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BUILD 1971 Nova - Work in Progress


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cap42

cap42

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Is that 100 pd difference on LS's due to aluminum heads? If so I still currently have the iron heads on it. I also don't have any additional crash safety stuff so no additional weight there.
 

Pro Stock John

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Been reading your thread, you have quite the fab skilz.

Iron LS longblock is 110 lbs heavier than aluminum, it's all the block.
 
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I was all gung ho on getting the rearend mocked up with the new suspension when I ran into a very old problem I thought I had fixed. I had bolted up the front leaf pockets and in the process of doing so one of the bolts came loose. For those of you who have followed the whole progression of this car these bolts broke on me the first time I had to drop the front leaf pockets. Sometime in the past life someone had used JBWeld to hold these bolts in place instead of just replacing the cheapo J-Clips that were used from the factory.

Well when I "repaired" it I didn't have the J-Clips and they are prone to breakage and I had to cut open the rear seat pans anyways so I thought it was a good idea to weld them in permanently. Well out of the 6 bolts one of them broke loose so now I am back in the same predicament. I now need to cut open the seat pan (thankfully I never fully seam welded it) and cut that bolt. This time around I ordered the J-Clips and correct bolts, I'm not going to fix all of them just the one I broke but if I ever run into this problem again in the future I will at least have it all on hand to fix it right.

Again no pics, but a video was made. I'm getting a lot of motivation to get shit done on the car doing these videos and surprisingly enough I am getting more and more subscribers and viewers. Some guy from TX found me on youtube who has a 72 nova and is having some of the same scenarios I have been through so at least these videos are helping someone.

 

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Glad to hear you are staying on it. I need to point a buddy to your build thread, he's very early in his Nova build.

I will say coming off a 3 year build, I'm glad to be driving mine even though I have a 10 item punch list that never shrinks.
 
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It's been a few weeks, I had some shit to do around the house and took a week off to do a family reunion in TX. Luckily right before I went out of town the front upper and lower control arms showed up. That would have sucked to have over $1,000 of suspension parts sitting on my doorstep.

Again no pics, just captured some video. I got the rearend mocked up and the car sitting on the rear tires. Nothing is tightened up yet and I just have bolts going through the front eyelets of the leaf springs. I totally didn't noticed this when I was taking all of this apart but all the bolts are different sizes. I also tried to throw on the control arms up front but also had the same hardware issues with the lower control arms. I'll run out to a hardware store this week and grab everything I need. Then the car "should" be back as a roller.

 
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This suspension is straight up kicking my ass.... I've never had this much of a hassle with suspensions on any car...

Aside from the upper shock mounts the rear suspension is done. I haven't torqued everything down, going to wait till I can load the suspension. I forgot the rear has to go together in a very specific order so it was always 1 step forward 3 steps back. The problem I fought for most of it was the head of the eyelet bolt on the leaf pocket wouldn't clear the SFC. The SFC had a wider plate on the back that keeps the head of the bolt from moving, I needed to shave off about 1/16th on both SFC's to get it to clear.

I then started on the front... I loathe those internal spring compressors and I don't think they would have worked anyways. So I used the same method I did taking the old suspension apart. Two 2 ton ratchet straps and a safety chain, honestly this was the easiest part. I also fought with the strut, the body of the strut is so large you can't install it with the lower hardware in place. The new struts didn't come with the lower hardware so I had to reuse the old. It consists of those j-clips which are a PITA trying to get located when the strut body is blocking most of the access. I did finally manage to get the driver's side put together. I greased all the fittings and when doing the lower ball joint I managed to pull the zerk fitting right out of the ball joint. Sadly it took the threads from the ball joint side. At this point I was just pissed and not willing to do any more. I still have the passenger front to assemble before this is all done.

I've got an email into DSE to see what they want me to do, I can tap the ball joint and put in a 1/8th or M8 sized zerk fitting. Don't know if that will ruin the warranty, hopefully they don't just ask me to replaced the ball joint. It's a pressed fit and I don't have a press, plus I would not look forward to having to remove everything to get the control arm off.

IMG_1137.JPG


IMG_1139.JPG
 
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So DSE 's response is this isn't an issue. I don't like the idea of having a ball joint open to the elements from the underneath. I'm not worried about greasing the joint, I can always inject grease in from the top of the boot with a large bore syringe. I'm more concerned about moisture or debris getting in that open ball joint over the course of its lifetime.

Thoughts?
 
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I ordered up a bunch of various size zerk fittings, I'll just end up tapping the ball joint to a different size and call it a day. I got the front wheels on and pushed it in the driveway so I had room to clean up the garage a bit. I couldn't hook up the passenger front struts, it came with new upper mount hardware but not lower. The lower connection utilizes those jclips the passenger side broke when taking them off the old control arms. Not having any luck finding replacements, I've searched online parts sites and can't seem to find them.

Made a video this week, I'll link it in this post in a few minutes once it's done uploading. The stance of the car doesn't look all that different from before, really hoping it settles once I get the drivetrain in it otherwise this was a lot of money for just refreshed hardware.

 
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Back to work on the firewall, when I put this in a few years ago I spot welded it. Some time later I seam welded the top but I never did anything to the lower sections. My welding is improving, don't feel ashamed to show pictures of it anymore. Not that it's all that great but it doesn't look like a goober did it.

IMG_1148.JPG

Also made a video covering the whole firewall project including the relocation of the wiper motor. Link in the bottom.

I now need to stop procrastinating about what I am doing with the motor and trans. I'm pretty sure I won't be adding a turbo to this anymore so I'd like to get some decent n/a power out of it. The iron 317 heads just isn't going to cut it. That and the truck manifold won't fit under the hood without some modification. So I need to decide what I am doing there. I also need to figure out if I am going to rebuild this 4L80e or not. I'd hate to clean it up and slap it in there only to have to pull it back out.

What is for sure on the list is:
Cam - thinking the 459
Springs
Trunion Upgrade (on whatever heads I do decide)
Oil Pump and barbel
Timing Chain
Front and rear gasket set (including head gasket if heads are changed)
Lifters and trays


 

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