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Projects New Project: 1953 Oldsmobile

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by EnragedHawk, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 993

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    I think you guys may have misunderstood me, that or I’m misunderstanding you. The car already has the nova clip on it. I’m not talking about swapping the clip. Just replacing the cut up nova springs it has now and installing new shocks.


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  2. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,118

    drptop70ss
    Member
    from NY

    cool car, I would not get lowering springs unless you know the specs compared to what you have now. I would put in stock nova springs and if needed cut them down. One coil is the most I ever had to cut off a nova spring, and then had to shave down the lower A arm bump stops to add clearance.
     
  3. Peanut 1959
    Joined: Oct 11, 2008
    Posts: 1,532

    Peanut 1959
    Member

    I agree; they didn't realize the car already had the Nova clip (which was unskillfully lowered by a previous owner).
     
  4. AndersF
    Joined: Feb 16, 2013
    Posts: 622

    AndersF
    Member

    Yes, i did.:)
     
  5. Well, me too....at least I am in good company:D
    So, consider stock Nova springs and perhaps some 2 inch dropped spindles from Fatman...he has been around for a long time.....here is his link
    http://www.fatmanfab.com/product/1968-1974-chevy-nova-dropped-spindles-gtech
    I might suggest weighing the car first and finding a replacement coil that is equal to the spec of the Olds……..look in the Moog catalog at Napa for coils that are designed to be stronger when compressed. Often, wagon coils are a bit beefier.
     
  6. RDR
    Joined: May 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,349

    RDR
    Member

    Scott,
    Not wanting to cause More fear or grief..But was looking at the pics of the yoke nut, and it looks to me like the end of the nut has gotten hammered by something...Maybe the u joint is coming into contact with the nut? You can slide under the car and see if there is no gap between the U joint and pinion nut ....hopefully they are not touching...Could have been why those joints failed....May need a shallower pinion nut.(post # 278)
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  7. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 993

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    No worries, all. I could have stated that better on my end.



    I considered drop spindles, but they’re just not in the budget. If I were to go that route, I’d be able to afford to bag the front end instead.

    I really like how low the car sits, but like I said, it sits crooked. That bugs me more than anything. I can handle rough bumps. I figure lowering springs would at least get me close to where I like. I thought I could make up for any ride issues with different shocks later on.

    I’m still saving some pennies, so I won’t order for another week or so. Gives me some more time to think on it.



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  8. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 993

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX



    Maaaaaan..... so here’s the thing. I really shouldn’t volunteer this information, but I guess learning from a dumbass mistake is still learning.

    I found out in the end why the u joint actually blew to pieces. I conveniently left this part of the story out when I told you guys I had the car back together.

    Whenever I picked up the driveshaft, I showed the failed joint to the driveline shop to get their take on it. Kinda went like this:

    Me: “So here’s the joint that failed. Any ideas what went wrong?”

    Fella: “Did you clean it off by chance?”

    Me: “No, just tossed it in the bag after it blew apart.”

    Fella: “Oh, well in that case, you used the wrong grease.”

    Me: “Really? I just used whatever came in it.”

    Fella: “Yeah... that’s assembly grease. You still have to grease it.”


    So yeah. I’m an idiot.

    (Still debating if I should post this. I guess if you’re seeing it I finally hit reply.)




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  9. Peanut 1959
    Joined: Oct 11, 2008
    Posts: 1,532

    Peanut 1959
    Member

    Sharing information is how we learn. I'm glad you posted.
     
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  10. slim39
    Joined: Feb 13, 2013
    Posts: 66

    slim39
    Member
    from pa

    You can get a non booster M/C and combo valve for disc drum
    Call Master Power Brakes in North Carolina and they will tell which size you will need
     
  11. Hombre
    Joined: Aug 22, 2008
    Posts: 801

    Hombre
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Damn what a story!! Just read the whole 11 pages and feel like I have taken a beating right alongside Scott.

    Scott man it is a beautiful car, you can't quite on it now, and I know that thought has crossed your mind a time or two. In the end it is going to be worth all of the grief, you just wait and see.

    Remember I have just found this thread so didn't get the chance to hope for your and your dad's speedy recovery, so I am doing it now.
     
  12. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 993

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX


    Haha, man, after your comment I decided to look back through the thread for myself. It looks like I’ve got every reason to hate the car, but I really do love it. I have a bad habit of only posting when I’ve got problems with the car, but I really get to enjoy the hell out of it a majority of the time.

    Even the mutts love it!
    [​IMG]


    I appreciate the thoughts/prayer for recovery. My dad and I are both still doing amazing. I’m actually sitting in a waiting room right now in San Antonio for another check up. They’ll poke and prod and usual and I’ll be on my way.


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  13. MAD MIKE
    Joined: Aug 1, 2009
    Posts: 346

    MAD MIKE
    Member
    from 94577

    Good to see you have been able to move on from the cooling issue.
    That's the thing with projects, you basically have to keep driving them to failure til it is sorted. Most people pussyfoot around their toys and rarely drive them, you are in the thick of it getting shit done.
    Well done.

    As for fixing the front end.
    Replacing the springs is a great idea. I also would have opted for 600lb/in springs. Factory Nova(typical GM midsize) springs are in the 350lb/in range on a good day. Quite soft actually, probably closer to 300lb/in. After heating and cutting they were probably more like 200lb/in springs. Pretty useless.

    KYB GR/2 EXCELs 343127 are nice dampers for stock replacements. But they are still twin tube(can overheat if worked a bit) and are only really good for stock spring rates. They will blow out with higher rated springs.

    Shocks are designed to dampen and control the spring rate in the application they are for.
    If the spring rate changes then the damper becomes a bit useless in controlling the spring, which can make the car bouncy and feel harsh or out of control over bumps. It will settle down but during the bound/rebound the shock is not going to be able ot properly control the spring.
    Since you are going to use a higher spring rate, and a shorter spring, I would not use the 343127 shocks.

    If you still want to use KYB GR2/EXCEL G shocks, use 344040. This is the shock for the 2wd S-10. These trucks came with 600-700lb/in front springs. Springs are similar in size to A/G/F/X springs but are slightly shorter and do not require as much spring travel. This will accommodate the shorter and stiffer BMR spring. Too long of a travel with the shock will allow for some unsettling feeling when the suspension drops out.
     
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  14. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 993

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    I’d be lying if I said I knew how to pick out a spring rate. I checked the bmr’s, they say they’re 620 lbs/in. Do you think those will work ok? And then go along with the 344040 KYB shocks?


    I only picked those shocks because they were cheap. I don’t mind spending a bit more, I just buy cheap shit till I know what I’m doing. Haha


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  15. MAD MIKE
    Joined: Aug 1, 2009
    Posts: 346

    MAD MIKE
    Member
    from 94577

    600lb/in is not a 'stiff' spring in 3500lb vehicle. In a 2700lb S-10 they can feel a bit 'bouncy', but the trucks still ride smooth with proper damper control.

    A/F/G/X bodies tend to use a ~11" front spring(installed height), that BMR spring is probably ~9" installed. Easiest way to measure the installed height of your current springs is to remove the front shock, and measure the height by placing the tape measure up the center where the shock was. Use the lower shock bolt holes as your center mark for the hole. Measuring to the spring itself may be a bit difficult as the spring cup may give you a false reading. Just measure up to the shocks upper mount hole and then deduct the upper shock mount tower height from the frame and that should get you the spring installed height. Within .5"

    KYBs are not that bad, for their price point they are pretty decent. I often call them Kill Your Backs as they are stiffer than typical Tenneco brand(monroe, gabriel, etc) mush dampers. Preferably a single tube design such as Bilstein or Koni would be best, but they can be pricey for a given application.
     
  16. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 993

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    So uh.... good news / bad news...

    Let’s start with... hmmm... oh, best I can tell, the nova springs weren’t cut. They were stock.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Which means that my 2” lowering springs *dingdingding* lowered the car 2”.

    Believe it or not, I’m not even mad. I think it looks awesome.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With the stiffer springs and new shocks, the car actually rides great. And surprisingly, I don’t scrap the ground any more than I used too.

    So the actual bad news, there’s a ton that needs to be replaced up front. Remember the control arm coming undone? That did a number on the passenger tie rod adjusting sleeve. Plus the ball joints aren’t in great shape and my tires have worn really strange.

    So now I’m saving up for the other stuff I need. Should order all new tie rods and ball joints in a few days. I think the tires will last me till I can afford actual white walls and not the poor man whites I’ve got now.


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  17. Indeed, it looks great! Check out Rock Auto for those front end parts. I have found them to be a lot less than the home town parts stores. Might help with the budget:rolleyes:
     
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  18. That's the benefit of a newer clip. You aren't stuck with a single source for parts. Watch some of the Rock Auto stuff, most of it is from offshore. I like Moog parts when I can get them.
     
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  19. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 993

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    Thanks guys. I ended up ordering from O’Reilly’s because I had about $20 in coupons there. Ordered everything for $100 and all parts have a lifetime warranty. Which now that I think about it... a lifetime warranty is only any good if I survive the part breaking... huh. Oh well.

    Anyway, since I’m clearly not a genius when it comes to selecting appropriate greases for parts... can I use the same red high temp grease I used for the u joint, or do I need a specific kind? Again, this would be for tie-rods and balljoints.


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  20. MAD MIKE
    Joined: Aug 1, 2009
    Posts: 346

    MAD MIKE
    Member
    from 94577

    Excellent. You did use the 344040 KYBs yes? Probably looked a little stubbier and fatter than the shocks you pulled out.
    How does the sway bar end link/sway bar ends look?
    I should have mentioned that when you lower the front end, you will also want to verify that the sway bar arms are still parallel to the ground, in your case the frame since it has a rake to it. They will probably need to have the sleeves trimmed and shorter bolts used. You want the bar to be in a neutral state after lowering. The bar ends should not be pointing up nor down, as this puts the bushings in constant bind/twist and if the endlinks are too long after lowering the ends of the sway bar may run out of travel height and hit something. But if you plan on rebuilding the front(lower control arms) wait til you are done so you won't be modifying twice.
    Do you have pics of both tire tread wear?
    I'm a little surprised at that. You were able to order all the balljoints, bushings, sway bar bushings and tierods(inner/sleeve/outer) for a C-note?
    I was going to suggest if you planned on going to bags/hydros later on, it would be better to use poly bushings as they will allow for bind free travel. P-S-T makes a good kit for a driver, has everything to rebuild a front end, but that's about $380(polygraphite).
    Just checked Rockauto, using AC Delco profesional parts that price tag still came out to $340.
    Are you sure they ordered enough parts for BOTH sides? :p:D
    Yup, that red grease is decades ahead of what was originally used in those components. If it is a 'chassis/wheel bearing' grease you are fine.

    If you use poly bushings, it would be best to use 'marine' grease on the bushing crush sleeves and sway bar bushings. They do give packets in kits but there is usually not quite enough, spent a few bucks more and get the Energy Suspension 8.oz tub, then you don't have to worry about running out of goo.
    If you did get poly bushings, it is best to use a kit that uses your existing bushing shells. It can be a bit messier to release the old rubber from the shells, but the hassle and risk of screwing up the control arms when pressing in the new shells is greatly diminished. Plus the factory press fit is probably going to be more accurate.

    Either way, when you replace the bushings on the lower control arms, don't be surprised if the car is back to the pre-lowered height when done.
    When the lower control arm bushings wear, they allow the weight of the car to cantilever over the spring. The pivot point of the control arm gets pulled down, bushing is oblonged, which then raises the BJ side and drops the car quite a bit as the spring is not centered in the control arm.
    I've done a few front ends for folks and with non McPherson strut type suspensions, people are always amazed that after putting lowering springs in and the new bushings the car is as high or higher than the car was. All those sagging parts can really 'slam' a car to the ground.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
  21. O'rielly…$100 for all the parts seems odd, unless you had a bundle of coupons worth a considerable amount of $. My experience with their parts has not been good. Front hub on my truck lasted 6 months, starter around three weeks and the alternator replacement only a little over a year. I now use Napa or Rock as long as I get higher quality parts.
     
  22. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 993

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    Yes! I went with your recommendation on the shocks. They were a nice fit. I replaced the sway bar links whenever I did the shocks and springs. I'll double check to make sure they're parallel to the frame when the car is on the ground. I didn't think to check it when I had finished up.

    I'll see about getting some pictures of the tires for you. The passenger side is the worst because the inner was more or less dragged home whenever I had the control arm trouble.

    The $100 was just for upper/lower balljoints, and inner/outter tie rods and sleeves. And yes, I checked the receipt a few times to make sure I got both sides. hahaha I had about $20 in coupons and I'm there so often that the guys usually give me a little extra off.

    Sadly, I hadn't considered replacing the bushings on the control arms. From what you're saying, it likely needs to be addressed. Is it a difficult job to do? I've never actually replaced them before. The bushings on the swaybar looked ok, but not great. I plan to replace them next since it's a fairly quick and easy job.
     
  23. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 993

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    I had about $20 in coupons and I'm there so often that the guys usually give me a little extra off. I haven't had any trouble with their parts yet, but there's a first time for everything. The $100 was just for upper/lower balljoints, and inner/outter tie rods and sleeves.
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  24. Hmm, what brand parts...house brand or ?
    On my son's Nova and on my 64 BelAir we used Global West A frame bushings and Energy Suspension. Seemed to work out OK. Both vehicles are gone now but the Bel Air is in the area. The fella that owns it says he has never had a X frame gm vehicle that rides and handles as good as the '64.
    Here is a link worth watching
     
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  25. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 993

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    It’s al master pro store brand stuff. I just picked it all up.
    [​IMG]

    Those control arm bushing don’t look bad at all. And the ball joints would be way easier to install with the control arms out anyway. Guess I need to start pricing that stuff too. Sucks I have to rip it all apart again though.

    Oh well. Better now than on the side of the road later. Plus I’ve got my spring break next week. It’ll be a good opportunity.


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  26. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 993

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    Sweet Jebus I never want to do that again. I lost count of how many hours it took me, but it’s finally all back together. New bushings and ball joints in all the control arms as well as new inner/outer tie rods and sleeves. Next time I’ll just buy new control arms.

    I’m sure with a proper work bench, vice, and a lift, it would have been a few million times easier.

    Anyway. Done bitching. The car rides way better than I had hoped for. Other than pulling hella to the left because of my eye-balled alignment, I’ve got no complaints. The front does sit slightly higher than before, so that’s good. Next to no scraping now.

    [​IMG]

    I’ll get the alignment done tomorrow.

    So, I’m way over budget and can’t afford to work on anything else right now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t start planning. I figure the front end is all taken care of, so it’s time to do the back up right.

    I did the shocks and sway bar bushings a while back. So I need to look at the springs and shackles. Should I replace the leaf springs or just swap out the bushings?


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  27. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 993

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    Wow! Just got the car back from alignment. I couldn’t be happier with how it rides, and now it’s straight as an arrow.

    I had to try a few different shops. Several said my car was too low and they couldn’t get it on the rack. Ha!

    Next will likely be new tires. Time to start pricing them. I still need to plan out what to go about the rear springs (replace the springs or swap the bushings).


    Anyway, because I hate posts without pictures, here’s a picture from a local car show last week.
    [​IMG]
    Oh, and a mildly funny story. When I started the car up, an alarm chirped next to me. I tried to tell myself to be mature (yeah, didn’t work). I revved the shit out of mine and got a nice pop from the exhaust. I left the car beside me behind with the alarm blaring.

    I’ll grow up someday.


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  28. Sandgroper
    Joined: Jan 20, 2019
    Posts: 49

    Sandgroper
    Member

    I know it's a bit late and you sorted your fan/cooling issues but one thing that wasn't raised with the thermo fan was checking it was wired properly. When I bought my avatar it sat in similar temp range and got warmer on highway runs than just in traffic. Tried a few things then ......realised the PO had installed a new electric fan. It was wired in reverse and was blowing air back through the radiator out the grill. On highway speeds it was cancelling out any airflow through the radiator. Quick wire swap and all good. Felt like a real idiot for not picking it up.
     
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  29. Nice lookin' Old's ya got there!
     
  30. EnragedHawk
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 993

    EnragedHawk
    Member
    from Waco, TX

    Ok, had my first major issue in a while. I want to complain, but I really shouldn’t.

    I was taking my kids to TKD practice, and I lost a majority of my fuel pressure. I was down to about 2 pounds of pressure. I was at least able to limp the car home.

    I'm working on a theory in my head. Tell me if it sounds dumb.

    Maybe there's nothing wrong with the fuel pump. Maybe I need a check valve.

    For a while I have been able to hear the fuel working it's way back into the tank when I kill the engine. Usually the engine has time to cool a while before I take off again.

    I came home from work, Car sat for about 30 minutes, and we took off again. Maybe the engine temperature kept fuel from making its way back through the filters. Only way I can think to check this, is test drive the car when I get home and see if it runs fine again.

    Should any check valves be built in the Holley I’ve got now? Should I just add an inline?


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    Edit (2hours later): Took the car for a test drive after it cooled off. Ran fine. Got it up to temp, dogged on it some, and never had a problem. Even stopped at a parts store to goof off a few minutes, and still started and ran fine. I’m going to order a check valve and hope that’s the end of the story.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
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