Downsides to a chevy Vega? - Page 2 - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 12-04-2012, 05:49 PM
Bye Jerks
 
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There was a local guy who had a Vega wagon with a 632 big block, a Powerglide, and a Dana 60 rear end. Car was fiberglass, lexan, 4-link with a cage and wheelie-bars. The dude owned a tranny shop. This car was stupid. Never could get it to go straight. Gee, I wonder why.

Vega's rule. You only see them at the tracks now. ( Especially in Texas )
I like the notchback Vega's. They are cool.
Vega's are made for small blocks. I almost traded my 70 Camaro SS for one back in the 80's, but the guy decided he wanted to just sell his Vega instead of trade it for something else. I was bummed. His vega was tubbed and pro-street`d. It was super sweet.

If you get a stock one, you will have to do all the chassis work.
( New rear-end, cage, frame connector links, wheel tubs, sheet metal, 4-link, etc. )
Best to find a roller, and drop your engine and trans in it.
Killer combo is a Ford9", 4-link, 4:56 gears, Powerglide tranny, and a 383 aluminum head roller motor. Add some spray, and say hello to 9-second 1/4 mile times.

You try a massive torquey big-block in it.... you better get used to seeing the retaining wall. ( or the guy in the next lane over! )

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 12-04-2012, 05:53 PM
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Oh, I almost forgot.... to answer your question:

The DOWNSIDE to a Chevy Vega is: you can't find them anymore!

I see some on Racingjunk.com, but they are all very far away from me.

( So if you find one.... get it. )
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 12-04-2012, 07:13 PM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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It all depends on what you want to do with it.

The singular advantage of them- weight. The disadvantages are basically everything else.

One light car that is much easier to work with has been mentioned- the Pinto. I have one and parts availability is actually really good and relatively low priced, and they are also very light.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:06 PM
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One light car that is much easier to work with has been mentioned- the Pinto.
Pinto? Anything you had to do to a Vega you would have to also do to a Pinto bean. It's not "easier to work with".

How about an AMC Pacer, or a Gremlin? How about a tubbed Chevette?
( I wanna see a tubbed Toyota Yaris hatchback! )

To heck with going small and light... let's do up a 1974 Cadillac Eldorado with a Gene Fulton 707 heavy street motor and a air-shifted Lenco!

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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2012, 03:29 AM
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I back haft'ed a Monza Town coupe which is the same platform as a Vega.They ALL rot out in the rear wheel well where the trailing arms attach to the body.It is a weak point.Back then I used a Don Hardy kit with a 6 point roll bar.I honestly don't know if don Hardy is around anymore.I spent a ton of time rebuilding the floor boards on that car.The Don Hardy kit jets in and out of the floor boards with the raise going over the rear end being a 2 x 3 square tube and then flipping over on it's side to the 3 x 2 side all the way up to the rear of the A-Frame supports.When you buy a roll bar you get a box of tubes none cut to size and you need to tight seam fish mouth fit some of the tubes.I had the car off the ground like 4' with the rear end out and perfectly level so all the ref points where dead on.The stock rear ends are a trailing arm with a pivot arm to the rear end off the back of the tranny.I am not 100% sure,but the Monzas did come with a 305,so there might be a crossover in engine mounts there you could use.

What became a standard joke in the shop was the articles about sub and tube in a weekend.The one we did we had three months into it working on it on and off.But be advised it is a hell of alot work.Of memory serves me correctly,the curb wt of that car was somewhere in the range of 2800lbs.

When we first got the frame rails in it,you could take a hammer and hit them and they would ring like a bell.As we put in more and more of the roll bar,that got less and less until it was just a thud.It's all about how well those roll bars tie everything together.Once done,I could take a jack in the center of the car under one of the frame rails and easily lift the whole side of the car up.

My advise would be for you to buy a proven roller from racingjunk.com.One fact never changes.You can never build one for the same price as one already done and maybe done better than you could.

Last edited by 1Gary; 12-05-2012 at 03:37 AM.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2012, 04:11 PM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 632Mantis View Post
Pinto? Anything you had to do to a Vega you would have to also do to a Pinto bean. It's not "easier to work with".

How about an AMC Pacer, or a Gremlin? How about a tubbed Chevette?
( I wanna see a tubbed Toyota Yaris hatchback! )

To heck with going small and light... let's do up a 1974 Cadillac Eldorado with a Gene Fulton 707 heavy street motor and a air-shifted Lenco!

You're right- the difference is that its a LOT easier and cheaper to do it with a Pinto. You can get everything you would need out of a junk yard or catalog, and at great prices. I was astounded at the support for the Pinto- mostly because of good parts interchangability and its presence in circle track.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2012, 04:20 PM
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u wanta play with a mavrick

brother has one.. i think its a '74 body.. mostly alum, caged. is a race car but he needs to finish the engine/trans...
but he's think'n of selling it... $4500 bucks..
in delaware
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 12-18-2012, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by kentactic View Post
Any negatives to consider when building a 383 Chevy vega for drag racing? I like the look, its pretty light, and theres a few in my area to look at buying pretty cheap.
My 72 GT.




you will need to stitch weld all the unibody seams from the firewall forward to help stiffen up things in the front. A roll cage is a plus if you plan on drag racing it more than just occasionally. You can swap in S10 front suspension/brakes and S10 rear end.
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:45 PM
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What became a standard joke in the shop was the articles about sub and tube in a weekend.
Yeah, that ain't gonna happen.

It takes me longer than a weekend just to measure and decide what stuff I need to order!

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Old 12-18-2012, 02:52 PM
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A 71 for sale:

71 Vega For Sale

Just repaint it, and change the rear-end gears.

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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 12-18-2012, 03:46 PM
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With decent fab skills and the right equipment, just about any body can be made into a drag car. Needs to meet the minimum wheelbase length, but a Vega already does that. My car doesn't meet minimum wheelbase, so I'm stuck running non NHRA tracks.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 12-18-2012, 06:30 PM
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vega wagon is the way to go
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 12-18-2012, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1971BB427 View Post
With decent fab skills and the right equipment, just about any body can be made into a drag car. Needs to meet the minimum wheelbase length, but a Vega already does that. My car doesn't meet minimum wheelbase, so I'm stuck running non NHRA tracks.
What's your wheelbase?
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 12-18-2012, 07:29 PM
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Whatever you start with, inspect the car for rust with an ice pick. Here's a nice rust-free example of a wagon I came across....
1972 Chevrolet Vega | Red 1972 Chevrolet Vega Classic Car in Murphy NC | 3202785820 | Used Cars on Oodle Marketplace
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2012, 07:41 AM
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All depends on what hp you plan to put to it. 450 up I would build a tube frame for it. Check out my project journal.
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