2005 Nova Update

Racing in Real Street at MoKan against Ryan Livingood’s blown Capri. This is the last run of the year where I toasted the clutches for sure in the tranny, bounced it off the rev limiter in all three gears just trying to get down the 1/8th mile. Needless to say I got to see Ryan’s tail lights on this pass. I’ll work on showing him mine next year!


Haven’t done much updating here lately.. Just trying to keep the competitors in the dark LOL.. Here’s a quick update on the ol’ Nova. The motor is going together this weekend, basically same setup but with a new cam, reworked heads/intake/carb, comp belt drive, Hellfire Rings and a new, kind of experimental direct port nitrous system. Other changes include switching to tubular upper and lower control arms, rack and pinion steering and a new shock setup. I’ll have some pic’s of most of this stuff soon.

In the meantime, I’d like you to visit my new Drag Racing Forum over at DragStuff – it’s at http://www.dragstuff.com/forum


The TH400 is back from Neal Chance and it’s ready to rock and roll. Neal did a bunch of work to the transmission, it’s now sporting a new modified Hipster Brake, and other internal modifications. Now I’ll have nothing else to blame it on but myself if I can’t cut a decent light! The headers are back from AirBorn in OKC and they look great, MUCH better than the paint I had on them.
Lots of work yet to do to get the car ready for next season.


The Nova’s all apart in the garage right now, lots of changes in process. Neil Chance will be rebuilding the TH400 here in a few days to fix the problems I’ve had with burning clutches and slow release times on the transbrake. I’m pretty sure that if anyone can fix it he’s the man. Headers are out getting coated at AirBorn in OKC, should look a lot better when they get back and I’d really like to get the 2% hp increase that they claim LOL.

The Big Block is on the engine stand getting freshened up and making a number of changes to it to see if I can squeeze some more power out of it. New cam, some porting work and a general freshen up are going to happen. I was really pleased I was able to make it for a season without damaging anything in the motor spraying as much nitrous as I have in it. I’ve moved up to 320 hp shot through it this year and went through over 65 lbs of nitrous – can’t believe I’ve used that much. Thank you Dave Kohler for helping me avoid damaging parts!

Chassis wise the front end is getting some major changes. David Lemmond is in the process of building a set of chrome moly a-arms and getting me setup for a rack conversion. I’m hoping I can get some significant weight savings to get the car down to race ready 3400 lbs with driver. With the recent addition of the front bars for the cage it’s approximately 140 lbs overweight now. I’ve already started redesigning the fuel system to run off of 1 rear tank and 1 fuel pump to reduce the front end weight some.

Safety wise I now have a full cage in the car and it’s been NHRA certified to 7.50. Glad I finally got that done, but not too happy about having to add that much more weight to the car. I used a Chris Alston “Runner Style” cage conversion kit and was happy with the way the bars worked out. The car’s main hoop is a S & W kit. If I had this to do over again I would have had a custom cage built out of Chrome Moly to save some weight. These cars are heavy enough and it starts getting really expensive to get weight out of them and stay within the rules for my class.

Next year I’ll be racing the car in a class called “Real Street” with the MAKO Ten Five Association and hopefully will get it to run some competitive numbers. Of course the car will remain street legal and my son and I are looking forward to attending local cruise nights and the Annual Nova Listserve Gathering in 2005.

Plans for this upcoming winter:

  • Update Roll Cage to a 10 point and get it NHRA certified. DONE
  • Addition of parachute and mount to be legal for 150mph+ DONE
  • Do some head and intake port work and try a different camshaft
  • Transmission Rebuild & Redesigned brake Setup
  • New Shifter Done
  • Freshen Motor
  • Fiberglass front and rear bumpers DONE
  • Get the hood painted
  • Remove parking brake, switch to aluminum rear calipers DONE
  • Get race weight down to 3400lbs
  • Data logger
  • Rack and Pinion conversion
  • Tubular Upper and lower A-Arms

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