The Blog
I've been told that up to this point, the information has shared on this website has been dry and very systematic. While some enjoy this no-nosense approach, others would like more of a story. As a result, I have added a blog to the website. I will try to add an entry once or twice per month. All of the changes to the car will still be posted in 'The Build' section of the webpage and I'll add links to the blog if I've written about anything in greater detail.

03.10.09 - Paint

I've been thinking about what I should do in regards to painting all of the 'new' components for the nova. I think I've decided that most of this stuff will be painted gloss black. I have been trying to figure out if I really need the 'special' paint that is sold by POR-15 and other companies. To save money, I hope that I can paint most of the stuff with rattle can paint. For things that will be tough to repaint, like the engine and engine bay, I think I should use more a more expensive product. Here's a list of stuff that needs paint and what I've been thinking:

  • Engine ~ I am tempted to rattle can it, but I probably shouldn't skimp on this part of it. It won't be easy to repaint an engine.I should buy some Por 15 Engine Enamel, alogn with whatever they recommend for prep.
  • Rims ~ If I wasn't worried about money and I knew I'd like the look, I'd get them sandblasted and powdercoated gloss black. To see if I like the look, I think I am going to hand sand them and put on a coat of rattle can paint. If I like that, I'll think about a couple of options:
  • Engine Bay ~ I like the flat black look, but I am worried about engine fluids leaving stains. I will probably paint it with left over engine enamel.
  • Cast Iron Headers ~ I believe they were painted by Tom Langdon, so I'm not sure if they need anything else. If they'll hold up to the elements the way they are, I'm not touching them.
  • Offenhauser Intake ~ I'm thinking about two options. Painting them black like the engine and then sanding down the logos so that they're silver, or painting them to match the headers.
  • Calipers ~ I need to treat the rust on them before painting. The spindles are already painted black, so that's what I'd do with the calipers.

Well, that's what I have running through my head today...

03.09.09 - Getting Ready...

I have been collecting parts for the Chevy II/Nova for over three years. I can finally say that I am close to having them installed. Here are some of the things that I've obtained:

  • 'Go-fast(er)-goodies'
    • rebuilt 292
    • Offenhauser 4 bbl intake
    • Holley 390 CFM carb
    • Langdon Cast Iron Headers
  • 'Stop-fast(er)-goodies'
    • Power disc brakes with CPP spindles
  • Rims
    • Front 14 x6, 3.5" backspace
    • Rear 15 x 7, 4.5" backspace
  • 5 Lug Rear End (65 Nova)
    • 3.08 gears

This of couse is quite exciting, but at the same time it is somewhat stressful as I've put plenty of research into what problems could arise. If I was swapping the engine out for a 350 or one of the smaller L6s, the install would be much easier. With the 292, here are some of possible issues:

  • The 292 is taller than other L6 engines. The carbureutor may hit the hood. A few years ago, I picked up a Buick a GN Snorkel, b/c I was told this would fix the problem. I was later told that this may not work b/c of the nova shock towers.
  • Carb and transmission linkage ~ I'm told that I'll need to convert to cable throttle when I install the 4 barrel carburetor
  • Passenger Side Engine Mount ~ This mount is in a different spot than other L6s. An Adapter plate will need to be fabricated. I was lucky enough to find someone that has come up with a straighforward solution to this
  • Fuel Pump ~ I'll need to use an electric fuel pump because of interference from passenger side motor mount.
  • Oil Pan Clearance ~ The 292 uses a rear sump oil pan, which in it's stock form, will not work with 1st and 2nd generation Novas. I wiill need to 'dimple' the oil pan to clear steering components (info courtesy of Twisted 6 Racing)
  • Radiator Clearance ~ The 292 uses a longer/bigger harmonic balancer than the 194/230/250 engines.I may need to use an electric fan

If I were gaining tons of hp and torque by doing this swap, I think I'd be more gung-ho. While it will definitely be an improvement over the tired 194 sitting in the engine bay (120 hp, 175ft/lb from the factory), it may not be much of an improvement over a similarly built 250. From what I'm told I'll gain about 20 hp and 40 ft/lbs, for a total of 225hp/310 ft/lbs(flywheel) over a 250 buildup. I wonder if all of the work will be worth it?

To see the photogallery associated with this blog entry, click here.



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