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Nova Rear End Upgrade - What A Drag, Part 3

We get the driveline into our '72 Nova SS Project.

By Dan Foley, Photography by By The Author

When we left off in the last episode (April '11), we installed the Real Fine 509 Dart Rat motor you saw come together and dyno-tested in our December '09 issue. It made a robust 669 hp at 6,000 and 623 lb-ft torque at 4,500 rpm on pump gas--perfect to slap into our unsuspecting Nova.

As a recap, back in the February '11 issue we bolted-in a Total Cost Involved (TCI) tubular front clip. Now the Nova drives like a dream with modern-day steering, braking, and roadholding abilities. To quickly get the Dart 509 engine up and running, we hooked it up to the wimpy drivetrain (TH350 trans, stock driveshaft, and stock 10-bolt rear) included with the purchase of the Nova.

On our first shakedown drive we felt the Turbo 350 slipping--obviously the trans was toast with fresh ATF turning brown. The first application of 509 Dart big-block power sent it to Transmission Heaven. A moment of silence, please ...

In this episode we'll swap in a Performance Automatic Turbo 400 transmission ("Trans-Former," June '10), a Currie Enterprises F9 9-inch rear axle ("Burly Backend," October '10) and a Driveshaft Shop 3.5-inch aluminum driveshaft. Surely this team of tough drivetrain components will easily handle all the power the 509 Dart motor can dish out.

In the next action-packed episode we'll baseline the Nova at the strip. For now, check out our adventures of being a grunt--this entire installment was shot in an unheated garage during the brutal winter of 2010-'11. Welcome to the glamorous world of automotive journalism!

SOURCES
Energy Suspension
1131 Via Callejon
San Clemente  92673
888-913-6374
http://www.energysuspension.com
Eastwood Company
263 Shoemaker Road
Pottstown
PA  19464
800-343-9353
http://www.eastwood.com
Currie Enterprises
382 North Smith
Corona
CA  92880
714-528-6957
www.currieenterprises.com
Performance Automatic
8174 Beechcraft Ave.
Gaithersburg
MD  20879
301-963-8078
www.performanceautomatic.com
TCI Automotive
151 Industrial Drive
Ashland
MS  38603
888-776-9824
http://www.tciauto.com/
Eaton Differentials
1111 Superior Avenue
Cleveland
OH  44114
800-328-3850
www.eaton.com
The Driveshaft Shop
4530 Southmark Dr.
Salisbury
NC  28147
704-633-2380
www.driveshaftshop.com
Phoenix Brake Systems
888-749-7977
www.brakebleeder.com
Total Cost Involved
1416 W. Brooks Street
Ontario
CA  91762
800-984-6259
www.totalcostinvolved.com
Transmission Specialties
375 Turner Industrial Way
Aston
PA  19014
610-485-9110
www.transmission-specialties.com
Motive Gear
1001 West Exchange Avenue
Chicago
IL  60609
800-934-2727
www.motivegear.com
By Dan Foley
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