1982 Holden VH Commodore body scrub - Our Shed

By: Glenn Torrens

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holden commodore vh wagon My VH has factory air-con that thankfully needed nothing more than a service/top-up to cruise cool over summer holden commodore vh wagon
holden commodore vh wagon wheels Under the VH SL/X’s distinctive one model-only ‘spider-web’ hubcaps, the 14-inch steelies looked tatty holden commodore vh wagon wheels
holden commodore vh wagon wheels 2 I had the tyres removed before painting the rims and replacing two worn tyres holden commodore vh wagon wheels 2
holden commodore vh wagon wheel My, but that’s one factory-fresh looking Commo wheel holden commodore vh wagon wheel
holden commodore vh wagon engine I shouldn’t have hit the rocker cover so hard with the pressure washer holden commodore vh wagon engine
holden commodore vh wagon parts 2 hat’s going to come up a treat with fresh paint holden commodore vh wagon parts 2
holden commodore vh wagon engine bay A repaint of the rocker cover in its original blue hue did wonders for the engine bay’s appearance. The air cleaner didn’t need paint holden commodore vh wagon engine bay
holden commodore vh wagon engine bay 2 holden commodore vh wagon engine bay 2
holden commodore vh wagon clean 4 holden commodore vh wagon clean 4
holden commodore vh wagon clean holden commodore vh wagon clean
holden commodore vh wagon clean 5 holden commodore vh wagon clean 5
holden commodore vh wagon clean 6 holden commodore vh wagon clean 6
holden commodore vh wagon clean 2 holden commodore vh wagon clean 2
holden commodore vh wagon clean 3 holden commodore vh wagon clean 3
holden commodore vh wagon door holden commodore vh wagon door
holden commodore vh wagon window join holden commodore vh wagon window join
holden commodore vh wagon parts Aussie summers can perish any rubber – time for replacements holden commodore vh wagon parts
holden commodore vh wagon under bonnet insulation The standard-for-SL/X under-bonnet sound-insulation pad was missing. Aftermarket replacement needed minor trimming to be a good fit holden commodore vh wagon under bonnet insulation

Glenn Torrens gives his beige Commodore wagon a body scrub

My new-to-me 1982 Holden Commodore SL/X wagon had good paint highlighted by sparkling chrome roof racks and bumpers. In fact, most people would have been happy to cruise it exactly as it was. But while gazing at it during the first oil change since I’d bought it, I noticed a few things that I was keen to fix.

R:\Web\WebTeam\Mary\Motoring\UC 436\our shed gt\holden-commodore-vh-wagon-wheels-2.jpgUnder the VH SL/X’s distinctive one model-only ‘spider-web’ hubcaps, the 14-inch steelies looked tatty. I had the tyres removed before painting the rims and replacing two worn tyres

Firstly, there were some stone chips in the paint… The blokes at my favourite car parts shop, Edgeworth Auto Parts, mixed up a small bottle of touch-up paint so I could carefully but easily brush-touch the damage.

R:\Web\WebTeam\Mary\Motoring\UC 436\our shed gt\holden-commodore-vh-wagon-engine.jpgI shouldn’t have hit the rocker cover so hard with the pressure washer

Like many other cars, these early Commodores are notorious for the plastic chrome windscreen trim degrading to brown and crinkly. My car club Prez, Aaron, knew of a windscreen installer who had the right stuff in stock so for $150 I had the front and rear windscreen trims looking brand-new again.

R:\Web\WebTeam\Mary\Motoring\UC 436\our shed gt\holden-commodore-vh-wagon-wheel.jpgMy, but that’s one factory-fresh looking Commo wheel

The engine bay looked a bit tired, too, especially after my pressure-washer blasted-off some of the engine’s bright blue paint! By carefully masking the driver’s-side engine mount and removing, stripping and priming the rocker cover, I managed to give the engine a smarten-up using a couple of rattle-cans. I also installed a brand-new under-bonnet sound insulation pad (it was missing from my car) and reattached the wayward firewall sound-proofing. The screen washer/coolant tank was replaced, too, as it was cracked.

R:\Web\WebTeam\Mary\Motoring\UC 436\our shed gt\holden-commodore-vh-wagon-clean.jpgRestoring your battery shelf to good health in four easy steps

Thirty-seven Aussie summers had left the doors’ bailey channels and belt-line rubber seals brittle and cracked, allowing the glass to rattle in the door frames and causing wind noise – both annoying! For a few hundred bucks and a few hours’ work, I installed new weather seals to banish the breeze.

R:\Web\WebTeam\Mary\Motoring\UC 436\our shed gt\holden-commodore-vh-wagon-engine-bay.jpgA repaint of the rocker cover in its original blue hue did wonders for the engine bay’s appearance. The air cleaner didn’t need paint

When bought, my VH wagon also featured an extra-special bonus: holes for the two earlier series’ Commodore SL/E headlight squirters in the front bumper. My guess is the prior driver – a little old lady – did some touch-parking prior to surrendering her licence and a replacement VB or VC Commodore SL/E bumper had been fitted in error. Swapping to the correct non-holey bar was a finishing touch for my 1982 time-warp wagon’s exterior appearance. It also saved me a search and maybe $400 as now I don’t have to chase a bumper-with-holes for my 1980 Commodore SL/E restoration! 

R:\Web\WebTeam\Mary\Motoring\UC 436\our shed gt\holden-commodore-vh-wagon-parts.jpgAussie summers can perish any rubber – time for replacements

 

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