1974 Supercharged LJ SL Holden Torana 4 door
Luke Hem | Repco Support Office
The car is a 1974 LJ SL Holden Torana 4 doorHow long have you owned your Torana?
The car was actually bought for my Mum over 7 years ago as a rolling shell with most of the car parts. The car essentially had nothing bolted on besides the panels. The engine and transmission were sitting in place but weren’t connected to the diff, nor was there any wiring so that had to be all done from scratch.
The engine is still a Holden 202 however it's no longer the original red motor that GM Holden sold the car with. Not knowing the condition of the the original engine, we decided to purchase a later blue motor block and black head which is a better block to start with and the head has larger valves for better flow from factory. We rebuilt the block and heads with new pistons, new XU1 valves and springs, steel head gasket and an XU1 cam to give it some more oomph and then finally connected it to a T5 5 speed transmission from a later commodore and converted to a cable operated clutch.
For the first 6 or so years of having the car we kept it as genuine as we could, slowly adding more genuine parts including the spoiler and the 15 inch jelly bean wheels. The Suspension has been refreshed with King Springs all round, front and rear Nolathane bush kits, added an alloy radiator from a v8 Torana accompanied by some OEX thermo fans, Gates radiator hoses and Dayco thermostat to keep it all cool and a little more reliable. The car has an original Corse spline LSD with the smallest axles you have ever seen, however it does help when trying to push the power to the road.
One weekend I was feeling bored and wanted to liven the car up a little bit, so my dad and I purchased an SC14 supercharger kit from Toyota and set off to make some boost! We used existing accessory mounting points on the block to position the supercharger and a locator hole at the button of the block to support the added weight. We then decided to keep the kit as much to the period as possible so modified the existing 2 port Carburettor to support a blow through system with pressure references for the mechanical Goss fuel pump sucking through a pod filter we were able to cheaply and reliably install the system. With a top hat modified from an old LPG gas system and blow off valve to stop surging after boosting then some minor tweaks to fuel ratios via an Air/Fuel Ratio Gauge we were able to get a reliable system running on 6-8 pounds of boost.
We installed a Repco timing kit, Ryco oil filter and fuel filter, NGK spark plugs and serviced all the fluids to make sure we had timing, lubrication, fuel and air sorted to make the power reliably.
I work on all my cars at home, I’m lucky enough to live on some acreage in Melbourne’s south east with some big sheds. To make things easier we also invested in a hoist and that has been one of the best upgrades we have done.How does the car drive?
Since having the supercharger kit you cannot help but have a smile on your face whenever you plant your foot, the whine of the supercharger would make anyone smile. The 6-8 pounds of boost really does liven the car up and if it's given the chance on the track it will spin the wheels all the way to third. In the end she is still an 1974 Torana and is no track weapon but every time I drive it I'm ecstatic.What oils do you use?
I myself am a Penrite lubricants fan, all our cars run Penrite and I wouldn’t use anything else. The Torana uses Penrite HPR30 20W-60 engine oil and all the other fluids in including gear box oil, LSD diff fluid, coolant and brake fluid are all used to keep this thing running the best it's ever been.
I have a couple of cars. My main car is a 2008 Subaru Liberty H6 Spec B wagon and has to be one of the best cars that I’ve owned. I’ve recently picked up a 1999 Subaru WRX Gf8 project which I'm currently building up as a track car but its seen better days and needs a lot of attention. Alongside the Torana my brother and I are doing a full ground up restoration on a 1976 Holden HJ Premier which I’m hoping to have done by the end of the year.