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BUILD 1971 Nova - Work in Progress


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Those look like stock discs. They wont bolt to the drum spindle without work. Also I have 2 sets of those spindles, they both look like those. They are heat treated so as long as the bearing surface isnt smoked they are good. Progress looks great!
That is really good to know Hilrod! Thanks for posting that, I'd have been pissed ordering up new spindles to find out they were fine.
 

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Get some hubcentric ring spacers unless you're wanting to change up wheels. They're not bad tbh.
 
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No the wheels aren't too bad, but I can't stand the slotted mounting holes. That and I didn't widen the rear tubs to run a stock width wheel so these will have to go.
 
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All the suspension components are finally off the subframe. The passenger spindle has some scoring where the bearing rides. Not sure if it's too damaged or if it will just need new bearings. I didn't grab a pic of that. I spent the last couple times in the garage stripping off all the undercoating and rust off the subframe. I've still got 1/4 of the underside left to go. Pictures are a bit sporadic. Leafs showed up yesturday so I'm just waiting on the UCA/LCA's. I also need to order steering components, all the boots were shot there and the pitman arm and tie rods have some play.

Just for during shot for reference of the cleaned subframe vs what I started with.
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A few closeups of the welds someone did to this subframe at some point in it's life.
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HILROD HILROD Does this look like factory welds or did someone do the guildstrand mod on this?
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This is under the driver side motor mount. I'm not sure but I think someone moved the mounting holes as the perches don't fit up against the subframe.
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Once I had the top side all cleaned up I flipped it over and started again. I got about 3/4 of the way finished but didn't grab a pic.
IMG_1068.JPG
 

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Sadly those are factory welds. On any car that matters I re-weld all the welds.
 
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Sadly those are factory welds. On any car that matters I re-weld all the welds.
Thanks for looking at that Hilrod, I would never have thought that some of those welds were factory. I am going to clean up some of the welds on this subframe. Pretty sure I can do a better job than what's on there.
 
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Got a video uploading I'll post it later.

I didn't do an update here last weekend, but I did some initial measurements and found out the body mount plates I welded on a few years ago are off. Someone over on SNS posted a measurement diagram for the subframe and I used that to check squareness on the subframe. The measurements were for 69 nova which I am hoping is the same through 72. Based on the measurements the frame is slightly out of wack. The passenger rear rail is 1/8 in higher than the driver side rail and the passenger frame horn up front is inboard 1/16th. Now I'm no expert but I am not going to worry too much on about it. Especially seeing the quality work the factory did I'm just guessing that all of that was within factory tolerances.

That being said I cleaned up the under side of the subframe. Ground down some of the shitty welds and rewelded some of it. I didn't do too much as I was worried about not having the subframe in a jig/fixture and warping anything further. Most of this is covered in the video. I have some finish work to do next time out and I might be able to start shooting epoxy and paint on the underside. Then I can flip it over remeasure and fix my screwup with the body mounts and repeat the process.

Still waiting on the Upper and Lower control arms, so I may get this all wrapped up and then be ready to bolt the suspension on without too many delays.
 
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Finished sanding rust and gunk off the subframe, wiped it down and shot it with 2 coats of 2k epoxy primer and 2 coats of chassis black. I only did the underside as I still need to cut and weld on the body mounts. When that's done I'll scuff up the sides and shoot the rest of the subframe. Hopefully by then the control arms will be here and I can start on reassembly.

IMG_1072.JPG

IMG_1073.JPG
 
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No pics this week.

I flipped the subframe over and spent a long time getting it level on my concrete floor with jackstands. Took a lot of shims and made sure this time I had the same measurement from the floor to my reference points. I then cut out the passenger rear body mount and the drivers front body mount and re welded them. One of the rails being out of wack still bothers me but not much I can do about it. I'm not even sure if it matters as it's only a 1/8th. The passenger front horn I know is no big deal and I'll just have to shim it for fender/hood/bumper alignment later.

I'll get to primer and paint on the top side of the frame next week. Hopefully I'll get the UCA/LCA's in soon so I can just start throwing that all together. After the paint I'll need a helper to flip the car right side up. Didn't even think it was going to be on this jig a full year.
 

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Glad it's moving along for you. Were you ever able to find Fisher specs? If not, I may be able to help.
 
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Glad it's moving along for you. Were you ever able to find Fisher specs? If not, I may be able to help.
Someone over on Steve's Nova site had them for a 69 Nova which should still be correct for my 71. Considering most of the measurements checked out I should be good thanks.
 

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Great! You're welcome. I have a 71 Fisher body manual. I'm sure you know, but squaring it to the body is very important as well. There are several measurements for that as well. They don't help if the subframe is not right so I understand your frustration.
 
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So I am a bit pumped, I can't believe it's been a year since I put this car on the tip over jig. Reviewing pictures and videos there's been a lot done but still a whole year....

Made a another video covering all of it, but for those of you who don't want to watch 10+ mins, here's the short list.

Flipped the subframe over cleaned up the old welds, burned in some new ones. Fixed the body mounts that I fucked up a few year ago and then sprayed 2k epoxy primer in a aerosol can. I tried to shoot the chassis black in rattle can but ran out and eastwood didn't have any of the satin in stock. So I ended up scuffing it all up again and shooting it in my hvlp gun.

I then called my brother and he came over and helped me flip the car right side up and bolt up the subframe. We didn't align it, the mounting bolts are all still loose.


IMG_1079.JPG

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Nice milestone! Now you can start getting to the fun part of the project where it starts looking like a car again.
 
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Eh sooner or later, I still have some metal work to do on the firewall and side cowls. I'm just happy I can put some of the car together and get my garage cleaned up.
 
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So I'm a week behind on whats reality and what being posted to YouTube.

I mainly worked on getting the rearend stripped clean, then I rolled it underneath the car. Took me a bit to lower the car down to a height I can mock up the rearend suspension. Having the car 2 feet off the ground would have been a challenge.

Here's some pics of where the car is at currently, I still need to find a good spot to support the car where the jack stands won't get in the way of the leafs.

Just a shot of where it was after taking the front/rear jigs off.

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Midway of stripping down the axle assembly
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Axle under the car, it's not connected to anything at the moment. I had to throw the fenders back on the car so I could have room in the garage.
IMG_1086.JPG

Here is this weeks video, it's just a recap of the jig itself so nothing that hasn't been seen before.

 

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What axle is that? I must have missed it.
 

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Aaah, was wondering if you'd gotten out of the stocker or not. A year later you'd have an 8.5 I think. I have one of those in the Lemons, the big benefit I have is that BOP got bolt in axles. Supposedly a titch stronger than a 7.5 but I don't know that it matters. If you're doing an auto I'd probably roll with it, hell the car should be pretty light I'd think.
 
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Aaah, was wondering if you'd gotten out of the stocker or not. A year later you'd have an 8.5 I think. I have one of those in the Lemons, the big benefit I have is that BOP got bolt in axles. Supposedly a titch stronger than a 7.5 but I don't know that it matters. If you're doing an auto I'd probably roll with it, hell the car should be pretty light I'd think.
I think the 383 had more torque than what this lq4 will have.... and yes this car is pretty light even with all the wiring that will need to go in this car I'm gonna guess it's going to be 3200 or less. I'd love to put a decent axle assembly back there but I just don't want to spend the money.
 
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I've been spending a lot of time getting the garage cleaned up and re-organized. I managed to spend a day just working on Nova shit. I did a weld repair on the driver side front leaf pocket. The holes for the bushing were beat up and out of round and one side was torn. Grabbed a bunch of timelapse on it and created a video, I'll drop the link below.

Once the leaf pocket was fixed up, primed and painted I wanted to get the leaf mounts on the rearend cut off. I didn't want to spend all day with cut off wheels so I broke out the plasma. Was quite surprised it could cut through that thick of steel but it managed it.... barely. I'll have to grab a photo of it later, been either focused on getting shit done or grabbing videos... I've just been slacking on pictures lately. Next time I have to grind down the slag and left over bits of the leaf mounts so I can mock up the rear axle. I would like to get the rear suspension mounted, still waiting on the DSE front control arms. I can't wait to get this thing back as a roller.

 

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I think the 383 had more torque than what this lq4 will have.... and yes this car is pretty light even with all the wiring that will need to go in this car I'm gonna guess it's going to be 3200 or less. I'd love to put a decent axle assembly back there but I just don't want to spend the money.
I was thinking more like 3k flat, guessing you are adding stuff.
 
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I was thinking more like 3k flat, guessing you are adding stuff.
It's just a wild guess I'm throwing out there. There are things that will be added that a car of that era didn't have plus some of the modifications that will be done.

Extra wiring for the ecu and electronics.
Not sure but I think the new drivetrain is slightly heavier than the old
Vintage air system
Sound deadening in the cabin area/trunk
It won't have a sound system but I'll be putting more than just the 2 speakers in that came from the factory.
 

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Even an iron blocked LS is supposedly about 100lbs lighter than a gen1 engine. If you go with a 4L80 or a 6+ speed you may gain some there. The electronics/air/sound deadening is more of what I was alluding to. Being a 71 you were probably starting to see some of the low speed crash stuff installed, but nothing compared to later vehicles that really added weight on.
 

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