View Single Post
Old 29-12-12, 17:27   #1
Gold Members
Join Date: 11-07-06
Location: WA, SOR
Car: Vlc wagon, 89 GSXR 1100
Trader Rating: (20)
Jack's LS1 Calais Wagon build thread

I purchased this in November 2011 after looking at an auction for a ****ty 4banger to fix and sell but after seeing this I had to have it.
When I first got it, it wasn’t fantastic. It had hit a pole and the radiator support was bent, along with the front all being smashed in. Along with this, there was some previously repaired (very poorly) damage in the rear ¼ panel that we fixed as well. The original plan was to just spray the front but then I decided I might as well do it right and had the whole thing sprayed.
The car was originally an na auto but as soon as I got it I pulled out the original motor and box and dropped in the 25/30 and r33 5speed out of my blue over silver Calais (now owned by felony and swapped the diff internals over and replaced the spool with an LSD from leb vlt. It was at this time that I hid all the engine bay wiring and relocated the fuse box to inside the car and the battery to the boot.

Then I ran into some trouble. I lost my licence and the car sat around for the next 10 months gathering dust while I was away at uni.

Fast forward to November this year. Two weeks before I got my licence back, I came home from uni and still hadn’t gotten the 25/30 running and needing a car to drive again, I purchased a complete RB25det with loom, ecu, turbo etc. for $1000 and dropped that in. I wired it up myself and it’s been the most reliable VL I have owned ever since.
The plan is, in a few weeks il pull the motor out again, replace all the gaskets etc. and slap on all the bolt ons from the 25/30 setup and have a crack at making 400hp at the rears.

There were a heap of issues with the 25/30 that I am putting down to timing related so that was semi scrapped and an RB25DET was installed just to get the car on the road again so I could enjoy some turbo powered action for a while untill the power bug bit again and the "big setup" from the previous motor was bolted on to the 25. I then lost intrest in it for quite a while and then on a whim decided I was sick of turbo RB's and wanted to drop in an LS1 and a 6 speed.

This resulted in my purchacing an LS1 from a VX SS with a TR6060..... after working on it on and off for about 9 months I finaly got it started only to discover the motor had dropped a valve and destroyed a piston. I then purchaced a new motor and then decided I didnt want a TR6060 so I brougt a T56 to replace it so I didnt have to use the rubber doughnut on the output shaft. The motor was installed about a fortnight and started first flick of the key ( hell yeah). All that is left now is to fill it with various fluids and about a hundred little jobs and it will be ready to hit the road

Make / Model: 1988 Holden VL Calais Wagon
Colour: Cardinal Red over Asteroid Silver
Bodykit: Factory Holden
Engine Type: LS1 5.7L V8
Engine Mods: Maffless tune, custom air intake
Power: Standard ish?
Gearbox: T56 with modified short shifter and custom tailshaft from Final Drive
Exhaust: Pacemaker headers with twin 2.5" stainless system
Clutch: Standard
Diff: VL turbo disk brake, 28 spline axels, Kazz 2 way LSD, 3.9 diff gears and cast aluminium diff cover
Brakes: VT master cylinder, VS booster. front: VT twin spots with braided lines Rear: standard disks with bendix ultimate pads
Suspension: lowered springs and shortened shocks
Wheels/Tyres: Polished Calais rims or Simmons V5s
Interior: immaculate grey S2 Calais interior with HDT head rests, Custom gauge holder, venetians side and rear, sheep skin seat covers, Knitted rug from my nanna on the rear seat
Stereo: Factory calais tape deck with clarion speakers

Other Mods: Red star catch can, Custom engine loom, battery in boot, custom fuel lines, SARD riding rate fuel reg, Surge tank, Bosch 044 fuel pump, bonnet struts, polished strut caps, hidden engine bay wiring with fuse box under dash, aluminium radiator with AU thermos, Smoothed engine bay, Pacemaker engine and gearbox mounts.

The list of mods may not look very long but putting an LS1 in an early model commodore is a very tight squeeze indeed.

When I first saw it

Arrival at the workshop

Smothing engine bay after getting it all straight

Before the clear went on


Home time

25/30 setup

Finished interior

The 25 before it went in

As it sits now

25 engine bay

Its first cruise

new gear to go on

Im keen as to throw the big set up on, while its quicker than a standard vlt and it lights up alright, its still a bit of a slug. **** will be happening as soon as I buy a new daily. Everything is sitting there ready to go


Last edited by VLWAGONIT; 19-02-15 at 17:06.
VLWAGONIT is offline   Reply With Quote