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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Jan 2008
      Location
      Long Beach, Ca
      Posts
      1,568
      Country Flag: United States

      The FAB53 '72 Nova

      I have finally taken on an actual project on my Nova, so I guess its fitting to start a project thread!

      First, the back story:
      It all started about 3 years ago. I forget how it came up, but my friend Matt (-The Stig-) was trying to sell his 72 Nova; and it just so happened that I was in the market for a fun car (amazing how that happens). He bought it from a kid who blew the motor, so he had built a mild 383 and TH350 for it, which were in, but never finished.

      After a couple months of piecing the car together, and working on it in my parent's driveway, it was alive! I drove it around a while with the sloppy stock suspension and steering, and the hard flat-spotted Dunlop Qualifier GTs. Alas I eventually I grew old of the boat-like handling and wanted to do something about it, but what?

      I stumbled upon Pro-Touring while researching Trans Am suspensions and shortly thereafter I had a plan. After some sums of money were handed over to various companies, I had the "Starter Kit" to pro-touring: Hotchkis coils and leafs, an Addco front bar, shocks, some 17x9s wrapped in 255s, Brembo blank rotors, and Hawk pads. Boy did this make a difference!

      I drove the car like this for another year and a half, hitting as many autocrosses as my budget would allow. I attended RTTC 1, and placed mid-pack in each event; I was stoked! Fast forward to this past September where a group of us PTers attended an autocross at the Camarillo Airport; I started talking to Brett Campbell (67z06camaro), and he offered to do some work on my car in exchange for promoting his new company, Fab-53. Sign me up!

      And here we are.

      The plan:
      Lower the car to a frame ground clearance of ~4", correct the front suspension geometry problems associated with being so low, stiffen the front suspension assembly to accommodate the addition forces created, tuck the exhaust up above the frame rails, 315x35x17s on all four corners, create fender flares, install sub frame connectors, and install my C5 brake upgrade. All the while trying to keep my budget "theme" (read: constraints).

      To battle the front-end geometry we will be performing the CR Mod (Campbell/Rasmussen), which is a sort of reverse Gulstrand Mod. We will move the LCA's frame-pivot point upward ~.75" along with outboard ~.75". Coupling that with tall lower ball joints and the LCAs should be near parallel to the ground at ride height and the camber-gain should be greatly improved. Another benefit to moving the LCA is it helps with the dreaded bump-steer as it gets the LCA and tierods onto the same plain. We will also be spacing the steering arm on the spindle to clear the wider wheels. To stiffen the front frame/suspension assembly we will be boxing and bracing portions of the sub frame, and trimming and boxing the stock LCAs.

      Proposed ride height with tire test fit (only fenders have been cut at this point):


      Pie cuts and clearancing of the LCA:


      The reason for doing those pie cuts is that when the LCA is mounted further up the swaybar runs into the arm early on in the suspension travel. Bending the arm like this fixes that.

      Pie cut to flatten the angle of the LBJ:


      LBJ gusseted and plated:


      LCA relocated and pie cuts filled:


      Wrap around gussets on LCA:


      At ride height with allignment done:




      We also modified the UCAs for greater caster but I didn't get a picture of that. With a single 1/8" shim on the front of the UCA we have 1.5* neg camber and 5.5* caster. In 2" of suspension compression we have a gain of 4* camber IIRC.

      This is how she will look untill after RTTC2. After that we will install the subframe connectors, fender flares, and my C5 brakes.
      Jon Rasmussen
      Ex Team OLJ.
      '72 Nova


    2. #2
      Join Date
      Mar 2006
      Location
      Los Angeles, CA
      Posts
      452
      Country Flag: United States
      I can't wait to see your car at RTTC II. Your pic in the show off your ride section had me very curious...

      Don

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Jan 2010
      Location
      Elk River, MN
      Posts
      692
      Subscribed. This looks like fun, I like your fabrication so far.

      -matt

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Apr 2009
      Location
      san diego
      Posts
      5,102
      Country Flag: United States

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Jan 2008
      Location
      Long Beach, Ca
      Posts
      1,568
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by monteboy84 View Post
      Subscribed. This looks like fun, I like your fabrication so far.

      -matt
      Brett is pretty handy when it comes to fabrication. He can visualize something and then put it on paper/metal with ease, pretty impressive really.
      Jon Rasmussen
      Ex Team OLJ.
      '72 Nova

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Nov 2009
      Location
      the dirty mitten
      Posts
      1,132
      Country Flag: United States
      Really cool car man. Its nice to finally find another car that will run the same size tires as me front and rear, makes me feel more normal. Im using 18 inch rims but I think the height will be the same. I can see in the pics that the rears do not stick out as far as the fronts do. Are you going to push the rears out to match the fronts?
      Steve
      1968 Dodge Charger All Wheel Drive project Red Bull

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Nov 2001
      Location
      St. Cloud, MN
      Posts
      376
      Country Flag: United States
      Sign me up for updates too. Looks interesting and I definitely like things build with budget constraints as I can relate.
      Jon
      71 Nova LT1/4L60E

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Sep 2005
      Location
      Nor Cal
      Posts
      2,203
      Country Flag: United States
      Very cool car Jon! Love the 315s in front. Will check it out this weekend!
      1968 Camaro widebody project
      2004 Mustang LS2
      1964 Continental
      2014 Keezer

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Feb 2008
      Location
      Orange County, CA
      Posts
      172
      Looking forward to seeing the updates Jon.....very cool and ambitious project.
      Mike F.


    10. #10
      Join Date
      Sep 2010
      Location
      alpine ca
      Posts
      657
      Country Flag: United States
      jon cant wait to see it sat.very cool front end deal
      john
      1972 NOVA SPEED TECH TORQUE ARM AND FRONT ARMS , RUSHFORTH NIGHT TRAINS, DRIVERZ INC
      BUILD LINK
      https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...t-(GREY-MATTER)

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Nov 2010
      Location
      Ventura County CA
      Posts
      554
      Country Flag: United States
      Do you have any links to info other info on the CR mod you're doing? Are you doing this in combination with a G-mod or using the factory UCA pivot location? Did you make a jig of some kind to locate the LCA BJs and bushings so the two sides match afte modification? Looks very interesting. Look forward to seeing more of this...

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Apr 2006
      Location
      Atlanta GA
      Posts
      7,513
      yea!!!!

      ima be watchin this!

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Jan 2008
      Location
      Long Beach, Ca
      Posts
      1,568
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by TheBandit View Post
      Do you have any links to info other info on the CR mod you're doing? Are you doing this in combination with a G-mod or using the factory UCA pivot location? Did you make a jig of some kind to locate the LCA BJs and bushings so the two sides match afte modification? Looks very interesting. Look forward to seeing more of this...
      The CR Mod I am refering to is my mod, the (Brett)Campbell/(Jon)Rasmussen mod. I had the initial idea to relocate the LCA and Brett made it so, along with a couple of his tweaks.

      The UCA ultilizes the stock mounting location and the UBJ was moved on the arm outward 1/4" along with backwards 3/8" (IIRC). Doing this I could run no shims on the UCA and have .5* camber and ~6* caster. I am starting off with a single 1/8" shim in the front of the UCA, giving me 1.5* camber and 5.5* caster.

      I picked up the car last night and will try to get some better (non camera phone) pictures this evening.
      Jon Rasmussen
      Ex Team OLJ.
      '72 Nova

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Sep 2010
      Posts
      660
      Country Flag: United States
      pro touring
      Last edited by 67zo6Camaro; 02-23-2011 at 08:26 PM. Reason: missed info

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Sep 2010
      Posts
      660
      Country Flag: United States
      pro touring

    16. #16
      Join Date
      Jan 2008
      Location
      Long Beach, Ca
      Posts
      1,568
      Country Flag: United States
      See it run? How about a ride or drive?
      Jon Rasmussen
      Ex Team OLJ.
      '72 Nova

    17. #17
      Join Date
      Jun 2009
      Posts
      667
      Country Flag: United States
      I can imagine you would have A LOT ov over steer with those big ass fronts, lol.
      Dan W
      1968 Plymouth Road Runner
      1962 Dodge Dart 440

    18. #18
      Join Date
      Jul 2008
      Location
      ohio
      Posts
      1,135
      Country Flag: United States
      ill be watching this looks like gonna be a fun ride
      keep the wheels a spinning and the Beavers a grinning(burt reynolds-smokey and the bandit)

    19. #19
      Join Date
      Jul 2008
      Location
      Dallas, TX
      Posts
      262
      Something to be admired about a car running as big of meats up front as in the back ;) What kind of tires are those?

      Glad to see someone coming up with their own suspension mods and not just bolting stuff on (like me :P).
      '69 Chevelle - LQ4/T56
      '71 GMC SWB Fleetside - LM7/AR5

    20. #20
      Join Date
      Apr 2007
      Location
      Surprise, Az
      Posts
      196
      Everything you guys have done makes perfect sense and is a great idea for someone that has a budget and is a good welder..

      very cool
      1970 NOVA..Ls2/Tko..Speedtech/Chicayne, Alston Glink

      Chuck D.

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