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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have a '73 Chevy Nova 350 four-door that I have been trying to restore on my own. Green as grass concerning body work but I managed to sand down some rusted areas and put several coats of primer. Everything was proceeding to get done when I gathered enough funds to do it until the engine went. It just coasted to a halt one day. Was told that the piston went through the engine block. That was it for body work and I started to gather funds for an engine until they now tell me that the floor of the car is 1/16 of an inch thin in some places and the whole thing needs to get replaced. I'm wondering what kind of cost I'm looking at and how easy( or difficult) it is to do. I'm not savvy enough to do it myself so if it's expensive - that combined with the cost of an engine - may knock this whole thing out of commission. I am the original owner and would love to get it restored to its original glory but wondering if I'm being
unrealistic at this point. Any input would be appreciated.
 

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Welcome to the Team El!

If you are not a body man it is expensive. When you stated the motor expired I thought not a problem. But replacing floor pans will be if you have to pay a shop to do it properly. Unfortunately every one I know grew up with a Sears "our best" $199.99 mechanics starter tool kit.

Because of the amount of manual labor involved in sanding and body prep no one I know learned how to do body work correctly (I learned to weld putting car hauler trailers together out of scrap metal and trailer axles out from under mobile homes, but that is a long way from being able to weld thin automotive sheet metal).

You will have to add in to the economics of the restoration the sentimental value of this being your car since it was new. But if you are looking at this car as being only a daily driver for as long as you own it then I would say it has given it's all at this point. It will depend upon what your ideas are for this car as to what it is going to be worth to restore to new show room condition.

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply. Any idea as to the (approx.) cost to replace the floor? I don't think they were saying it's just the floor pans but the entire floor. Did a search as to whether it was actually possible. It is, but I couldn't find out if it's possible to get a factory floor(do they make them?) or get one used. Also, I'm in Canada and don't know who supplies
items like this(or any other Chevy Nova body parts).
 

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They make restoration floor pans for your car, but not a trunk pan, that has to come out of a 1973-'79 Nova, Omega, Ventura, Apollo (later renamed as a Buick Sky Lark), or a 1976-'79 Cadillac Seville. These are all X-body cars as designated by GM.

The restoration pans are two pieces (passenger side and drivers side and do not include the toe boards (the part of the fire wall that sits at a 45 degree angle) or the top of the transmission tunnel which has to be reused unless it is also rusted out in which case you need to go back to your parts car for parts. You can see what they sell you here since almost all vendors of restoration parts buy their wares from a Chinese manufacturer.

http://www.classicindustries.com/product/1973/nova/parts/e107211.html

Big Dave
 

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If you need to do it on the very cheap, many of a car has been driven around for years with a thin floor in spots. If it is strong enough to hold together without putting your foot through it, just leave it alone until your $$$$ situation gets manageable and focus on a new engine. I drove my 54 Ford for 3 or 4 years with a scrap piece of metal under the carpet to keep my feet above the pavement. LOL You can get a new GM Crate for between $1500.00 and $2000.00 depending on HP so you can keep your dream alive. Give it a coat of black primer and drive and enjoy the car. These issues just prolong the restoration process a bit....Jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the link, Big Dave, and Jackel, for the words of encouragement. In looking at the link I see that it shows four floor pans. Are those what make up the floor or do they sit in four areas of the actual floor? When I was told that the floor had to be replaced did they mean the actual floor or are they saying that all floor pans have to be replaced and it's the floor pans that make up the floor? I'm kind of confused on this point - as to whether the floor is one(or two) big pieces of metal or it's really just made up of four floor pans.
 

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GM could afford to buy some of the largest punch presses in the world.


Stamping out under hood reinforcement panels for a 1987 GM B-Body


Changing the dies in the press to stamp 1936 Chevy Roadster fenders

Big enough to press out a single floor and trunk pan out of one piece of metal.

The replacement parts you see are made out of recycled, steel in China, using a smaller less powerful press punch to maker a jig-saw puzzle out of what Chevy formerly made out of one piece. The restoration houses would have you believe that they are doing you a favor by only selling you the portion of floor you need, but truth is they are just making it harder to replace the floor since you have to slice and weld everything back into one piece.

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Great pics. I'm wondering, in my own situation, when they say that the entire floor needs to be replaced of they mean just the four floor pans. I asked (it's not an auto body shop but a garage) and they just kept saying that the floor had to be replaced. I see from the link you provided that there's either four floor pans or a one-piece floor pan for the entire driver's side and one for the passenger side. Would that make up the entire floor or is there a frame around or in between it all? I've been trying to find a picture of what it actually looks like in a '73 Chevy Nova but haven't as yet.

Another question. When the engine went, my car was in storage for some months(while I was saving up money for a new engine). In the interim, the passenger rear wheel seized. How can that be fixed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I may be talking to myself(lol) but I have another question. I contacted two places that say they sell the one- piece floor for a 1973 Chevy Nova. When I
specified that it's a four-door, the one source said, sorry, they only supply a one-piece for a two-door. The other source didn't reply. Is there such a thing as a one-piece floor for a 1973 Chevy Nova four-door? I know, Big Dave, you said that they come in pieces but when I saw a one piece for a 1973 Chevy Nova I thought they sold floors n one piece too. Question is, do they only sell a one-piece floor for a two-door or is there one available for a four-door too. If so, where? (sorry for so many questions but I've got the garage breathing down my back to scrap the car and I need some ammunition(aka pretty sound information) to say why I won't be doing that because I know what parts are needed and where to get them. It would be helpful to know if there is a
Canadian supplier for these floors and other mechanical/body parts.
 

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My advise is pull the car out of the garage until you can get all your ducks in a row. This not the time or place for a spur of the moment decision. You may decide to sell it as is so you don't want a picture of it sitting in a garage, but in front of a school or a movie theater or a lake front. If you want to keep it you need to decide upon a budget and time frame.

This car is no longer a daily driver so your first concern is dependable cheap transportation. I would recommend a Crown Vic police car sold at a local auction. Police cars are large sedans with room and are safe in a crash as most of them have been hit at least once or twice; but professionally repaired and well maintained.

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My advise is pull the car out of the garage until you can get all your ducks in a row. Big Dave
Due to regulations where I am located, there is no place to store it unless
it's driveable. Even if I were to pay for storage elsewhere, costs are prohibitive, and I would sooner put the money on the repair.

Must be because I'm located in Canada. I see one piece, two piece, and four piece floors but can't find out if they fit the four-door Chevy Nova. Can I get
them from a supplier in Canada? Every time I look, (even though I put in
"Canada'. I always end up in the U.S. If I order from the US, I get hit with everything american buyers don't - duty, difference between the U.S. and Canadian dollar(which is low), handling fees, shipping fees(all free to U.S.
destinations, not Canada), and even sales tax.... yes, sales tax. So, I'm
hoping to find what I need in Canada. Having trouble doing so.

Two questions. Is there a one piece floor for a 1973 Chevy Nova four-door?
Is there a supplier in Canada that members of this forum from Canada use to get Nova parts from? If they don't have a one-piece, I'll quit looking for one, but the advertisement always says how easy it is to put in. No piecing bits and pieces together if I can get a one piece floor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Classic Industries tell me they don't carry any floor pans for a 1973 Chevy Nova. All the ones they advertise on their site are not for that car. I can't seem to find any Canadian source for them either. Does any member know of one?
 

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They make restoration floor pans for your car, but not a trunk pan, that has to come out of a 1973-'79 Nova, Omega, Ventura, Apollo (later renamed as a Buick Sky Lark), or a 1976-'79 Cadillac Seville. These are all X-body cars as designated by GM.

The restoration pans are two pieces (passenger side and drivers side and do not include the toe boards (the part of the fire wall that sits at a 45 degree angle) or the top of the transmission tunnel which has to be reused unless it is also rusted out in which case you need to go back to your parts car for parts. You can see what they sell you here since almost all vendors of restoration parts buy their wares from a Chinese manufacturer.

http://www.classicindustries.com/product/1973/nova/parts/e107211.html

Big Dave
Anybody reading this older thread should know that there are several companies that make 1/4 , 1/2 & FULL floor as well as center & drop off edge trunk panel etc. pans.
 
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