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My LH 6 to v8 conversion...


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#1 74LH

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 10:34 AM

Alright, time to make the plunge!

I have owned this blue beauty for 10 years this year and I thought what better way to celebrate that to completely upgrade the driveline....

From when I first got her at the age of 15 from the old man (yes, it's my first and only car! - I have a work vehicle) it's made many changes.
The first two years of ownership were dedicated to restoring it to how it is today. The old man and I stripped it down, sent it off for minor body work, rust proofing and a respray. We also had the engine brought back to life (no rebuild required) and had the entire brake system and suspension repaired/replaced where required.
And that was pretty much all she needed, since then I've driven it all over the country side (close to 80,000km) and it's done what these cars were meant to, put a grin on my face....and show off to girls....

So in a nutshell here's what's next:

* Swap the tired 173 for a rebuilt 308 (pre pollution)
* Swap the current 3spd auto for a beefed up v8 trimatic auto (I want to keep the column shift and bench seats as are)
* Swap differential to a 3.08 v8 one (fine spline)
* Upgrade brakes and suspension to handle all the new power
* If funding allows, have the paint touched up and do some minor interior upgrades.

Now unfortunately I am not in a position to do any of the major works myself (no tools or space) so I have engaged engine builders and mechanics here in Melbourne to do that for me.
HOWEVER, I wanted to bring you all along on this build to show you that even when you farm the work out to others you can still build a reliable and gutsy period correct power train into a torana without breaking the bank and without getting engineers involved.

My overall goal is to make this a bit of a tribute, not a look-a-like. I won't be throwing in a drop tank and whacking on flares (not that there's anything wrong with that either) essentially this car will be a bit of a sleeper.

I've had tons of people tell me this is a waste of money, or that I could get better power and economy out of other engine combinations, or that I won't get the value out of the car in the long run as its no longer original. But that's not what I'm doing with this build, this car is mine, I love it and don't see it as an investment or a show car, I'm gonna build it how I want it and I plan to drive it at every opportunity...

So that being said, let's get to it! As of yesterday the engine has been found and is being stripped down for rebuild...I'll post pictures and updates as I can, I work a lot so if there are parts to the build missing from here then I apologise in advance.

Feel free to offer any advice or ask questions as the build progresses.

Cheers,

Dan


Screenshot_2015-05-23-10-27-17_zps5jishl

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#2 neglectedtorana

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 02:21 PM

Nice car Dan,
I like the colour and keeping the bench and column shift are great touches.

Build it how you want it and enjoy

Cheers, Tom

#3 74LH

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 04:11 PM

Cheers mate, can't wait to hear the 308 come to life, I'll be sure to put up a few videos too.

#4 74LH

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 08:48 PM

Alright, we have an update.

My engine builder gave me a call today and let me know the 308 was ready for assembly and graciously invited me down to take some pics before putting it all together...

Here's the block, it's been bored out 60thou over, honed and decked.

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Crank, machined and balanced and rods/pistons

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Heads all rebuilt and machined

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And finally, specs on the cam

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More updates to follow but the ball is rolling and things are beginning to get exciting...

#5 mick74lh

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 09:49 PM

Sweet. Keep us posted on the rest of the build.



#6 74LH

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 05:15 PM

Quick update, very excited about this...

I have found a reproduction manual choke to suit my Quadrajet carby, as in the same one found on the L34 SLR5000.
I've been searching far and wide for this part and have been told by everyone that it either never existed (which is bs) or is impossible to find (true). That was until today when I got in touch with a bloke who rebuilds carbies in Hoppers Crossing, he had a mate of his remake a few of them (designed off an original choke he had) and he still had a few just floating around in his shop.

I'm sure a few of you out there mightn't find this exciting as myself, but for a pre pollution Holden 308 with a Quadrajet this is a major win for the build.

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Also, the engine is just about completely assembled, the electronic distributor is being finished by Scorcher Ignitions in the next few days, and my rebuild carby should be done in the next couple of days also.

The big swap over is getting ever closer....

#7 74LH

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 05:25 PM

I'll quickly add to the above, the remaining components of the manual choke are being installed onto the carby by the bloke who's rebuilding it...

#8 74LH

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 06:11 PM

Engine is now assembled and ready to be dropped in.

IMAG0043_zpsgg8qj8u3.jpg


Also just collected my rebuilt Bosch electronic distributor which has been set up to match engine specs, tomorrow I'll have a huge collection of parts to pick up which I'll list to give you all an idea as to what's going on between the engine and wheels....


Another couple of weeks and the swap over will be on!

#9 74LH

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 08:46 PM

Parts, parts, parts and more parts.

IMAG0055_zpskw35cchg.jpg

So in no particular order we have:

Fenix radiatior.
Thermo fan.
Refurbished and graphed Bosch HEI distributor.
Banjo 3.08 fine spline diff center and axles.
V8 tailshaft.
King springs (low).
Monroe GT shocks.
Full rubber bush kit.
Rebuilt Rotchester Quadrajet.
DBA slotted discs.
Bendix heavy duty pads.
Whiteline sway bars (front and rear).
Pacemaker extractors.
Starter motor.
Fuel pump.
Alternator bracket.
Other small parts like belts, hoses etc.

Couple of weeks to go til the mechanic gets his hands on it, Trimatic auto is being rebuilt and that's all that's left.

Feel free to ask any questions or make suggestions guys.

#10 toryman76

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 09:53 PM

Hey mate. Looks like you have everything well planned! I am doing a similar thing to my car (all be it a long 10yr build...) So I am curious to know a few things:

 

1. Where did you get your radiator from?

2. Where did you get the fuel lines and brake lines? These look pre-fab and I've been doing some searching myself but haven't had any luck

3. Where did you get the tailshaft from? Also are you able to compare the length with your 6cyl one?

 

Also if you are looking at upgrading your brake booster and master cylinder I can highly recommend talking to Terry from Hydroboost. I dealt with him not long ago and he has a wealth of knowledge of Torana's and was very helpful and well priced too.



#11 rodomo

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 10:07 PM

Who is your engine builder? Is that SJ's big fat belly?

#12 UCgazman

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 10:43 PM

I think those are tranny lines in the pic...



#13 74LH

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 09:17 AM

Hey mate. Looks like you have everything well planned! I am doing a similar thing to my car (all be it a long 10yr build...) So I am curious to know a few things:

1. Where did you get your radiator from?
2. Where did you get the fuel lines and brake lines? These look pre-fab and I've been doing some searching myself but haven't had any luck
3. Where did you get the tailshaft from? Also are you able to compare the length with your 6cyl one?

Also if you are looking at upgrading your brake booster and master cylinder I can highly recommend talking to Terry from Hydroboost. I dealt with him not long ago and he has a wealth of knowledge of Torana's and was very helpful and well priced too.


1) Radiator is a fenix one, they are in my opinion best bang for buck radiator on the market, you can buy them directly from fenix or through Bursons like I did.
2) the prefab lines there are only for the trimatic that's going in. They are prefab from a mob called Old Skool Auto Parts. Cost $140 from memory. I'm currently sourcing fuel line from pump to carby, all brake lines are good to reuse as I had the brakes rebuilt last year.
3) tailshaft is from a wreckers, off a v8 torana, it will fit straight in with the rebuilt trimatic and v8 banjo.

My hydroboost booster is already in the mail :)

While I'm thinking about it, the rebuilt quaddy was done by All Carb in Hoppers Crossing, he also hooked me up with the genuine manual choke assembly I posted about above. Good quality work and always happy to answer questions, definitely recommend you blokes check him out.

#14 74LH

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 09:21 AM

Who is your engine builder? Is that SJ's big fat belly?


Frank at Headspec in Clayton. He is the man as far as I'm concerned, not only incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about his work, but is willing to go above and beyond to help with the build, he put me in touch with quality parts suppliers and wreckers and has even offered to drop my engine off to the mechanic when it goes in. Couldn't recommend him and his business more.

#15 74LH

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 03:25 PM

A few more pics of the engine, now that a few more parts have been thrown on.

IMAG0090_zpsp6uknioq.jpg


IMAG0089_zpsqbcreapp.jpg

#16 yel327

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 03:53 PM

Before you put the engine in make sure you have a HJ/LH-LX 308 manifold. If it is a HQ one it won't be drilled and tapped for the return spring bracket. Far easier to do with it out of the car and not on the engine. Look in HJ or LH or LX parts catalogue for where it goes. Make sure you have the right cable retainer too and the right carby. From memory the geometry isn't right if you use the wrong carby or the wrong cable retainer. The correct carby is either the same as a 1973-4 HQ or HJ 308 auto 7043284 (must be auto in this case, 7043283 won't have the right vacuum signal for the dizzy) for a 1974 plated LH or the same as a 1975 HJ 7045281 (auto or manual doesn't matter they are the same). These carbies have a little bolted on extension on the bottom with a ball for the cable throttle if used on a HJ or LH or early LX. The HQ ones are missing the bolted on bit. The carby in the photo is a pre 1975 carby so is probably the correct type, but the throttle linkage may not be - also be careful that it is an auto carby (carby number is an even number) and that you aren't using it in a 1975-6 vehicle as technically it is not supposed to be used in that application as the bowl is vented and not sealed as it should be for a canister fitted car (1/75 onwards).



#17 74LH

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 04:21 PM

Before you put the engine in make sure you have a HJ/LH-LX 308 manifold. If it is a HQ one it won't be drilled and tapped for the return spring bracket. Far easier to do with it out of the car and not on the engine. Look in HJ or LH or LX parts catalogue for where it goes. Make sure you have the right cable retainer too and the right carby. From memory the geometry isn't right if you use the wrong carby or the wrong cable retainer. The correct carby is either the same as a 1973-4 HQ or HJ 308 auto 7043284 (must be auto in this case, 7043283 won't have the right vacuum signal for the dizzy) for a 1974 plated LH or the same as a 1975 HJ 7045281 (auto or manual doesn't matter they are the same). These carbies have a little bolted on extension on the bottom with a ball for the cable throttle if used on a HJ or LH or early LX. The HQ ones are missing the bolted on bit. The carby in the photo is a pre 1975 carby so is probably the correct type, but the throttle linkage may not be - also be careful that it is an auto carby (carby number is an even number) and that you aren't using it in a 1975-6 vehicle as technically it is not supposed to be used in that application as the bowl is vented and not sealed as it should be for a canister fitted car (1/75 onwards).


Thanks for the heads up on the inlet manifold, I think it's a HQ one but I'll check it tomorrow and see, shame seeing as I spent good money getting it cleaned up.

I've already triple checked my rebuilt carby and the distributor with the people I got them from. All Carb in hoppers crossing did the quaddy (and manual choke) and the dizzy is a rebuilt and graphed Bosch HEI from a commodore that the blokes from Scorcher Ignitions did for me. Both items are set up for auto, but if I run into issues I'm sure they'll sort me out.

Thanks for the information though, this is the stuff that most people don't!

#18 yel327

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 04:58 PM

There is a little boss at the back that sort of looks like the one at the front. If it isn't drilled an tapped you need to get it done and get the right spring return bracket.

 

I can't recall exactly but I don't think you can modify a pre-1975 manual Quaddy to work as an auto, the difference is in the porting in the carby body itself. So they cannot setup a manual carb to operate an auto if i'm recalling it correctly. The auto car needs full vacuum at idle to advance the timing to speed the engine up to overcome the converter. The manual doesn't need this, so a manual carb on an auto engine will stall at idle. As that is a vented fuel bowl carby it's last digit is even it will be OK, if it is odd it won't (unless they've changed the base and modified the body if that is possible?).



#19 74LH

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 05:07 PM

There is a little boss at the back that sort of looks like the one at the front. If it isn't drilled an tapped you need to get it done and get the right spring return bracket.

I can't recall exactly but I don't think you can modify a pre-1975 manual Quaddy to work as an auto, the difference is in the porting in the carby body itself. So they cannot setup a manual carb to operate an auto if i'm recalling it correctly. The auto car needs full vacuum at idle to advance the timing to speed the engine up to overcome the converter. The manual doesn't need this, so a manual carb on an auto engine will stall at idle. As that is a vented fuel bowl carby it's last digit is even it will be OK, if it is odd it won't (unless they've changed the base and modified the body if that is possible?).


Last digit is a 4 so it's definitely an auto, I told the carb rebuilder specifically the engine and transmission and the vehicle it was going into so he knew from the beginning what was required.

I may run into an issue with the manifold but I'll address that before the engine goes in

#20 yel327

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 05:25 PM

Should be sweet! Probably a 7043284 if it is a Holden or Torana carby.



#21 74LH

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 09:42 PM

Looked at the manifold, it's a HQ one but it looks like there's a spot for the return spring bracket to be drilled and tapped. So I'll get the mechanic to sort that out.
Looks like rare spares have a bracket assembly to suit

#22 74LH

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 06:49 PM

Well I've been flat out with work but massive progress has been made.

Engine, transmission, tailshaft, diff center/axles, springs, shocks, rubber bushes, sway bars, radiator/fan, brake discs/pads, and booster/master cylinder are all installed.

Next up the mechanic has to get all the wiring sorted and fire up and run in the new engine. Then it heads over to the exhaust shop before then back to the mechanic who'll put a final tune on it, then it heads for an alignment and a dial in of all the new steering and suspension.....then it's mine :)


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#23 308mate

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 07:04 PM

Awesome Dan! Sweet ride, should be heaps of fun.



#24 toryman76

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 07:08 PM

Nice one dude! Looks awesome. Any chance you can tell me if the original 6 cylinder hard fuel line pipe needs to be different? Or are they the same?



#25 Ice

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 07:09 PM

Looks pretty good Daniel top stuff you must be stoked




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