Project MaxStreet: 1966 Chevy II/ Nova Build Update
One of the coolest things about musclecars is seeing a pony car with a lot of power by way of a massive V-8. Our Project MaxStreet is a 1966 Nova II with 555 cubic inches of Edelbrock/Musi big-block power. But MaxStreet isn’t just another small car/big engine monstrosity, it’s been treated to the kind of attention that would make any musclecar stand out in just about any crowd.
MaxStreet was bought with serious intentions, and those intentions were street and strip: quick off the line and fast in the corners. After a few pictures were taken, we got it into the shop and the teardown commenced.
The details are below:
The first plan was to get the drivetrain out of the car and gut the interior, then yank out the suspension to make room for all the new parts that we planned on installing. We started out with Detroit Speed mini-tubs and tested the wheel fitment of the Billet Specialties 17 x 11-inch Street Lite wheels. We needed to make sure that the 315/35R17 Mickey Thompson Drag Radials were going to fit in the rear.
From there, it was on, and the drivetrain was being put together, literally, to make this car a roller. That meant a lot more work was ahead of us, and we knew that horsepower was going to be the primary goal, with a drivetrain to support it.
The entire car is purpose built to get the most from the big-block and to put that power down to the pavement and make it stick. As you might have guessed, the project name gives a not-so-subtle hint at our intentions with this car; and while most people would love to have a car like this at the dragstrip, we decided to give it the maximum street presence as well, hence MaxStreet.
We began this project a couple years ago, but then other projects took precedence and MaxStreet sat for a little while. But now we’re back at it and MaxStreet is getting some well deserved attention by the shop dawgs Sean G. and Dean J., and while we make our move to our new location here in Murrieta, California, MaxStreet is back on the priority list.
Below, you’ll find our build diary, from the latest adventure back to our very first task with Project MaxStreet. As with any build, it takes time and it takes patience, and we have a long “to do” list with plenty of documentation along the way. If you want to start from the beginning, start from the bottom and as we continue the project we’ll add to this build thread just below this paragraph. You can also follow along, in order, in the sidebar to the right.
Project Build Diary:
April 16, 2015 – Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride
Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson once said “Buy the ticket, take the ride,” in a discussion about slumps. We found ourselves in a slump with the MaxStreet project car. The beefed up Nova II had sat in a dusty corner of our shop for over two years, collecting dust and aging. Instead of moaning over lost time and what could have been, we followed Thompson’s advice. The ticket had already been purchased, now it was time to take the ride.
The MaxStreet Nova project was slightly off track. Once destined to be a maximum presence on the street, the Nova’s plan was confused by too many additions, too soon. After all, was it a street car or was it a track car? How many street cars had 10-point roll cages in them? How many track cars had low compression engines? The car was confused and we needed to get a better plan before our aging beast became a vintage classic without ever having turned a tire.
Rolling the chassis into daylight and taking inventory of what we had was the first step into bringing our Nova II back to life. Our “think tank” put their collective heads together and designed a plan and timeline to get our Chevy street car on the road with maximum street presence. No more sitting in the corner, oxidizing and collecting dust. Our slump was over and now it was time to move forward.
While the chassis was enjoying the bright sunny southern California afternoon, we thoroughly cleaned the mothballs of inactivity off of every piece of sheet metal. Every corner, crack, and crevice was wiped down and the proud bowtie swagger slowly came back to the beast. It would not be long before the Musi/Edelbrock heart would start beating with power again. The circulatory system of FAST, Aeroquip and Rick’s Tanks would soon be pulsing with life-giving fuel.
Stay tuned for a rapid fire schedule of upgrades in the very near future – and don’t be surprised if you see the MaxStreet Nova testing on the pavement within a month or two.
February 17, 2012 – Fueling MaxStreet, The Infinite Loop
Using parts from FAST, Aeroquip and Rick’s Stainless Tanks, we created the infinite loop on MaxStreet’s fuel system. We had all of our components in place, and the next step was to run the fuel line from the tank, to the engine compartment, and then back to the tank for the fuel return line.
With a 555ci Edelbrock/Musi big-block (rebuilt by Pacific Performance with low-compression JE pistons) and an F2 ProCharger bringing us into the 1000 horsepower range, fuel delivery is more important than anything else. If the fuel isn’t delivered with the right pressure and the proper GPH, the engine suffers, so of course we only used quality parts and fittings. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
February 7, 2012 – Roll Cage Install
With all the horsepower that MaxStreet is capable of, another area of concern, besides having the right fuel delivery, powertrain strength, and road course worthy handling, is to protect the occupants. The Chassisworks 10-point roll cage kit provided all the tubing necessary to get the occupants protected and does double-duty stiffening up the body. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
August 25, 2011 – Edelbrock/Musi 555ci Low Compression Rebuild
The Edelbrock/Musi rebuild took place because we had this engine in another project, and we wanted to be sure that everything was up to snuff. It only had 521 horses at the rear wheels in that project, but we had much higher goals and wanted to see 800+ crank horsepower out of this big-block without the ProCharger. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
June 8, 2011 – Fuel System Install Part 2
A closer look at the fuel tank and components gives you a better idea of the quality that goes into them. When you’ve got this kind of power, fuel delivery has to be able to keep up with the demand, and MaxStreet will be moving lots of fuel when the go-stick is mashed. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
May 18, 2011 – Fuel System Install Part 1
Handling the fuel system needs, a stainless steel fuel tank from Rick’s Tanks was placed up under the trunk floor, and plumbed with fittings, hoses and a high volume fuel pump from FAST. The tank is hand-fabricated and hand-welded, and designed to bolt into the stock location, making for a perfect fit. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
April 10, 2011 – Edelbrock RPM XT Cylinder Heads
When you’re pushing enough air through your intake to produce over 1,000 horsepower, you need to make sure that the cylinder heads can flow that much air, too. The Edelbrock RPM XT cylinder heads utilize CNC-porting to make the most of the runners and bowl area for increased air flow, which was tested by Edelbrock for up to .800 valve lift. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
March 15, 2011 – Flaming River Steering System Install
One company that has been providing the right components to custom builds like this is Flaming River. Their steering column was a perfect fit and included all wiring and brackets necessary to install it in our 1966 Nova II, making it look like it should have been there from the start. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
February 15, 2011 – Moser Wave Trac Differential
When you have the kind of power that MaxStreet is building, you need to make sure that all of your drivetrain components can handle it. The weakest link is the first to go, and you don’t want to be out on the road, let alone the track, and find out that you have a weak link. We turned to Moser Engineering for their Wavetrac differential to make sure we don’t have any of those weak links. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
February 14, 2011 – Suspension Upgrades
With the suspension systems in place and our wheels and tires fitted and tucked up under the sheet metal, the steering system was another area to tackle. Engine mounts were added, apron sheet metal was installed, and a Flaming River steering column was connected to the rack-and-pinion steering to get MaxStreet headed in the proper direction. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
November 23, 2010 – ProCharger F-2 Install
There are superchargers, and then there’s ProCharger. We needed a supercharger that was going to be capable of delivering more boost than we needed and handling more horsepower than our big-block is capable of. Why? So we wouldn’t run out of power when we needed it most. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
November 17, 2010 – Detroit Speed Engineering Four-Link Install
The rear suspension got a major overhaul as well, and we replaced the leaf spring with a Detroit Speed Engineering’s QUADRALink four-link suspension system. This setup assures us that we’ll get the power to the pavement because the rear tires will be planted firmly. It meant that some sheet metal had to be removed to make way for the suspension, but the result is worth the effort. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
August 24, 2010 – Chassisworks g-Machine
One way to make a classic car handle better is to ditch the antiquated suspension and bolt up something that gives you the freedom to make adjustments to caster, camber, spring rates, steering and better suspension geometry. We installed a Chassisworks g-Machine Subframe system to achieve just that. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
July 1, 2010 – Moser Rearend
With big power, a great trans and wide tires, we needed something to transfer all that horsepower to the rear wheels. Moser Engineering’s nine-inch was chosen to get the job done, and it was bolted up to a Detroit Speed QUADRALink suspension with coil-overs. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
July 1, 2010 – TCI Six-Speed Install
Installing the huge TCI 6X, 6-speed transmission also meant some fabrication was needed. But this is the transmission that we needed behind our big-block, and it was worth the extra work needed. With lots of horsepower and the desire for MaxStreet to be a great all-around car, we needed a transmission that can handle the kind of power we were going to throw at it, and also still be reliable. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
June 14, 2010 – Big-Block Install
The 555ci Edelbrock/Musi BBC required a little bit of trimming and fabrication, we needed room and the firewall was the place to take it from. We weren’t concerned about windshield wipers, you know the song, ‘It Never Rains in California’. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
June 14, 2010 – Mini Tubs and Wheel Fitment
To get the ultra wide wheels under the quarter panels meant mini tubs needed to be installed. The 17 x 11-inch Billet Specialties Street Lite wheels pack a lot of rubber, and we had to also trim the rear seat frame for everything to fit. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.