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new2vn
P Plater



23 Posts

Male

Posted - 15 Jan 2011 :  01:39:39 AM  Show Profile Send new2vn a Private Message
 
Hi everyone, newbe here.

I have owned 2 very loyal HZs, 2 of the best cars I ever had and yes, I confess, I was even into Datsuns for a while. Had VWs, Fords, EHs, HKs. gs and Ts anything that was an easy to fix, old school, go fast car.

Ditched the Datsuns and lost my 2 HZs to a write off and rust in the end. (Cry!)
So I reluctantly purchased my first ECU controlled, fuel injected car...

I had the opportunity to pick up a 1991 series 2 VN from an old bloke I know. One fastidious grandpa owner, 230K, well maintained, excellent condition, straight as, stock as a rock V6 and auto. All for $500.

I was impressed. The VN changes gears in all the right places and not bad fuel economy for the grunt it puts out either.
Faded paint on the bonnet, roof and boot are small problems.

It had solid stock rims and hubcaps on it, with no ventilation holes, 3 good stabs on the brakes and jesus, the smell, the heat and brake fade!!!

So my only mod so far is to put a set of ventilated 2 tonne rated VP ute rims (205/65/15) onto it and replace a corroded heater tap.
The only problem is the roof lining sagging onto my head.
Any ideas on how to fix this?

The other day it started making a whistling sound.

It does it after it has been parked for a few minutes when hot.
It starts when I am reversing out of the local shops.
The noise is not relative to any spinning component.
Not wheel bearings, brakes, gears, alternator etc.

It seems like an air whistle. Definitely pneumatic or hydraulic sounding noise.

The only hint I get is that when I yank the steering wheel left or right, the pitch of the whistle changes slightly. This leads me to believe that it is coming from the power steering area.

I have never owned a car with power steering before.
I checked out the manual and followed the inspection procedure for power steering, it all seems OK.
A new P/S pump was fitted 20,000kms ago and all the hoses look good, no leaks. Just a growly noise at low revs when parking (I hear this growl was a factory option).

It does this whistle at idle, consistently up through all gears (including reverse) and does not change in volume or pitch. When I get up to about 80km/h in 4th it starts to fade out then after 30 seconds it stops.
The noise then disappears until I have parked, let it get hot, then resumed driving.

The holes in the P/S filler cap seem to be clear.
Is there a purge line?
Or some type of air bleed to atmosphere in the P/S system anywhere?
Is there some kind of valve in the P/S or perhaps aircon that will let air escape in the manner I have described?
Maybe some compensating valve/diaphragm that has a vacuum leak?

I know I am new here, but I would appreciate the more experienced VN owners lending their experience and offering their thoughts on this problem.

The VN is initially a scary prospect for me after so many years of working on 179s, 186s and 202s, with 2 spanners and a screwdriver!

Cheers Guys, Ben.
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VNSVLE
Forum Moderator


smiley-blunder

1316 Posts

Male

Posted - 15 Jan 2011 :  09:28:03 AM  Show Profile Send VNSVLE a Private Message
 
Welcome to the VN family buddy!! Strange one you have there. Do you have an estimation of where on the car the noise is coming from??
 

What's the difference between understeer and oversteer?
Understeer is when the driver is scared.
Oversteer is when the passenger is scared.
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Mechknight73
National Driver


robot-robot14

1001 Posts

Male

Posted - 15 Jan 2011 :  10:56:23 AM  Show Profile Send Mechknight73 a Private Message
 
Power steering will make a growly/groaning noise if it's low on oil, but whistle? That's unusual. When the p/s is very low on oil, you are supposed to fill it up, then rock the steering back and forth, releasing the air from the system. The oil will "foam up" while that happens.

On the p/s pump resevoir, try swapping the cap for one that will seal firmly. An observation with my VN V6, the power steering pump operates normally, but when I open the cap to check the oil, there's a slight vacuum. Another one would be the oil filler cap on the engine (p/s is driven off the engine pulley. The faster you go or accelerate, the less vacuum coming from the engine)

I've been where you are. Until my VN, I hadn't owned anything newer than 1978. Three Kingswood sedans, one HX panelvan, one HZ one tonner, two old Mazdas and a '74 Corolla. A VN may seem daunting, but save for a few things, most of it is as easy as working on an HZ if you know the sequence of how to dimantle and reassemble it.
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Mechknight73
National Driver


robot-robot14

1001 Posts

Male

Posted - 15 Jan 2011 :  11:10:08 AM  Show Profile Send Mechknight73 a Private Message
 
The hood lining is one of those things that eventually wears out on all VNs. It is essentially a piece of thick moulded cardboard, with foam rubber glued on, over which the fabric is glued. Is your car a sedan or a wagon? If it's a sedan, it's a little harder to get out than a wagon. You pretty much take off all the "fasteners" holding it up; sun visors, rear vision mirror, side trims, pinch weld around the doors, and the "push pins" you will see. Before you start, I recommend having the following nearby:
-Vacuum cleaner: The foam rubber I mentioned will have broken down (which is why the hood lining is sagging) to clean up the inevitable blizzard of yellow foam.
Philips screwdriver: to remove the rear vision mirror and sun visors
Pliers: to remove the push pins holding it up.
Spare push pins: if you describe them to a Holden dealer, they will know what you mean. Given that the car is 20+ years old, there's a good chance you might break one.

The short term fix would be to paint a thumbtack or three grey, and "peg back" the bit that's sagging.

An upholsterer can do this job for you, but would cost about $150-$250, depending on who you ask. If you're good with craftwork, buy another roof lining, and go to Spotlight or some similar store. Buy the fabric, buy some thin foam rubber and some spray glue. A few here have done it this way, and saved a lot in the process.
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VN91SX
Fully Licenced


simp098

344 Posts

Male

Posted - 15 Jan 2011 :  11:54:43 AM  Show Profile Send VN91SX a Private Message
 
Sounds like a bearing of some sort if it is heat related i.e. when car is warmed up, the noise is present. A busted water pump bearing will make a nice whirring/whistle sound.
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VN91SX
Fully Licenced


simp098

344 Posts

Male

Posted - 15 Jan 2011 :  12:00:03 PM  Show Profile Send VN91SX a Private Message
 
As for the roof lining, I would safe myself the insanity and gladly pay someone else to do this awkward, messy, frustrating job. When my roof lining went, I paid someone nothing over $200 bucks and for that I got a brand new genuine roof lining, didn't have to clean up the huge mess that is made by all the sponge material that breaks up all over the interior when you remove them from the car. The orange sponge material is like dandruff, damn messy stuff that gets everywhere lol
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new2vn
P Plater



23 Posts

Male

Posted - 16 Jan 2011 :  10:50:30 PM  Show Profile Send new2vn a Private Message
 
Thanks for your input guys.
Most helpful.

Looks like I will be doing a quick spray glue job on the roof lining, it is only a $500 car, I don't want to spend too much right now.
I can always get an upholsterer to fix it later.

The whistling noise is coming from engine bay I think.

(Drove it today and had a thought, do VN brake pads have a little wear indicating needle in them that squeals when the brake pads are low?
I know Lancers have these little needle arrangements. Once you get Lancer pads down to 3mm they give a little warning squeak as you turn the steering wheel (or brake) to indicate that the pads need replacing.)

The noise will only happen after about 30 kms driving or more.
It only continues to make noise while I am moving.
It will stop before I can get out of the car and check it while it is idling. So I can't get an opportunity to hear it and isolate it with my head under the bonnet.

That should rule out bearings like alternator.
Water Pump and P/S pump are near new, under 20,000kms, so no problem there I think.

I have had quite a bit to do with steering and suspension work before, it does not appear to be wheel bearings, just not the right sound.

It definitely sounds like air sucking inward at high pitch.
Have checked visually, but with so many vacuum lines running everything it is hard to tell.

I will have to run a series of checks on vacuum lines and other possible intermittent faults.
I suppose it is possible that an alternator bearing could squeal after 30 kms, but it would also do this at idle - then I could get under the bonnet in time to really hear where it is coming from...
I really doubt it is a bearing, having heard so many die and replaced them myself.

There must be some vent to atmosphere, maybe a vacuum kickdown hose (if VNs have them?) or some other valve or purge device. I have the aircon on when this happens, maybe the compressor can make such a sound?

Do VNs have a PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve?

You can see where I am heading with this:

Fluid or air, sucking or blowing from a leak or valve, whilst moving and hot. No visible leaks or fluid loss at all.
Does not affect operation or performance, no lamps illuminate to indicate a change in condition.

The little orange light of death (ECU fault lamp) has come on, on 2 occasions for a second or two when I start the car hot. I turn it off and on again and it goes way.

Could an 02 sensor give me a lamp indication and possibly whistle if it has a leak?

Thanks for your input guys. I know it's a lot of questions to answer.
I have worked on a LOT of different cars, but just can't isolate this fault.

Cheers, Ben.
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Mechknight73
National Driver


robot-robot14

1001 Posts

Male

Posted - 16 Jan 2011 :  11:04:49 PM  Show Profile Send Mechknight73 a Private Message
 
VNs do have a version of the PCV valve, and it's up the back just like on the Holden reds. There are a variety of vacuum leads in the engine bay, but you'll have to go through them one by one to eliminate them. Thankfully vacuum line is pretty cheap by the metre.

VNs do have an O2 sensor, and any one of the sensors malfuctioning could bring up the dreaded ECU light. They don't mean that the car is going to stop right away, it just means you have a problem with one sensor. the O2 sensor can be seen from the engine bay. When it's stone cold, just check with a spanner to see if it's tight. If it wasn't, it might explain the whistle, but might nbot, I can't be certain. There's a "how to" section here, which will tell you how to pull up the error codes from the ECU. All you'll need is a screwdriver and a paperclip. The title is "error codes; what they mean and how to get them."
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new2vn
P Plater



23 Posts

Male

Posted - 17 Jan 2011 :  2:49:47 PM  Show Profile Send new2vn a Private Message
 
Thanks MechKnight,
I have had a look at the ECU error codes section on the site, it is a very helpful section. I decided to buy a Gregory's workshop manual, picked one up new for $42. Once I found an indication of an error code, I wanted to know how to (for example) test and/or replace a faulty MAP sensor, once the fault was indicated by the ECU. So the manual is invaluable. I would recommend that all new VN owners buy one, worth every penny. Just changing the heater tap, I found out from the manual about the complex bleeding procedure for the cooling system, I would never have guessed it was so involved - not like an old 202!

Am I on the right page of the forums?
Should I take my technical questions elsewhere?

Sorry if I am in the wrong place, I am new to the site and found the title sections a little ambiguous when it came to where exactly to talk about repairs.

Cheers, Ben.
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Mechknight73
National Driver


robot-robot14

1001 Posts

Male

Posted - 17 Jan 2011 :  5:56:22 PM  Show Profile Send Mechknight73 a Private Message
 
It's ok, if it were a problem, David would have mentioned it to you. The VN-S Commodores are a little like the HQ-WB Kingswoods, as a lot of the parts are a straight swap. The only time it looks complex is when electronics get in the way, and your VN will tell you what the problem is if you understand their language.

I personally want to "update" a one tonner by fitting the entire driveline from a VP V6. It's a straight bolt in, I can buy the harness off the shelf, and there's still plenty of room to move in the engine bay. I just have to work out the specifices of either fitting the ends and centre from a VN diff to a Salisbury, or changing the linkages on a VN diff (Surprisingly similar. The VN wheeltrack is 60mm narrower than an HZ Kingswood, but the reduction is done with different rims. Obviously the coil spring rear differs from an HZ's but will have them side by side one day)
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new2vn
P Plater



23 Posts

Male

Posted - 20 Jan 2011 :  11:49:14 PM  Show Profile Send new2vn a Private Message
 
Had a look - my VN is a series II from late 1991, it has a PCV valve at the front near the thermostat housing. It seems OK. One of the revisions for this engine in 1991 is a shifted PCV valve.

As far as whistling sound goes, I am leaning towards a fuel vapour line or purge line. This is going to sound odd I know, but the whistling fault seems to be related to how much fuel is left in the tank, or maybe how much vacuum (negative air pressure) is in the tank or fuel system somewhere.
If I use 20 litres (or more) of fuel in one go, it starts to whistle.
I take the fuel cap off and it sucks in a huge gulp of air, then no whistling. Strange...

Whatever it is, it can't be solved by talking about it on the Internet, it is one of those faults you just have to be there to identify... I will find it eventually.
Thanks for the help anyway.

From a glance at the workshop manual, it seems that very little is interchangeable between 1988-1991 commodores. There were so many revisions between models, but I have seen this many times before with Nissan and other cars.

If I had a dollar for every part that was listed as "Non-interchangeable" only to go on and successfully fit and use the said part for many years... The only way to know for sure is to physically attempt bolting a part in. You just never know until you try.


A HZ is a straight bolt in for a V6 eh? Hmmm, if this is true that really gets me thinking. I gave up my beloved Kingswoods largely because of the 202 + traumatic combo (had a painful 3 on the tree on LPG too...)
Power vs fuel economy was bad. At $1.70 per litre back when I had a tired 202 Auto HZ, it was ridiculous to run fuel cost-wise.
I got tired of adjusting points and tuning/rebuilding carbs every 5 minutes too.
Police looked for rust and they found it. Parts were getting harder to come by as well.

It would be great if it was a straight bolt in, but it looks like you need a kit to do a V6 - HQ-HZ conversion.
I have seen them around for sale. Here is a link to a guy in N.S.W that sells the complete kit, Pat Gardner Conversions: http://www.v6conversions.com.au/HQ-HJ-HX-HZ-WB.htm

The plastic nature of the VN is a bit much to take after owning solid chrome bumper only cars for so long.

I would go back to a rust free HZ or WB Ute or Statesman in a heartbeat if I could just get a newer V6 Auto drive train in there. Electronics are not a problem, I might not like newer cars as much, but I am a qualified electronics technician, the VN electrics do not scare me off, they are actually relatively simple and easy to repair compared to the satellite equipment I am used to working on.
Buying a new wiring loom and retrofitting sounds OK, but there are always issues. I have done so many conversions on Nissans, I would rather stay stock and avoid the compatibility issues these days.

Narrower wheel track is good. A few people I know have gone to the trouble of shortening 9" diffs for Toranas and grafting VH-VK Commodore diffs into HZs just to get the extra space for huge rubber.
You can get some serious rubber under there with an extra 60 mm, or offset it with rims if you don't want the extra space.

A mate of mine has a HQ Monaro 350 - T400. He swears that he has a VX Commodore centre bolted straight into the stock HQ (presumably 10 bolt) housing. I am unsure what if any tailshaft or axle mods he needed.
I have limited experience with gearbox-diff match ups on Holdens, so I may be wrong. I reckon there must be a stock tailshaft out there somewhere that comes out of a turbo trans and bolts up to a VX centre.

Good luck with the conversion!
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VNSVLE
Forum Moderator


smiley-blunder

1316 Posts

Male

Posted - 21 Jan 2011 :  02:24:39 AM  Show Profile Send VNSVLE a Private Message
 
Most everything with the VN/VP/VR/VS is interchangeable. VN series 1 had a different intake manifold and a different crank between auto and manual, The electronic controlled transmissions in the VR was it's major mechanical change (you can fit it in the earlier models with a little bit of patients) and the VS was the introduction of the ecotec which can also be fitted with a little time and patients.
As for getting a vacuum in the fuel tank it sounds as though your breather tubes are blocked. To replace these I believe you have to drop the tank (not 100% on that though). They run from the tank up the filler and vent around the filler cap. Most of the time these perish and people get fuel leaking from that region but I have seen them blocked also.
 

What's the difference between understeer and oversteer?
Understeer is when the driver is scared.
Oversteer is when the passenger is scared.
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VN91SX
Fully Licenced


simp098

344 Posts

Male

Posted - 21 Jan 2011 :  1:56:04 PM  Show Profile Send VN91SX a Private Message
 
Negative on having to drop the tank to replace breather lines. Remove drivers side rear wheel and on the rear of the arch is a few screws that when removed will allow a small panel to be removed and you will have access to them. My fuel breather lines perished on my old VN. Replace them with fuel line as it will last longer.
Hope your travelling well VNSVLE :)
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VNSVLE
Forum Moderator


smiley-blunder

1316 Posts

Male

Posted - 21 Jan 2011 :  3:39:59 PM  Show Profile Send VNSVLE a Private Message
 
Yeah pretty good thanks buddy!! How about yourself?? How is life without the VN?? Unfortunately I have not touched either of mine for a couple of years now
 

What's the difference between understeer and oversteer?
Understeer is when the driver is scared.
Oversteer is when the passenger is scared.
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VN91SX
Fully Licenced


simp098

344 Posts

Male

Posted - 21 Jan 2011 :  5:09:05 PM  Show Profile Send VN91SX a Private Message
 
quote:
Originally posted by VNSVLE

Yeah pretty good thanks buddy!! How about yourself?? How is life without the VN?? Unfortunately I have not touched either of mine for a couple of years now


Pretty good thanks buddy! I do miss the old VN with all the shiny engine bits and pieces and hectic exhaust note, but this new toy rocks my world. All I can say is WOW! Very very quick and made extra power over stock so easily and without hitting the wallet as hard as the VN did. Great on the fuel too. The old VN used to be crazy on fuel
Has it been that long for you buddy? It's only been 6 months for me, but there isn't a day that goes by where I don't wonder where mine ended up
I still enjoy coming on here and seeing that there is still plenty of enthusiasm for the old VN

Edited by - VN91SX on 21 Jan 2011 5:10:31 PM
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voodoo92
Fully Licenced


music-guitar

150 Posts

Male

Posted - 21 Jan 2011 :  7:47:37 PM  Show Profile Send voodoo92 a Private Message
 
I replaced all my fuel tank lines a just over a month ago or so and when i did i got told that i had to do a tank drop... If you need to get to the 2 small hoses and the big 3/8s hose at the very top of the tank im possative you will need to but if its just the few small ones around the filler pipe itself and not going to the top of the tank then you should be fine!
 

Bassist by day, VN nut by night
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