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Classic Car Project Nomad #17

Classic Car Project Nomad #17 Classic Car Project Nomad #17 Classic Car Project Nomad #17 Classic Car Project Nomad #17 It was time to check out the Nomadís progress and to see how my theory was holding up. I headed up to Hornsby to check in with Steve and Anthony from Quick Fit Motorsport. The theory was that a manufacturer would ensure their parts would work well together and that I would use a small number of suppliers and hopefully have everything proceed with a minimum of dramas. So much for the theory, now for the reality.....

After what I thought was a monumental amount of research I had made a number of decisions, all of which I could justify in my own mind. As is the case with most things, when you get really close and heavily involved sometimes you need to stand back, take time and apply a degree of common sense to what you are undertaking. I didnít do this and as a result couldnít see the forest for all the bloody trees in the way. I stuffed up.

All the stuff I bought did what it claimed. Fits original holes, no welding or cutting required, could be put back to original...all these claims were true and the general fit, finish and ease of installation exceeded my expectations. Where things came unstuck revolved around me being a little too cute and pushing the envelope without engaging that vacant space between my ears.

The A arms I purchased were the cause of the grief. A multitude of suppliers have aftermarket A arms in a variety of finishes. Plain (bare metal), polished, chromed Ė you name, you can get it and as always it just depends on how much you want to spend. My stupidity was brought on by the opportunity to run larger width rims on the front. In standard guise a tri five Chevy normally runs seven inch rims on the front with no dramas. Anything larger may involve rolling the fender lip, removing the fender support bracket or flaring the guard. I decided on narrowed A arms from Heidts with dropped spindles.

The theory behind this was I will pick up an inch and half on both sides due to the narrowed A arms. When adding disk brakes most kits affect your offset and can add up to an inch and half per side. Some suppliers have zero offset, most fall in the three quarters of an inch to inch range, others are more. It doesnít sound much but when the tyre is trying to rip your guard off, particularly while turning and negotiating a dip like a gutter, the feeling in your stomach says that noise sounded very expensive!

The narrowed A arms were great, did what they claimed but what I didnít factor in was that it had major knock on ramifications for everything else. The rack and pinion set up from American Online Imports in South Australia is a quality piece of right hand drive engineering but is set up to replace the old stock steering. This means it is a direct bolt in for normal width A arms, not narrowed. I now have to fabricate shorter end lengths to account for the narrow arms.

Same goes for the anti sway bar. The unit I bought is set up for the width across the front end of a normal unit, not narrowed. This also will need a major rework. The moral of the story is the trade off for the extra rim width (in my opinion) is not worth it and anyone endeavouring to do a similar thing should just stick with the normal width replacement A arms.

We now have a shifter hole in the new floor pan to take the Tremec 6 speed transmission. The tunnel in a tri five is not high enough to accommodate this transmission and so a hole has been cut and the transmission mount will be changed slightly to get it all to fit nicely. The disks out front look the goods, the engine mounts are welded in and the LS2 sits in there beautifully.

One thing I got right was the oil pan. In doing all my research it appeared there would be oil pan clearance issues with the steering and the LS2. There is a lot of room if you want to fabricate your own engine mounts to lift the motor up for clearance but this may create dramas for the desired driveline angle of roughly four degrees and would possibly require major fabrication to the transmission tunnel as the transmission would sit higher behind the engine. Classic Chevy International (Ecklers) had an oil pan kit they had just released for tri fives and I got one on spec just in case I needed it. Chalk up one for dumbo, I got that one right.

We are just waiting on the diff to arrive and once that comes the four link setup will commence. Watch this space....

Words by Mark, proprietor of Classic Car Gurus


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