Suzuki AH 50

1984 WB Holden Ute – Sold! Replaced with 1995 Suzuki Sierra

Post by waveman1500 on Sept 3, 2011 15:08:52 GMT

Bought on eBay, sight unseen! I picked it up today, here it is. ;D

It’s a WB Holden ute with a HZ front end on it. It has a Holden 202ci 6 cylinder ‘blue motor’, Aussie four-speed manual on the floor and an LSD rear axle. As soon as I got it on the road for the first drive, you couldn’t wipe the smile from my face!

Post by doninphi on Sept 3, 2011 21:49:25 GMT

Post by yoeddynz on Sept 4, 2011 11:02:17 GMT

Post by waveman1500 on Sept 4, 2011 11:34:33 GMT

My first impressions of the car so far are that it’s an absolute hoot to drive! The 3 exhaust gives it a big, grunty sound and at low revs the engine has plenty of torque to match, but at higher rpm it falls completely flat and sounds like it is valve bouncing at about 5000rpm or even less. It is considerably quicker than I thought it would be though. The best thing about driving it is the ability of the engine to pull pretty much any gear from nearly idle speed.

Rolling along in top gear at about 50 or 60km/h you can barely hear the engine, but if you stomp on the accelerator it just pulls away with a roar! So much more torque than the four cylinder cars which I’m used to driving. The clutch is heavy and long, whilst the gearchange is very long and a bit sloppy.

The brakes are actually surprisingly good and it’s got discs on the front with a power booster, so the pedal effort isn’t very high. The steering is definitely heavy at parking speeds, although this is not unexpected, since a heavy car with about a 13 steering wheel and no power steer on 215-section tyres will tend to have heavy steering! Luckily I’m a fairly large young male so it’s not a problem for me, but I definitely can’t imagine my grandma parallel parking in this beast!

Having said that though, my aunt used to drive a HZ Kingswood sedan with no power steer and three on the tree right up until a couple of years ago though and it never bothered her. She would’ve had to park in some tight multi-storey car parks as well, since she’s a nurse at a major hospital. Just goes to show that modern motorists are too soft!

They’ve all been spoilt with finger-light controls and automatic everything.

I outlaid quite a bit of money on this car, so it’s nice to see that the list of things which need fixing is shorter than the one for my Bug, and much shorter than the list of things which are already right about the car!

Things to fix:

Speedo doesn’t work. This is a bit of a major one because the police are pretty hot on the speed cameras around here! It seems pretty certain that the fault is with the speedo drive gear in the transmission as you can hear it buzzing away in there. The previous owner supplied a replacement one with the car, so that should be a free fix as soon as I can get around to dropping the gearbox out.

It will be a good thing to drop the gearbox anyway, as the clutch throwout bearing makes a nasty scraping sound whenever you use the clutch.

The temperature gauge also doesn’t work, although the previous owner assured me that it did. I’m not particularly worried about this because the car has a massive and nearly-new radiator and doesn’t seem to get hot.

The car was terrible at cold starts! There is no manual choke on the dash and when I tried to start the car this morning it refused to do more than cough once. I believe that I have now fixed this by wiring up ignition-live power to the electric choke on the carb, which was not connected.

I shall very quickly discover tomorrow morning whether this has worked or not!

The PCV/vacuum hose system on the engine all looks a bit on the leaky side to me and I suspect that some of these vacuum leaks may be causing trouble with the car’s running, although it does run pretty well anyway.

That’s pretty much all that I’m worried about, which is a refreshingly short list for a car which I’ve just bought!

At the moment I’m trying to decide my plans for the car’s future. I didn’t really have a clear purpose in mind when I bought this, so I still haven’t decided whether it’s a daily driver or a toy. I already have one of each, so one car has to go! If the ute ends up replacing my Superbug as a toy, then I will probably have to hot it up a bit and add some more power to make it sillier. However, if I sold off my daily driver Nissan, then this could possibly make a suitable replacement.

The fuel economy will be quite a bit worse, although I’m not sure by how much until I’ve driven it a bit. Surprisingly, despite being a 27 year old commercial vehicle it’s actually got a more comfortable ride than my family-car Nissan, which I suspect is largely due to softer suspension and a longer wheelbase.

In terms of the immediate future, I’m currently contemplating removing the roll bar from the tray. Once I’ve done that, the tonneau cover will be able to fasten down flat. I can then put two of the spotlights on the front bull bar, which has mounting holes already drilled.

However, I do actually have a couple of spare driving lights in the shed to put on there if the roll bar ends up staying! What does everyone think? Roll bar or no?

If it does go, the side skirts will probably be taken off at the same time.

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