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1963 Chevrolet Nova Wagon V8 Swap - Should’ve Had A V-8

Swapping out the Straight-6 for a V-8 into a ’63 Nova Wagon

By , Photography by The Author

If you didn’t know, we here at Super Chevy produce a few extra magazines every year we call specials. With titles like Chevelle, Chevy Classics, and the Nova Annual, you can tell what these are all about. In this year’s Nova special (on sale March 29), I, with the help of Jason Scudellari, took on the task of doing a budget-minded small-block and overdrive trans swap into a ’63 Nova wagon. Well, as things go sometimes, we didn’t get the job done. I ran into a big road block in the way of lack of information. I tried finding a complete parts list of everything you need to do the swap, but could not.

Case in point: the water pump. I went with a short-style just to be safe on the fan clearance, but when I tried to fit the alternator it hit the valve cover and the strut tower. Yes, I had some things going against me, like taller valve covers and a possibly larger alternator, so I returned the short stuff and went with a long pump setup, which let me put the alt on the other side of the block in front of the valve cover. I prefer the long water-pump setup anyway because of the shorter belts and cleaner looks. But that now changed my wiring needs, and that is how things kind of went. Every change affected something else.

We went with a minimal budget/mail order mindset on this project, so you won’t find billet pulleys, fuel injection or the likejust a simple carb and some shiny stuff so it still looks custom. I could have dropped the dollar figure considerably by going to the junkyard and getting a bunch of used stuff. The only issue I have with that is I can’t guarantee your local yard will have what mine does, so it all needed to be new and available across the country.

Not wanting to leave things incomplete, this story is going to show the rest of the job with a complete parts list with part numbers, prices, and where to get it all. I’ll start off with a brief recap of what went down in the Nova Annual and then finish it off. Also, there’s a separate story on page 96 about building this Nova’s exhaust system so be sure to check it out.

The List

CompanyPart NamePart #Price
GMPPDeluxe 350192444502,900.00
Flexplate 158 tooth00471529 106.00
Harmonic Balancer1255153760.70
Gearstar7004R TransRoad Tour Package1,905.00
LokarDipstickTD-3700FM90.00
Chevy 2 Only'62-'67 V-8 conversion kit01009329.95
Oil pan13200Included in kit
Oil pick up tube01002Included in kit
Main cap bolt w/stud01002-1Included in kit
Oil Pump stock performance01003Included in kit
Oil pump drive rod01004Included in kit
Dip stick tube01005Included in kit
Dip stick01006Included in kit
Frame mount pair01007Included in kit
Dip stick delete plug 7/1601040Included in kit
Dip stick delete plug 3/801040-1Included in kit
Transmission crossmember16002139.95
Accelerator arm0101026.95
Accelerator rod1010-117.95
Accelerator rod install kit010207.95
Front light harness85003-1P159.95
Engine Harness87009-199.95
Summit RacingHEI DistributorSUM-850001R89.95
Moroso plug wiresMOR-7368459.95
Wire separator kitSUM-8900456.95
180 ThermostatSUM-3601807.95
Holley 670cfm carbHLY-0-80670365.95
Mechanical fuel pumpSUM-250000-144.88
Fuel pump push rodATX-PR93610.95
Fuel Pump PlateNAL-37195996.95
63 amp alternator (1 wire)SUM-G166696.95
FanSUM-G494615.95
2-inch fan spacer kitSUM-G49559.95
Oil-Filter AdapterSES-3-60-08-90019.95
ARPBolt Kit 12 point black534-970193.95
Balancer Bolt134-250121.61
Carb Stud kit200-240115.95
Trans DaptThermostat housing (Black)863343.43
Alternator Bracket kit (LWP)931624.18
Upper pulley (1 groove chrome)960433.94
Lower Pulley (1 groove chrome)960662.59
Parts storeHitachi StarterPLS100126.27
Edelbrock choke block off plate890113.96
Holley EGR block off plate90079.10
Fuel pump plate gasket5182.87
Long water pump (LWP)CP110929.99
Spectre fuel filter59655.99
Spectre Heater hose fitting59536.99
Spectre Pipe plug kit 6018313.99
3 sections of 5/16 line w/fittingsN/A18.98
90-deg flare fittings, fuel pump5/16 x 1/4-inch flare5.40
AC Oil FilterPF4544.19
AC spark plugs (8)R45TS18.32
PCV ValvePCV12142.49
Petcock for RadiatorJ90383.39
Hose Clamps and Misc stuffN/A10.97
Upper Radiator Hose771821.99
Lower Radiator Hose728615.77
US RadiatorHigh efficiency 4 core radiator010790SNNZ516.00
Energy SuspensionMotor Mounts3.1114G91.90
SandersonShorty HeadersCC14395.00
Header ReducersStraight Reducers 25.00
Copper Collector gasketsCopper Gaskets 25.00
FlowmasterU-Fit kit15935262.56
40 series muffler (2)42441160.44
InstallationN/A250.00
Driveshaft workShortening, yoke, and u-jointsN/A233.82
Kugel KomponentsShift Arm Kit (long)602070144.95
Total:$9,189.66

SOURCES
Automotive Racing Products
1863 Eastman Avenue
Ventura
CA  93003
800-826-3045
http://www.arp-bolts.com
Trans-Dapt Performance Products
12438 Putnam Street
Whittier
CA  90602
562-921-0404
www.tdperformance.com
Gearstar Performance Transmissions
132 N. Howard St.
Akron  44308
330-434-5216
www.gearstar.net
US Radiator
4423 District Blvd.
Vernon
CA  90058
323-826-0965
http://www.usradiator.com/
Energy Suspension
1131 Via Callejon
San Clemente  92673
888-913-6374
http://www.energysuspension.com
Kugel Komponents
La Habra
CA
562-691-7006
www.kugelkomponents.com
Summit Racing
Akron
OH
800-230-3030
330-630-0240
www.summitracing.com/
Sanderson Headers
N/A
(800) 669-2430
GM Performance Parts
P.O. Box 33170
Detroit
MI  48232
800-577-6888
www.gmperformanceparts.com
Chevy 2 Only
PO BOX 985
Mt. Washington
KY  40071
502-239-8487
www.gmclassics.com
Lokar
10924 Murdock Drive
Knoxville
TN  37932
877-469-7440
www.lokar.com
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