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Old 05-14-2018, 02:56 PM
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nickcornilsen nickcornilsen is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Default 72 Nova - C5 Corvette Suspension Swap Project!

This is a relocation of my "Introduction" thread... which I'll delete when the move is complete. I also updated it a little bit, since I'm no longer 24 like I was when I started this thread! It's always kind of fun to go through the thread, as I can see how this car has been with me through so much of life... from highschool, Prom night, college... now I'm married and have a kid on the way.

I Joined this site due to a recommendation from Robert at Automotive Design Engineering... so far I think he made a good recommendation! This site has alot of good, technical information and real build threads.

Anyway, I'm 31 now, I work as a mechanical engineer at a company that makes castings for jet engines and such, based in Portland Oregon. I became an engineer as I've always loved working with my hands on mechanical devices, largely due to my experiences working on my nova as a teenager.

About [s]four[/s] 11 years ago, I happened across a corvette chassis/engine/transaxle drop-out on eBay... and that got the gears going in my head.

Pretty much since that day, I've been planning this project. Saving money... not to buy the parts, but to buy a house with a good sized shop. With the house found, I finished out the shop, and got ready for this project.

Anyway, I've owned this car since I was 15, in 2003, when it looked like this:




I painted it before I turned 16. Did all the body work, panel replacement, primer, and final paint. Had a professional help me mask the racing stripes. I was such a fresh faced young man for my first prom!



As high school came to an end, and college began, the poor old nova began to see neglect. I couldn't afford to drive it, so it got parked, and the motor was eventually pulled and used in a circle track car. And there it sat.

As the car sat, covered in dust... I looked at corvette chassis on eBay, thought about wheel choices, engine combos. All the while saving, saving saving. I needed a place to do this project. And eventually, the perfect piece of property came along. It had a 32x24 shop. It was also cheap, well located. minutes from work, minutes from downtown Portland, and it also had some kind of house or something, which turned out to be pretty nice as well.

After re-wiring the house and shop, and getting my quarterly bonus and huge tax return, I was finally financially and schedule ready to begin this project. First step, dragging the old nova out of the hay barn in Roseburg Oregon up to Portland. My dad and brother get big props here for hauling the car up for me. Even after sitting all that time, it cleaned up nice!

March 2011





Next step: Frame jigg. This thing is square to within 1/32 of an inch, and flat to within .005" per foot. I thought having the beams right under track width of the car would be a good idea. After building it, I realized this was not the case, since I can't install a wheel and tire on the rear-end without getting them caught in the wheel well. lesson for next time is to make it a bit narrower or wider.



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