HomeForumsTechnical – GeneralSuspensionLooking at Buying VN – VS Commodore, do I want IRS or live axle?

This topic contains 21 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of VRSenator065 VRSenator065 1 year, 2 months ago.

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  • #28553
    Profile photo of holdencrazy
    holdencrazy
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    Member since: May 6, 2019
    Posts: 7

    Hi,

    I’ve been thinking about getting a VN – VS as a project car lately and just trying to decide if I want IRS or should I stick with the live axle?

    From what I know VN’s didn’t have it available and it was an option with the VP onwards and VR – VS the high end models had it standard.

    Have heard the IRS in the second generation commodores isn’t very good.  What are the issues with it, can they be fixed?

    Also is there much difference weight difference between the live axle and IRS models?

    Thanks

    #28554
    Profile photo of Immortality
    Immortality
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    Member since: August 31, 2015
    Posts: 532

    I guess it depends on what you want to do with it.  If it’s purely a street car than IRS is better, if you want to take it down the strip than live axle wins.

    The IRS isn’t to bad, it does have some inherent design flaws with the worst been the change in toe/camber as it moves through it’s range of motion.  This was never totally resolved but majorly reduced by the time of the VY/VZ which had the mounting points for the swing arms altered and had the extra toe links (VX s2 onward).

    This link has some good info http://www.whiteline.com.au/articles/WL_White_paper_VT_toe_link.pdf

    I do believe the IRS models are heavier but then they were also the luxury models with most of the options so they were heavier all round really.  The bigger difference is probably in what is known as unsprung weight and this makes a big difference to how suspension works and how a car handles.

    I’ve had both IRS and live axle VS models (Senator and Berlina), the Senator with IRS although heavier was definitely more settled than the live axle Berlina on the twisty stuff but were both totally different to my VN exec which was a featherweight in comparison.

     

     

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Profile photo of Immortality Immortality.
    #28556
    Profile photo of cava454
    cava454
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    Member since: February 20, 2015
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    ^ pretty much what he said.

    Each had pros vs cons. I wouldn’t be picking and choosing a car in that era purely on the rear end. Just go with the car that suits your needs/tickles your fancy the best.

    #28558
    Profile photo of VRSenator065
    VRSenator065
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    • Adelaide SA
    • VR Senator LSx454 1960 Kombi (project) 1921 Nash Hot Rod (future project)

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    Personally if its a project car, I am guessing you will end up with a bit of power and maybe want to race/skid it I would go live.  But as Cav has said I wouldn’t necessarily choose the car based on it but if both were available I would go live.  As Immortality has said the IRS on second gens if pretty ordinary.  In fact, let’s be honest its pretty shit.  One of the fundamental requirements of any suspension system is to limit changes in camber/toe etc on suspension movement and its a huge fail at that.  People have worked how to get an IRS car to hook up, but it’s way harder than live.  I also think there are many more options diff wise if you go live, easier to run exhaust, and even with mild power increases the IRS cradle is prone to cracking, so that needs to be addressed.  You need to sell a kidney to afford decent driveshafts capable of transmitting big power.  Just my 2c worth.

    #28561
    Profile photo of holdencrazy
    holdencrazy
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    Member since: May 6, 2019
    Posts: 7

    Thanks for the reply everyone, I think I got the answer that I was wanting to hear.  Live axle it is :)

    I think this choice is going to limit me to a VN or VP only as I don’t think I really want ABS brakes either unless someone can convince me otherwise?

    #28563
    Profile photo of cava454
    cava454
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    Member since: February 20, 2015
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    The pinnicle of automotive excellence. Aka VR series 1 is like axle. With no abs or airbags.

    Basically a purpose built race car from holden.  :nice:

    #28564
    Profile photo of holdencrazy
    holdencrazy
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    Member since: May 6, 2019
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    did any of the series 1 range have abs or airbags as an option?

    I don’t want air bags either, just added weight that slows you down :)

    Just trying to decide if I want Calais spec, but it’s probably not a big deal to just retrofit to a lower spec executive.

    #28565
    Profile photo of VRSenator065
    VRSenator065
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    • Adelaide SA
    • VR Senator LSx454 1960 Kombi (project) 1921 Nash Hot Rod (future project)

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    Actually one of the guys that work for me has a genuine VR V8 5 speed manual exec, and I think it’s live.  It’s done a bazillion k’s, rough but honest, and would be a great base for a build.  If I didn’t have so many bloody cars I would buy it off him.   And before you ask its in Adelaide, and I am not sure its for sale but I can ask him for you if you like and what sort $$?

    #28567
    Profile photo of holdencrazy
    holdencrazy
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    Member since: May 6, 2019
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    Seems as though the high spec versions would have the irs/abs/airbag in the series one as well so if I went for th VR i’ll probably just go for an executive and then fit the luxurys that I want.  It will mainly be the electric windows and maybe some of the interior trim, seats would end up getting something from a late model.

    I don’t think I even want aircon.

    Will end up being a 5lt probably will start with a V6 and do the conversion, 5 speed or 6 speed if I can pick one up for a reasonable price.

    VRSenator: I’m in Melbourne, so may not be worth it, would probably be worth a bit $$$ wise as it is a V8, but then you said it is rough so might end up being cheap :)  Doesn’t hurt to ask I guess.

    I wasn’t set on the VR/VS at first, I think the VN looks a bit tougher, but with a body kit and some wheels they can end up looking quite good and should end up being quite light without the added technology.  They do seem to be easier to get hold of then the VN/VP and are also quite a bit cheaper.

    #28568
    Profile photo of VRSenator065
    VRSenator065
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    • VR Senator LSx454 1960 Kombi (project) 1921 Nash Hot Rod (future project)

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    All good mate, if you don’t buy it, it means the longer it goes the better chance I have of picking it up one day ha ha.    It’s all personal preference really, I think the VN/P SS look fantastic from the outside, not a big fan of their interiors.  But imo the VR/S HSV’s were the most beautiful of them all.   Have you seen the VP SS Blake from the old Street Commodores was building, pretty sure it’s maybe on the Performance Forum now, although I haven’t been on there for ages.  Had a Lambo interior…

    #28570
    Profile photo of holdencrazy
    holdencrazy
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    Yeah not a fan of the VN/P interior either, looks a bit dated.  I’d probably do a VR/VS sedan or statesman dash swap if I went that way.

    I cant recall the VP SS but the name sounds familiar.  Any photos?  Back then I was mainly interested in the first gen commodores.

    #28575
    Profile photo of VRSenator065
    VRSenator065
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    • Adelaide SA
    • VR Senator LSx454 1960 Kombi (project) 1921 Nash Hot Rod (future project)

    • View build HERE
    Member since: February 17, 2015
    Posts: 5 693
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    No, I remember his name was Blake, we wrapped it in Atlas grey, from memory was a pro charged 355, 4 link rear, lambo interior, just totally out there.

    #28577
    Profile photo of cava454
    cava454
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    Wasn’t lambo interior. Was all custom, Blake did it all him self.

    Was VN SS.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Profile photo of cava454 cava454.
    #28579
    Profile photo of VRSenator065
    VRSenator065
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    • Adelaide SA
    • VR Senator LSx454 1960 Kombi (project) 1921 Nash Hot Rod (future project)

    • View build HERE
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    Cheers Cava, do you know if it running, is there a link to any pic, forum etc?

    It’s all on performance forums. It’s running. Not tuned or drivable yet.

    Its a killer build. One of my favourite.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Profile photo of cava454 cava454.
    #28580
    Profile photo of gtrboyy
    gtrboyy
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    Member since: January 20, 2016
    Posts: 201

    Yeah Blake’s nutso vn is up & running…not sure if it’s driving yet still had a few things to do it but that was a few months ago.

    He’d just done his supercar style exhaust when last heard from him.

     

    It’s stupidly loud & lowwwwwwwwww

     

    To the OP just buy the model you like look of & want to build..if it’s vn/p or vr/s stick to the plan.

     

    I got a vp ute…building it as modern day kingy…no options as in no aircon or p/steer with whatever weight that can be taken out of it yet keep it legal.Just a demister,washer bottle & evap cannister.

    Now has vs v8 auto driveline to avoid engineer process although kind of wished I’d done ls conversion.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Profile photo of gtrboyy gtrboyy.
    #28650
    Profile photo of exec24
    exec24
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    Member since: April 8, 2015
    Posts: 428
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    My VS is a 1996 series 2 Executive (was a v6-now v8) even then the ABS/Airbags/IRS were still optional

    mine was factory fitted with ABS,  but doesnt have Airbags or IRS

    mate of mine has a 1995 VS executive he picked up for a run around and it doesnt have ABS, Airbags or IRS

    I think with my VS the live axle has a limited amount of space for a exhaust system, mine has a twin 2.5″ and its just clears the diff, but i haven’t owned a VP/VR/VS with IRS could it be just as bad.

    #28658
    Profile photo of VRSenator065
    VRSenator065
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    • Adelaide SA
    • VR Senator LSx454 1960 Kombi (project) 1921 Nash Hot Rod (future project)

    • View build HERE
    Member since: February 17, 2015
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    There you go, I would have said off the bat, all VS were IRS.  Good info.

    #28667
    Profile photo of holdencrazy
    holdencrazy
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    Member since: May 6, 2019
    Posts: 7

    Yeah I thought they all would have had airbags at least, unless someone decided to pull it out, probably not that uncommon.

    I’m having trouble even locating a VR without all 3 options, most seem to have abs except the utes.

    #28668
    Profile photo of IJ.
    IJ.
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    Member since: April 2, 2015
    Posts: 3 207
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    My VR Lexcen had nothing..

    #28669
    Profile photo of cava454
    cava454
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    My VR Lexcen had nothing..

    Except a Toyota badge. Lol

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