1992 VP Holden Commodore Executive Wagon
3.8litre, 6 cylinder, fuel injection, petrol & gas, wagon, 4 speed auto.
Purchased new from R&B Smith Holden, Geelong.
Options fitted :
- LPG, Cruise control, Power antenna, Tacho, Aircon, 15" wheels with 205/65 tyres,
heavy duty Holden towbar with auto transmission cooler kit
Engine Specs : 125Kw @ xxxRPM, 300Nm @ xxxRPM
Car was dealer fitted with dual fuel option. A 60 litre gas tank was installed under
the car, with the spare wheel being mounted inside the cargo area. Half of the fuel tank
was cut away to provide room for the gas cylinder. A dash mounted switch allowed selection
of gas or petrol. The fuel gauge in the dash was modified so it could read the amount of
fuel remaining in the selected tank. There was marginally more power available when
running the car on petrol. After loading the car heavily with stock and seeing the rear
end sag terribly, had taller and stiffer springs installed.
Problems encountered :
- Car would intermittently backfire while on gas when power was applied sharply from idle
or sometimes at startup. The backfire from the motor would force a large volume of air
very sharply back into the aircleaner box from the plenum chamber, and since the air
cleaner has a very small intake would cause the aircleaner box to have its sides blow out!
This happened several times over the life of the car. Nearly had a nasty moment when I was
doing a right turn on the Melbourne road to cross the Geelong bound lane and go to KFC. I
waited for a gap in the traffic and floored it, only to have the car start to take off and
then go BANG and stall with the nose out in the oncoming traffic lane. Nearly got hit when
couldn't restart the engine.
- Faulty wiring in the gas conversion would caused the car to be inoperable on gas on
regular occasions. R&B Smith were very helpful in trying to rectify the cause of the
fault (even replacing the gas computer and most of the wiring) but the problem was never
- Had a plastic wheel cover stolen once while car was parked in one of the multilevel
Melbourne carpark and was forced to pay something like $50 for the replacement.
- On a holiday trip in Brisbane, my girlfriend and I were driving to the airport when we
heard a loud rattling noise for a few second followed by a very loud bang from the back of
the car. We both looked into the rear of the wagon and started sniffing for gas, but
couldn't smell anything and the car was still driving OK so we continued on. Over the next
few minutes we heard a whining noise that got louder and by the time we pulled into the
airport about 10 mins or so later we were quite concerned. I jumped out and walked around
to the back of the car and found the back of the wagon covered in oil. I looked underneath
to see oil dripping out of the diff. We had a plane to catch so had to leave the car
sitting in the airport carpark for about a week. Before returning to Brisbane I called
R&B Smith Holden (in Geelong) and described what had occurred to the service manager
and he said he had seen similar problems before. He advised us to take it to a Holden
dealer in Brisbane to have repairs made under warranty. We got towed out of the carpark by
the RACQ (and still had to pay the carpark guy for a weeks parking!). The Holden dealer in
Brisbane replaced the entire diff within a few days. Apparently a bolt had come loose
inside the diff, bouncing around inside (making the loud rattling) and then had finally
got caught in between some of the gear teeth and then being shot out right through the
metal at the rear of the diff (the bang). They showed my the hole which looked like folded
back banana peel where the bold had punched a hole right through the metal! Heres a
picture taken from the rear of the car while it was up on jacks. It shows the back of the
diff and you can see the hole punched out by the bolt!
- Gear selector initially had problems with the détente function. The t-bar would not
lock and occasionally would let the transmission slip out of drive while going over a
- Used up all the petrol once, and wouldn't you know it, tried to flick across to gas and
due to that intermittent fault, it wouldn't start. Had to ring my mum to come and get
- Squeely and uneven wearing brakes that had to be machined many times
- Got a rather large ding over the rear wheel arch after getting hit by a car in the
Pipeline carpark - the driver of the other car was - my sister!. Can't be happy with that.
Happy memories :
- The car was very fuel efficient, particularly cheap running on gas.
- Lots of room - wagon had plenty of space to store all my gear.
- Comfortable to drive over long distances (in particular with the cruise control which I
would never be without again)
- Lots of grunt - even when fully laden with gear and a trailer hooked up, acceleration
was more than satisfactory.
- Push button remote-control central locking - what a legendary idea
Car was traded for VR Sedan
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