My Nova

page 11


February 2012

the ashtray I finished earlier:

I have found many parts on ebaymotors over the years when I was building the Camaro and of course also now with this Nova project. Sometimes I just go on there to look at parts even when I am no looking for something specific. I wanted to upgrade the front suspension but even though the CPP mini subframe kit is good value for money it is still a lot of money. Besides the suspension parts I also wanted an anti-sway bar to keep the car more level in the corners and improve handling. One day when I was checking ebaymotors I saw a great batch of used parts for a good price. A friend of mine imports parts and cars from the Los Angeles area www.mustangcountry.nl (don’t let the name fool you….although he is specialized in Mustangs he can ship any part you need, just check his website) So I asked the seller on ebay if he could deliver the parts to the shipping company. He was willing to do this for an extra fee so the deal was struck. I bought a CPP mini subframe kit which consists of lower and upper A-arms, spring perches, springs and the other parts were a master cylinder, steering box, anti-sway bar and a CPP big brake kit. I will not use the big brake kit for now since I have set up the car with the 4 bolt brakes and wheels already. Maybe someday a future upgrade to a 5 lug setup (wheels/brakes) will be needed if I would upgrade to a V8 but if that happens it will be a long time from now and after the car is finished. The parts have just arrived in the Netherlands but I still need to pick them up. (and pics will follow later, this was the ebay pic)

I needed to find another job to do and thought of covering the kick panels with vinyl so they would match the door panels. The original kick panels are just cardboard so that would be an easy job….until I remembered I had a good compo speaker set I wanted in the Nova and the easy small job turned into a big job. There are aftermarket kick panels available for the 1st gen Nova but they would not fit with the original air vents and I already had speakers. I used the cardboard kick panels as a template for the 3mm wooden (multiplex) base.

With 22mm MDF I made a base for the speakers and my plan was to sand the MDF into a nice shape. Sanding the MDF would be a terrible time consuming job and probably would not turn out the way I wanted.

After some searching on the net I found how the stereo guys build panels like this and saw I had to alter my plan. I cut the speaker base down to just the rings where the speakers mount and glued this to the multiplex base.

Then I stretched fabric over the panel which resulted in nice shapes. After soaking the fabric with epoxy resin it became a solid material and a basis to continue on. The material was thin and brittle so it needed an extra layer to become strong enough to be covered with vinyl.

The Nova has fresh air vents in the kick panels which I wanted to retain. In order to have them functional I needed to make a tunnel in the kick panel for the air door actuator rod to pass through. After I put in an aluminium tube for this I rebuild the panels and added a 2nd layer of fabric/fibre glass.

I used a small metal strip in the back of the panel to mount the panel to the car. This way there will be no visible screws. The panels did not match the door posts yet so I will use fibre glass filled bondo on the back of the panel to create the correct shape. I did not have the time to continue but once the weather gets better I will finish them.

November 2011, together with Lars we took a lot of parts from the car and loosened every nut and bolt to be able to get the motor and tranny out. He has been a great help, it is handy to have an extra pair of hands around. It is nice to work on the Nova together and he is learning stuff in the process so it’s a win win situation.

December 2011, I bought some wood and wheels to make a body cart so I can move the body around. I made something to support the front but I have to remove the motor before I can attach it (also for the weight). For the rear I want to use the leaf spring attachment points so I removed the leafs together with the rear axle. Using my impact wrench I was able to remove the front leaf bolts and the lower shackle bolts but I could not reach the top ones. They were rusted solid so I had to use an angle grinder to get them out, accessibility was poor so even this was not easy but I got it done.

January 2012, together with Lars I removed the motor and transmission from the car and because we already did the preparation earlier it was an easy job. (sorry for the crappy cell phone pics, forgot to bring the camera)

It took a while but winter kicked in...too cold to do anything in the garage now....so waiting for higher temperatures.

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You can reach me by e-mail at: camaro-rs@planet.nl