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509 Big-Block Engine Install for 1968-1974 Chevy Nova's - What A Drag, Part 2

We've Got A Dart 509 Nestled In The TCI Front Clip In Our Nova Street/Strip Project Car.

By Dan Foley, Photography by Dan Foley

When we introduced our street/strip Nova project in the February '11 issue, it received a new Total Cost Involved tubular front clip (tubular subframe, control arms, coilover shocks, rack-and-pinion steering, etc.) The theory was that the TCI front clip would shave 140 pounds off the nose, so dropping in an aluminum-headed Dart 509 big-block would be about the same weight as if we had a stock '68-74 Nova with an iron-headed small-block. But with the TCI front clip (2-inch dropped spindles, wider track, superior suspension, brakes and steering), our X-body would become a more roadworthy and enjoyable driver off the strip, too. In this episode we learned there are a few modifications needed to install a rat motor with tall valve covers using Hooker Super Competition 2 1/8-inch equal-length headers and a 3-inch exhaust into a '68-74 Nova.

Believe us, all the extra work was well worth it once we drove the Nova down the road. Unfortunately, the TH350 trans was slipping so we couldn't feel the 509 putting the power to the pavement. Next up we'll install the Performance Automatic Turbo 400, Currie 9-inch rear, and measure for a new beefy driveshaft. Then we'll be able to feel the power being put to the pavement. We're looking forward to enjoying the Nova's much improved street-driving manners with the TCI front clip and finding out how it'll work on the strip once the serious drivetrain is in the car.

SOURCES
Energy Suspension
1131 Via Callejon
San Clemente  92673
888-913-6374
http://www.energysuspension.com
Quaker State
www.quakerstate.com
Proform Parts
Roseville
MI
800-521-1005
www.proformparts.com
Dart Machinery
353 Oliver Street
Troy
MI  48084
248-362-1188
http://www.dartheads.com
Summit Racing Equipment
PO Box 909
Akron
OH  44398
800-230-3030
330-630-0240
www.summitracing.com
Phoenix Brake Systems
888-749-7977
www.brakebleeder.com
Eastwood Company
263 Shoemaker Road
Pottstown
PA  19464
800-343-9353
http://www.eastwood.com
Classic Performance Products
378 E Orangethorpe Ave.
Placentia
CA  92870
800-522-5004
http://www.classicperform.com
Ididit
610 S. Maumee Street
Tecumseh
MI  49286
517-424-0577
www.ididit.com
Total Cost Involved
1416 W. Brooks Street
Ontario
CA  91762
800-984-6259
www.totalcostinvolved.com
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By Dan Foley
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