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DarrenH 1989 astra merit D estate

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  • the 1700 engine is kind of weird, despite being SOHC isuzu origin like the rest of vauxhalls range, its a reverse flow head. that means the inlet and exhaust are on the bulkhead side of the engine. that also means most of the exhaust is unique to the 1700 diesel, and being estate that also means the exhaust is unique to the 1700 estate bar the backbox. it comes in 5 sections, the cast manifold, the down pipe, a short bus stop round the gear stick (presumably this was future proofing a catalyst option) then the long mid section, then a backbox.

    so you have a relatively rare car, with a rare engine, with an exhaust that is unique to the engine car combo. i need a short cat replacement pipe, never going to be able to find parts for that, right? wrong ! there were 3 new old stock GM items on ebay, and also a raft of pattern versions from MTT, klarius and bosal. damn, parts supply actually seems to be getting better ?

    then i thought, shall i punch in the numbers for the whole system, maybe try and get a whole spare system in the attic? so far ive managed to get all of it except the long mid section.

    down pipe



    this is the bit i actually need and the seller had 2, so i bought them both as they were only 26 quid



    cant find a mid section yet as mentioned, but did find this backbox on ebay. i know this is really nerdy but it was incorrectly listed as mk3, and was reeealy cheap. weirdly it was for sale in my home town by a breakers yard, when i picked it up it still had an ancient vauxhall picking slip tied to it for greens of rainham, which is the vauxhall main dealer my car was sold in 1989, the garage shut down probably 10 or more years ago. who says fate doesnt exist ?

    Last edited by DarrenH; 26-04-2019, 01:27 PM.

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    • Lovely find, you get that warm fizzy feeling when stuff you need like this pops up
      My GTE diary and the mk3 Arctic 3.0 V6 diary.

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      • I do like a genuine GM exhaust, they just seem to fit better. I find it worth painting the welds with high-temp silver paint though as this is where they always seem to go eventually, it seems to help them last. I'm surprised how many large parts like this are still available, I found a complete Mk2 Cav 2.0 exhaust in genuine GM for somebody a few months back. I thought such things would be long gone.

        DMB will still sell you a Greens dealer sticker from the period if you are interested!

        https://www.dmb.uk.com/prod/5992/gre...dealer-sticker
        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

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Pigeonrat View Post

          DMB will still sell you a Greens dealer sticker from the period if you are interested!

          https://www.dmb.uk.com/prod/5992/gre...dealer-sticker
          I actually have one of those but never fitted it. I was enquiring about repro dealer plates then they stopped doing them ☹️ I still have original dealer plates but they are in sorry state

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          • Originally posted by DarrenH View Post

            I actually have one of those but never fitted it. I was enquiring about repro dealer plates then they stopped doing them ☹️ I still have original dealer plates but they are in sorry state
            Yes, it's a shame about the dealer plates. I bought a few sets for different cars over the years (manky originals, much the same) and they were very well done. It got gradually stricter and the last set was a faff, I needed to send the original V5 off to them (and a utility bill I think), and then shortly after they stopped altogether. I presume the DVLA started going for them for using the old font, not having their own suppliers postcode etc on them. Pity.

            Fancyplates will still do you the pre-2001 font and your choice of text at the bottom (eg. dealer name) but I'm not sure how much further they can go in terms of recreating the original design.
            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

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            • did another thing ! all of the pipes arrived from around europe. search for a GM mid section continues



              this is the bit that needs replacing, pipe is rusty and thin and the tapered gasket each end are shredded



              downpipe is still ok, bit of onion skin rust at the Y split.



              bad bit removed



              these are the tapered gaskets which make a ball and socket style flexi joint at either end. they were rusty and gone hard, making temporary exhaust leaks as the engine vibrates (which it does, allot, idi deisel ) also making a horrifc metal on metal squeaking at idle which is embarassing at junctions!



              you can see why the pipe has a kink in it, to dodge the gear lever linkage which pops throug into the tranmission tunnel



              while i was in that area i replaced the rear engine mount to help with the vibration and engine movement. its a lemforder one, top quality and only 30 quid !

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              • Still in shock lemforder do anything for a mk3 let?s hope the do the other mounts

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                • spring update on the sports hearse

                  i got caught napping at the MOT which it failed for front tread depth (notice i said it failed, its the cars fault obviously) RIP the much "loved" debica passio.



                  i drove it straight down to my usual tyre place to find they didn't have a fantastic array of 155-80-13 tyres (fair enough they probably don't get allot of BMXs or 2CV coming in). tap tap tap on the computer, she announced with alarming pleasure that they had a thing called "a century tyre" at 31 quid per corner fitted, including valves and balancing. that was sharply followed by blank looks when i said "hmmm, i already have linglong never-grips, do you have anything more expensive?". turns out they did not have anything more expensive and i had to return in an hour where they could shuttle over some other tyres. they offered me continental eco contact, hankook kinergy, or dunlop street response 2. naturally i went for the dunlops, i was dazzled by energetic name plus any tyre that's so responsive it gets a sequel, must be good.



                  also some bad news, the recent sun has completely fulfilled my scepticism about spray contact adhesive, my refurbed head lining is sagging in the red circled areas. i'd already succumbed to yet more middle age by getting one of those foil windscreen blind things to keep the sun out. the most gutting thing about this is not really having to revisit it, or the work involved, but just a relentless pattern in my life where even if i apply NASA levels attention to detail / effort to things, they still end up flawed.

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                  • Gutted for you on the roof lining Darren, I dropped by to see where you got all the stuff from and what you used... Mark and I have two to do, one more urgent than the other.

                    Ian.
                    See my project car HERE.

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                    • That's a real shame about the headlining Darren, what a pain. There is nothing worse than something recent and/or new failing, especially when you've made the extra effort, and back you go again. So frustrating! (I speak as someone who has just replaced a 18-month old master cylinder and a 2 month (!) old front shock cartridge which have both failed!). What makes it even worse is when you see some of the bodges people get away with which somehow DO work absolutely fine!

                      ​​​
                      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

                      Comment

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