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Chevy Resto Tech - May 2014

Mark Lundquist Mar 21, 2014
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Got a restoration question that's been puzzling you? Send it to:
[ m ] Super Chevy, Resto Tech, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619.
[ e ] superchevy@sorc.com [ f ] 813-675-3557

Tip of the Month

It's cold out baby! At least it was when this Resto Tip was penned. It's all the more reason to think about the health of your car battery. We have covered this subject before, but it's worth mentioning again: Cold and your battery aren't exactly friends. Increasing the demand on a marginal battery usually results in a frustrated motorist, or a spouse standing next to their ride calling AAA. It's always a good idea to throw on a trickle charger to guarantee a fresh battery. The tender you see in the picture was purchased at an auto swap meet some six years ago for two dollars. As you can see, it is from a major auto parts chain and is one of the few on the market that has mounting tabs. The '68 Camaro it is mounted in uses a trunk-mounted battery and a high energy MSD E-Curve distributor requiring at least 9.5 volts during cranking to fire the engine. With a rear-mount battery and a 10-foot battery cable, the battery voltage has to be strong enough to do the job. So, next time you are cruising around your local swap meet keep your eye out for an inexpensive battery tender. Even new ones are pretty cheap, so get one. It's low-buck insurance.

Shifty Business

I have a 1970 Nova with a Powerglide trans with a column shifter. I am going to install a Muncie M21 with a Hurst Competition Plus shifter. The car is a factory bench vehicle and has no console. What I am looking for is a drawing with the measurements for the shifter floor cutout. I want it be factory correct. Hope you can help.

Bruce Moss
via email

Nice conversion, Bruce. I really don't know of any templates available for the 1970 Nova floor shift hole for a non-console car. In fact, I don't even know of any aftermarket complete floor pans that are stamped for the four-speed Nova. In my experience, the factory just drew a chalk line on the floor pan on the assembly line and cut out the hole to fit the non-console floor shifter. Unfortunately, even the factory assembly manual doesn't supply the dimensions. Without a donor factory floorpan with the cut out to copy, careful measuring on your part will be required. Supposedly the factory carpet under padding did include dotted lines around the trans hump indicating where the four-speed non-console cutout was, but at this point it might just be a rumor. Another option is a website called Stevesnovasite.com. I understand these guys might have some info that will help you with your conversion. You will have to set up a user name and password to get on their site, but the process and information is free. Good luck with your project. We love those four speed Novas!

Department of Additions

Mark, regarding your Resto Tech letter entitled "Vibration without Representation," I believe Scott's problem is a classic one that comes when installing a manual trans into a crankshaft that was drilled and counter bored for an automatic transmission. Some cranks were counter bored deeper to allow for the automatic's larger snout, which only left about 1/4-inch depth for the stickshift pilot bushing to press into. The bushing comes out of its seat, which allows the clutch disc to swing out of concentricity. I had this problem and it was cured when I obtained an adapter pilot bushing machined for that very purpose, from the Wilcap Company (www.wilcap.com/index.html). This adapter was stepped and not only pressed into the smaller bore, but also the larger counter bore.

There are other incompatibility problems regarding the pilot bushing that could be causing his vibration depending on the year and model of his crankshaft. Close attention must be given to pilot bushing/crankshaft compatibility whenever changing from auto manual trans and vice versa in a small-block Chevy

Mike Miller
Via email

Thanks for your letter, Mike. Although we included some test procedures in the past column, your information and parts lead is spot on. We don't profess to know all things Chevy but do our best based on our experience. Your contribution proves we have some of the most knowledgeable readers on the planet. Thanks for your information!



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