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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".

  9. #9
    あなたの母親の肛門 Shifty's Avatar
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    Ok so somewhat belayed, but as promised, here's an update of the next stuff done. The main thing that really gave me gas on the car was the sunroof. So I fixed it. And by fixed I mean FIXED it.

    Said awful sunroof. Only opened one inch at the rear and didn't let air in, but leaked when closed. Sweet tax-time deal for someone in Capalaba no doubt.
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    Eventually the hate took over and I ripped the cunt out... coming then to the realisation that I had a big fuck-off hole in the roof to fill both short-term and long-term otherwise I'd have a bath on my hands. Short-term I improvised with tape, black plastic sheeting and a Hilux bonnet that Dexi just happened to have lying around. Mad props Dexi for the bonnet and the patch of grass this occupied 'for a time'.
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    It was about this time I had a couple of gremlins with my daily and it began to shit me. Much like the sunroof, I overreacted and pulled it apart for... uh... parts. It actually made sense, at least at the time.
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    Let's just say I didn't let a lot go to waste (thanks packhorse Nick).
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    Then, being the classy neighbourhood that I was in, I decided to really get into it with the 9" grinder much to the dismay of... well... everyone but me.
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    Repair options were bigger sunroof, proper reskin like OEM build was, fit a patch, or do a complete pillar graft. Spoke to the body shop and agreed on a fair outlay to get the roof reskinned properly, prepped for paint and any rust around the screens attended to. Mine was pretty good (easily in the top 95%+) but it's a VL thing, they all do it.

    Dexi did the tow there (cheers bloke) and as I had a little more money at the other end I sprung for a towie to save anyone the hassle.
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    All done. Fucking sweet.
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    Home safe in the garage. Shows why I never get much work done, need a better place for it
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    Get fucked cunt.
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  10. #10
    Registered User I'm DJ!'s Avatar
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    Bravo!
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    WOOOOT!!!!!! DrNick's Avatar
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    Good stuff!

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  12. #12
    Registered User gtrboyy's Avatar
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    5-10mins later you'd be in handcuffs for cutting car up on footpath around here

    That garage...holy shittttttt
    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.

  13. #13
    are hairy Dogsballs's Avatar
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    Whens it going to queen st for pink pearl paint and crocodile leather interior brah?!
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    Dave, have you uploaded the data from the carby?

  14. #14
    Registered User Marlin's Avatar
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    Good read.
    It's been 9 years since I was there, but that body shop looks like Camo's?

  15. #15
    "The bitches, are wet" Sketchy's Avatar
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    Having spent yesterday removing an electric e30 sunroof set up that was rusted to fuck I feel your pain. Good progress though, painting the same colour or changing to something more hectic?
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  16. #16
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    Awesome read, as usual. Top work mate

    Ideas on colour scheme?

  17. #17
    Non Compos Mentos Gammaboy's Avatar
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    BT1 Yellow.
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  18. #18
    BOOSTFARKIN
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    Nipple pink

  19. #19
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    candy apple red, with extra flake and graphics
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  20. #20
    Hooroo! Nitephyre's Avatar
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    Two-tone Primer and Burgundy/Maroon (whatever it is currently).

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    I'm guessing you are not after a real estate sign and rivet look

  22. #22
    あなたの母親の肛門 Shifty's Avatar
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    Cosmetically this is a full restoration, well as 'restoration' as my budget allows - perhaps 'return to original appearance' is better. I'm into originality, save for performance and ergonomics, so nothing will be changing from standard.

    That means original Venetian Red (bogan for "R33 maroon") with MX grey bumpers (original colour rather than silver, which was the done thing in the 90s/00s and I've always hated), and the only exterior alteration will be a black plastic Aunger rear sunshade. I hate the cliche and ridiculously era-incorrect white venetians people do on them all these days.

    Interior all standard except MAYBE some well-suited front seats from a VS statesman (fuck they were hard to find in beige).
    Last edited by Shifty; 27-01-17 at 08:59 PM.

  23. #23
    Former hairdresser Captain_Slow's Avatar
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    100% with you on venetians. They were not a thing in 80s cars! Aunger louvres on the other hand, every second car had one.

  24. #24
    Purist, whats that? Jason Broadhurst's Avatar
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    Nice wun bro!
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  25. #25
    Not a Fan. Agent86's Avatar
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    The silver was an option on calais for bumpers and mx grey as for the pleb spec cars.

    My calais is single tone which was strange but i ended up painting the bumpers silver because the paint colour change from plastic to steel fucked with my ocd

  26. #26
    Registered User irsa76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain_Slow View Post
    100% with you on venetians. They were not a thing in 80s cars! Aunger louvres on the other hand, every second car had one.
    Venetian blinds were available on Falcon and Commodore wagons until the late 1990s, as were external sunvisors.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent86 View Post
    The silver was an option on calais for bumpers and mx grey as for the pleb spec cars.

    My calais is single tone which was strange but i ended up painting the bumpers silver because the paint colour change from plastic to steel fucked with my ocd
    Nopics' VK Calais was factory order single tone, we orignally thought it was done by the original owner until we came across another single tone Calais. Used to get alot of strange comments how ours was a Brock option car, it was just an EFI but had the lower ratio Borg Warner diff, no HDT involvment.
    Last edited by irsa76; 28-01-17 at 10:00 AM.

  27. #27
    Registered User MartyRX2's Avatar
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    Nice work Leigh. I sold my VL about 5 years ago. It was a one owner pensioner spec Exec in Morning Blue with the cleanest blue interior you'd ever see. Before selling it I spent many hours trying to stop water from getting into the boot. I failed but it was a lot better when I sold it than when I bought it. When you refit the rear screen, make sure to seal the window into the rubber as well as the rubber onto the body. Mine was leaking under the glass and onto parcel shelf/boot from here. Under the C pillar vents there's some foam that disintegrates with age. This is supposed to stop water splashing through the vents from entering the boot. Mine also leaked through here. When you fit the boot seal, seal it to the channel or water will go under the seal entering here also. Mine leaked around the tail light gaskets too and the body mould pins along the quarters. Good luck with the build. Sunroof delete looks good.


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  28. #28
    あなたの母親の肛門 Shifty's Avatar
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    As a general rule Calais were Asteroid Silver and everything lower-spec was MX Grey, although lots of options at the time if you went special order rather than off-the-lot.

    Rear & 1/4 venetians were factory option at the time, but black only. Black ones look OK because they don't stand out but white ones look ridiculous.

    Marty - thanks for the tips on the seal, I'll keep an eye on doing that right because rust is my least favourite thing in the world.

  29. #29
    Opposed to the PFAD Bill
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    So - getting stuck into this now then?
    Your signature is too long.

  30. #30
    Registered User irsa76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    As a general rule Calais were Asteroid Silver and everything lower-spec was MX Grey, although lots of options at the time if you went special order rather than off-the-lot.

    Rear & 1/4 venetians were factory option at the time, but black only. Black ones look OK because they don't stand out but white ones look ridiculous.

    Marty - thanks for the tips on the seal, I'll keep an eye on doing that right because rust is my least favourite thing in the world.
    Wouldn't be a Commodore if it didn't leak into the boot, mum's VP and the FIL VR both leaked into the boot, although nopics' VK only leaked when we replaced the, original, spare tyre. The new tyre was abit wider, correct size, and didn't sit all the way in the spare wheel well and pushed the boot lid open slightly, had the adjust the well so it could sit lower.

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