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garry fielding Offline
#1 Posted : Wednesday, 31 July 2019 9:58:55 PM(UTC)
garry fielding

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Okay so you finally have brought your old rusty Holden and you have it home in my case an HG premier. You are looking at it never having tackled anything like this before , so where do you start ?
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#2 Posted : Wednesday, 31 July 2019 10:03:52 PM(UTC)
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I was a mechanic but I have never tried to do a job like this before . But I am sure that I am not the first so I would appreciate any help or feedback .
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#3 Posted : Wednesday, 31 July 2019 10:35:14 PM(UTC)
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I know the feeling! I have finally started on my Sandman ute after about ten years.
I ended up going to worst rust spot anf after a lot of thought about how to attack it so I didn’t make it any harder, started cutting.
You really need a plan. There is a lot of work and I have been moving between jobs on it to keep my self from getting frustrated and rushing it.
I also recommend asking questions and checking out the net for ideas. Someone has done it and made a video of nearly every problem.
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garry fielding on 1/08/2019(UTC)
HK1837 Online
#4 Posted : Thursday, 1 August 2019 6:23:26 AM(UTC)
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Photos of everything, so you know where it goes later. Bag/box and tag everything like it is a crime scene.
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If we all had the same (good) taste, who would buy all the Fords?
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garry fielding on 1/08/2019(UTC)
commodorenut Offline
#5 Posted : Thursday, 1 August 2019 7:00:24 AM(UTC)
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Grab a chair or milk crate - sit and look at the car. Inspiration will come. It may take 15 minutes, it may take 3 hours, but you'll get a bee in your bonnet over something, start on it, and it will snowball.

As others have mentioned - a bazillion digital photos - before you touch anything, during disassembly, and also during the restoration work & reassembly. In 2010 I used a small olympus digital camera that I left in the garage with the charger, so it was always at hand. Out of every 50 photos, probably 30 were before, 15 during disassembly, 2 during restoration, and 3 during reassembly/finished.
You will always refer back to the photos, and the finished ones are good to email to mates who keep you motivated during the process.

Get an A4 book - preferably hardcover. Write out your plans into sub-sections, and even steps. Sometimes when you're part-way into something, you lose track. It's also good motivation to cross off completed tasks as you go, and then look back at how much you've achieved. Use a highlighter to mark any steps where you're going to need outside help - quickly scanning these can help you spot and consolidate work (such as parts for plating, or blasting).

As well as zip-lock bags, I used rectangular chinese containers (you can now buy them at aldi occasionally) because with lids on, they stack well, and you can place them (say on the battery tray) and just chuck bits in as you go. A magnetic bowl is also good - you can throw bolts at it, and they'll stay in place. Then you can empty them into a bag later.

Keep glass jars for soaking small parts in (like rusted bolts & the like). But keep them away from the car, and in a safe area (like up on a workbench) so you don't accidentally break them.

Buy a 100 pack of nitrile gloves - they don't tear, and you'll appreciate not having to scrub your hands after every disassembly session. They're also good when painting or doing other work, and don't melt or fail when exposed to fuels & solvents. I wish they were more readily available when I was doing mine - I went to work with overspray of various paint colours on my fingernails for several weeks....

If your garage is small, buy a set of 4 wheel dollies, so you can push it around to work on various areas more comfortably.

Invest in good axle stands - both strong and tall, as it make it a lot easier to work underneath (unless you're going to build a rotisserie).

I could go on, but you get the idea.
Cheers,

Mick
_______________________________________________________________

Judge a successful man not on how he treats his peers, but on how he treats those less fortunate.
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garry fielding on 1/08/2019(UTC)
202tonner Offline
#6 Posted : Thursday, 1 August 2019 2:33:11 PM(UTC)
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Welcome to the club! It is great fun.

Perhaps the first thing you could work out is what you want the car to be when you have finished. Original? Hot motor? Lots of little modifications? Lots of huge modifications?

Once you know that, work back and you will find the place where you have to start. From there it is all easy.

And yes, record everything as you do it.

Fortunately there is a heap of info already out there. As wbute stated above someone has already done it so use that info, it is so much easier. And there are a heap of really cluey people out there who can answer every question you have.

It will take longer than you thought, much longer probably, but the feeling when you finally go cruising makes every second worthwhile! Enjoy.
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garry fielding on 1/08/2019(UTC)
garry fielding Offline
#7 Posted : Thursday, 1 August 2019 4:45:20 PM(UTC)
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Thanks for all of your response , it is good to know that I have back up out there and I appreciate it . I was wondering if anyone out there might be able to give me any information about my car ?

The small general motors plate has the numbers ( they are hard to read ) ^or 8P159GJ26and I think that the last letter is a 3 .

The body identification plate reads .
Model - HG81169
Body - No022604M
Trim - 1807-18R
Paint - 567-12189-7

It's build date is 1-71
HG 22432K

I am sorry but the plates are hard to read and I am working off photos that I took I wont have the actual car here for about another week as I am getting a hoist fitted into my workshop. Thanks for any help in advance .

Sandaro Offline
#8 Posted : Thursday, 1 August 2019 5:06:37 PM(UTC)
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Yeah, good advice above. I don't know how many times I just done a small job on the car over one day and should have photographed stuff, let alone whole job over many months/years


HG Premier 6 cylinder in Mediterranean blue metallic with Sandlewood trim. That would have to be one of my favourite premier trim/paint combos right there
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garry fielding on 1/08/2019(UTC)
HK1837 Online
#9 Posted : Thursday, 1 August 2019 6:32:37 PM(UTC)
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Nice car, and one of those in between cars that a few mods won’t affect its value too bad. Like if it is a 6cyl 3spd manual put a 253 or 308 in front of the 3spd. Same with Trimatic.

I assume it is a bench seat column shift?
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If we all had the same (good) taste, who would buy all the Fords?
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garry fielding on 1/08/2019(UTC)
garry fielding Offline
#10 Posted : Thursday, 1 August 2019 10:42:12 PM(UTC)
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Yes HK , I intend to replace the 186 with a 253 . If it is a reasonable thing to do . But from memory I don't think the stock 3 speed box would like it much . This will be my last car and I want to do it right , I don't want it to be a hotrod ( at 62 those days are beyond me ) but I don't want it standard factory either . I want it to look like an Hg without 30 inch wheels , but if I came across some GTS guards I wouldn't say no . I don't really like all the fancy chrome trim work . they catch water and cause rust . Was thinking more along the lines of Monaro and Sandman blackouts .My wife likes the Mediterranean blue but I really love Electra blue . I don't know ? But we both think a white roof .

But at the end of the day it is my car and I don't want to win shows with it as it will be my daily car . But my first Sandman was a 253 and I loved that motor . Yes it's bench seat and I think that I will keep it that way .

Thankyou HK and everyone else for your advice , by the time that this is done you will be cursing my name .
garry fielding Offline
#11 Posted : Thursday, 1 August 2019 10:52:01 PM(UTC)
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I just want to say thanks to everybody so far for their input it is a big help to me knowing that I have some backup . I have only recently moved to Ballarat from Tasmania and do not really know any car people here like I did back home .So you guys are a gold mine to me .
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#12 Posted : Friday, 2 August 2019 6:59:44 AM(UTC)
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Lots of car people in Ballarat.

3spd in a HG is the same box for 6cyl and V8. You just need a V8 input shaft and the longer cover for it. Keep your eyes open for a whole V8 box, they were in HT to HZ although the HT box is different ratios. It will be the easiest way to get an input shaft.

All you need then is a bellhousing and clutch fork from any V8 Aussie 3spd or 4spd with a push clutch fork so HT to mid HZ. Ideally a V8 banjo centre too as they have a bigger uni.

I wouldn't bother chasing a HG 253, just use a HQ or HJ one but you will need a HT-HG sump and pickup. All of the HQ or HJ engine bits work although you will also need a HT-HG alternator bracket and sort out the carby linkage. Radiator needs to be bigger too.

You also need the clutch linkage bracket on the bellhousing for V8 3spd, it is different to 6cyl. However it may work out easier to just use a HK pedal setup with hydraulic master and a slave cylinder.

Edited by user Friday, 2 August 2019 9:14:17 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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If we all had the same (good) taste, who would buy all the Fords?
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garry fielding on 2/08/2019(UTC)
garry fielding Offline
#13 Posted : Thursday, 15 August 2019 9:36:03 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: commodorenut Go to Quoted Post
Grab a chair or milk crate - sit and look at the car. Inspiration will come. It may take 15 minutes, it may take 3 hours, but you'll get a bee in your bonnet over something, start on it, and it will snowball.

As others have mentioned - a bazillion digital photos - before you touch anything, during disassembly, and also during the restoration work & reassembly. In 2010 I used a small olympus digital camera that I left in the garage with the charger, so it was always at hand. Out of every 50 photos, probably 30 were before, 15 during disassembly, 2 during restoration, and 3 during reassembly/finished.
You will always refer back to the photos, and the finished ones are good to email to mates who keep you motivated during the process.

Get an A4 book - preferably hardcover. Write out your plans into sub-sections, and even steps. Sometimes when you're part-way into something, you lose track. It's also good motivation to cross off completed tasks as you go, and then look back at how much you've achieved. Use a highlighter to mark any steps where you're going to need outside help - quickly scanning these can help you spot and consolidate work (such as parts for plating, or blasting).

As well as zip-lock bags, I used rectangular chinese containers (you can now buy them at aldi occasionally) because with lids on, they stack well, and you can place them (say on the battery tray) and just chuck bits in as you go. A magnetic bowl is also good - you can throw bolts at it, and they'll stay in place. Then you can empty them into a bag later.

Keep glass jars for soaking small parts in (like rusted bolts & the like). But keep them away from the car, and in a safe area (like up on a workbench) so you don't accidentally break them.

Buy a 100 pack of nitrile gloves - they don't tear, and you'll appreciate not having to scrub your hands after every disassembly session. They're also good when painting or doing other work, and don't melt or fail when exposed to fuels & solvents. I wish they were more readily available when I was doing mine - I went to work with overspray of various paint colours on my fingernails for several weeks....

If your garage is small, buy a set of 4 wheel dollies, so you can push it around to work on various areas more comfortably.

Invest in good axle stands - both strong and tall, as it make it a lot easier to work underneath (unless you're going to build a rotisserie).

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Thankyou , I would love for you to go on , I need help .
commodorenut Offline
#14 Posted : Saturday, 17 August 2019 11:02:05 PM(UTC)
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I'll suggest a bit more, ramble on a bit about planning & space, and it might prompt others with ideas as well.

Your question is more about where to start - as in what to get the ball rolling, but it won't take much - and believe me, once the ball is rolling, it will snowball, and you'll have no shortage of tasks mounting up.

The hard part is dealing with feeling overwhelmed. Myself, and many others I've spoken to about doing project cars, almost always have had that moment when it seems all was lost, and it would never get done.
But trust me - you will push through it, and a week or so later, you'll wonder why you ever doubted yourself.

So my best advice for starting is to work out your plans first. This is often best done when looking at the car, so you get an idea of the scope. Take as long as you need to work on this. Invite a few mates over for a beer and they may suggest something you haven't thought of. "Rebuild a car" is a daunting task on it's own, but if you break ot down into dozens of stages, you can deal with it a bit at a time, and get the satisfaction (and motivation) from finishing each stage.

Work out what level of finish you want on each area (ie, completely rub back the underside & paint it in 2 pack gloss, or just clean it up, make sure there's no rust lurking, repair any that is, and proofcoat the underside.
This will dictate how much you will do yourself, and how much you'll want to pay others to do.

What space & tools do you have at your disposal, and should you get more (of both)? A double garage is ideal, but many have built cars in smaller spaces. I'm fortunate to have chosen my house for the garage (wife liked the house, I liked the garage - deal done). Mine is 8m x 8m with an additional workshop area and under-house storage running off it. I found myself keeping the car over to one side of it (with space to work all around, with doors open), and using the other half for smaller "off-car" tasks - including painting of larger items like, bumpers, and a lot of small parts & sub assemblies. I simply hung sheets from a beam to isolate it from the other areas of the garage. Plan our how you are going to deal with all these smaller paint jobs. Perhaps you might choose to bag up a whole heap of stuff an have it powder-coated instead? Do you have a compressor & do you plan to use it? Should you buy one if you don't already own one? Restoring/rebuilding a car is a good excuse to increase the tool collection, but it erodes the budget you have left to spend on the car too.

If you plan to do a lot of painting, work out all the colours you'll need (body, interior, chassis black, proofcoat, etch primer, primer, clear etc and the quantities you'll need, and find a good paint shop who will colour match. If you buy as much as you can from the same place, they'll often give you advice on mix ratios, how to set up the gun etc. There's also Youtube these days, which is a huge help for anyone wanting to see what it's like to learn a new skill.

To give you an idea of breaking it up, here's some of the steps I went through (these steps often had dozens of sub-tasks as well).
There are some differences here - I did an '87 VL Brock, and a lot changed in 17-18 years, but it still gives you the idea.

1. Assess the overall car - looking at what's visible in the way of rust (I had some under the screen, and the passenger floor). Start working on the plan, and work out a logical process to keep it moving - so the order is in such a way where you won't be having to stop all the time because something else is in the way of completing that task. I spent many weeks (maybe 2 months all up) poking around the car & writing things down that I needed to work on over time. You'll be amazed how much you'll end up noting.
2. Disassemble the components that hide rust - in my case plastic bumpers, and lift carpets to check floors - this gives you a clearer picture of how much bodywork will be needed.
3. Electrics were an issue on my car, with many items not working, and a dog's breakfast of additional wiring. So I bit the bullet on that stuff early, and decided to get it all working well, so re-assembly wouldn't do my head in chasing faults whilst trying not to scratch anything. I removed every wire that had been added by previous owners over the years - multiple alarm systems, dodgy central locking relays (when the OEM ones worked fine) kill switch wires, car stereo wires. I had a milk crate full off excess wire I'd removed. I then went back to returning the loom to stock - many soldered & heat-shrunk joins to get rid of scotch-lock damage. A new fuse rail to replace the melted one, and re-joining wires that were cut by alarm installers over the years. I also checked & re-did all the earth points, and then went through each & every item (headlights, horn, blinkers etc) to make sure I got them all working perfectly off the original, but repaired loom.
4. Strip-down started - engine bay accessories - all carefully labelled, screws put in bags with the component, and some components kept together (eg charcoal canister, bracket, screws & hoses all in one box - along with a hand-drawn diagram of what port each hose ran to). Sometimes photos don't give you the detail you need, so notes are always handy.
5. Engine & box out, then suspension, crossmember, steering, brake lines etc - absolutely everything out (if you're going to paint the engine bay).
6. Half a day spent pressure washing all of the above items, getting rid of any remnants of grease, oil and dirt.
7. Dash out, steering column, pedals, wiring loom - leaving a bare firewall (carpet pulled back as well). This was so I could weld up holes in the engine bay, inner guards, firewall, plenum, and around the front screen opening. I covered the interior with old woollen blankets I bought for $5 each at garage sales.
8. After welding, grinding, and smoothing all the repairs, I cleaned & prepped the engine bay, trans tunnel, front floors (underside), chassis rails etc & re-painted the lot.
9. The small amount of exterior rust (screen opening) was also done at this time, to minimise the instances of paint mixing - I just made sure I mixed enough to do the spots I needed in one session.
10. Strip crossmember, steering & suspension components, tear-down struts, toss brake rotors & bearings, toss pads. Source rebuilt rack.
11. Strip & re-paint the inner guards (wheel side) and spray with proof-coat.
12. Re-paint all suspension & steering parts.
13. Fit new bushes to all the suspension components, new shocks in the struts, and new strut tops, bump stops & boots.
14. Start fitting back into car (to get it mobile again). New bearings, new rotors, new pads etc.
Some parts need work from multiple areas - eg brake lines running from the engine bay out to the flex lines to the wheels.

At this point I split it into 2 areas - engine tear-down & rebuild in one side of the garage, while I worked on the rear suspension, brakes & diff on the other.

I'm going to stop here, as those steps took many months, and had many sub-tasks under each one too, and I haven't even touched the exterior yet.

Things I learnt during this process that you may find handy, if you haven't already planned to do things like this:
1. Try to get cardboard boxes that are consistent sizes & stack well, so you can store parts, well labelled, in a stack that won't topple over. I'd even consider the bunnings stackable crates these days - 50L ones are like $8 each now. Wish they were around back then.
2. Take your work-space to the vehicle - a tool trolley and a work area on wheels so you don't have to walk far each step of the way when you need to put something down. I ended up using a 4-tier shelf unit on wheels, each shelf being ideal for a different working height on the vehicle. Also makes re-assembly easier when you stack all the parts on the trolley, ready to fit.
3. Invest in a comfortable face shield. Not only will it keep sparks out of your eyes when grinding, but it will be invaluable during the tear-down & cleaning process, especially when working with air, the pressure washer, or under the car.
4. If you are working under the car, get it up as high as possible (safely) and support it on decent axle stands. You will probably need to move these as sections progress (eg from under the diff to the body jacking points when you want to drop the diff).
5. Static-time the engine on the stand to 10° BTDC (or whatever you'll run it at) aligning #1 with the notch in the dizzy rim, and mark this terminal on the cap with a label. Having an engine start first go is not only an amazing feeling, but also good for running in the cam.
6. Tools worth buying if you don't have them already - MIG welder (you can get small 10A ones that can do sheetmetal), compressor, decent spray gun like a S770 knock-off, and a pressure washer. Buy heaps of flap discs for the grinder, and wire brushes to fit the cordless drill.
7. If you don't have an old vacuum cleaner, buy one from a garage sale. Get a bag-less type. It's amazing how quick you'll fill it up. You'll use it daily when stripping the car down, and nothing is nicer than working on a clean floor under the car. I vacuumed the car and the garage floor more than I'd ever vacuumed the house..... It's also good for getting crap out of difficult areas like the bottoms of doors. In really tough spots, you can use the vacuum and an air duster gun to dislodge crap and catch it in the vacuum.
8. Keep a few old buckets handy around the car for chucking rubbish into. Unwound electrical tape, rock-hard maccas fries from under the back seat, 1c & 2c coins. It's a pain having to take a handful of crap to the bin all the time. Also comes in handy to empty the vacuum into.
9. Really hard plastic scrapers are a godsend for getting rid of years of grease & grime without scratching through paint, making it easier to then use an old paint brush & prepsol to finish off the cleaning.
10. Buy heaps of prepsol - it's the best at getting rid of grease, without leaving another greasy surface that could contaminate where you want to paint.
11. Buckets are also handy for keeping task-specific tools together - like a "grease cleaning kit" in # 9. Or as the car comes along, things like your buffing compound, microfibre cloths, and polish.


And the most important thing of all - buy a couple of fire extinguishers to keep in key locations around the car. I accidentally set fire to some carpet under-felt. Not from welding, but a stray grinder spark that went across the garage. Fortunately I still had a 20L bucket half-full of water, and a wet rag (which I had been using to cool welds), so it was put out quick. But fire can quickly spread.


I told you I could go on..... and I'm sure others have even better advice for you.



Cheers,

Mick
_______________________________________________________________

Judge a successful man not on how he treats his peers, but on how he treats those less fortunate.
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garry fielding on 19/08/2019(UTC)
Balfizar Offline
#15 Posted : Sunday, 18 August 2019 12:31:21 PM(UTC)
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Mick is a hard act to follow but hear a few more:-

1 buy every GMH manual/catalogue for your car.
2 do a project plan (record - excel spreadsheet if you are comfortable with that or on paper)and review/update often.
3 Catalogue parts you need to restore/replace. Keep an eye out for them (Ebay etc) you may have to grab an opportunity
to buy even if you are not ready for them yet.
4 join a club/forum for guidance and knowledge. (catalogue all suppliers you can find via club/forum)
5 do a budget then double it!
6 be patient, enthusiasm will ebb and flow, multi-task, swap for garage work to chasing parts or knowledge as this occurs.
7 do a work plan :- have a backup - got money = buy parts. No money = do garage work. Plan what's next in case you run into a hole waiting for
parts etc or have everything ready for the next phase of the project.

More planning = "less" frustration and more continuity of work flow. Stop/start means you have to summon the enthusiasm to get back out there and
get back into it.

Good luck with your project.
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garry fielding on 19/08/2019(UTC)
we wreck 81837s only Offline
#16 Posted : Sunday, 18 August 2019 1:33:03 PM(UTC)
we wreck 81837s only

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the key to add to what is pretty well covered in my eyes; "final assembly starts at initial disassembly" thats the first thing i was told at age 17 by an 82ytr old coachbuilder/fabricator hotrodder in about 1983
at first i though "what you on about old man" as i wrecked my hand on an FC holden bellhousing inspection plate trying to get the bolts out of the grey, now i get it some 30 odd yrs later
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garry fielding on 19/08/2019(UTC)
garry fielding Offline
#17 Posted : Monday, 19 August 2019 3:54:32 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: we wreck 81837s only Go to Quoted Post
the key to add to what is pretty well covered in my eyes; "final assembly starts at initial disassembly" thats the first thing i was told at age 17 by an 82ytr old coachbuilder/fabricator hotrodder in about 1983
at first i though "what you on about old man" as i wrecked my hand on an FC holden bellhousing inspection plate trying to get the bolts out of the grey, now i get it some 30 odd yrs later


That is so true . He was a wise man .
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