560HP NINE-SECOND TURBO HOLDEN COMMODORE VR UTE

Jay Jeffreys was reluctant to get on the turbo train, but he's seen the light, with his 560hp Holden-powered VR ute

This article on Jay's VR ute was originally published in the March 2017 issue of Street Machine

STOCK-bottom-end (SBE) racing is producing some amazing results from LS and Barra motors in particular, but how about the old Holden V8? Its age doesn’t make it a likely candidate for SBE action, but Jay Jeffreys’s Holden-powered VR ute has something to say about that.

Holden VR ute rearPerth local Jay has owned a bunch of tough aspirated combos over the years, including his current VK Commodore with an LS that runs in the 9.40s in Super Sedan. He also teamed up with his brother Blake on last year’s Street Machine Drag Challenge in Blake’s LS-powered streeter, and came away with the Longest Distance Travelled award.

Jay’s mates have been onto him for years about getting on the turbo train, and after a recent session on the cans, he agreed to do it if his mates helped him.

Holden VR ute engine bayBuilt from junk lying around the shed, the ute runs a 60thou-over 308ci bottom end with stock VN heads and a 4bbl Harrop intake

“I had a heap of junk kicking about the shed, including an old 308 that had been under the bench for seven years,” Jay recalls. “We bought a VK for my youngest brother Blake to get into Super Street and pulled the top off it to find it was 60-over, so we pushed it under the shelf, until now.”

Holden VR ute Harrop intakeSteampipe manifolds support a BorgWarner S366 turbo and a Turbosmart 45mm wastegate set to 16psi

While it’s not 100 per cent SBE-legal, being 60thou-over in the bore, it’s all stock, factory-style stuff with a set of stock VN heads that have had LSA valve springs and aftermarket collets and retainers added. The cam is a baby hydraulic with 216 and 222 degrees at 50thou lift.

“The whole car is literally a collection of all our bits and pieces from over the years, from the Harrop intake manifold to the 6AL ignition and MSD dizzy,” Jay says.

Holden VR ute dashThe exhaust manifolds are steam pipe, done by one of Jay’s mates at Lundy Race Fab, and everyone chipped in $100 towards materials. The only thing they did have to buy was the 45mm wastegate. The carby is a total bitsa, with a Demon main body, Holley base plate and standard metering blocks, all built and converted to E85 by Jay’s buddy Wayne Smith.

Holden VR ute under 2The budget ute still runs a factory BorgWarner rear with 3.45 gears, but who knows for how much longer? Those BW diffs are pretty tough, but being the meat in the sandwich between 28x9in slicks and 560rwhp may shorten its lifespan somewhat

The turbo is a BorgWarner S366 (66mm) with a 0.8 rear wheel, currently pushing 16psi of boost. Backing up the small-block is a two-speed ’Glide with a pretty loose 4800rpm converter, driving 28x9in slicks through a 3.45:1 rear end and a 6400rpm maximum on the motor.

“We dyno-tuned the car at Streetbuilt Racing and it made 560hp on 16psi, and so far we have run a best of 9.81@142mph,” Jay says. “It definitely surprised me; my VK Super Sedan runs 9.4-9.5 at 142mph with a built motor, and this busted-arse 308 has gone 9.80 with a crap 60-foot time!

Holden VR ute interior“From here we will look at rear suspension and pinion angle, so we should go 9.60 or better. In second gear compared to my VK, it just keeps pulling. I guess I’ve seen the light, but I don’t want to admit it to my mates!”

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