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  #41  
Old 05-18-2019, 08:39 PM
bkswede bkswede is offline
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Default Ď63 Chevy II Pro-Touring Build

Finally got a chance to drive to Eau Claire this week and check out the progress on the Nova. Kurt and his team have the bodywork mostly done, and their focus has been on some little things: smoothing the firewall, modifying the radiator core support for the new C&R radiator, mock up of engine and headers, welding up some extraneous holes in interior, and prepping the dash for changes due to some deviations from the stock Nova dash.

Attached are some photos showing some of the work Kurt did smoothing out the firewall as well as mocking up the engine and headers for clearance. All looked good... Iím using the MSD Atomic intake, which is a fair bit larger than the stock LS7 intake, but as you can see, there is sufficient clearance. Also, the Ultimate Headers fit nicely and tuck up tight under the car.



Here is a shot from under the car showing how nicely the headers tuck up under the car...


I posted previously about the new C&R radiator I purchased for the Nova, and the fact that the core in the C&R radiator is larger than stock, which would require some modifications to the core support. Kurt removed the filler panels from the stock core support and made some new ones, based on the measurements of the new radiator. The result looks great and now provides an adequate opening for the new radiator. Weíre planning to route a cold air intake for the engine to the driver side filler panel, so weíll end up opening up that filler panel to allow fresh air through to the air filter.





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Last edited by bkswede; 05-18-2019 at 08:42 PM.
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  #42  
Old 05-18-2019, 09:46 PM
bkswede bkswede is offline
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The other item that weíve focused a little on recently is the dash. Iíve never been a fan of the dash on the first generation Novas. The stock dash offers little in the way of information and I donít like the look of the oblong dash pod.

There are a number of after market options available, but they all fit within the same oblong pod. That oblong pod is not very large, so the plastic gauge clusters that you can purchase to fit within the pod are limited to 3 3/8Ē speedometers and tachometers with one other 2 1/8Ē gauge, typically placed in between the speedo and tach. . Again, not a lot of information presented and not a great look in my opinion (though certainly a step-up from the stock gauges).


Dakota Digital recently came out with a new VHX gauge for first gen Novas, which is a nice looking unit offering much more information than other options, but it it still fits within the same stock oblong dash bezel.

The Dakota Digital units is clearly a step-up, but I wanted something different that didnít rely on the stock oblong dash bezel.

Iíve always liked the DSE dash insert they make for first generation Camaros, and the fact that you can put in 5Ē analog gauges. Love that look, but the Nova just doesnít have the real estate in its dash to fit 5Ē gauges. I started looking at other options, including LCD dashes (e.g., the Holley 7Ē dash, the Aim Sports MXD Strada Street dash, etc). The LCD gauges are intriguing to me because they offer such an unbelievable amount of information when theyíre connected directly to the ECU - data that can be customized and presented in various formats in the digital dash displays. However; the LCD dashes donít have the same look of the analog gauges that I really love, so there were clear trade offs using an LCD dash.

At SEMA 2018, Holley unveiled a new 12.3Ē digital dash with touch screen capabilities like your smart phone (touch the screen to make changes to the data presented, to access all tuning parameters of the Holley ECU, swipe to the side to scroll through various pages of data monitored by the ECU, swipe up to close out screens, etc). The new dash connects to the Holley ECU and gets the majority of its information directly from the ECU. Additional information can be uploaded into the ECU or monitored via other attachments or wire feeds directly into the dash (e.g., turn signals can be connected to the dash so that lights blink on the dash as the turn signals signal on and off). Also, the dash can be displayed to look like Holleyís analog gauges. To me, this product is the best of both worlds in that it allows you real time access to all of the information being monitored or calculated by the ECU, while, at the same time, allows the user to configure the screen of the dash in manner that suits their personal taste (which, for me, is an analog looking gauge presentation). Hereís a photo of one of the gauge display options on the new Holley 12.3Ē digital dash that looks similar to analog gauges in the first gen Camaro with a DSE dash insert.


As it turns out, the dimensions of the rectangular Holley 12.3 dash are similar to (though slightly larger than) the stock oblong gauge pod. The Holley dash is a little larger than the stock bezel, so it requires a little bit of fabrication work. Kurt and his team used the supplied template to build a rectangular box that will be recessed into the dash and into which the new 12.3Ē dash will be mounted. I really like the result and think the new rectangular LCD touch screen dash will look awesome and provide me with substantial amounts of data that can be accessed real time from the driverís seat.


Let me know what you guys think. Thanks!

Brian


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  #43  
Old 05-18-2019, 10:01 PM
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I think the dash will be awesome!!


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  #44  
Old 05-21-2019, 01:55 PM
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Great looking build! Where did you get the plate for the mater cylinder and the clutch that is welded to the firewall?
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  #45  
Old 05-21-2019, 06:26 PM
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Cool work on the dash. Should look great.
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  #46  
Old 05-21-2019, 08:59 PM
bkswede bkswede is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nlped47 View Post
I think the dash will be awesome!!


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Thanks! Iím really looking forward to seeing how it turns out - itís a really cool product by Holley


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  #47  
Old 05-21-2019, 09:08 PM
bkswede bkswede is offline
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Originally Posted by dcracing View Post
Great looking build! Where did you get the plate for the mater cylinder and the clutch that is welded to the firewall?


Thanks! Detroit Speed makes that bracket for Chevy IIís - itís a very nice piece and reasonably priced. Makes it easy to mount the clutch master in line with the stock pedal and at the correct angle. Weíll clean up the welds and blend it in to the firewall once we get the front end off and put the car on the rotisserie.


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  #48  
Old 05-21-2019, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash68 View Post
Cool work on the dash. Should look great.


Thanks!


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  #49  
Old 05-23-2019, 08:25 AM
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WOW, Loving this build!
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  #50  
Old 09-28-2019, 09:38 PM
bkswede bkswede is offline
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Default Ď63 Chevy II Pro-Touring Build

Wow... where did the summer go? Canít believe how quickly it went... didnít make as much progress on the Nova as I had hoped over the summer. Kids activities seem to dominate the schedule and I also spent a lot of time finishing the new garage/sport court addition we built over the summer.

We finally got the LS7 on the engine dyno... nothing ever seems to go as easy as it should, and this was no exception. Motor first went on the dyno in July and didnít produce near the power I was expecting - it topped out at 580hp when I was expecting 700+hp. Turns out the dyno operator used an incorrect pilot bearing when connecting the engine to the dyno which caused significant forward pressure on the crankshaft. So much pressure that it burned up the thrust bearing and damaged the crankshaft. The dyno shop paid to fix the crankshaft, new bearings, fresh hone on the cylinder walls, new rings, etc. Really frustrating, but at least they owned up to it.

The rebuilt motor went on the engine dyno in late August and results were great - 705hp and 604tq. The torque curve is insane - a little over 500ft lbs of torque starting at 3,500 rpm and it never drops below that. It holds peak torque (~600 ft lbs) for more than 1,300 rpm, from 4,900 rpm to 6,200 rpm with a gradual fall off after that. You can see on the attached dyno graph how the torque curve is like a table top in that rpm range. Since horsepower is a function of torque, the motorís ability to carry its torque like that is what allows it to top 700hp in naturally aspirated form.

As I stated in earlier posts, Tony Mamo has a lot of these head, cam and intake combinations on LS7s across the country and they are, in many cases, breaking dyno records when put on the rollers. He obviously knows his stuff - thatís an impressive power curve. This dyno was done on 91 octane, but I will have it tuned for 93 octane after its in the car, so I suspect final numbers to be closer to 720hp at the crank with 93 octane. Really amazing and probably a little over kill for the Chevy II... I canít wait to experience it in the car!
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Last edited by bkswede; 09-29-2019 at 06:31 AM.
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