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1990 Astra GL Diary

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  • The Griffin
    started a topic 1990 Astra GL Diary

    1990 Astra GL Diary

    My original Show Us Yours thread is old and lost its pictures so I thought I’d start again since it looks like it’s about to undergo a partial restoration.
    This could be a long post!

    Bought in April ’96 as my first car, I think I paid £3500 for it as a standard 1990 1.6GL. They were everywhere then and I know 11 people with mk2’s at the time so I knew a bit about them already.






    Enjoyed the car as it was, I wasn’t that into cars then, got interested in Vauxhalls and wanted a 2.0 16v, couldn’t afford to insure a GTE so was looking for a Cavalier or Calibra 16v. After looking at a lot I found them to either be in poor condition or silly money (in 1997/8) then I found out about Courtenay Sport who were close to me, spoke to them and done a bit of investigation work and found out that I could have the LET put into my car for less than a decent Cavalier or Calibra 16v and it would be cheaper to insure it too!

    Early 1998 I joined the waiting list for a LET, had the arches tidied up for the first time! Fitted gte rear lights, GTE bonnet, Sri rear bumper, and as I couldn’t find a late Sri/SXi or CD bumper, fitted a carflair front over bumper cover. Who remembers them? Also Cavalier mk3 alloys fitted, still on the car.



    March 1998 uprated brakes, 16v rear beam and Bilstien dampers with lowered springs fitted. It handled so much better and I remember keeping up with a standard GTE through the corners but losing it on the straight bits.

    June 1998 was LET time, Courtenay had the car a month and it left them with the standard LET and F20 box fitted. It wasn’t cheap. The car had done around 80k at this point and the Let had about 30k on it. As the engine bay was empty I had it tidied up and resprayed.





    I enjoyed it for the next few years, found a CD front bumper, lost the door locks, sprayed the front grill, door handles and a few other bits. Fitted Cavalier GSi front seats.

    2000 I found a complete CD in a scrap yard, on top of an SXi estate, stripped the entire interior for my car, although mine had a black dash and plastics the seats and carpets weren’t up to the CD quality so they all went into mine. Found the interior to be in good order although I didn’t lift the sound deadening in the front footwells….







    2001 crashed it! Pulled out in front of a car trying to look around parked cars. New front bumper, wing and indicator later it then had the porous head problem. Two head repairs fixed it, the first fix failed after a few hundred miles.

    2002 replacement sills, all the body work done on the car has been done by the same person, he’s retired now so trying to find someone new who I trust and has an interest in the car.

    From this point it became a second car and had summer use, garaged through the winters.

    2003 replacement chip Courtenay chip CS2 which upped the power to 230bhp, also Quafe LSD fitted with a lightweight flywheel.

    2006 found a complete Champion interior, comfiest seats I’ve had in it, always meant to get the door cards trimmed to match, one day.

    2006 I had a custom intercooler made for it, this was then rolling roaded to set it up and it made 250bhp. Removed the lowered springs and fitted standard GTE 16v springs with the bilstiens, I couldn't take the crashy ride any longer, it looked better lowered but now drove a lot better.



    From 2006 mortgages, wedding, babies got in the way of the car, it has always been on the road and used though the summers but not much more done to it except I got rid of all the GTE bits. Brand new lights, original bonnet went back on, Arches tidied up again! SXi grill replaced the painted original.







    2008 Carcoon bought for winter storage. Bonnet swapped back to the original item.
    Ill add more when I remember it.











    2015 the cars now done 156k and after a bit of bad running it’s now better than ever, finally got round to curing the leaky sump with an 8v gasket, then…..


  • The Griffin
    replied
    Back happily in my Astra again, been out since the start of march and loving it again.
    My mileage trip hasn't been able to reset for a number of years, still worked fine but I couldn't zero it. Over the weekend had the dash out, dissembled, lubricated, it was clean in there just a bit dry, and now a lot better, not perfect but is improving with each push. Not as daunting as I was expecting and very satisfying.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Griffin
    replied
    The car is tucked up over winter. it's been away since the start of December but i'm really missing driving it which is not helped by the slightly lighter drive home from work and increase in sun and temperature. Back out start of March and I can't wait.
    It is strange how these cars get under your skin, friends and family think i'm strange but I know all of you understand!

    Leave a comment:


  • Russell
    replied
    Absolutely fabulous read, really enjoyed it and love the fact you have owned the car since 96. It's sublime. Keep up the good work mate.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Griffin
    replied
    As a general update as it's been well over a year.
    Headlining was flocked in anthracite along with sun visors, handles, sunroof shade, etc. It's transformed it and doesn't seem to be any darker in there. Ron done a great job and is a really nice chap too.

    Only done 2.5k this year, now about to be parked up for the winter. It's done daily work for some of the summer and autumn and is now on 171k.

    New rear disc, pad and wheel bearings this year, it's a known fact we always get MOT advisories on play in rear bearings, this year was no different but it passed, however when changing the discs the bearings had totally worn out.
    Rust on the tailgate is getting worse and also in the door bottoms, these are on my list for next year.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Griffin
    replied
    To update I have 6 good wheels out of my 10 and i'm a lot happier with how it drives, not happy with the condition of the alloys though.
    I am almost sure i'll keep these and get them refurbished in the spring. To me it looks right with them on and although I like the look of some other options I like these as having a period and almost standard look.

    Thanks for all of your thoughts.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pigeonrat
    replied
    Astra G SXi wheels are 4-stud too (either 15" or 16", I forget which), although I'm not sure how well they'd suit a Mk2. I did always like the Mk2 CD wheels myself too.

    Car looks good as is really, so I vote for the fan blades too...

    Leave a comment:


  • iansri
    replied
    If you need 15's to clear your brakes your choice of vauxhall 4 stud wheels is quite limited to 4 or 5 different Cavalier wheels GSI slabs, Cesaro / SRI 6 spoke, Expression's, but I'm sure you know this already

    Leave a comment:


  • DarrenH
    replied
    fan blades look pretty good, at a glance they look like mk2 CD alloys. i think they suit, but depends if you can get a good set together.

    039. Astra CD Hatch 1989.jpg
    Last edited by DarrenH; 17-11-2018, 03:46 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kadett_Dane
    replied
    Nice car and nice story. I would keep the fan blades, as I think a 'closed' rim fits the mk2 Astra very well. Most of the original wheel options are designed like this.

    To me the fan blades you're running are quite exotic too and not as common as those other closed OEM wheel options like the Cavalier Turbo or the mk3 Astra GSi wheels ? although I do like both of those too. But hey, your car your choice. After 20 years anyone could understand the need for change

    Leave a comment:


  • The Griffin
    replied
    Its been a while.

    Had bad vibration through the steering wheel, had the tracking set and wheels balanced and all fine, two days later its back.
    On removing the front wheels I noticed the amount of stick on weights needed to balance the fronts and speaking to my mechanic he said about how difficult it was to balance them.
    At the moment I have all wheels off and they are with the mechanic so look at. I have the 5 on the car and including spare and a spare 5 of the Cav sri wheels, his task is to check them all, reject any buckled and damaged ones and find the best 4, I'll them get them refurbished.

    In doing all of this it got me thinking about alloys, I've been running the Cav SRi fanblades since '98. Not sure if I should stay with these, assuming I have 4 straight ones, or swap.



    This is how it looks now, I have always thought about champion, or expression wheels however I'm running Vectra V6 discs and calipers, the fanblades only just clear the calipers and I'm sure champion wheels don't fit but think expressions are bigger.

    The other I keep thinking about is the mk4 16" alloys:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/vauxhall-...3CuL:rk:2:pf:0

    I also like these: http://www.astra-mk2.com/forum/forum...ont-sri-cromer
    but don't know where i'd find any or what the car would be like on 17s.


    Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

    Leave a comment:


  • Astra Dan
    replied
    You might have a PM

    Leave a comment:


  • The Griffin
    replied
    I have tried to speak to Ron, his number on his website, is this still his current number? It goes straight to voicemail?

    Leave a comment:


  • Astra Dan
    replied
    Ron is a good chap and has produced consistently good results.
    I need to get my GTE's done now, 'new' lining lasted about a year,

    Leave a comment:


  • DarrenH
    replied
    i still havent done my roof lining, the estate is also growing two spaniels ears near the rear tailgate too its nearly double the length of the hatch version

    Leave a comment:

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