When I had the Astra V6 out and about last month I had a couple of occurrences of the dreaded click click before the starter engaged and the engine fired up. I’ve never had this previously but it’s a sure sign the starter wasn’t happy. My intention was to get the original Bosch refurbished but found a reman with 5 year warranty cheap as chips so bough it. Next mission was to replace the starter which isn’t easy on the V6 lump with tech docs saying remove this that and the other before even reaching the starter. I fortunately only had to remove the drive shaft and intermediate shaft.
I made a bung to hold the gearbox oil back using a socket/bag/tape and didn’t lose a drop.
After a wrestle, some mumbling followed by swearing the old (dodgy) starter was off.
Old meet swanky new starter.
On it goes and assembly is reversal of disassembly. Issue resolved and the starter is working flawlessly as expected.
I also noted a split in the intake hose from the airbox to the MAF (Mass Air Flow sensor).
While removing this damage I also found a split in the hose from the MAF to TB (Throttle Body) but I had a good used undamaged spare on my shelf so this was an easy fit.
Back to the pre MAF hose I investigated a few options but a generic silicone hose was simply too tight due to thick hose walls to fit with a clip to the airbox.
I wasn’t able to source a new OE replacement anywhere so I simply used 50mm wide insulation tape and wrapped the damaged hose. As you can see it looks great and is fully sealed, you wouldn't know if I hadn't told you. Yes, I’m aware Roose sell a silicone kit with both hoses here but I really wanted to retain the original so my solution made sense to me.
I've done much the same on my intake hose on my v6 (albeit it's still in a Vectra), I'm just too tight to pay Roose prices until they come up second hand in yellow to match my plenum hoses I'm going to fit.
After 10 years of faithful service one of the aftermarket bonnet struts on the Astra mk3 V6 decided to fail so I had to temporarily revert back to the OE stay until a plan was hatched.
The failed strut had no details meaning I had no idea what force it was but it did measure 435mm expanded length. After researching gas spring struts online and some strategic measuring and weighing I figured out the failed strut was asserting 300Nm (using the remaining good one) pushed into scales reached 30KG of force, the single strut was enough to hold open the bonnet fully so slightly overkill pressure. I did weigh the bonnet lifting force at 10KG and roughly x3 due to the strut fixing location meant 30KG (10Nm per 1KG so 300NM) rounded up. The closest generic struts come in forces of 100Nm/200Nm/300Nm up to 1000Nm each and I chose 450mm length so purchased a pair of 300Nm meaning I was replacing like for like ish from this eBay seller. Enough waffle and I won’t bore you with all the scientific calculations which are a thing and required when figuring out what spec struts you need, Google it and you’ll see what I’m on about.
My order arrived and you can clearly see the dead strut asserting no force at all, floppy and lifeless.
I mocked up a new strut and they had the exact same metal 10mm ball socket and pin fittings which fitted the cars existing 10mm ball pins, winning. They were a lovely all black finish and the 15mm extra length held the bonnet open a tiny bit more but within tolerances so all good.
I carefully installed both struts and can gleefully report they work great and have a nice damping action near the end of the opening stroke (like OE boot struts) unlike the previous which just slung the bonnet open. I can not remove the OE bonnet stay again as the struts are working great.
Loving that engine bay , very nearly pushed the button on a Courtenay Sport 3.0 v6 conversion to my back then P reg 2.0 sport, had it quoted and everything then the mk4 GSI was announced so opted for that.
Popped up to The Motorist a few Sundays ago with the Astra mk3 V6 having heard it was a decent place, we weren’t disappointed and what a great venue. If you have never been it’s well worth a visit. Pics can do the talking so here goes.
I was a couple of miles from home on the return leg from The Motorist and heard the dreaded fuel pump grumble, oh heck. Luckily I made it home and after the usual checks a dying fuel pump was diagnosed. Couple of clicks later and an ITP318 was ordered. This is a Hi branded direct OE replacement which is a sub-brand of Sytec.
The Astra mk3 has a very useful top access so removing the pump assembly is easy.
All clean inside the tank so no concerns with that and I also checked the external inline fuel filter plus the return line and they were good.
The fuel pump assembly was stripped to swap the dying with new pump.
Refitted the assembly and popped sealer either side of the gasket and on the bolt threads so no nasty smells could escape. Tested and all working with no nasty pump noises and fuel getting to where it’s required.
Also on the way back home the RH indicator started flashing fast having worked fine all the way to the meet. It was the front headlight indicator as the crimped and soldered +ve had broke on the adaptor loom with the bulb fine. Rectified with a new length of wire, twisted at the end and soldered.
Since building the Astra mk3 V6 I’ve had x2 physical Astra keys but only x1 transponder chip able to start the engine of the donor Vectra ECU & immobiliser so a plan was formulated. After cross referencing my working coded chip being a Philips PCF79735S I bought a virgin new never programmed NXP PCF7935AA being an ID40 T12 as you can't reuse previous programmed chips. This NXP chip can be used for any ID40-45 from the research I’ve done and I found this useful transponder model chart for others who might be wanting to do similar.
Next job was to dig out my trusty Opcom and find the paperwork with the donor Vectra security code. Using the spare key with new unprogrammed chip turn ignition on and watched the EML flash as it wasn't paired with the immobiliser, this being default behaviour as it won't allow you to start the engine. Then in Opcom>1998 (W)>Vectra-B>Body>Immobiliser>Programming and enter the security code where you see this screen.
Click on 'Programming Transponder-Key' and from the dropdown select a known spare slot, in my case no.3.
Job done. You will however still note the EML light is flashing so back out of the Opcom screens to the top level, turn ignition off and then on. At this point your see the EML is steady and not blinking so the chip is now working and programmed.
I popped the new programmed chip into the spare key holder having had to hack the old chip out from the previous engine as it was glued in.
I confirmed the transponder chip was fully working by going back into the measuring blocks for the immobiliser where you can see ‘Transponder-Key 3 Status = Programmed’ plus ‘Immobiliser Signal = Transmitted’. So now I have x2 fully working keys able to start the engine, success.
I gave the Astra mk3 V6 a breath of fresh air and replaced the pollen filter using the very last of my genuine GM stock. They are an easy fitment as you simply pull out the water guard and pop the two clips, no tools required.
Should anyone require the genuine part no.93182435
With the MOT looming I noticed the rear number plate light wasn’t working so popped the fitting out and gave the contacts a clean which kicked it back into life.
Last Friday it was MOT time and I’m pleased to say another pass…although it did get another advisory for the LOUD exhaust
While it was on the ramps I grabbed a couple of underside pics as it’s rare you get the chance, all looking great under there.