts. They do make upgrade kits to change 10 bolts to 30 spline axles.
My mistake above I meant to say 30 spline for the later model 8.5(GN, Impala rear). The gear set, carrier, posi I have is for this rear end.


As far as wiring from looking at the nove today I will go with a b body harness. The f body would easily work too, but I already have two from caprice's. FYI a corvette harness doesn't appear to be good for this, as the pcm would mount at the master cylinder.
 
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