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1974 (GM) HQ Holden Belmont V8

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hq308

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#1
The 'CLASSIC CARS & HOTRODS' section looks a little bare so I thought I'd add some pics of my current project and a couple of the things I've machined for it.

It's a 1974 HQ Holden Belmont which is the Aussie interpretation of the US GM 'A' body cars (Chevy Nova is one example). It was bought new by my grandfather, passed down to my dad and then finally to me. By the time I got it, it needed to be restored and I spent the best part of ten years part time restoring it.

hq_bel1.jpg

If you look carefully in this engine bay photo you might notice some of the things I've machined for it, I'll put some more detailed pics in following posts.

enginebay1.jpg
 
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hq308

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#2
One of the first things I turned for it when I got my lathe are these billet accelerator rods with spherical rod ends on them. The rod ends are left and right hand threaded (left at one end, right at the other) so they can be adjusted without removing them. Now that I have a mill I plan to make some new bellcranks (the thing the 2 rods connect to) to replace the factory one.

DSC_0605.jpg

DSC_0600.jpg

Needed a nut to hold my air cleaner down so I turned this up, knurled it and polished it.

DSC_0599.jpg

This next photo shows a couple of things, firstly the cover I turned up to cover the one way valve on the brake booster and one of the covers I made for the bolts that hold the master cylinder onto the booster.

DSC_0601.jpg

The radiator (core) support had a couple of unused holes so I turned up these plugs to fill them.

DSC_0602.jpg
 

hq308

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#3
Thanks Ed

Here's some more.

Here's my battery retaining bracket I made. Started off with some 20mm round that I trued up in the lathe and added the decorative grooves, I then milled the bottom flat in the lathe with a cheap end-mill and a vertical slide and finally I milled a couple of flats on the top for the retaining nuts. The retaining nuts were turned up from the 20mm round and knurled. To finish it off I polished it.

batterybracket1.jpg

I turned up these rings to go around the door lock snibs. One day I'll turn up some new snibs.

DSC_0613.jpg

I trimmed the boot (trunk for the Americans) to match the interior and turned up the rings to finish off the holes in the removable panels.

DSC_0293.jpg
 
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hq308

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#4
Thanks Dave, you might recognise it as a Chevy in SA, I think they were called a Kommando? or something like that.
 

hq308

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#5
Yep it's a right hand drive :)

The engine is an Australian designed and built Holden 308 cubic inch V8. Holden is the Australian subsidiary of GM. It has some similarities to a small block Chevy but none of the major parts interchange.

It has a column shifted TH400 trans. The trans bolt pattern on my engine is the same as a Chevy.
 
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hq308

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#6
Yep, Holden still produce cars in Australia. They currently build the Commodore which you might recognise as a Pontiac G8 (Holden built the G8 and exported it to the US) and they recently started building the

Holden-VE_Commodore_SS-V-2006-1024-01.jpg

Holden also built the so-called new generation GTO's you've got there.

Monaro (What the GTO was based off)

2004-Holden-VZ-Monaro-Y-FA-Bridge-1024x768.jpg
 
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hq308

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#7
Something that's been bugging me for a while is the bellcranks on the accelerator linkage, being almost 40 years old they're fairly worn. I thought about pulling them apart and making some bushes but they'd still be 40 year old parts. I decided a while ago I was going to have a go at making some new ones from scratch. I got to work on my lathe and mill and set about making some parts for one of the bellcranks.

This is what I've made so far pictured next to an original one.
bellcrank_1.jpg

bellcrank_2.jpg

bellcrank_3.jpg

Still need to make the arm for the other side of it and tidy up a couple of bits.
 
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hq308

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#8
Finished the first bellcrank today. Just need to get some capscrews so I can put it on the car.

Looks pretty good with a bit of a polish.
bellcrank_4.jpg

And here's the start of the other bellcrank I'm going to make. I'll probably make a start on this one in a couple of weeks when I get a chance to get out and get myself a bandsaw to cut it to size.
bellcrank_billet.jpg
 
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hq308

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#9
I have an original set of wheels and hubcaps for it but not the actual ones that were on it new.
 

hq308

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#10
Here's a couple of pictures of the bellcrank fitted to the car.

DSC_0799800x536.jpg

DSC_0803800x536.jpg
 
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Mmfh

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#11
I'm new here to the forum and just started really looking around.

I have to say I'm impressed with what you've done on that car! I'm an automotive guy, engine machinist. I like
to play around with making things on the mill. Soon you will probably be making your own engine parts and selling
them to the chevy guys here in the US! :)

Looking at your pics encourages me to continue what what I enjoy doing. Making things look cool, and work better than factory.

Mm
 

hq308

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#12
Thanks for the comments guys. ;0

Making things look cool, and work better than factory.
That's something I really enjoy doing too. :)

DaveH is there enough examples of my work here? ``
 
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hq308

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#13
OK I think it's time for an update, I'm still working on the 2nd bellcrank and it seems the universe is conspiring to stop me finishing it. I started roughing out the main body a few weeks ago but the end mills I have weren't long enough so I ordered a long 14mm (~9/16") end mill. So when the long end mill arrived I set up the job and started milling, taking light cuts and on the 2nd pass I didn't lock the Z axis tight enough and the end mill pulled down into the job and broke another plastic gear. So the future plan is to do a belt drive conversion but I needed to get the mill going first so I contacted the company I bought the mill from and they had a set of replacement gears in steel. So I ordered a set of those and installed them a couple of days later when they arrived.
100_1681800x600.jpg

So I got the machine back together and apart from being a little noisier it was all good. Got back to the machining and got the main body finished ready for polishing.
100_1682800x600.jpg

I test fitted the main body on the car, here's a photo side by side with the original bellcrank.
100_1685400x300.jpg 100_1686400x300.jpg

So yesterday I polished the main body and was ready to start making the rest of the components when I decided I wanted to go with a slightly larger hole for the pivot bush to go through.
DSC_0885800x536800x536.jpg

So I set it up on the mill to enlarge the 11mm (~7/16") hole to 12mm. So I start drilling and I'm drilling slowly trying to get a nice finish on the hole when I hear a zap from the control box on the mill and all the power went out in the shop. I went out to the power box and found the circuit breaker had tripped and when I plugged the mill back in and the light came on but it didn't do anything else. I pulled the cover off the electrical box on the side to discover I'd let the smoke out of something in there, so I have to wait till tomorrow to contact the company I purchased it off to see about getting replacement parts. :(
 

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hq308

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#14
Yeah it's one step forward, two steps back with this mill but I guess that's all part of the fun.:grin:

I had a couple of small wins today, it bugged me half the night trying to work out how I could continue the job without the mill.

Then it came to me.
000_0063600x800.jpg
I removed the motor from the mill, took off the plastic gear and put my cordless drill chuck onto the shaft and used the drill to power the mill. I was able to finish drilling the hole and prove to myself that I wasn't woking the mill to hard when it quit on me.

I then turned up a brass bush and the main pivot shaft and made up a couple of temporary arms to see how it all works. The accelerator is really smooth, I'm really happy with the way it works.
IMG_0003800x600.jpg

Now I just need to get that mill sorted out and I can machine a couple of better looking arms for it to finish it off.:confused:
 

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hq308

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#15
Hello David,
If it's the variable speed unit that has failed you might want to consider using a better quality circuit rather than just a replacement board, depending on the price of replacement parts you might find that a high quality controller might not be that much more expensive.

I found this out when repairing a truck dyno, these use a DC motor controller, to power the retarder, and the cheapo Chinese version that the manufacturer had fitted was directly replacable with a German made unit for near enough the same price, it was much bigger than the unit in your mill, but the principle might still apply,

It seems the Chinese "dyno controller" had been through a few middle men all putting on their cut where the German unit came direct from the manufacturer.

Best Regards
Rick
Thanks for the tip Rick, I'm waiting to hear back from the supplier but I may look at this option anyway. Where would I find 'a better quality circuit'?
 

hq308

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#16
I got tired of waiting to hear back from my mill supplier (apparently he's on a business trip for another week or so) so after a bit of Googleing I did a few checks on the electronics in my mill and everything checked out OK so I put a new fuse in it (the old one was blown) plugged it back in, turned it on expecting the fuse to blow again and to my suprise it works fine - yipee!

So to test it out I machined up a top arm for the bellcrank.
DSC_0900800x536.jpg

I drove the car on Friday for the first time with both bellcranks fitted, it's very smooth. I drove it to work and showed a couple of my collegues and one asked why I didn't just convert it to a cable (Not enough machining involved :D) so I told him to operate the throttle, he looked at me and said "wow that feels so much smoother than a cable" Needless to say I'm very happy with the way it works.:thumbzup:

I know DaveH likes pics so here's a couple of the completed assembly.

The first bellcrank fitted.
DSC_0902800x536.jpg

The second one from a different perspective
DSC_0903800x536.jpg

And a shot showing both bellcranks fitted to the car.
DSC_0904800x536.jpg
 

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Highpower

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#17
Nicely done sir! You do your fellow petrol heads proud. :high5:
 

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#18
Rick, tell me you aren't talking about Radio Shack.
 

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#20
Your doing some nice work their, and it's something that sets it apart from other HQ's.
I haven't been doing the show rounds for the past few years, but I used to hate looking at cars where the owners bought everything and you really had nothing to talk about, I used to call them check book cars. It was also boring looking at the same model cars lined up with the bonnets up, and they are all identical.
There was a few guys and we would talk for hours and discuss machining, welding etc that had done it themselves, but they where few and fare between.

We used to have a HQ 1 tonner with a Premier front, GTS guards and dash. I still have all the original GTS badges in the shed (sorry not for sale) There are still a few parts here and their but I got into XB fords as well, the XE and now we are back to Commodores, LOL.

As for Radio Shack, I used to buy from them, I guess that makes me old, LOL

Dave
 

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#21
Ahh, Allied Electronics. Old firm, good reputation. I buy from them occasionally. I use Mouser, Digikey, MCM, Newark, and a few specialty houses, plus I still have one local outfit that stocks a good selection of parts.

Thanks for the clarification.



BTW, hq...you're doing some outstanding work there. Very admirable.
 

hq308

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#22
Thanks for all the comments.:)
 

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#23
Small update, got a little bit of machine time over the weekend and did a couple of small jobs.

Made the other arm for the bellcrank, just need to pull the axle back out and shorten it so it doesn't stick out so much.
A while back I'd made a cover for my radiator cap on the lathe but it was a bit plain so yesterday I set it up on the mill and ball milled some slots in it.
 

hq308

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#24
Thanks Mayhem

Did a small job today, the wiper motor originally had a big ugly washer pump hanging off the front of it which was in the way of my fabricated accelerator linkage so originally I just made a flat plate out of some thin aluminium (aluminum for the Americans) sheet but it was a bit flimsy and a bit plain. So today I cut a new plate out of some 2mm aluminium and cleaned up the edges with a file. I then set it up in the mill and ball-milled a few lines in it and gave it a quick polish.

DSC_0917800x536.jpg
 

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driftabout

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#25
Very good work. As the ex owner of a 74 HQ station wagon (202) I feel a little sad it's gone. However I also recall that it did'nt have one panel that was'nt eaten out with rust. Glad you could save a HQ for prosperity.

Tony
 

hq308

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#26
Santa (my wife) bought me a 4" rotary table for Christmas so to test it out I made myself a block off plate to cover the opening for the fuel pump. I started with some 6mm aluminium plate, roughed out the shape with a hacksaw and then milled all the straight edges. I then drilled the holes and used them for a reference and set it up on the rotary table and machined the curves at each end. I finished it of with some ball milling (yep I like ball milling :biggrin: ) and polished it.

DSC_017221024x691.jpg
 

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Rbeckett

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#27
Just got a look at the '74. Beautifull car and great attention to the little details that make a good resto great. I like the hugger orange paint and the machined parts. They add character and one of a kind looks to the engine compartment. Definately a drool inducer for me too. I miss my 69 Z-28, but it was a license getter for me so I had to get rid of it or walk for extended periods due to my right leg being too long and pushing the accelerator too much for too long.
Bob
 

hq308

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#28
Thanks for the comments guys. (and DaveH :biggrin:)

Bob I think my right leg is a little too long but it does seem to be less of an issue as I get older.:biggrin:

Rick that's an idea I hadn't considered, so I machine something up that accurately locates on the rotary table and has a thread the same as the spindle on my lathe. :thinking:
Looks like I have another project to add to my to do list. I think I'll be looking into this after I make a belt drive conversion for my mill. Metal gears in an X2 clone are no fun.:nuts:
 

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#29
Started a new project, one of the things I've been wanting to make for a while is a new lid for my brake master cylinder. I started off with a piece of 80mm x 25mm flat bar and started by squaring the ends up and machining out the inside of the lid.
DSC_02551024x685.jpg
DSC_02571024x685.jpg

One end needs a full 1/2 circle, 40mm radius and my little 4" rotary table doesn't have enough room to clamp it down and machine it so I cut out a piece of 6mm ally plate and drilled and tapped a few holes and came up with this to attach to my rotary table.
DSC_02671024x685.jpg
DSC_02681024x685.jpg

I worked quite good and made it possible to do the radius with my little rotary table.
DSC_02711024x685.jpg

On the top I machined a recess all the way around the top and then set it up on an angle vice to machine the top on an angle, I was running a little low on shop time so I didn't get any pics along the way.

Here's where I got to today, the master cylinder in the pics is a spare I have, the one on the car is polished so the lid will get the polish treatment when it's finished.
DSC_02761024x685.jpg
DSC_02751024x685.jpg
DSC_02781024x685.jpg
DSC_02771024x685.jpg

I still need to radius the sharp corners and tidy up a few spots so hopefully next weekend I'll finish it.
 

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hq308

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#30
The master cylinder cap is finished, I ended up doing a bit more machining to it as I wasn't happy with it. Looks pretty good with a polish.
DSC_03241024x685.jpg
DSC_03281024x685.jpg

And for a change.........no ball milling.......almost, if you don't count the recess at the top for the clip.:biggrin:
 

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