We spend a lot of time hanging out around autocross and road courses throughout the year watching some of the best handling muscle cars in the country cut corners around cones, so our level of expectation for our own cars gets correspondingly elevated. As a byproduct of this, we just don’t have much patience for wallowing, worn-out suspension systems. We want to actually be able drive our cars with abandon.

While crawling in and under the EcoNova during the drivetrain swap, wiring, exhaust, fuel system, and so on for the E-Rod LS3 conversion, we noticed that the suspension system was in terrible shape. All the bushings were original and in very poor, disintegrated condition front to rear. No one makes upgraded suspension parts for fourth-gen Novas—or do they?! The key here is that Novas after 1967 were basically parts bin cars that were outfitted with components from other Chevys on the production line. In the case of the fourth and last generation of Novas (’75-79), the front suspension, steering, and brakes are all standard second-gen (’70-81) F-body stuff from Camaros and Firebirds, since the subframe is very similar in design. In the rear though, they’re the same as third-gen (’68-74) Novas and first-gen (’67-69) Camaros and Firebirds, so all we had to do is find a company with great bolt-on handling parts for both cars, convince them we were right, and we’d be in business.

Hotchkis Performance fit the bill with their Total Vehicle System (TVS) suspension kits for both platforms, and having felt firsthand how well they function under other muscle cars, we gave them a call to discuss our plan. They were intrigued since it would be the first time they’d be able to create a new application for a full TVS suspension without designing or fabricating a single new part, but a bit doubtful on fitment since they’d never actually worked on a fourth-gen X-body. So we dropped the EcoNova off at Hotchkis’ R&D and installation facility for verification of part numbers to create the first commercially available full suspension system for fourth-gen Novas. You’re welcome X-body lovers!

SOURCE
Hotchkis Performance
12035 Burke Street
Suite 13
Santa Fe Springs
CA  90670
877-735-6425
http://www.hotchkis.net
Classic Performance Products
378 E Orangethorpe Ave.
Placentia
CA  92870
800-830-1724
http://www.classicperform.com
Energy Suspension
1131 Via Callejon
San Clemente  92673
888-913-6374
http://www.energysuspension.com