1963 AP5

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Everything posted by 1963 AP5

  1. More progress from the weekends efforts. I had a buddy round on Sat helping out so we actually got a whole lot done. We removed all the side window glass from the car and removed the old worn out weather strips. Crusty old glass out I removed the window regulators for checking and I am very happy that they are in awesome condition. They will benefit from a clean and a bit of lubrication but other than that they are good enough to put straight back in with the new windows. 1/4 windows removed Turns out there is a bit of a trick to getting the weather strips out without destroying them and I didn't really figure it out properly until the last door. The weather strips that I removed first are at the top of this picture and the ones that came out last are at the bottom. The window rubbers from the 1/4 windows are in pretty good condition so I will be re-using them. I will need to clean them up a bit as they are quite dirty and have some paint on them from one of the re-sprays that the car has had over the years. Should be able to remove the paint with care. Got to have the car ready for the panel and paint shop next week so still plenty to do, it will be a busy week!
  2. It's time to waste a whole lot of time and money that should probably be spent on other stuff. Some people on the forum will know our 1963 AP5 Valiant Regal but for everybody else who is interested here is a little history. My Dad purchased this car in 1983 and it was our regular family car for many years. Here is a photo taken some time in the early 80's. Dad had 2 AP5's at the time, the grey one on the right was a dedicated tow vehicle and was modified accordingly. The green one on the left is ours. About 7 years ago we were lucky enough to get our hands on this original and well looked car however a few things needed attention fairly quickly. Almost immediately we did a few safety upgrades. The car got a front disc brake conversion, new seatbelts and we replaced the wheels and tires in order to make it safe to drive in the rain. Until fairly recently I was hanging out on another forum dedicated to the fine products of the Chrysler Corporation with a few other members that have since come across to Oldschool and unfortunately a lot of the details of the work completed on the car to date was lost when the forum closed earlier this year. Lucky for me the Oldschool forum is awesome and I am very happy to be joining you all over here. This is how the car looked after its first round of upgrades. We drove it around for a while with the stock drive-line and aside from a little oil burning/leaking issue all was well. Then this happened. This was coolant leaking from a very bad place, yep cracked block! So naturally this happened next. And finally with the help of a local engine builder here in Auckland this happened. Sounds simple enough but it actually took nearly 12 months to resurrect the Slant 6 as the engine was in bad shape. We were very keen to salvage the original block and keep the car numbers matching but it was no easy task. I did as much work myself as possible but given the challenges involved in fixing the engine I was very happy to be working with a skilled engine builder and I am very happy with the result. This engine is awesome and it's still a numbers matching car. That's all for now, next post will be all about the current build. Feel free to discuss here. //oldschool.co.nz/index.php?/topic/56384-1963-ap5s-valiant-regal-discussion/
  3. Definitely check out your earth's, funny things can happen when the solenoid is on the body of the car. I assume that the negative battery lead is connected to the engine block. You may need a grunty earth strap between the engine and body. The one on my car is fairly heavy for this exact reason.
  4. Not sure about that particular roof rack, looks mighty tall. On your starter issues, have you tried giving it a good clout when it refuses to turn over? Sometimes the brushes can stick in the holders. A bash can make them spring into place again. You probably tried this already but I thought it would be worth mentioning.
  5. Had a good evening with the car at the OS July monthly but it was straight back into the shed this weekend to crack on with the project. Started to work on the doors and interior tidy up. I removed the sheep skins as they really need a clean. I haven't seen the stock interior for a while now and man it's a whole lot of green!! Off with the door cards The door cards are actually in better condition than I expected, the damaged areas are small and shouldn't be too hard to repair. Next job is to remove all the stainless trim from the doors
  6. Wheel alignment was sorted today all ready for Auckland monthly met tomorrow. I also got my battery isolation switch installed. Pretty stoked with this, no more disconnecting and reconnecting the battery terminals. With the battery tray and battery installed the switch is nicely hidden away from view.
  7. Paid - Committed!!
  8. So the front end is all back together, the lower control arms went back in without too much bother and no drama refitting the torsion bars either. I set the front ride height just a little lower than standard giving it a kind of funky retro 80's stance. It would be good to go a little lower but I may need to modify the bump stops as it's not too far off them even now. Took it for a drive and even without a wheel alignment it's way better. I will get the wheel alignment done and should be all good for the next Auckland OS monthly meet. Still plenty to be done but having it back on its wheels is a good milestone.
  9. As much fun as that would be I will be struggling to get enough leave from work to drive the AP5 down and back again. Air NZ owes me a couple of free flights so I am going to fly into CHCH and meet up with a couple of mates who can provide suitable oldschool transportation up to Hanmer.
  10. I am still planning on attending this little get together. Just waiting on the boss to approve my leave.
  11. Have a friend at BNT that helped me out with friendly pricing on all the suspension parts. The special tool for torsion bar removal is certainly available for the OS community. Always keen to catch up to spin Valiant yarns, no doubt we will have an opportunity at some stage soon.
  12. Share your thoughts, comments and ideas for the AP5. Cheers
  13. More steady progress early in the week , feels like I have a little momentum going now. I removed the old bushes from the lower control arm assemblies. A little precision grinding was required to remove the bush sleeve from the control arm shaft but the bush was removed successfully. The old bushes were in a pretty bad state as shown here. I cleaned the lower arms up a little and installed the new bushes. All ready to be refitted to the car this weekend.
  14. Not too bad at all, I have the overhaul instructions for the Weber 34 that I am happy to share. So long as you are careful and take your time you can't go too far wrong. I find Weber carbs are pretty easy to understand and there is heaps of good info available if you don't mind doing a little reading. The Rochester Varajet actually isn't a bad carb either. The main problem is that they are tricky to rebuild and get working properly if you are a back yard mechanic like me. That's why a lot of people ditch them and swap them out for something that's a little easier to work with like a Weber or Holley.
  15. No worries at all, the chap at Weber Specialities told me that a 32/36 can work well on a std Holden 6 with the correct jetting. The 34 ADM is a very nice fit for these engines however they are getting a little hard to find these days.
  16. I did the shackle bushes at the last WOF however I would really like to change the rear springs. Dad did a lot of heavy towing with this car and he had the rear springs rebuilt with an extra leaf added. As a result the car sat with its arse up in the air like an 80's drag car. I have lowering blocks in the rear but they really only get it back to std ride height. I would love it to be a bit lower but it ain't happening with these springs.
  17. What can I say except big blocks in A-bodies rock!!!
  18. I thought the torsion bars would be hard to remove and they lived up to all expectations. I love it when the workshop manual says "remove the torsion bar using the special tool" but gives no clue whatsoever as to what the tool might look like or how it is used to remove the torsion bars. I have no idea how people got by before you could do a google search! I did a little research and then set about making my own homegrown torsion bar removal tool. Not exactly rocket science, you just attach it to the torsion bar with the u-bolts and give it a bash with a hammer to knock the torsion bar rearward. The drivers side torsion bar however was perfectly happy where it was and it took some committed bashing to convince it to move. This photo of the "special tool" post torsion bar removal tells the story better than any words possibly could. I decided to reverse the tool for the passengers side so I had a fresh clean end to destroy. I got fully psychologically prepared for the battle ahead, crawled under the car and gave it a clout. In stark contrast to the drivers side the torsion bar popped out with no problems at all. From there removing the lower arms was fairly simple.
  19. Managed to sneak in a mid week session in the garage and got the upper control arms refitted. And there is nothing like a good comparison pic to make you feel good about your efforts. This weekends job is to remove the lower control arms, torsion bars and radius rods. I have never taken the lower arms out of a Valiant before so I decided to consult the bible. I can tell that Dad never removed the lower arms or torsion bars because the pages in the manual are clean (almost like new). A little different from the more frequently visited pages. Removing parts that haven't been disturbed since 1963 is always fun so good times ahead!
  20. As promised a few pics of a Weber conversion on a Holden Black 6 and a little info on how to get it done. I believe Weber carburetors work better than Holley 2 barrels on the factory Holden manifold. The factory manifold on the Black / Blue Holden engine is actually a pretty flash design and the orientation of the throttle butterflies on a Holley 2 barrel is not ideal when using the factory manifold. The orientation of the throttle butterflies on a Weber is the same as the factory carburetor so I would go with a Weber if you decide to use a different carburetor adapted to your factory manifold. This is a budget set up as I used a Weber 34ADM from an XF Falcon but I have found it works very well. I picked up the Weber fairly cheap and rebuilt it using a rebuild kit from Weber Specialties in Auckland. You need to make a few small modifications to a Weber 34 to make it work correctly on a Holden 6 and I would be happy to provide more detail if you decide to copy this set up so don't hesitate to ask. Here is a view of the engine bay And a couple of photos of the carb installed on the factory manifold with an adapter plate. The adapter plate I used is an off the shelf Redline item P/N 10-218. From memory I think this adapter is designed for a Weber 32/36 so you will need to modify it to work with other types of Weber carb. I spent quite a lot of time reworking the adapter plate to get it to fit nicely with the bore size and spacing on the Weber 34 ADM. The adapter plate also needs a vacuum port drilled to ensure the power valve on the Weber operates correctly. I also had to add an additional spacer plate as shown below to allow the accelerator pump leaver to clear the adapter plate. This cost nothing but time to make the spacer and additional gaskets so no big deal. There are a couple of very convenient mounts on the factory manifold that allow you to easily make a bracket for your throttle cable as shown here. As you can see in the first pic in this post and the pic above I needed a very low profile air filter assembly to fit under the bonnet of the little Commodore so I went to pick-a- part and I found a suitable item on a twin carb Ford Laser Sport ( mid 80's model I think). I cut the bottom out and made a new base out of thin sheet metal to fit on the Weber carb. Again cheap as chips but gets the job done. So there is an option for you to think about, low budget but works well. There is heaps of little details that I haven't covered here but if you decide to do something like this I would be happy to post more info on the conversion.
  21. Our VK Holden wagon is running the set up you mentioned in your build thread. Black 3.3 Holden 6 with 2 barrel Weber carb and electronic distributor from a blue engine. It goes pretty well for what it is but I expect it would be working pretty hard in a motorhome. I would be happy to post up a few pics of the carb conversion if it would be helpful.
  22. Managed to find some time this week to finish tidying up the upper control arms. I got all carried away and gave them a couple of coats of paint and then took them into work and pressed in the new bushes. Looking very flash now. I am going to take the good advice of OS Valiant gurus and do the lower arm and radius rod bushes as well but that will be next weeks fun.
  23. Yes indeed, it actually needs the ride height sorted out.
  24. Funny you should say that, it's exactly what I was thinking. Upon close inspection the lower control arm bushes are not in great shape and the radius rod bushes are shot. Lower ball joints were done a couple of years ago so they might be one thing I keep.
  25. I wasn't going to start the suspension work for a couple of weeks but I had some time this afternoon and decided to get stuck in. @Valiant was kind enough to send up his homegrown upper ball joint removal tool and I was itching to try it out. I tried to remove the joint with the upper control arm still installed in the car as a couple of members had suggested but it was super tight and I had no hope of moving it. I think this was mostly due to the fact that I was only using a 1/2 inch drive breaker bar and a 3/4 drive adapter. It might have worked if I had a proper 3/4 drive breaker bar. I persevered for a while but I was afraid of slipping and damaging the front wheel arch or guard so out came the control arm and I decided to go big and get some proper leverage happening. The control arm bushes require replacement to I ripped out the guts allowing me to pass a piece of round bar through. Next I held the removal tool in the vice so I could hold the ball joint and had a go at turning the control arm around the ball joint. It took a couple of good swings but I heard a delightful little crack and the joint started to turn in the control arm. Once it started to turn it was easy to remove the joint using the breaker bar and removal tool. After giving the control arm a bit of a clean up I installed the new joint. I had a bit of fun getting the joint to screw in straight but a couple of OS members who have done this job before told me to expect this. After few false starts the new joint started to screw in nice and straight and actually went in fairly easily. While I have the removal tool in the workshop I think I will do the other side so I will see my friends at BNT tomorrow and grab another.