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Home > Non-Mini Projects > My other non-Mini Project: '76 Holden Torana 4 door

Jay#2

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2495 Posts
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Northern Ireland (ex AUS)

So... not sure if this will be of any interest to anyone but when I was growing up in Australia I bought what is my favorite car, a 1976 Holden Torana LX 4 door. Only thing was I was 16 and had no cash for a decent one, so I bought a munter. As rough as it looked (yeah it looks rough!) it had a decent engine and was complete. In hindsight it was a good shell and was an easy fix, only I didn't have the skills back then so I basically stripped it and planned a rebuild. I ended up buying a donor car that was in better shape only it had a dud engine and was an auto. I stripped that, kept the best parts of both cars and sold the rest off at a profit!

I reverse-immigrated back to Northern Ireland and there was no way I was leaving the car, I brought it with me but nothing really happened with it over the next 5 years. I finally left it in with a body shop, got it sandblasted and into redoxide primer but the guy who was supposed to fix it didn't. He did bits and pieces to it but pace was slow and I wasn't happy with the quality of the work done. Fast forward 7 years (yes 7 years in the paint shop!) and I had enough, the car hadn't had much work done to it so I pulled the car out of the shop and told the guy a few home truths. I still have the Mini in the garage so I put the Torana into storage. That brings us to present day, it is in storage but the sad news is Mr paint shop guy has lost a lot of the small fiddly parts*angry*.


















The engine is a 186ci 3 litre 6, I bought it rebuilt with a mild cam and decent bottom end.


I rebuilt it with a better cam, a proper head, and a set of triple SU carbs. Ignore the colour, pink was THE colour in the '90s...





So... The plan is get the bodywork together, it is half painted and half bare metal but I would say the paint needs to come off again... There is still some dodgy repairs to fix in the boot floor and a few tiny bits of rust here and there. I have a factory body kit to fit including wheel arch "flares" and front/rear spoilers and I need to tub the rear wheel arches to fit the rubber.



















The plan for the engine is to dump the 186 and chuck in a small block chev or a LS engine with a tremec 5 or 6 speed. The 6 cylinder is nice but the car was designed to take a V8. The wheels are old stylee 15x8" front and 15x10" rear with 225 front and 275 rear tires.





Brakes are 11" rotors from a bigger Holden with a Nissan Skyline/300ZX caliper. This means I can get a wide range of pads locally rather than send to OZ for them. Plus the caliper is a nice 4 piston monoblock and they were 80 a pair on ebay.


Edited by Jay#2 on 19th Oct, 2013.

On 7th Nov, 2008 Nic said:
naeJ
m
!!!!!!sdrawkcab si gnihtyreve ?droabyekym ot deneppah sah tahw ayhwdd


Jay#2

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2495 Posts
Member #: 648
Post Whore

Northern Ireland (ex AUS)

I have officially started work on it again though, I fitted a pin kit to the worn drivers door hinges and I also welded up some unwanted badge holes in the boot.






I also wanted to fix the cracked boot spoiler, I was cracked in 3 places and one of the mounting studs had pulled out of the fiberglass. I have never worked with fiberglass before but a cheap 12.99 repair kit later...





















It's coming together OK, I am a bit itchy now though.


On 7th Nov, 2008 Nic said:
naeJ
m
!!!!!!sdrawkcab si gnihtyreve ?droabyekym ot deneppah sah tahw ayhwdd


Paul R

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Back to Fucking Tool status

Swindon

I would be tempted with a bmw v8 and some turbos! Mad max style. Also love the duck tail

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Searching is all you need on TurboMinis


Jay#2

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2495 Posts
Member #: 648
Post Whore

Northern Ireland (ex AUS)

I have been looking at European engines actually, there are some nice BMW or Audi V8s out there going pretty cheap. I have looked at the Toyota/Lexua 1uZFE V8 too, but yes there is room for a turbo or 2 so that is a possibility.

On 7th Nov, 2008 Nic said:
naeJ
m
!!!!!!sdrawkcab si gnihtyreve ?droabyekym ot deneppah sah tahw ayhwdd


Jay#2

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2495 Posts
Member #: 648
Post Whore

Northern Ireland (ex AUS)

This is roughly what it will look like when done.

On 7th Nov, 2008 Nic said:
naeJ
m
!!!!!!sdrawkcab si gnihtyreve ?droabyekym ot deneppah sah tahw ayhwdd


Brett

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Doncaster, South Yorkshire

Looks good mate, this car is crying for a v8 though, keep promising my self an American car as my next one nice big old school v8
The callipers are highly regarded aswell have a pair on my skyline most people keep them even up to 700bhp

My B18VtecTurbo Awd Mini 2 years in, been running for 2years +.... vtec just kicked in yo
Instagram @jdm_brett

On 14th Feb, 2014 robert said:
I think he thought his car was 465kg ,and you then guessed it at 565kg , and stuff me !! you were right


Carlzilla

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Quarry Bonk

It needs one of these sticking out the bonnet *wink*

On 26th Jan, 2012 Tom Fenton said:
ring problems are down to wear or abuse but although annoying it isn't a show stopper

On 5th Aug, 2014 madmk1 said:
Shit the bed! I had snapped the end of my shaft off!!

17.213 @ 71mph, 64bhp n/a (Old Engine)


Jay#2

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2495 Posts
Member #: 648
Post Whore

Northern Ireland (ex AUS)


On 19th Oct, 2013 Brett said:
Looks good mate, this car is crying for a v8 though, keep promising my self an American car as my next one nice big old school v8
The callipers are highly regarded aswell have a pair on my skyline most people keep them even up to 700bhp


It'll get a decent engine don't worry. Small block would be the easiest, it'll drop straight in. An LS would be my favorite but it'd have to get the sump cut and TIGed as its alloy and it's a bit bigger engine than a small block.

Yeah I wouldn't mind a blower through the bonnet too!

On 7th Nov, 2008 Nic said:
naeJ
m
!!!!!!sdrawkcab si gnihtyreve ?droabyekym ot deneppah sah tahw ayhwdd


oli79

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MS Paint flat cap champion & Morris Ital Lover

From Sheffield now live in York tha noz

That's lovely, I like that a lot, wiki says the early models have links to our vauxhall viva?, although that front looks a bit like a chevy chevelle, anyhow best if luck great project.

On 18th Oct, 2013 apbellamy said:
I am feeling particularly BACish today.

On 5th Oct, 2014 Shauna said:
What that's crazy, you go commando hahaha! How heavy is your helmet *tongue*?

The Morris Ital assassin!


Jay#2

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2495 Posts
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Northern Ireland (ex AUS)

Yes, the earliest Torana was an HB Viva basically then they lengthen the nose for the 6 cylinder and made a few other mods and called it an LC/LJ. Then they built the LH/LX from scratch but I think it has similar DNA to a Vauxhall Ascona I think? There is a nice LX hatchback too.

On 7th Nov, 2008 Nic said:
naeJ
m
!!!!!!sdrawkcab si gnihtyreve ?droabyekym ot deneppah sah tahw ayhwdd


Earwax

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Member #: 10368
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Australia

Hi jay

nice lx, was one of my earlier cars in 3.3 ltre 6 cylinder.- bullet proof but terrible transmission(auto).
For those not in Australia..
the LC/LJ toranas were super light 1000kg in 6 cylinder (no V8) and beat all comers at australia's premier enduro race Bathurst in 1972.. the LH (as per Jays car won it in V8 form twice.... shades of the Mini in 1966.. so good heritage to pick from Jay ( PS i have an LC 6 clyinder)


mattsmadmini

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Sydney, Australia!

mmmm gorgeous mate, should be mint when she's done! love the burble of the straight 6... was it hard to send overseas?

A turbo: exhaust gasses go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster. - Jeremy Clarkson


Turbo This..

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Previously josh4444

Australia, brisbane

looking good mate!!


Jay#2

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Northern Ireland (ex AUS)

I thought our Aussie friends would appreciate this. It wasn't too hard to get over, we needed a container to transport the furniture etc so there was enough room for the car plus some spares. When I go with the small block the 6 will be spare so I would like to import an LC or LJ to chuck the 6 into. But it starts to get a bit silly at that point!

On 7th Nov, 2008 Nic said:
naeJ
m
!!!!!!sdrawkcab si gnihtyreve ?droabyekym ot deneppah sah tahw ayhwdd


mattsmadmini

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Sydney, Australia!

or a bit awesome...

A turbo: exhaust gasses go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster. - Jeremy Clarkson


Rob Gavin

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Glasgow

I do like it; nothing like we're used to over here. Agreed as well you need a V block in it


norm74

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south east, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

looks great keep at it and it will turn out great.

everybody likes free stuff


Jay#2

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Northern Ireland (ex AUS)

Not much of an update but I have done some shopping. The rear diff is a bit weak, it's and open wheeler with course spline axles (ie nice and easy to twist) with drum brakes. A popular fix is to narrow a Ford 9" diff to suit the Torana track and weld on the suspension mounts. This gives you a nice strong diff with heaps of aftermarket parts. I bought a housing from the US plus most of the diff parts I need. I also bought some brakes for the rear end too. The diff centre is a Trutrac which is like a Quafe ATB in function I think. American parts are way cheaper than the Mini stuff even with the exchange rate and shipping.





This is the standard diff along side the 9" housing:



I have bought some suspension brackets like the spring seats and trailing arm/damper mounts which I have mocked up with the aid of duck tape:



I need to get the housing narrowed about 2.5" each side, the trick is to keep everything lined up so the bearing races are running true etc.

Before I pulled the diff off I mocked up the wheel arch flares with the new wheels:



There is an extra 25mm offset in the wheels I wasn't planning on but I can make up for this when I narrow the diff.

On 7th Nov, 2008 Nic said:
naeJ
m
!!!!!!sdrawkcab si gnihtyreve ?droabyekym ot deneppah sah tahw ayhwdd


Rob Gavin

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Glasgow

Just need those daft bits finished on the mini and you can get stuck into it


Jay#2

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2495 Posts
Member #: 648
Post Whore

Northern Ireland (ex AUS)

So work on the Mini is winding down so I have got a bit done on the Aussie beast. I started with the bodykit, the race cars used wide rubber on all four corners so used bolt on fibreglass wheel arch extensions known as flares to cover the wide wheels. I plan on having the "race car" look so have the wide wheels and full flare kit. Problem is the fiberglass kits are notoriously bad quality, mine is OK but not great. They don't sit well on the front wing so I have cut mine up and glassed them back together to get them right.

They are a bit short and slopey at the rear:





Cut and re positioned with tape, filler is to hold it ridged until I get them glassed.







Annoyingly I don't seem to have any pics of them completed but they sit much better, I still have the rear flares to tweak but they shouldn't be too bad.

I wanted to get the new 9" diff into the car so I could get it rolling again so this involves welding on the suspension pick up points onto the new housing using the old housing as a template. The new diff is also a bit to long for the car so will need a few inches chopped out each end.



In Oz and the US this is a popular conversion to the point that most diff shops will do this easy, I will have to do it myself. *oh well*

I started by building a wooden jig to position the trailing arms and get everything lined up, wood is probably a bad choice of jig material as it is not that ridged but is pretty quick to knock up.

Old diff in position on the jig:



New diff mocked up with the new suspension pick up points:



Once I was happy with the position of everything I unbolted the diff but left the trailing arms behind and positioned the new diff on the jig. I then measured everything up and tacked the new brackets on:



I bolted the diff into the car and things seemed to line up a treat:





With that sorted I wanted to measure up how much of the diff housing I need to cut off to bring the wheels in under the arches. The housing has un-equal length axel tubes, I have set it up like the standard diff to have the pinion yoke 3/4" offset from the center but this leaves one wheel out further than the other. So hence dummying everything up to check measurements.





I have cut off the flange and now will trim the tube to the correct length. Really nervous about all this but hopefully I will get everything straight and true again and not cock it all up!



Once that is done I will get the diff in the car and start on the front suspension. That should be easy as I it just a re-bush and new balljoints.

Edited by Jay#2 on 20th Jun, 2014.

On 7th Nov, 2008 Nic said:
naeJ
m
!!!!!!sdrawkcab si gnihtyreve ?droabyekym ot deneppah sah tahw ayhwdd


apbellamy

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King Gaycharger, butt plug dealer, Sheldon Cooper and a BAC but generally a niceish fella if you dont mind a northerner

Rotherham, South Yorkshire

Nice.

On 11th Feb, 2015 robert said:
i tried putting soap on it , and heating it to brown , then slathered my new lube on it

*hehe!*


Jay#2

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2495 Posts
Member #: 648
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Northern Ireland (ex AUS)

Well I was out around the Torana again today and managed to remember my camera. That's the diff housing shortened and back in temporarily for a measure up. Looks OK, maybe a bit short to ensure no rubbing but long enough to fill the arches with the wheels.







On 7th Nov, 2008 Nic said:
naeJ
m
!!!!!!sdrawkcab si gnihtyreve ?droabyekym ot deneppah sah tahw ayhwdd


Jay#2

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2495 Posts
Member #: 648
Post Whore

Northern Ireland (ex AUS)

That's the front suspension rebuilt, new bushes and ball joints throughout and new lowered springs with some Bilsteins I got direct from Germany. I also put together the brakes, the rotors are from a bigger Holden and are 276mm x 25mm and fit behind 15" wheels. I would like 330mm rotors but that would require 17" wheels which don't always look right on this sort of car. The brakes also change the PCD from the awkward 4 1/4" to a more common 4 3/4" which means I can fit my new wheels! I will plonk the suspension back in during the week and maybe get some snaps of it out of the garage.



Sorry about the introduced spider spicies! *happy*













On 7th Nov, 2008 Nic said:
naeJ
m
!!!!!!sdrawkcab si gnihtyreve ?droabyekym ot deneppah sah tahw ayhwdd


apbellamy

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King Gaycharger, butt plug dealer, Sheldon Cooper and a BAC but generally a niceish fella if you dont mind a northerner

Rotherham, South Yorkshire

mmmm shineys

On 11th Feb, 2015 robert said:
i tried putting soap on it , and heating it to brown , then slathered my new lube on it

*hehe!*


Rob Gavin

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6716 Posts
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Glasgow

Looking good

Home > Non-Mini Projects > My other non-Mini Project: '76 Holden Torana 4 door
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