New (to us) car - VT Commodore

Drove all the way to Warrnambool and back today, because our newly-purchased VT Commodore was done with it’s roadworthy and we were able to finalize the deal. Almost threw the Navman out the window on the way down, because it took us the most fucked up route ever - including a couple of KM down dirt tracks through the Grampians National park!

About 30 minutes out, Duncan ended up getting car sick, which was less than pleasant. Luckily we had a heap of extra clothes in the boot that were too small for him, which we were going to donate at some point. Procrastination pays off!

Finally got there, did all the paperwork, handed over the last of the cash, and drove home. Duncan decided he wanted to ride in the new car with me, so I swapped his car seat over, leaving Sabriena with nought but Spotify to keep her company in the Cruze.

Commodore VT The VT is exceptionally nice for it’s age, I’m really quite happy with it. Averaged about 23MPG on 98 octane on the trip home, which I believe we can improve on as the detuning process Holden used for the LS1 to drop it back to 220kW is apparently exceptionally rich. Performing an aftermarket tune is on my todo list, but I have to decide whether I want to do any other mods first, as almost all of them would benefit from the tune being done last.

I’m also not sure about the differential. Crawling under it and taking a photo shows a single-spinner (boo!) diff with a 3.08 (or possibly 3.07) to 1 ratio, but the motor sits far too high at 100KM/h for that to be the correct ratio. I don’t even think it’s a case of the TCC not locking up, because I think the difference is too high, and it’s almost certainly not the transmission slipping, because the transmission acts exceptionally well in every other respect. I’d rather avoid taking the cover off and counting teeth if I can, because the most likely culprit is the simplest: I’ve probably just cocked up the math.

Minor annoyances that need fixing:

  • The stereo in it doesn’t support Bluetooth. I will very likely simply swap the head unit out of the van for the JVC unit that it came with, and sell the van with that head unit (which, with the exception of missing BT, is a much nicer unit), since Sabriena has said in no uncertain terms that buying a head unit that supports Android Auto is out of the question.

  • The FM antenna is almost useless, and cosmetically broken. I had to be inside Horsham itself before the Horsham FM stations would come through - ABC News was about the only station that worked on the drive home. I may, after getting BT working, simply push the antenna down and forget about it for now.

  • The power steering gets heavy every now and then at low revs and hard locks. This may be as simple as low fluid, I’ll have to investigate.

  • The second key has no power in the keyfob. I’ve found a guide to replacing the batteries in a VT keyfob, which looks substantially more involved than the Sprinter or the Cruze, but not impossible.

  • The gas struts in the tailgate aren’t 100%. Since it’s about $70 for a new set of Monroe struts (and even less if you wanted to go a cheaper brand), I’ve already ordered them because $70 is a small price to pay to avoid even getting hit in the head once.

Warrnambool, VIC, Australia fwaggle



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Warrnambool, VIC, Australia

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