Leroy the EK Ute

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thebrotherj
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Leroy the EK Ute

Post by thebrotherj » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:35 pm

After sending my white EK Special sedan (The HOF) to its new home on Christmas Eve-eve, I headed up the Blue Mountains with my brother on New Year's Eve to collect Leroy, the blue EK Standard Utility:

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I'm not one to name cars myself, but this is the second EK in a row to arrive in my custody already named, with a back story. Leroy was owned for 35+ years by a well loved and prolific artist by the name of Bill Paslow. Bill's partner Jodie and I work a 9 to 5 gig together and it was through conversations with her about my own Holdens that Leroy entered the picture. I never got to know Bill in person too well, even though he worked across campus from Jodie and I for many years. But we bonded via email over our respective EK's when he was bored out of his mind in hospital, recovering from chemotherapy in 2015. Sadly, Bill succumbed to cancer related illness later that year.

A year on, Jodie asked me to help her rescue the Ute that had been sitting for 3 years under a cover, in the carport.

So here's what I know:
Leroy was originally Pittwater Green, with Floral Green & Madison Grey trim.

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I won't lie, I do wish it was still that colour scheme!

Bill, being a restless artist, has repainted the car no less than 5 times, to varying standards of finish. I see evidence of a darker Metallic Blue, Matte Black (apparently with a cow print roof...) a lighter blue very close to Wedgewood (the interior is still this colour and not too badly applied) and the current Blue, which is pretty thin. The door trims have been professionally re-done to a non factory pattern in a lurid blue. They're gonna go. The dash cluster has been updated to a chrome item as have the tail lights, I think the original green items are in the tray along with a few dozen bush hardened spiders.

The Grey started and ran ok with the aid of my patented squeeze bottle throttle body fuel injection (fuel pump is all chalked up & dry) and it seems to have a bit of compression.
The clutch is good, hydraulics are working well. Linkages and shift feels great.
Brake hydraulics have failed at at least 2 wheels and probably the master as well
The diff pinion seal died as soon as the car moved and is now pouring out oil.
The floorpan and subframe appear to have been saved externally by years of healthy rear main and yoke seal leaks.
The steering & king pins all seem pretty darn good
The body is pretty sound, I'm currently elbow deep repairing rusty plenum drains and LH floor which is the worst of it.

The plan is to tidy the car up as-is, get it running and registered. Me being a bit of a perfectionist, this could take a while but I'll try to focus...

Being as I have a full VP Commodore disc brake system and diff, I am considering just swapping that all straight in, rather than spending $ re-commissioning the stock drums. My engineer will approve that without the brake test malarky and this upgrade will be helpful down the track when I tire of the non-synchro 3 speed and Grey. I still have a 327 Chev up my sleeve, but truthfully I think I'd be happy with a good red motor 6.

Anyway, there it is. The interior is stripped, I'm re-padding and repairing the broken springs on the driver's side of the bench seat tonight, I'll update as things slowly progress.

EK JAY
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Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by EK JAY » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:28 pm

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: 8)
Keep those pics coming looks good :D
EK JAY SINCE 1990

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Blacky
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Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by Blacky » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:51 pm

nice one , good to see another one nearly back on the road :thumbsup:
There are two golden rules for success -
1) Never tell everything you know


Foundation member #61 of FB/EK Holden club of W.A.
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Errol62
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Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by Errol62 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:16 pm

Very nice. Maybe if you rub hard enough you'll find the original green. I love the green hues of the day. Some great accessories, mirrors, light guards and wind deflector. Love those reverse stockies on the rear.


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In the Shed
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Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by In the Shed » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:43 pm

Cool ute. Interior looks tidy. I like the touch of blue paint on the air cleaner, oil cap and one horn ..... trendy! I'm not sure I'd want to be seen driving a ute with a cow print on the roof though :shock: :shock:
A day in the shed beats a day at work!

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thebrotherj
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Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by thebrotherj » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:01 am

Errol62 wrote:Very nice. Maybe if you rub hard enough you'll find the original green. I love the green hues of the day. Some great accessories, mirrors, light guards and wind deflector. Love those reverse stockies on the rear.


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yeah, seeing the green on the bulkhead up under the dash really hit home what a great colour Pittwater Green is. I feel like it's not that common either? Google image search coughed up a lovely looking panel van in that colour and now I can't stop thinking about it. Yeah Bill sure loved dressing it up. Those deep steelies look ace with the chrome dress rims removed, but they foul the guards real bad...

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thebrotherj
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Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by thebrotherj » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:09 am

In the Shed wrote:Cool ute. Interior looks tidy. I like the touch of blue paint on the air cleaner, oil cap and one horn ..... trendy! I'm not sure I'd want to be seen driving a ute with a cow print on the roof though :shock: :shock:

haha! me neither! :mehh:

Interior is indeed neat and its getting neater, got a bunch of parts stashed to return it to a more factory look inside. I also nabbed some original blue door trims today from a Special sedan, so it'll have fancy-spec armrests soon. And I'm stoked that Bill had the hoodlining replaced professionally and screens resealed. This one might even be water tight by the time I'm done!

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thebrotherj
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Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by thebrotherj » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:48 am

whoops, ran out of metal trim clips, so I finished the job with a bunch of large cable ties to make sure the broken seat springs under the driver don't come adrift again. I lashed them to some extra springs I scavenged from an earlier project, just to be sure. I also replaced the decimated bolstering with a thick woollen blanket chopped into 4 layers. Voila! It's firmer and even more comfortable than the passenger side now, very pleased.

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I also stripped, cleaned and freed the jammed seat runners and set the whole thing up again so the adjuster works a treat again now. Gonna re-paint the metal side trim blue to match the interior then go hunting for a seat cover - the filth on the vinyl isn't cleaning up at all :(

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parisian62
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Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by parisian62 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:00 am

What have you tried on the vinyl to shift the dirt?
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FJWALLY
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Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by FJWALLY » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:07 am

Great looking ute mate - it will scrub up nice - I do like the blue of the dash - would be a good choice to go back to that if you can't go the full restore to orrig.
Have you tried "Shift It" for the seat - Was recommended to me by one of the legends here and it is amazing on interior - it changed my roof liner from something that was ready for the scrap heap to something very close to new - super impressed.

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thebrotherj
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Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by thebrotherj » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:12 am

parisian62 wrote:What have you tried on the vinyl to shift the dirt?
I started with some gentler upholstery cleaner called 'RiteOff' left over from the workshop I worked at a million years ago then hit it with Prepsol/Wax & Grease remover, but it didn't budge. Any suggestions would be welcomed!

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thebrotherj
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Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by thebrotherj » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:15 am

FJWALLY wrote:Great looking ute mate - it will scrub up nice - I do like the blue of the dash - would be a good choice to go back to that if you can't go the full restore to orrig.
Have you tried "Shift It" for the seat - Was recommended to me by one of the legends here and it is amazing on interior - it changed my roof liner from something that was ready for the scrap heap to something very close to new - super impressed.
Yeah I love that lighter blue too! I am considering rubbing the current blue back to the lighter blue...

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll give it a go for sure.

FJWALLY
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Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by FJWALLY » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:24 am

Sean boat guys use Maquires Super degreaser with a lot of success.

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Harv
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Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by Harv » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:21 am

The Kenco Shift-It is a good cleaner. You can buy it in squirty bottles from Autobarn. I tried soap/elbow grease, then Prepsol, then the Chux Magic Erasers on the EK trim, with little success. The Shift-It worked a charm on the dark crud embedded into the patterned vinyl. It is caustic though, so needs to be well-rinsed once you are done. I figure the Shift-It probably strips a bit of the vinyl's oiliness, so gave my trims a good dose of Armourall once I was done.

I run VP discs on my EK wagon. Other than shortening the diff, it was a fairly easy install using the CRS bolt-up kit. I ended up running an XA/B/C Falcon master and You-and-I booster to clear the bonnet hinges - don't know if the VP mastervac will clear.

The 327 is a good idea, though it does come with some downsides. The 327 in my wagon seems to leave black tracks up the driveway :mrgreen:

Cheers,
Harv
Building an EK wagon (327 chev, TH350, Commodore diff/wheels/brakes, NSW rego), driving an original FB sedan, rebuilding an EK ute for Number 1 Daughter.

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thebrotherj
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Re: Leroy the EK Ute

Post by thebrotherj » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:05 am

Harv wrote:The Kenco Shift-It is a good cleaner. You can buy it in squirty bottles from Autobarn. I tried soap/elbow grease, then Prepsol, then the Chux Magic Erasers on the EK trim, with little success. The Shift-It worked a charm on the dark crud embedded into the patterned vinyl. It is caustic though, so needs to be well-rinsed once you are done. I figure the Shift-It probably strips a bit of the vinyl's oiliness, so gave my trims a good dose of Armourall once I was done.

I run VP discs on my EK wagon. Other than shortening the diff, it was a fairly easy install using the CRS bolt-up kit. I ended up running an XA/B/C Falcon master and You-and-I booster to clear the bonnet hinges - don't know if the VP mastervac will clear.

The 327 is a good idea, though it does come with some downsides. The 327 in my wagon seems to leave black tracks up the driveway :mrgreen:

Cheers,
Harv
Yeah Harv, those black snakes used to follow my old car everywhere I went, no matter how hard I tried to outrun them! I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I also have a theory those snakes are Police informants too. Just between you and me :shh:

Thanks for the booster tips - I have the horrid plastic unit from the VS and I am sure it won't clear. I just realised I typed VP up there, the car I wrecked was in fact a VS Wagon. Which was handy cos being a bench seat car, it also provided the handbrake setup with the lever beside the driver's seat... which I might install also.

Can you tell me - what CRS kit are you referring too? I think I'd head down the path of HR front end then ask CRS or someone else to supply the correct stub axle to allow me to run the VS discs. Thanks for the info.

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