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Posted: 3/11/2006 2:27:00 PM EDT
I found a 78 2 door Nova for sale. The guys wants $2500 for it and to me it sounds like it could be a steal or a nightmare.
The details
The body is all original and in great shape for it's age. No apparent body work and the paint seems to be all original.
New 350 engine never cranked over. fairly new transmission with 10K on it. Engine has an Edelbrock high rise manifold, holly 4 bbl carb and headers.
Interior shows it's age. I'm just not sure if it's a smart thing to buy a car with an engine that's not been turned over. The owner has all the paperwork on the engine and it's gaurenteed and transferable to me if I buy it.

So what would you guys do ???
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 6:32:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 4:47:17 AM EDT
I would atleast do a compression check on that motor. Id be a lil concerned about a motor that hasnt been turned over, fine tuned or broken in and one that you cant hear run. But 350s are fairly cheap. Id look at the body and frame and see if you are willing to put another 2500into it, incase the motor craps out.

True story:

My buddy had a 350 built. they forgot a .10 freeze plug under the manifold or behind the timing cover and when they fired it up they had no oil pressure, they thought it was bad sensor or gauge, they hooked up mechanical gauge, still no pressure. Pulled motor apart and found out they were missing 1-2 of these smaller freeze plugs. The cam bearings ended up having some scoring and the cam had some scratches. 2 years later he never did put the motor back together and finish his project (but thats a whole diff. ball of wax)
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 10:46:49 AM EDT
Thanks die-tryin,

How would I do a compression check? I don't want to sound stupid but doesn't the engine need to be running to check the compression? The more I think about it, I have to probably steer clear of this one. When I consider the idea of replacing the engine should something be wrong, It doesn't sound like such a great deal. There are other cars I would be willing to dump more money into but not this one
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 11:37:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 19suburban96:
Thanks die-tryin,

How would I do a compression check? I don't want to sound stupid but doesn't the engine need to be running to check the compression? The more I think about it, I have to probably steer clear of this one. When I consider the idea of replacing the engine should something be wrong, It doesn't sound like such a great deal. There are other cars I would be willing to dump more money into but not this one



No, it doesnt have to be running, infact you dont run it. It jus has to turn over. either by power (battery and starter) or big ass wrench on the crankshaft bolt (not a very fun effort). You jus yank all the spark plugs and then put a compressino gauge on each cylinder. You turn the car over like your starting it and then take a reading. If it seems low, then you add some oil down the cylinder, if it increases the compression its the rings. The problem is, this is a new motor. The rings need to be seated and ran, so you would get some blow by on a new motor. People freak out when a newly built motor smokes or have blow by. Its jus kinda common.

Its a '78 nova. there is nothing special about this car unless it has some kinda meaning to you. Look past the price,etc. Get a body style/car that you would actually enjoy owning and owning and working on. For me that is '64 mustang and '68-69 camaros. One day ill own one of these. Ive seen good deals on other makes and models but its not what I truely want. Try to avoid the What-If game. my .02
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 12:13:45 PM EDT
Thanks for the advice. The truth is my ultimate score would be a 67 or 68 camaro. I need to be patient and wait for the right deal to come my way. If you find a 2 for 1 sale on 1st generation camaros let me know then we can both be happy
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 1:25:35 PM EDT
The engine, transmission, and rear end are all nice, but not essential for a good buy. The real important starting point is the body. If the body is good, the rest will be easy. Make sure the car passes the magnet check. For a 78, I would condiser $2500 a bit high, but I could be wrong.
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