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Old 01-24-2006, 05:28 PM
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66 Nova starting out

Well, I am ready to go into the abyss of restoration, Here are some pics of the Nova I will be working on. I have some engine building experience and painting (like to airbrush) I have read the before you start post and it was good info. So I am laying out my plan and deciding what I want to do when it comes to the front suspension. I have talk with some at work and they have referenced putting a mustang suspension on it and I have read that the stock front end does not hold up well. I plan on making a sleeper rod, stock out side with some air brushing of course ( I ran the numbers and the car was white with blue interior in it's original state) and having a strong weekend motor in it. Any help on the front end will be welcome.




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Old 01-24-2006, 06:44 PM
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The stock front ends are ok lots of people use them. Including myself. The hiedts front ends are much better. But there over 2000.00. If you have the extra $ is say buy it. If your on a budget I would replace worn parts and use the one thats in it. My 67 is also the "sleeper" type I have a full length exhaust with a 388 solid roller engine.making 450+ hp. see my photos. Drop me a line if I can help.
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Old 01-24-2006, 09:04 PM
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Thanks for the input Duece, and I will probably hit you up on dropping a line. Mustangsaly thanks taking the time to post the links, I booked marked them so I can reference back to them. I think I am leaning towards replacing worn parts for now but will do some more reading.

I guess this can lead me to my first dumb question (Many more to follow) do not know much about frames and suspensions. If I keep the original front end, can I put disc brakes on the front or does that require changing everything?
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Old 01-25-2006, 09:14 AM
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re:66 nova starting out

Kustompainter , my project is a 67 nova.this is my 3rd nova and the 2nd time im doing this car over.you can keep the stock suspension and like previous guys said it will work fine.But like anything with a project like this you are dealing with 40 yr old technoligy .for myself I went with the Heidts front end.pricy you bet but I figure this time around I want a late model ride,steering and stopping.The longer Im in this hobby(addiction) the more I realize its all about time and money. I"m only a member of this web site 2 months but ther is a wealth of information and a million suggestions and opinions neither right or wrong.You make your own descision.thanks Mustangsaly for all those nova sites,use them I will. good luck walter s
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Old 01-25-2006, 09:49 AM
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walter has a very good argument regarding time vs. money. i have been working on my 63 nova for 4 years now... it still retains the stock front end due to the fact of the $ it costs for the Heidts/TCI/fatman setups. i do plan to go with the Heidts setup, but i plan to just buy the frame first, with the lower control arms. i had a chance to cut a mustang II's front suspension out, so i scored on that. power steering, brakes and all for $150. talking with the heidts tech line they said that i should be able to use the frame with all the stock parts, just have to modify it to work with the stock Mustang II lower arms. but they said it would be better to use the tubular arms, and upgrade as budget permits. so my mustang II setup now sits, awaiting it's day. but i am scheduled to finish body work on my car and start painting in the next month. i want to be cruising before memorial day...
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Old 01-25-2006, 03:50 PM
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do you have power steering now ? you could run stock front suspension with disc brakes http://nnnova.com/discbrakes.html you could rebuild your front end and run it for $159 plus coil springs http://www.p-s-t.com/gm/gmfekstd.html and not be out much if you go with a mustang II front end, or if you want to run the stock frontend use this Polygraphite super kit http://www.p-s-t.com/gm/gmfekpgs.html $379 plus coil springs (I used this kit on my Olds and was happy) I going to run the stock front end and this rear narrowed frame and ladder bar set up with tubs for big tires. this is the best price i've found with a 9" housing http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...AMEWA%3AITplus i'm going to make my 63 solid with a 10piont roll cage, and run a 400 to 450HP SBC. i'm after this look stock front end with a SBC lots of good info here http://stevesnovasite.com/forums/

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Old 01-25-2006, 06:44 PM
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mustangslay, nice pics... i love how you painted the engine bay. what did you use for the front brakes? 2nd gen nova? i am contemplating discs setup now, but was thinking of just doing the $159 myself.... for now... till the nova fund can afford the heidts setup.. or i win the lotto...
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Old 01-25-2006, 07:31 PM
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Them pics aren't my car, but i'm going 4 that look. I'm going to paint my engine bay and under body/frame like that. my plan is to run the stock nova front end with disc brakes and rebuild the front end with the Polygraphite super pst kit (and spend my money on the narrowed rear frame & tubs with a ford 9" rearend). I have a complete 1980 mustang car in FL I'm getting this next week & if it's not worth saving I will put the mustang II front end under my 63. lots of options out there but it depends on what you want and your budget. $2000 to $2500 for a mustang II frontend is hard for me to swallow, no matter how nice they are.






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Old 01-26-2006, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustangsaly
Them pics aren't my car, but i'm going 4 that look. I'm going to paint my engine bay and under body/frame like that. my plan is to run the stock nova front end with disc brakes and rebuild the front end with the Polygraphite super pst kit (and spend my money on the narrowed rear frame & tubs with a ford 9" rearend). I have a complete 1980 mustang car in FL I'm getting this next week & if it's not worth saving I will put the mustang II front end under my 63. lots of options out there but it depends on what you want and your budget. $2000 to $2500 for a mustang II frontend is hard for me to swallow, no matter how nice they are.
those are nice pics though... it will be a nice car. with mine, i just want to get it driving... then work on the performance stuff in a year or 2. maybe with next years tax return i can order the heidts stuff...

here are some before and after pics of my work in progress....


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Old 01-28-2006, 10:53 PM
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steering and engine compartment

I wasnt so sure that i wanted to leave my stock front end in my 65 nove, but now i dont feel so bad about it from this reassurance that the stock isn't horrible with a little fix up . . thanks
The steering seems to be a completely different story from what ive heard, whats the best route for steering with the stock front? I really am not sure what to do, can a power assist rack and pinion be put in with a stock front end?

Another questiong for jvsapp
how did you get the engine compartment so nice and clean, what did you use? was it just lots of elbow grease or is a better way? Or was it painted straight over the top? Im just trying to plan the best way to do that without making a mess. . .
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oreosmuggler

Another questiong for jvsapp
how did you get the engine compartment so nice and clean, what did you use? was it just lots of elbow grease or is a better way? Or was it painted straight over the top? Im just trying to plan the best way to do that without making a mess. . .
when i painted it almost 3 years ago, it was alot of work. i used some paint thinner(mineral spirits) with a pump garden sprayer(small quart type). that was to soften the years of crud... and believe me there was alot of crud. it kind of melts it and i let it drip down on a couple large sheets of cardboard(you can see it in the first picture) from a shed kit. basically i didn't want to get all the grease and grime onto the ground and into the water system. some scraping with putty knives and a wire brush. once the majority was loosened up and off the car, i used some rags and some laquer thinner to get it all off. that was just the grease. the sheet metal wasn't too bad... some sanding took off the surface rust. then i used some ospho to neutralize the rust. turned everything grey and black. sanded that all off, then osphoed it again. then it was sanding all the grey stuff off and painting. i used hammerite white, and it held up pretty good. but unfortuantely i let it sit too long with some dust and metal fragments. so it has started to surface rust from all the humidity out here. i also found a spot that was a little thin, and when i was taking out the dash parts, i decided i would cut it out ahd fix it... so i finished that this weekend, and i should be ready to resand the engine bay(to take off all the surface rust) and get ready to spray it. the last time i used a small roller to lay on a nice thick coat. probably what saved my car from spreading further than surface rust. but this time i will be using regular body paint. it will be a single stage eurothane from a quart i will be using for interrior and the engine bay. will be posting pics in the next couple weeks hopefully... i want my car to look like my friends 67 wagon's engine bay.... just white instead of gold. the rest of his car will get painted the same gold.


if i had to do it again and there was more rust, i would look at media blasting as an alternative. i did that for my door jambs to get the paint off, and that was another mess. but luckily all that grease saved the sheetmetal. i suggest degreasing it first, then looking at what you have to work with. it is a lot of work especially for our cars that are going to be daily drivers, but it is the satisfaction of having an engine bay clean enought to eat off of and all the compliments i get for it that make it all worth while... i'll see if i can post more pics of the degreasing tomorrow. that way you can get an idea of how much grime i had on it. when i sprayed down the I-6, i had about 1" of grime on the board i let it drip down on.

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Old 01-30-2006, 06:41 AM
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The Mustang II front suspension is no better than the stock Nova, or most other 60s front suspensions. It became popular because it's relatively simple and easy to modify for cars that didn't have indpendent front suspensions to begin with. That's why there are so many kits for 30s - 50s cars, but few 60s. Check the lower suspension on a 1964 Rambler, 1960 Falcon, 64 Mustang, or 63 Fairlane. Basically the same suspension. A single arm and strut rod is cheaper to manufacture and assemble than two heavier stamped arms -- oh yeah, a bit lighter too.

You have to remember -- manufacturers mainly go for two things: overall cost and assembly time. GM dropped the Wankel engine in the mid 70s after spending close to a billion on development. The main reason they cited was it wouldn't meet pollution standards -- something Mazda overcame a year or two later. But there's a bigger reason -- the engine had only a couple of advantages over what they were already building. Those were smaller physical size/weight, and fewer moving parts. To really take advantage of the first, a car had to be designed around the package. The second would have paid off in the long run due to lower manfacturing cost, but required a huge initial cash layout. Very little of the existing tooling could be adapted to build rotary engines, and the entire work/maintenance force would have to be trained to work with it. It was also difficult to modify -- you can't just bore and stroke a rotary up or down -- you have to change 60-75% of the engine parts, including the chambers for the rotors. If the rotary had got better mileage than piston engines that's what you'd have now, but that wasn't the case -- a gallon of gasoline made the same power as in a piston engine.

Front suspensions are the same way. McPherson struts are the worst suspension as far as handling that you can get, but it provides acceptable handling and ride in a compact package. Take a few bolts out and you can drop the entire front suspension from the car and leave the wheels and brakes on, and easily drop one side and leave the cross member in. It's not easy to do at home, but if you were working on the same vehicle all the time you could make a jig to hold everything at the right angle then drop the suspension and reinstall in a mater of minutes. Fewer moving parts, a bit lighter weight, and quick to install. No high priced car uses them, or not as the upper suspension link anyway. Lexus uses struts, but the strut hooks to the lower arm and passes through an upper arm -- the strut is just taking the place of the spring and shock, more like a long coil over. Since they already make the struts it's cheaper to use it than a coil over, plus the strut has a lot more travel than a standard coil over shock.

You would gain two things by switching from the stock Nova to the a Mustang II setup, and that's all. 1) cheap and easy upgrades, because the MII is so popular, and 2) a little weight savings. If you check those sites posted you'll find that upgrading the Nova suspension is relatively cheap. the "easy" part with the MII is that you can open almost any rod shop catalog and order what you want. With the Nova you have to research what will work. If you're building a show car and want tubular arms and such, I'm not sure they are available for the Nova, so you have to switch. Otherwise keep the Nova suspension and do the home work. I've seen at least one with the stock lower arm chromed -- that looks good. There are companies that will make tubular arms for anything though. It wouldn't be hard to have a set made for the Nova, just pricey. But I bet it wouldn't cost any more than installing an MII suspension, and would be a whole lot less work. The MII kits probably have a bit more camber angle adjustability built in, but that's usually not an advantage -- it's done to make the parts fit more applications and/or to make it easier to align the suspension due to installation variables.
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Old 01-30-2006, 06:46 AM
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One more thing, but just a pet peeve. You ARE NOT "restoring" the car!! You're modifying, fixing up, rodding, even "restifying", any other term you want to use, but NOT RESTORING!! Restoration means taking it back to original. I'll concede some safety related items and minor updates for safety/reliability, but for the most part no one on this board RESTORES cars!! with a few exceptions, of course.
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Old 01-30-2006, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farna
One more thing, but just a pet peeve. You ARE NOT "restoring" the car!! You're modifying, fixing up, rodding, even "restifying", any other term you want to use, but NOT RESTORING!! Restoration means taking it back to original. I'll concede some safety related items and minor updates for safety/reliability, but for the most part no one on this board RESTORES cars!! with a few exceptions, of course.

Thanks for all the info, I am going to stay with the nova suspension on the car.
As for the RESTORING.... I am new to the whole aspect of working on old, vintage, classic ect.. cars I will print off the needed words from the hotrodders dictionary so not to miss use words in the future, so I guess I will be modafixistoring my Nova
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