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Vk304's 1985 vk commodore


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So I'll start at the beginning, I had been trying to sell my 200 cc quad bike I'd brought out of rural dargaville lol, it had been fun but was wanting to pass it on, put it up on bookface to sell and got 10,000 timewasters untill a guy from rural huntly said hed swap it for a holden hed had in the shed for a while. 



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And so we went grabbed a car trailer and drove to pick it up as well as bring the quad over, I hadn't really been promised anything exept it had started but doesn't start now, or something along those lines.

But it had reg on hold and was mostly compete exept missing a centre console and oil cap ...

And faded purple tints, I hate purple tints lol


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I had never been around old holdens, diddnt know anything about them, just noticed it's got a live axle (a first for me then), manual and 6cyl, I gotta say I was then curious about this car despite the state of it ... $1500 quad... surely I can't go wrong with this trade! 

Started to mess with the carb immediately, came with another manifold and plates in the boot as I recall, carb was a bit munted and had dodgy bits all over it, but being a 202 it did run..... ish.

With full choke only haha 





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Figured I'd do a "rebuild" on the varajet2 carb with a gasket kit, get some new leads, paint the valve cover and an oil cap,buy new filter, looks great.... doesnt drive great lol fail on the rebuild, but it drove ok now that's all I needed.

Still had no real plans upto this point because it was registered as a 4cyl star fire and it had a 202 in it, but I thought a good priority would be get rid of the racing stripes (couldn't bring myself to drive it around like that) 

So started asking around for paint prices 

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Well I found someone, just had to do some rust work, couple rust bubbles coming through, so I pulled both front and back screens, to reveal a lot of holes hiding under the rubber, yaay

So I borrowed a small welder from a friend and shot down to ripco or suprcheap to get some solid wire and some disposable argon mix bottle lol yea.... dont buy those, lasted all of fukall so I had to use gasless wire which I dinnt have mutch experience with, well that turned out okay, so I fully welded all the holes shut -pictures were partway through fixing I believe, yes the original colour for this car was beige .

Sanded it and my painter guy lent me his trailer ... 

Well good thing he wasn't waiting on us, as we rolled the car on the trailer it caught a rail on the door and ripped a big dent into it (no photos as anger) :doubt:

So ripped the door off and went looking for a replacement door to drop off at the painter's later.. which I did for something like 50 $ local and also a rear wing that came from auckland to make the rear look a bit betterer!







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And so I found a 304 v8 that a mate had, unknown condition, brought off someone that said it did run but needed a valley gasket, but not in any definitive condition, $500, came with headers, basic block and some bolt ons, no wiring, but yea... why not 

Looking back I'd have brought a whole running donor car, but yea, not how this panned out

So I threw some gaskets in it, cleaned it, painted some stuff and painted my window surrounds which came out great, to this day still great... rare for a rattle can job lol

Checked the code on the block and it came back a vs3 or vt replacement engine...... still dont know if this is good or rare? Does that mean someone brought a new engine from aus???? 

Next up was to look for a gearbox, wiring or carb setup, basically all the stuff to convert the car to v8 specs (more than you would think)







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Then after failing to buy carburetor set up, I went for injection, brought a 'vl' v8 or 28 spline diff, and went on trademe and brought a vs v8 s-pac ute, v8, de-registered and crash damaged, but running, all it needed was a battery... $1500 , well I wasn't interested in the motor (which had worn bottom end as I found out later ), just the wiring ecu and all the rest, as well as a limited slip 3:7 diff(a suprise bonus!) , parted the ute out and dumped the shell..

Then a mate, had a power glide for sale, which at the time sounded great, being able to hold upto 800 hp with the right mods and bolt onto my 304 (I diddnt know the limitations of a 304 , or what was involved in making a 500hp 304 holden)

So I went on jegs website, brought things like input shaft, clutches and steels, manual valve body,summit 3.5k stall,, basically making a drag gearbox, with the purpose of it being a drag-able vk... got it running, did the wiring and ecu chip, aaand...

Then I got married, and brought a house, overseas oe, and yea funds dried up real quick, had to change plans..






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I decided not to go for power or show, neither really achievable any more, so the car became a daily driving v8 reliable runner...

so first thing would be to get it running and driving as is, then work on getting a manual gearbox..

After a lot of mucking around learning tuff, I found the engine would not make oil pressure, start engine, 5 seconds in still nothing, repeat x9, I did this a few times untill the lifters were chattering like crazy, pulled the plugs, fuses, wind it over etc., so after much research...

Found the 'high volume' oil pump that came with the engine had a broken input shaft, as in, it was turning the shaft but not the oil pump gear but still felt solid and tight untill i twisted it properly <_<.... ...... really??? So I brought a new pump and that fixed my last issue..

The damn F#$*ing shaft had spun in the pressed fit of the pump gear so was spinning on the spot.. took quite a few methods, days if not weeks and vaseline to figure this out, as the Holden v8 pumps are known to have priming issues, which was my initial thinking, i must have had that pump in and out 20 times, sorry no pics, was just relieved when the gauge moved !



Then things started to look up   ...






1 st start and drive

No exhaust.



more pictures new exhaust, gillies, there's probably a lot of things left out, but it was a lot of work for sure ..





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The diff I had put in "vl v8" turned out to be a vs one or something so it was too wide and rubbed a lot on the guards, I got a vk borgwarner one with some vn 28 spline axles with a trim and some dodgyness, well not that dodgy, I trust it,  it's now strong and still awaiting the lsd that came out of the ute 3:70... I run it with a 3:08 currently...I think? 

Some brass frost plugs as it sprung a leak, new plugs, ecu pic showing the vats delete and 'stage 2 tune' I had done same time as wiring wiring.

Adjustable rear suspension bar to center the diff

Annnd then I had a bit of a break, had other projects and money to save for a gearbox.. 











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The powerglide by this time was proving pretty good, drove around the block 30 times, couple single peels, so i tried selling it for what i put into it,, took way to long and ended selling for a small loss but it sold to a better place, and then i had money to buy a manual box, and i found the right one a few weeks or months later from a guy who imports them, not some dodgy box that had no history, at 2k i wanted the right deal ya know.. 

What i ended up with was a vt series one v8 getrag 290 gearbox with 150xxx km, and associated parts needed to install..

brought a new hd clutch and throwout bearing, fluid etc, and got to installing





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I had bolted the flywheel, clutch, everything up to the motor, but before I could put the driveshaft in I had to press the abs style speedometer wheel onto the yoke, then see how to attach the speedometer.

I decided I'd use a gauge cluster out of a vt v8 manual, rare to find but I did and I got to wiring it up ... some functions just wouldn't work as the bcm or body control module wouldn't be wired up with it.

But I was curious to see if the cluster would work for just the speedometer if anything else, after setting up a test rig and spinning it up I was surprised to see it work! 

This was after I found out the signal goes through the ecu and gets converted to read on the guage... and then I went and tried to hook up other functions, got tach, fuel, indicators, backlighting, kms etc and then I shorted it out and completely fried it... :( 

Then brought another cluster, this time a v6 one as couldn't find v8 vt one, to my surprise it all still worked, so I moulded it into my vk dash and it still works to this day, exept for the fuel level, dont know why yet..










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