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Jolls VZ ute project

Waz888v8

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Hi Team,

This was originally posted under showcase; however, if anyone is doing or planning a VZ ute project I thought the VZ area would probably be the best place to find information. So here is our VZ ute project (sons and I). It started from nothing really. We are builders in a country area about 45 minutes NW of Canberra - our VY V8S work ute hit a roo and was written off. We purchased her back from the insurer for $300 and ripped out the engine, box and diff, pacer extractors, X force cat back exhaust, and the harness/computers for use sometime down the track.

We happened upon a VZ ute shell, SS seats and interior and FE2 suspension for a song. The downside – sprayed in rattle can white with matt black DIY “racing” features, tub shrouds done in matt black with a paint brush and skirts painted in hammer finish silver. WTF were they thinking? This is her on the hoist after we dropped the VY donk in.


20200529_155042.jpg



Between removing the LS1 from the VY and transplanting it into the VZ we added a VCM 262 Cam, new springs, dual cam chain and sprockets, lifters and oil pump. We have also installed a mantic clutch, replaced the front rack, added a new radiator and converted the LS1 from cable to drive by wire. A new ECU was purchased from LSXxtreme as the VY computer wasn’t transferable. An OTRCAI is ready to go on and a MAFless tune is in the wings. Missing the clutch line, an alternator (of course they changed) and a couple of O2 sensors to get her on the road.

Changing from cable accelerator to drive by wire was a complete disaster as the cable between the TACM and the Accelerator had been cut. It took seven months to sort - if you want to have a laugh at our expense you can follow it here...https://forums.justcommodores.com.au/threads/vz-ls1-accelerator-pedal-position-sensor.281842/ The key lesson - don't try to repair cabling between computers - do it right the first time and replace that component with a new or known working loom component.

The interior is in average shape – seats are OK but as with most 15 or so year old seats need some work; as does the wheel. There is nothing to play the tunes with either. Will add a behind the dash UHF for comms as she will be our quote and run around ute. Fastest quotes in the area.

Panels etc – straight as except for the front bar which has some deep gouges along with a lot of superficial cuts and bruises, May just opt to run a 5 poster to deal with the roos. Apart from that no real plans except for some decent paint. We will de-badge the beast and run her as a sleeper until we get the time and beer tokens together to do the paint work.
One thing on changing cams in a ls1 the lifters have Needle beerings in them did u get the kit for them with the retaining washer ? If not I suggest u do cause it's a common fault when u change a cam in a ls1 the Needle beerings collapses because beeing a forged engine the tolerance bigger to allow for heat expansion
 

Jolls

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Waz,

replaced the lot with a kit from VCM. Wasn't taking chances on parts with 250K on them
 

Jolls

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So - more sublte changes from VY to VZ. We dropped the entire long engine in when we did the changover. The long engine included the power steering pump etc. When we added the new rack it simply bolted up; however, something abraided the hose. As soon as I looked at the problem this morning I realised we weren't going to fix it today. Ripped out the high pressure line with no real issues - it is tight but doable. Two 13mm bolts to the sump and a 16mm union at either end.

Power Steering Lines Small.jpg
Pump end small.jpg
Rack end small.jpg


The VY power steering pump was a Saginaw pump with the high pressure line connected to the bottom rear of the unit. The VZ power steering pump is a Kayaba. So now the decision is do I hunt down a Kayaba pump to bring it to VZ spec or take the lines back and change them for VY and make a mental note?

On a side note I found the air filter had been sucked up ourt of its mount into the opening of the TB. It was stuck pretty hard. Will have to look into that as we go forward.
 
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Fu Manchu

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What about some AN fittings and braided hose? Find a small cooler at a wrecker?

I’m about to put and old VS transcooler on as a power steering cooler on the VZ until I find a smaller one somewhere.
 

Jolls

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Great back up plan. I will keep it in mind as we investigate the solution.
 

Jolls

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Picked up a VY pipe from a local power steering shop and fitted it up after work. Not a dificult job by any way, shape or form; however, getting the arms into place to do the bottom union up was a PITA. I was able to identify that the original hose had been rubbing on the engine mount. I cable tied the replacement flex line to a tab for mounting the wiring harness to prevent it happening in the future. I will keep an eye on it.

Adding a cooler and using a braided flexible line may make the job less painful down the track. I will look out for an option as a potential future mod.

I looked into the OTR air filter while I was at it. It appears to be a simple interference fit; nothing in the top of the casting that prevents the top from rolling over. I placed it back in and gsve her some herbs on the return leg of the power stering test. It was still firmly in place - I will keep an eye on it as we progress the build. The OTR was a freebie so I may look to replace it with a better option down the track once finances allow. I will also be keping an eye on the PCV return - which is currently routed into the OTR well before the TB to determine the need or not for a catch can.

While I was doing the power steering I took the opportunity to replace the antenna mast. I used a mast off an earlier model (VN to VX) that was laying about in the shed. Modifying it to fit wasn't that difficult. If you are interested in how to do it the link is here. So now the tunes work a bit better.

I am now chasing a steering wheel control harness to get that part operational. I trust that will address the radio having to be turned on and off manually. It is an ISO plugged JVC head unit so it is simply running an ISO to VZ lead. Swapping the accessory/power feed has made no difference so expect it needs to run through the SWC patch lead to understand the signal from the BCM. If not I will simply pick up something wired to the accessories switch to get it to work correctly. I will have a play with that when I install the new fascia mount and reversing camera.
 
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Jolls

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Had the old girl running about over the last few days and have identified a few gremlins that I will need to work through.

AC is nice and cold but stuck on the demist setting regardless of the selected mode. I will track that one down when I pull the radio to install the reverse camera and SWC.

Fuel gauge is a guide - pulled into the servo today even though it was reading just under 3/4 tank as I thought it must be getting low. She took 45 litres so I will need to watch the ododmeter until I get to that one.

In the interim I installed the clutch pedal switch so the cruise control now works. I also replaced the guard clips that hold the front bar on - one was so worn it barely worked and the other was broken.

I have a week away and then will be back - plan is to start on the bodywork.
 
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gtrboyy

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Senders not as accurate as factory item if it's had replacement f/pump put in.Apparently common thing after did my vy sv8.
 

Jolls

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I haven't had an opportunity to do much work on the old girl as family was visiting. Got a small chance today before checking the tools and repacking the Hilux for work tomorrow.

I pushed the fuel side of the problems to the limit with a jerry in the back Justin. She went from half to empty - low fuel warning over about 100K. So we will be definitely looking into a quality replacement sender in due course. In the meantime I will live with it knowing that it is time to refuel as soon as it gets to 1/4. Not keen to suck up any crap pushing the limit any further.

The radio issue has been resolved. It had nothing to do with the need for a SWC patch harness at all. My testing indicated that I did not have a switched power cable. I found when playing with the dome light that the BCM switches the power when the door is opened. I cleaned the door sensor contact and the radio started to switch off as well - two birds with one stone.

No big gain but a step in the right direction regardless.
 

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I’m going to clean all the door switches.
 
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