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74 NovaMan's 1979 Chevy Truck - LS Swap - 5/6 Drop

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  • #46
    Seemed a bit scrungy but not horrific. I still need to do the other valve cover gasket because I only had the one laying around. Next up was swapping the distributor and installing the new wires. Fortunately I had an extra distributor laying around (an accel distributor I bought in 2004 for the Nova but did not use in the latest iteration) as the one I pulled out of the truck seemed awful wet under the cap.
    Click image for larger version

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    Edit: You can also see the remains of one of the valve cover grommets in this pic.
    Last edited by 74NovaMan; February 18, 2016, 02:23 PM.
    Chris - HRPT Long Haul 03, 04, 05, 13, 14, 15,16 & 18
    74 Nova Project
    66 Mustang GT Project

    92 Camaro RS Convertible Project
    79 Chevy Truck Project
    1956 Cadillac Project

    Comment


    • #47
      New distributor and wires in:

      Click image for larger version

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      Click image for larger version

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      Chris - HRPT Long Haul 03, 04, 05, 13, 14, 15,16 & 18
      74 Nova Project
      66 Mustang GT Project

      92 Camaro RS Convertible Project
      79 Chevy Truck Project
      1956 Cadillac Project

      Comment


      • #48
        Next up were the new heater and radiator hoses. No pictures of any of that but I did test the coolant and while it looked decent it only tested to about 15 below. I got rid of the coolant I drained out and added half a gallon on concentrated coolant and filled the rest with 50/50. Only notable was that the upper radiator hose connection was smaller than the hose by a significant amount. The hose looked to be a size or two larger than it needed to be to fit properly. I looked at the old hose and it looked like that one had the same issue but it had clearly been on there a while so I clamped the new one down with a new clamp and called it good. I suspect that the radiator is probably a replacement and that the inlet is not the correct size.

        After that was done I tried to start it up to set the timing and enjoy the fruits of my labors. Of course it ran like crap and did not want to stay running. After a while, I figured out that i forgot to reattach the PCV hose at the base of the carb. Runs great now! In other news, the temp gauge works much better when the wire is connected to the sender. This only leaves the speedometer to fix as far as gauges go. (I also desperately need to replace the cluster lens)
        Chris - HRPT Long Haul 03, 04, 05, 13, 14, 15,16 & 18
        74 Nova Project
        66 Mustang GT Project

        92 Camaro RS Convertible Project
        79 Chevy Truck Project
        1956 Cadillac Project

        Comment


        • #49
          This weekend, I hope to tackle the transmission leaks, the remaining valve cover, and the seat. I took the blankets off the seat to wash them and am planning on securing them to the seat in a more semi-permanent fashion. Here is what it looks like without the blankets:

          Click image for larger version

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          Chris - HRPT Long Haul 03, 04, 05, 13, 14, 15,16 & 18
          74 Nova Project
          66 Mustang GT Project

          92 Camaro RS Convertible Project
          79 Chevy Truck Project
          1956 Cadillac Project

          Comment


          • #50
            Technical Question:

            When installing a rubber trans pan gasket, do you (or would you) use and gasket maker or sealant? I've always thought no, but the parts guy recommended Permatex Ultra Grey. I'd honestly prefer cork so I can put 3M Gasket Adhesive on it. I'm having some difficulty sourcing a trans filter kit locally that has a cork gasket.
            Chris - HRPT Long Haul 03, 04, 05, 13, 14, 15,16 & 18
            74 Nova Project
            66 Mustang GT Project

            92 Camaro RS Convertible Project
            79 Chevy Truck Project
            1956 Cadillac Project

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by 74NovaMan View Post
              Technical Question:

              When installing a rubber trans pan gasket, do you (or would you) use and gasket maker or sealant? I've always thought no, but the parts guy recommended Permatex Ultra Grey. I'd honestly prefer cork so I can put 3M Gasket Adhesive on it. I'm having some difficulty sourcing a trans filter kit locally that has a cork gasket.
              If I did it at all, I'd put just enough anaerobic goop on it to hold it in place against the pan (very little).

              oh - I'd make sure the trans body and pan were spotless and flat, but you already do that... just thought I'd mention it.
              Last edited by Beagle; February 18, 2016, 03:45 PM.
              Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Beagle View Post

                If I did it at all, I'd put just enough anaerobic goop on it to hold it in place against the pan (very little).

                oh - I'd make sure the trans body and pan were spotless and flat, but you already do that... just thought I'd mention it.

                Thanks Beagle. I think I found a cork gasket kit at NAPA. I usually hit the surfaces with wax and grease remover as well before gasket install after everything is spotless.
                Chris - HRPT Long Haul 03, 04, 05, 13, 14, 15,16 & 18
                74 Nova Project
                66 Mustang GT Project

                92 Camaro RS Convertible Project
                79 Chevy Truck Project
                1956 Cadillac Project

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by 74NovaMan View Post
                  Only notable was that the upper radiator hose connection was smaller than the hose by a significant amount. The hose looked to be a size or two larger than it needed to be to fit properly. I looked at the old hose and it looked like that one had the same issue but it had clearly been on there a while so I clamped the new one down with a new clamp and called it good. I suspect that the radiator is probably a replacement and that the inlet is not the correct size.
                  It's a pretty common deal. The new, big radiator in the Volvo has 1 1/4" connections top and bottom while the Mustang hoses are 1 1/2" at the t-stat (got lucky on that as the Mustang hose reduces to 1 1/4") while the lower hose is 1 3/4 out of the water pump but immediately reduces to 1 1/2". The original installer just clamped the 1 1/2" down on the lower connection (the radiator I pulled out also had 1 1/4" up and down). I had this sort of situation on my Vega/Buick conversion and I went to the local radiator shop and they had a reducer, just a sleeve, that slid over the radiator neck and made it the bigger size. Turns out that this is a standard part from Dayco, Gates, etc. though our local parts guys couldn't get them for whatever reason. A trip to <Summit Racing.com> turned up a set with 1 3/4" to 1 1/2" and 1 1/2" to 1 1/4" in a kit for like $7 or so - cheap. Summit PN 390003 and I've also seen them online. Makes a nice, clean job of it.

                  Dan

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                  • #54
                    A lot of those under-hood shots look eerily similar to my truck.
                    The valvetrain is much cleaner than mine was when I got it. Several years of running high detergent oil and running a quart of Marvel through it a day before an oil change have it looking about as good as yours is now.
                    Your upper control arm bushings look ready to be replaced... whenever you get around to it. I didn't replace mine 'til the rubber fell out and it started clunking - though they didn't look as bad as yours do. :D

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by yellomalibu View Post
                      Your upper control arm bushings look ready to be replaced... whenever you get around to it. I didn't replace mine 'til the rubber fell out and it started clunking - though they didn't look as bad as yours do. :D
                      I did not even notice that. Thanks for pointing it out. I'll add that to the list for when I get drop spindles.
                      Chris - HRPT Long Haul 03, 04, 05, 13, 14, 15,16 & 18
                      74 Nova Project
                      66 Mustang GT Project

                      92 Camaro RS Convertible Project
                      79 Chevy Truck Project
                      1956 Cadillac Project

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by 74NovaMan View Post

                        I did not even notice that. Thanks for pointing it out. I'll add that to the list for when I get drop spindles.
                        Yes, they are worn. If you are going to the hassle of pulling off A-arms for bushings, do the ball joints as well. Maybe new springs too if they are mushy.
                        BS'er formally known as Rebeldryver

                        Resident Instigator

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                        • #57
                          I found a cork trans pan gasket and installed it. Same huge puddles as before. One leak is through the center of the slip yoke (the rear seal is completely dry but fluid is dripping off the u-joint.) The speedo cable is also dripping. I pulled the pan back off and got an aluminum pan thinking that was still the majority of my issue but the drain plug hole was not threaded well so I had to wait for a new one to exchange it for.

                          While this is going on I figured out that the transmission is actually a TH350C (the lockup version - wiring not connected - nor is the kickdown cable). That information coupled with the leaks and poor shifting characteristics has me thinking about finding a TH350 to rebuild for it or rebuilding and installing the 700R4 I have sitting on the shop floor. The TH350C in it now is the long tailshaft version so apparently my driveshaft will work so I'm looking at probably $1,000 - $1,200 for the 700R4 (rebuild, converter and TV cable setup). A TH350 will run me about $800 - $900 assuming I can find a good core. If I return the aluminum trans pan ($84) the gap closes even more. I could easily go either way but I was really hoping to spend that money on more fun stuff (not that I have these funds in hand waiting to be spent.)
                          Chris - HRPT Long Haul 03, 04, 05, 13, 14, 15,16 & 18
                          74 Nova Project
                          66 Mustang GT Project

                          92 Camaro RS Convertible Project
                          79 Chevy Truck Project
                          1956 Cadillac Project

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            What's the rear end ratio?
                            Stew K.

                            2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer LS 4x4 4.2 L6 Stock DD
                            1992 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser Adopt-A-Whale
                            1988 Chevrolet R30 Custom Deluxe L05 3L80 C&C
                            1974 Chevrolet Corvette 350/TH400 (Garage Art)

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                            • #59
                              My last van had a TH350C.....local guy rebuilt it for me. Said it took all the same standard rebuild parts (he added extra plates/discs since it was originally behind a 250 I6) except for the converter.

                              I drove it for a couple years with it unhooked. No problems. Then I decided to hook up the little vacuum switch that engages the lockup electrically just to play with it. Wired in a toggle switch to be able to deactivate lockup from the drivers seat. That did come in handy while towing on long gradual grades, it tended to "hunt" a little bit.

                              I put over 120,000 miles on it, and its still good. Planning on putting it in a different project now.

                              Overall the lockup function saved me a bunch of fuel money. I'd keep it unless the converter is unavailable or way overpriced?
                              Last edited by STINEY; April 12, 2016, 01:42 PM.
                              Of all the paths you take in life - make sure a few of them are dirt.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by STINEY View Post
                                My last van had a TH350C.....local guy rebuilt it for me. Said it took all the same standard rebuild parts (he added extra plates/discs since it was originally behind a 250 I6) except for the converter.

                                I drove it for a couple years with it unhooked. No problems. Then I decided to hook up the little vacuum switch that engages the lockup electrically just to play with it. Wired in a toggle switch to be able to deactivate lockup from the drivers seat. That did come in handy while towing on long gradual grades, it tended to "hunt" a little bit.

                                I put over 120,000 miles on it, and its still good. Planning on putting it in a different project now.

                                Overall the lockup function saved me a bunch of fuel money. I'd keep it unless the converter is unavailable or way overpriced?
                                Thanks for chiming in. I haven't been a fan of the lockup converter in my Nova (700R4) and mileage seemed to improve on that one when I disconnected it. It started acting funny about half way through power tour in 2013. We averaged 17 mpg over 1,007 miles to get to the start and almost 18 mpg for 1,270 miles on the way home. I'm sure that result is a atypical but I also like how it behaves without the lockup.

                                If I do the 700R4 in the truck, I was planning on using a non lockup converter figuring I'd gain enough mpg-wise with the overdrive.

                                Do you have any feel for how much you gained (mpg-wise) with the lockup?
                                Chris - HRPT Long Haul 03, 04, 05, 13, 14, 15,16 & 18
                                74 Nova Project
                                66 Mustang GT Project

                                92 Camaro RS Convertible Project
                                79 Chevy Truck Project
                                1956 Cadillac Project

                                Comment

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