VR Ute

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brindo
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Re: VR Ute

Post by brindo »

Spent a bit of time looking at those Bluetooth FM transmitters and the one you linked looks to be a decent option and won’t look too out of place – thanks for the tip. The radio does have a AUX socket so could connect a phone up through that for music, but that transmitter should allow for hands free which is what we really need.
But while surfing the net stumbled across these. Most of them seem to have some form of mini amp built-in which for what I want is pointless, and the quality of these is unknown. But was more thinking I could do away with the ash tray, and install one of those modules in its place on a blanking plate. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find any with a built in microphone to allow hands free phone operation so its not suitable. At this stage I will just be buying what you have suggested.
Hopefully in time if there’s enough demand someone will develop a factory looking integrated solution for these earlier Commodores.
Bluetooth Module.JPG
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But the ute is in the hands of the spray painter. This is with the paint all stripped, and treated with EasyPhos. They are pretty ugly stripped back – nothing like an XB coupe or a HQ Monaro or something made of real metal.
Should have put a grease nipple on the fuel gauge pointer before I left – never seen it work so hard.
Loaded up.jpg
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vlad01
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Re: VR Ute

Post by vlad01 »

The factory panels on these are a high quality steel with much better stiffness and spring, much lower corrosion and they could make them much thinner as a result and lighten the vehicle while adding safety and stiffness at the same time to get a similar net weight to stuff that was made in the decades prior.

The panels are also treated with a thin layer of passivation or zinc or something, so they have that dark tan look under the primer, but grind back enough it goes back to bright steel. Over all of that is the e-coat layer, I always leave this layer alone when repainting these cars, it keeps them rust proof and is better than any primer currently on the market, still after all these decades, e-coat is still unmatched, hence why I get all my black metal parts for brackets and underbody stuff done in it when doing a more serious restro.

Anyway, for the radio, this any good?

I quite like how these look and consider one myself if the speaker upgrade for the VP is still lacking due to the factory Eurovox.

https://www.retrosoundusa.com.au/index. ... list&c=956
I'm the director of VSH (Vlad's Spec Holden), because HSV were doing it ass about.
VTXU8
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Re: VR Ute

Post by VTXU8 »

I bought something very similar to the pics below for my old mazda. Mainly for Dab+ and BT handsfree but has sd and usb AUX in/out too. Does the job. I fitted it on the inside of my sunvisor as the on board mic picks up voice better without the wind noise and weighs bugger all.

h
dab1.JPG
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dab2.JPG
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brindo
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Re: VR Ute

Post by brindo »

One of those units might even go close to fitting where the speed alert goes - another option.

But its engine time – or getting ready for it.
I hate how those engine stands on wheels scoot all over the floor when you’re trying to torque something up. And they all have the potential to topple over.
I know everyone uses them but had a bit of scrap so thought I’d have a crack at making one myself – the inner tube is 2 pieces of leftovers of tonner tray headboard fused together.
It will get welded to the bench and will just grind it off once I’m done. Will possibly sit a bit high when fitting the heads, but I am 5 ft 17” so will be a better height for the rest of the engine assembly.
And it won’t take up much room when its not in use either.
Engine Stand.JPG
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And a while back I bought one of those Chinese sonocleans from ebay. For $300 they are brilliant and hasn’t faulted in nearly 3 years. This one holds 30 litres. I just set the temp to 50 deg C, and use either a splash of truck wash or vinegar, and old parts turn into new.
Engine parts like conrods come out looking like they day they were made – these are the factory 304 rods that I cleaned up before they were resized. If using vinegar just have to be quick on the preservation when they come out – it's brilliant to clean up spark plugs, but wouldn’t try the vinegar on something like a motorbike carby – better off with the truck wash. But I even run my lawn mower air cleaner through it, let it dry in the sun, and its good to go again. Believe it or not, it even works on Landrover parts!
This relay cover has been sitting in the paddock with that wrecked VS wagon for over 10 years. This is what it looks like after a stint in the sonocleaner.
It’s probably one of the better tools I have ever bought. I run all the engine bolts and brackets through it too. Sadly a banana manifold is just too big for it.
But if you’re going to have a crack at an engine rebuild, then I think one of these is worth the investment.
Sonoclean.JPG
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And in breaking news, managed to get said daughter off the PS5 to give me a bit of a hand to get the block cleaned up ready for assembly. At 15 she is probably stronger than me and thanks to a communication breakdown practically had the entire weight of the bare block by herself when we loaded it onto the back of the tonner by hand.
Not going to lie, blood pressure wasn’t good while she was lining up the forklift tynes with the pallet.
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Gareth
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Re: VR Ute

Post by Gareth »

That's a great idea for an engine stand, well done :thumbup:
According to chemistry, alcohol is a solution...
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Gareth
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Re: VR Ute

Post by Gareth »

That's a great idea for an engine stand, well done :thumbup:
According to chemistry, alcohol is a solution...
brindo
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Re: VR Ute

Post by brindo »

Block has been bored 0.020” and I asked for minimal decking just clean it up. I’m told the deck was tapered by 0.002” and needed 0.003” off one end and 0.005” off the other end to square it up so happy with that. I’m not a fan of milling millimetres off the block to raise compression so just wanted as little as possible removed. The decks in these engines are weak enough as they are. And once you mill it off, you can’t put it back. Same with going straight to 0.030”oversize in the bores when there’s 0.020” available.
Engine Block.JPG
Crank is a Scat Holden journal with the original rods resized with ARP bolts. Pistons are a budget coated hypereutectic with a press fit tapered pin - I’m hoping they will only be a little way down the bore so compression should be a bit over 9.0:1 if I’m lucky. Everything balanced up fine apparently but there’s a bit of weight removed from the rods which I guessing is pretty normal.
From my experience, or should I say preference, a Crane 276 grind is a sensible choice but is a little too small, and the 286 grind which everyone seems to love is way too big – so wanted something in between. So something with 224 duration or less at 0.050”, 0.500” or so lift and 112 deg or more lobe separation. I wouldn’t be against a bit more lift and use a 0.050” raised retainer but I figure if I stay around 0.500” lift, it won’t need huge springs in it which will buy a bit of longevity. I have never seen or heard of the Crower Cam Saver lifters before but have bought a set to see how they go.

For the heads, these are just reco’ed with standard valves and a mild CNC port job. I don’t see the point in running a bigger intake valve with a banana manifold and a smallish cam. But of course no one is interested in that and it seems to be all big valves, huge ports, huge flows and huge dollars. So after a lot of searching and disappointment, I just settled on the place that could do what I wanted, just a bit far away. So packaged them up in a nice transport box I made, only for the freight company in Brissy to lose them on the very day we dropped them off! Freight company claimed that they were in fact not lost, just they didn’t know where they were or even which State they were in – but not lost. So I started searching for a another set of used heads to buy, and bingo my original heads had been found - well not found, because they weren’t lost – in the wrong state.
Anyway I have got them back finished and they look alright. I think next time would have opted for some positive valve stem seals and I probably would have done some minor clean-up of the intake ports and head oil drains before sending them off. Anyway they will be more than adequate for this engine.
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vlad01
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Re: VR Ute

Post by vlad01 »

I agree about those engine building practices. I also opted for the smallest over size pistons I could find. 20 thou was the smallest, and in my case I would have liked maybe 5 thou as the Buicks very rarely wear much past the standard size and just need some correcting from the factory tolerances and 5 thou is ample for most engines with regardless of Ks in my experience.

I too used the factory style press pin hypereutectic pistons but I had the high comp version, and I know through experience that they seldom fail in high abuse use. The higher silicon alloy gives excellent wear properties and is partly for the low and often next to no bore wear on high K engines. Not sure if this is the case with the v8 or not, but in my engines the stock pistons sure take a beating with very little issues over their life.

I think your cam will be a good all rounder and very well behaved. I actually regret not going bigger on mine, was talked out of it as being too "big for a v6", I went with a 212 @ 0.050 with 470 lift. Lift I probably would not have cared to go much more, but the duration I would have gone something in the 220-230 range for sure.

I mean, I still got a 50% power gain for the combo, but given that it actually improved the bottom end over the stock setup, I could have easily sacrificed some of that for way more mid and top and been very happy.

The way I look at it now, is forget engine config or cylinder count. Treat all combos as a single cylinder just stacked together and ignore the stacking/count. Look at the power curve/ single cylinder displacement that is comparable to your engine. Then look at combos of cam mainly and treat the other stuff as secondary. Then multiply the figure by how many cylinders you got and that gives a good indication of the ball park figure. The only thing I would adjust a little is less cylinders tend to be able to be able to make better power/L for the same combo, this is the moment of inertia I believe.

I fell into the trap of listening to other's suggestions on their assumption that engine pot count made the cam selection different to another type of engine, it really doesn't as long as the size per cyl is comparable to a known figure.
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brindo
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Location: Western Queensland

Re: VR Ute

Post by brindo »

These are the heads.
Nothing special. Stock valves, single springs with a damper to suit the cam, standard seals, mild CNC porting. Chambers should be close to 62-63cc still. No idea how much has been milled off them, but all I asked for was to keep it as close to the stock chamber cc as possible.
They should support more horsepower than this engine will ever make.

Cylinder Heads.JPG
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Ports and Pistons.JPG
And the pistons. They are a TIK brand and are marketed as a budget option with a 12cc D shaped dish and take the thinner piston rings - see how they hold up. They are advertised as a 1.500” compression height, but I measured 1.507” only with the verniers. Be more inclined to take the 1.500” as the truth over me fumbling with the verniers. The other stroker pistons that are available seem to have a 1.490" compression height which means another 0.010" would need to be milled off the block to get closer to zero deck.
But by my rough calcs this engine should end up with around 9.0:1 compression with a 5.627” rod.

So with my rough maths of:
Assumed Factory Deck Height - 8.875” to 8.880”
Stroke – 3.480”
Rod – 5.627”
Piston Comp Height – 1.500”
This should all come out as the pistons being less than 0.010” down the bore give or take a few thou for margin for error as I don’t actually know the deck height. So whatever was milled off the deck will only make it better. I thought the old ACL stroker pistons had a comp height of 1.510”, which would put them flush with or slightly higher the deck.
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Gareth
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Re: VR Ute

Post by Gareth »

I just set the temp to 50 deg C, and use either a splash of truck wash or vinegar, and old parts turn into new.
I have never tried truck wash in my bath, the results are truly amazing, thankyou for sharing that :thumbup: Last night I ran all the engine fasteners and rockers for a build I'm doing through mine, all the bits look like new!!!

Also, where did you get the heads done and do you have any flow specs?
According to chemistry, alcohol is a solution...
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