From a Nova to a Skylark..

Discussion in 'The "X" bodies' started by LSxBody, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. TheSilverBuick

    TheSilverBuick In the Middle of No Where

    Yup, mine was shortened when I went to the manual transmission and shortened again when I put the 8.5" in. I was quite shocked when it was a tad short with the 9". I thought for sure with everything bolting to the front of the axle it'd need to be shortened again. I ended up purchasing a new driveshaft with 1350 u-joints on both ends instead of using the conversion joints I had been using.
     
  2. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    Wheels and tires are on! Rear ride height is perfect, tucking a little rubber and no rubbing. Will set front once I get the ls motor in and rebuild front suspension. Probably use eibach springs as I have used them for other applications and have been very happy with them. Now to the pics! Wish I could pull it out for some real pics! [​IMG]


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    Front: 17x7 us mag u111 4" bs 225/45R17


    Rear: 17x8 us mag u111 4.5" bs 255/45R17
     
  3. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    Wasn't happy with the rear bumper tuck, I felt like it didn't get the body line where the filler panel should be. Originally I decompressed the bumper shocks for the tuck, now I've removed them, drilled new mounting holes allowing it to tuck closer to the car and up as well. Much happier! [​IMG]

    My nova's untucked rear bumper


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    The inner bumper support is now flush with the rear body panel.
     
  4. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    Here is a pic of the rear bumper with the shock fully decompressed


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  5. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    Well, I decided to go with the kyb gas-a-just shocks. I've never had a bad experience with them (the brand) , they're easy to find, and I paid $100 for fronts and rears after a mail in rebate through Summit. That's the same price as the oem spec kyb excel-g's. Reviews say these are stiffer than stock. Hopefully it will be a good compromise between stock and a nice performance shock. I did look at the bilsteins but I decided I could use the extra funds somewhere else and ordered a poly bushing set for my upper and lower control arms. Swapping my sumped fuel tank in from the nova soon then on to the front suspension. I have shocks and bushings, will order 2nd gen fbody eibach front springs and moog upper and lower ball joints. Then it will be waiting for time to work on the car as I spend too much time at work [emoji857] I'm taking vacation next month in which I plan to do the motor and trans swap. We shall see if I can stay on track. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. SteeveeDee

    SteeveeDee Orange Acres

    Looking good! I remember being 40 years younger and having the energy to do all those mods to a car. I DO wish that I had kept the '69 Nova my wife had when we met, but it got sold to make room for another vehicle. I only had so much driveway.
     
  7. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    I can't even count how many times I've heard similar stories from older gentlemen, I'm in my mid twenties and swore I'd never sell my Nova, I guess I'm only justifying it now because I'm still sticking with a 4th gen xbody chassis

    I've got the energy but not enough time! I only get 3 weekends a month so that's means I have to be very efficient with my work and plan ahead for ordering parts
     
  8. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    New motor mounts came in. I bought OEM ones from summit and drilled the rivets to remove the stock rubber to replace with energy suspension motor mount inserts. I have the poly trans mount as well! Also upper and lower "Proforged" ball joints arrived. Very nice looking! Just need to order my Eibach springs and I'll start the front suspension rebuild. Motor mounts are being upgraded since I need to have the lower control arm out to get to the bolts! [​IMG]
     
  9. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    Got an extra hand today to get the Buick out of the garage and flip her around so now she's backed in and ready to pull the engine/trans tomorrow. I ordered the 2nd gen fbody eibach front springs and a lokar column to cable shift conversion today so hopefully they arrive soon! Cannot wait to get the front end down and get some weight back into the car [emoji23]



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  10. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    Cleaned up a little of the subframe and installed my poly motor mounts! The sbc holes are already in the subframe even though it had Buick v6 mounts so I just had to rebolt them in! I don't plan to clean too much in the engine bay so I can keep it looking as sleeper as possible but everywhere I spend time working I'd like to to be in like new condition. So once done, you will probably be able to see what new parts are on and what is original haha rusty and oil soaked. I have the front upper and lower control arms at the machine shop getting energy suspension bushings and proforged ball joints installed. My 2nd gen Fbody springs arrived as well! They are about 3" shorter than the factory springs which will help when I install! Just need to clean up the spindle and get all the caked up grease off of it and some nice paint, get the control arms back, and I can button up the front suspension. Then I plan to swap my disc brakes with the nova since I just put brand new calipers and new rotors on it. Will do new pads and turn the rotor! Onto the pics! [​IMG]


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  11. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    Slowly cleaning up the subframe in sections so I don't get sore or burnt out from it! Just wire wheel, primer, and paint. Metal is preserved well by a layer of dried in grease and dirt! [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  12. Taulbee2277

    Taulbee2277 Well-Known Member

    Nice work! Really enjoying the build and pictures, keep it up!
     
  13. SteeveeDee

    SteeveeDee Orange Acres

    You're going to replace those brake caliper flex lines, right? Hanging like that can damage them.
     
  14. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    Absolutely! If I'm going this deep into the car and making it significantly faster. I would never rely on 40 yr old brake lines. So they make good caliper hangers haha!
     
    SteeveeDee and 300sbb_overkill like this.
  15. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    Frame rails are done! Swapped in my Saginaw 525 manual steering box and pitman arm as well. The rest of the steering components will be bought later, using proforged brand products. I'm still waiting to get my control arms back from the shop with new bushings and ball joints so cleaning and painting while I wait. Passenger spindle is cleaned and painted, will do drivers soon then pulling calipers and rotors off the nova. Hopefully they will be done before the control arms arrive so I can get it all back together and on all fours. [​IMG]


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  16. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    Not much to report today. Finished harvesting brake parts off the Nova. Original plan was reuse my calipers and turn the rotors and put them on the skylark since I replaced them about 5 yrs ago. Calipers were brand new and I gave them the red ceramic paint treatment, some simple green and a brush made the red nice and vivid again! Surprised the paint actually held up nicely. Took the rotors to get turned and they were warped real bad. The manager thought they were put on the machine wrong but after multiple attempts, they were just garbage. So picked up new rotors and pads from the local parts store and new wheel bearings. I got the old brake stuff from the skylark swapped on the nova so it has brakes when I push it around the driveway. One spindle is cleaned up, still need to finish the other. Ordered all my proforged steering components. Idler arm, center link, inner and outer tie rods, billet tie rod adjusters, and new Dorman front brake lines. They will arrive sometime this week. Still waiting on control arms to get back so I can throw the suspension back together. My vacation starts in a week so that's when I hope to swap the ls motor and 4l80e. Hopefully things go smoothly.


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    Passenger spindle

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  17. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    Quick update! Finished up cleaning and painting the drivers spindle! Also got my control arms back from the machine shop. Got the lowers painted and mounted in the car drying! I'll get to the uppers sometime this week and bolt in the upper balljoints. My package of steering components came from proforged. Got the idler arm and center link bolted in! I need to reference the old tie rods to get rough adjustment but no rush since I don't have spindles on yet haha getting closer to being back on the ground which means closer to the LS going in!
     
  18. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    More progress! Got the control arms in finally. Next I put in the Eibach 2nd gen Fbody springs and reused my factory upper spring isolators. I seated the spring in the upper pocket first, then jacked the lower control arm up until it was snug. Then using a prybar for leverage I had to bend the bottom of the spring it fit the lower control arm pocket which was hanging down at an angle. Took a bit of effort but then BANG! They popped into place! Then I slowly jacked up the control arm and used a jackstand underneath just in case it wanted to pop the spring out. Spindle attached easily even with no weight in the front. Got them torqued down and finished up by installing the kyb gas-a-just shocks which went in with no headaches. Next up is paint the dust shields so I can get the new rotors with new wheel bearings on! One step closer to 4 wheels on the ground!


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    I cut the lower bump stops in half to give a little more travel since I am using lowering springs.


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  19. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    More progress! Got the rotors, wheel bearings, calipers, pads all installed. Then had to wrestle the stock rusty brake lines! Finally got them off and replaced them with new Dorman lines. Got the steering linkage completed as well. I adjusted tierods to match the old assembly. Should be good enough to get me to the alignment shop. I'm really happy with the fit and finish of the proforged parts. Got the wheels back on and got it back on the ground! Now to do a little work on the firewall and then shift focus over to the nova where I still have to prep the ls motor for removal. I'm really hoping I can remove engine and trans as one unit. I originally put the 4l80e from below.



    I sprayed the edges of the rotor with high heat black paint to prevent the ugly rust from appearing!

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    I'm hoping with springs settling and the weight of engine/trans I'll have little to no wheel gap.

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  20. LSxBody

    LSxBody Well-Known Member

    Started tinkering on the nova when I had breaks in the weather. Trying to remove everything off the ls motor so I can pull it. I'm starting to doubt whether I will be able to take it out as a single unit but will try anyway. The amount of clearance needed for the clamshells to clear the mount and the sump of the oil pan to clear the crossmember is limited to the small space the 4l80e has between the top of it and the trans tunnel. Hopefully some angle when pulling it will work. Worst case I split the two and pull it that way.


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