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My VS III Maloo

gtrboyy

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Remind me next week if still interested I'll grab wheel & airbag out of storage.

I won't remember after nightshifts lol
 

Gilly91

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I've still been mucking around with the ute when I've got time in between other projects such as my latest - home brewing:



Anyway, so recently I replaced a couple of things for rego which a new mechanic knocked me back for... They were the good old tailshaft centre bearing and the inner tie rods. None of which were even that bad, but they're done now!

Yesterday I got a random urge to finally pull my instrument cluster out in attempt to fix the missing number segments on the LCDs and see why some of the lights weren't illuminating. It had been that way for a long time and I had just never got around to doing it.



I had looked up how to fix LCDs with similar problems and thought it would be a matter of pulling the cluster apart and carefully heating the backing strips of the LCD screens while pressing them down gently but as I further and further dismantled the instrument cluster, I got to the back of the LCD screens where the circuit board was stuck down with some sort of tape. It's hard to see in the picture but it's the white stuff underneath the circuit board at the back where the black strips are.



Long story short, this stuff scared me off as nothing ends well when you dive into something you know nothing about so the cluster went back together and back into the car. Good news is the illumination problem I had was entirely fixed by tightening the bulbs up in their slots and I now have a right indicator light and a temperature gauge at night.
 

Gilly91

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Getting the ute registered this year was a pain as the mechanic knocked it back for worn steering rack ends, a perished tail shaft mount bearing and leaking rocker covers. Long story short is I replaced/fixed all of the issues and took it back to get rego and a wheel alignment after doing the rack ends. To me, the old rack ends seemed fine and when I got it back the wheel alignment never felt right. I took it back and they did another alignment but it still felt wrong and was wandering all over the road. I had a closer look at the front end and the lower ball joints were absolutely cactus. I assume they were the original ones too as they were still riveted in. I don't know why the issue hadn't been as obvious before though.

I had never been happy with how the front end felt - clunky with loose steering, leaking steering rack and noisy pump, tyres wearing out fairly quickly and disc rotors which were getting close to needing replacing. So I decided to replace almost everything to hopefully compliment my fairly new suspension.

So I bit the bullet, got on eBay, and bought:

RDA slotted and dimpled rotors for all corners
RDA Extreme brake pads for all corners
Remanufactured steering rack
Power steering pump
Tie rod ends
Left and right lower ball joints
Superpro front end bush kit



I lifted the car up and took everything apart; consulting Gregory when I got stuck. I used an angle grinder to carefully chop the ball joint rivets out of the control arm. Here is what the ball joints looked like:



I hacked the old bushes out of the control arms which actually weren't too bad.



Then I decided to clean them and paint them before using a long bolt and some washers to squash the new bushes in.





Once they were all back in, the steering rack was next. This was a fun job as I had to loosen the driver's side exhaust header to be able to get the rack in and out.



While I was replacing all the brake rotors I decided to paint the calipers with some red caliper paint as well. Hopefully they work as good as they look.



I have put the new power steering pump in which was a time consuming process due to the lack of access to bolts. All that's left to do now is to fill and bleed the power steering and get yet another wheel alignment. Hopefully, I'll have it back on the road within the next few days.
 

losh1971

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Did you fit the hardened rotors? I have them and i find the cheaper ones to have better bite with my QFM HPX pads. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on them. I wonder if there is not enough material transfer with the harder rotors. One thing is for sure they don't have any signs of a lip forming unlike my old Bosch ones.
 

afstruct

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Nice, should be driving/ handling and stopping better in a few days
 

Gilly91

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Did you fit the hardened rotors? I have them and i find the cheaper ones to have better bite with my QFM HPX pads. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on them. I wonder if there is not enough material transfer with the harder rotors. One thing is for sure they don't have any signs of a lip forming unlike my old Bosch ones.
I'm not sure if the rotors are hardened. RDA says they temper the rotors but I'd say most brake rotors are heat treated to some extent due to the steel they're made from. The black colour of the rotors is from the passivation layer which is to reduce corrosion on surfaces of the rotor where the pads don't make contact.

So far they feel good - smooth feel and stop quickly under hard braking. I had DBA brakes on the front previously so my braking was always decent but they were very old and worn out. I only have the standard calipers as well so they're never going to be as good as newer cars.

Nice, should be driving/ handling and stopping better in a few days
It handles so much better now. The steering is much more responsive and there is no clunking coming from the front end anymore!! Finally! The only complaint is with my eBay power steering pump; it is noisy and the steering is heavier than it was before. Anyone had the same issue with a power steering pump? I guess it's probably my fault for going the cheaper, new, aftermarket option from eBay...
 

Deuce

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The only complaint is with my eBay power steering pump; it is noisy and the steering is heavier than it was before. Anyone had the same issue with a power steering pump? I guess it's probably my fault for going the cheaper, new, aftermarket option from eBay...
Do you have the variable (elec) power steering rack and fitted a standard steering pump? That would make it heavier.
Or does the new rack have the pipe to balance left and right deleted? Mine does and it is certainly heavier.

On another note, flick back through my build and find where I fitted a VX power steering cooler to the front of my VR. Pretty easy mod really.
 

Gilly91

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Do you have the variable (elec) power steering rack and fitted a standard steering pump? That would make it heavier.
Or does the new rack have the pipe to balance left and right deleted? Mine does and it is certainly heavier.

On another note, flick back through my build and find where I fitted a VX power steering cooler to the front of my VR. Pretty easy mod really.
I'm pretty sure I have the standard rack. No electrical connections. Also, the balance pipe is there. I'm thinking the pump is garb especially due to the whine it's got. The belt still slips when I'm at full lock too which is really annoying/embarrassing in car parks; sounds horrendous. I will try flushing and refilling it with new fluid when I have time and see how I go.
 

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My steering guy advised that holden racks completely cover the feed at full lock and is not good for them.
Not much stress at idle, but very bad news for the pump if high rpm full lock is used often (ie skids)
 

Gilly91

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My steering guy advised that holden racks completely cover the feed at full lock and is not good for them.
Not much stress at idle, but very bad news for the pump if high rpm full lock is used often (ie skids)
Mmm yeah. But mine squeals if I'm getting in/out of a carpark at low revs. I try my best to never hit full lock because of it. Has your steering guy got any fixes for a noisy/heavy new steering pump? Haha
 

Lex

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But mine squeals
Whats the condition of the belt & tensioner?
The squealing sounds like a stretched belt or the spring in the tensioner has stretched.
 

Deuce

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I was watching 'the skid factory' last night and he reckons that the new belts stretch in 5minutes and start squealing from new.
He was working on a 304 in a HQ so quite relevant.
 

Gilly91

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Yeah I have just replaced the belt and have it at a good tension (not too tight, but not loose). I replaced it in hope of a new belt fixing the problem but it didn't. Interesting about that comment saying the belts stretch quickly. Interesting and annoying. Maybe there is a better/lighter power steering fluid I can use to take some pressure off the system??
 

Gilly91

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Does anyone know where I could buy altezza/crystal headlights and corner blinkers for my ute nowadays?? They used to be all over eBay but now I actually have some money to spend on headlights they're nowhere to be found on the internet...
 

Gilly91

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So after a lot of thinking I have decided to get a second car while I take the Maloo off the road to get some body work done and then a respray - it needs/deserves it.
So my question is: does anyone here know of any panel beaters in the Wollongong area who they would trust to do a few rust repairs and a good, closed door respray on an older car? When I got the front end resprayed last time, rust came out from the panel edges within a few years. I don't want that to happen again.
 
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