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Leigh's '81 VH SL/X Project

Discussion in 'VB - VC - VH - VK' started by Leigh_G, Dec 8, 2019.

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  1. Leigh_G

    Leigh_G ..forgot the sump bolt

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    Hi all, been a long time away from these forums, but I'm back, with a new money pit.

    Bought this 1981 VH SL/X a few weeks ago, figured I'll chuck it up here as a bit of a progress log as I fix things on it, and see where it ends up! A mate spotted it for sale at a local tyre shop and flicked me some photos - I took a pretty big gamble and bought it sight-unseen. The wife was not too impressed!:oops:

    A quick rundown:
    • Interior is alright - seats are great, carpet is pretty good with no wear-through.
    • Door cards are also nice except for the speaker holes someone's cut out... Driver's door card is also worn and has a split where someone's arm has been resting for 30 years
    • Centre console's missing, as too are the eyebrow chromes on the bonnet.
    • It's had a closed-door respray at some point, the engine bay, boot-lid and door jambs are all the original colour
    • At some point, someone has done a hack-job of the radio wiring loom, and also installed ridiculously thick subwoofer wiring down one side of the carpet
    • Only rust I have found so far is a couple of bubbles in the normal spots under the front and rear windows, and a bit on the rear guard lip. Bottoms of doors/sills/spare-wheel well are all clear.
    • Bumpers are mint, nice and shiny and no dings
    • Engine is the original 202 but with a 350 Holley that's tuned horribly and runs faaaaarr too rich :rolleyes:
    • Compression test looked really positive till I got to cylinder 6 which is shagged - looks like the rings are worn/broken
    • Car has had some nolathane bushes, monroe shocks and king springs installed in the last year or two by the looks of things
    • Car is definitely a "10 meter car" - up close, there's a few shopping dings and nicks down the sides - all minor though, nothing a PDR person couldn't tidy up.

    So far, I have:
    • Removed all the tint except rear window
    • Removed all the crappy speaker wiring and fixed all the loose carpet and scuff plates
    • Installed new exhaust hanger rubbers to stop things rattling around
    • Replaced oil and plugs
    • Installed gas struts on the bonnet
    • removed the seats and given them a wash and vacuum
    • peeled back the factory carpet and given everything a clean out (the owner before the current one lived in Clare, so the car was full of the fine dust you find up north)
    • bought a replacement end-cap for the front bumper plastic (see pic where it is missing)
    • Begun diagnosing and labeling all the chopped wiring in the dash, to slowly fix up

    Pics:
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    afstruct, VS 5.0 and Lex like this.
  2. VS 5.0

    VS 5.0 Well-Known Member

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    Looks pretty tidy.

    Given the motor is shagged, perfect excuse for 5 litre conversion :cool:
     
  3. Leigh_G

    Leigh_G ..forgot the sump bolt

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    Yep, been looking around for a V8 to drop in. :) Would love an LS for its bang/buck.. but it seems the money I'd save on the motor would be sucked up by all the extra stuff required for a conversion anyway.

    I would like it to be all legal and above board too, so I think I need to speak with someone about the different options I have (would be nice to avoid needing full engineering for now)

    Kinda why I jumped back on here, the knowledge some of the guys on JC have is awesome and people are generally really helpful.
     
    afstruct and VS 5.0 like this.
  4. vc commodore

    vc commodore Well-Known Member

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    Taken at City Discount tyres Port Adelaide I see.....Just watch out for the air conditioning in the building :)Looks in pretty good nick...

    Look forward to progress pics and holla if you need help finding stuff.....I know a few people around Adelaide, so I might be able to help you out there
     
  5. Leigh_G

    Leigh_G ..forgot the sump bolt

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    Yep that's the place! I bought it off the owner, Nick. He also has an identical looking VH (but drag-spec, with a turbo LS). I reckon that's probably where the high-rise console and headlight eyebrow chromes went, come to think of it!

    So if you know anyone with a high-rise console, or those bloody bonnet chromes, please let me know!

    I actually found a decent low-rise console, in indigo colour too, but I'm not sure if they're interchangeable with the high-rise? It looks like all the mounting points are different?

    Would be nice to have at least something there in the interim..
     
  6. vc commodore

    vc commodore Well-Known Member

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    High rise and low rise centre consoles bolt up the same....ie 1 or 2 self tappers through the centre of the back section. (Changed my VC from low to high)

    Might know where another high rise centre console is and I reckon the same person has the bonnet eyebrow moulds too....Will check for you and go from there
     
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  7. Leigh_G

    Leigh_G ..forgot the sump bolt

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    See this is why I logged back in here! Not even an hour and I've got some great advice and a lead on some parts

    Thanks mate!

    Edit: forgot to ask; whats wrong with the aircon at CDT? :D
     
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  8. vc commodore

    vc commodore Well-Known Member

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    It caused the place to burn down a couple of years back...Only left the shell of the building
     
  9. Leigh_G

    Leigh_G ..forgot the sump bolt

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    Merry Christmas everyone!

    Had some spare time yesterday so I pulled out the tail lights, wet-rubbed them a bit with 400, and painted them with some gloss black.

    Decided to mask them up like SL/E lights. Took a while but I reckon they came up a treat.

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  10. Leigh_G

    Leigh_G ..forgot the sump bolt

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    Quick update:
    Picked up an LED conversion kit for the cluster and installed the new globes - best idea ever!
    Removed the towbar
    Scored a free set of VY V6 calipers for a brake swap (later once I get it through regency with a new motor)
    Sourced a nice indigo SL centre console and chucked it in, and then last week found another wreck and was able to scrounge a few nicer bits out such as:
    • New roof gutter chrome set
    • SLE/SLX high-rise console in indigo
    • Proper SLX cluster with voltmeter and oil pressure (someone had swapped the current for an SL cluster at some stage...)
    • Various little bits n pieces like indigo coat hook and a new indigo window winder
    Also have the opportunity to pick up a donor car for the engine swap, a '95 VS Statesman 5.0 - so I've chucked a couple questions out to get the ball rolling and make sure I don't forget anything

    Lastly, the high-rise centre console has the vinyl shrinking back off the edges just like they all do - anyone got recommendations for a good motor trimmer in Adelaide?
     
  11. Leigh_G

    Leigh_G ..forgot the sump bolt

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    SL/X cluster installed, with LEDs for dial illumination :):):):)

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    Also grabbed a vac line from the wreck and installed that, so now my vac gauge works a treat too :D
     
  12. afstruct

    afstruct Well-Known Member

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    Looks really clean an nice.
    Tail lights look great .
    Yeah , patience and keep looking = a 5.0l will turn up for the right price = to rebuild/ mod.
    Been looking for a while = even initially missed it thanks to idiots jumping in early = but I got in the end = complete vr ii 5.0l for rebuild .
    While newer would have been nice = eg = roller , this is otherwise the the perfect base for a nice 355 for my maloo.

    And yeah = everyone forgets about all the added costs = ( not just an ls1 engine) and engineering to convert = not to mention that way cooler old school v8 sound
     

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