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Thread: Shifty's VL Turbo

  1. #1
    あなたの母親の肛門 Shifty's Avatar
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    Shifty's VL Turbo

    For those who are wondering, this is still a thing - I had an earlier thread but after nearly a year of no updates and a huge number of changes it is largely irrelevant. Had some major life changes (surprise, surprise) so in conjunction with some bad luck (bought two boxes for it and both were beyond fixing - not even enough good stuff to make one box) I have also had to on-sell a lot of the parts I'd collected which left me back at square one.

    Had one many years ago and always wanted another. In fact I should never have bought anything else but it has taken me 15 years to come to that conclusion.

    1987 VL Commodore Sedan
    125 pack (SL, Turbo, Manual)

    SL does indeed stand for superleggera and this is backed up by the fact that the only non-essential feature was a radio. With all the turbo gear in it they weigh up at 1330kg which is reasonable for a big six cylinder sedan with a decent driveline.

    I bought as a roller, as genuine VLTs went through a stage about 5 years ago where they were worth significantly more in parts than they were as complete cars. This one was stripped of everything useful, and more, and had just had a base model diff, struts and steering put in loosely with a few bolts so it was a roller.

    First job was banging in an old bare block so I had an idea what I was working with for piping etc.
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    Chucked on some misc stuff for shits and giggles.
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    Obviously as a roller there was a lot I needed to do but that gave me a clean slate. As far as items that WEREN'T a clean slate:

    * predictable calais mockup - for the most part not even done with Calais parts, just painted lower doors etc
    * 'advertised at tax cheque time' bogan-spec popup sunroof
    * a fairly significant bit of... er... engineering of the inner guards for multiple cooler pipe setups

    Everything else on the car itself was great as far as general straightness, accident history and soundness from a rust perspective. Well within the top 5% of VLs for body condition despite the poor paintwork. The main issue was the battery tray, an impressive assortment of holes in the inner guard for 16 different intercooler setups, and as mentioned the sunroof.

    Tiniest ding at the front isolated to this panel only. Can see small view of battery tray rust.
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    No surprises here. Rusty battery tray and after drilling out spot welds, rusty inner guard below - in hospital two days later with metal in my eye.
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    Slightly complicated panel and a bit more wavy than it looks, so judgement call to make a sectional replacement.
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    With the combination of the healthily-sized rust repair patch and the manky cooler hole, decision again made for sectional replacement.
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    Same story on the other side. I have a better cut than the one in the photo but that's the only pic I had.
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    Last edited by Shifty; 11-01-17 at 10:00 PM.

  2. #2
    あなたの母親の肛門 Shifty's Avatar
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    I originally sourced a VL Turbo 5sp which was supposed to be "good but a little snicky into third" which turned out to be "has been 1/4 full of oil for 10 years, throw it in the bin". Similarly I'd bought another as a spare that was "rebuilt" but that meant it had a new input shaft bearing and nothing else. Internals were moisture-affected and again straight in the bin. Not what I need on my budget, and a reminder that the poor man pays twice. So I'm down to no gearboxes and have decided to run an R33 5-speed which is what I wanted originally but couldn't afford (ironically I just threw out that much money in two dud VLT boxes).

    That's a little big-ticket for me at this stage of the build so it won't be touched until I randomly find $16-1800 for a good box with clutch/flywheel/shifter.

    Diff-wise I initially had decent axles and a VN diff shortened, but needed to sell all that to raise money early last year. Worked out well in the end because I landed an original VLT diff disc-to-disc (LSD and all) for a good price. No pics of this, but it's a diff.

    Brake-wise I was going to be running VTs but again needed to shuffle some stuff along and after rethinking have also settled on VL Turbo fronts and VN SS Group A rears (effectively a vented version of VL Turbo brakes) as an acceptable combo. Combined with a VT master, VS booster and new hardlines, braid, decent pads and fluid it will stop reasonably.

    Lots of new, repro, etc parts floating around, ARP studs etc, two original VL turbo blocks that should come up OK with a rebore, couple of cranks to choose from etc. Also lots of hard-to-get bits (many of which are overpriced) like standard manifold with original heatshields, original vl turbo hubcaps (a must-have for me) and lots of things that have eaten money but look like absolutely nothing at all.

    Later on I'll post some more pics/info to get it up to speed and then try to keep it updated regularly.

  3. #3
    Registered User gtrboyy's Avatar
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    You're right about heaps of overpriced parts for these things...good score with those hubcaps,wanted some for shitbox vk.

    Just noticed pic with radius rod in the breeze lol
    an easy fix is get a mate to drive in front of you at 60 then 80 then 100 and mark in on your speedo with some liquid paper.

  4. #4
    あなたの母親の肛門 Shifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtrboyy View Post
    You're right about heaps of overpriced parts for these things...good score with those hubcaps,wanted some for shitbox vk.
    Yeah they were a must-have. I have other VR hubcaps for day-to-day use... at $200++ each in good condition I'm not leaving them on so some prick can nick them, they can fly off or I can retardedly gutter one.

    Just noticed pic with radius rod in the breeze lol
    Yep that's a side-effect of the previous stripped-out status of the car. All that loose stuff makes for interesting pushing in/out of garage.

  5. #5
    あなたの母親の肛門 Shifty's Avatar
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    Couldn't help myself when this uncirculated dealer brochure came up.

    Powertech 6Ei Turbo
    Such engine
    Much wow

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  6. #6
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    Holy shit nice find on the brochure and the turbo hubcaps. Mind if I ask how much you payed for the diff, that is definitely a big score. Do these contain the same LSD centre as what the R31's used?

    Good to see this is still a thing, keep going mate and you will get there.
    Last edited by Rthirty1; 12-01-17 at 01:52 AM.

  7. #7
    Registered User lukevl's Avatar
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    I have a brand new in box VLT speedo drive sitting in my cupboard doing nothing if you end up needing one for your R33 box. Will let it go for a favourable price because PF and I can't bring myself to go on the VL forums to sell it

  8. #8
    あなたの母親の肛門 Shifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lukevl View Post
    I have a brand new in box VLT speedo drive sitting in my cupboard doing nothing if you end up needing one for your R33 box. Will let it go for a favourable price because PF and I can't bring myself to go on the VL forums to sell it
    I have one at home, it's actually "new" but has been installed and then removed with a jackhammer. PM me re: yours & how much you're after.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rthirty1 View Post
    Holy shit nice find on the brochure and the turbo hubcaps. Mind if I ask how much you payed for the diff, that is definitely a big score. Do these contain the same LSD centre as what the R31's used?

    Good to see this is still a thing, keep going mate and you will get there.
    Yes... R31, most live-axle modern Falcons up to AU, VLT and any VN-VS are all the same centre - gears and centres all swap over and it's just the suspension mounts, diff bracketry and brakes that differ. Not the best LSD but better than none, and a good stopgap until I can spring four figures for the Harrop centre I want (ouch).

    Got the diff for about half the going rate, which is about $1000-$1500. Couldn't afford it at the time but being so cheap I couldn't let it go, so with the help of a mate made it work. They are good for 11s/10s so plenty of diff there - and mine is an actual proper VLT diff with the original part number tag hanging off the cover & all. I don't really care much for that stuff but it's a little bit cool nonetheless - also means less modified stuff on the car which I like. Making the most of quality OEM stuff makes me a happy camper.

    Hubcaps going rate is $200-$300 *each*. I got half a dozen for $60ea, two or three are good (just repaint) and the rest need some kind of repair ranging from minor to "holy fuck i'm not sure if I can save this".

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