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Old 07-29-2005, 07:22 PM
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Garaged 1970 Nova

Hey guys, new member here. I just bought a 1970 Nova. It had been garaged from 1998 up until about a month ago and I'm now going through the car, seeing what needs to be done to it to make it a daily driver. The previous owner said that even after sitting so long, it started right up after swapping in new gasoline, oil, spark plugs, etc. It has a 350 (a few mods like intake, headers, carb, no idea on internal mods), factory front disc brakes and a factory 4-speed. I have a few issues with the car though that I would like to fix before I start driving it regularly:

1) The car will not start by itself, even when warm. If I spray starter fluid into the carb, it will start right up and idle just fine by itself. If I shut the car off and immediately try to start it again, it will fire very briefly (maybe two cylinders) then die, and no amount of cranking will start it again. But if I spray starter fluid into it again, it'll start. Doesn't matter how much I pump the gas (or don't pump the gas). My only guess is the carb is not tuned correctly, or maybe something in it got clogged while it sat for seven years. From what the previous owner told me, it's a Holley 750 CFM carb (not sure on specifics).


2) There is a knocking sound coming from the rear of the car when I drive it. It happens only when the car is moving, doesn't matter if it's in a straight line or making a turn. It does not happen when sitting still at all. It's a relatively consistent but random noise, almost like a slow-popping bag of popcorn in the microwave. That's the best way I know to describe it. I originally thought it might be backfire in the exhaust pipes, due to a couple exhaust leaks where the headers meat the heads. However, I fixed those leaks and the noise still happens. My only other guess would be something having to do with the rear axle/differential. I'm pretty sure it's a 3.73 Posi. As far as I can tell it doesn't affect the driveability of the car, it just makes this noise. I haven't tried any really hard acceleration yet, though.

3) Squealing (I think tires) as I make relatively sharp turns. I think it may be related to #1 and an axle problem.

Those are my main priorities at the moment. If I can fix these things it will be a reliable car to drive around. Also, if anybody knows what else should be looked at on a car that was garaged for seven years, that would be great.

Thanks in advance to any replies!

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Old 07-29-2005, 09:01 PM
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Oops, when I said I thought #3 was related to #1, I meant related to #2.

Buddy of mine still thinks that noise is exhaust backfire...
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Old 07-29-2005, 10:27 PM
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1970 Nova

#1-I think it also has to do with the carb sitting too long. I would just take it apart and rebuild it or buy a new or rebuilt one.
#2-Does the car make the noise faster as the car goes faster? If so, it could be the rearend or maybe a bad universal joint.
#3-If it has power steering it could be the pump just worn out, low fluid, or loose belt ( even if the belt seems tight it still could make that noise,mine did even when i had two people pry on it while I tightend it.)
Sounds like a good car I was looking for a 4 speed nova but had to settle for an auto .
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Old 07-29-2005, 11:13 PM
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Thanks for your response,

I went for a drive to confirm, and no, the noise does not speed up or slow down as the car speeds up/slows down. This is one of the reasons I'm leaning away from axle problems, but I'm not sure.

I played around with the manual choke on the carb a little bit, I got it to start without spraying it, once. That was it though, it won't do it again. The car is hesitating now also, if I push the gas down too quickly. It doesn't die, but almost. I think a new/rebuilt carb is in order, but I would love to save the money if I can and fix/adjust it myself.

I'm fairly certain the car does not have power steering, but I'll check again and confirm that... I just replaced the belt and I know it is not the cause of the squealing noise. From what I can tell from inside the car, the squealing is coming from the rear end.
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Old 07-29-2005, 11:18 PM
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turbo lag......yeeeeehaaaaaaw
 
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bushings

If the squealling is coming from the rearend it could be the leaf spring bushings and/or pads. My rubber ones squeeled so i replaced them with the polyurethane and now they squeek once in a while after the lube wears out.
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Old 07-29-2005, 11:28 PM
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A good chance of the fuel pump working poorly after sitting so long, priming it and getting it running, the fuel pump is picking up the fuel a bit better, not losing a prime along with the carb pulling some in.
Check your exhaust system, plugged cat or muffler.
Squealing tires? A posi rearend or low tire pressure?
Good luck. Dan
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Old 07-30-2005, 12:42 AM
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Exhaust system is just a staight pipe from the header collector flange to the muffler, no cats.

As for the squealing: I'll check the leaf springs tomorrow and get back to you. I thought originally that it was the tires. Would a bad posi unit in the rear end make the rear tires lock up around a turn?
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Old 07-30-2005, 08:11 AM
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tires

Im not sure but i think when a posi goes bad it acts like a mono because the clutches inside are bad. It could be a locker or a spool in there as well. If it is a locker thats the noise you could be hearing when you drive.
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Old 07-31-2005, 07:59 AM
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If its squealing and poping from the rear end I would look for a bad axel bearing. I would not drive it until I fixxed it. I had one lock up completely once and it twisted the whole axel housing off. I had to buy a complete rear end.
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Old 07-31-2005, 08:39 AM
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Your Positrac is dry. When dry they act like a spool. The popping you hear is a slight slip in the plates caused by the tires being a slightly different circumfrence. When turning, the snap should become a very pronounced snap and the tires will squeal because the posi isn't letting the differential work.
Personally I would pull it and inspect it for damage. Do the initial lube an put it back in with the proper lube and posi additive. OR you could run it an watch it but at least drain it and put in fresh lube and additive. A few figure eights will help work the new lube into the plates.
For that matter, drain and replace all fluids.
If the shaft bores are tight in the carb, rebuild it. Holleys are good to learn on.
Replace the fuel pump and filter. It's just a matter of time anyway after setting that long.
Take a long careful look at the tires. Those fine little cracks can turn into a disaster really fast.
Sounds like a great ride. Knock yourself out
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Old 07-31-2005, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
I'm fairly certain the car does not have power steering, but I'll check again and confirm that...
Quote:
I just replaced the belt and I know it is not the cause of the squealing noise.
You bought it, drove it, and never paid attention under the hood at it to tell whether it had power steering or not?

Quote:
As for the squealing: I'll check the leaf springs tomorrow and get back to you. I thought originally that it was the tires. Would a bad posi unit in the rear end make the rear tires lock up around a turn?
Are you serious? You can't tell the difference between a belt, tire, or leaf spring squealing? Yet you are tinkering around with other stuff on the car.

Quote:
Would a bad posi unit in the rear end make the rear tires lock up around a turn?
Do the tires actually lock up or do you just think they lock up? If they did, I think you would definately notice it as you are not going to be going in a forward motion as rapidly as you were before. That could be the source of the squeal. A tire locking up can cause that you know.

If the car has sit for seven years it really doesn't sound like the previous owner did anything to it. Didn't it start right up when you looked at it or bought it? Tune it up Plugs, wires, cap, new oil, points, etc. Maybe look in the tailpipes to see if there is a mouse nest or two in there. Then see what it runs like after the tuneup. Post a pic of your Nova. You don't see too many 70's anymore.
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Old 08-01-2005, 03:44 PM
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You bought it, drove it, and never paid attention under the hood at it to tell whether it had power steering or not?
Like I said, I didn't think it had power steering when I bought it, and from the feel of it when driving it, it doesn't. I merely said I would double check after somebody mentioned a bad power steering system could cause that squeal. I'm just trying to cover all possibilities here.

Quote:
Are you serious? You can't tell the difference between a belt, tire, or leaf spring squealing? Yet you are tinkering around with other stuff on the car.
Again, like I said, I think it's the tires. And again, I'm trying to cover all possibilities.

Quote:
Do the tires actually lock up or do you just think they lock up? If they did, I think you would definitely notice it as you are not going to be going in a forward motion as rapidly as you were before. That could be the source of the squeal. A tire locking up can cause that you know.
I know. The thing is, I don't notice any decrease in forward motion. If I did, I could be pretty sure that it was the tires/axle that was causing it. But I don't, so I'm trying to rule out other possibilities.

454me and 61bone, thank you very much for that information. I have a couple more days off coming up so I'll check the rear then. I'm also going to rebuild the carb during that time and finish the rest of the general tune up stuff. I'll post and update when I can. Thanks again.
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Old 08-02-2005, 01:19 AM
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I once had a knocking noise coming from the rear of a '69 Nova, and it turned out to be the shocks. They had some slack in them, and it popped every time it hit an appropriate bump in the road. Sounded similar to a tailpipe knocking, so check that, too.
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Old 08-02-2005, 06:45 PM
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Squealing

The squealing could be an front end alignment issue. (if the the sound is coming from the front) I would seriously consider checking the rear universal joint for the popping sound, it could be shot. Also, dump the Holley carb and invest in a nice Edelbrock. I've run both on my Nova, and one single backfire can blow the power valve on the Holley and make it run like crap. I've been running an Edelbrock for 5 years and have not had to make ONE adjustment to it. Also, 750 CFM may be too much throughput for a 350, unless you have a bigger cam. Most people over-carb their cars thinking it will give them more power, when all it does is gag the engine with too much of a good thing!
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:30 PM
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it like this one ?

http://www.mtnhmweb.com/trmclassiccars.asp
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