'Editorially, we call this vamping. It's what happens when a magazine launches a new project car, and then it stalls. Often it's never seen again, and nothing is more annoying to readers. We've promised life for the '77 Disco Nova drag-race project we introduced in the May issue, and we've sworn you'll hear the whole truth about it, and nothing but. So here's the truth: We hoped to have our new small-block running in time for this issue, but thanks to our busy lives and a bunch of parts not showing up in time, the thing is still a ways off. We do most of our own wrenching here at Car Craft, and it happens on the same schedule that your car probably does: during evenings and weekends, and never quickly enough. There's no magic la-la land where cars disappear to and come back cleaned and assembled and presented in five tidy captions thanking the sponsors like you see in some magazines. We're living the life one bolt at a time just like you are. We know we can't show you every little step, but we can reveal the entire reality and, as readers have demanded, that includes every little penny we had to spend. We've never showed you the tar pit we started with under the hood of the Nova we got from a reader for $400. So here it is. The 350 and TH350 automatic were removed a few months ago, but there was still a huge mess to deal with in here. We've never showed you the tar pit we started with under the hood of the Nova we got from If cars got built by staring at them then this thing would have been running three months ago. If cars got built by staring at them then this thing would have been running three months Craftsman offers pressure washers from a basic $270 model to a full-on, paint-stripping, $1,150 model. Our shop's unit is actually an older, discontinued version, but it still cranks nasty grime off almost anything we drag home. It's totally indispensable. Get one from Sears or through the Craftsman Power and Hand Tool Catalog. We figure ours saved us at least three days of Gunking and hand-scraping our double-nasty engine compartment. Craftsman offers pressure washers from a basic $270 model to a full-on, paint-stripping, $ Speaking of which, to keep the running price list as accurate as possible, we've done some adjustments this month, removing all the costs associated with the 350 we heisted from former editor Matt King in the June issue, since now we won't be using that engine. A new one is being machined at Speed-O-Motive, and when we install it, we'll print a new and updated price list. Meanwhile, we did what we could this month, cleaning up an engine bay that looked like it had been dipped in 90-weight just prior to racing the Baja 500, as well as handling a few other tidbits. By the time the Disco returns to print (probably a few issues down the road at this point) we'll have it running on the dragstrip. Meanwhile, join the spirited debates about the car on the message boards at CarCraft.com. Seems more people like the '75-'79s than we thought. Go get one now before some guy pays a million bucks for a '75 Rally and they all shoot to five figures. OK, so that won't really happen. Carry on. THE COST OF GEARHEAD LIVING DESCRIPTION SOURCE PRICE Previous buildup total May CC $2,211.19 Three cans satin black AutoZone 14.97 Two cans wheel paint AutoZone 9.98 Pack of two Sharpies Lowe's 1.64 Pack of razor blades Lowe's 1.98 Plastic dropcloth Lowe's 2.98 Masking tape Lowe's 3.07 Aluminum rivets Lowe's 4.77 Sheet of 18-gauge aluminum Lowe's 5.99 Black RTV Local parts store 3.89 One can brake cleaner Local parts store 2.73 Two bottles of Super Clean Local parts store 9.96 One can rust-eating snot Local parts store 4.98 Rebuilt TH350 Local quickie shop 210.00 B&M Transpak 30228 Summit Racing 53.95 Trans governor clip Junkyard 0.50 Change found in A/C box Like free! -1.82 DISCO NOVA TOTAL SO FAR $2,540.76 They say you can't remove the air-conditioning box from a GM firewall without unbolting the passenger fender. They lie. When you're willing to maim, the suckers come right out. Welcome the return of The Tool, Car Craft's infamous Sawzall. You don't really need it, but that and a pry bar of unusual size make the job so much more entertaining. It gives you that feeling of dominion over the automobile. They say you can't remove the air-conditioning box from a GM firewall without unbolting th Here's that tidy caption we warned you about: it covers two days of work. After the pressure-wash and A/C stripping, we unbolted the steering box and brake booster and some other junk that would never return. Next, we scraped and wire-brushed the engine compartment for about six hours before hiding some tiny holes with Everglass reinforced body filler left over from the May paint story. Then we hosed it down with some also-leftover self-etching primer. Only after lots of masking came the semi-flat black. We took the time to do it right, because we'll probably never do it again. Here's that tidy caption we warned you about: it covers two days of work. After the pressu In the name of cost savings, we told you in the May issue that we were going to replace our shiny Mickey Thompson ET Drag wheels with the steelies that came on the Nova, at least until the car deserves the investment. We prepped our rallys for some fresh slicks by fogging them with aluminum wheel paint. They came out really, really badly. We should have sandblasted them and used more of that good primer. McGean tells us he's better than this, but we'll get over it. In the name of cost savings, we told you in the May issue that we were going to replace ou More Disco Boogie On CarCraft.comThis is part three of the buildup of Car Craft's Disco Nova. If you missed the first two, then go check it out on CarCraft.com right now. No, not like take a bathroom break first, but really-right now. NHRA rules require that all the holes in the firewall be filled. We took the easy way out when blocking the gaps left from ditching the air conditioning. Rather than welding them up, we made a cardboard template in a shape that blocked all the holes from the backside of the firewall, and then duplicated it from a sheet of 18-gauge aluminum. We riveted the aluminum in place and used black RTV silicone as a seal around all the firewall voids. NHRA rules require that all the holes in the firewall be filled. We took the easy way out We slash junk out of our way for more than just entertainment and simplicity. Our Longacre scales showed that the parts we've razed from the Disco so far weighed 84 pounds. Most of that is off the nose-including the air conditioning and the front swaybar-none of it will be replaced, and we've only just begun to gut. If Alex the shop dog gets more ink, he's going to need an agent. We slash junk out of our way for more than just entertainment and simplicity. Our Longacre We took our trans to a shop that promised "bench rebuild, $179," but it walked out for $210 in cash. At least they gave it three swipes of cheesy chrome paint and returned it without the spring clip on the governor cap and with a bunch of water in the pan. Lucky we found all this out by installing a B&M Racing Transpak, which is a step up from a Shift Improver Kit because it has a Competition mode with manual upshift and downshift control. We were able to clean most of the mayo out of the pan, and hopefully this cheapy TH350 will work OK. There's only one way to find out. Coming soon. We took our trans to a shop that promised "bench rebuild, $179," but it walked out for $21 SOURCES B&M Racing 9142 Independence Ave. Chatsworth CA 91311 8-18/-882-6422 www.bmracing.com Summit Racing Equipment P.O. Box 909 Akron OH 44309 Craftsman Tools www.sears.com By David Freiburger Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!