Thursday, March 15, 2007

Drag Stars and Air Shocks Gotta Go

The Drag Stars and jacked up rear end give the Nova a real 70's / 80's hot rod look but I've really become a fan of the modern lowered hot rods with tall rims and low profile tires. When it was time for new rubber I decided to bite the bullet and replace the 15" Craigar Drag Stars and TA Radials with a modern set of 17" rims.

I found a local So Cal Craigslist seller who was offering a set of 4 17x8 Dante 5-spoke wheels with 45 series tires mounted for just $900. and I couldn't pass up the deal. The Dante wheels have a 4.5" backspace and a clear coated polished aluminum finish. The tires was chose were 225/45R17's up front and 245/45R-17's in the back.

At the same time I came to the conclusion that I needed to ditch the air shocks on the back of the car. They made the car ride horribly and the rear end was too jacked up. Removing the air shocks revealed that we had badly sagging rear leaf springs, so to get the right stance we picked up a set of Hotchkis 2" lowered leaf springs for $500 and put them out back. This put the car back to level and the rims and stance gave the Nova the modern hot rod look it wanted.

One of the odd things about Novas is the right tire sits closer to the body than the left tire. The rear seems to be offset by 1/2-3/4's of an inch. Once we lowered the back this became more apparent as the passenger tire would rub on the inner fender well under load and in turns. Fortunately the previous owner had rolled the fender lip so the rubbing isn't too dramatic.