My Nova

page 16

September - December 2012

I was looking for front seats, I wanted them to be black leather and not race seats since the Nova will be more of a cruiser. I started looking for BMW E46 convertible seats (1998-2005) since they have the seat belts incorporated in the seats which solves the problem of mounting 3 point seat belts in front. I came across a set for a reasonable price and they are electrical adjustable (have not tested them yet) but have some minor damages in the leather at a place it will be hardly noticed so I bought them. Also 1 seatbelt tensioner was gone so they are probably from a car that has been in an accident. A tensioner isn't too expensive and I will be able to buy one at the salvage yard.

Early September the weather was nice so I decided to paint some more parts. I cleaned and degreased the parts and painted them so they are clean when I handle them during assembly. Also installed the new polyurethene bushings in the leaf springs and found out that the shackle kit I bought (classicindustries, advertised as correct for 62 Nova??) is not correct. It will probably work with the bushings that came with the shackles but with the correct bushings the bolts are too long and the distance between the bolt holes in the shackles is a bit longer than stock. I will have to go to a friend and turn down the bolts on a lathe, another job I didn't expect.

The shock mounting plates also had to be modified, the lowering kit U-bolts had a larger diameter then the original T-bolts so the holes in the plate had to be enlarged. The new shocks had mounting hardware but the shoulder bolts did not fit so 1 of the 2 shock mounting holes had to be enlarged and the side of the bolt head had to be ground off so the bolt would sit flat on the plate. Amazing how nothing ever fits without some modification even when it is advertized as correct for the application.

End of September, some spare time and nice weather so I went up to the garage to start mating the T5 transmission tho the I6 motor. I had bought a pilot bushing specially for Powerglide to manual conversion since they have a different outside diameter and of course it didn't fit. The bushing was loose in the cranck shaft so that meant this one would not work. When trying to mount the bellhousing I found out it interfered with the starter motor so I removed it to see if it would fit then and it did. I marked where the starter motor hit the bellhousing and started grinding away material until it fit. I had read a lot about people mounting a T5 to an I6 and most of them reported the transmission intput shaft had to be modified/shortened. This is probably the case when using the original Nova bellhousing but the one I have is from a '85 or so Camaro. When the bellhousing was on the transmission slipped into place without a problem, so that was a relief. The flywheel cover plate I bought almost fits...just needed to make a very small modification by bending an edge flat with some pliers. Final mounting can be done once I get the new pilot bushing and flywheel bolts.

I brought all nuts and bolts I had away for zinc plating (also all my spares), never did this before so put it all in a bucket and left it at the company. They told me it was going to take 2 weeks so after 2,5 weeks I decided to give them a call....all the usual excuses but they would be done in a week...... when I didn't hear from them again after the promised time I just went over and saw my bucket of parts still standing where I left it almost 5 weeks before!! I had spent a few hours going there, almost 100miles and 5 weeks waiting...what a waste of time and money!!

WARNING: DO NOT USE Galvanisch bedrijf Multinal Ronde in Weesp (The Netherlands)!!!!!

In the time inbetween I had done some research on zinc plating and realized I was not going to get the result I was expecting without properly cleaning it (specially removing paint!) So I started cleaning and removing paint and underbodycoating since this will not be removed during the process at the zinc plater. Ligth rust will be removed but heavy rust is better first removed with a wire wheel. I ended up putting all nuts and rings on electrical wire and made a loop so I could sandblast them. This way it was easy to hold the parts with the gloves in the blasting cabinet. Early October my next try was Galvame Rotterdam, and I decided to have the parts black zinc plated since I think it will look better in my car then yellow or blue. It is more expensive, almost double, but worth it for me. This time it went different, the guy taking in the parts weighed it (23,5kg) so he could determine the price which after it is given will be fixed, no surprises. I was told it would take 2 weeks but before the 2 weeks were past I got a call I could pick the parts up. Good to know there are still companies out there that do what they promise! The pics show the result, I am very happy with it. I spent a whole evening sorting the parts and putting rings and nuts on bolts so when I pick a bolt I don't have to search for them.

End of October I went to the SEMA show in Las Vegas after my wife told me I should go since I've been wanting to do this for years already. While I was there I bought some extra parts: universal rear bench seat cover which will have to do until I have the funds to have the seat re-upholstered, flywheel bolts, pilot bushing, door lock knobs, wheel studs and some small tools. I decided I am going to use the big brake kit I have so I got the wheel studs for when I redrill the rear axle from 4 to 5 bolt. This means I will try to sell the 4 bolt disc brake setup and wheels and I will have to get new 5 bolt wheels.

Busey at work, days are short and weather is not good for working in my garage so not much going on at the moment.



You can reach me by e-mail at: pro-touring @ hotmail .com