(2016) I bought this car about a decade ago and between working abroad in the desert and having to build a garage the car has stayed as it was when I bought it. I finally got a block of leave time that allowed for playing with my car. I picked easy jobs and have finished test fitting the new seats and will finish the front suspension and disk conversion on my return.
The seats; Full electric all leather. They have fore, aft, back rake, squab rake and height adjustments. The motors are smooth and really quite. I will manufacture the spacers that will be used for fitment once the body work is done and the new carpet is fitted. I also need to run the battery feeds to each seat.
The seats fit great and work a treat - I will have the rears reupholstered in the same style and color while the car is in for panel and paint.
I fitted a full set of OEM NOS gauges and a new one of those laser cut fish scale dash plates
The other task I started (and will finish on my next leave break time permitting) was all new QA1 front suspension. Unfortunately some of the parts did not arrive before I had to return to the desert so it was basically a test fit.
The car had had a front disk conversion at some stage but the old parts were pretty much worn out and the hubs were a 4" PCD so limited the selection of wheels etc. Also the disks were on their limits and needed machining. Along with QA1 suspension I sprang for a disk conversion kit from Classic Performance which has 11" disks 5 x 4.5 PCD. The kit comes with a booster which unfortunately wont fit this model. The steering arms are heavier and longer than the OEM ones. The tie rod sleeves are the QA1 ones and these are nicely manufactured and good and sturdy. All new ball joints and tie rods and the car now has a light smooth feel to the steering - did not drive (has not had a proper alignment yet - waiting for some parts as mentioned earlier) just moving it around the garage - it used to pull the arms out of you before and now is like a different vehicle - sweeeet.
I have ordered an idler arm bush to bearing kit which had not arrived when it was time for me to return to the desert.
The Classic Performance disk kit required some modification of the backing plate so that the attachment bolts for the steering arms would seat properly. When the parts arrived the clip on the caliper was damaged and the backing plates were buckled - poor packaging and heavy boxes - I think they were dropped rather than stacked during shipping. A little metal bashing, some snipping and a powder coating and you'd never know.
There is some superficial oxidation on the caliper, which will clean off easy enough and I will find a coating to prevent it re-occurring.
The brake reaction rod in the photo is the original one. They were rusted and pitted so I sand blasted them and had some blue powder left over from another project which I used as protective coating until the new ones arrive. I bought some stainless ones from Hemi Performance; they got them away to me really quickly but the post my end is snail mail slow so they arrived the day after I return to work. I have since looked deeper into these - Dynamic Strut Bars | QA1 Suspension Components | Drag & Street and I am checking with QA1 to see if these will fit the vehicle
The car originally had Cragar Drag Star?? (I think that was the type) rims which did not suit it and I was able to find a set of Jelly Bean mags which were more period correct - got them from Queensland Valiant Spares - whom unfortunately has ceased trading after the floods there.
I wrapped the Jelly Beans in some Toyo 205/70 14's around them and now that the new disks are fitted the Jelly Beans which are 5 x 4" wont fit the new stud pattern 5 x 4.5". So it was time to pick new rims and tyres. I chose Wheel Vintiques 10 Series Chrome Smoothie Wheels With Caps and Toyo 205/60 15.
I am talking with Hemi Performance to see what will be involved in getting one of their rear axle drum to disk rear ends (shipping to Ireland being the concern) - using spacer converters to change the rears to 5 x 4.5" PCD at the moment so I can move the vehicle when required.
I hope to have time to get more done on my next leave break - but I also have a 1979 Holden HZ Ute which is currently having its rust removed and just about to be resprayed which also needs attention.
That's what I did last summer - well for a few days anyway
(2017) Back from the sand prison and bits have been arriving from Australia in the months leading up to my escape.
I finished the install of the disk conversion and QA1 tubular front suspension. For anyone considering to fit this kit, be sure you order the upper control arms with the large tie rod end: Part number QA1-52301.
I had ordered the direct replacement upper arms QA1-52303 only to discover that they don't fit the Classic Performance Parts - DOH!! DOH!!
I got the Stainless Steel Heavy Duty Brake Rod Reaction Bar Set and MOOG two piece bushing set from Hemiperformance. The rods are nicely machined, unfortunately they came with exotic threaded nuts? Which do not suit the bar threads? Someone must have picked nuts from the wrong box when packing them. I had to source some new nuts to fit the rods threads. While doing that I came across the QA1 Dynamic Brake Reaction Rods, QA1 - 52311 - not sure they will fit the SV 1 but ordered some and they are due in early next week, so the front end will be pulled apart one more time to try them out. If they don't fit, it will be the chunky Hemiperformance bars back on and staying.
I went for the Hemiperformance (I'm sounding like an advert for them - I mention them because this is one of the very few companies that ship parts to me or are even polite when I ask them to ship here) disk rear axle - there was a bit of a faff and delay getting customs clearance - but happily it turned up only a couple of days late.
Old rear end removed;
Sand blasted and ready for powder coating - spring hanger brackets.
New springs in, with all new bushings - it was a pain in the butt getting the bolts through the bushings and then getting the bushings to seat against the spring faces again - thankfully done on the bench and thank you air racket Persevered and all shiny and new and fitting like a good thing now.
The axle is in position and looks like it may have come from Clovelly Park like that.
The advertising speel claims it is bolt in - not SO! The original lower shock mount plates are not compatible, same for the original U bolts. It says that it comes with new handbrake cables and brake lines to suit your specific vehicle - not in the box I got? The cables and brake lines are not an issue they can be forwarded to me (cables anyway) or I can make new brake lines. The tad annoying element is the non compatability of the lower shock mounting plate and the U bolts.
I have been back to the boys via email and hopefully they will express me the necessary shock mounts and U bolts.
I will finish bolting this in, when the mounts and U bolts arrive; then is engine and transmission out and off to panel and paint.
While grotting around under the Valiant taking bits off getting it ready to go for panel and paint I noticed that the coating on the backing plates on the rear axle was flaking.
A bit of a rub wth a wire brush and the flaking became falling off. It was off with the plates, into the sandblaster and cleaned off the coating.
I had some gold powder coat I had bought out of curiosity to see how it would look. Never really liked the finish. Just the job to use it up on. As these will seldom be seen, and it will provide a good robust coaing - gold it is.
Back on with the nicely finished backing plates and on to the next job.
Pulled the car apart, engine and trans out,
and its ready for the panel beater to do his stuff - once i can find the patch panels it should go reasonably quickly - or so he says.
Its back to the desert again, but at least I have the car over at the panel beaters now.