4/30/06 - Oh, one thing I forgot to write about was the fact that I replumbed my radiator overflow setup when installing the new radiator. The rad has a threaded fitting in the filler neck, so I thought it'd be fun to run the lines to the overflow cannister with hardline instead of cheesy rubber stuff. The overflow plumbing was necessary to run at the track.
In retrospect, I should have used some softer tubing, it would have made it a bit easier to work with. Bending brake line tubing with a cheapo parts store bender was a pain. Regardless, I'm fairly happy with the results and it only cost me about $5 in parts.
5/20/06 - After I got my initial drag racing fix out of my system, I decided it was time to capture the burnout I missed capturing at the track on film. After the May NW Nova Club meeting, a friend from the club and I decided to head to a deserted part of the marine terminals in NW Portland for a little burnout magic.
Here's a movie of the event for your viewing pleasure...
If I wasn't already in love with my car, I'm for damn sure now. You have Cadanova/John from the club to thank for guiding the camera to capture my "art". He has my everlasting thanks! Gotta love the smell of burnt rubber in the air. It was heavenly.
6/12/06 - It was my birthday and for fun, I decided to try and install the Caltracs that had been sitting in my car for a couple of weeks gathering dust. After unbolting the rear passenger shock, removing the lower spring plate, and dropping the front leaf spring mount, I thought I was having a successful part installation day.
Here's a shot of the rear torn down. Like all the jacks/stands?
BUT, I ran into a small problem when trying to install the new Caltrac spring eye bushing....
The inner bushing sleeve that Caltrac provided doesn't fit over the spring eye bolt I got. I don't think it's supposed to be an interference fit. The sleeve stopped on the spring bolt about 1/8" onto the bolt. It should have slid all the way on easily.
I called Caltrac on Monday morning to see if they'd had anyone else report this problem. They didn't, but they shipped me another set of sleeves to check that I didn't get a bad set. While waiting for those to show up, I decided to work on swapping my 750 vacuum secondary carb for a 650 double pumper.
6/17/06 - Here's what my carb setup looked like before I decided to remove it. I didn't really have any complaints about it that a little more tuning wouldn't fix, but I've had a few discussions with people regarding a vacuum secondary carb's potential for decent dragstrip runs and found there to be a consensus that I'd get the best times out of the car with a true double pumper.
While I think I'm going to miss the shiny zinc finish of my 750VS, I have high hopes for the 650DP I installed today. I've been toying with it for the last week getting its baseline state setup as good as I could.
Here's a shot of the intake waiting for the new carb to be bolted on:
The 650DP got new fuel bowl gaskets, metering plate gaskets (changed the old cellulose ones to the new blue ones), an electric choke upgrade, new jets (71/74 as a start), new squirters (.035), and the transfer slot set to the baseline .020 setting. I didn't swap pump cams because it already had pink cams installed and I figured they were a good starting point. I even found some nice braided vacuum line to play with for the vacuum advance can.
The new setup is almost ready to fire except that I need a new fuel line adapter (-6AN to NPT) for the dual feed line inlet. I'm not 100% sure I like the fuel inlet kit I bought. It was a cheapo Spectre unit, but I was hoping to get this thing fired today and failed miserably due to parts inavailability based on the wrong assumption that a 4150 used the same inlets as a 4160. Wrongo. The Spectre kit is a quick-fix. If it doesn't leak like crazy, I may consider keeping it.
I'd have gotten more done today but I decided to clean up the garage first. That felt really good to get done, it had been bugging me for a while how cluttered my garage had been getting.
Now if I could only talk myself into better plug wire routing (via homemade MSD wires) and wrapped engine bay wiring. Getting the Caltracs installed properly and setup comes first though. Today's playing was time filler until I get all of my parts & Calvert's parts to cooperate.
6/18/06 - I figured that my unconscious brain knew better than my conscious one..... The dual feed inlet that I bought is complete crapola and leaked like a sieve even after repeated attempts at tightening up the hose clamps. It's going back to the store.
Anything worth doing is worth doing right, so I'm going to go visit the Aeroquip fittings store down by my work at lunchtime tomorrow. They're bound to have something workable. If not, there's always Summit.
The good news is that it fired right up after the fuel bowls filled. It idled at a rumpity 500rpm as I check for, and found, fuel leaks in the inlet tubing. At least I didn't kill the car or screw up my first pseudo carb rebuild.
DOH! DOH! DOH!
It hit me after I got home from returning the Spectre kit. I'm such a bonehead for not realizing this earlier. The old Holley 3/8" hard line dual feed I had was only about 1" of being able to connect to both fuel bowl inlets.
I just happened to have some left over tube nuts from my 3/8" fuel line install, so I chopped the old hardline fitting in two, cut a bit of tubing off (coupler is long), added a tubing coupler for length, then 37* flared and fitted everything back together with tube nuts. Not a leak to be seen!
I'm rather proud of CHEAP innovation. It cost me nothing other than a few minutes digging through my parts stash.
Now all I have to do is set the idle mixture for max vacuum and I'm ready to run....I'll be ready to race once I get my Caltrac issue fixed.
6/19/06 - After trying the second round of Caltrac bushing sleeves on my spring eye bolts, I was getting rather frustrated with the Caltrac kit. It turns out a friend from Steve's Nova Site lives a town away from Calvert Racing and agreed to bring a set of spring eye bolts by their shop and have them see if they can get a set of bushing sleeves to fit on them.
It turns out that there's something wrong with the bushing sleeves they have in stock. They're going to machine a set for me to make them fit properly and 2nd-day air them to me this week. I should have them by Wednesday. John Olson has my everlasting thanks for taking the time and energy to help me out on this.
Hopefully I can get the Caltrac kit installed and running by Sunday afternoon so that I can take my car to the next NW Nova Club meeting. Rumor has it that we may have 5 or 6 Novas driving to the meeting. That'll be our best Novas in attendance so far. I'm really looking forward to it.
Oh, one more thing. Calvert Racing has proven themselves to stand behind their product and I can't fault their customer service one bit. I'd buy them again in a second, but I do hope they get the bushing sleeves fixed so that other Nova owners don't have the same problem I did.
The great guys at Steve's Nova site noticed that I had my vacuum advance line plumbed wrong on the new carb. I wasn't even thinking about the fact that I had it hooked up to ported vacuum rather than full manifold vacuum. That was an easy fix once I found the right port on the base plate.
Tonight I also installed a new 180* Mr. Gasket hi-flow thermostat to replace the BeCool one that I think is a 160* thermostat. I'd like to car to run at a consistent 180*. I'll see if I can get the car up to operating temp tomorrow night. I would have done it tonight, but my little girl needed to go to bed and I didn't want my Nova to keep her awake. I'm such a good daddy (grin).
I did buy a new K&N filter during this ordeal and I got it installed quietly. It should give me a bit more air into the carb and help my track times a bit. They look great too!
More project updates will be coming soon.