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Car Detailing Tips - Detail Your Car

Maintaining your paint job is easier than you think with these tips on how to detail your car.

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Blown Nova Tech Notes
Who: Greg Nicholl, rental manager for John Deere (but this ain't no tractor)
What: '72 Chevrolet Nova
Where: Camarillo, California, where he takes the car to to get groceries

The car had a 396ci big-block when Greg bought it in 2005, but he quickly swapped in a Chevrolet ZZ502 crate engine with extensive work by Larry Kraszewski of Camarillo Auto Service. At the center spins a forged-steel crankshaft that swings 9.6:1 forged-aluminum pistons and rings on forged-steel connecting rods. A Chevrolet hydraulic roller cam provides 224/234 duration at 0.050 and 0.527/ 0.544-inch intake lift.

The Edelbrock aluminum heads have 110cc chambers. The stainless-steel Chevrolet valves are 2.25 inches on the intake and 1.88 inches on the exhaust, all actuated with aluminum rocker arms.

Induction and exhaust:
A pair of Holley 750-cfm carbs gets high-volume air from an 8-71 supercharger built by The Blower Shop in Santa Clara, California. (Greg's wife went on vacation, and the huffer was in place when she got back. Stuff happens.) But the blower wasn't enough, so Greg had Jim Bassett of Bones Fab in Camarillo add a 200hp NOS Cheater setup that is fed by its own Barry Grant fuel system in addition to the BG 250 fuel system for the carbs, which siphon gas from a Jaz 15-gallon fuel cell. All of the lines are aluminum or braided steel. The exhaust exits through 2 1/4-inch Hooker headers with 4-inch collectors into 3-inch stainless tubing and Hooker mufflers.

Electrical and cooling:
Cooling comes from an Edelbrock aluminum water pump that circulates through a Griffin aluminum radiator with twin electric fans. Spark comes from an MSD 7AL box through an MSD billet distributor and coil, MSD wires, and a Powermaster 140-amp alternator that charges an Optima battery. A Moroso 7-quart oil pan is serviced by a Moroso oil pump and pickup.

Because the Nova is driven regularly, Greg kept the drivetrain straightforward and serviceable, but he used stout components to match up with the big-block. The TH400 transmission received a B&M manual valvebody and a B&M trans cooler. The tranny is fitted with a TCI 3,000-rpm-stall converter, and the driveshaft and U-joints are standard Chevy issue. The differential is a Ford 9-inch with a Currie third member that is fitted with a Currie 4.10:1 Posi and turns Strange 35-spline axles.

There's no mistaking the intent of Greg's Nova: Go fast and track straight. The foundation is an S&W race car back half with Koni coilover shocks, a Hotchkis four-link with a rear-end locator bar, and Competition Engineering subframe connectors. The rear meats are 29x18.5-15 M/T Sportsman Pros mounted on Weld Drag Lite 15x15 wheels. At the front end, Goodfella's Rod and Custom of Camarillo redid the suspension using Moroso springs with 70/30 Lakewood shocks and a Hotchkis 1-inch sway bar. A set of Global West upper and lower tubular A-arms control the front 26x7.50-15 M/T Sportsman rubber wrapped around 15x7 Drag Lites. The steering is stock Chevrolet, and Wilwood discs handle the braking at each corner.

Paint and body:
Weight being a consideration, Greg installed a Harwood 4-inch fiberglass hood and a Harwood fiberglass rear deck with an 8-inch stainless steel wing. The gimme-a-ticket paint is PPG So-Cal red, and the shine came through the labors of Michael and Nicholas Codina of M&N Custom Works Detailing.

The interior is also set up for racing, with custom seats by Superior Interiors Upholstery in Camarillo, California, Crow five-point harnesses, and an eight-point rollcage. The custom upholstery and door panels were also stitched by Superior Interiors Upholstery, and the gauge package is all Auto Meter, including Pro Comp oil, water, voltage, and fuel monitors as well as a Pro Comp tach. The steering wheel is from Billet Specialties, and the shifter is a Hurst quarter-stick. With the Sony CD/XM radio stereo pounding out sound from an 800-watt amp through speakers in the headrests, Greg can probably even listen to tunes with the big-block running.

The combination works. The Nova has turned a 10.13 quarter at 130 mph in street attire with no bottle, and the dyno squealed under 870 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque.

Meguiar's Inc
California Car Duster
Mothers Polish
5456 Industrial Dr.
Huntington Beach
CA  92649
Clean Tools Inc. (The Absorber)
Turtle Wax Inc
Eagle One Victory Wax
Jax Wax Inc
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