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HZ holden ute

Right.

Want to build the dream HZ ute. Something that sounds good and has fuel economy as well. Want to build this and use it as a daily drive. The problem is... I'm 18 and and this might be a little way off. What I want to get is advice. So maybe I'll just start listing the questions and if anyone wants to answer any of them, I'd really appreciate it.

1. Body: love the look of the HZ ute. Need to know the best places to find a body for a reasonable price, where the most likely places are to look for rust and how much it will cost roughly to do the body work to get it sorted.

2. Engine: Tricky bit. I have been given advice that the old 253 and 308 engines are a pain in the arse to work on, given they are aspirated and also inefficient on fuel. I would like to put one of the newer v6 or v8 efi commodore engines into it, especially if it is going to be more fuel efficient and i could do a bit of tweaking to make it sound good. So:
- Can you put a newer engine into this body?
- How much and what work would have to be done to the engine bay to make it possible?
- Would it be worthwhile over the older engines?
- Can you make the newer engines sound alright?

3. Transmission: definitely want to put a 6 speed into it, extra overdrive to increase fuel economy. Best gearboxes to look at?

4. GTS interior: would like to do this right. Beautiful old dash and interior in these vehicles. Want to find:
-GTS dash, steering wheel especially
- Is there the possibility to have a fold down middle seat in the middle to save a bit of space?
- any tips for doing up the interior, especially for the upholstery.

5. Paint job: mostly just looking at the cost.

6. Diff: again, looking to balance performance and fuel efficiency.

7. Exhaust system: best ways to get a half decent note out of it.

8. Being smart about it: This is more about trying to do this cost effectively. Most people who do this mostly have a fair bit of money to throw at it, but looking at the entire project, I'm happy to wait off on some of the more luxury parts of the ute to get the fuel economy and rust out. Need a bit of advice on the order of what things to do first. My old man is a fairly good mechanic but can do a lot of the specific things, so anything that could be done at home I'd like to do myself.

9. ANYTHING else in terms of tips, advice, additions and help would be much appreciated. If you have attempted anything like this before or have some inside knowledge, tips on the old holdens or anything else, i'd be grateful.

Feel free to answer as many of these question as you like.

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Comments

Unless your a rich mans son and can shell huge amounts of cash for no return later on, buy a v8 commodore ute drive and play with that at least go and drive a v8 hz then drive a v8 ve first to get a hz to something like a ve and beat it off the lights with reliability will be expensive if you want to do a rebild project with the oldman do what ever car you find up to factory specs and use it as a sunday car I know its not what you want to hear but your a young bloke and want to drive the gutts out of cars

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Due to the fact Dreamers want the earth for old 2nd hand parts that are half rooted most of the time. I can no longer be bothered with old holdens.

sounds like every blokes "wish list" on this site mate

Yea you can buy a commodore V8 ute fairly cheep on e-bay now, A good HZ are getting up in price and the old days of finding one with a roadworthy to drive home cheep are slim now a days

Im with "hz tonner 308"
The HZ is not going to be your "Car Club Sanday Car" is it ?
the Commodore ute will have good breaks, motor with a fuel economy your looking for, and are available in 5 or 6 speed transmission, with air-con and power steering and rear disc brakes factor fitted

Or you can fork out $30,000 for one of these
https://www.ebay.com...

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"just my 2cents worth"

"were going to need a bigger shed"

This will take You to" Old Holden sheds"
https://web.archive....

thats a nice looking ute...

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Andrew

Thats one of my lotto cars lol
And this is the other
https://www.ebay.com...

A shed full of HJ's lol

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"just my 2cents worth"

"were going to need a bigger shed"

This will take You to" Old Holden sheds"
https://web.archive....

Yeah that's the other option I've been tossing up for a while. The toss up is whether to just get something short term like a commodore ute, but I'm happy to look long term (as in years down the track) on this if it was viable to do it.

I also am trying to fight the stereotype Triple D mentioned about flogging cars, mostly do a lot of highway kms and am really money conscious. I seriously don't have the money to be cruel to cars. Doing something like this would be about a daily drive because I'd hate to put in the time and energy and then turn around and not drive it.
It doesn't need to break the sound barrier, I'm certainly not planning on drag racing off the lights at the drop of a hat. Just want to know if something like this is viable long term and could be made fuel efficient.

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Drop a gear and disappear

Yeah that's the other option I've been tossing up for a while. The toss up is whether to just get something short term like a commodore ute, but I'm happy to look long term (as in years down the track) on this if it was viable to do it.

I also am trying to fight the stereotype Triple D mentioned about flogging cars, mostly do a lot of highway kms and am really money conscious. I seriously don't have the money to be cruel to cars. Doing something like this would be about a daily drive because I'd hate to put in the time and energy and then turn around and not drive it.
It doesn't need to break the sound barrier, I'm certainly not planning on drag racing off the lights at the drop of a hat. Just want to know if something like this is viable long term and could be made fuel efficient.

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Drop a gear and disappear

"I have been given advice that the old 253 and 308 engines are a pain in the arse to work on ". I wouldn't believe a word of who ever told you that says. If you don't want to flog it why a V8? Every bloke here probably ruined their first car and loved every second while doing it.

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Due to the fact Dreamers want the earth for old 2nd hand parts that are half rooted most of the time. I can no longer be bothered with old holdens.

I gess were all guilty of it at some stage of our life's !
When i was 17-18 I had a HR ute that i did up, had a 186-192 TQ20 cam, 161 head triple 1 3/4 su's and a 4 speed, back then fuel was 46c/l and i had a good paying job. (Australia Air Force)
YES I WAS A Dickhead in that car, and will admit it lol

All im saying is now a days These cars are getting on in years and going up in price,
Before you fork out your hard ern cash,
Is it cheaper and more likeable to spend $30,000 on the HJ Sandman ute in the link above ?
Yes All of us have been there, done that, and NOW love to give advice to young people to SAVE a few dollars here and there.
Remember 2 things,
First you asked for advice, and people are more than happy to give you advice hear, IT doesn't cost anything, and its up to you if you want the advice or not,
Second, Its your hard earn money, your the one spending it And its going to be Your car for you to enjoy, Thats all that matters.

Do you already have a HZ ute and want to know how much its going to cost you to get it up to this stage ? the answer problem a lot more if you have to BUY a ute first

There's nothing wrong with a good old 253 and a 4 speed,
How meany GTS's, HQ SS's, Sandman, and Toranas were made with them

As I always say,
Stay safe

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"just my 2cents worth"

"were going to need a bigger shed"

This will take You to" Old Holden sheds"
https://web.archive....

Yeah unfortunately need to buy one mate, that's my big issue at the moment. The three options are a rust bucket, a half finished project or something that already is done and costs a bit more. Any advice on the best places to look for something that isn't car sales? somewhere I could get some better value for money?

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Drop a gear and disappear

If you have a good, steady job I would go for broke, get loan, and spend the $30,000 on the yellow ute in the link Triple D put up above. Banks lend kids $30K every day new cars.
Spending $30K on the yellow ute (if it's good) will be cheaper in the long run than buying a rougher car and doing it up. Even if you keep it for weekends and have a $1500 daily driver.
Get a quote on insurance first. If it's too much, register and insure in a parent's name if they will let you, it will save you a fortune on insurance and CTP greenslips in NSW.
Just don'y buy it without a pre-purchase inspection by someone who really knows old Holdens. There are some very pretty bogged up POS out there.
Respect the car, don't flog the crap out of it and it will be better than money in the bank.
As for the six speed, the have a huge overdrive in 6th which you would only ever use on the freeway. You might be better off with a five speed behind an early V8. My HQ ute was 253 with a Toyota five speed and I averaged 28mpg, which is around 9 or 10 L/100km.
David

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Old is good.

If you really want a HZ ute, don't waste any time in getting started.
All the old cars are going up in value, so the longer you leave it, the harder it will be to find a good one and the more it will cost.

Now that I have said don't waste time, also, don't rush!

If you rush in and get a rust bucket, it will cost you big time getting it to a decent standard.

How much you want to do yourself, will determine how cheap you can look.

It doesn't sound like you want to paint it yourself, so you need to find the best body you can as paint can still be found for reasonable money, but rust repairs are a whole 'nother can of worms, both financially and getting someone to do them properly.

You would probably be better off looking for one that is nice in the paint department, someone's unfinished project can save you heaps, but you need someone who knows what to look for to check it over for you, you can't master this easily, just by reading about it online.

Once you have bought your dream HZ, now you can relax.

Taking your time and not rushing into anything from this point on should save you money.

If you need any parts for it, you need to look around, online, swap meets, car clubs etc, there can be a huge difference in prices for the same part, so it definitely pays to shop around and ask.

Pain in the arse engines. All engines when not healthy can be a pain in the arse.
As far as 253 / 308 engines go, they are no different to work on than any other V8, actually probably even easier than some (like a quad cam V8 toyota).

A straight 6 cylinder can be easier to work on as there is more room and they are simpler, but nothing beats the sound of a V8 and the car will definitely hold a higher value as a V8.

When buying the ute initially, it doesn't really matter if it's a 6 or an 8, an original 8 cylinder car may be valued a little higher, but if it's nice once finished, it probably won't really matter, what is important, is starting with the best possible body.

A 253 set up properly, with good gearing can easily achieve 10 litres to the 100km highway running.

you could relatively cheaply convert to the later 5 litre injected V8, or for a few more dollars do an LS1 conversion, both make for a nice reliable daily.

I personally wouldn't go the V6, as you can spend almost as much, but I reckon the V8 will hold it's value better.

Sound is all down to your Exhaust, doesn't matter if it's older or more modern, you can make almost anything sound good.

I could never understand why everyone reckons the six speed are way too tall in the ratios???

I had a Clubsport with the 6.2 litre and 6 speed manual and much over a 100kph I reckon it could do with another gear!

If you want to go manual and cost isn't an issue, go the 6 speed and play with diff ratios to get it to your happy spot.

A GTS interior is a matter of hunting down the parts for the right money and getting on to a good upholsterer.

You can make a Holden bench look like buckets, while keeping it a 3 seater, but a nice job will cost you (I know), or you could get a bit more inventive and retrim a Falcon ute/van seat which has a bench base with seperate backrests and centre fold down, or I think some of the later ones had buckets with the centre bit bolted in seperate but looked like a bench. Lots of options.

If your willing to learn and dad is a mechanic, you should be able to sort the engine / gearbox conversions yourself, especially the 5 litre, it should be fairly straight forward.

Looking around for a late model donor car can make things easier too. This way you have most of the parts from the donor.

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Growing old is unavoidable, growing up is optional ;)

[http://gallery.oldho...|Shed of Wheel Nut]
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Thanks mate, all that is very much appreciated. Are those motors, namely the 5 litre or the LS1 likely to get better fuel economy than the 253 or 308?

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Drop a gear and disappear

Thanks mate, all that is very much appreciated. Are those motors, namely the 5 litre or the LS1 likely to get better fuel economy than the 253 or 308?

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Drop a gear and disappear

Personally, I think your gearing plays the biggest part in trying to achieve optimum fuel economy.

The LS motors or 5 litre efi motors usually run more efficiently due to computer controlled efi, so with the right gearing should give the best results.

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Growing old is unavoidable, growing up is optional ;)

[http://gallery.oldho...|Shed of Wheel Nut]
Email me

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