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Astra mk3 Arctic 1.6 8v to 3.0 24v build

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  • Harvey
    replied
    I found a crack in the intermediate drive shaft bearing support bracket last year and applied a temporary fix until I could source a replacement, more on that later. After a Sunday only attendance at VBOA the other week I obtained a bargain replacement within the depths of the trade stands for a whole ?10, winning! Here it is with the support bracket removed.



    I only required the alloy bracket but the drive shaft was decent & noted the bearings sounded dry. I thought to myself “I wonder?” then began pulling it apart to investigate.



    Outer orange and inner black muck/dust seals removed.



    Bearings found to be a perfect but dry condition.



    Repacked with LM2 grease prior to reassembly.









    The temporary fix on the left as the bolt wouldn’t tighten fully in the bracket thread and just span. You can see the crack in the bracket which was caused by the starter motor hitting as it attempted to make a break for freedom when the bolts worked loose, eek. Replacement on the right tested and full torque of 18Nm is achievable.



    Part number for the alloy bracket is 90375925 which is used on Calibra/Cavalier C25XE/X25XE as well as Vectra B X25XE/Y26XE. Even the date stamp of 96 matched both brackets, spooky.



    Replacement ready for fitting. Old bracket gone but keeping the old shaft as it makes a sturdy hitting stick. The 23mm spacers are due to the V6 being narrower than a 4 pot when using an F28 gearbox.



    Jacked the Astra mk3 up from the drivers side and lost no gearbox fluid during the swap over. Pictured from underside looking up with rag on left to catch any drips but nothing came out.



    While I was poking around, I fixed the rear end clunk that was occasionally heard on very bumper roads. Turned out to be the exhaust kissing the beam so a permanent fix was applied using a length of thick wall fuel hose slit down its length.


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  • Harvey
    replied
    I thought it was about time I had the AC health checked on the mk3 as it was last done early 2017. It’s still working fine but didn’t seem to be as cold as it should be so I booked in with Stay Kool who are home based in the South Derby area. I arrived at my allotted time & Mark set about connecting his kit. We had a chat about the total gas weight & after double checking his documentation it was as I initially thought & should be 900g for the series 2 mk3. Pressure test passed & old gas removed it only had 360g left, no wonder it was cool & not cold. Re-gassed with dye added just in case any future leaks developed & I was on my way happy & cold in the knowledge the AC was in tip top condition.


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  • Harvey
    replied
    As the car is running my hybrid mk2/mk3 LCD dash I’ve finally got a fully working oil pressure gauge after messing with a few different sensors both new and used, all faulty for various reasons. In the end a brand new Intermotor 53850 sensor with adaptor loom so no cutting of the OE loom plug necessary works perfectly. The sensor offers 2x oil pressure feeds; 0-5 bar variable gauge, plus 0.30 bar oil warning light. Most Vauxhalls only come fitted with an oil warning light sensor and not the dual sensor that I have fitted for the LCD dash.



    While on a fix it mission I had noted the ambient air temp was reading a tad high on the trip computer so rummaged through my spares stash and found three GM temp sensors. One being faulty so got binned and the other two working perfectly and giving a proper ambient temp. Turns out I was right as the originally was ready 5C high all the time, so also got binned.




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  • Harvey
    replied
    I’ve managed to acquire a couple of perfect mk3 top mount caps from a mate as my existing ones were drilled to accommodate the mk2 Koni top adjusters which are no longer fitted (leaking) having changed to the mk3 Koni.

    Looks neater instead of having holes drilled unnecessarily.



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  • Harvey
    replied
    Seal kit ordered along with new banjo crush. Seal kit was from Brake Stop Lid and is excellent quality and comes with silicone piston seal assembly grease and red rubber grease for the caliper body sliders. Everything ordered Monday and arrived yesterday.



    Assembly time using only the silicone grease for the seals and a good smearing around the now not rusty section. Inner wiper seal in place.



    Outer weather seal stretched over the piston.



    Weather seal located in the groove and gently but firmly pushed into place passed the inner seal before finally making sure the seal locates in the outer piston groove.







    Refitted and bled the brakes using my wonderful assistant (the wife) as it was quicker than messing with Eezibleed.



    Test drive success and car washed.



    Then back to bed until next use.


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  • Harvey
    replied
    Finally, the mk3 is taxed and on the road now the weather has turned for the better, that was until it wasn’t last Sunday. Decided to pop into Derbyshire and the heavens opened but fear not it’s a car to use, until it isn’t and I found the front o/s brake caliper was sticking

    You see it does get used in the rain. This wet stuff is from the sky and not a hosepipe!



    Lovely beading on the roof.



    The V6 rear bank 1 lambda popped the EML on a couple of times so I’ve cleared the codes and not seen it since. Got a spare brand-new Bosch on the shelf just in case I need to swap it out.



    On Monday evening the car resumed default position, on axle stands.



    I removed and stripped both front calipers as there’s simply no point servicing just one for such a safety critical component. I had to use a punch through the brake line hole to get the piston out of the o/s caliper, it was tight. The n/s wasn’t so bad but was close to sticking.





    Non-patented anti-drip braided line tool installed, old silicone sealer kept knowing it would come in handy one day for something.



    Piston cleaned up well with no pitting.



    Issue was the section between the inner and out seals had corroded even though the outer seal wasn’t damaged. I blame this on me assembling them last time using just brake fluid possibly causing it to dry out with moisture trapped, lesson learnt silicone grease assembly method only from here on.



    Cleaned up the corrosion with my trusty Dremel and without seals in place the piston dropped in/out smoothly as it should.



    Alfresco dining with a dirty mk3 anyone?

    Last edited by Harvey; 10-06-2021, 09:47 AM.

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  • Harvey
    replied
    Dug the Astra mk3 from its hibernation and gave it the once over in readiness for going back on the road next month.







    Just to prove my custom made dash and the engine work I did a little vid. Can’t wait to actually drive it again as it’s been way too long, that is if I can get the keys off the wife as it is her car after all.


    Last edited by Harvey; 23-04-2021, 06:04 PM.

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  • Harvey
    replied
    Originally posted by DarrenH View Post
    what are those pebbles all about !!
    Ask Highways England or whoever thought it would be a good idea to litrally stick them to a road surface. They were everywhere & I got a fist full out the side skirts when we got home. Found them all over the GTE as I drove it down that year unfortunately

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  • DarrenH
    replied
    what are those pebbles all about !!

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  • Harvey
    replied
    Gave the mk3 a visual inspection the other month under the bonnet and noticed the l/h front Koni shocker was leaking from the top adjuster. Only a minor weep but required fixing nevertheless.



    Removed both front legs and checked around the front arches with all looking good in there.







    For anyone who left the first year at VBOA Market Harbour on the Monday these might bring back nightmares, I found them on the strut lower spring seats. They decided it would be a good idea to grit the road with boulders!



    After enquiries a refurb for my existing pair of shocks was going to be just shy of ?200, brand new replacements were around ?240 or a completely free fix using my old spare GTE track day suspension. I opted for option C, a free fix. After stripping the mk3 suspension I found I had used Mk2 GTE 16v inserts Koni part no.86411068 Sport and my GTE kit was actually mk3 GSi Koni part no. 86101283 Sport.
    Mk3 top and mk2 bottom.



    To run mk2 on the mk3 you just need to use a 5mm spacer under the nut as that’s all I had done and they have been fine until now.



    Fresh mk3 inserts going in and manly stilsons to tighten the locking nut which should be 200Nm. I’ve had the locknut come loose previously on the mk3 so a blob of thread lock and good tug on the stilsons should put pay to that happening again.





    Boshed the Cav mk3 V6 Eibach spring on, top gubbins and repeated for the other side. Leak resolved for no expense which is always a happy ending.



    Once I’d got the struts refitted I routed the ABS and brake pad wear sensor wiring more neatly as I was never really happy how it looked previously. Much better this time.


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  • Harvey
    replied
    Thought I’d give the old girl some loving as I bought replacement leather handbrake & gear gators early last year but never got round to fitting until now.

    The original handbrake gator looked fine but wouldn’t have matched the replacement leather texture so changed it anyway.



    The original gear gator was beginning to look terrible which would never do.



    Off they came without a fight & little effort.



    The replacement handbrake gator installed on the plastic frame after a touch of cutting & careful fitting as it was a little larger than the original.



    I removed the staples from the original gear gator so I could reuse the plastic frame.





    With careful 1.5mm drilling I was able to use steel garden twine with the plastic coating stripped to hold both replacement gators in position.





    A job done well & well done, pat on the back for me & a happy wife so a win win all round.

    Last edited by Harvey; 20-01-2021, 05:51 PM.

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  • Harvey
    replied
    Last month was project exhaust tone down for the mk3 so it was booked in with Wayne at JAC Exhausts for a wee tickle. It’s always been loud and was just too boomy, at 50mph it rattled your head/bones/soul.

    Loaded up and ready for drop off at JAC Exhausts.



    The plan was to squeeze in an additional silencer at the front, moving the flexie and cat forward as far as possible. The silencer would be plugged and not free flowing with a cavity at the front to force the gases through a perforated plate and thus through the wadding. The rest of the system would be left as it was as it already had a triple flow rear silencer to cut the raw noise and free flowing centre silencer. To gain as much space as possible the centre band clamp was removed and a posh V-Band clamp fitted.

    This is what it now looks like with the additional front box installed.





    The results are no more boomy noise but it’s retained a sporty deep exhaust note. At 50mph you no longer bleed from all your orifices and can hold a conversation in the car without having to shout at each other using megaphones. No idea if it’s lost any performance but I can’t feel it under my right foot. I’ll get it on a rolling road at some point but honestly, I’m not bother if it has as its more pleasurable while driving on the ear. It still has it’s lush V6 grumble from 2,500rpm upwards under hard acceleration which keeps me smiling from ear to ear.

    Took it for a short drive for its annual MOT this week and you guessed it, a pass for another year.

    Last edited by Harvey; 01-10-2020, 08:25 AM.

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  • Harvey
    replied
    After dropping the exhaust tips off for ceramic coating earlier this year COVID struck so things got delayed a little. We initially wanted grey with a gloss lacquer finish but for whatever reason the lacquer wouldn’t take and kept going blotchy. The company I used contacted their suppliers who said they should be compatible but try as they might the tips just wouldn’t gloss up. After having a chat they applied the grey with no lacquer and sent it for me to try. It looked pants and just didn’t go with the car at all so they were sent back for a strip and recoat.





    After further discussions and being sent a sample we decided to opt for a ceramic satin black. I can happily say they are finally complete and installed and at some angles actually look grey. It’s not the gloss finish we wanted but ten times better than the original stainless tips which didn’t work at all with the car.





    Huge thanks to B&B Precision Engineering for their perseverance with the lacquer. It was the first time they had tried such a thing and there was no reason why it shouldn’t work and wasn’t for their lack of trying. They were very easy to deal with and bent over backwards to help.

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  • Harvey
    replied
    While having a look around the mk3 I noticed the F28 gearbox fill level plug had damp around it, nothing bad but it shouldn’t be there. The plugs don’t have any sealer or washers and just done up darn tight to 50Nm. I cleaned it up using brake cleaner and even with the car unused the oil dampness came back and yet it’s not over filled. Action plan to resolve the issue, fit an M18 copper crush washer so that’s what I did and that’s resolved it. Pictured from the underside looking up, lovely and dry so I’ll class that as a win.


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  • G.TERI.E
    replied
    Awesome work on the hybrid digi dash.... love it

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