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New VH SLE Shadowtone Owner

Jeffro75

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Hi Guys,

As of yesterday, I am the proud new owner of a 1983 SLE, Rhone Green over silver. I had one as my first car, which my brother still owns and so over the years I have been keen to get one back in the garage for myself.

I have picked up a very clean (but not perfect) car with a 304 conversion. The previous owner purchased the car from the mechanic who put the engine in as an unfinished project 4-5 years ago but has done nothing with it since.

The car runs nicely and drives. The car has got either a T350 or T400 but not sure which. The trans shifts okay. The car pulls up fine etc etc.

Having said all of that, I have a number of questions I'm hoping the experts here can help with, without having to traul through endless threads. Not lazy, just short on time!!!

1. The dash cluster has been messed with, what looks like a VN temp gauge has been slotted in, the oil pressure gauge sits in the middle but doesn't move with revs as I would expect. Both the speedo and tacho look to have non-original needles. Tacho doesn't seem accurate and speedo doesn't move. Haven't ran the car long enough to see if the temp gauge is working.
Question: If I get a new dash cluster, is there any need to mess with it or are there solutions to get the stock gauges to work? If so, what do I need to do? I would have thought oil pressure, temp sensor and tacho should all be able to read from similar sensors to the original 253. Not sure about fuel gauge. Looks like the tank has been changed over, as it seems to have an internal fuel pump.

2. Is there any easy way to tell whether I have a VN/VP or VR/VS engine/ECU. The guy said he was told it was a VP Clubsport Engine but certainly no HSV badge on the throttle body cover and can't see why anyone would remove it, so suspect it's standard.

3. I'm keen to put a set of Simmons FR-1's on. I'd love to get my car to look like the pic I've linked below.

Not interested in the rubber-band look and still want to maintain good ride.
My guess would be that these are 17" or 18" wheels. Would love to get some advice on suggested diameter and tyre widths front and rear. Would also like to get this stance and would be interested to get advice on whether you think this is on super-low or standard lowered springs. I don't want to roll guards or mod the diff so basically just want to know what works best with the standard setup with lowered springs.

4. Lower Door Mouldings. When I had my original SLE, you were able to get reproduction lower door mouldings (external, black with chrome strip). I can't seem to find any. Does anyone know if these are still available. Mine are okay but the chrome is letting go.

Sorry for the long-winded post, thanks in advance to anyone who can help with any of the above. Cheers!
 
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gohrdrgomad

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VxCaly57
Hi Guys,

As of yesterday, I am the proud new owner of a 1983 SLE, Rhone Green over silver. I had one as my first car, which my brother still owns and so over the years I have been keen to get one back in the garage for myself.

I have picked up a very clean (but not perfect) car with a 304 conversion. The previous owner purchased the car from the mechanic who put the engine in as an unfinished project 4-5 years ago but has done nothing with it since.

The car runs nicely and drives. The car has got either a T350 or T400 but not sure which. The trans shifts okay. The car pulls up fine etc etc.

Having said all of that, I have a number of questions I'm hoping the experts here can help with, without having to traul through endless threads. Not lazy, just short on time!!!

1. The dash cluster has been messed with, what looks like a VN temp gauge has been slotted in, the oil pressure gauge sits in the middle but doesn't move with revs as I would expect. Both the speedo and tacho look to have non-original needles. Tacho doesn't seem accurate and speedo doesn't move. Haven't ran the car long enough to see if the temp gauge is working.
Question: If I get a new dash cluster, is there any need to mess with it or are there solutions to get the stock gauges to work? If so, what do I need to do? I would have thought oil pressure, temp sensor and tacho should all be able to read from similar sensors to the original 253. Not sure about fuel gauge. Looks like the tank has been changed over, as it seems to have an internal fuel pump.

2. Is there any easy way to tell whether I have a VN/VP or VR/VS engine/ECU. The guy said he was told it was a VP Clubsport Engine but certainly no HSV badge on the throttle body cover and can't see why anyone would remove it, so suspect it's standard.

3. I'm keen to put a set of Simmons FR-1's on. I'd love to get my car to look like the pic I've linked below.

Not interested in the rubber-band look and still want to maintain good ride.
My guess would be that these are 17" or 18" wheels. Would love to get some advice on suggested diameter and tyre widths front and rear. Would also like to get this stance and would be interested to get advice on whether you think this is on super-low or standard lowered springs. I don't want to roll guards or mod the diff so basically just want to know what works best with the standard setup with lowered springs.

4. Lower Door Mouldings. When I had my original SLE, you were able to get reproduction lower door mouldings (external, black with chrome strip). I can't seem to find any. Does anyone know if these are still available. Mine are okay but the chrome is letting go.

Sorry for the long-winded post, thanks in advance to anyone who can help with any of the above. Cheers!
Answer no1. U have two many questions with alternative questions. Answer no2. U r lazy. Answer no3. Dash issues you would be best giving to a auto elec with the gauges you prefere to fit as you seem to have someones headach. Answer no3 engine or ecu? Numbers could possibly assist. Answer no4. Rims n tyres. 225/60/15 rear on interceptors or 235 with the lip rolled with the car 4 inches off the ground. Fe2 springs and 18x8 might be a consideration without guard issue with a correct offset. Possibly as per the pic..Answer no5. Maybe rare spares could assist with door molds.
 

Jeffro75

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Thanks for the suggestions, much appreciated.
 

vc commodore

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I have a VC, which is 2" lower than standard, with 16X8's CSA Prowlers and 225/50X16 fitted.....I think the stance is nice, as the front guards sit just above the tyre and the rear sits just over the tyre.....

I didn't have to roll the guards, but had a little bit of experimenting with an adjustable panhard rod to make sure the left rear tyre didn't hit the guard, with a little weight in the boot....I did nail it in the end and the car is very comfortable to drive around town and out on the open road
 
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Jeffro75

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VH SLE 304 EFI AUTO
I have a VC, which is 2" lower than standard, with 16X8's CSA Prowlers and 225/50X16 fitted.....I think the stance is nice, as the front guards sit just above the tyre and the rear sits just over the tyre.....

I didn't have to roll the guards, but had a little bit of experimenting with an adjustable panhard rod to make sure the left rear tyre didn't hit the guard, with a little weight in the boot....I did nail it in the end and the car is very comfortable to drive around town and out on the open road
G'day mate, thanks so much for your detailed reply. This info is very useful. I would love to see a pic of your car to get an idea of the stance if you have one. Cheers and thanks again!
 

vc commodore

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Last edited:

Jeffro75

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Hi mate, thanks so much for the link, it worked. It gives me a good idea of what to expect. Thanks so much for your efforts, greatly appreciated.
 

hainzy

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Hi mate. I cant remember where i got it from, (I think someone on one of the early commodore facebook sites sells it), but instead of replacing the moulds, you can buy a roll of chrome stripping which sticks over your chrome. If only the chrome is coming off, that would be the easiest way to fix it. I tried google but I couldnt find it. Ask around and someone will know about it.
 

Jeffro75

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VH SLE 304 EFI AUTO
Thanks mate, that's exactly what I've done and it is has come up well.
 
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