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Clean and green: VE Ute

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    After that, badges. This went pretty well too. Biggest issue was working out exactly where they went as I was relying on photos of other ones to get it as close as I could. Took my time with it and marked where I thought they should go; the trouble is that once they touch the car they stick. In hindsight I wonder if the soapy warm water method for stickers works for these too?

    An example of the marking process:

    And one of the finished product. In hindsight this maybe should have been a little further from the door, but it’s not supposed to be centred on the panel either. If it turns out I was miles off I can always do it again, but it looks fine.


      Now, let me be the first to say this next bit is Peak Marco, and more than a bit ridiculous. I’ll own that.

      A couple of Saturday nights ago, and admittedly after a beer or two, I ended up on one of those sites where you can get reproduction dealer stickers from back in the day. And it got me thinking it was a pity the ute had lost all its dealer identification, given it’s a Holden Ute from a country dealer and all.

      But the dealer still exists, at least until they run out of Holdens to sell sometime soon. Why not ask them to send me a sticker? So I did, and they were only too happy to help me out. Seems like there’s some genuine Holden people there - Long Live the Lion indeed.

      Green and gold thing even works, cos ‘Straya.

      It’s quirky. Im quirky. I know. You don’t need to tell me...
      Last edited by Captain_Slow; 16-07-20, 05:17 PM.


        Actually I like the fact you’re going down “peak Marco” with this because it makes a nice change from every one of these that some flouro wearing p-plater has stuck a chev badge on.
        Shed Project: 1994 Laser Lynx with BP-T


          Finally, adventures with the rego bureaucracy.

          I mentioned earlier the ACT process is currently all online and postal. They called me yesterday to sort it all out, and I missed the call. Called them back and after a long wait the call centre people told me they’d get a supervisor to call back by the end of the day. That didn’t happen, but it left me wondering why it needed a higher up to sort out my rego.

          Rather than spend 30-45 minutes on hold again, my nopics suggested I just visit the local rego office and see if they could find out what the go was, and maybe just deal with it.

          I did that, and they directed me to a phone they had which should put me through to the right people. Not sure why they couldn’t look it up themselves, but okay. That avoids the long hold time. Sweet.

          The right people answer, and put me through to...the same hold queue as yesterday.

          45 minutes later I’m talking to someone useful. No worries, they take my money, doesn’t sound like there’s anything unusual about my transaction.

          “Okay, that’s done. Are you able to pick up the plates from Dickson tomorrow?”

          Dickson is at the opposite end of Canberra from me. And I am standing in an ACT Govt office that traditionally hands out number plates.

          “I mean, I could, but I’m standing in your Tuggeranong office...”

          I’m sure I’d mentioned this earlier in the call. They say they will check with Tuggeranong and put me on hold. Presumably to call the office I’m standing in. But after a couple of minutes, yes, we can give you plates where you are. Take a seat and someone will sort you out. And they did. So I guess now I’m Original Green?

          In fairness to the ACT Govt people, once I was able to talk to someone, they fixed me up right away. It’s just a mind boggling process compared to getting a UVP in NSW a few weeks earlier which was simplicity itself.

          But that’s not the best bit.

          On the way home, I get a call back from them. They had, apparently, forgotten to charge me stamp duty...


            Originally posted by Aaron View Post
            Actually I like the fact you’re going down “peak Marco” with this because it makes a nice change from every one of these that some flouro wearing p-plater has stuck a chev badge on.
            Ugh...but yeah. I like it for what it is, just a tidy and unpretentious example of a uniquely Aussie vehicle.

            Some of that crowd would probably be confused to discover I also like Japanese and Euro cars...


              While 2020 continued doing its thing by taking PF down, I’ve been mainly using this thing for Uteing Purposes. For instance, it was useful to have a Ute at Bunnings a few weekends ago:

              Still just ticking off little improvements. This is ideal; I don’t have the time to do anything big but fixing up little things is pretty satisfying anyway. The windscreen trim strips are a well known issue on VEs that have been out in the sun too long:

              Holden still sells new replacements for not too many dollars so I bought some. I felt pretty dirty giving GM more of my money TBH, especially after seeing they were made in the US. I’d guess that they were previously made in Australia but the local supplier closed its doors.

              Part numbers between old and new were different too but no obvious design difference, and installation was easy. If it wasn’t for one stubborn locating tab it could all be done by hand. Cleaned up all the shit that was under the old ones while I was at it, happily with no rust found.

              Much better now.

              Also, see those black dots just to the left of them? There’s a few like that all over the car. They don’t come off easily and today I realised why: previous owner has been touching up stone chips with black paint. On a green car.

              Jesus fucking wept.
              Last edited by Captain_Slow; 28-08-20, 05:27 PM.


                Originally posted by Captain_Slow View Post
                ...previous owner has been touching up stone chips with black paint. On a green car..
                Fuck me
                Jaguar XJR, Freelander 2 HSE, Jaguar XKR, MINI Cooper S
                Originally posted by nutttr
                People must assume you are some sort of drug dealer with all these nice cars turning up to a fibro home


                  My VE Calais window trim is cracking as well. Whats the old/new part numbers?


                    Originally posted by Jack Nicholson View Post
                    Fuck me
                    Tell me about it. When I get some time I'll see if I can remove them with the help of some thinners. Aaron had a theory that maybe it's actually green paint that has been misapplied (should have been over a base coat to work correctly). Either way it looks for all the world like tar spots which had been my assumption until I looked more closely the other day.


                      Originally posted by Cletus View Post
                      My VE Calais window trim is cracking as well. Whats the old/new part numbers?
                      The ones that came off the car were 92212082 and 83. Replacements are 84 and 85.


                        I’m no painter but I have seen the “black” touch ups before when a dark base metallic is touched up with a exact match to the code. What happens is the metallic flakes and sparkly goodness sink to the bottom when brushed or blobbed on and the dark paint base dries over the top as a darker or blackish version of the body colour. Some touch up paints are mixed specifically to cope with the blob/brush application rather than spraying.

                        There are ways to minimise the effect when doing touch ups, including variations of the toothpick method. They all rely upon getting as little paint liquid as possible into the chip and as much of the metallic standing up and visible. Clear is then used to get the surface levelling.
                        Shed Project: 1994 Laser Lynx with BP-T


                          I had to go to Sydney and back over the weekend and because it was just me, I decided to drive this. To my surprise, its fuel consumption came back at 9.4l/100km Canberra to Sydney and back on E10 with just me on board, which is pretty much the same as what I get in the VF2 Redline on 98 with four aboard on the same trip.

                          Not what I would have guessed. It's thirstier than I'd expected around town as well. Poorer aerodynamics + gearing + E10 + higher mileage? This was sitting at about 2200-2300rpm in 110 zones, whereas IIRC the Redline sits at more like 1500.
                          Last edited by Captain_Slow; 08-09-20, 11:58 AM.


                            E10 swill most know with a getz on 98 it made a big difference on.
                            an easy fix is get a mate to drive in front of you at 60 then 80 then 100 and mark in on your speedo with some liquid paper.


                              Next little improvement. This shifter boot has bothered me since day one; “high disgust sensitivity” is apparently the term for what I have. It was falling apart and the stitching had turned brown. So it needed replacement.

                              I bought a trim removal kit from eBay mostly for this job, and to be honest I’m not sure what half the stuff is for. But it has lots of tools for getting things off without damaging them.

                              This is a pretty straightforward job. Lever up the trim piece, unplug the switches on it and get it out of the way, unscrew the surround, pull up really hard on the knob itself to get it off the shifter.

                              The knob can be pretty hard to get off, but I got there in the end. You’ve just got to pull on it with a good, firm grip.

                              Someone has obviously had that trim piece off before - some of the plastic clips were missing, and I lost another one. We’ll see if it matters. I might try and get some more.

                              Turns out I inadvertently upgraded the part, comparing parts labels:

                              The new one doesn’t look or feel like leather, but there you go. It was the only replacement part I could find, so I was surprised to see different versions. Sorry to anyone restoring a VE SSV in twenty years who needs a NOS shift boot in leather...

                              Anyway, the knob comes off by turning the whole thing inside out and cutting off the cable tie. Then you just transfer the knob to the new boot, tuck it in, and cable tie it on. Sadly for future generations I replaced the factory black cable tie with this white one, ruining the originality...

                              I used a couple of cable ties getting the tuck and alignment right. Sadly I neglected to check something a bit more fundamental...


                              Anyway, it all went back together really easily, everything still works, and now it looks much better!

                              I would have liked to replace the worn knob as well, but I didn’t think it was worth $150 on top of the $70 boot to buy another plastic one, and as far as I could work out the leather ones only came with the V8 shift pattern. But it doesn’t look as bad with the new boot under it anyway. Happy with that!


                                I actually have a spare one of those VE V8 boots, brand new. I just took the knob. Unfortunately, the well known shop fitting it for me managed to crack the new knob Need to swap that out.