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VH SLE - 1981 - Indigo Blue

Discussion in 'VB - VC - VH - VK' started by SLE-883, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. SLE-883

    SLE-883 Member

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    After having a 1981 SLE 308 with all the options stolen back in 1997 I've always had a soft spot for the VH. In 2010 I bought myself a 1983 SLE with shadow tone (Blue on Silver) with a 202 and converted it to a 304 efi. My wife and I then had our first kid and I lost interest in the project and sold it in 2013. What a mistake that was.

    About 6 months after that I started looking for another and last weekend I managed to find myself a one owner 1981 Indigo Blue SLE. Details are as follows.


    Engine - 253 4.2L V8
    It has 93,000kms and has been in the one family since it was purchased off the showroom floor from Boyd Holden South Wollongong. Owned by one man who later passed it on to his daughter. It sat in a garage from approximately 2008 until 2014 when it received a slight overhaul and was registered.

    The car is completely original apart from a new window master switch from a VL. I picked it up Saturday from Canberra and drove it back all the way to Sydney and am pleased and surprised to say that the car made it without any issues at all.

    Plans for the time being are to just enjoy it get it mechanically sound and cruise around with the 253 in it. Eventually I'll be looking at an engine swap. I'm in two minds on doing a 304 conversion or keeping it carby by going with a 308. either way I'll be upgrading the suspension, brakes and drive line first.

    Now for the photos.

    Not very attractive in it's standard form
    [​IMG]

    Clean roof lining. Just need to replace the light cover
    [​IMG]

    Original and clean interior and original log book. The owner was a non smoker so it has no burn marks in the seats and the ashtrays are all clean.
    [​IMG]

    unmarked rear seats
    [​IMG]

    Boot with original carpet and jack
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    93,000kms on the clock
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    The powerhouse 253
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    First thing I did when I got the car home was throw on the FR19s I've had sitting under the house. The front are 19x7 with 215 rubber. The rear are 19x9 with 245 rubber. I thought I was going to have to shorten the diff to fit the rear but they clear with no issues on the standard suspension. As I type the car is at Pedders having a few bushes replaced as well as shocks and lowered springs and adjustable pan hard rod. Hopefully the rear don't rub once she's lowered.

    Here it is with the Simmons and the standard suspension.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I have a new set of headlights arriving next week with the clear indicators and I'll be ripping off the yellow fog lights and mud flaps shortly too.
     
  2. Sandman

    Sandman Challenge Accepted

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    308 All the way, keep it true to its roots. Looks extremely clean too man, nice pickup.
     
  3. VS 5.0

    VS 5.0 Well-Known Member

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    304 with TP manifold. Injected FTW.
     
  4. Hoska91

    Hoska91 Formerly 75HJPREM

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    Can't go wrong with the 304 :p, was waiting for this to pop up after i saw you bought a VH in the for sale section haha, good lock with the build!

    also...#4wdmode
     
  5. SLE-883

    SLE-883 Member

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    I'm thinking that I'll stick with the 304/308 block. Should be a much easier build this time around as the car is already an 8 and I know what to do and not do.

    Here it is sitting lower to the ground. Dropped it 2 inches.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Hoska91

    Hoska91 Formerly 75HJPREM

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    What's plans for it then ?

    nice cruiser or going to make it a bit of a weekend weapon ?

    Hope you don't take offence to this but the FR19's really don't look good on this thing, they're too big.
     
  7. SLE-883

    SLE-883 Member

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    It's going to be a weekend cruiser. I've got a VW Golf R that runs low 12s so wont be chasing fast 1/4 mile times in this. In saying that I want to eventually get about 400Hp at the fly and make it sound tough.

    No offence regarding the rims. Everyone has their own preference. I want to fit big 343mm brakes on it eventually and you apparently need FR19s to fit them. I was originally looking at the FR18s but found that the centre for FR17s and 18s are the same, it's the outer part of the rim that gets bigger. I was also considering a set of Convos for that old school 80s look but got these at a good price.
     
  8. Hoska91

    Hoska91 Formerly 75HJPREM

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    Fair call, generally can't go wrong with simmons haha i've just always been a fan of smaller wheels on the gen 1's especially V5's :)

    But if you're going big brakes then i completely understand haha
     
  9. stockies

    stockies Bannana

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    Love it. Looks mint.

    Would love another first gen in the shed.
     
  10. SLE-883

    SLE-883 Member

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    Finally got the car out Sunday for another cruise. It's been 5 weeks since my last outing. Started first go and drove so smoothly.

    [​IMG]

    Looking at brake upgrades now, something big like 330mm or 343mm up front and and 315mm on the rear plus an upgraded brake booster.

    Has anyone bought the UPC brake kits?
    What about the Willwood brake master cylinder?

    What are your thoughts?
     
  11. stockies

    stockies Bannana

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    Had a UPC brake kit on the VN.
    343mm front and 315mm rears.'

    Put better pads in them and braided lines for sure.
    Also, its worth overhauling your master cylinder - the bigger kits WILL find the weakest part of your system pretty fast.

    Loved the kit when it was on. Had a few issues with mine, with the calliper bolts, but that was all.
    The brake pads supplied are **** though, throw em in the bin and get some VE QFM HPX ones.
     
  12. dgp

    dgp Well-Known Member

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    Very nice indeed.
     
  13. Sandman

    Sandman Challenge Accepted

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    Keen to hear if anyone has any experience with the wilwood MC. Its what I'm going to put on mine, even if it just has cosmetic benefits, looks so much nicer than the factory ones.
     
  14. SLE-883

    SLE-883 Member

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    Just an update.

    Was looking at brake and engine upgrades originally but have since decided to try preserve the body first. The car has only minimal surface rust on it at the moment and doesn't seem to need any panels repaired. As the pain is all original I'm going back to bare metal to get a respray done and replacing all the rubbers. Sticking with the original Indigo blue and pinstripes and want to try keep all the door molds on too.

    Just wondering what rubber kits others have used. I was looking at getting Rare Spares rubber kit but would love feedback on their kit or any alternatives.

    Engine bay will remain untouched for the time being until I pull out the motor.
     
  15. SLE-883

    SLE-883 Member

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    Big delivery arrived today.


    [​IMG]

    Body rubbers, locks, bolts and trim bits! All from Kingswood County. They've been excellent to deal with.


    Also ordered a Holden decal for the rear window. quite ironic.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Sandman

    Sandman Challenge Accepted

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    Awesome to see, feel sorry for your wallet though. Rare spares gear isn't cheap.
     
  17. Bigfella237

    Bigfella237 Well-Known Member

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    More cars than I've got space to park!
    "Australia's Driving Future" would be too late for a VH wouldn't it?

    I recall that was the sticker you used to see on just about every VK ever sold...



    I was trying to remember what the slogan was before that, "The Advanced Australian" maybe?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2016
  18. SLE-883

    SLE-883 Member

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    It’s been ages since an update so here's what's happened since September.

    I dropped the car off at the body shop in October 2015 for a bare metal respray. A friend of mine is doing the work at his body shop when they’re quiet so it's going to be a slow process because they’re always busy.
    Car paint was stripped pretty quickly and sprayed in primer. There was minimal rust which was great news for my wallet.

    The only other it of rust found on the car was a small section in the lower driver’s door that has been lead filled. There was also some pitting on the bonnet, boot and roof that got taken care of as well as the front apron. The engine bay is not getting touched at this stage. It’ll get work done later when the engine is ripped out. Hopefully to make way for a something with 400Hp at the flywheel.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    During the past few months I’ve been busy searching for and buying parts. I managed to get newly chromed bars, new grill and am just waiting for the badges to come back from the guy reproducing them. I also managed to find a brand new NOS VH SLE Front Passenger side door belt! This part is pretty much non-existent. Paid an absolute mint for it but I guess the best time to buy something is when you find it. (Haven’t had buyer’s remorse yet and I’m hoping the wife doesn’t find out.)
    I don’t know why but Rare Spares sell the Drivers side, and LH and RH rear door belts but not the front passengers. They’ll probably release it next week now that I bought one. I'm pretty happy about this purchase as it means that all the rubbers on the car are now all brand new.

    So the car sat in the corner of the workshop in primer all through November, December and January.

    [​IMG]

    As painful as it’s been to wait for the car to be finished it’s worked out well for me. The garage spot I have for it is full of building material and there's no room for it. It’s getting cleared out this week in February though and in good time because WE NOW HAVE COLOUR!
    Car was sprayed this weekend. Went with the original Indigo Blue and it looks mint! It shouldn't be long now before she's all back together.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. SLE-883

    SLE-883 Member

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    Finally got the car back yesterday afternoon. I'm blown away by the quality of the car.

    I have to give a big thanks to Robert and Sam from E.R. McNamara Smash Repairs at St Peters. The work quality and attention to detail is second to none.

    Now for the pics.

    Back home from the shop

    [​IMG]



    10mins after getting her home, back with the FR19s. I know they've been done to death but the just suit the car.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Pin striping is flawless. Exactly like factory. I always thought the strip was white but I'm glad I listened to the panel shop who have worked on many of these cars in the 80s and 90s and went with silver.[​IMG]



    Mirror finish

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    Just waiting for the badges that I'm getting reproduced and it'll be complete on the outside.

    Really want to enter her into the next car show in Sydney. If anyone knows where to find info on car shows let me know.
     
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  20. SLE-883

    SLE-883 Member

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    Also getting some of the badges remade out of metal rather than plastic. Here's a look at the rear boot "COMMODORE" badge. Looks awesome so far. Just need to get it sprayed satin and black.

    [​IMG]
     

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