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Laurie's First Track Day Car

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  • Caution Frontera data (not Astra)

    Well I'm not sure I would have wanted the weight of "just" a toolbox in the back of this one since I saw the condition of the N/S top spring mount (I use that word "mount" very loosely )

    .......... good job the body floor kept the spring in place

    I'm still to fabricate that one and beef it up a little with some 3mm flat bar and plate ...

    Same for the rear axle swaybar mount ...

    ..... this one I've resolved

    But then its Vauxhall would I expect anything else than a bit of fabrication on a 16 yr old motor


    • Still continuing on the Frontera theme....

      Cut away and fabricated the N/S/R top spring mount .....

      Then feeling confident I decided to replicate the on the O/S and indeed there was at least one part that was rusted through so better to resolve that now than later

      After fitting the front disk backing shields I got from someone in Somerset and adding new pads I thought it was time to test Low box and 4 wheel drive

      Everything worked as it should and a short trip down the avenue (of mud) left me with a smile and a dirty truck .....

      Next was a bit of farmyard engineering so I could Jizer and pressure wash the bottom end ready to check for any oil leaks as its a bit shitty under there....

      So it will be back on the hoist tonight and make up a couple of brake pipes that are pitted and a final check over ready to take it for MOT test soon

      Happy Holidays



      • Top work, real nice bit of fabrication


        • Love the picture of the Frontera up in the air, there's a guy in the workshop along from me who does something very similar. Although he did it once with a Transit Luton on a chain probably thinner than you've got there...I gave that a damn wide berth, I can assure you!

          Underrated cars the Fronteras, especially off-road IMO.
          My current fleet!
          1989 Astra GTE 16V
          1985 Astra 1600SR
          1991 Astra Mk3 1.4LSi "The Shed"
          1984 Opel Monza 3.0 GSE
          1984 Porsche 944 Lux
          1986 Toyota MR2 Mk1a


          • Cool ... so nice to have access to the forum again I put a few lines on the Faceache page but apart from a useful feedback from Darren to a question I had it did nothing for me but then I guess facebook is fine for those that use what used to be called a "phone" to do their browsing

            Anyway, skipping through, a week or so I pulled the sump off the 1.8 GTE (18E ) to check and replace the main crankshaft bearings, then realised I needed to pull the engine for it to be a bit easier. As per normal one job rolled into another and so now it has:

            New mains bearings
            New stretch bolts for mains caps
            Rear Crankshaft Oil seal
            New sump baffle gasket
            New Cam belt
            New recon starter motor
            Hand painted the engine bay (Black :*( ) well that's all I had to hand for free .... remember this is a budget project Ha!

            Bottom pulley would not split with the 4 allen screws so had to remove the pulley and sprocket as one and what a bitch it was to undo !!

            So anyway today while waiting for the bay paint to harden a little more before I mount the box and crane it back in, I started pulling the rear top spring mountings off as I caught a gimps of some scab just under the edge of the off side one ....

            But its amazing what is hiding under an edge you can't normally see

            Though I could salvage these plates I'm going to make a couple of new ones and hence templated it ready .... Have it here as .pdf if anyone wants it

            So tea break over I need to feed the ponies, walk the dogs and then crack on with fabricating the patch etc ...

            To be continued ........
            Attached Files


            • Well following a casual walk down to Larriston Burn to once again see the raging water that causing havoc here at the moment I cracked on with the patch and replacing the saddle plate on this side ...

              Rough plate that eventually got trimmed up a little ....

              Fitted ......

              Then I moved on to the saddle, Not the most steady hand when working with the plasma cutter freehand but quicker than farting about with the guillotine

              Made the stub a few mm too tall so had to trim it and stick another washer on top to close the end as the rubber did not quite seat down ...

              One down one to go .....

              Second side is just as "prudy" ........

              But that a job for another day, plates cut at the same time as the first side so should go quicker this side

              Thanks for looking :P



              • Good stuff Laurie, how the hell you weld upside down is beyond me......


                • Originally posted by AndyGee View Post
                  Good stuff Laurie, how the hell you weld upside down is beyond me......
                  Thanks Andy, I some times wonder myself :P ... Always handy to have tin of "DipTip" handy or them weld boogies are a pain to get from between the tip and the gas shroud, but its all about getting the right setting and having clean work pieces, I normally work with 0.8 wire in my stove building work where its probably better to use 0.6 wire on car stuff but for the amount I was doing it wasn't worth swapping stuff out, I was almost tempted to TIG these patches on but but MIG was the quickest option all be it not as pretty

                  So I anyway cracked on with the second side Friday after lunch and finished off putting the saddle on Saturday morning along with a bit of seam sealer to keep out any future wet ...

                  Its so nice to work on a vehicle that's simplistic ....

                  The weather has been heavy rain here for days now and flooding has washed out some of the farm tracks and the flood water of Larriston Burn has been washing boulders the size of an 18E engine from one place to another the length or the farm so its been a bit manic, but been busy this morning cutting up a big sycamore tree that had fallen across one of the tracks and on to the deer fence (more firewood for next winter) ...

                  This is normally a 2.5 meter high river bank here but the water level is over the top ....

                  We were heading down to check the burn and found the track blocked ....

                  Anyway I had an hour free at lunch time today and so bolted the gearbox on to the engine and lifted it in .....

                  Not bad for just 60 minutes from it being in 2 pieces on the floor to being back in and just the ancillaries to do

                  I also found the reverse light switch had degraded so just ordered one ...

                  Juggling a few personal jobs at the moment but I hope I can get this finished and out of the workshop soon as I need to pull the engine out of the Honda Quad as the timing chain slap is starting to sound like its wanting to find its way out of the casing .

                  Thanks for looking



                  • +1 on upside down welding jealousy !

                    not keen on that amount of water trying to get somewhere sharpish. we have a thing round most of kent called "saxon shoreway" which is man made roman fortification, a raised sea defence, the spring tides just about tip over the top of them in some places which are 18 feet higher than the land behind it, i honestly dont know what used to happen before they were there? vast salt marshes i guess


                    • Great work Laurie and it's good to see the 1.8 getting some loving time. I hope your floods have subsided, eek, looks scary!
                      My GTE diary and the mk3 Arctic 3.0 V6 diary.