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  #1021  
Old 01-14-2019, 03:59 PM
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Weather in my are has cooled some so I decided it was time to get the heater working again on this car. To expedite getting the swap running a few years ago, I simply bypassed the heater outlets on the waterpump using Dayco 87629 as shown:



I started by draining the coolant and was happy to see it was clean and clear.



Then I had to drop the inner fender to get to the lower hose fitting on the heater core. This area is very tight on a factory AC car. I've done this hose swap before without dropping the inner fender and this made it WAY easier.



My factory AC car uses a vacuum-controlled shutoff to prevent any heat from the heater core from affecting maximum AC function. The original valve was a simple shutoff, but the LS style water pump relies on circulation for accurate thermostat function. So I used a bypass style heater valve, Four Seasons 74781 / Everco 5930. This valve normally allows coolant flow to the heater core, but under vacuum it returns the coolant flow back to the waterpump without passing it through the heater core.



Here is how the hoses route





With the system plumbed, I filled with 50/50 Prestone/Sparkletts distilled water



And here's the engine bay nicely cluttered with hoses and lines.



With that done the heater works GREAT. It can easily bake me out of the car so driving in cold weather is not a problem. Here are a couple photos I snapped from a Sunday drive this weekend. We were between rain storms, so it was a good time to get out and find puddles for reflection shots.





I am really happy now that the fuel pump has quieted down, but it's made other squeaks and rattles much more noticeable. Related to the LS swap, I'm starting to get some belt noise. There is also a weird squeak from the package tray area inside the car that's driving me crazy. Just goes to show there is always room for improvement. This car is definitely a driver though and it brings a smile to my face every day, especially when I find a safe place to have a little fun.

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  #1022  
Old 01-14-2019, 05:03 PM
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Good work. Having heat and a/c is a bonus.

Whats next after you find all the rattles?

Dan
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  #1023  
Old 01-14-2019, 05:31 PM
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I want to do some autocross this year, so I am thinking I'll get back to work on the front brake upgrade. Then I need to start saving and planning for a 6 speed so I have an overdrive and can make events further from home.

For the brakes, I have C6 calipers and rotors, Kore3 hubs, and a new booster and master that need to go together. Last I was working on it, I found the booster pushrod (non adjustable) and master were interfering around 0.060in so I need to resolve that. I also need to replace the brake lines up front going from the distribution block out to the wheel area, because the hexes are rounded off on all the tube nuts.
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  #1024  
Old 01-14-2019, 05:34 PM
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Ok yea, I recall the brake parts pile. That will be nice.

And a T56 will be a lot of fun.
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  #1025  
Old 02-18-2019, 07:06 PM
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A couple weeks ago great old friend of mine visited. We spent two days driving all over in the Nova, including a jaunt down the Pacific Coast Highway and up Deer Creek Road south of Point Magu. The Nova did great and we even enjoyed the AC when the weather warmed up.











I also had a chance to meet up with some car folks I met through Instagram: @slayer_camaro with his 5.3-swap turbo Camaro and @benkahan with his '65 Mustang. Ben is a young aspiring filmmaker who has been producing under the name "4 Speed Films".









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  #1026  
Old 02-18-2019, 07:07 PM
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Looking at the photos of my car above you may have noticed the filler panel between the grill and bumper has some areas body color and some areas gray. That's because the body-color paint has chipped and peeled off the plastic over the years since I painted it around 1999. It's been bothering me a lot more since I cleaned up the paint last year and I finally had enough of it.



I decided to take the whole grill assembly off the car and make some changes. First I decided to give the grill an "SS" style blacked-out finish where just the top and bottom fins of the grill are exposed. After thoroughly cleaning the grill, I masked the top and bottom fins.





Then I used a self-etching primer.



And finally I shot it with Krylon Satin Black.








Next, rather than strip down the old filer panel, I decided to start fresh with a new one from AMD. I gave the whole panel a scuff-down with 150 grit and painted it Rustoleum Metallic Titanium Silver







Years ago cut off one end of the old filler panel and underlying metal support so it could be removed and installed easily without removing a fender. I did the same with this one. No one will ever see this, but it makes taking the grill and filler panel assembly in and out a breeze.





Next I decided to tackle the headlight bezels. Looking closely at the originals, a lot of the edges that were supposed to be exposed chrome had overspray on them.



So before doing anything, I carefully removed the overspray with steel wool.



The ribs on either side of the headlights are exposed chrome on the top, front, and bottom faces. I tried masking one off and decided it was just way to intricate and time consuming for masking. So I decided just to mask and spray the centers and save the areas between the ribs for later.







I spayed the bezels the same color as the grill (Krylon Satin Black), then I used a little trick to decant the paint for brushing.





What I did above is attached a bendy straw to the nozzle of the paint can, then I poked it through some plastic wrap on the top of a glass jar. After spraying enough paint into the jar, I let it it out for about 6 hours so all the propellant could make it's way out of the paint - otherwise it would become a volcano when shaken or blow it's cap off.

Next I took the freshly decanted paint and hand brushed the areas between the ribs.



Unpainted on the left vs. fresh first coat on the right. I did two coats to cover this area. The decanted paint was a bit thin for brushing but it did the job.



Some reassembly required...



Hopefully tonight I can finish up and see how she looks from more than 2ft away!
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  #1027  
Old 02-18-2019, 08:47 PM
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Looks good.
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  #1028  
Old 02-19-2019, 12:27 PM
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Thanks!

I finished up the face-lift last night. I'll be doing a double take for a while at this impostor car.









Potential next projects:
- Polish and wax (needed after more than 6 months since the last time)
- Install C6 brakes up front, new master, some new lines, flush brakes, etc
- Revisit tuning: I have a couple of DTC codes that don't make sense like rear O2 error
- Cup holders (seriously)

What I'll probably do instead:
- Drive
- Take pictures
- Autocross
- Drive some more
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  #1029  
Old 02-19-2019, 12:42 PM
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  #1030  
Old 02-19-2019, 04:12 PM
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Wouldn't the blacked out ribs carry over to the other side of the headlights?
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  #1031  
Old 02-19-2019, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by entropy View Post
Sexxxxy
Whoa! Wasn't expecting that from you. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysFlOoReD View Post
Wouldn't the blacked out ribs carry over to the other side of the headlights?
Some people do that. It's not how they were done originally, but I'm not that hung up on originality anyway. I personally just like the look of all the headlight bezel ribs exposed like they were on all original Novas standard & SS.

From an originality viewpoint, the original a'70 "SS" Novas the headlight bezel ribs were all exposed chrome plus there is a small vertical rib in the middle that was also exposed. The '70 "standard" Novas had exposed ribs, but paint over the vertical rib, which is how I have done mine. The "SS" grills were black except the top and bottom bar and they had an "SS" emblem in the center of the grill. The standard grills were all exposed. So what I've got right now is a combination of the standard bezel finish with the "SS" grill finish.
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  #1032  
Old 02-20-2019, 02:03 PM
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Got it out of the garage last night and enjoyed a little heater-on cruising. Stoked with the result! I think it's time to work the paint up another notch and do something about the ratty license plates.





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  #1033  
Old 02-20-2019, 03:38 PM
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I rather like the plate

Gives a little attitude; like the old girl's slip showing

Maybe a quick scrub and a coat of wax

E~
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  #1034  
Old 02-20-2019, 04:05 PM
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Talking off topic

Before I started working in metal I was a modeler particularly scale aircraft.
Three birds in particular the F4, the P47, and the Spitfire. I was good'nuff on the 109's.
One day I was stuck on what squadron I was going to paint in on an F4.
so I smoothed the pillions and painted it Candy Apple Red on top and Polished aluminum on the bottom.
Sneeked it in to the shop and hung it in the middle of the WW2 display at 12-O-clock High

A long time ago
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  #1035  
Old 03-22-2019, 05:57 PM
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It's been about 9 months since I compounded & waxed the car last summer. Since then I've driven the car a lot and really enjoyed the fruits of my labor, but the glossy shine of the wax diminished and with the newly-cleaned-up grill, I could tell it was time to give the paint some attention again. The wax seemed to hide some of the swirling that I never polished out after compounding. The worst areas are on the tops of the fenders and hood where I made a lot of extra passes with compound. Under certain lighting it really shows. Here's a video to highlight the badness:



In case the video doesn't come through, here is a photo. It's funny this swirl is hardly visible in photos of the car and it's not too noticeable in daylight, but my garage really brings it out.



After a strip wash, I pulled out the 6" Lake Country white polishing pad and went to work with Pinnacle Jewling Wax. This is an all-in-one (polish + wax) that I thought I'd try after seeing good results online. I was not sure how much correcting it would do, but I figured it was worth a try since I did not want to spend my time on a dedicated polishing step. Here is what I ended up with after a few passes. It needs more work but it did make a difference.





I spent a few hours going over the whole car. I was very happy with the light correction work this AIO managed to do. The sides of the car turned out great, but the hood needs work. Here is where I ended up.







In the video above and in the photo below you can see the hood still needs some work. I'm thinking about going over it with M205 polish and then coming back with the Pinnacle Jewling Wax to finish it off. The paint has quite a few blotches and some haze still. I think the Meguair's Ultimate Liquid Wax I used last time looked a little better, but of course it didn't do any correcting.

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  #1036  
Old 03-22-2019, 05:58 PM
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I am just about "done" with the transformational efforts to detail my car. So far I have spent a fair amount of time bringing the paint back to life with compound, polish and wax, and freshening up the front of the car by painting the grill and filler panel. I decided to finally give some attention to the vinyl top. I've never really been sure what to do with it. Normal washing doesn't seem to clean it up that well. Here's what it looks like after my last car wash:



I did some research and found all purpose cleaner (APC) might be a good start for lifting the nasties out of the vinyl. I picked up some Chemical Guys Nonsense and an Adam's Cockpit Brush. The brush has soft enough bristles that it shouldn't damage the vinyl even with heavy brushing.



Working in sections, I sprayed and heavily brushed the vinyl. Then I let the APC sit a while so it could lift some of the contaminants out of the vinyl.



It's hard to see in the photo, but I could definitely see the grime coming out of the vinyl.





Once the foamy bubbles dissipated, I mopped up the grime with a microfiber.



Here is what the top looked like after cleaning. Much more sanitary! You can clearly see which side I had cleaned and which side still needed attention.



Next it was time to shine up and protect the vinyl. I decided to try out Chemical Guys Natural Shine dressing. I picked up a 16oz bottle and a foam applicator and went to work



This stuff could probably be smeared on with just about any cloth or applicator. I put a few dabs on at a time and worked it over the top of the car.



Here is a 50/50 shot with one side cleaned and dressed, the other side not.



And here's what it looks like up close right after application. It's a little shinier than I expected for a "matte" / "natural" dressing, but it looks good. It brought a deep black back to the vinyl.



And after a few weeks of rain, I finally found a break in the clouds to get out and see the car in the sun. So nice to see shine in the paint from the recent polish & wax.





The hood looks so much better outside than it does in the garage!



And because this started as an engine swap thread, I can't neglect what's under the hood... yup still there and still going strong!





Looking forward to some new projects and experiences with the car soon. Brakes and steering are still in my sights.
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  #1037  
Old 03-28-2019, 07:00 AM
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Amazing what some elbow grease and knowledge has done for aged paint and vinyl! Thanks for documenting the process, the paint on my truck needs some love (and some touch ups) and I'll be referring back to this thread when the time comes.

When it comes time to do the steering, take a look at Turn One. They have a 12:1 box that should be a bolt-in for your car. We use them at work and it's good stuff.
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  #1038  
Old 03-28-2019, 04:50 PM
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Thank you sir! I have been on the fence between Turn One or Lee. I've heard great things about both. I want to make sure I get a box with an identical form factor to my current box so I don't have any issues with header clearance. I think mine is an original variable ratio 800 box. Lee advertises their boxes as built from 800 cores. Turn One says theirs are based on new 600 series boxes. I don't know all the differences in form factor or performance, so I have some research to do. At the moment I'm in a holding pattern until I come up with budget. I spent a fair chunk of change recently on my next cosmetic project and I still have the C6 brakes to install.
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  #1039  
Old 07-08-2019, 04:30 PM
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It's been a while since I last updated this thread, so I'll try to get thing sup to speed.

I took a new favorite photo of the car in April:



Still very happy with my swap. Sorry I'm in the boring phase of the build thread where I just enjoy the fruits of my labor for years on end.

It's been a busy couple of months since my last update. I've gotten pretty lazy about updating my build thread in the age of Instagram, but I still prefer the forums for long-form!

Early in May I decided to take the car out to the local cruise night in Santa Paula. I've been going to this for a long time now and still enjoy the drive, the nice mix of classic cars, and seeing my family that lives there. Before heading out I tried out a waterless wash system and I've got to say, I'm hooked on this wash method. The car came out nice and I was able to clean it inside my garage late at night while the kids were sleeping.



I found a good spot to park in front of the old movie theater and enjoyed walking around talking cars with anyone willing. I met a few people with LS swaps in progress, but still this show is dominated by carbureted small blocks. I like the classic feel of it all.










Not long after the show, I met up with a local buddy I found on Instagram who goes by @slayer_camaro. He has a single tubo'd 5.3 with a T56 Magnum and drives his car almost daily. Right now he's on a long distance road trip to the Pacific Northwest so if you live up that way, reach out and see if he'll meet up with you. I took him out to a favorite spot for photos and shot his car like I was trying to be some kind of professional.







I also got a few shots of my car too.








I really enjoy taking photos of cars. If I learned how to post process them, I might be able to make something half decent.
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  #1040  
Old 07-08-2019, 04:31 PM
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TMI Products 1 PC Headliner

So for about a decade now, maybe more, I've been living with saggy headliner. The threads holding the material to the bows rotted and started to let go, allowing the seams to come apart. To make matters worse, the first time my son rode in the car he grabbed a part of the open seam and pulled it down, ruining the entire rear section. I used binder and paper clips to hold the material back up onto the bows but it has never really sat well with me. I finally did something about it last month.



I decided to buy a 1pc fiberglass headliner from TMI Products. This is a relatively new product and I couldn't find any installs into Novas, so I took a bit of a gamble knowing their Camaro and Mustang headliners have been used successfully by others. The reasons I went this route rather than a conventional replacement headliner are as follows.
(1) I felt a 1pc headliner would be easier to install successfully myself, with no previous experience, knowing that stretching and gluing material can sometimes result in wrinkles, sag, etc.
(2) I didn't want to pay somebody to install a conventional headliner because everyone wanted a fortune to do that
(3) A 1pc headliner can be removed and reinstalled easily, which will be great when I paint the car some day. It needs metal repair around the windows and roof so the headliner will definitely need to come out
(4) it should give a little more room for my race helmet.

After removing all the original headliner, I started by installing some screws and set screws in locations I'd need to find for holes. Here I installed a pair of 5/16" set screws where the shoulder belts attach.



Below you can see where I installed the visor mounting screws.



Next, my wife and I angled and brought the headiner into rough position in the car. We angled it in from the passneger side, putting he back of the headliner in first and titling it so one edge was at the top rear of the door opening and the other edge was near the bottom front/kick panel corner of the door opening. We then angled it up over the steering wheel and swung the rear around as we brougt it in. The headliner is semi-rigid, but there's enough flexibility to make it into the car. We use a combination of spring clips I had on hand to hold the headliner up temporarily along the door opening.



Next, to position the headliner front to back and centered on the car, I installed one rearview mirror mounting screw through a pre-drilled hole in the fiberglass. I did this with my wife helping to hold up the headliner while we found the hole. Later I cut the vinyl out of the way for the other 2 mirror mounting holes.



Then I went to work locating and making holes for the visors. The fiberglass has large cutouts in this area so you are only feeling for the screws through a layer of vinyl. Once located, I used an exacto knife to cut the holes.









Once both visors were mounted, I located the dome light mounting screws the same way. I really need to rewire my car because all the terminals are corroded pretty bad.





The visor and dome light mounting areas had cutouts in the fiberglass that made locating holes pretty straightforward, but there were no such cutouts or predrilled holes for the shoulder belt mounting points. That mean I had to somehow locate the holes and drill them myself without being able to feel for them through the vinyl. So I found something random I could use that would leave a mark on the hole locations that I could easily clean up if needed - plaster.



I lowered the headliner in this area, reached in and smeared a little plaster on the set screws I had previously installed.



Then after pressing the headliner up in place, the plaster was transferred to the hole locations on the fiberglass.



I was able to lower the headliner down and predrill holes through these locations before opening them up larger with a step bit from the inside.







With that done, I could install both shoulder harnesses. I must admit, this resulted in a little oil-canning / distortion of the headliner, so I eventually opened the holes up to be on the large side and provide more room for things to move around which helped prevent that from happening on final install.



TMI provides a pair of fiberglass sail panels with matching upholstery. It's a good thing because one of my sail panels broke as I was taking it out. One thing I did was transfer the stapled-on plastic retainer from the old sail panels to the new sail panels using 3M double-sided adhesive. You can see that component attached to the sail panel on the right below.



When I placed the sail panel in position, it became clear the rear was not matched up well to where the windlace would need to go. It extended beyond the windlace flange by about 3/4 of an inch and curved around more than needed. It also didn't match up to the headliner, which aligned very well with the windlance flanges all the way around.





Here is what that mismatch looks like from outside of the car. The metal flange under the window should match the edge of the sail panel, but instead it was extending about 3/4". There is no way the windlace would have covered this difference.



Once again I brought out the plaster, smeared it along the windlace flange, and then pressed the sail panel into place to make an impression. That gave me enough of a line that I could mark it with tap and cut the sailpanel down using my late grandfather's jigsaw.







Once trimmed, the sail panels fit perfectly.



Installing the windlace can be tough, especially in the tight confines of the backseat, rear window area. I lubricated the channel with some Dawn soap and combined a deadblow hammer with a piece of wood to work it into place. I didn't take a photo, but the both the center of the windlace and the windlace flange have small notches at the center where you need to start if you want the ends to end up in the right locations. I started there and worked my way around.



I did something similar for the front windlace. The side windlace was the easiest to install around the doors.



TMI also provides new fiberglass A-pillar covers. I think the original metal ones would work fine too, but I went ahead and installed theirs because they match and look a little nicer.



Tada!



A little tip - all purpose cleaner works well for cleaning up all the fingerprints on the vinyl from install. I used Chemical Guys "Nosense" in a spray bottle with a microfiber to clean things up.
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