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Author Topic:   Tips for 78 Nova Setup for Rookie?
cantdrive55
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 18
posted August 24, 2003 01:51 AM  
I'm looking to run an Enduro for my first race. Lotsa practice at once! It's a 200 lap race on a 3/8 semi-banked dirt.

I looked at a 78 Nova Today, it's a roller, never raced. Just has cage and seat, belts, and fuel cell installed. The subframe is tied together but I may have to cut that to make it legal for the Enduro. "All Stock" are the rules.

I think there will be 100 laps run in reverse direction so that simplifies things for set up.

Any advice in general, discrete mods I might make etc.

Thanx in advance


racer17j
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted August 24, 2003 10:25 AM  
ditto!

cantdrive55
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 18
posted August 24, 2003 10:14 PM  

Yes,yes, I see your point, being unibody and all. But the sub frames have been tied together, would that make it almost as good as a full framed car?

The older monte or malibu's were my choice but they are not allowed...78 or newer only. I was looking at a 1980 'bu but it is a street car now, so much more time and money would have to go into it.

The other reason I would like to use that car is the guy who is selling it turned out to be a really nice guy and is willing to help me get it ready and supply tools and equipment I don't have. (welder etc.) Having never raced before and not knowing anyone who can help or advise me that deal is looking pretty good. But, I've been reading this forum for a while now trying to learn the ways and I've seen that you both know what you are talking about and I respect your opinions. So, even with the frame being welded is it still too risky?

Thankyou for your replies Racer17 and JoJo

racer17j
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted August 24, 2003 11:31 PM  
ditto

cantdrive55
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 18
posted August 25, 2003 06:46 PM  
Ok, you've talked me out of the Nova. But I have found a free 79 Malibu. Would you still recommend a caprice over a Malibu. I would like to keep the car after the enduro and run it weekly, starting in a bomber class and moving up after I learn the ropes, so the Malibu would be better, right?

Also I found someone to build a cage for me, he was saying that he could twist the frame a bit for better handling, has anyone heard of that? I've been doing some reading on how to set up a metric and it said there shouldn't be more than a 1/4" difference from corner to corner but this guy is saying it will improve the handling??

wermm
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 107
posted August 25, 2003 06:55 PM  
All I can tell you is, my Malibu has about 3/4" droop on the left rear and it works for me.

racer17j
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted August 25, 2003 08:47 PM  
we used to run a 73-4 laguna with that big rubber nose it could take a s*** load of punishment!now findin one might be a little hard tho

racer17j
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted August 25, 2003 10:07 PM  
hmm, ok so frame tweak is good according to wermm

the laguna sounds good but I'm limited to 78 and newer

I know where I could get a caprice I think, I don't know about trying to keep two cars though, I'm military and it's hard to keep a bunch of stuff, having to move all the time...hmm the caprice would be that much better in the enduro you think?

On the other hand, there will be many veterans driving this race, I don't really forsee myself taking the race, having never raced before and all, so I'm really just looking to last the whole race, gain experience and have fun, when I'm finished hopefully I will have a car left to run as a bomber.

Keep that advice coming, greatly appreciated!

wermm
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 107
posted August 26, 2003 06:00 PM  
The Caprice would be a little more forgiving as far as setup. I have found out that the smaller metrics are thrown off by changes. To big of a change and you have your hands full. I can show you a tape of two weeks ago when I made too big of an air pressure change and spun out three times in an 8 lap B feature. Yup, I got the beast to stop pushing

racer17j
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted August 26, 2003 06:20 PM  
I have been running enduros for 18 or so years. I have usually ran the 73-75 chevelle. These cars are great. The Monte's of the same era are better due to the longer wheel base which gives you more room between the radiator and the fan.
I now have a 79 malibu. This car is a lot easier to get around the track on due to the shorter wheel base.
The bumpers and control arms (especially Left upper..bent 2 in 2 races) are a little soft in my opinion, but the car itself can handle an enduro. Keep your front end from any contact. Try to beef up the front area (within the rules of course)
I have only seen a dozen or so Novas over the years and as mentioned above, they bend easy...not recommended.
Good Luck...You will have a blast and remember that he race isnt won in the first laps and most of the rookies will spend the first 1/3 of the race keeping the car pointed forward.
Work on your air pressures and just take it easy until the race track comes to you.
WR
#66
You can see my last report in the results page from around Juned 28th or so.

cantdrive55
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 18
posted August 26, 2003 09:34 PM  
Ok, thanks for all the help. I've decided to get the Malibu because it's such a good deal and also because I'm probably going to just drive it as a daily driver for a while and collect a few more pieces to the puzzle before I start racing. (firesuit, seat, fuel cell etc.)
It's so expensive to do all at once. When I finally get all that stuff together I will have a car. Meanwhile I can work on the brakes and cooling sys etc. to get it in tip top running condition.

Again thanks to all who have replied, I've learned much from this board and will continue reading and asking questions.

racer17j
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted August 26, 2003 10:03 PM  
hey where you located?? i would be interested in buying that 78 nova

cantdrive55
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 18
posted August 30, 2003 10:10 AM  
I'm located in Pensacola Fl, the Nova is in Milton Florida. If you're interested I will see the guy tonight and let him know. It seems like a pretty good deal, there is just a tad of rust, in a quarter panel. He has upgraded the lugs and has 8" racing rims on it. He will throw in a seat, fuel cell, harness, spare rearend and drive shaft, 4 core radiator. It has a full cage with the subframe tied together. If these guys hadn't talked me out of it I would have been happy to buy it. He wants $500 for it.

racer17j
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted August 30, 2003 11:13 AM  
hmm, not a bad idea...

racer17j
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 5390
posted August 31, 2003 01:48 PM  
If your looking to get in to racing soon, I got a buddy that would trade a Trans-Am for that nova. Already has a cage fuel cell in it. Were in Panama City if interested. I'll get with him to make sure. As of right now I think were goin to run milton this weekend.

cantdrive55
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 18
posted September 04, 2003 09:51 PM  
Can you call me at 850-529-6980, I'd like to talk about that. Thanks

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