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Losh's VR Ute build thread

losh1971

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Early this year I bought a VR ute for $2400, thinking that was an reasonable deal. Turns out after I had a KTAS safety inspection the previous owner may have had another reason for selling it. It had quite a few problems that really were hard to identify with wacking it up on the hoist and having a mech go over it.

So far I have pressure washed the entire body I got in to every nook and cranny and cleaned out the mud and dirt. A few weeks of owning it I had a crank pulley fail. I was leaving work and started the ute up and it was making a hell of a racket. Had a mech and the RACT inspect it and got two different opinions on what the issue was. RACT said he thought it was the PS pump. When the owner and mech of the tow Co listened he said $3k, something has let go inside the engine.
That night I got on the forum and someone said it could be the crank pulley. Sure enough it was. the centre had let go and had a tiny wobble but enough to cause a racket. Took over a week to get the parts. In the end I changed the belt, pulley and CAS because I wanted to do the job once. More to come.
ute.jpg
 

losh1971

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Since that I bought a ute box from SCA, so I can carry tools and gear and keep it secure without having it inside the cab.
 

losh1971

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KTAS identified a number of things wrong with the ute. And over the last few months i have been slowly getting on top of them. I picked up some rebushed control arms and along with some new parts fitted to the struts i had them fitted over the last week.
 

afstruct

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Nice, I've got a checka plate box which I made when I had my HQ 1 tonner . Just lock it in with cables when we go away in the ute, that way feel more secure leaving stuff in ute and someone has to put some effort and time into stealing things
 

losh1971

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Pretty much in the first week of buying the ute i had the seats and carpet out. Ended up soaping them up with CT18 and used the Karcher to hose it out. Wasn't the best way to dp the seats as they took 4 days to dry. Mind you that was the middle of winter. But it wss free to do them that way. Around the same time i fitted my Pioneer head unit and amp and some 250w Pioneer speakers. I have another two to fit but need to work out making a speaker box for them and mount them behind the seats.
 

losh1971

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Few weeks ago i overhauled the front brakes. Replaced the rotors and fitted some HPX pads. Also stripped down the calipers and cleaned the Pistons and fitted new seals. I found te new dust seals wouldn't fit they were just a mm too big and i couldn't get them to seat around the back of the caliper. Ended up fitting the old dust seals as they were still in really good condition. I also fitted some braided brake lines, which coupled with the new pads and rotors have give me a a fair improvement on what I had. Plan is to do the rears at some point and do the same as i did on the front. Should give me pretty good braking without going into major modding like a VT upgrade.
 

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Not much room behind seats, the curse of commodore utes until ve . My vs spac had the wall behind passenger seat cut and sub mounted to it , crappy way of doing but sounded alright. That's how I got the ute. You could get a sub, make box, mount under tray beside fuel tank and port into cabin. That's what I've done, got splits up front in normal spot in doors and tweeters are mounted to mirror covers. The best thing I did was go to a car stereo place and speak to them got everything except head unit off them, which I already had, love it great crisp clear sound .
Don't know how you'll go mounting one behind drivers seat or are they only around 6inch diameter
 

losh1971

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I won't be mounting a sub. Im thinking i will make a box thin enough to sit on the ledge above the Centre half seat. Im thinking i might be able to slip it in behind the seats a tad if i lean them forward a tad. Won't have a lot of air for the speakers but plan is to fade the speakers to have more volume on the doors.
 

losh1971

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Over the last 4 or 5 weeks i had some problems with the cooling system. Started out by what we thought was a loose hose clamp on the front of the manifold. Clamp was replaced when the local mech fitted new engine mounts. But a couple of days later i noticed it was still leaking. I had a play with it and ended up snapping the S pipe adapter. It was due to break anyway. Trouble is that when they snap a little peice of pipe stays in the manifold. I was at my fiancés house. I usually only carry a small blow mould tool kit and some screw drivers. Ended up finding a wire coat hanger and bent it into into a little hook and managed to yank it out. I posted my repair in the forum and tben im told there is one the same on the back of the engine. Ended up making a second trip to repco to by an extra adapter. Got a pretty good price for them from repco that was cheaper than i could get them from eBay. Was a couple of weeks before I got to the bsck one as i needed time at home whereci have everything i needed to do the job. That rear one is really tricky. I hoped i was able to get it out in one peice. But careful as i was it still broke off and a bit stayed inside the manifold. Oring pick going at it for 20 mins and i couldn't get it to come out. Had a bit bit of a think about it and i ended snapping a hacksaw blade in half. I then ground it down thin enough to fit it inside the manifold hole and make it so i could cut a groove in it. Ended up working a treat and i was then able to hook it out. Once I fitted the new adapter it started to leak. That in the end was solved by snipping the hose back enough to get a fresh surface for the clamp to sit on. I reckon the squished hose must have meant the clamp wouldn't pull in. Couple of weeks went by and i end3d up finding the water pump started leaking. I guess getting proper pressure in the system showed up every week point. So i fitted the pump i had bought a while before. All was good until about a week or two later when the radiator cap started leaking. Replaced the cap th the other day and it seems to have no leaks at all. And i am no longer using any coolant.
 
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