Page 1 of 3 of 77 Nova Project
12/1/99 I went out and guessed at the timing and she starts much better. I broke in the cam with the new tach I got at PepBoys. Winter is upon me, and I don't suppose I will be able to do anything else on her for awhile.
Here is the story of my Nova... Enjoy!
2-99 Setup shop and repaired minor body rust, installed new Grant 15" steering wheel (Black and chrome). This wasn't easy either since Grant doesn't make a wheel or kit for this generation of Nova yet. I used parts from two different kits and drilled a new hole through the wheel hub to get the horn plug to fit. I postponed the frame work since my buddy who will do the welding is still recovering from a bad burn. Took out her back seat and rear seat belts, spare, tire iron, etc to lighten her up a bit. Since she had McGuard Locking lugs, and no key, I sent for a key from the company. What I got didn't exactly fit, but I made it fit well enough (banged on the key with a hammer) to get all four lugs off so I could replace them with Cragar look alike (NON LOCKING!) lugs. Her battery also went dead so we replaced that with a newbie from PepBoys.
2-28-99 Took her for a test drive as is... with the G-Tech Pro, she did 15.08 @ 98 on a 1/4 trip with two people and no back seat, street tires and pressure - no fancy stuff. Now I have a "before" stat, I began pulling everything today for the CAM install. Still have to get timing marks lined up...Then off comes the top!
Here are pics after front stuff is off and some of the parts tagged and waiting for their reinstall.
3-99 Next I removed the filter, carb linkage, fuel line, vac lines, and the carb. Then I removed the valve covers to find good looking heads with a little exhaust build up on the exhaust valve area of the head. My camera gave out at this point so Im missing the pictures. I had to borrow another one that uses file so we will wait for developing..
Anyhow, I removed the distributer and intake manifold next. Finally, with access to the internals, I began to dismantle the rocker arms, push rods, lifters. They are all out now. Now comes the tricky part of the valve springs...
Went to the store today and picked up an air tank that I will use to fill up the cylinders and keep the valves up while I compress the springs with my new spring compressor. I will then use a magnet to grab the spring keepers (hopefully). Atleast people and the books SAY thats all you need. Im not so sure.
Hopefully I will be able to free the cam now and install the new "blower grind" cam.
Well - it didn't work. I had to take back the air tank and get an air compressor and a better hose and connector for the spark plug hole. This worked. I also had to get a better spring compressor which I found at NAPA. I also noticed a couple of valve oil seals that were broken, so I went back and replaced them later. All the springs are on now. Here is a pic on the left showing the red marks on the sides - those are all new ones. On the right you can see the compressor and air hose.
Here is the new blower intake on with the felpro gaskets that sealed off the exhaust ports for another 10-15 hp. The new push rods have all been installed with the new lifters and the rockers have been adjusted by turning the engine manually to get each valve at its compression cycle. Here is a pic of my old and new cam with the old lifters, pushrods and rockers.
Here is the timing cover back on (after I lowered the oil pan) and the damper back on (had to give it a couple hits before I could get a bolt on it to pull it on). The valve covers are back on as well as the new intake. The one on the right shows her after I removed the old cam.