2004 Nova Update


About time for an update. The above picture is one that my friend Shawn shot in Bowling Green Kentucky at this years Nova Listserve Gathering. My neighbor Jim Peres painted my bumpers for me in Argent Silver, I think they turned out pretty good although I still miss the chrome ones. I haven’t made too many changes to the car over the last couple months. I’ve been mainly working on the tune up and ironing out problems with the alternator, nitrous system, and other misc. glitches.

I think I have most of the problems worked out now, thanks to Cheap Willies (Bill Howard) in Iola Kansas, I now have a real good alternator and low mount bracket setup. I’m testing his aluminum prototype drivers side BBC low mount bracket and it works great with a 105 amp GM alternator. This fixed the voltage problems I was having and the car holds just over 14 volts at the ignition with everything running now (Fan/Pumps, etc.). This mount is the only one I’ve found that will clear the frame on a BBC in the low mount position and that is nice and stable. It works with a standard style 2 groove crank pulley using the outer groove. Give Bill a call if you need one of those, it works great.

I’m working now on getting the car ready to do some more testing with a big shot in the nitrous system. My goal is 8.99 in street legal trim out of it by the end of the season, I know it’s easier said than done, but that’s the target and if I can get the tune up right and get it to hook it should be able to do it.


Stroud Chute is on, new bumpers are painted and mounted (not in this picture), new Cal-Vert Split-Mono’s are installed. Ran into lots of problems with S & W’s roll cage conversion kit, so I’m probably going to have to pitch it and get one from Alston in order to get one that will look right in the car. The S&W was way too long in the center section of the door pillar bend, looked funky in the car like that because in order to get everything lined up the bar sits much further back than what you typically see for a runner style cage.

It’s been raining about everytime I have a chance to go make some passes in the car, so I’m not sure how much all the changes will help/hurt the ET.


The Nova’s apart again for more changes. Right now I’m in the process of adding a Stroud Comp Eliminator chute, 10 point cage update, fiberglass bumpers and some new Calvert Split Mono Springs.


Finally made the first Nitrous pass in the Nova on May 7th, and got a 9.77@144 out of it. Only got a 1.54 60′ with a little bit of spin, so I’ve got a bit of work to do in that department.

Here’s a video of the run. It’s kinda hard to see since it was dark out, but you can definately see the numbers on the board and hear it 🙂

I don’t have a lot of changes planned right now, the next updates are mostly safety related, going to upgrade to full cage, chute, maybe some rear suspension work and look to take some more weight out of it.

On another note, I also switched the rear brakes from Cadillac Metric Calipers over to the new Wilwood aluminum metric calipers and also used the Wilwood racing pads. I can’t brag on those new pads enough, they made a huge improvement in the way the car stops. I don’t think there has been one change I’ve made to the car that has had such a dramatic improvement as those pads. That was one purchase that I can say was worth ever cent!


First time out in 2004 with new converter, gears and transmission worked out pretty good. The taller gears and tighter converter both slowed the car down quite a bit which was expected. The new setup along with a headwind netted a best pass of the day of 10.90@127. The car hooked great, but again the new setup kills the 60′ time, it’s getting a 1.75 now. The good news is that the car ran fine, didn’t break anything this time out but my battery charger (don’t ask)LOL. Updates for this year are 3:55 rear gears, new spool, Neil Chance 10″ bolt-together converter, and a fresh tranny built by Grant Carson.

Over the next week or so I’ll be installing some travel limiters in the front end, a new set of valve springs, and the Nitrous tune up, next time out she’ll finally be on the bottle like it was made for.


Not much going on during the Holidays, but I did finish up building a ram air / cold air box for the Nova. It’s nothing fancy, just a piece of .060 thick aluminum plate from the scrap yard and pop riveted to the bottom of an air cleaner base. I used air conditioner foam to seal the plate to the bottom of the hood. This added 4 lbs to the car, hopefully it should be worth it.

Been playing around with nitrous bottle heaters a bit, you might want to read the article I wrote about them. I had no idea it took so long to get a bottle up to temp until I started doing that testing.

Also been playing around flow testing my nitrous plate a bit. Current work this week is to swap out the Detroit Locker in the rear end for a regular spool and hopefully I’ll get my converter back from Neil Chance. If all goes well I should have the car ready to run again in a week or two.


I’ve been lazy about updating the site this summer so I thought I’d better get caught up a bit. Right now the Nova’s tore down with the transmission out. Last trip out to the races I smoked the 2nd and 3rd gear clutches in it. The good news is the 60’s are now down to a more respectable 1.62 range with the removal of the drop spindles but ET’s suffered badly due to the slipping tranny.

As of 11/22/03, the transmission is ready to be picked up today, but I’ve still got to send the converter in to Neil Chance for cleaning and we’ll probably tighten it up a little to bring the stall down some for the Nitrous. I’ve been learning how to flow the nitrous plate to get the N/F ratios right before I spray it. Here’s a recent picture flow testing the fuel side and where I learned the Double Cross plate was mislabeled on the upper set of the fuel bars. If you look closely at the upper set of bars in the picture you’ll notice the fuel isn’t spraying out front to back right. That’s because the plate was labeled wrong and I had the fuel spraying out the nitrous bar on the top set. Glad I caught that one before tearing something up!

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