Kiwibirdman

Kiwibirdmans 1962 EJ Holden Wagon

48 posts in this topic

Major progress going on at the panel shop. Doors are on the car, guards are sitting in place, bonnet is fixed (only one small rust hole) and the front panel is fixed. 

 

I got the hard word that the tailgate was needed in a hurry so yesterday was spent cleaning the paint off. I did find a few small rust holes, nothing major. Having the lift up window means that the tail gate doesn't get fill up with water all the time, unlike the H series Holdens. I forgot to take photos.

 

I'm starting to feel that everything now is making the car better, a corner has been turned. Of course it will get pulled apart again to paint the front subframe, firewall and suspension.

 

Even the list of stuff to buy is getting shorter, I found this site www.seatbeltsplus.com who look like they have some belts that will look the part and not cost a bomb.

 

Pictures to follow.

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Got some photos from the panel beater yesterday. All panels on and gapped. It is almost a car for 5 minutes. everything will be ripped off for priming and I get to take the body away for the next stage. It's booked to go to A1 exhausts where chassis connectors, engine mounts, steering column and a heap of other stuff will be done.

 

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Time for the car to go for a ride. Picked up from the panel shop, off to go on a wheel alignment machine and then to A1 exhausts to get the chassis work done

 

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I forgot to take any photos from the wheel alignment. Amazingly the car was pretty close. The cross member will have to be rotated slightly to give 2 Degrees of castor. There is probably more than enough adjustment in the shims to sort it out but I want to get it as close as possible. 

 

Also got my wheels back from being powder coated. I had put the other 3 away so that is why there is only one.

 

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After a couple of false starts I got to spend a few hours on the with Dave at A1 exhausts who is doing the chassis work. I got the new rear wheels and tires on. It look about right, reasonable clearance and I should be able to drop the back another 1.5 inches. I took a photo on my phone that disappeared. I will take some more and post.\

 

We started making good progress on the chassis rails, I though we would get them tacked into place ready for full welding. Big spanner got thrown in works when the mig wire ran out. Bugger.

 

Had to wander down the drive way with beer in hand and watch the floor being put into a Ford Model A pick up Hot Rod that another mate is building. Thems the breaks.

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Here are the photos of the rear wheels on the car. There is enough clearance to go lower.

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I'm going to use HQ Holden lowering blocks and take out the rubbers that go between the diff and the springs. This might make for a bit of extra harshness in the car but I think that having the diff located more firmly will help tame the power of the V8. I also found these that have been in the garage for 25 years. Must be well over due to use them.post-19122-0-74171900-1465454751_thumb.jpg

 

There has been a fair number of hours gone into making the chassis connectors. Here is part 1

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Hopefully Clint, our resident certification genius will be happy. I think so.

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The car has taken a great leap forward. The chassis rails got welded in today. 

 

The lowering blocks are in, HQ type with matching u bolts and the rubber pads removed. The diff angle still needs to be set once the engine in in.

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I'm expecting the back to drop another inch or so once everything is in the car.

 

The front wheels with HQ disc rotors are on

 

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I still have to try the front guards, I think that the front will have to come up a bit so the tires don't hit on full lock.

 

There are other bits like the tamp bars mounted and rear mounts for the torana front end that are done. Good progress, but still heaps to do.

 

I will post more pictures next week.

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Here are the promised photos. I got a text from Dave at A1 exhausts saying the welding was done, translation come and bring me some money

 

Traction bars

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Once everything is back in the car they should be just about level which is about right as far as I can work out. If anyone has better idea put it in the discussion thread

 

Chassis rails

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The final welding by the spring will be done once the spring is out, I didn't want to cook the new bushes. The rails are stitch welded to the floor and also welded from the top where the ribs in the pans were cut out to make the rails fit. 

 

Torana front end mount passenger side

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And drivers side

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This side is a bit funky so the handbrake still fits. The cuts in the bend still need to be welded again new bushes that didn't need to be cooked. There is a lot going on down that side, hand brake, steering column, column shift mechanism and exhaust.

 

Really these cars aren't very big. 

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Managed to spend some time working on the car this week. The cross member that goes under the trans tunnel now has the centre bit missing. I've figured out where the steering will go to connect to the column. I ordered new universals from Borgesen and waiting for them to turn up. Lots of people saying the reproduction steering unis are rubbish. the Borgesen ones will also be a heap cheaper. 

 

Engine should go in this week. I'm hoping that some off the shelf pacemaker headers, either torana or early commodore will fit. 

 

Forgot to take photos

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I went AWOL from work on thursday last week and took a trip out to Zebra Autoparts. A VX Commodore gave up its brake booster, master cylinder and brake pedal, a VS teh wiring to the fuel pump and a VP its wiper motor, all for a bargain $77

 

On the way home I swung by A1 exhausts where the car has been for the the last few months to be told that Dave is shutting up shop and the car has to be taken away by Wednesday. I guess this means that now the body comes to the motor, not the other way round. I does mean that I can spend more time at home doing stuff on the weekends. Biggest down side is running fuel lines, brake lines and other stuff under the car is a shit load harder being on the ground not on a hoist.

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After the previous post I got to thinking about how many different Holdens have been donating parts

 

Body EJ Holden

Right rear door EH Holden

Front suspention LH Torana

Steering column LC Torana

Diff HJ-HX ute

Wheels and front calipers HZ Holden

Fuel tank VS Commodore

Master cylinder VX Commodore

Wiper motor VP Commodore

Front Rotors HQ Holden

Engine and Transmission VT Commodore

 

Not a bad effort and no Ford parts.

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Now the car is home there is more motivation to go to the garage and pretend to work on it. I started on getting the brake booster mounted. Figure out about where is should be, there will be space if I take the spring off the hinge. The clutch pedal will become the brake pedal , I funky bend with the pad off the commodore pedal and all will be good. Before I got too carried away and started cutting more stuff up the motor really had to go into the hole.

 

Off with the commodore sump. All looks nice and clean inside.

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On with the HQ pickup. Carefully bent to be 10mm off the bottom of the sump.

 

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Commodore sump on the left, HQ on the right.

 

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Nothing on this car is ever easy, 

 

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The knock sensor can go on the other side of the motor, I just hope the wiring can be made to work. Other wise the dipstick has to move.

 

Also went to bolt on the engine mounts, 6 nice new 3/8 UNC bolts with spring washers, all good fo rthe first 2 then the third acted like I stripped the thread. Some genius in Holden decided that the last hole is 7/16. I checked my spare HQ 308 and that is the same.

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Today is engine in the hole day

 

First put engine and gearbox together

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This took 3 goes until the torque converter was properly into the trans.

 

Then move the car over and line up, does it really fit in this little hole????

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Nearly there. Managed to drop a whole lot of trans fluid on the floor. Typical, and a little goes a long way.

 

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In the hole but not a lot of space. At the risk of sounding like a stuck record these are really small cars especially in the engine bay.

 

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The chassis rail at the front will need to be notched to get some clearance. The engine mount adapters are of a VT commodore and put mounts too far apart. 

 

Lots of head scratching, contemplating and then cutting and shutting to do. If anyone has any brilliant ideas add them to the discussion.

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I took the oil pump and engine mounts off the motor to get it sitting in the right place. 

 

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There is bugger all space down the passenger side of the engine. 

 

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And even less on the drivers side. My cunning plan of having a column shift is looking less likely (While I am writing this I thought why not just shorten the whole column and put the cable on the inside of the firewall).

 

The trans tunnel is going to need some cutting and gentle persuasion to get everything to fit. The motor needs to be higher to get the sump above the cross member.

 

So here we are.

 

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I had resigned myself to having a floorshift and wasted a couple of hours on looking at electric power steering options. Apparently the unit out of a Suzuki Swift could be adapted. 

 

I also phoned up a guy who advertised a T5 manual with the forward shift, a great plan until he wanted $3500 for it, $2000 more than I would have ever paid. I priced up a brand new TKO 500 from Summit racing. It, is not much more with nearly twice the torque rating.

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After some contemplation, consumption of alcoholic beverages and a bit of cogitation I thought there has been far to much pain and money gone into this car to give up now. 

 

The angle grinder came out and some cuts into the trans tunnel. Spread the top of the tunnel and dropped the engine back into the hole. The gearbox came up and the engine is sitting higher, sump above the cross member. This has created some space so exhausts look like they can fit down beside the block.

 

I stuffed around for a good hour or so figuring out how to mount the steering column, I want to keep all the original breakaway intact for safety and certification. I had some 5mm flat bar and I think that will do. 

 

I'm still hopeful that the column shift will work. 

 

Amazing how having the car in the garage and having to walk past it a couple of times a day is motivating to get it done.

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Proof of motivation, 2 updates in 3 days

 

New engine mounting plates made, 

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Of course nothing is easy. There is a boss cast on the block on the passenger side right where the top of the mount needed to go. On the old HQ block I have sitting in the garage it is drilled and tapped, possibly for the rear mount for aircond. Since the one one the VT block was half the height and blank I didn't feel bad about giving it a hair cut with a power file.

 

I had been thinking about the column mounting and have come up with an idea of how to mount picking up on the original point on the dash board and connecting with the torana break away. Here is the early stage of bending and cutting.

 

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The flash new Borgesen steering unis arrived. Nice bit of kit and cheaper than the knock off originals sold by rare spares. Shown here slid onto the column

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Where did the last 2 months go?????  Between work, coming down with a nasty virus and being off work for 2 weeks and still stuffed for the 2 weeks after, kids and life not much has been done. 

 

There was also the small matter of destroying the auto in my Silverado ($5k thank you very much) and a week later clutch in the wife's car (another grand) so the piggy bank was well and truly emptied.

 

I have made engine mounts, the drivers side has some funky bends to make space for the steering. I borrowed my brother in laws MIG welder and tacked bits together. It will all get properly welded up by a suitably competent welder.

 

The steering column is mounted at the top complete with the original brake away in place. I thought I had the bottom in the right place until my brother in law cam round and spotted that the number 7 plug lead and the bottom of the column were in the same place. Back to the drawing board........again. 

 

Have I ever said how small these cars are????

 

Photos to follow.

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Spent more time on the steering column and now have it in the right place. Dropping the bottom has raised the steering wheel and made more space for my legs to get in. 

 

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I measured from the top of the wheel to my chest sitting in the car and then did the same in my chev and the distance is the same.

 

Here is the bottom end

 

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I still have to make up the bottom mounting plate. Everything has been checked for clearance, spark plug lead, column shift linkage, brake pedal and steering. 

 

More cutting is going to be needed for the steering universals and shaft. I going to cut down the input shaft on the rack and have the second uni very close. This will give more space for engine mounts.

 

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Over the Christmas break I had great plans of all the work that was going to get done.............

The usual things like going away and getting side tracked into working in the garden, sorting out the pool and all the other crap that owning a house and having a family got in the way. Along with a fair bit of socialising, drinking and BBQing. 

However there was some garage time. Since the last update and being so proud of my bracket to mount the column, I found the last section of the crash pad that goes across the front of the dashboard. When it was fitted I found the column shift hit the crash pad. After a lot of swearing I figured that dropping the column 10 mm would give the necessary clearance. 

I persevered with the mount I had made for about 3 hours and then came up with a much better plan. A new mount that goes under the edge of the dash  was made in about 1 hour.

At the same time I realised that there is enough space to keep the original shifter arm on the right hand side of the column. The bottom mount has been made and everything fits. It is amazing how much time get consumed making things to fit. 

Kumeu was very good to me. I needed wiper arms and my mate who was with me found a pair in a box a guy had full of stuff for $2 per item. Out of the same box I got the plastic vents for the demister and a pair of OK door handles. 

Photos to follow.

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Nothing like inviting the Club round for a garage tour to get some motivation.

Bottom mount for the column is made, just needs a couple welds and that can be ticked off. I have fitted the steering universals and made a nice piece of pine dowling to connect them. As usual mocking things up finds the other bits that don't work. My funky engine mount with a bend in it isn't going to work so another will have to be made. Once again the second should take about 20% of the time to make of the first one. Once the engine mounts are in , all the clearances for the universals sorted, I will get an intermediate shaft machined up.

The other thing that I had wasted a heap of time on was trying to get the VZ Commodore brake booster to fit. After may hours I gave up and chucked it in the corner. Some research on the web told me a Gemini booster was the go. I was talking to a mate about this and his comment was good luck finding one of those. One search on trademe found a crowd called Olds Cool who were wrecking one. A couple of emails, a bank transfer and the courier arrived a work with it 3 days later. Looks like it will be the business, I can cut down the original brackets, the bonnet spring and rocker covers will miss and the VZ master cylinder looks like it can be made to work.

I promise photos soon.

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