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WB Van with VS donor car.

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WB Van with VS donor car.

Post by KnightWhoSaysNi on 27/2/2010, 12:20 pm

Hi guys and gals,

First post so go easy!

Just wanted some input into a project I am currently giving some serious consideration but the window of opportunity is relatively small so any prompt advice will be greatly appreciated.

My daily driver is a BMW 540i 1995 which I love however about 6 months ago a friend of mine was relocated to QLD for work so pre-empting my midlife crisis, I purchased a lovely straight, rust free 1984 WB windowless van off him because he didn't want to take it with him. It's a 202 TBar auto with factory A/C.

So far I have taken off the standard commercial front and was planning on replacing it with either a WB statesman or HZ dual headlight front. I've also pulled out the motor and trans. My next job was to redo the front suspension and brakes.

My brother is a general manager of a Holden dealership and he just traded, and I know it sounds clichéd, a lovely one elderly owner VS Statesman with 136Ks which I can buy for 3.5K. If I dont give him a yay or nay in the next few days, the car will be wholesaled.

So here is my plan, buy the statesman and retrotech the van but when I say retrotech, I really mean the whole hog. I would like to transplant the 5.0ltr EFI and Auto obviously but I would also like to transplant the interior as well, from the front seats forward. I would like to do the seats, the door trims and the dash and console, I'd really like to have all the electrics, climate control and dash cluster all working and maybe even throw in a Double Din Pioneer AVIC GPS Stereo. The interior colour is that sandy beige colour which I think will look really nice with the colour I plan on getting the van painted, either the HZ flamenco red or the VY Dogdick red.

I have a fair idea of what's involved in the engine changeover thanks to a 5 day straight read of this and a few other forums, I could bolt in the engine no problems and I'm a computer technician by trade so I could probably handle the majority of the wiring. I know I will need a body control simulator for the VS motor. My main concerns are the dash, console and seats, can it be done? will I be able to use the steering column surround and the VS ignition barrel and key? Is it realistic to try and get all the climate control, trip computers etc working in the van?

Also, from what I've read, I will need to buy a rack and pinion from somewhere like Black's Racks to accommodate the VS aircon compressor which I don't mind doing since I would like a nice level of drivability. Also I will have to replace the diff. I would prefer a disc brake, could the VS diff be modified to use in the van and is it worth it? Should I do anything to the 5.0 when its out to freshen it up?

Lastly I plan on doing a nice deck out in the back, a front arch with some storage cabinets attached, a small cabinet on either side over the wheel arches, a false floor with some good sound deadening foam under it and I was planning on installing a dual battery system so I can use an inverter to power a computer with a 20 inch monitor mounted above the storage cabinets to use for internet, DVDs and digital TV. A mate of mine is a cabinet maker so he will knock up the arch, cabinets and floor and I'll get the sides and roof liner done by a professional trimmer.

So what are your thoughts? I have about a 20K budget (less the 3.5K for the VS) to do the HZ or WB front, suspension, brakes, diff, paint job, deck out and the expertise for jobs beyond my talents. Am I realisticly in the ball park or do I have my hand on it? Bearing in mind that I want this as a weekend cruiser, not a show car, so 10K paint jobs are not a priority.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated and have I made any glaring omissions?

Thanks in advance.

KnightWhoSaysNi

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Join date : 2010-02-26

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Re: WB Van with VS donor car.

Post by mazdragon on 27/2/2010, 1:18 pm

Honey, it's only limited by your imagination... You have a realistic enough budget, maybe need a little extra, but not too much (hope the wifey is ok with this). You can do any changes you want, there are heaps of people on here who have done the whole change over thingy and i'm sure they can advise you. Don't forget to check out street machine sites too, they have all done these things too (modified for sedans or wagons of course). If you have the dollars, u can do it. AND we would all love to see the end product..... there are also sites in USA that have info as well. Don't limit yourself to Oz. Good luck with your project.....

mazdragon

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Re: WB Van with VS donor car.

Post by Guest on 27/2/2010, 1:48 pm

you will have all the sencers from the VS any way. there is a guy in sydney that cracks the VS computer to remove use of the commodore key. a bloke i spoke with said you need to strip out the WB and VS and get the front window taken out so you can cut away the dashes and weld in the VS dash frame into your WB. the centre console shouldnt be to bad. just cut off any brackets that the console uses. just measure the VS width compared to the WB to fit in the seats with the door trims. for the seats.the local engineer wanted me to build a square frame with 2 sets of holes to bolt the frame to the bottom of the seat and bolt the square frame to the WB seat bracket so it still picks up factory floor bolt holes. i know the HZ seat frame matches a VT VX VZ seat with no mods needed. you could look into nice SS seats. for the diff. look into welding the diff brackets to a commodore ute diff. you can get the WB front disc blanks and get them drilled to commodore pattern to match the diff. to use the IRS diff wont fit into your budget. most brake places can hook you up with disc rear end mod to suit your leaf spring van. for the trim work. goto the well know trimmer and chat about getting the trims to suit the dash ends and the WB doors. i met a guy who did this using VY interior. it cost 1000 to get the trims to fit right then extra to cover them and finish them off. but since the rest of the car is there for the climate control and other bits. just take your time. its alot bigger job than your thinking. and then painting and getting hitech in the rear. i think you should add another 5to10K to your budget. if you want to enjoy it now. wreck a nice WB stateman carprice and you will get your front end and chrome around the doors and power windows and a/c and a 308. buy an injected top end off ebay for cheap. its only a week end driver. so the turbo 350 will be fine. over haul the motor and box.go to a diff place and get the brackets cut off the 6 cylinder diff and welded to the stato diff. theres your disc rear end. get a crow cam chip package for a nice cam and 2500rpm stall. it will keep in your buget and get your finger out now and have it at the van nats.

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Re: WB Van with VS donor car.

Post by KnightWhoSaysNi on 1/3/2010, 12:11 am

Thanks for the replies, especially Van, your insights were most helpful. I've decided to bite the bullet and give it a go.

Once I start, I might use the forum as a journal/diary of the project so others can benefit from my experience.

Cheers and wish me luck!

KnightWhoSaysNi

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Re: WB Van with VS donor car.

Post by mazdragon on 1/3/2010, 5:35 am

that would b good if u cld make a running commentary with photos.... we'd love to see it all..... good luck and be patient... don't rush anything or take shortcuts... you may regret that..... Very Happy

mazdragon

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Re: WB Van with VS donor car.

Post by highwaymenace on 1/3/2010, 10:37 am

would be greaat for us to see your project.. i'm already excited.

Daz

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