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JetJackson

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1990 VN Exectutive Wagon
I have been working on my VN wagon on and off since November. What started as a few small "service" jobs, turned out to be many jobs. Do one thing, check results, see more things needing to be done, do those and find more :( . My wife said to me, "stop looking".
Some of the jobs I've done so far:
1. water pump
2. thermostat
3. top & bottom radiator hoses
4. radiator conversion from VR
5. surge tank mod, top radiator hose mod
6. new plugs, plug leads, alternator
7. rocker cover gaskets
8. inlet manifold gaskets
9. power steering pump - overhaul - new seals
10. auto trans - filter and oil change
11. engine - oil and filter change
12. throttle body - remove and clean
13. added bonnet struts

that's about all under the bonnet, then I started on the inside.

14. new (after-market) remote central locking - it never had genuine fitted
15. modified instruments - added level 2 cluster - fitted all black background VP tacho, speedo and other gauges,
I dismantled the odometer and wound it forward to show the same Ks as my original. Miles or Kilometres on a speedo are a "rite of passage" and should be proudly displayed - all LED instrument lighting.
16. footwell LEDS - looks great at night
17. added VR wiper and indicator stalks - with associated wiring mods
and finally
18. headlining - remove, clean, recover

My VN wagon now has almost a "new car" smell inside due to the new headlining. I bought the material from Nolans in Oakleigh, 2.5 metres about $40 and 2 cans spray adhesive from Bursons. I must say it is most satisfying to see the results of the recovered headlining. I did get plenty of encouragement from the guys who replied to my post removing foam from headliner

I must thank the JC Forums and all the folk and their threads that gave me ideas of what I could do and the guys who responded to my posts, I am very happy with all my work. The level 2 cluster looks so much better than the original "grey and green" instruments of the VN level 1 cluster.

Here are some pics of the repairs and mods I've done.

Water pump


Water pump


New intermittent control to go with VR wiper stalk


Coolant pipe - cut ends off to make Tee


Tee piece


VR stalks added



Hole cut for VR stalk


Top radiator hose ready to take Tee piece to connect to surge tank


Tee piece fitted


Inlet manifold was leaking coolant at rear porting - new gaskets fitted


Injectors cleaned - new O rings fitted


Insert made to replace valves in surge tank cap



(Almost) New surge tank


System filled with new coolant - new surge tank and Tee piece added to top radiator hose


VR radiator (with radiator cap) replaces original radiator


Cut-down tube spanner - to hold bonnet strut ball nuts securely while fitting


Bonnet struts fitted


Footwell LEDs fitted


View from tailgate showing new headlining - headlining recovered by myself and my wife - $76 instead of $280-300 from motor trimmer



Berlina dome light with bright white 16 LED festoon


Level 2 cluster - odometer wound forward to show original kilometres


T10 bright LEDs added to cluster


VR stalks



Footwell LEDS




The only job still to be done is a repair on squab of driver's seat. I have decided against fitting seat covers, so I'll need to try a motor trimmer and see if the fabric can be matched. Failing that I'll need to try a wrecker, but I don't like my chances finding the same.

Anyway, at least my VN is again "driveable.

Thanks again to all those who inspired me to do these mods.

Cheers, Jet. :beer chug:
 

Wombles

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Looks good Jet. Well done.
 

FXST01

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Good job, does it have two overflow tanks fitted to the radiator now?
 

VR38

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Great work.
What t10 leds did you use in the footwell?

Also, what it the surge tank in the cooling system for?
 

JetJackson

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Good job, does it have two overflow tanks fitted to the radiator now?
Thanks :) Both original plastic tanks are still fitted. The surge tank is necessary for the s1 cooling system heater tap connection, the inlet manifold air bleed pipes and the feed hose to top of radiator. The thermo-syphon tank is now connected to overflow or expansion outlet at radiator cap.
With the s2 VN, the cooling system was modified and the surge tank became redundant.



Cheers, Jet. :beer chug:
 

stockies

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That's some nice quality work there. Very impressive.
 

JetJackson

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Great work.
What t10 leds did you use in the footwell?
Also, what it the surge tank in the cooling system for?[/QUOTE]

Thanks, I am very happy with what I have so far.

I used T10 LEDs in the cluster lighting, but for the footwell I used some 12v strip LEDs I bought at Jaycar.

Footwell leds mounted to underside of dash - footwell cover


String of 12v leds - came 10 in a pack.



These are probably "over-kill", but they're nice and bright when you want them (night time)


Also, what it the surge tank in the cooling system for?

The surge tank was used with s1 V6s. I am not entirely sure what the reason for using this, except to say that it is the highest part of cooling system and any air trapped comes here, also connects to left-side top of radiator tank. With the mod (VR radiator) I did, I made a Tee piece and connected it between right-side top radiator hose and the stainless steel pipe which passes alongside the exhaust manifold and connects to thermostat housing at rear. There is a "bleed pipe" at front of manifold which bleeds trapped air and is connected to surge tank. On s2 V6 I believe there is a "bleed point" on thermostat housing which was moved to front of manifold, whereas on s1 V6, the thermostat is at rear, a legacy from the Buick (front wheel drive) version. All this "extra" plumbing became redundant with the s2.

Cheers, Jet. :beer chug:
 

DJ_Cosmic_Fire

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VP S-Pack Oct '91 - VT SrsII Wagon - VE SV6 SrsII
My wife said to me, "stop looking"
Totally relate to this statement! missus is gradually understanding that ongoing maintenance is something I need to do with the vehicles, or they will go into atrophy at some stage. As for any mods etc, she now knows that it's just something I like to do (which circles back to the first sentence) & will continue to do plus document here when I can. Next stop is a total power plant rebuild, will pick up a 3800 srII engine for a couple of 100, strip it down, replace everything with quality components & stroke it (to match current VP-S ECU & trans). Doing this while out of the bay is the only way to go, & as I've said to her, that while trans is out for a full rebuild & a stage 2 shift kit, may as well do up a 3800 srII engine to suit beforehand ready to drop straight in with a new TLC. I will then have a top motor (currently in VP-S) to strengthen for some serious FI in the next project, which will be grabbing a rust free VP rolling shell & building it from the frame up.
 

JetJackson

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That's some nice quality work there. Very impressive.
Thank kind Sir. I used to love working on my cars, over the years. I have always done stuff with one ethic "Do it right - once", and so I still need to do the jobs the best I can, and if there is something I can't do, I learn.

Just Commodores forum and the guys and gals here have been a wonderful source of inspiration, ideas and support.
 

JetJackson

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Totally relate to this statement! missus is gradually understanding that ongoing maintenance is something I need to do with the vehicles, or they will go into atrophy at some stage. As for any mods etc, she now knows that it's just something I like to do (which circles back to the first sentence) & will continue to do plus document here when I can. Next stop is a total power plant rebuild.
Indeed! I know some guys who would say "I'll drive it into the ground", rather than either do their own maintenance or have it done by professionals. I choose to what I can, for my own satisfaction.
 
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