1972 Chevy Nova Suspension - The No-Bull Nova, Part 1

We're Building A G-Machine To Take On All Comers.

Mike Ficacci Sep 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
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We're taking on all challengers and even going fishing for some big dogs with our balls-to-the-wall, no frills '72 Nova. It's being built for speed and absolutely nothing else.

Who says you need a Camaro to go fast? I live in Jersey and despise the Yankees. I want nothing to do with the beach or tropical islands and avoid clubs like the plague. What am I getting at? A third-generation Nova built for the road course is something you don't come across everyday in these parts. Similar in weight and slightly longer in wheelbase than its more popular brother, the Nova has revamped its image from the red-headed stepchild to worthy adversary in only a few short years. But most around here are built for straight-line acceleration only.

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Here she is in all of her school bus attire. Every project needs somewhere to start from and much like our Back To The Street '71 Camaro, this baby was born from the drag race blood line. Obviously, mellow yellow is going out the window and will be replaced with something to match our rendering. One of the only pieces we will keep in the car is the six-point chrome-moly rollbar. Just about all else will be hitting ebay.

We started to conceptualize our Nova last November and decided to build a pro-touring car above all, something that we can take to any road course or autocross and come out a champion. Power will be provided by a GM Performance Parts LSX warhead. Stopping power is coming from one of the best in the business, Baer Brakes. Our front and rear suspension is from Speed Tech Performance, a relative newcomer that is making waves with its new torque-arm design.

Last issue, we teased you with the installation of Detroit Speed & Engineering mini-tubs in the very same Nova we are transforming into a road racing rocket ship. This issue, we'll show you the concept and even get rockin' and rollin' on the assembly of the complete front suspension from Speed Tech. But before we do, let me explain some of the plans that have my painter, body guy, and interior shop up in arms.

In my pursuit of speed and cornering, I am doing away with some of the very essentials the Pro Touring crowd has come to love. Taking a page from drag racing heritage, we will be installing solid body mounts up front rather than using polyurethane. Will this help in the corners? Not really sure, but we will find out. We will not be installing any sort of sound deadening material to take away from the awesome rumble we expect to emanate from our 400-plus cubic inch powerplant.

The back seat has gone bye-bye since the chrome-moly rollbar makes it near impossible to get to the rear anyway. We called up some friends at Auto Metal Direct and picked up an aluminum hood for added weight savings. Stereo systems are for street cars, as are heat and air conditioning so we left those products on the shelf and saved ourselves approximately 150 pounds. I would like to see this car around the 3,100-pound mark when we hit the track.

In the first part of this intense build, we'll be assembling Speed Tech's front suspension, complete with tubular control arms, QA1 double adjustable coilover shocks, a Unisteer rack-and-pinion, American Touring Specialties AFX spindles, and LSX conversion kit.

The bonuses of this complete suspension kit are 10-fold over a stock setup, including box-frame construction, added adjustability, weight savings, and high-clearance control arms. Follow along as we take the first step towards the podium.

Speed Tech Performance, a division of Killer Customs, is hitting the pro touring aftermarket with authority thanks in part to its torque arm rear suspension and matching front subframe for the '67-69 Camaro and now for the '68-72 Nova. We received our front suspension powdercoated and ready for assembly. A direct replacement for stock, the box-frame construction provides much-needed strength and will accept all other aftermarket suspension components.

Made of 1.25-inch tubing, Speed Tech's tubular upper control arms are mandrel bent and machined to exact tolerances. Positive caster is built in to improve handling and suspension geometry. The lower control arms are made to match out of 1.5-inch seamless tubing and are powdercoated from the factory. These lowers are designed to accept the standard coil springs and shocks or QA-1 coilovers. Both the uppers and lowers have Acetron squeak-free bushings and come with all the hardware for installation.




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