Morley's VC Commodore Hillclimb Project is Race Ready - Our Shed

By: Dave Morley, Photography by: Dave Morley

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holden vc commodore holden vc commodore

Is the old dunger likely to drop its guts coming off the trailer?


Holden VC Commodore Hillcimb Project

I know I’m tempting the gods by saying this, but I really am getting a sense that the hillclimber project is getting somewhere towards being finished. I’ve saved the brand-new four-barrel Holley for the new engine (when I finally get around to assembling it) which means I borrowed (okay, stole) a good old Holley 350 two-barrel from Torrens which is a better match with the worn out, stock 202 that lives under that brown bonnet at the moment.

A smarter bloke would finish the new engine and fit it before running the car, but I reckon I can do an event or two with the old motor and maybe get it to a track earlier than I would have if I went the new-engine route. That said, the old dunger is likely to drop its guts coming off the trailer, so my strategy could backfire. Literally.

Holden -vc -commodore -interiorA harness bar is a great addition to any race-car. Keeps the belt angles closer to optimum

As it is, I’ve now got the engine running satisfactorily (as opposed to perfectly) but I need another hour or so with somebody who knows how to tune a Holley. I rigged up the manual choke, spending at least an hour scratch-making a bracket to accept the cable, and then changed my mind completely, deciding to do away with the choke altogether. I had fun doing it, though.

At the moment, the engine is idling too fast which means (I think) that the air-corrector screw is wrong (possible) or I have a vacuum leak somewhere (much more likely). But at least it’s crisp on the throttle and it feels about as fast as a stocko 202 in a Commodore is ever going to feel.

Meantime, I checked the harness I had earmarked for the car only to discover that it’s out of time. See, CAMS will only allow a harness that’s less than 10 years old, regardless of how it’s been stored or how much work it’s done. The point is that the webbing these thing are made from deteriorates with age and a decade is as long as you’d want to push your luck. So, it was down to the shop to hammer the plastic one more time.

Holden -vc -commodore -race -seatI really wanted a red harness, cos they're faster. No, because they're easier to see in a smoke-filled cabin

Mounting the new belts requires using little eyelets which, in the case of the four-point, tin top-specific harness I bought, came as part of the deal. The two that mount the two halves of the lap-belts screw into the standard seat-belt mounting points which are basically the strongest parts of the car. But the shoulder straps have to mount somewhere behind you and it’s now that I congratulate myself on having specified a harness-bar when the cage was built. The harness-bar is a much better solution than attempting to strengthen the parcel-shelf or trying to mount the shoulder straps somewhere on the rear floor where the resulting belt angles are all wrong.

So what else? Well, I made sure the extinguisher was bolted to the floor and not just attached via self-tappers (according to a scrutineer mate of mine, that’s a trap a lot of people fall into) and that all the bungs underneath are all lock-wired (now that I have a nice, shiny new diff plug courtesy of UC reader Stan Fitzgerald who sent me one from his personal stash in the mail. Thanks again Stan.


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