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Old 02-09-11, 16:10   #1
Adam007
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Adam's LS1 VL

Well thought I might finally start a build thread...

1986 VL Berlina - Factory turbo RB30
28 spline axles
Disk brakes all over
Calais nose cone, tail lights, misc. Calais interior

Forged LS1:
JE Forged Pistons
Eagle Forged Rods
ARP Head Studs
ARP Main Studs
Comp Magnum Lifters
Comp Magnum Pushrods
225/225 113 Comp Cam
PSI Valve Springs
Double Row timing chain

I bought the car as a project car with an N/A RB30 and auto fitted in unknown condition, recently painted but abit rough, decent(ish) fuel system, some missing interior etc. Reason behind the VL was my first ever car being a 5.0L VL Berlina, lots of fun time had in that car, and still regret selling to this day!

Decided that I would go the LS1 conversion route, firstly planned to get a bog stock LS1, then later down the track look at cam/heads and gas, eventually possibly putting a turbo on the side. Jez from HDTCQ will take care of all of my tuning needs, so I will be well looked after in that regard

A friend had a slightly damaged LS1 long motor for sale, with the above components; however two of the pistons need to be replaced due to previous detonation. I'll replace all of them, and get the head's tidied up from where this happened. I picked this up at an absolute steal (thanks Sean ), so my plans have changed slightly from the original ones... I'll stick this engine in N/A to start with to get through rego / mod plate and see how long I last till I want some more power..

I have done abit of work thusfar and collected some items on the way.. so I'll go over what's been done in the next few posts, for now here is how it was at purchase:











---------- Post added 02-09-11 at 23:31 ----------

First thing I wanted to get out of the way was to decide what direction I wanted to go for the build up.. just how far I wanted to go.

I have decided to have the car resprayed, at this stage I am still undecided to what extent.. i.e. full bare metal respray or what.. a good friend is a panel beater/spray painter so it will be a case of whatever he recommends.

I went back and forwards alot with colours but eventually settled on Holden's "Poison Ivy" with the VL Calais upper and lower moulds, front & rear bar in asteroid silver.. a mockup can be seen here:



Interior wise, my original VL was "Saddle Tan" and I really liked the cream / tan look. Unfortunately the VL I purchased was blue interior, and trying to find good condition interior in any colour is hard to come by these days - let alone a specific colour! I set out to find a solution rather then painting the interior pieces with regular paint, and found VHT's vinyl dye product. Reviews seem to be mixed, most seem to say the product is great but high use areas it's abit iffy.. I guess time is going to have to tell.

Here is the can of vinyl dye, and some prepsol, this one is the "Desert Sand" colour. I still need to grab a can of "Buckskin Tan Satin" to make a choice between the two.



The original test subject:



First coat..



Second



Final coat and colour:



I quite like how it has turned out, but as said need to grab a can of the other colour and see what looks the best.

Carpet was I looked around and ended up getting some samples sent from Knox Auto Carpets, I got sent the plush carpet in Beige (left) and Tan (right) ended up choosing the Beige colour, went ahead and ordered a moulded 2-piece carpet and an extra meter of the carpet for "extra bits"



So that's the interior choices pretty much taken care of, as said I still need to choose between the two vinyl dye's and then get to work dyeing everything.

---------- Post added 02-09-11 at 23:32 ----------

So after getting the VL home my first item of attention was to clean out the interior, and sort out the surface rust. I am still currently renting where I am while our house is being built, and the VL is living out in the weather so until our house is completed I can't really do much on the car.

The interior as it stood when the car was purchased..









I soon got to work removing the old carpet, which I promptly ditched, removed all the seats and stored for later.. verdict is still out on what to do with them for now, so I was left with this..





I found some more rust under the carpet.. afew shots





So I took to them all with an angle grinder with a wire wheel, funny story with this pic.. I work in the mining industry, where safety equipment is paramount.. first go I had no safety gear and what happens.. cop a flying piece of rust to the face hence the safety gear.. lol



Quick clean up with the Wife's Dyson afterwards.. oops



And then gave it a quick hit with some primer to stop any surface rust coming back. Will deal with the rust later when paint & panel work is sorted, was simply going through this process to see what I had to work with!





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Old 02-09-11, 23:34   #2
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We had abit of rain over the next few weeks so I wanted something to keep myself busy inside, so I set to work on the rear Calais garnish. Before shots:





First step was the tedious process of removing the 25yr old weathered pin stripe on the garnish:







After this I sanded, prepsol'd and then used bumper primer on the whole garnish.. sorry was a bit lax with pictures throughout this process!





Next stage was to paint on the silver stripes that border the pinstripe sticker, sorry I forgot pictures for this stage.. but just imagine the area covered in asteroid silver

After that was to mask over the stripes and paint the rest of the garnish in midnight black, thus resulting in:



Apply the eBay purchased replacement pinstripe sticker (which was a royal pain to stick on straight I might add!!)



All completed, just need to stick down the Calais badge (another eBay $10 special!)





The end result was decentish, will look good from afar but it's no show quality; but definitely 100% on what it was before the "refurb"

Once the weather had cleared up I was able to get back outside and attack the car again, this time I wanted to get the boot sorted, you may of spotted from previous pictures there was a fair amount of surface rust on the boot floor



This was caused by sitting on the previous owners yard for quite some time with the usual 20c rust holes around the rear window:



Apparently the fuel system in the car once pushed a turbo RB30 to 240rwkw.. consisting of a Carter lift pump, Bosch VL Turbo fuel pump and surge tank, I might be able to use the VL Turbo pump as a lift pump and maybe keep the surge tank.. see what Jez say's
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Old 02-09-11, 23:36   #3
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I attacked the boot floor in the same fashion as the interior of the car, and as with almost all VL's the spare wheel well is beyond repair... You can thankfully buy replacement slot in's from rare spares, or I may just get one fabbed up by the panel beater.







After purchasing the forged long motor I got some enthusiasm to get to work on the engine bay, preparing to remove the old N/A RB30 and make room for the LS1

As the engine bay stood..



I then had a great afternoon drinking afew cold beverages and removing anything that got in my way, chucking most of it straight in the bin as not much is of any use anymore.









So that's how the car currently sits.. engine and box are ready to be pulled out. Unsure if I will do much more to the car until my house is finished being built as it's just not practical to fab up engine mounts etc out in the open.

And lastly just afew happy snaps of the misc. items I have accumulated over the time.. constantly trawling forums and eBay to add more

Calais taillights



Headlights & indicators



Washer and overflow bottles



Front windscreen mouldings



Wiper switch



Also have as previously mentioned the moulded carpet, and a whole garage full of other items to go back into the VL.

Got the engine home and onto the stand, will start tearing it down over the next few weeks or so.

As previously mentioned, I got the engine fairly cheap as it has had some past issues, looks like spark plug electrodes have come loose and rattled around abit.

Anyway pictures speak better then words:

Heads -





Pistons -





ARP head & main stud kits -





JE forged pistons & Eagle forged rods -



Double row timing chain -



LS2 intake manifold, fuel rails and stock injectors that I have purchased -

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Old 02-09-11, 23:36   #4
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Started dismantling the LS1 today.

First up, remove the oil pump. This is what it looks like



And picture it being in this space (sorry kinda forgot to take photos)



Next up, remove the three bolts that hold the cam gear in place. Keep said bolts handy



Remove the 4 bolts holding the cam retainer plate in, and use one/two of those cam gear bolts as a "handle" for the cam.



Now, realize that you you should have removed the lifters (or somehow secured them, if just doing a cam swap) before removing the cam.. all good tho! - Sorry this was a tricky stage and my hands were covered in oil, not many pics put here is my custom designed holding tool for the lifters.



Once the lifters are out, the cam just pulls straight out, with abit of swearing and rotating of the cam.

Next up, I'm removing the pistons and rods. Move the rotating assembly to where you can get easy access to the rod caps.



Needed to use a piece of pipe over the end of my ratchet to act as a breaker bar.. really need to just buy a decent bar!



Give the caps a light tap so that they separate, and then remove the pistons and rods from the bore.



All 8 pistons are now removed and stored away, I need to make a decision on the damaged pistons (will get some photos actually) as the most damaged piston has some marks on the side of it.. pics to follow

Now some of the bores have these markings inside of them.. not really sure if that's considered "normal" or not.. might need a light clean up?? advice??





Here is said piston, all i'm worried about is the bit of a "dag" on the side of the piston, should I be worried?







Further inspection has found that the marks in the bores are not scuffing, can actually feel something there. Crank needs to be linished, two bores need a hone or maybe re-sleeved if it's too bad, rods need to be crack tested and then I need to order two new replacement pistons.

After that it will be a bulletproof bottom end.

Dropped off the block, rods and crank to the machine shop today.

Block will get a hone - they seem to think this will sort the issue out with the bore that I have. Also going to get cam bearings replaced while the block is there.

Rods will be crack tested, and the crank will also be tested + linished to remove the scuffs on it.


So that's how the car currently sits.. engine and box are ready to be pulled out. Unsure if I will do much more to the car until my house is finished being built as it's just not practical to fab up engine mounts etc out in the open.

---------- Post added 02-09-11 at 23:37 ----------

and yes I know I stuffed up the calais pin stripe, it's around the wrong way :@
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Old 03-09-11, 06:23   #5
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looks good mate, you running this n/a or at you going to turbo it?
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Old 03-09-11, 08:43   #6
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N/A to get it mod plated then a little while down the track turbo.

Kinda pointless having a fully forged motor and running it N/A.
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Old 22-09-11, 20:03   #7
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Got a call from the machine shop, bore won't clean up enough with a hone so it's getting bored out 10 thou. So a new set of pistons is on the cards. So it should be pretty bulletproof and achieve the goals that I want now..

Pretty sure I will go with this kit from Mahle:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MLE-LS1314908F04/
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Old 22-09-11, 22:05   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam007 View Post
Got a call from the machine shop, bore won't clean up enough with a hone so it's getting bored out 10 thou. So a new set of pistons is on the cards. So it should be pretty bulletproof and achieve the goals that I want now..

Pretty sure I will go with this kit from Mahle:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MLE-LS1314908F04/
i bought these pistons for my stroker engine, have a mate making over 1000rwhp with them also with 9.5:1 comp
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Old 06-10-11, 17:10   #9
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I ended up ordering the above piston kit, it's since left Summit and is hopefully going to make it to my doorstep
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Old 16-10-11, 18:08   #10
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Had a shock this arvo when the Aus Post lady rocked up - yes on a Sunday!!







So off to the machine shop tomorrow to drop these off, hopefully they will turn the block around fairly quickly.
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Old 28-10-11, 15:28   #11
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Got the block and crank back from the machine shop. Now to chase up some bearings.

Any recommendations on brands or are they all much the same?

No pictures as there isn't much to show.

Once I have bearings it will be off to get balanced.
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Old 28-10-11, 17:00   #12
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acl or clevitte either are good
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Old 28-10-11, 21:03   #13
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Yeah mate cheers, i think I will end up going with Clevite - they seem to have the biggest range of choice too which is always good.
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Old 14-11-11, 14:20   #14
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Bearings on their way. Clevite H rod bearings, King main bearings (no Clevite H mains in 0.20)

Looking around for a TH400 at the moment. Got a lead on a decent box up for sale, see what happens in the next few days on that front.
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Old 15-11-11, 04:45   #15
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i have a brand new 1300hp transbreaked powerglide still wrapped in the plastic from being built if you are interested.
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Old 15-11-11, 07:24   #16
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Sorry mate, not interested in a Glide, I want a 3 speed for highway duties.
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Old 15-11-11, 08:30   #17
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top gear is still 1:1 ratio in the glide, same as a 3 speed.
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Old 15-11-11, 15:09   #18
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an ls1 with a glide in a vl is a very streetable combo, as the ls has plenty of torque and the vl is light.
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Old 15-11-11, 16:57   #19
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400klm away street driving duties tho ?
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Old 16-11-11, 08:06   #20
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Yeah it's not the hwy stuff that's a problem, you just gotta turn 1st gear a touch harder, but if you're just putting around town it wont be a problem. grunter01 is right too, a vl is a nice weight for a glide.
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Old 19-11-11, 19:01   #21
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TH400 on the way;

36 Element Sprag
Race prepped drum
Manual standard shift valve body
Straight cut gears

Just been fully freshened up, new clutches.

Box was behind a 434 small block with a shot of gas and went 8.84 - so should be more then enough for me once a decent converter is sourced.

Picked it up for a bargin, $2250 delivered..
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Old 02-12-11, 17:27   #22
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TH400 arrived safe and sound.

Waiting on rod & main bearings to arrive from the states, they have been shipped, then off to be balanced, then I can finally start assembly

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Old 30-12-11, 09:59   #23
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Well our house was finished being constructed, so the VL now has somewhere undercover to call home. I'll be able to get a decent move on now I have a proper garage to work from



Also had afew things turn up in the mail, some are still in box's but a full set of Calais door moulds was one of them:

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Old 06-02-12, 19:07   #24
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Dropped off the box of parts to be balanced today. Otherwise pretty much been lacking motivation of late, but I do really want to get a move along!!

Still buying odd's and ends;

4 bolt 92mm throttle body:



Set of used 241 heads, got them for a bargain at $100 which works out alot cheaper then getting my current heads machined and cleaned up from the detonation (see previous pictures in this thread) Will just swap out my rocker gear to these heads:



Coils & brackets, the keen eyes will see the LHS bracket has been cut, all good though as that's done to fit early model commodores:



Sump & pickup, complete with about 500ml of oil, the Auspost lady was *not* happy



Took one of the axle's out to confirm if my diff is 28 or 25 spline, thankfully it's 28!



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Old 07-02-12, 13:57   #25
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Good stuff mate, make sure you keep this updated, keen to see your progress.
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