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The long trial is over!!

Hi all,

Well it is finally done. I got my VK Wagon registeres and on the road. The saga started with transplanting the black 202 with a 2nd hand blue 202. It took 10 days (yes 10!) to take the silly damn thing out and replace it. In that time the wife and I also replaced the front guards and a piece of the front bumper, painted and installed a new grill, changed the speedo for one with a tacho, fixed the wiper delay control, put in new seat covers and mats.

I never believed that changing the engine would be so hard as I have changed quite a few in the past and the nost it ever took was 2 days. Well, I am getting older and the work got to my joints (must be arthritis, though I am only 38 *sheesh*) so I could work an hour and stop for two and take pain killers etc.

Anyhow, a tip for people, it is easier to take the engine and tranny out as a piece and then change the motor on the floor, then put it back in as a piece than it is to line up an engine with a tranny in the car in the car. Also, a trolly jack is much better (coz it has wheels) than a bottle jack. An engine crane is much much better (coz it has wheels) than a chain block.

Another thing: starter motors suck behind extractors.

Oh yeah, I went through the trauma of fitting a 350 Holley in the first instance. Re-kitted it, painted it (mistake...don't paint carbies with cheap paint, petrol makes it come off and get everywhere), got the linkage bits, bought a v8 throttle cable and fitted it, bought a new chrome air filter and cleaner, got the hoses sorted to take in the crank case fumes, all lovely and perfect. Once the engine was in and the cain manifold (red motor one fitted fine to the blue motor) and the extracotrs and carby all in place we tried to start it up. It turned over and over and over. I was sooooo careful to make sure the timing was correct before we started. Statically timed it so carefully but it would not go. I stood over it with a small cup of petrol. Never use a whole can, in fact don't tip petrol into a turning engine at all. lol. Why? Because, sometimes when an engine is struggling to run (like the fuel pump is screwed) it will fire back through the inlet manifold, up the fuel dripping from the cup, into the cup, down your arm when you flinch backwards, sloshing the cup onto the paint work, the floor, your shirt....

Anyway, had a wet towel standing by incase anything like this happened and beat the flames out. No harm done.....except I decided it was time to give up for the day and call my father in law for help (ex-racing mechanic).

Next day dad-in-law comes over and we re-check the timing, change the spark plugs, fiddle around and test and test. Change the fuel pump (not working) with one from the old black motor. At least we know it worked. Try again and fiddle and turn it over and stuff (jumper cables from another car now, not enough power left in the battery).

Dad-in-law spots that the main jet is DRIPPING petrol (not spraying) into the manifold constantly.....we look down the hole and see a sea of petrol sloshing about in the manifold.... no way this old girl will start. It is flooded like Noah in the Ark.

Off comes the Holley and on goes the boat anchor...err the Varajet and it's manifold. No worries. Still won't go. Try and try and try until the penny dropped. DOH! If the Manifold was full of petrol then the cyclinders will be too. Out come the spark plugs and spin the engine and watch the spray of petrol shoot out the spark plug holes.

Put the plugs back in and connect everthing back up and.....cough, splutter, pop....vroom! It went. Bit rough and chunky but it went. Another day done put the tools away and went upstairs. Next morning set to reading the nmanual and connected up all the odd wires and vacuum tubes and stuff and she started running like a dream. Fixed up the timing (adjust from 4 to 6 degrees advanced) and she ran like a dream. Not bad for a $40 2nd hand motor! Now for the next stage...

OK, After having 10 days to put the engine in I had the Roadworthy to get. Took it to the local Shell who treated me like an idiot. They gave me a list the size of the local electoral role of fixes that needed to be done. Grumpy I took the car home and went over the list. Oddly enough, there were a number of lies amongst the genuine fixes....a lot of lies. Example: tail pipe has holes above the diff.... no, it doesn't. Ran my hands the length of the pipe and found it to be just fine. Tail light lens cracked on RHS....yes, a small chunk had come off the bottom of the lens...but it did not affect the performance of the light nor let water or air into the unit. IE: does not make it unroadworthy. A bunch of othr weird stuff that I was not supposed to know about which I inspected and wondered why on earth they thought was faulty.

Right, next thing was to go off to my normal mechanic that I have had do roadworthies and stuff a few km's up the road. Didn't go there first coz I didn't want to get a day permit. Though I was saving money but wasted the $55 fee for the RWC with the Shell mob of A*holes.

Rolled up at workshop expecting to see Alan who did the RWC for my HJ. Nice bloke....who doesn't work there any more! Arrrrg. Instead there were a few rock apes hanging around making smart comments and looking grubby. Having little choice I got them to do another RWC inspection.

Another long list of stuff, different stuff from the Shell mob and shorter. I was in that bad mood again; another delay.

Took the car back home and went over the list. OK, this time it seemed that the items were correct. A couple I thought weren't really needed for RWC but needed doing so I did them. Fixed a faulty reverse light, replaced the rear uni (they wanted both changed but the front was just fine so I left it), patched up a couple of rust holes (expected), degreased the engine, replaced a gasket on the fuel pump to stop a leak, sealed the rear window with silicon. The biggest job was to replace a ball joint dust seal boot and to replace the front struts because they were 'leaking oil'.

Bought some spring compressors and spent 6 hours on Saturday with a mate pulling one front strut out only to discover that it was a new munroe gas shock....seals perfect and in tact! Luckily the shop I bought my struts off took them back ($144). Anyway, I replaced the whole balljoint while I was there as it was supposed to be easy and I was told I could use a jack to press it in and use the weight of the car....nope. It went in a little and no further! AAAARRRRG!

Monday morning raced down to the rock apes and guess what? The guy doing the RWC inspection was off sick. Oh, and they didn't have a press to fit ball joints (I drove the car with the joint partly in and the nut done up....bit dodge but it got me there.) Grrr. Drove it up to another workshop that the rock apes told me about and told them the saga. The guy was on his lunch break but was nice enough to pull the lower control arm out and press the ball joint in, grease it up and put it all back together in 45 minutes anyway! Yay!$55.

Phoned up the rock apes on Tuesday and the sick guy was back so the RWC inspection was on for this morning 8am. Yay! Went down and went over the car with him everything was fine but....the damn fuel pump was leaking oil again. We had a close look while the car was up on the hoist and blow me if the oil wasn't leaking out of hole for the pivot pin. He said...new oil pump and you will be right to go!

Lucky I am a patient man. OK, it was fair, but I was close to having had enough...by this time I had only $150 left in my name...

Raced off down to Supercheap, got a fuel pump (they had one) for $76 with a can of degreaser to clean the oil off the underside of the motor and gearbox. Raced home, changed the fuel pump, cut my finger and bled like a stuck pig, raced up to the shopping centre to get the 3rd party insurance certificate dates changed to today, raced back to the workshop.

He inspected it, filled out the certificate and gave it to me! Waaaa efffing hoooo. Drove on down to Main Roads, processed the papaerwork, got the refund on the rego from my HJ, paid over $30 extra to cover the difference (left $30 in my wallet by this time). They gave me plates and didn't even look at the car, not even to check the VIN!

It's DONE!

COst of car: $325
Cost of RWC (2): $110
Cost of CTP and rego etc: $380
Cost of parts, paint, extra tools, workshop fees (balljoint): $500

Total: $1315 plus 9 days off work (paid holidays) and 4 weekend days, lots of skin, being burnt, chocked, squashed, sliced open, torturned by joint pain.

Was it worth it?

You tell me! :)

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Comments

mmm i can't wait till my r/w time comes...well not really, as i think there will be a fair bit too do...

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do the extractors and 350 holley make much of a difference to the performance? i have a 82 Vh with a blue 202 and ive been wanting to do the same to it, was thinking of twin SUs tho, what ya reckon mate?

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I reckon the extractors do make a difference. The holley would have if I left it on too. I have run them before. Adding extractors and a holley adds a good 20% more power to a stock motor, though the Holley is not good on fuel consumption. I have been told to use a Falcon XE/XF carby instead as they are bigger than the Varajets but smaller than the Holleys meaning that they increase performance without flushing petrol away that the engine cannot burn. I am really tempted to try that route to see how it goes. If I do I will ppost the results here.

Kim

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nice story mate, but wat if the rego place did look at the car failed it coz it had a blue motor in it instead of black? wouldnt have been worth it then! why'd u replace the black motor in the first place? and if youd kept the holley on it you mite have failed there too

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I replaced the black because it was rattling like mad thing and leaked oil everywhere. It sounded like the bearing had gone or something.

I painted the blue engine black (cheapy paint) and when I installed the engine it got knocked around and greaded up so it looked like it had been there a while. Besides, from my experience, main roads folk here don't know the finer details of the pollution gear of each model of car. I have had cars passed before that shouldn't have. Eg an HZ that should have had a charcoal cannister, a UC with a Holley etc.

You are right, a Holley on a commodore is not up to standard for pollution requirements especially if it is on an aftermarket red motor manifold....

:)

In other words, I knew that Main Roads don't give a damn about minor details of pollution control in older vehicles. Some inspectors would have worried about the Holley I am sure. At this point I am looking at putting a XE/F carby on to replace the crappy Varajet. I am tired of the Holley and want to sell it, even though to fix it would only cost about $50 or less.

Kim

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I'm about to make this change myself to my VK wagon to try and improve fuel economy cause at the moment it's pretty ordinary!! I have the adapter (can buy these new from Lynx), the carby (secondhand from a wrecker), and an air cleaner to suit. It should all bolt in and connect up without a drama, hope that's the case!! A tip though, you must get a XF pre ULP carby, preferably from a 3.3 litre motor as the VK electrics will connect up and the EST computer won't throw a fit!! Also I have been recommended to get a smaller idle jet as this will increase economy and not affect performance.

Cheers

Peter

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THanks for that. A 3.3 pre ULP carby eh? But, how would this be better than the varajet? Won't it be setup to choke the life out of the engine like the Varajet does?

Kim

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Junk the EST its crap. fit a blue electronic dissy and coil. run a wire to the coil from the fuse box so it has power with the ignition on, maybe use a relay. Cut the resistor wire (pink i think) off it won't work properly for the electronic dissy. result? no more condensers to replace, no more points to adjust and replace, much better spark, better economy and power. But be cautious a boot from it could kill you its much higher voltage.

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COst of car: $325
Cost of RWC (2): $110
Cost of CTP and rego etc: $380
Cost of parts, paint, extra tools, workshop fees (balljoint): $500

Total: $1315.

GETTING THE OLD GIRL ON THE ROAD.... PRICELESS

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hehehe

Yeah, it has been really kewl driving her around. I am getting quite a buzz out of it!

Kim

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