1963 Chevrolet Nova 6.6L Duramax - NovaMax

Classic Lines And 800 HP: John Fyffe's Duramax-Powered Drag Car

Jason Sands
Mar 21, 2014
There's something about modern technology and vintage iron. In the automotive world of engine swaps, gasoline LS-based engines are king, with the newer powerplants being cheap, and plentiful. However, there are other engines that are relatively inexpensive and available: Duramax diesels. As soon as we laid eyes on John Fyffe's Duramax-powered '63 Nova, we knew his choice of a 6.6L Duramax to power his Nova was a truly awesome one.
Duramax engines have an advantage over their Cummins and Power Stroke brethren in that they are much lighter -- especially with a single turbo and no intercooler, as is the case with John's Nova. Instead of a charge-air cooler, the '02 LB7 engine relies on nitrous oxide injection, which enters the intake tract at -127 degrees, creating a huge temperature drop. A Fleece Performance Engineering S480 turbocharger provides up to 70 psi of boost and is much simpler and lighter than compound turbos. Since no engine is great if it's blown up, the Duramax was fortified with Carrillo rods, ARP studs, welded injector cups, and Arias pistons.
Although John hasn't dialed up his Nova on power just yet, it has already run low 10-second times in the quarter-mile, at almost 130 mph. With some more tweaking and tuning, John is confident the Nova will dip into the 9s -- and possibly even the high 8-second zone.
Fast Specs • Built bottom end, including Carrillo rods, Arias Pistons, ARP studs, balancing, and blueprinting
• DEI exhaust shield keeps the turbo from melting the fiberglass hood
• On Track Automotive mount replaces the factory water pump with a second CP3 pump
• Three-stage nitrous system using NOS parts (one stage used so far)
• V-bands on entire intake tract to eliminate blown boots
• A two-speed Powerglide transmission sends power to the rear wheels
• "Although John hasn't dialed up his Nova on power just yet, it has already run low 10-second times in the quarter-mile, at almost 130 mph."
Photo 2/2   |   1963 Chevrolet Nova Engine
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