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Help with modifications to a 1959 Vauxhall Cresta

Hi all, I was hoping i may be able to obtain some assiatnce, I am restoring a 1959 Vauxhall Cresta and was thinking of doing some modifications to the front end.

Firstly I would like to know if anyone has converted a drum brake front end to a Disc brake setup and if so how did you go about it. I was thinking of possibly fitting a Holden HR front end, but was hoping someone may have done this modification or conversion and could assist with any advice. Also has anyone ever tried fitting a V8 engine into one of these before, i have a 308 laying around and thought it may fit nicely.

Cheers in advance

Engine: 
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Image icon 1959 Vauxhall Cresta.jpg265.85 KB
Image icon 1959 Vauxhall Cresta 1.jpg194.86 KB
Image icon DSC02695.JPG341.96 KB
Image icon Rear end.jpg238.08 KB
Image icon V8 cresta engine bay.jpg327.82 KB

Comments

Nice looking car those are , if you have long legs you'll get jack of banging your knees on that wrap round windscreen corners ,the "new" 1962 model had disc front end so maybe look for a later model donor , also there was a prototype Daimler DN250 produced in 1959 that used a Cresta body shell and had the 2.5lt Daimler V8 in it , never went to production as company was bought out by Jaguar same year and project was canned.

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turning it into a two door post world fix that!

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hmm.

I had a 62 velox,they had disc brake option those parts will fit if you can find them?if your thinking v8 youll have to do better than the vauxhaul discs,they are not vented like hr holden,the diff will also snap,a red motor six would be the better coversion without too much of a rework,the vauxhaul engine is 162.

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WHAT? no gravy?

Some shots of the front end...with wheel off may help with ideas for brakes. I like the idea od the Red 6 conversion...or if you went V8, perhaps a 4.4 Rover/Leyland/P76 V8. Light weight. OR.."Hop-up" the ol' engine...twin carbs, stractors' electronic igniton conversion, cam.....

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Q-ball.

"Clay is for racing on,Tar is how you get there!!"
[http://gallery.oldho...|My Shed]
3401

They are a seriously good-looking car. I'll vote for the hop-up of the current motor. Go for something different and get away from the same old V8 road everyone travels down. A bit of vintage speed equipment hanging off it and a bit of lowerage would make for a mighty rod!

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is the go I rekon, light as a feather, soft power and you can get all sorts of stuff for them. and they sound great.

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The Leyland alloy V8 is light. Very light.
A complete P76 4.4 litre V8 is 7kg lighter than a Holden red six.
So light that when I put one an EH wagon many moons ago the engineer did not think it needed a chassis kit.
David

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Old is good.

I do have access to a v8 from a land rover, the land rover is complete and was offered to me for next to nothing. Motor still runs well but the rest of the vehicle would be good for scrap. May need to leave the 308 in the shed for another project and think hard about the rover motor. I know they fit nicely as it was a common conversion in the UK from what I’m finding. Personally have had no experience with rover\Leyland’s myself so was not sure on heading this way. But the more I look the more I find.

Cheers

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Only flat on the bottom ...

http://www.imcdb.org...

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T

My Shed

Holdenpaedia, they're the brakes Mate.

Love them fins!! Holden red, trimatic, HR? or early Volvo diff, would make an excellent cruiser. If you stayed around 162 ci (161, 179, etc) you could still use the original brakes, maybe with an external booster.

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"If your car has quarter vents, a diff at the back, and was available with wind-down windows, you may talk to me.
Otherwise I am not interested. Amen."

I just rebuilt a HR subframe for a dude, where the cross member screws on its held by 4 bolts in four not very technical holes. You could no doubt make the HR cross member fit without tooooo much drama.

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hmm.

A full rebuild of mechenical parts 4 grand Plus, full paint 6 to 8 grand, Trim 2 grand, engineer 1 grand, wheeles & tyres 2 grand, Wow factor NILL, Best you have a good think before you open your wallet,

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I wasn't aware impressing twats was part of being a car enthusiast..

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Cheers Shane

Email me
HOLDEN DOCTOR

spending money on the vauxhaul engine trying to soup it up is not the way to go!itll start blowing gaskets,the radiator is also small,youll have trouble getting gasket sets etc for it,try and find a new water pump for one?(dont try supercheap,"whats a vauxhaul"?)any induction manifolds will have to be custom fabbed etc let alone unknown head porting and cams etc and dissy stuff,and its still only a 162!drop a 202 into it!or Chrysler 265 hemi if you really want a sleeper?(phuck imagine that?)the engine bay is also tight for a v8,would be good though,mine was nice,syncro first three on the tree way before holden had that,the gear linkage was typical over complicated old English though!14 inch wheels,the auto if you had it is the hydramatic,dig them wrap around front and rear screens(yours is the three piece rear of course) and how the rear door handle forms part of the fins,these are a cool old car once you dump 65 percent of the crappy old pommy engineering,my old rego was JJB281.

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WHAT? no gravy?

HQ Dave: British automotive engineering is amongst the finest in the world! Take, for example, the way the spark plugs are inside the sump, encased in a little leather bag so they don't get oil on them.......

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Grammar: The difference between "knowing your shyte" and "knowing you're shyte".

if only I or Mauve has seen one of these with the bonnet open I asure you a v8 wont be an easy fit up,much like hr v8 swap,you have to get the engine where it fits not where its balanced,chuck a hemi in it!i like these old vauxhauls!you never ever see them done up?get rid of all the lucas crap and see the light,they are a solid car with nice well wearing trim.

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WHAT? no gravy?

not seen under the bonnet of one of these as such but seen plenty of similar pommy things. they seem to have a "tunnel" under the bonnet making a v8 extremely uncomfortable.

also i don't think its been mentioned as yet but didn't one of these win the first ever (pre-bathurst) standard car enduro at phillip island??

i think they're butt ugly myself, but that can make a car attract as much attention as a pretty painted show pony.

smart ($$ wise) running gear would be red 6 and trimatic for a cruiser, hemi 6 and torqueflite if more grunt was needed

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Ben what about a good old rb30? Very overlooked engine, IMO.

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hmm.

no doubt theyre a good engine but im a simple man, i like old school engines in old school cars.

a mass of thick wiring looms, relay boxes, injectors etc ruins an older car IMO.

just my opinion. bound to get flamed for it though...

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Agreed. The only one ive even touched is the one in my GQ wagon, and its got a carbie! All that other stuff isn't there. Just a dizzy, coil and a carbie. I've tweaked it and my god it goes like the clappers, in a heavy patrol wagon! half a million kays on it and it still makes power up to 6500rpm.

Just had a thought, thats gotta be the only engine to ever be in a Holden AND a Ford?
VL, Ford Maverick.

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hmm.

Love the dinosaur juice don't they

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yeah, tbh 18/100 is about as good as it gets on the hwy

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hmm.

Thanks everyone, I was originally thinking of fitting a six and keeping the drum front end. however i have a 308 and trimatic out of a VK sitting here lonely and thought it would be nice to marry them up. The Cretsa did not come with the original engine. Apparently it was stuffed some years back and stripped, they couldn't find it in the shed. would of been nice to get it as it is a one owner with all the receipts and books.

But now the dilemmas that have been shared. I do like the idea of a Hemi in it, truly think this could be a fun project. davehqprem is correct, the engine bay is fairly wide but short in length. I have not really measured it for size just yet for I only started stripping the car last weekend. The only body work required is the LH front guard and some rust in one of the sills. other than that the vehicle is very straight.

I’ve got a series one jag sitting in the garage that I was going to resto also, has a 350chev, thought of giving it a swap out. Fitting the front end and rear end into the Vauxhall. I have heard that the front would fit, but again have not done any measuring.

Again thanks for the advice and I will keep you posted on the build and the way I end up going.....

Stay Tuned

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Found some V8 Mods on cresta from UK rodsnsods website. Just to give you an idea of the engine bay size for those who were asking. I have added these to the original post.

Cheers

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Cheers Shane

Email me
HOLDEN DOCTOR

Great Links thanks

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wider than i gave it credit for.

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There are Vauxhall clubs around that would pay you good money for that car rather than see you put a V8 in it. Pretty rare now, they were pretty much done in Australia by the late 60s, once the Holden Premier came out they were no longer relevant. Problem now is that you'd have to be constantly buying parts from the UK to restore one. A Holden six, red or grey would be my choice of replacement engine, there so similar to the Vauxhall engine most people wouldn't notice.

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Does anyone know the Bore And Stroke for a 162?

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T

My Shed

Holdenpaedia, they're the brakes Mate.

This model Cresta was my first car. My uncle gave it to my brother and I. God it was rough. It was factory black paint, the paint was so thick and had the worse crows feet in a paint job I've ever seen. I remember if you drove it around a corner with a bit of pace the door pillar flexed and the door would fly open, with no seat belts it was quite hairy. The engines were very similar to the Holden.

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Bryan

you had a [Naughty Pottyword] one mine was solid like a humber,that body was stiff and heavy,they aint no handler,more body roll than any holden,woe full drum brakes and lame power like any old pommy heavy weight,designed for London traffic not blitzing around sparsley populated Australia of the time,these are an over looked car,the bodies have a nice shape,no one knows what they are these days and think its yank?great big glass vacuum operated windscreen washers!opposed wipers,the bonnet is opened from outside though no interior cable,the boot has a twist knob you can lock or leave unlocked,the fuel cap is pop up flush on the passenger side behind the rear screen,you press it down and it pops up then repress it down to close it,they had good detail,mine had the strip speedo with temp guage,the strip would crawl from left to right and be green then about 30mph it would change to yellow then at 60mph change to red,pretty trick stuff for the day?all the doors worked the interior light and had nice hard fake wood grain trim capping,it also had nice deep big sounding dual horns,be aware these are positive earth cars that I would be inclined to swap over if you have one or do one up!you used to be able to buy radio/cassette players and on the back would be a polarity switch.

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WHAT? no gravy?

on fleabay with a 186 or 202 and a HR disk Brake FE

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link?

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WHAT? no gravy?

you gotta work for it bro!

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hmm.

I know its old but the idea is old to start with. Had a PA Vauxhall and put PC Cresta discs on the front. Had 205x14 Aquajet radials on the front & a jacked up arse end with fat Polyglas radials back there. When the brakes were slammed on the wheels stopped turning real good. Problem was this compresses the tie rods bending them so the front wheels headed opposite directions. Not due to wheel alignment . Just massive traction and stopping power unknown at the time they were engineered. Most later vehicles position the steering gear ahead of the axles rather than behind. Well I may be late but you have finally been informed of what can happen. which I think is important? The result means you need a new tie rod or two before moving the vehicle forward again after emergency braking.

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