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1974 Nova Upgrade

 
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Charlie18

External


Since: Jun 09, 2004
Posts: 14



(Msg. 1) Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:30 am
Post subject: 1974 Nova Upgrade
Archived from groups: alt>autos>rod-n-custom, others (more info?)

Hi,

We have a 1974 Nova and it's time to upgrade. We are the original owners
and know it's history.

It has a 6-cyl 250, 3 speed transmission and drum brakes.

My upgrade plans include the following major steps
1. Install V8 engine (283, 307, or 350, low octane with good MPG)
2. Overhaul the front end
3. Overhaul the transmission
4. Overhaul the differential
5. Install disk brakes on the front
6. Replace front and rear springs


Please share with us your experience, parts lists, to-do lists, etc. for
jobs you've done similar to this. We'd appreciate the information.

Also, we're located in San Diego so if you have shops or suppliers to
recommend we'd appreciate that too.

Thanks,
Charlie

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.boB

External


Since: Oct 06, 2006
Posts: 214



(Msg. 2) Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:50 pm
Post subject: Re: 1974 Nova Upgrade [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

Charlie wrote:

> Hi,
>
> We have a 1974 Nova and it's time to upgrade. We are the original owners
> and know it's history.
>
> It has a 6-cyl 250, 3 speed transmission and drum brakes.
>
> My upgrade plans include the following major steps
> 1. Install V8 engine (283, 307, or 350, low octane with good MPG)
> 2. Overhaul the front end
> 3. Overhaul the transmission
> 4. Overhaul the differential
> 5. Install disk brakes on the front
> 6. Replace front and rear springs
>
>
> Please share with us your experience, parts lists, to-do lists, etc. for
> jobs you've done similar to this. We'd appreciate the information.
>
> Also, we're located in San Diego so if you have shops or suppliers to
> recommend we'd appreciate that too.
>
> Thanks,
> Charlie

I'm a Ford guy, so the specific are differant but
the concepts are the same

1. Keep the stock I6 engine and soup it up a bit.
Light weight, good power, good economy. And, it would
be differant.
How many Nova's have you seen with a SBC? Pretty
much all of them. How many with a nice looking I6?
Pretty rare.
Switch to side draft EFI, headers, a little chrome
or polish. Maybe consider a turbo. That would be cool.

2. I prefer poly bushings instead of rubber. I like
the improved road feel, and willing to sacrifice the
ride quality.

3. Switch to T5. They're everywhere. Light weight,
small package. Nice to drive. And an OD gear.
Conversion kits are pretty common to switch to a
hydraulic or cable pull clutch; which is a big
improvement over the stock mechanical linkage.

5. A nice set of stock type discs in the front will
fell a little better than drums, and be inexpensive.
Power is always better.



--
..boB
2006 FXDI hot rod
2001 Dodge Dakota QC 5.9/4x4/3.92
1966 Mustang Coupe - Daily Driver
1965 FFR Cobra - 427W EFI, Damn Fast.

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Mike Romain

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Since: Dec 17, 2003
Posts: 233



(Msg. 3) Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:59 pm
Post subject: Re: 1974 Nova Upgrade [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

I would first want to do a serious frame inspection to be sure it can
take any upgrades. They rot out at the tails just in front of the rear
wheels.

The next step in my mind would be to find out what engine I was
'allowed' to put in it for street legal in California and build around that.

I would then want to be sure the transmission can take it and what rear
end gears the larger engines came with stock. Lots of times the rear
ratio is taller with a larger engine which you would want for mileage.

Sounds like fun,

Mike
86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG Muds, 'glass nose to tail in '00
'New' frame in the works for '08. Some Canadian Bush Trip Photos:
http://mikeromainjeeptrips.shutterfly.com

Charlie wrote:
> Hi,
>
> We have a 1974 Nova and it's time to upgrade. We are the original owners
> and know it's history.
>
> It has a 6-cyl 250, 3 speed transmission and drum brakes.
>
> My upgrade plans include the following major steps
> 1. Install V8 engine (283, 307, or 350, low octane with good MPG)
> 2. Overhaul the front end
> 3. Overhaul the transmission
> 4. Overhaul the differential
> 5. Install disk brakes on the front
> 6. Replace front and rear springs
>
>
> Please share with us your experience, parts lists, to-do lists, etc. for
> jobs you've done similar to this. We'd appreciate the information.
>
> Also, we're located in San Diego so if you have shops or suppliers to
> recommend we'd appreciate that too.
>
> Thanks,
> Charlie
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Steve W.

External


Since: Oct 30, 2007
Posts: 203



(Msg. 4) Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:37 pm
Post subject: Re: 1974 Nova Upgrade [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

> Charlie wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>>
>> We have a 1974 Nova and it's time to upgrade. We are the original
>> owners and know it's history.
>>
>> It has a 6-cyl 250, 3 speed transmission and drum brakes.
>>
>> My upgrade plans include the following major steps
>> 1. Install V8 engine (283, 307, or 350, low octane with good MPG)
>> 2. Overhaul the front end
>> 3. Overhaul the transmission
>> 4. Overhaul the differential
>> 5. Install disk brakes on the front
>> 6. Replace front and rear springs
>>
>>
>> Please share with us your experience, parts lists, to-do lists, etc.
>> for jobs you've done similar to this. We'd appreciate the information.
>>
>> Also, we're located in San Diego so if you have shops or suppliers to
>> recommend we'd appreciate that too.
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Charlie

Owned a nice 74 Nova Hatchback myself. 250-6 with a turbo 350 behind it.
Added a few performance pieces from Clifford research, HEI ignition
system. When I got done it was putting out far more HP than stock, and
still got good mileage. Plus it was unique. Not a lot of 6s at the drag
strip or on the streets. The 6 is a much smoother engine and easier to
work on as well.
For the front brakes you can convert it to discs real easy, You will
need the spindles, rotors and calipers plus the master cylinder from a
first generation Camaro (or aftermarket equivalents) They are a bolt on
item.
Springs from the same place.


--
Steve W.
Near Cooperstown, New York
---- Posted via Pronews.com - Premium Corporate Usenet News Provider ----
http://www.pronews.com offers corporate packages that have access to 100,000+ newsgroups
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Ray

External


Since: Nov 25, 2007
Posts: 6



(Msg. 5) Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 9:10 am
Post subject: Re: 1974 Nova Upgrade [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

Charlie wrote:
> Hi,
>
> We have a 1974 Nova and it's time to upgrade. We are the original owners
> and know it's history.
>
> It has a 6-cyl 250, 3 speed transmission and drum brakes.
>
> My upgrade plans include the following major steps
> 1. Install V8 engine (283, 307, or 350, low octane with good MPG)
> 2. Overhaul the front end
> 3. Overhaul the transmission
> 4. Overhaul the differential
> 5. Install disk brakes on the front
> 6. Replace front and rear springs
>
>
> Please share with us your experience, parts lists, to-do lists, etc. for
> jobs you've done similar to this. We'd appreciate the information.
>
> Also, we're located in San Diego so if you have shops or suppliers to
> recommend we'd appreciate that too.
>
> Thanks,
> Charlie

My buddy has a 72 that he's owned since 91. Was originally a 6 as well.
I believe your Nova uses the 70-81 Camaro/Firebird front subframe, so I
believe there's interchange parts for steering and suspension - a Z28 or
Trans Am can provide you with springs, shocks, steering box, etc... to
improve the handling, and the brake rotors and such should swap as well
- you might have to do spindles too.

How fast do you want to go? For under $2000, you can buy a brand new
250/290hp small block from GM.

These cars are about as complicated as an anvil, so fixing them up is
good, but rust is evil... like Mike said, make sure the frame and body
is good first.

My biggest suggestion is make a PLAN. How fast do you want to go?
Going 13's is a lot cheaper than going 9's. How original do you want to
keep the car? Show and go? Show only? Go only?

Ray
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Steve8

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Since: Jan 14, 2004
Posts: 616



(Msg. 6) Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:51 pm
Post subject: Re: 1974 Nova Upgrade [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

Charlie wrote:

> Hi,
>
> We have a 1974 Nova and it's time to upgrade. We are the original owners
> and know it's history.
>
> It has a 6-cyl 250, 3 speed transmission and drum brakes.
>
> My upgrade plans include the following major steps
> 1. Install V8 engine (283, 307, or 350, low octane with good MPG)
> 2. Overhaul the front end
> 3. Overhaul the transmission
> 4. Overhaul the differential
> 5. Install disk brakes on the front
> 6. Replace front and rear springs
>


Well, a Ford guy contributed opinions so I guess I'll be the Mopar guy
to contribute Smile

First off, items 2, 4, 5, and 6 are ESSENTIAL. Even for just restoring
to "stock" engine power, you want good brakes and great suspension. GM
midsize car suspensions from that era were kinda iffy at best, starting
to head for "cushy personal luxury" ride instead of handling. Consider
polygraphite suspension bushings, adding a larger front stabilizer bar
and a rear stabilizer bar if not equipped. Springs- pick the stiffness
you WANT, don't assume that stiffer is always better. If everything else
is well-tuned, you can have a good ride AND decent handling.

If you're going to get rid of the straight six, I'd consider replacing
both the engine and transmission with a modern multi-port EFI engine and
4-speed overdrive transmission. This should be particularly easy on a
Chevy, and you have lots of engine choices ranging from a Vortec v6
(which will be a huge gain in both power and efficiency over your old
250), all the way up to an LT-1 or even LS-1 v8 with 3 times the power
of your 250 (and would still get better mileage, too).
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BigFoot

External


Since: Dec 07, 2007
Posts: 1



(Msg. 7) Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:35 pm
Post subject: Re: 1974 Nova Upgrade [Login to view extended thread Info.]
Archived from groups: per prev. post (more info?)

On Thu, 06 Dec 2007 05:30:13 -0800, Charlie
wrote:

>We have a 1974 Nova and it's time to upgrade

If this is to be driven on Sundays only, then do whatever...but 74
Novas with small-block-Chevy got around 12-14 mpg on highway, back
then.

I've got two Chevy's, 82 Impala & 86 Caprice, that get around 20 mpg
and 24 mpg, respectively on highway. The former has 267 c.i.d. with
three speed Auto, and the latter 305 c.i.d., but the 305 has 4 Speed
lockup transmission (700). Both of these use a carburetor, so, even
if the computer fails, you still can get home....or they could both be
converted to run on Carb only...but a loss in mpg.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Small-Block_engine


Imho, stick with a lockup TC-transmission, and some type of computer
control of fuel delivery. Check out fuel economy before you jump:
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm

Also, in California, I think you have to meet emission standards for
the motor...

I'm from the Midwest, but I plan on getting rid of these vehicles
within next year, or so....if there was an interest....both can be
driven to California, without breakdowns....I do watch this
forum...rec.autos.tech...off/on.
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