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VLWAGONIT 29-12-12 17:27

Jack's LS1 Calais Wagon build thread
I purchased this in November 2011 after looking at an auction for a ****ty 4banger to fix and sell but after seeing this I had to have it.
When I first got it, it wasn’t fantastic. It had hit a pole and the radiator support was bent, along with the front all being smashed in. Along with this, there was some previously repaired (very poorly) damage in the rear ¼ panel that we fixed as well. The original plan was to just spray the front but then I decided I might as well do it right and had the whole thing sprayed.
The car was originally an na auto but as soon as I got it I pulled out the original motor and box and dropped in the 25/30 and r33 5speed out of my blue over silver Calais (now owned by felony and swapped the diff internals over and replaced the spool with an LSD from leb vlt. It was at this time that I hid all the engine bay wiring and relocated the fuse box to inside the car and the battery to the boot.

Then I ran into some trouble. I lost my licence and the car sat around for the next 10 months gathering dust while I was away at uni.

Fast forward to November this year. Two weeks before I got my licence back, I came home from uni and still hadn’t gotten the 25/30 running and needing a car to drive again, I purchased a complete RB25det with loom, ecu, turbo etc. for $1000 and dropped that in. I wired it up myself and it’s been the most reliable VL I have owned ever since.
The plan is, in a few weeks il pull the motor out again, replace all the gaskets etc. and slap on all the bolt ons from the 25/30 setup and have a crack at making 400hp at the rears.

There were a heap of issues with the 25/30 that I am putting down to timing related so that was semi scrapped and an RB25DET was installed just to get the car on the road again so I could enjoy some turbo powered action for a while untill the power bug bit again and the "big setup" from the previous motor was bolted on to the 25. I then lost intrest in it for quite a while and then on a whim decided I was sick of turbo RB's and wanted to drop in an LS1 and a 6 speed.

This resulted in my purchacing an LS1 from a VX SS with a TR6060..... after working on it on and off for about 9 months I finaly got it started only to discover the motor had dropped a valve and destroyed a piston. I then purchaced a new motor and then decided I didnt want a TR6060 so I brougt a T56 to replace it so I didnt have to use the rubber doughnut on the output shaft. The motor was installed about a fortnight and started first flick of the key ( hell yeah). All that is left now is to fill it with various fluids and about a hundred little jobs and it will be ready to hit the road

Make / Model: 1988 Holden VL Calais Wagon
Colour: Cardinal Red over Asteroid Silver
Bodykit: Factory Holden
Engine Type: LS1 5.7L V8
Engine Mods: Maffless tune, custom air intake
Power: Standard ish?
Gearbox: T56 with modified short shifter and custom tailshaft from Final Drive
Exhaust: Pacemaker headers with twin 2.5" stainless system
Clutch: Standard
Diff: VL turbo disk brake, 28 spline axels, Kazz 2 way LSD, 3.9 diff gears and cast aluminium diff cover
Brakes: VT master cylinder, VS booster. front: VT twin spots with braided lines Rear: standard disks with bendix ultimate pads
Suspension: lowered springs and shortened shocks
Wheels/Tyres: Polished Calais rims or Simmons V5s
Interior: immaculate grey S2 Calais interior with HDT head rests, Custom gauge holder, venetians side and rear, sheep skin seat covers, Knitted rug from my nanna on the rear seat
Stereo: Factory calais tape deck with clarion speakers

Other Mods: Red star catch can, Custom engine loom, battery in boot, custom fuel lines, SARD riding rate fuel reg, Surge tank, Bosch 044 fuel pump, bonnet struts, polished strut caps, hidden engine bay wiring with fuse box under dash, aluminium radiator with AU thermos, Smoothed engine bay, Pacemaker engine and gearbox mounts.

The list of mods may not look very long but putting an LS1 in an early model commodore is a very tight squeeze indeed.

When I first saw it
Arrival at the workshop
Smothing engine bay after getting it all straight
Before the clear went on
Home time
25/30 setup
Finished interior
The 25 before it went in
As it sits now
25 engine bay
Its first cruise
new gear to go on

Im keen as to throw the big set up on, while its quicker than a standard vlt and it lights up alright, its still a bit of a slug. **** will be happening as soon as I buy a new daily. Everything is sitting there ready to go :)


leb vlt 29-12-12 18:34

looks real nice in person! need a new set of plate jack. be kila wen the new setuo goes on it!

priceysVL 29-12-12 20:00

Awesome wagon mate.

BigM22 29-12-12 23:45


VLWAGONIT 30-12-12 22:42

more pics because im bored
the 1/4 pannel was full of bog from a previous owner
the paint cost me more than the venetians!!!!!

BT 01-01-13 21:50

nice did u just paint it the og marron ?

VLWAGONIT 02-01-13 17:47

Yeah I had the paint codes matched for the maroon and the silver - got to keep it original

VLWAGONIT 17-01-13 21:59
Finaly had a rear window put in the good tailgate i brought a year ago.

which ment I could finaly put the "Holden, Australias driving future" sticker I brought about 3 years ago on it.

Next up: get new fittings for roof racks and get the whole car buffed so I can finaly put all the badges on it and the exterior will finaly be finished

VLWAGONIT 21-01-13 16:08

Picked up a set of vx ss calipers/rotors/pads etc last night so fitting them next time im home when i get some new rubber lines for them

Also, picking up a new 3" exhaust for it tonight aswel

VLWAGONIT 30-01-13 16:57

Finaly fitted a new master cylinder so the car stops when you want it to (just)
new brakes are hopefuly going on tomorrow and new exhaust next time im home from work (maby)

VLWAGONIT 09-06-13 22:27

Update time:

I did a compression test on the 25 the other day and came up with 180psi on every cylinder so I have decided to go ahead and start putting all the big gear on the car.

Started with removing the hot and cold sides from the standard 25 and prepping everything to fit.
Everything removed
Test fitting.

I needed to jack up the passenger side of the motor to be able to get the 6boost manifold on and then found out the lip on the top of the chassis rail needed "massaging" and the engine mount required some trimming to allow clearance as well but im pretty sure it should fit now.

There is still a lot to do to fit everything as I have to either re mount the Bosch coil packs as they wouldn't fit under the forward facing plenum on the 25, or re wire the yellow jacket coils that came with the motor for the microtech. As well as this, I want to tidy up the rest of the microtech wiring as well.

After seeing SIroller's winter to do list, I decided to make my own with the aim of having everything done before power cruise at the end of the year.

Finish applying stone guard to inner guards
Align bonnet properly so bonnet release works
Fit vt twin spot front calipers

Remove fuel tank
Replace all fuel tank hoses
Clean all of the undercarriage from diff tunnel back
Seal with under body deadener
Purchase and fit under car surge tank
Fit tail shaft loops
Remove and paint diff
Fit new LSD or mini spool as the diff is stuffed

Engine bay
Fit new turbo setup;
Rising rate fuel reg
Exhaust manifold
Forward facing plenum injectors etc.
Exhaust, screamer pipe - lots more
Fit power steering

Wire up guages

Get car buffed
Fit badges
Finish painting door molds
Polish roof racks and drainage channel trims
Chrome door handles
Re paint venetians
Fit Scheel head rests to rear seat

Lots to do but I want to do it properly.

MUS 10-06-13 01:53

Sweet build man. Love the wags, Cardinal is a very nice color on a calais.

SIroller 12-06-13 17:44

love the wagon, when you get them running reliably they are an absolute joy to drive.

VLWAGONIT 12-06-13 20:42

cheers man. it was running a bit rough before i pulled the manifolds off and as i was taking the plenum off i realized one of the idle air lines weren't connected but at least its pushed me to get off my arse and do some more to it :)

VLWAGONIT 24-06-13 16:47

New editions. getting more serious now.
Set of Tommi drop in Poncams
Slide industries Greddy copy plenum with 80mm billet throttle body. comes with fuel rail but that will be getting sold as it is for 11mm injectors and mine are 14mm.

will be dropping the cams in and putting the intake side on on sunday hopefuly and getting a new coil bracket made up out of stainless so I can run the Bosch MEC 717s insted of the yellow jackets and they have the built in igniters for series 1 vls but iv got the X6 ignitor on my Microtech so no point in running them.

Also picked up one of these nice and cheap the other day:
Eaton M90 supercharger off an L67. Will be run in series with the T66. It will be a long time before this goes on as I want to fabricate all the brackets, tentioners, pipeing myself so it will take a while to get done. I want to get it running
with the current setup first before i get stuck into it again.

Also scored a Wats linkage setup off an EL falcon for free so I'm going to look at putting that on there as well, however if I do, then that will mean swaping out the cast ally diff cover that is curently on there :/

Steve 25-06-13 20:51

Where did you end up buying the Poncams from?

VLWAGONIT 25-06-13 21:46

Got them brand new off gumtree

Steve 25-06-13 22:20

Yeah saw them, I was thinking of buying them for my white Calais haha

VLWAGONIT 25-06-13 22:46

Fair enough. I sold my VS Calais so most of that has gone into the wagon again.
Hopefully when I sell off the rest of the L67 gear I have, the Supercharger would have paid for its self :)

VLWAGONIT 10-07-13 18:37

Finaly got all the bolt ons on and got the poncams in without any issues today

Then got it sitting in the bay and I have alot more room around the turbo than I thought I would.
There is still heaps to do but it's mostly there now

Sorry about the ****ty phone pics

VLWAGONIT 23-07-13 12:10

Got some work done on the rear end over the weekend.

removed everything, cleaned it all and painted everything

I also found out just how stuffed all the suspension is so im looking at replacing all the bushes, shocks and sway bars when I get my tax back[COLOR="Silver"]

VLWAGONIT 25-07-13 14:27

Orded a tailshaft loop yesturday morning and it rocked up this morning. Pretty happy with it.

Now just got to wait for the rest of the stuff I orded yesterday to rock up :)

PSI-EFI 25-07-13 16:10

Making good progress mate she's looking good. You think it'll even be worth bolting up the m90? It's different I spose. Gl with that

VLWAGONIT 25-07-13 17:19

Thanks man.

The m90 will defenetly happen eventually although it will take alot of work as I will need to either fabricate a custome exhaust manifold etc if I have it on the passenger side or figure out how to fit it on the plenum as there might not be enough room there for it to sit horizontal

VLWAGONIT 08-08-13 11:54

Had a heap of stuff I orded a few weeks ago rock up now so hopefuly get a chance this weekend to get it all on the car

Under car surge tank
oil filter relocation kit with oil cooler
plumb back bov
044 bracket
Tailshaft loop

Still waiting for a few other bits and pieces too rock up but atleast I'm still making progres

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