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  1. #1
    casual poster Dingo's Avatar
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    Default Dingos HQ Premier - Injected V8 conversion

    Hi all, I've been lurking around on this forum for a while now - so I thought I'd introduce myself and my car. My name is Al and I'm from Perth

    I bought this car from an old boss as a very original one owner vehicle. Its an 01/1974 HQ Premier sedan with 122,000 kilometres. It came from the factory with a 202 motor and Trimatic gearbox with column shift. I'm not sure if this is common or not, but it also came with bucket seats and doesn't have a radio.

    Its painted Aquamarine metallic (567-15821) with a Glacier White (568-13134) roof. The interior is delightfully brown (1394-39). I'm not sure of the name of it or anything, but the rear seat in perfect and unmarked. The crash pad has no cracks or anything either.

    My plans for the car are to restore to original condition (visually), but I'm be swapping the 202 for a 304ci VT roller, coupled to a TH400 gearbox and probably a 9 inch diff. I'm going to try my hardest to maintain the column shift arrangement when I change the gearbox. The motor is out of my old VT Berlina which I had owned for quite a few years - I couldn't bring myself to sell it for peanuts so I decided to strip it and get rid of the bits I didn't need. At least this way I know the history of the engine. My choice for the TH400 is purely that I know someone who has one for me, and the 9 inch.. well I don't think I'll ever test its capabilites but hopefully its something that I can set and forget.

    So no doubt, I'll be asking a lot of questions in the future. Hopefully you guys will be able to help me out along the way!

    Cheers, Al

  2. #2
    casual poster Dingo's Avatar
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  3. #3
    casual poster Dingo's Avatar
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    Engine coming out of donor car.


    Car is currently at a stage where I am about to begin reassembling the front end. I picked up a power steer setup, as well as new bushes, ball joints, drag link, shocks, springs etc, basically everything I could buy new off the shelf. Just waiting to get my control arms back from my mate who pressed the bushes and I'll get stuck into it.

  4. #4
    Not the Kingswood! hq308's Avatar
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    Looks like a good base for a project.

    The interior colour is called "Chestnut" (39 = Chestnut)

    There are at least a couple of ways to keep the column shift with the T400
    1) you can search for a factory crossover linkage
    2) You can do what I did and make a cable set using a B&M cable. There's a couple of pictures of the set up here

    My daily driver is a VT Berlina V8 too that's probably due to be replaced soon. I've been thinking along the same lines of using the VT engine as a base for a new engine for my HQ. (It currently has an early headed 308)

  5. #5
    casual poster Dingo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hq308 View Post
    Looks like a good base for a project.
    Yeah its not too bad - straight and not too much rust. Cowls are flogged and a couple of little spots around the rear window too. But its 100% complete - so I dont have to chase down many replacement parts; stainless trims etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by hq308 View Post
    There are at least a couple of ways to keep the column shift with the T400
    1) you can search for a factory crossover linkage
    2) You can do what I did and make a cable set using a B&M cable. There's a couple of pictures of the set up here
    Funny you mention that - I had already come across that gallery during my trawling. I have since picked up a B&M cable and will be attempting to do something similar to what you have done.

  6. #6
    Do you ever leave? vidohq's Avatar
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    As already said looks like a great base to start and it make it so much more easier seeing that the car is 100% there. I will enjoy seeing your progress and work. Good luck and always remember the car that is in your head will become reality.

  7. #7
    casual poster Dingo's Avatar
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    Thanks vidohq. Progress is slow due to a million other commitments, but when I get a spare dollar or a spare minute here or there I'm tinkering away with it. I should be picking up my control arms with new bushes/ball joints pressed in this week - so I can get cracking on the front end again.

  8. #8
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    Just find a HQ-HZ with factory TH400 and column shift and use the linkages. Will bolt straight up to your column, the chassis and the box.

    If it was me I'd remove the HQ's steering and fit a black's racks conversion. That way you'll be able to retain the VT A/C compressor.

  9. #9
    casual poster Dingo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HK1837 View Post
    Just find a HQ-HZ with factory TH400 and column shift and use the linkages. Will bolt straight up to your column, the chassis and the box.
    I do keep my eyes out for the OEM linkages; just hard to come across. I think the cable configuration will work quite well for how I plan to set it up.


    Quote Originally Posted by HK1837 View Post
    If it was me I'd remove the HQ's steering and fit a black's racks conversion. That way you'll be able to retain the VT A/C compressor.
    I was initially going to throw a Blacks Rack in the car, but with a $3k price tag, I decided to go for the stocko P/S setup and spend that money elsewhere. Its just going to be a budget weekend cruiser. If I was going to drive it often enough - I would defo go that way so I could retain the A/C too.

  10. #10
    Not the Kingswood! hq308's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HK1837 View Post
    Just find a HQ-HZ with factory TH400 and column shift and use the linkages. Will bolt straight up to your column, the chassis and the box.
    Depending on what exhaust you run, the collector on my 4 into 1 headers runs right where the factory linkage would go between the chassis and the box.

  11. #11
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    What's the go with the firewall body colour? I have seen quite a few orignal hq's that have it body colour but most are matt black. Which is correct or does it depend on what state it was built in?

  12. #12
    casual poster Dingo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VL GRA View Post
    What's the go with the firewall body colour? I have seen quite a few orignal hq's that have it body colour but most are matt black. Which is correct or does it depend on what state it was built in?
    I have no idea mate - the internets tells me that this is an Adelaide built car. All the paint is original, but I dont know for what reason it would be body colour rather than black?

  13. #13
    Do you ever leave? vidohq's Avatar
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    Maybe the black spray gun at the factory was broken that day or there might of been a shortage of black ..... Bahahaha but hey great pick up it is a deference

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    So slight change of plans. I will be sticking the 4L60e gearbox in the HQ isntead of the TH400 as I have one sitting around and have been assured that there isn't going to be any dramas in getting the electronic gearbox to hook up as it should.

    I have a question for anyone who has done it before regarding gear selection... Going from the original 3 speed (Trimatic) to the new 4 speed (4L60e) gearbox, am I going to have any dramas utilising the original column shift selector gate that mounts to the column? I was thinking along the lines of converting to a cable shift and the cable conversion bracket that hangs off the side of the 'box (both of which I already have anyway)

    A problem that I will encounter is not being able to select first gear as the HQ selector gate is only built for 12DNRP where I'd need 123DNRP. Now I'm not too fussed about not being about to get down into 1st - but I'm wondering if the DPI will bother even checking it, as the gear display window will still show 12DNRP. The other issue might be that the gates for the existing Trimatic gear selection might not match up with my 23DNRP in the 4L60e.

    Worst case is that I'll have to bite the bullet, cut a hole in the floor and either stick in an original T-bar or a B&M/Hurst style shifter...

  15. #15
    Not the Kingswood! hq308's Avatar
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    If you do the conversion the way I did, you could easily make it work with the 4 speed, you'd just need to play around with the positioning of the hole on the shift lever (trans end) to get the ratio right.

    If you wanted to make it nice you could make a new gate to match the 4 speed shift pattern and replace the shift indicator window with a clear piece of perspex with some die cut lettering.

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