Chevy II Nova Gasser: Week to Wicked Rearend
When it came to the rearend and rear suspension for our Nova gasser, we wanted to keep it simple. But it also needed hook up all that power from the big block and not die trying. A quick look through the Speedway Motors catalog turned up all the pieces to make it all work.
First, we selected one of our universal 9” housings. A 58” housing (axle flange to axle flange) turned out to be very close to the stock Nova width. This housing is bare, allowing the application-specific mounts to be added. We chose some stock-style Nova spring plates and welded them on after dialing in the pinion angle.
The housing comes complete with 31-spline axles, and we spec’d out one of our own third-members to provide the twist. These are assembled in-house using Speedway Motors third-member housings and Richmond Powertrax differentials. Since we plan to drive this car on the street, we picked a 3.89 gear. For serious dragstrip duty, we might swap this out for a 4.11 later on.
We offer several options for rear disc brake kits, but for this car we decided to go with drum brakes to stick with our 60's theme. Rear drums have been working just fine on street/strip cars for about 70 years now and they will be just fine on our gasser. The backing plates came out of the box fully assembled, allowing us to simply bolt them on with the supplied T-bolts.
Afco sent us some 2-way adjustable shocks to add some tuneability to this combination, and they bolted right up to the stock mounting locations. We also added some Competition Engineering Slide-A-Link traction bars to help plant the tires under those hard launches.
All in all, we ended up with a stout yet simple package. One that will give us some tuning options but is not so advanced that it looks out of place on a vintage drag car. We can’t wait to get it to the track and try it out!
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