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castellan Offline
#121 Posted : Thursday, 15 April 2021 5:28:26 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wbute Go to Quoted Post
It’s a shame the 253 didn’t get the fuel injection update like the 5 litre. I know time moves on, but it had to have been a better engine that the V6 that replaced the smaller capacity engines.


I think they did their home work on such and the 3.8L won out.
Them VN V6 went well back in the days but for the f ing horror chaff cuter noise even the VR sound shit, but the VS all that shit was gone and a good thing to drive for what it was. I put my order in even before the VS came out. you could run 92 octane in them with 9.35:1 compression now that's saying something with iron heads, boy that's proof of quality design to run 92 on iron heads with 9.35:1

Due to the Jap currency jumping up with the Nissan 3.0L 6 cyl in the VL. Holden had to jump to that USA chaff cutter V6 what a shocking noisy engine it was, Hell even the Red motors were more refined than that junk.

I would say that the best all round engine for the average person with an automatic from 1969 to the VH Commodore was the 253.
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#122 Posted : Thursday, 15 April 2021 6:12:12 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: castellan Go to Quoted Post


I think they did their home work on such and the 3.8L won out.
Them VN V6 went well back in the days but for the f ing horror chaff cuter noise even the VR sound shit, but the VS all that shit was gone and a good thing to drive for what it was. I put my order in even before the VS came out. you could run 92 octane in them with 9.35:1 compression now that's saying something with iron heads, boy that's proof of quality design to run 92 on iron heads with 9.35:1

Due to the Jap currency jumping up with the Nissan 3.0L 6 cyl in the VL. Holden had to jump to that USA chaff cutter V6 what a shocking noisy engine it was, Hell even the Red motors were more refined than that junk.

I would say that the best all round engine for the average person with an automatic from 1969 to the VH Commodore was the 253.


I agree, my VS V6 manual ute I bought in December 2000 was a good car. I wanted a V8 but was too late, however that V6 had good power, was smooth and I regularly got 30mpg out of it.

Yes, the 253/4.2 was a good all round engine. If you fitted dual exhaust and the intake plus Quadrajet from a 308 they were great little engines. The HT to HJ versions came with highway ratio rear axles 3.08 (manual) or 2.78 (auto). All you’d need to do with them by the time they were 5-8 years old was fit a new cam and lifters and normally avast iron body oil pump, the rest went for a long time. 283 and 307 were the same, just needed a 4BBL intake and Quadrajet but didn’t chew out cams like a Holden V8.

The down side of the HT to HG was the 253 got the dreaded banjo, however Salisbury were plentiful in 3.08 ratio. The upside was they all had decent boxes be it the M15 3spd, M21 Saginaw or ‘glide or Trimatic. At least you could get a 3spd or a Trimatic in a HQ-HJ, not the dreaded Aussie 4spd. Probably the best all round choices for towing, reversing trailers, carrying loads and highway cruising would be a HG 253 3spd ute with the diff changed out to a 3.08 LSD Salisbury. Or a HJ 4.2 3spd or Trimatic with integrated A/C, power steering and LSD, 3.08 manual or 2.78 auto.

Edited by user Thursday, 15 April 2021 6:19:54 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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AC Offline
#123 Posted : Friday, 16 April 2021 12:06:00 AM(UTC)
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I bought new a VS Acclaim in Sherbrooke Green and optioned with power windows. It was gutsy and very refined. Being an early build it had twin exhaust pipes after the catalyst, into separate mufflers and then meeting again at the rear. Later VS Commodores were single all the way, probably for cost cutting reasons. I thought that it had a nice sound. It reminds me of my brother’s immaculate VN SS. It is an early build and has fabricated exhaust manifolds rather than cast iron.

Edited by user Friday, 16 April 2021 12:06:59 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

HK1837 Offline
#124 Posted : Friday, 16 April 2021 6:56:32 AM(UTC)
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Those VN and VP 5.0L were always stainless headers. It wasn’t until sometime in VR or thereabouts they changed to cast.
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Dr Terry Offline
#125 Posted : Friday, 16 April 2021 7:53:29 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
283 and 307 were the same, just needed a 4BBL intake and Quadrajet but didn’t chew out cams like a Holden V8.


Disagree. The early SBC V8s had their issues with cams as well. By the time the large journal motors came around the cam lobe trouble was sorted, so 307s didn't suffer from it, as much as 283s did, but the SBCs also had the nylon toothed cam gear which aged quickly which resulted in rattly chains & retarded cam timing.

When Holden were looking at V8 designs in the early 60s the SBC wasn't the 'pillar of virtue' we see today, otherwise Fred James & the boys would've just used it. Why re-invent the wheel if the old wheel was that good.

Dr Terry

Edited by user Friday, 16 April 2021 7:55:22 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

If at first you don't succeed, just call it Version 1.0
HK1837 Offline
#126 Posted : Friday, 16 April 2021 9:18:51 AM(UTC)
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I'd forgotten about the nylon timing gears in 283's. All the ones I had I'd pulled the engine apart to make sure all good, checked bore and bearing clearances, fitted new gaskets and welsh plugs and put back together. Those plastic timing gears were reported to fail like clockwork around 60,000 miles so I never came across one so must have been changed out.

GMH's choice to make their own engine was an economic one. Using an imported one for the masses was never really a consideration, only by necessity for the 307 as the 253 wasn't ready. There was no guarantee it would even have been a V8. They determined prior to 1965 that they'd need a 250ci engine for 1969. Due to the need to mass produce to make it economical they also decide to build the same engine so it could be made in a 300+ cube version so then it was decided to make it a V8. One of the biggest factors in consideration to build it locally was the Australian Government Tariff Regulation, and their studies showed that the volume, longevity against the Capital investment was an economical proposition. The only thing I haven't been able to nail exactly is why they chose to design a whole new engine, rather than build a SBC design locally. The best info that I have been able to find is that:

1. They initially determined fitting the SBC design into the GMH chassis was a problem - the rear oil pump and rear steering on the proposed HK, HT, HQ and HU/HV was an issue.
2. The engine had specific dimension requirements so that the 5 x VAP's could assemble the HK-HU/HV and beyond utilising the body drop method without expensive modifications at the VAP's. Those dimensions were:

Length including 3 belt tracks and viscous torque fan drive: 29.02"
Width, symmetrical around the centreline: 22"
Height from crank centre to top of air cleaner: 18.5"
Weight dry: 480lb.
Satisfied with 97 RON grade fuel.

The 307 exceeded all of these, although a 307 auto engine was under 480lb. Width was over 23". Length with the fan was over 30". A SBC is about 17.7" from the crank to the top of the dizzy cap, so probably would also exceed the height requirement even with a drop base air cleaner. Whether or not the Engineers came up with these figures so they literally had to make their own engines, or they were the maximum dimensions fro body drop I don't know.
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Dr Terry Offline
#127 Posted : Friday, 16 April 2021 9:57:01 AM(UTC)
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I agree with all the local production issues, but if we cast & machined SBCs here (as they do in Canada) then the local production economy side of things is sorted. If we just fitted an alloy intake then the weight issue was largely solved as well.

My point was that if the SBC was fully sorted in 1964 (which it wasn't) then decision to built a V8 unique to Aust, may not have happened. As it turned out the Aussie V8 was better suited to us in the long term.

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wbute Offline
#128 Posted : Friday, 16 April 2021 10:22:41 AM(UTC)
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Holden had issues with the internal oil pump setup too. I know they made a point of having the oil external as a design feature, among many other things as pointed out.
They really nailed a good design with the cam wear issue being the only real bad point. A lot of that was related to cold start running with city driving I believe. They didn’t seem to have the lobe wear issue if they did long running.

Edited by user Friday, 16 April 2021 10:25:36 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

HK1837 Offline
#129 Posted : Friday, 16 April 2021 10:38:01 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Dr Terry Go to Quoted Post
I agree with all the local production issues, but if we cast & machined SBCs here (as they do in Canada) then the local production economy side of things is sorted. If we just fitted an alloy intake then the weight issue was largely solved as well.

My point was that if the SBC was fully sorted in 1964 (which it wasn't) then decision to built a V8 unique to Aust, may not have happened. As it turned out the Aussie V8 was better suited to us in the long term.

Dr Terry


The size wasn’t though. AFAIK they couldn’t body drop with a SBC design.

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HK1837 Offline
#130 Posted : Friday, 16 April 2021 10:42:38 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wbute Go to Quoted Post
Holden had issues with the internal oil pump setup too. I know they made a point of having the oil external as a design feature, among many other things as pointed out.
They really nailed a good design with the cam wear issue being the only real bad point. A lot of that was related to cold start running with city driving I believe. They didn’t seem to have the lobe wear issue if they did long running.


I think a lot of the Holden cam issue was the oil pump. When you read Fred James’ report they had massive oil pump issues, from no priming through to wear issues some of which they ‘solved’ by anodising the alloy housing. Other issues with the bypass. You don’t get those issues with a SBC. The reason they stuck it externally was so the overall height was achieved and also to make it easier to adapt it to many different chassis and steering.

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Smitty2 Offline
#131 Posted : Friday, 16 April 2021 12:08:53 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
.....
The size wasn’t though. AFAIK they couldn’t body drop with a SBC design.



that is correct... due to the engine design.

The leading cylinder on both 308 and 253 castings is No1.. being on the drivers side
and on Chev SB is No2 (for us in here).. being the front cylinder on the passenger side.

The Aussie V8 design pulls No7 cylinder forward and allows space for steering (mainly)
and brake parts which otherwise would make contact with the block if the Chev was used.
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Smitty2 Offline
#132 Posted : Friday, 16 April 2021 12:39:15 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wbute Go to Quoted Post
.....................
They really nailed a good design with the cam wear issue being the only real bad point. A lot of that was related to cold start running with city driving I believe. They didn’t seem to have the lobe wear issue if they did long running.



dunno ... but I will repeat some comments made over the years to me (yep, I am a victim of missing cam lobes ! ) by
a number of fairly well respected engine buiders (Tate, Burns, Berryman) that the camshaft issue cause was ... oils

Castrol GTX (remember that? ) was under no circumstances, never ever to be used in a Holden V8....said Tatey
(and he laughed about the Castrol stickers on various Commodore and Torana race cars under the HDT banner)
Brian Berryman essentially repeated that...when he fixed the lack of camshaft lobe lift on the ol'mans HX 253 Kingswood
(with a new shaft and lifters, pushrods and rockers in that engine)

and remember, there was no running in of camshafts in Plant 16 at FB . Engine start covered a number of tests, no leaks etc
... all done in a few minutes for each engine (before going onto a stand and sealed for shipping to VAPs (via Plant 17)

plus the factory fill was some weird Castrol Multigrade 20W-40 (pumped into the engine test area tanks weekly from the Castrol tankers)

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Dr Terry Offline
#133 Posted : Friday, 16 April 2021 12:50:21 PM(UTC)
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I understand about the 'body drop' but the issue was with the width, i.e. fitting the complete assembly between the frame rails, from underneath. If they widened the rail spacing just a bit, job done. Wasn't needed if they designed their own engine which they did.

Also AFAIK putting the driver's side bank forward was to clear the wiper motor. Steering wasn't a problem & all the brake m/cyl etc. was above & to side of the engine.

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wbute Offline
#134 Posted : Friday, 16 April 2021 2:05:37 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Smitty2 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: wbute Go to Quoted Post
.....................
They really nailed a good design with the cam wear issue being the only real bad point. A lot of that was related to cold start running with city driving I believe. They didn’t seem to have the lobe wear issue if they did long running.



dunno ... but I will repeat some comments made over the years to me (yep, I am a victim of missing cam lobes ! ) by
a number of fairly well respected engine buiders (Tate, Burns, Berryman) that the camshaft issue cause was ... oils

Castrol GTX (remember that? ) was under no circumstances, never ever to be used in a Holden V8....said Tatey
(and he laughed about the Castrol stickers on various Commodore and Torana race cars under the HDT banner)
Brian Berryman essentially repeated that...when he fixed the lack of camshaft lobe lift on the ol'mans HX 253 Kingswood
(with a new shaft and lifters, pushrods and rockers in that engine)

and remember, there was no running in of camshafts in Plant 16 at FB . Engine start covered a number of tests, no leaks etc
... all done in a few minutes for each engine (before going onto a stand and sealed for shipping to VAPs (via Plant 17)

plus the factory fill was some weird Castrol Multigrade 20W-40 (pumped into the engine test area tanks weekly from the Castrol tankers)



Highly likely. Castrol seemed to have a bad reputation. Don’t know if it was deserved or not, people seem to get more twisted up over oil than anything else with cars and bikes lol.
Tate should have known all there was to know about Holden V8’s though.
castellan Offline
#135 Posted : Friday, 16 April 2021 6:14:39 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Smitty2 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: wbute Go to Quoted Post
.....................
They really nailed a good design with the cam wear issue being the only real bad point. A lot of that was related to cold start running with city driving I believe. They didn’t seem to have the lobe wear issue if they did long running.



dunno ... but I will repeat some comments made over the years to me (yep, I am a victim of missing cam lobes ! ) by
a number of fairly well respected engine buiders (Tate, Burns, Berryman) that the camshaft issue cause was ... oils

Castrol GTX (remember that? ) was under no circumstances, never ever to be used in a Holden V8....said Tatey
(and he laughed about the Castrol stickers on various Commodore and Torana race cars under the HDT banner)
Brian Berryman essentially repeated that...when he fixed the lack of camshaft lobe lift on the ol'mans HX 253 Kingswood
(with a new shaft and lifters, pushrods and rockers in that engine)

and remember, there was no running in of camshafts in Plant 16 at FB . Engine start covered a number of tests, no leaks etc
... all done in a few minutes for each engine (before going onto a stand and sealed for shipping to VAPs (via Plant 17)

plus the factory fill was some weird Castrol Multigrade 20W-40 (pumped into the engine test area tanks weekly from the Castrol tankers)



I have always said not to use that GTX some time after when it first came out in flat bottom lifter engines. I did not know that Tate or Burns said such. I always had a real good look at the parts of engines when I pulled them down or looked at what was pulled down at a mates servo.
His boss sold and used GTX and I seen the proof of his customers cars engines.

Brock used that GTX crap and they had many problems with Cams I believe.
It was when this oil came out that cars started chewing out cams.

I think the GTX back in the day was good for dirt bikes like XR 600 etc because it could handle the heat and not evaporate, some 4stroke dirt bikes would use from the top of the stick to the bottom in a good days riding esp on hot days, but with a change of type of oil you could save yourself the worry using so much, it was 20w-50 mainly that I used. some claim that by using thicker oil you will use less, but that was not the case, just some evaporated due to such heat I believe.

Another oil now that I think is bad is magnatec if it is used past the point that such should be changed, maybe it's better nowadays improved but from what I seen was it was turning to congealed mush and sitting up in the rocker covers clagged thick solid like and it does not flow at all, it's something like margarine. so many idiots do not change their oil nowadays and the short trips are the worse for oil turning into crap.

But oil does not drain off the engine parts over night or not in use anyway in fact, that's just total BS. I have seen oil sitting on the inside engine parts that were sitting for years.
castellan Offline
#136 Posted : Friday, 16 April 2021 6:27:05 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wbute Go to Quoted Post
Holden had issues with the internal oil pump setup too. I know they made a point of having the oil external as a design feature, among many other things as pointed out.
They really nailed a good design with the cam wear issue being the only real bad point. A lot of that was related to cold start running with city driving I believe. They didn’t seem to have the lobe wear issue if they did long running.


I think people with oil pump issues were just to do with yobbos, not changing their oil and after changing a head gasket all the shit falls down into the engine and is picked up by the oil pump shagging it out.
When I got a Holden V8 I would pull the oil pump down and the amount of metal crud in the bottom that part that holds the spring and piston was totally clogged full of metal, you can just undo the nut and pull the spring etc out, clean all the crap out and put it back in. maybe if it's totally full then metal hammers out the gear set and body and plate. you would think that the oil filter picks up all the metal in the pump but it clearly does not.
HK1837 Offline
#137 Posted : Friday, 16 April 2021 6:38:38 PM(UTC)
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I threw them in the bin and bought a new one. In the 80’s saw a lot of new cams go into 253/308 only to see them buggered again inside a few months. The oil pump was shagged.

Edited by user Friday, 16 April 2021 6:41:47 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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castellan Offline
#138 Posted : Saturday, 17 April 2021 10:29:14 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
I threw them in the bin and bought a new one. In the 80’s saw a lot of new cams go into 253/308 only to see them buggered again inside a few months. The oil pump was shagged.


So the oil pump was worn out past spec ? well that's the problem of only having a oil light and not a gauge.
When one has a gauge you get to know were it should sit overall and if you see it's dropping out below norm then you may start looking at the oil pump.

From the pimps that I have seen, sometimes you may come across one with deep scratches now that has to of been shit in the oil from a head gasket etc shit being dropped into the engine.

Hell I have had one pump in my 308 do 650.000KM

I remember once in 1987 I changed the oil to a Caltex 20w-50 the oil was red and boy did the oil pump needle shoot up much higher then ever when it was cold as I hit the road, at idle nothing really more that the norm. now it did this maybe for a week and then it read just the same as all the other 20w-50 I have wondered why that oil did that.
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#139 Posted : Saturday, 17 April 2021 12:28:55 PM(UTC)
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When you read Fred James' report about the oil pump, they had issues from the start. With the first design they "unacceptable priming delays" after prolonged shutdown. The fix was to raise the highest point in the suction cavities above the pump suction cavity. Even so you can imagine there was still a priming delay compared to say a SBC design. Then they started to lose total oil pressure at low speeds, it was traced to sticking of the pressure relief valve cause by tiny particles being jammed between the valve plunger and the aluminium bore. The fix was to move the relief valve after the filter, anodising the plunger bore and modifying the shape of the plunger stop. To avoid oil pressure surge when the relief valve started to pass oil, the initial rate of bypass opening was carefully shaped. Then they had to anodise the body and hydrostatically balance the drive gear to stop the drive gear from picking up metal from the body.

So you can see that the whole setup was a compromised design, with careful attention placed upon manufacture. Once they wore they would not operate optimally. I still reckon the priming remained an issue, 253 and 308 are always harder to prime initially than any other engine I've ever worked on and regularly sounded "tappety" as they got older, no SBC I ever owned carried on like that, sure they wore valve guides and rings and bearing and leaked but never seemed to chew out cams like a 253 or 308. Even that silly 2 bolt joint where the pickup attaches to the block, those are renowned for leaking. The original set screw that hold the join together are just mid steel, they stretch and break. I have seen some clever mods to them in recent years, where they attach an oil pickup line directly from the bottom of the sump straight to the pump.
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#140 Posted : Sunday, 18 April 2021 9:09:43 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: HK1837 Go to Quoted Post
..................... Even that silly 2 bolt joint where the pickup attaches to the block, those are renowned for leaking. The original set screw that hold the join together are just mid steel, they stretch and break.....................


I use ARP studs in my race engines for that very reason... never had one of those break
but also have seen instances where the normal small bolt (into the block) also comes loose
prolly coz of vibration

you go grey trying to work out why the bloody thing won't prime/pickup pressure on startup
(new or high mileage engine) or has suddenly lost pressure (coz its now sucking air!)

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