Holden HG Project Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust

By: Greg Leech, Photography by: Ellen Dewar

Presented by

Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust
Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust
Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust
Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust
Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust
Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust
Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust
Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust
Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust
Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust
Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust
Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust
Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust
Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust

Time to get underneath and do some dirty work...

Holden HG Project Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust
Project HG Part 3 – Suspension/Exhaust

 

Holden HG Project – Suspension/Exhaust


Our HG Premier resto rolls on. This time we look at the old girl’s underside!

Now that the HG has its new engine in place it was time to look at the exhaust and suspension.

The HG has a relatively simple suspension set-up. At the front are wishbones with coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and an anti-roll bar. The stern has the ubiquitous live axle with semi-elliptic springs and telescopic shock absorbers. No rocket science there, but a tried and true arrangement.

There was no surprise when Damian Tesoreiro from Suspension City in West Melbourne suggested that both ends of the car were decidedly weary and full replacement was the order of the day.

Our aim was to come up with a very useable and sound package utilising good quality components, but not to over-capitalise. The car needs to be sound and handle well, but we’re not building a race car and componentry should reflect that.


DOWN TO BUSINESS

Damian set about completely disassembling the suspension prior to starting work. Operating in a methodical and planned manner really counts here and he has extensive experience over many years in the suspension game.

The front came in for the most work, with the rear being a more straight-
forward job. It’s worth noting that you will spend more money on the front of any car than the rear. Fairly obvious given the fact that steering has to be taken into account.

We replaced just about everything. Upper and lower ball joints, upper and lower control arm bushes, sway bar D bushes, link bushes and steering centre links all came fresh out of the box. New tie rod ends and inner and outer idler arms also got the nod.

We were looking to give the car a tough (but legal) stance, so lowered (35mm) King springs with lowered coils were used here.

Good quality shocks are always the way to go and Monroe gas items suited our purpose perfectly. This work basically saw us arrive at a totally refurbished front end that looks brand new. Lovely.

TO THE STERN

Down at the back the leaf springs had totally tossed in the towel, so new King spring lowered leafs were fitted. We put new bushes right though and a set of Monroe gas shocks.


THE BILL?

Damian suggests that Monroe offers a very good mid-range choice when doing a resto of this type.

"They’re a very good quality shock with a decent warranty," he says. "You can get more exotic shocks, but for a build like this, the Monroes are more than adequate.".

Given that we’re trying to keep to a reasonable budget for this build, this was good news.

"The car will handle better, you’ll have much better control and there’s no doubt the whole thing looks much better on a cosmetic basis," he adds.

In keeping with watching the cost of our HG Premier project, all this came out at a very reasonable $1650. That’s pretty good value considering all the work done. Suspension City can be contacted on (03) 9329 5133 or email: suscity@bigpond.com.au.


PIPE DREAMS

Next on the agenda was a new performance exhaust to help release all those neddies following the engine rebuild.

We commissioned Paul Borrelli at Professional Exhausts in Melbourne’s Airport West to come up with an affordable system for the HG. He’s a perfectionist and is accustomed to working on classic cars.

We wanted something that was street legal, followed Holden lineage and that would look nice. We certainly got all that!


ON THE HOIST

The old system was totally cactus and Paul planned and fabricated a completely new system. The idea was to come up with a mild, but sporty system (remember registration awaits the restorer).

Keeping the whole deal as sympathetic to the Holden heritage as possible, we had the muffler made to reflect the Monaro GTS item of the period. A custom pipe was bent to suit the extractors. After fitting, we found the exhaust to be a little loud, so fitted a resonator to smooth it out. Cackles are nice, but not the right fit for what we were looking for.

Paul sent a sample of the original exhaust tips (four, two a side dipping down) and had them hand made. These look exactly as the original Monaro items and set off the high-quality finished job beautifully. All original bracketry was employed.

In short, this was a top notch job, with no corners cut in any way. You could even say it’s a work of art.


HOW MUCH?

In Paul’s words, "Cutting corners is not my forte." This highlights the need to be careful when having exhaust work done.

"There are plenty of cowboys out there that are happy just to take your money," he advises. "I do a lot of classic cars, Mustangs, and GTs and we can faithfully recreate what came with the car."

An exhaust of this quality will cost around $1000.

Professional Exhausts can be contacted on (03) 9338 9233


THE BILL SO FAR


1971 Holden HG Premier

Original purchase cost: $3500

Engine hot-up
and rebuild: $4000

Full suspension
replacement: $1650

Custom exhaust: $1000

Total: $10,150

Sign up to our free weekly newsletter for more unique car reviews and features plus see the latest unique and classic cars for sale.

Subscribe to Unique Cars magazine
- Print edition
- Digital edition