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Old 12-05-16, 13:25   #1
bo5ton
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1987 N/A VL Berlina

Make / Model: 1987 VL Berlina
Colour: Alpine White including bumpers
Engine Type: N/A
Gearbox: Manual
Interior: Grey

Mods: Extractors

Everything else is pretty much stock.

Greetings all!

After having purchased my VL just over 12 years ago (you can find my original "purchase" thread here!), driving it for 7 years (before running into problems and wanting a safer car) and then letting it sit for 5 years, I've decided to revive the VL.

Bought the car from a caryard (it wasn't out on the lot, but out the back of one waiting to be fixed up - we snuck where we won't supposed to!) without having a huge amount of knowledge on it's origin(it was from Darwin) and condition, I think it was a bit of a gamble, but I was young and just stoked to have a VL. So we fixed up the front bumper which wasn't in great nick, had it serviced and got a RWC. Registered it and loved it for every minute I drove it.

In 2011, I was the 4th car in a chain of rear-endings. Luckily because I was the last to get hit, it meant the force and damage was minimal and she was insured. However, I was looking at getting engaged so I put the money into the ring instead of the car, choosing one love over another!

I drove around with a busted up rear bumper for a few months and as much as I loved the VL, I got a new daily driver and let the VL sit for nearly 5 years.

Fast forward to this year and my love for the VL has been re-ignited. It came down to a sell-or-do-up situation and I have gone with do-up, hoping to restore it to it's former glory so I can continue enjoying it as it should be.

Full disclosure: Even while I was driving the VL, I never really did anything with it except a couple of hacks. I'll be working on this car with almost no experience and pretty much from scratch. I have limited tools so I will not only be purchasing car parts but tools as well.

I'll be using this thread as an update/quick question thread, so as to not fill the site with threads of duplicate questions, so if you see a question, feel free to lend your advice. Because it's an N/A and due to my limited experience and knowledge, this is going to seem like a pretty "simple" thread. So stick around and have a read. Feel free to subscribe to the thread.

Does it run? Yes! After sitting for 5 years, a quick bang on the starter motor and a new battery, it started first time without hesitation! I was elated to say the least!

And, because everyone loves photos... Here it is in it's current state...



This was after her first wash and quick detail in about 5 years...

I have a big spreadsheet with everything I'm working on, with a service plan and part requirements.

Done:

Changed oil. - An example of my inexperience, this was the first time I've changed the oil of a car...
Washed and detailed.

Doing:

Seal the car - fix up weather seals i.e. Bailey Channels
Repairing & painting rear bumper & rust converting bolts
Degreasing & cleaning engine bay
Changing to lockable fuel flap with push button release

To do:

Pull rear dent out
New front bumper & paint it
repair and paint slight
Fix power steering leak
Full service including replace all coolant hoses, Thermostat and housings
Repair Windscreen Rust (Front and rear) with universal front windscreen seal
Once rear windscreen fixed and sealed, fix boot surface rust and paint
De-rust Brake drums and calipers. New rotors and pads.
De-mould roof lining and seatbelts.
Get VK Berlina (I'm thinking) rear taillights.
Get LED bulbs
Club rego

Future plans:

Turbo
Respray
Build another Black over Silver V8 Calais
BT1

There's a lot more I could put in here but that will do for now.

Cheers.

Last edited by bo5ton; 15-05-16 at 15:14.
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Old 12-05-16, 18:03   #2
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Good start man! Glad to see you kept her after all these years

Great thing about VLs is they are a piece of Pi55 to work on! You'll learn heaps from this

and nissan supply plenty of genuine parts still for the RB30s so win win!
Also i put VK berlina lights on mine too, now i want to put it back to stock.. my 2c anyway, i reckon the stock set up is the go

Good luck and should look schmick once all is said and done
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Old 13-05-16, 10:39   #3
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Thanks mate. Yeah there hasn't been too much yet that I'm too daunted by, and I've already learnt so much!

Good to hear that Nissan supply genuine parts still. I'll be starting off with a new Thermostat which I think is part #21200-42L06?

With the VK Berlina lights I was really tossing up whether to go down that road or not and I made the decision. Now I'm not so sure again! I think it's because I don't like the grey on the VL versions. If I had grey bumpers it would be alright, but it's all white so the black on the taillights goes well with the boot and taillight trim. The garnish is stock so i'd have to paint that if I go VK. At the moment it's got VL SL so they need changing anyway.
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Old 13-05-16, 20:59   #4
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Im not 100% on the part number to be honest haha, but the upper and lower housings are pretty decent on price from memory too, like $25 a pop

Yeah i understand, i changed mainly because i couldn't find a colour code to respray the standard garnish grey so i just went for the black set up as its easier and seems to look decent. You can always change back down the track its not that hard
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Old 13-05-16, 21:05   #5
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Yeah cool. And you just go to a Nissan dealer huh. I called one and was quoted $54 for a thermostat.

I had a read through your whole SL thread earlier! Its come a long way! Need to update tho!!
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Old 14-05-16, 12:56   #6
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I put an aftermarket thermostat so never priced one from nissan, damn thats pricey ! The housings are cheaper like i mentioned

Thanks man, well since the last update i havent touched it really, just been driving it, so theres not much to update haha
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Old 16-05-16, 13:30   #7
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A good day on Saturday.

Went to the wreckers and got 1 rear bumper mould which will need prepping and painting.

Also some boot spring rods. The owner before me took my original ones out (for a ridiculous sub-box) and I couldn't get them back in. And then I lost them or probably through them out when I put in the gas strut. I'd like to get the boot button to work again and I don't think that will happen with the strut as it doesn't start lifting without a bit of help first. So getting them out at the wreckers was fun and I'm not looking forward to putting them back in...

Speaking of boots, I thought I'd show you the damage that occured when I was rear-ended all those years ago.



You can see how the outer shell has been pushed up to the inner shell...



And you can see a couple of wires jammed between, but hasn't affected their working.



I got a slide hammer to pull the dents out, but having a go on the weekend I don't think I know what I'm doing. The dent only affects how the rear garnish sits, lights and bumper sit ok, so I think I might leave it to the Pro's at a later date.

Also used my jack and car stands... note to self, lower it a lot slower next time!
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Old 31-05-16, 11:49   #8
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Hi all,

Bored at work again so just thought I'd put up another post on the current condition of the car and another area that needs a lot of work. Similarly with my previous post about the boot, I'm open to any advice you might have.

Today we have a look at one of the typical issues that occur on VLs.... Windscreen rust.

Here we have the passenger side front windscreen corner. It's not too bad on the outside but because the glass is still in, it's unknown how bad it really is.



And here we have the driver's side with a similar story. Mostly surface but could be a bit crusty underneath.



This is a photo of the boot side channel (so in the boot looking up + right at the channel). I think I should be able to fix this up myself. It's a similar story on the other side of the boot too.



And now for the Grand finale, looking in side the boot, up under the rear windscreen we have this...



Again, don't know the full extent but this one looks pretty bad... Depending on how bad it is I may be able to fibreglass it? otherwise I'll need to take it to get done professionally. At least I know the cause... a leaking Rear Windscreen seal.
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Old 31-05-16, 18:52   #9
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Bloody rust, on that last pic see the boot rubber seal? Lift that up, your guaranteed to have rust there too!
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Old 31-05-16, 21:32   #10
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VL boot seals are also useless and trap water in underneath.. which has killed your boot channel
The panel shop will weld a whole knew section in (pretty sure that includes the part under the rear screen too all in one shot). That had to happen on mine, pretty common
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Old 31-05-16, 22:45   #11
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Damn! Stupid rust! If I don't lift the rubber seal does that mean it doesn't exist?!

Looks like I'll need to take it to a panel shop.
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Old 14-12-16, 12:06   #12
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I believe I've had a small win!

When I was driving this as a daily I was constantly having to top-up the Power Steering fluid. After leaving it for years the reservoir was pretty much empty, and there was a lot of gunk all down the hoses all the way to the rack.

Well I took off the hoses and cleaned out the reservoir, degreased all the hoses and re-attached with clean clamps etc, a bit tighter than they were previously. So far, no leaks! (fingers crossed). Probably not a big deal but I'm happy.

However, upon closer inspection it looks like the small plastic transfer pipe on the steering rack has shrunk, which is apparently a pretty common thing. Basically looking at the rear of the steering rack from the side of the car, there is a small plastic tube that is connected on one side but doesn't quite reach the other. I'm not sure how much of an issue it is tho. Or how to fix it.
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Old 14-12-16, 19:49   #13
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Nothing better than having a win on your car brother
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Old 02-11-17, 10:38   #14
bo5ton
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Well, looks like I haven't fixed the issue. However giving the power steering lines and reservoir a good clean all the way down to the rack has shown me exactly where the leak is coming from.

It looks like the lower pressure hose from the rack to the reservoir, but only at the metal/rubber join. As you can hopefully see in the image, it's pooling just under here and drops down to the rack and onto the boot etc. Hoping if I fix this it will be the only place it's leaking, but hard to tell at the moment.

The only thing is I'm not sure how to fix this, and there doesn't seem to be any low pressure hoses to replace it. Or maybe it's just a standard hose. But then I'm not sure how to replace it.

Maybe there's just an o-ring i need to replace?

I am open to suggestions.
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Old 04-11-17, 22:59   #15
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i think that hose is a 1 piece perishable part. i.e. its a single use crimp not meant to be repaired.

also note that even vl n/a s had 2 or 3 different power steering hose setups so make sure you keeep that one in the event that you need to match.

I'd see if you can get new.

alternately you may be able to cut and then use a pipe flaring tool to create a flare and then just hose and clamp.

good luck! great to see you kept the car and are having a crack. theres so much info now with youtube and forums that you'll be able to muddle through
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Old 13-11-17, 10:12   #16
bo5ton
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Great, thanks for the advice. I'll try and get a new one, but so far I haven't had much luck just looking around on the net. Looks like I can get high pressure no problem, but not this low pressure hose. I'll need to keep looking.
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