JohnC

74 Nova Drag Car Build Project Mighty Mouse 74 Nova

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This is not my car... But hope the owner comes over and adds his progress to this thread! :up:

 

I had started a build thread on the old tennesspeed site, and since it is gone and with witner coming on I figured I would get a new build thread going here. I have had my nova since 1985 and raced it in various forms since that time. The last few years I have focused on local heads up series with moderate sucess, but at the end of the 2010 season I parked the car to concentrate on getting the Mustang up and going. In december of last year (2011) I decided to start working on getting the Nova ready for a comeback. Even thought the car wasnt all that bad off, the cage needed upgrading for the speeeds I am shooting for, so I decided to start with a clean slate so the car has been completely stripped down and built from the ground up new. Over the next few post I will load several photos of what has taken place over the last 10 months (4 months it was in the chassis shop). It seems like forever since I started, but I plan to focus on it hard this winter with hopes of going down the track sometime in 2013. I will start with some photos of the car before I started last December. I am sure many of you that have been on the scene have seen this car at the track at some point. After these photos were taken I started the car backed it in the garage and started taking it apart so it was a complete running driving race car:

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So at this point I know I am updating and I have some idea of what I want to do. I know the car has three paint jobs on it so I decided to get the car stripped. Not only does this shed a lot of weight but gives me clean metal to work with. I alos knew that I would be updating a lot of things on the car like ignition, gauges etc, so the first step is to disassemble the car and sell what I didnt need to keep. You dont realize how many parts are on a car until you take ona all the way apart to get it stripped. I spent hours labeling where parts and bolts went because I knew a year from now I wouldnt remember where things went. Below are photos from the tear down process:

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I got the car back from the chemical dip around the first of February and I was scheduled to have the car at B&B Race Cars the first of April for the new cage install so I had to get it rolling again in a couple months time and cut all the rest of the old cage out of it. Looking back I should have done that before I took it to the stripper because that stuff was in every tube I cut out and made a big mess. Another thing about the chemical dip is you know where the metal is junk so I also had to replace some floor pans and the tail light panel on the car. The half quarter panels that were put on the car when I did the last paint job also had to go. It just didnt make since to not replace the whole quarters with the car this far apart.

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The first few weeks after I got the car back I did a lot of cutting, grinding and welding. Every time I thought I had it patched up I found new places to patch. I got the firewall smooth and new tail light panel and passenger floor pan installed. At this point I was wondering what in the hell i had got myself into. A few weeks earlier I had a running driving car and now it looked like it was ready for the scrap pile. :(

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Here are a couple of renderings of the look I am shooting for. I still have not made my mind up on which color I like best. I am kinda partial to red but the silver look might work good, but I am a long way off from shooting paint.

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While the car was being dipped, I placed my order for my Smith Racecraft bolt in tubular subframe. Not only is this thing a nice weight reduction it is just one bad ass piece. It bolts in the stock location and all my brakes etc will bolt to it as well. Below are some photos of the front clip when I got it assembled.

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So after patching holes for a few nights after work it was time to tackle the quarter panel install. I have to give a shout out to my buddy Chris Avarrit for the help on the install.

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So once we had the new quarters and tail light panel in place, and a ton of patching and welding, it was time to get some etching primer on the body. Chris Avaritt came over and shot the outside of the car so we could begin the process of getting it back on its wheels to head to B&B Race Cars.

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So at this point I am starting to feel a little better............at least it didnt look quite as bad as the bare metal. After the primer dried a few days I started working on getting it rolling again so I could get it to B&B. I have to say the Smith Racecraft front subframe worked great. It bolted in perfect and I even installed the core support and front fenders just to make sure and it all lined up really well. If anyone is wanting a nice frame for a camaro or nova I would suggest giving them a shout.

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Well I got the car back from B&B Racecars a few weeks ago. The car was down there about four months, and after I got it back there were a few things that I didnt like and some things I wanted to change, so I took it back for another three week stint in the shop. When I got it back this time it was right and had a 25.3 chassis cert on it so I am good to 6.50 in the quarter mile on the cage (if I just had the motor to go that fast!). Here are some photos of the cage work.

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Since I have had the car back I have been working towards assembling the car. I still havent 100% decided my engine combo and I really need to do that quick so I can finish the fab work and assembly. Here are some photos as it comes together. I will try and keep updating as the winter goes along.

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Got my new deck lid rough cut to the quarters so I can start working on fabing up a wing. I was going to buy a racecraft wing but man they think a lot of them, so I am going to try and build one myself. Also got my brackets made for my parachute handle and cable to mount to.

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Well the holidays have slowed progress but I am still making some ground. I am still waiting on several parts that I need so I can do more fab work. I have made a template for my wing, and hope to start the process of making that this weekend. Thanks to my cousin at ACE Chassis for letting me use his sheetmetal working tools. Santa also delivered my power adder so I am looking at how I want to place this thing for the best routing on all the pipes. the snout is so short on a Nova that I run out of space really quick.

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Spent a good part of the day yesterday fabricating my wing. I have it real close. Still need to finish the spill plates and attach them but other than a little trimming here and there it is done.

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I got my intercooler, ice tank and trans cooler from Chiseled Performance so I am trying to figure out how to place all this stuff. You would think with a trunk the size of this one it wouldnt be difficult, but it fills up fast and I want it to look good and be user friendly. I am sure I will move this stuff in 10 different places before I weld the tabs on the bars lol!

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I got the frame built for my water tank and cell to mount on. I am going to sell the fuel cell that is in the pictures and get a custom one that will fit beside the water tank. Also got the tranny cooler mounted, guess its time to work on the intercooler next. I am thinking about moving it into the passengers seat instead of in the back.

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Been a while since I updated. I have been working on mounting turbo and intercooler so I can start running pipe. My cylinder heads came in today so I am ready to start building my headers once my collectors and tubing get here. One thing I am learning is that you run out of room quick trying to mount all this junk but I will make it work somehow. A few more photos:

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I also have my new dual caliper setup installed on the rear of the car. Still have a long way to go but making progress. I have been waiting on the cylinder heads for 6 weeks and they finally arrived today.

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Header build under way. I can see why it cost so much to have a set built. This is the first set that I have ever built, and I have already scraped some tubing, but I am hoping for a nice end result.

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Well the "easy" side is done. Have all the steering shafts to deal with on the other side, so well see how bad we hack that side up. For my first attempt at building a set of headers. I was pretty pleased with this one.

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Got a good start on the other header. Have all the 3" routed for the hot side, just need to finish the header and add the waste gates and the hotside will be complete. Next up will be routing all the 4" aluminum to and from the intercooler.

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After about 5 weeks I FINALLY got my fuel cell from Dads Tanks. The guy builds a nice piece and due to space restrictions I had to have a custom built tank. I bent the tubing and welded the tabs on tonight to get it mounted. Everything in the trunk is now mounted. I need to figure out where all my bulkhead fittings will go thru the floor for the fuel lines and mount my fuel pump.

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I got the other header completed today so I now have the hotside complete except for wastegate installs. I ordered Tial gates from Racepart Solutions on 3/11 and still dont have them. :xI will start working on the downpipe next. This will be fun too as space is running out quick. I plan to run them out each fender behind the tire so we will see how that goes. It will be 5" out of turbo and merge to two 4" pipes out each side. Lots of fun!

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A few more plumbing pictures. I have ran all of the cold side except the pipe from the intercooler to the intake. I am not sure if I am using the elbow that I bought so I am holding off on that. Cory came over tonight and helped me with the merge for the downpipes. Still have some more cutting to do on the merge but it is getting closer. Running out of space in a hurry!

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The merge. This piece took some thought and hacking on some other pipes before we settled on this. Space is tight between the turbo and the front of the motor so going from a 5" to two 4" pipes in about a 6" space is harder to do than I thought but I think we can do it!

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Space is filling up fast. I havent made as much progress on the downpipe as I would like, but I have a game plan with what I got done tonight. I also got my other waste gate this week and got it installed. Hopefully I will have the downpipes done in the next couple days.

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Turn these babies out the fender and I will be done with this part!

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Getting started on mounting some of the electrical components. I fabbed the brackets for the switch panel and got it mounted. UPS dropped my fuel pump, filters and regulator off today so i can work on mounting that stuff as well this week.

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