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Old 05-26-2016, 01:42 PM   #1
bs46488
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1970 Nova....

Thought I'd post pictures of my other project. Bought this as a project in Nov 2012 (so a couple of quick posts to catch up to current progress)

Still haven't 100% figured out all the details of what I want to do to the car, so let me hear your thoughts.

Previous owner worked on it for 5-6 years and got it here:

454 Big Block
Th400
12 bolt rear with 3.73 gears
Sub frame connectors
Front factory disk conversion
new fuel tank and electric pump
replc all bushings
undercarriage, firewall, and floors scraped and sprayed with Lizard skin
No interior
No dash

Photo on pick up Nov 2012

Last edited by bs46488; 05-26-2016 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 05-26-2016, 01:43 PM   #2
bs46488
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Re: 1970 Nova....

Update from June 2013

sold off the 15" rally's (with the wrong offset so they hit the fender lips)
purchased cheap rollers for garage.
Purchased cheap shocks to get settled
cleaned up some wiring
Stripped massive layers of old paint and lots and lots of bondo
Started patching some rust holes

Here it is in June 2013


So my biggest fear of the car at this point was the brakes. When I loaded it on the trailer, I got the feeling it wasn't going to stop and roll off the front of the trailer.

Since it just had manual brakes, I figured hydroboost would be the best upgrade.

Just finished up the Hydroboost over the weekend.

After I finished the fab and mock-up of the hydroboost and started bleeding the brakes, I started to find some interesting stuff. Pass rear = working drum. Driver rear = No fluid present during bleeding. Driver front = excellent condition and fluid present. Pass front = dry as a bone. replace caliper, still no fluid. (Think I figured out why the brakes were a little sketchy loading on the trailer!) Had to replace line from master to front passenger just to get the fluid flowing again. Now I got 4 working hydro assisted brakes. THEY WORK!

Before: Standard non-power master cyl with front factory converted disk and rear drums


After: mock up of the Astro hydro boost and master cyln, you can see the Wilwood prop valve in the bottom of the pic


So in August of 2013 I got most of the bugs sorted out and have a starting/stopping/steering project. Most of the original (5+ layers) of paint have been stripped off and it sits like this in rattle can primer
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Old 05-26-2016, 01:44 PM   #3
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Re: 1970 Nova....

2 years later.....July 2015

Anyways, I've made a little progress and also back tracked a little at the same time, so I thought I'd post an update.

I was plugging away at the car for a good while.

So then whenever I would start the big block to drive it into the driveway to work on it. I'd have to listen to my wife complain for about 2-3 days about how loud the car was and how bad it smelled. Then in my other ear, I have my father (who taught me all this car stuff) saying the same thing over and over again LS motor, LS motor, LS motor. So I finally caved to both of them and figured I could buy an LS motor and solve the old car smell for my wife and also take the advice of my father.

So I decided to pull the big block and put it on an engine stand and make room for an LS in the Nova. Here is the Nova with its engine removed. You can also see my engine stand in the background (and my father). Typically engine stands are red, but mine seems to look a little primer gray with a hideous orange firewall:



Here is the latest on with the nova. I'm back to researching and buying more parts for the LS conversion. I'm hoping to get it back to running, stopping, and steering over the summer. (I'm also hoping to have the truck as "driving project" by then too")

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Old 05-26-2016, 01:47 PM   #4
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Re: 1970 Nova....

Another late July 2015 update...

I've been able to recycle almost all of the old Nova parts into "the engine stand".

My father is coming to visit again for a week, so we are going to install the boxes and boxes of parts I've bought for the ls swap. Hopefully by the end of July I'll have the Nova back to its starting/stopping/steering state.

Here's a short rundown of the stuff I have for the install:
SBC engine stands (The current stands are for BBC and the motor sits too tall)
SBC coils - with the LS motor, the old BBC coils make the front sky high
LS swap motor mounts
Holley 302-2 oil pan
LS swap headers ($200 ebay)
Strip wiring harness (got the ECU flashed already)
Walbro 255lph fuel pump
new supply and return fuel lines
new throttle cable

If I've done my research and shopping correctly the only thing we are lacking to get this car running again is fluids, and I can run down the street for those.

Stay tuned.....
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Old 05-26-2016, 01:49 PM   #5
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Re: 1970 Nova....

August 2015 update...Wiring and Paint ideas


Finally got the engine location issues resolved. Had a slight header interference with the steering rag joint, so I had to move things around a little more.

Now that every thing is in place, started working on final wiring. Getting the fuse block wired up and all the wires in the car for the OBD2 port, brake signal, tach, etc



I borrowed the ECU mounting location from another member, Sebarta. Now that I got the stand alone harness resolved, I need to clean up the birds nest of wires that the previous owner created. He relocated the battery to the trunk with just a large power cable, then its piggy backed a few times for power distribution, alt feed, etc

Update on Paint:

So I bought my Nova without a lot of the previous history. I was okay with that, as I'm not restoring the car but pretty much doing whatever I want.

I got a title and saw the vin on the dash matched, so I was fine with that. I was a little peeved that the PO took off the cowl tag, but what are you going to do.

Anyways, working on all of this wiring for the past couple of weeks, you'll see that my wiring harness travels right near where the cowl tag is supposed to go.

After staring at it for a long time, I decided to coat that area in about half a gallon of paint stripper and 45 mins of scrapping. And low and behold...under about 1/4' of Lizard Skin (PO decision, not mine!) I find the original cowl tag.

So now I'm the proud owner of paint code 25, Astro Blue, Nova. Blue was never in my mind for future paint colors....but I'm wondering if it should be?

My latest paint decision (I've changed my mind about 7 times) was white.
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Old 05-26-2016, 01:49 PM   #6
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Re: 1970 Nova....

Mid Sept 2015

ALMOST done!

I almost got everything done this weekend to turn the key for the first crank. Some of these "little detail" tasks can take up as must time as the original fab work.

Here she sits with fluids in the car (and nothing spilling on the floor) I'll probably crank it over this coming weekend.

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Old 05-26-2016, 01:50 PM   #7
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Re: 1970 Nova....

Oct 5 2015 update

Quick update.....IT'S ALIVE!

I got a little advice from people about what to prior to cranking over the LS swap and pretty much the answers were to just start it up.

Push it out of the garage, turned the key and vroom! Oil pressure jumped to about 45psi after about 3-5 seconds. The weird clunking noise is no longer there.

I didn't have much time this weekend so I only drove it back and forth a couple of times, but when I did the trans felt really really sluggish. I haven't hooked up the tcc from the swap yet, any chance that could be contributing to the sluggish trans?



Quick update Oct 12 2015:

I finally wired the TCC switch, CEL light, and the OBD2 port. Once they were live, the CEL was on. Pulled out the code reader....only 8 codes stored! All of them trans related.

After a little research, I ended up putting 12+ to the pink wire on connector on the drivers side (I believe it is called the PRNDL switch), instead of the round plug on the passenger side, so that explains a lot. Got the power switched and now it feels like a car again!

Rumor on the street is that I have to re-do our kitchen, then all my posts will be paint and body related updates.

Last edited by bs46488; 05-26-2016 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 05-26-2016, 01:54 PM   #8
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Re: 1970 Nova....

Feb 2016

Well I'm back from the kitchen remodel. Just a few more little details and trim work to finish. Also got in a family vacation, a couple holidays, a kids birthday party, and half of the soccer season done.

I've been plugging away at the Nova. Found a couple body panels for cheap off of Rockauto, so I'm going to do some of the rust repair on the QTR panels.

Finally got the bucket seats mounted. Spoke with a local upholstery shop about interior options. I got a pair of 2001 Camaro buckets that he will redo to fit in with the factory rear seat. I'm also doing a color swap.

Well after spending a bunch of hours of stripping and grinding lizard skin and old paint, I also talked myself into buying a 3M 6000 facemask to wear.

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Old 05-26-2016, 01:55 PM   #9
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Re: 1970 Nova....

Final update....this is current time, last weekend

Got a little work done on the Nova, so thought I'd snap some photos.

Quick rear quarter rust repair. Still need to fabricate something for the inner wheel well. I didn't want to replace the whole inner panel, I only need to find a way to bend the bottom 8" or so





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Old 01-17-2017, 04:38 PM   #10
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Re: 1970 Nova....

Well that "quick" repair only took 8 months to finish....

Time to turn the car around and do the other side.

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Old 01-23-2017, 03:13 PM   #11
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Re: 1970 Nova....

Body patchwork on the passenger side

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Old 01-23-2017, 04:15 PM   #12
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Re: 1970 Nova....

Nice nova! You've brought it a long ways! The LS swap is very nice too. On the color, I'd just paint it what ever makes you happy. How's your engine stand project coming?
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:31 PM   #13
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Re: 1970 Nova....

Nice Nova. I think I was looking at your thread some where else trying to figure out what oil pan and motor mounts you used because my brother and I were having a hell of a time trying to get his engine in his Nova.

We ended up using the same pan you have but a set of plate style conversion motor mounts which required me to make all new motor mount towers.
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Used parts build: http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=638991
My brother's Nova: http://www.67-72chevytrucks.com/vboa...d.php?t=727985
Rear suspension rework: http://www.67-72chevytrucks.com/vboa...d.php?t=750557
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Old 01-24-2017, 09:16 AM   #14
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Re: 1970 Nova....

Always liked Novas! Yours is KOOL! Leave it black primer and drive the crap out of it!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-27-2017, 03:16 PM   #15
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Re: 1970 Nova....

My final rust repair. After this I'll sand it all down and spray some epoxy primer.

The lower passenger fender. Rust on the left, new metal on the right. The patch panel comes with that bracket on the top. I'll have to add some metal to the small bracket on the bottom and reuse it.

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Old 03-31-2017, 05:51 AM   #16
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Re: 1970 Nova....

Very nice project, any updates on it ?
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:58 PM   #17
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Re: 1970 Nova....

Not much has changed. Got it out of the garage to sweep up and blow all the dust out.

Got all the panels welded in and ground down. I started sanding the rattle can primer off to shoot this thing with epoxy soon

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Old 04-05-2017, 04:32 PM   #18
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Re: 1970 Nova....

Looking good! It'll be nice to see it in epoxy!
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Old 11-21-2017, 01:24 PM   #19
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Re: 1970 Nova....

Thought an update was due...

How does the saying go? 2 steps back one step forward.

Haven't sanded or painted 1 inch of the car.

Decided this car really wanted to be an LS swap with a T56 6 speed, so I'm neck deep in converting from the 4L60E.

Had to remove a bunch of parts to get access and room to work, but I guess I'll consider that forward process on getting those pieces into primer before reassembly.

Hood - removed to get access to removing the bellhousing bolts

Fender - removed because I thought it would be a good idea to hide the ECU, which needed to be re-programmed for the manual trans

Door - removed so I can swap out the old pedal assembly and add the 3rd pedal
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:08 PM   #20
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Re: 1970 Nova....

It'll all be worth it in the end to have a manual IMO!
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