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Mitch's UC Torana Budgie Budget Build


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#1 mitchg

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Posted 12 April 2020 - 04:59 PM

Hey everyone, long time no see. Been quite a few years since I've been around these parts. Sold my LX and Torailer and moved on. Got a house, couple more kids, life gets in the way but I had been looking for an outlet for a while just to wind down and a bit of fun for my Dad and I (and the kids as they get older).

Played around with commodores and stuff, but was always looking for a torana. As prices went up I wasn't in a position to jump on anything. Back in October last year I was searching one night and found this UC. Complete country car which was what I wanted. Didn't seem to be much rust, no missing panels, full interior. Perfect starting point. Didn't bother me that its a UC, I like the old school experience. Plus I like the front...

Quick 5 hour each way trip to Orange on Bathurst Sunday and we made a deal and brought it home. 

 

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Stripped it down, replaced front passenger floor (no pics finished) and KBS the interior. Started on the boot and removed wheel well as had rust in bottom. Chucked in a flat piece and have an LX fuel tank to go in. Lick of seam sealer and KBS boot top and bottom. Done.

 

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Next step is the engine bay. Car currently has a 202 and trimatic. I have a fresh 253 and trimatic which needs a home so will be chucking it in this (as you can tell by the title, budget means using whatever I have access to lol). It will make all the right noises and with the LX tank I can run dual pipes.

 

Started by ripping out everything in the bay, bit of smoothing going on by removing the battery tray and flattening the other side without affecting the body number. Wheel arches will be smoothed as well for a tidier look with all brake lines and wiring hidden. Even though its on a budget, theres so much that can be done with just a bit of time and work!

 

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Pretty cool thing with that last pic. Peeled back the battery tray and found this sidchrome spannel labeled "k-frame" stuck at the very front of the chassis rail. I assume its something from the assembly line that has been dropped down the holes and sat there for 40 years!

 

Will update as I remember, not great at taking pics of everything but I've always loved using this forum as a way to document the build so hope you all follow along on my journey back!

 



#2 rexy

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Posted 12 April 2020 - 06:13 PM

Welcome back!

That bonus spanner is a ripper.

 

I admire the concept of trying to use what you already have to get a project done. I did the same with my yellow LJ. Lots of fun!



#3 Rockoz

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Posted 13 April 2020 - 09:16 AM

One of the previous owners was likely wondering where the funny rattling noise was coming from. lol

 

Good to see you back.

 

Cheers

 

Rob



#4 RallyRed

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Posted 13 April 2020 - 10:15 AM

Following with interest mate, keep 'em coming



#5 Ice

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Posted 13 April 2020 - 10:22 AM

Wow you have been awol for a while Mitch
good to see you back on the forum

#6 Stinga

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Posted 17 April 2020 - 11:21 AM

I love a good UC build, keen to see this one progress



#7 Heath

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Posted 17 April 2020 - 02:47 PM

Sweet.

 

Never actually considered the twin tail pipe thing being a problem on a UC.

 

Quite bloody right about how much you can do without spending a cent on a car. If you have a complete car, you can do all kinds of things virtually without opening your wallet. :)



#8 mitchg

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Posted 17 April 2020 - 08:36 PM

Cheers Guys. Hopefully get stuck back in over the weekend. 

 

Yeah Heath the tank wasn’t planned, I just happened to find a leak in the UC one and had an LX tank laying around. Wasn’t until I mocked it up that I noticed how offset the UC tank was and didn’t think pipes would fit down that side. 



#9 mitchg

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Posted 17 April 2020 - 09:25 PM

Thought I’d throw this one up just so I’m up to date. Other side is welded, just grinding and beating tomorrow. Then weld up battery tray section and make a plan to fill the gap between chassis rail and wheel arch. Thinking a piece of rod to fill and weld either side to connect...

 

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#10 Heath

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Posted 10 May 2020 - 11:44 AM

There's no perfect way to fill that gap. I hate to think of the quantity of MIG wire in this job on some of our cars hahahaha.

You should be able to bridge the gap half decently by having the wire speed up a little and putting a half decently proud bit of weld on each side, then connecting them in the centre, and not really letting the pool drop down deep into it. That's how I did mine, but I didn't weigh the MIG wire spool before and after.  :lol: 

You could look at cutting a thin strip (or wire as you said) down into it and then running the welder along it. I have not tried that method.


Edited by Heath, 10 May 2020 - 11:45 AM.


#11 76lxhatch

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    That was easy!

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Posted 10 May 2020 - 02:48 PM

Work the gap first if there are any areas that are a bit too wide, should be able to fill it with one pass on the welder

 

IMAG0179.jpg



#12 Heath

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Posted 10 May 2020 - 03:07 PM

Do you mean you belted yours in (from the wheel well area) to be closer first?



#13 76lxhatch

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Posted 10 May 2020 - 03:20 PM

Where necessary but it was mostly good to begin with



#14 mitchg

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 06:38 PM

Started blowing holes in the thinner parts that had been “massaged” and got the shits and didn’t look at the car for 3 weeks lol.
Fired up the mig on Saturday and managed to fill the gap in one go on each side and it was done. Amazing what walking away does.

Working on getting a diff, im not replacing anymore diffs and planning the overkill route. Id like to buy things once and never have to worry about them.
Shortening 1.5inch each side and keeping stock suspension mounts. Plan to run 15x8 3.5 B/S wheels. HQ drums.
I like wilwoods and we have them on the race car and are happy with them so looking at the 320mm kit. Was thinking hoppers but plain jane lol.

#15 mitchg

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 08:00 PM

I like before and after pics just to show how much has gone into whats been done so far. Its a slow process and can go months without looking at it, then will cop a solid few days. Engine and K-frame out next, final prep of bay and rebuild k-frame. Then bolt it back in with a 253 on top.

 

Before

 

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Neighbours must love me this was taken at 11:45pm. I'm up at 4:30am every day and have 3 kids so sometimes working in the middle of the night is all I can do. Thankfully no neighbours on that side but I'm sure a welder and grinder can travel in the dead of night lol

 

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That's all for now. Been acquiring suspension parts all week, ready to get this done as soon as possible. Colour is picked, everyones going bright and show-y. I've gone the other way.



#16 Heath

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 11:53 AM

The shapes are looking great.

Not sure if you saw my FB update yesterday... hope it may have been inspiring for this area of work, haha.


Edited by Heath, 31 July 2020 - 11:53 AM.


#17 mitchg

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 12:03 PM

I just went and checked your page Heath. The bay looks stunning. Been following you on insta and amazed at your workmanship with a drill. Attention to detail is insane.

#18 mitchg

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 07:33 PM

Productive day today. Got the car out of its hiding place and to the old mans school. Engine out and k frame stripped. Ready for reco. Good to feel like somethings finally happening.

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#19 Heath

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Posted 15 August 2020 - 10:00 PM

Good stuff Mitch.

 

So that V8 in the background is the 253 destined for this car I gather?



#20 mitchg

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Posted 16 August 2020 - 11:15 AM

Yeah Heath thats the one.

Looks a bit different at the moment.

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Painted all the k frame pieces up and slowly piecing it back together with new rubbers.

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#21 mitchg

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Posted 24 August 2020 - 07:18 PM

Not much going on in this thread but ill keep updating for my own records.

 

Rebuilt front end with new bushes. Mated the fresh 253 to the built, manualised trimatic with 2800 stall then set it all on the K frame. 

 

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Next steps:

- high fill the bay

-work out the brake line attachments so everything is hidden and drill holes for bulkheads under master

- Drill holes for wiring

- Paint the bay 

 

Plan for the bay is completely clean besides booster/master, heater box/fan and washer bottle. Everything I wish I had done with my blue LX.



#22 mitchg

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 05:00 PM

Heath is the master of smoke and mirrors so thought id have a go. Unfortunately my tech skills only allow black and white. But the bay is painted and in colour!

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#23 mitchg

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 07:57 PM

But then again here it is ready for clear. Came really nice off the gun. Very pleased!

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#24 mitchg

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 02:20 PM

Cleared this morning as ran out of time. Very happy how it came off the gun.

Colour is a brand new toyota pearl/metallic Blue Flame.

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#25 Heath

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 03:58 PM

Hahahaha! 

 

Grouse mate. Well done. Are you just doing the bay for now?

Or is the whole car going to be painted before it gets on the road?






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