file 1964 Chevy Nova 400 2 door sedan

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10 Jan 2016 12:38 #2071 by gorjo
gorjo created the topic: 1964 Chevy Nova 400 2 door sedan
I have finally found the finally time to start dismantling my wife's -64 Nova.
This car was sold new in Sweden in 1964 and was driven until the early eighties
when it was put in storage, so this is really a barnfind.

The previous owner managed to get it on the road again after more than 30 years in storage.
The original straight six and threespeed manual trans where tossed away and replaced with
a 350 and a TH350 transmission. Unfortunately this guy was in over his head mainly due to
lack of a proper garage, all work was done in a parking lot and the workmanship left a lot to be desired.

So after the rearend gave up on him it was put up for sale.
The differential gears had seized on its axle probably due to some enthusiastic one wheel
burnouts and or lack of lubricant and the loose pieces got into the gearset and so the rearwheels
suddenly stopped, fortunately he did not wreck it nor did he got hurt!
Almost everything but the housing and driveshafts became junk!

This is where me and my wife enters the picture, She had been searching for a Nova for some time
and normally when we do a nationwide search on "Blocket" (Our Carigslist) two or three Novas
show up that are either A Racecar , a total wreck or a pristine overprized showcar.
But this one turned out to fit our budget and seemed restorable, So we got it home on a flatbead.

And after a complete rebuild of the rearend with a new gearset new auburn diff and new bearings
it was driveable (I use the term driveable wery loosely here!) .

Just before doing the first actual roadtest to see what we really had bought I noticed that:
1 The right frontwheel had a strange camberangle.
2 The dustcap of the right front wheelbearing was missing.
3 The spindle nut was not really centered in the hub.
I have never seen wheelbearing fail that bad! What was left of the outer bearing was only the
races, and someone had put a big washer behind the castlenut to keep the wheel from falling off.
The castlenut that is not normally even fingertight was securely torqed to hold the wheel in place.
The inner race had actually welded itself to the spindle and had to be cut in pieces to be removed.

After bearing replacement we did a quick roadtest to see if any more surprises would show up and
to check that driving position was ok for my wife (She is only 148 Cm long). And as I mentioned before
it was "driveable" and we made it back alive and found out that it could do quite nice burnouts
and the brakes worked, it had a strange noise in the front suspension and pulled hard to the right all
the time.

Now the plan is to do a restomod restoration and to try keep it running while doing so. First action will
be to swap in a new frontsuspension from Volvo 240 to get us discbrakes and powersteering. The volvo
crossmember is bolted to two framerails that has almost the same with as the Nova. And since the Nova
has the springs on top of the upper A arms the loadbearing structure for mounting the volvo struts are there
already.
The distance between the top of the Novas shocks are within a couple of centimeters of the distance between
the volvo struts.






Start of teardown, note angle of engine! I also found out the rear transmount was not mounted.



Stock suspension removed and mockup of the volvo suspension, the struts will be shortened
and converted to coilovers.
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11 Jan 2016 11:12 #2076 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1964 Chevy Nova 400 2 door sedan
Great project! Please keep us posted with the progress, I am very curious to see how the Volvo 240 suspension swap goes.

Are you keeping the 350 V8 for power?

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17 Jan 2016 03:49 #2109 by gorjo
gorjo replied the topic: 1964 Chevy Nova 400 2 door sedan
The powerplant will be a 4.3L V6 and TH700 out of an -90 Chevy Astro.
I know that it it might feel a bit strange to put a V6 instead of the 350 in it ,but Marie wants a modern drivetrain with fuelinjection and an automatic with overdrive for best driveability.
And we dont want to have to much hassle to get the car inspected and streetlegal. It is possible to register an early Nova with a V8, but he largest engine allowed is 200 Hp and 283 Cui.(I just hope they will not notice the Volvo front suspension! :-) )
And the 150 Hp V6 just happens to be sitting in my shed, and it is a bit lighter than the smallblock
and everybody just expects a carbed 350 under the hood!

I have been mocking up the crossmember and found out that it sits really low, the lowest point will
at least 2 inches below the oilpan, but it is quite easy to cut and raise it two inches to get better geometry and ground clearance. We will not slam it, but we don't want the gasser stance either!
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19 Jan 2016 08:51 #2110 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1964 Chevy Nova 400 2 door sedan

gorjo wrote: The powerplant will be a 4.3L V6 and TH700 out of an -90 Chevy Astro.
I know that it it might feel a bit strange to put a V6 instead of the 350 in it ,but Marie wants a modern drivetrain with fuelinjection and an automatic with overdrive for best driveability.
And we dont want to have to much hassle to get the car inspected and streetlegal. It is possible to register an early Nova with a V8, but he largest engine allowed is 200 Hp and 283 Cui.(I just hope they will not notice the Volvo front suspension! :-) )
And the 150 Hp V6 just happens to be sitting in my shed, and it is a bit lighter than the smallblock
and everybody just expects a carbed 350 under the hood!

I have been mocking up the crossmember and found out that it sits really low, the lowest point will
at least 2 inches below the oilpan, but it is quite easy to cut and raise it two inches to get better geometry and ground clearance. We will not slam it, but we don't want the gasser stance either!


The 4.3 V6 should move that little Nova down the road with ease. Coupled to the modern front suspension, it should be a really nice car to drive. I'm sure there are ways to make the 4.3 perform like the "legal" 200hp 283!

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27 Jan 2016 13:14 - 27 Jan 2016 13:18 #2222 by gorjo
gorjo replied the topic: 1964 Chevy Nova 400 2 door sedan
The crossmember had to be cut down





The crossmember will be welded to two 5mm (No idea what that would be in gauges, :-) ) steel plates
that will be bolted to the framerails. Being able to remove the front clip and turn it upside down is
a real neat feature,



Everything turned back to normal again with the steering rack in place, Now I have to fabricate the rear controlarm mounts.





/Goran
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Last Edit: 27 Jan 2016 13:18 by gorjo. Reason: Missing picture

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30 Jan 2016 16:54 #2251 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: Re:1964 Chevy Nova 400 2 door sedan
That looks like it is fitting together pretty well! Have you thought about header clearance or motor mounts yet?

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