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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 66 Nova with a fairly stock front end. The car is an ex NMCA EZ Street car from the 90's and I took the front shocks off today to inspect them as the last time I had my car out I spun the back tires way too much out of the hole...well the shocks are Lakewood 90/10 and are probably from the 90's as well as they are a bitch to compress and stay that way. How safe is a fairly stock 66 Nova front end at high speeds (130 mph plus)?? My car runs mid-low 10's all motor at 6000' and I would like to put a little spray on at some time making it a low 9 car I think. Would you replace the Lakewood shocks or upgrade and put QA-1 shocks on it ($$). I have a good friend with a Smithcraft front end for sale and ultimately I would LOVE to put that type of deal on but it is somewhat out of my budget at the moment. Any and all feedback would be appreciated, thanks!
 

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If you can't do it safely don't do it. Leave the car the way it is until you can afford to set up the f/e safely. I think there may be cheaper alternatives out there.
 

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that stock front end is cool for low 10's but kinda scary in the nines.
I've got two '66 novas that we race and I struggled with the stock front end for years.
Now it it a RCI (total cost involved) front end and I couldnt be happier.
The trick with the stock front end is to use poly bushings on the front.
Then I used a carrera brand front drag shock.
 

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At least at a bare minimum,convert the the front caster strut rods over the heim joints.
Takes the bind out of the suspension when the front end rises and dosent make your alighnment go all whacky.
Brandon
 

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Subframe

That link I gave you above, the prices range from 400-950 bucks. That's a ton cheaper than a Smith style front end. And just about as good. Might have to do some spring rate tuning for drag racing...but otherwise it's a direct bolt in.
 

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That is the strangest thing. Most guys I have talked to had problem with their stock front end but I didn't. Had some old CE 90/10 shocks on it and was going about 149 with 4-wheel drum brakes with no problems and I NEVER had a problem with the alignment at all. I don't recommend going that fast but that is where I progressed to before I changed my stuff to a bolt on front end.
 

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At least at a bare minimum,convert the the front caster strut rods over the heim joints.
Takes the bind out of the suspension when the front end rises and dosent make your alighnment go all whacky.
Brandon
I agree, rod ends in the caster struts to replace those sloppy rubber bushings are a must to help keep the front end from wandering, especially under heavy braking. In my old deuce, I had additionally replaced all of the rubber bushings in the control arms with the Global West Del-A-Lum bushings to eliminate all of the slop.

Regarding the steering, I had lengthened the drag link by 2" and shortened each tie rod by 1", which gets rid of bump steer completely. After having spent thousands on improving the stock suspension, there was still too much flex in the idler and pitman arms. I could grab a front tire on one side, and change the toe by force, and watch the rest of the steering flex at the pitman and idler arms. At mid to low nines, at about 140 mph, the car was still a hand full to drive.

Adding a rack probably would be the next logical step, but after doing all of the above, I think you would probably be better off and likely money ahead with a tubular front clip. my .02
 

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I have been 8.60 @ 164 with my 67 nova with no issues. I have all the Global West stuff in the front end for 8 years now.
 

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cheap chevy II front end fixes

I have done a few cheap mod to my 65 Chevy II front end and it is way better than it was. I boxed the lower control arms, replaced the idler bushings with aircraft-quality bearing kit, went to adjustable upper control arm that allows caster to be added, and replaced the stock strut arms with heim joint rods. My car runs straighter and maintains alignment better than the other chevy II guys I run with. PM your e-mail if you want more details. Mine goes 5.40's at 130+, wheelies and the tires stay straight throughout full range of travel.
 

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I run mid 9's and here is what I have under my car http://www.churchboysracing.com/ I also have QA1 coil overs on it.
I really like the churchboys kit it is cheep and you get most of the parts right at your parts store witch is nice if you brake something or a seal goes bad. Tell Chuck 3DTim told you about it.

 

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The churchboys kit I was telling you about has all the stuff everyone is telling you to do. Comes power coated you can buy just the parts you want and CPP makes lower arms that will work with the Rack part of the kit if you won't to put a rack on it. And you can get reed of that Drag-link you can run any oil pan you like and any header you like it opens all that up when you get reed of the drag-link. Me I just did not like having to take the drag-link off everytime I needed to pull the pan off. Take a look very nice stuff. And no I do not work for him or anyone. Just flat like him and his dad great guys and will ansure anything you ask them. Just make you car safe if you are going to race it.

3DTim
 

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Sounds like you are interested in going the cheap route, but keep in mind how much easier it is to work on the car without the stock shock towers.
I hatted doing anything before, but now I dont even mind doing a motor swap because those friggin shock towers are gone.
 

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rack/pinion

Mr. Owl

With the Church Boys Rack/Pinion conversion you can safely use your stock front end to achieve the leve of performance that you desire. This kit will eliminate all of the stock steering and steering box. You will then beable to run any oil pan of your choice. Headers will bolt up much easier as well. You will still use the stock lower and upper control arms. The original rubber mounted strut rod will be replaced with a rear mounted hiem jointed strut rod, which allows for a ton of +caster adjustment with no binding. My car regularly runs mid 9's at 138-140 mph. Jay Canella ,NMCA competitor, is sporting our front end rack conversion and is currently in the 9.0's, once he gets his nitrous controller dialed in he will be well into the 8's. Take a look at some of these photos and if you have any further questions please give me a call 330-442-7162



 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for ALL input!!

Thank you to all that gave their .02 cents on my question...its cool that there are places to go to get help with my front end issues...I love my car and just want to keep it safe going down the quarter mile...Thanks again!
 

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Buy the Smith racecraft stuff. You will never need anything else as long as you own the car
 
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