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Old 07-17-2004, 11:20 PM
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350 swap in a 66 nova

i have a 66 nova four door. my plan is to make this car into a sleeper, swaping out the stock 230 I6 for a 350 V8. my question is if you have any sugestions regarding how i can get keep the car streetable, get no less than 350 hp, and be able to run 12's or so at first, until funds for major work such as porting are raised. please keep in mind that i am working on a pretty tight budget and would like to stay away from having the block bored. i don't have the block yet but i am planning on pulling one from a junk yard once i have a good plan down. i'm currently looking at attaching an edelbrock torker 2 manifold and a 2500-6500 rpm cam to the setup. any information you have regarding block selection, build up parts, or just tips on what i'm doing would be greatly appreciated.
thank you

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Old 07-18-2004, 01:23 AM
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350 swap in

preparation,preparation,preparation.just like in painting the more prep work you do the better the job will be.you need to start by buying a chevy inter-change manual first and begin the prepare your self for whats to come.you can go to barn and noble or any book store and find books for the type of job you want to do.you find in the long run that its better not to have to depend on other people for your info.they are usually well meaning but are ofen wrong and end up costing you hard earned cash and time.the more you know,the better off you'll be.i have a small library myself and any one who tells you that you look in them dammed books to much and that what your trouble is is just the person you want to stay far away from.i.ve run into some of those back wood people .i know there're out there.you can look alot of this info up on your computer.in the beginning i learned alot by subscribing to a couple of magazines.chevy high performance and super chevy.they do alot of projects you can learn from.don't let other people leed you around learn for yourself.good luck and happy motoring.
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Old 07-18-2004, 09:58 AM
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GoneNova is so right. Do your homework. This is not a particularly bad swap, but its the little details than can burn your time and your pocketbook. My daughter is angling for a ride like yours, so I am in the middle of doing my homework before starting the big project. I also suggest you visit some sites like...

http://www.chevyhiperformance.com/

http://www.carcraft.com/

http://www.novaresource.org/

http://www.classicindustries.com/nova.htm

Happy Wrenching!!

Dave
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Old 07-18-2004, 11:43 AM
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350 swap in a 66 nova

thank you,
i will do my best to plan before the project starts rolling. do you have any suggestions regarding parts combos, cam, compression ratio, etc?
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Old 07-25-2004, 01:21 PM
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Plan out and match all your driveline components.Figure exactly what you wanna do first drag only,street strip,street and plan around that.
Also you'll need traction aids the Nova's are known for wheel hop.
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Old 08-11-2004, 09:39 AM
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here is what i have planned so far:
4 bolt main 350 from an 80's suburban
sag. 4 speed
Hurst comp plus shifter
stock drive shaft
ford 9 inch from a mustang or 50's ford
traction bars
compition engineering sub frame connectors

if anyone sees any problems with this setup please let me know, as i have not purchased any of these yet and am able to make changes if needed.

oh yeah, the 66 nova will eventually put out 450 hp and will see occasional strip action and will be a daily driver.
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Old 08-13-2004, 11:19 AM
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Don't forget to plan on a new oil pan and headers. Those little early Novas need a center relief for the steering. You should be able to get this at jeg's, etc and stock exhaust manifolds were not meant for a 350. The 66's came with possibility of 327 but these parts will cost a lot of money. Check the spec's on the cams and manifolds from the 66 Nova for the 365 horse 327. This will give you a clue as to what will give you what you want.
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Old 08-13-2004, 11:52 AM
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i had forgoten to mention the pan in my list, Classic Industries has the one i need in their Nova book. as for the headers, could i temporarily use the stock manifolds from the 350, i'm getting the engine just as it would have been installed, pullies, carb, etc?

in an effort to make a better drag car out of my 4 door and to save me the money of a new rearend, clutch, etc. i've decided to go with an auto. th-350 looks like a reasonable choice and i'll instal a shift kit to give me the durability and quick shifts desired. my list now goes as follows:

4 bolt main 350 from an 80's suburban
stock intake and exhaust manifolds (until i've saved up enough for new ones and a Holley SysteMax top end kit)
"Sealed Power Engine Rebuild Kit" with forged 9.72:1 pistons
stock drive shaft
stock 8.2 inch rear
traction bars
compition engineering sub frame connectors
th-350 auto (stock shifter for now)
B&M Transpak shift kit (high performance street)
first generation nova small block oil pan
and the obvious things like motor/trany mounts, frame connectors, a V8 radiator (since i'm going from a 6 banger).

if you see anything that could be a problem please let me know.
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Old 08-13-2004, 01:35 PM
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Good thing you have decided on a automatic...........early Novas have a special block with a different clutch ball location on the block. The oil filter is also recessed for clearance.


You will need a small stall converter......about a 2400 to 2800 rpm one................and a transmission cooler or get a V8 radiator for a automatic.


Short water pump...and pulleys.........


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Old 08-13-2004, 04:32 PM
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"The oil filter is also recessed for clearance."
are you saying that i need to have the filter recessed and if so how do i go about doing that?

the pulleys that come on the engine will not work?
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Old 08-13-2004, 08:39 PM
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I had a 79 Chevrolet truck..........it had the long water pump on it.........1980 Suburban should be the same.......and you need a short water pump.............IMHO. That's what GM used.......long pumps did not even come out until later.

If you can stick your little finger between the timing chain cover and the water pump.........it is a long pump. Short water pump pulleys DO NOT interchange with long water pump pulleys...nor do the brackets for the accessories.

Use a short oil filter.....PF25 or so.

When GM put the V8 in the early Novas..........they redesigned the V8 small block for them. They were the first Chevrolet small block V8 to get a spin on filter from the factory. The rest of the V8 small block line carried a cannister type for years. GM recessed the filter up into the block....for clearance.

This swap can be done and has been done MANY times. It just gets expensive $$$........

You could most likely look around and find one........V8 and all.......for less money and a LOT less heartache.

You are short on experience, tight on cash, most likely have limited tools and MAYBE no garage..........and these things may for a bad combination. If you do not have another car to drive....while doing this...and chasing parts ...........that adds to the bad combination.

Not trying to discourage you, just trying to get you to not go into this with "rose colored" glasses.


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Old 08-13-2004, 09:03 PM
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i realize that it's going to be hard and i do have another car to drive. will i have to change out all of the pulleys or just the water pump's when i instal the new one and what's this now about the brackets, do i have to change out all of the accessory brackets? if this is the case, is there any way to set the engine back far enough to make it fit, or would removing the fan and instaling 2 electric fans give me enough room to work? thank you for the concern though and i'm sure it would be much harder to undertake a project with out the help of persons like your self.
Hotrod
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Old 08-21-2004, 02:56 AM
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I remember when these cars came out. They had a 350 HP 327 that seemed to be all anyone could ever want....................
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Old 08-21-2004, 08:44 PM
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My two cents

if one has not had alot of experience in engine building I would recommend saving the nickles and getting a crate motor..It can get real spendy rolling your own and very frazzling if one does not have the right info to start with..

By the time I get all the parts together for what I want and get the machine work done and get it all assembled i will have as much in the wrecking yard motor as I would if I just got a crate motor..

Good friend has one of these in his garage and he has over 20 grand in it..all very well done and nice by the way..Real plain but one of the nicer Nova cars I have seen..

Just so you have an idea..cheaper is not always cheap..
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Old 08-21-2004, 09:40 PM
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I would stay clear of the Torker II. They aren't good manifolds. You can get more top end out of an RPM manifold.

Your compression ratio looks good. The more the merrier. If you plan on making the kind of power you are talking about, and remain streetable, you will need at least 10:1 if not 10.5:1 compression.

Put the majority of your money into the cylinder heads. You will need at least 220cc intake ports, and some pretty good flow numbers.

A crate motor won't do it for you. Build your block, and then buy the heads you need. If you are going to make power like that you will need to be know what you are doing. With the knowledge you should have at that point, you will know enough to build your own engine. If you go crate, it will need to already be at the power rating you want to be at. If not you will waste money trying to make the crate do more than it was supposed to.
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