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Ewan's Astra 1.6 16V GLS

GLS_Astra

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To start off with how this all began.

Love of Astra MK3's came from my alot younger years, like I'm talking when I was 11 or 12 years old, I remember the days of going to the PVS shows at Santa Pod and at the time my Mum and Dad when they had Astra MK4s and part of the AOC. Really it's my parents fault becuase all they had was Cavalier's and Astras well mum anyways. Nowa days it's Audi's :aaargh:. It's nice to see this fourm is still going as I remember wanting to be a member just for the love of MK3's haha, but is a shame mostly that social media has taken the whole fourm world over and for sale pages too which is unreal! Well back in AOC days guy named 'Turboshed' sent my Mum (HarryAstra) some pictures of it, and was my favourite colour MK3 plus the Corsa D alloys on it looked smart, It was my desktop wallpaper for awhile and bedroom picture. God I sound a complete fan boy haha.

10 odd years on looking and looking I spotted a Astra MK3 1.6 16V GLS local, looked stunning in the picture, had to be a GLS what I wanted lol and Sure enough it was. Car was already priced cheap, I still haggled came to agreement and bought it finially! to put it in prespective here's a run down.

Model : Astra GLS ('97) P reg
Colour : Spectral Blue (I think)
Engine :1.6 16V (X16XEL)
Mileage 59k (roughly)

Here's some pictures of few days after I got it. I viewed it on the weekend (Two weeks past) then collected it the following Monday night. I could've had the car earlier if it wasn't of my bank being a a*se with transfer limits etc me being a young age, I got it sorted though.

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First thing I wanted to do was get the thing on the ramp on the weekend at work have a good look round it, see if I've bought a actual ture gem of a car, or did a really just buy a tarted up pile of sh1t. Noticed as well car had a slight rattle, not that was anything to worry about and had a bit of a Oil leak that I'm still figuring out where its coming from. Its going over the altenator and dripping down and spalltering all over the bit by the AUX belt! I'll maybe get at it again on the weekend at work hopefully. I find though I bought a little gem all the underneaths and the usual area's that go were a 100% solid.

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The car also came with this Sportex back box, was slightly leaking from the clamp, bit of Holts Gun Gum sorted that. Does give the car a nice tone idling and under acceleration.

Even the fuel lines and Bake pipes etc still all intact.


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I bought this as a bit of something to do, not that I've already got a car that I'm still on going with but I couldn't let it go and the price too. P.s my other car, Corsa E VXR if anyones curious oh and my mothers car, on the PVS Show stand 2009 or 10 can't quite remember. Some might even remember it!

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Mum's old Astra and My Other Car (Corsa E VXR)
 
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astranaut

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Welcome, that looks really clean, look forward to updates :) Turboshed is a blast from the past, used to come to local meets and was a great photographer, got a few good ones of mine and his together.

 

Kev_mk3

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Welcome the car is the same colour as TubaMagna8's I think not spectral blue though. I loved my GLS and love the 1.6 16v. I'd have basically your car again if I found one in my price range / clean one lol
 

GLS_Astra

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Yeah I’m lucky that I got it for a decent price and no the usual dealer 5 grand prices for minted ones.

last Friday (28th) was a day off for me from work, and what better way than I thought to spend it was go and get bits for the Astra that I need, I was watching a Black 2l 16v CDX one in “U Pull It” Copart outside Edinburgh, they weren’t able to confirm the bits I needed were all there but I went anyways.

200mile round trip Astra landed me there, I wasn’t expecting it to be complete but there was afew bits left, Clocks, my Bonnet liner and clips ohh and a outside temp sensor for the info display. Clocks a didn’t need really but had a 8k rev limiter on it so I nabbed them regardless.

Corner of my eye I notice something, my favorite set of wheels, the Corsa D SXi ones, perfect! priced at £80 considering two where about half worn other two were like new plenty of meat of them.

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Although I’m gonna change the profile to 45s. 55s do fit with the mudflaps scraping however I think it looks bit of a monster truck with them on lol.

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Not lot of folk agree on my look some say I’ve wrecked it others say it’s smart I like them suit it, part from the chunky tyres and high suspension! Which I’ll be lowering to give it more of a nicer look which will suit it most definite. I didn’t get my badges still, wasn’t too fussed about lettering more that griffin badge for the boot I need, it literally crumbled as tried to take it off that black one. Anyways hopefully I’ll get one some point!
 
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DavebGsi

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welcome to the club! she really is a minter, looks all good underneath aswell which is always a result. those wheels suit it I think, but your right about the profile.
 

GLS_Astra

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What’s everyone’s thoughts. I’m pondering on a engine conversion on it, other part of me is going but should I, it’s almost perfect way it is.

I’ve got nabs if I want it, a Calibra V6, which it’s got all the bits a need and it’s a manual. The Calibra body is too far gone to be even worth messing with but rest is all good.

it’s really what I want but what’s everyone’s thoughts, would the conversation be with while? Also drip in wise, I’ve heard they are literally a swap with minor modifications to the wiring and stuff.

Im pondering on it atm, to it or not. I say it’s a uncommon conversation but probably in the day every mad and his dogs done it including B204s

again what’s folks opinion on my idea?
 

Kev_mk3

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Honestly............... Leave the engine is my view.

I had a B204 sitting round and put it in. Wish I kept the 1.6 16v in it as i'd have used it more and would probably still have / use it. V6 is a great engine and i'd love a v6 mk3 but still heavy thing I'd still stick with the original lump. If you want more poke can get mantzel power box or copies they add a fair chunk of power if you can get one as these engines are so restricted.
 

DavebGsi

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difficult one, if you start to modify it, it becomes more unreliable. but potentially better. I really miss the v6 engine conversion in a mk3, I never had one, but they sound awesome and have good power delivery. Unfortunatly the world has become obsessed with power figures, hense everyone is fitting saab engines now! I would at the very least, drive it around for a while before starting to mess with it.
 

GLS_Astra

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Yeah I’ve decided to back out, lot of folk have advised me not to go extreme as it is a clean example. Admittedly I really like the way it drives right now so I’ve just answered my own question, plus I’ve got my “hooligan” Corsa VXR which is total different kettle of fish and a bit of thrash box. Oh and the colour, I was only guessing I’d need to look deeper on the chassis plate see what it is, I’m just guessing as it’s very the same as the GSi Blue, but I’m wrong.

Am hoping tomorrow to get the car back on the ramp and pull it to bits investigate that oil leak as it’s getting worse, to the point where back to how I seen it the first time.

First time round I checked behind the cambelt covers see if there was oil in there but it’s dry, god knows where it’s coming from thought it would’ve been a cam or crank seal judging by the area which it isn’t, but also I’ve got to mind the AUX belt is clabbering everything too.

I’ll find out tomorrow.
 

GLS_Astra

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Update: 01/03/2022

Not much has been going on with the Astra, just been enjoying driving it and giving it's regluar washes when I could, roll on the summer! I had holidays to use up so I took a few days off, which gave me sometime to get some bits and pieces done. Blackcircles had a deal on with Yokohama tyres, and well I had a voutcher to hand that was about to expire. I bought some Yokohama Advan's in the 45 offset I wanted, I ordered them at lunch time along with AD08R'S for the Corsa and they came the next morning surprisingly. I already sent the SXI wheels to the powder coaters so I threw the Yokohama's in and poped them over to them.

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Fit like a glove :lol:

Got them day later and banged them on, have to say look the bollocks, however would look even better 30mm lowered, which I'm considering. Now this trouble some oil leak thats doing my head in. Orignally I presumed it was a oil gallery that feeds the head dripping down along side the cambelt cover well from what I could see. Closer Inspection it's coming from the oil pump gasket then going over the underneath with the aux belt picking it up clabering everything else with it, fair enough it's a old car.

Today I felt motivated, had the Oil lamp flickering sometimes :aaargh:, or would go on soon as you hit a bump in the road or something, turned out to be the oil pressure switch, so couple of quid later from Eurocarparts solved that problem, originally I thought it had something to with the leak but It isn't major and isn't loosing oil pressure but anyways. Since I had the car apart, I started pondering on something, the car always had a slight rattle/tick It would come and go of and on, when I first bought it I orignally thought it was a heatsheid or something daft sounded like it anyways. So since I had the aux belt off thought I'd see what it's doing behind the covers. I wish I had some pictures, but it was the belt tensioner for the cambelt making the racket, I know the aligment mark for the tensioners move (go back and fouth) when they are being rotated but shouldn't be noisy, so by this point thought right I'll retension it, see what it does (The belt got changed last year before I owned it).

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I didn't take any pictures so here's a digram. But who ever done the cambelt must've been in experinced, or something I've got the recept from the garage that it was done and they didn't go by the orignal timing marks, instead used the top cambelt cover and tipex. I mean fair enough, I've done few cambelts and never used the locking tools just tipex and a brain, however the timing marks were obvious they managed to get a tooth out which was intresting..:hmmm:.

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Now with that sorted, banged the belt back on and retensioned it back up, stuck the pulley on for the crank sensor and fired it up. Runs sweet, quiet as a mouse. the tensioner mark still moves (As they do) but Isn't rattling. As in driveability no diffrence, I know it's only a tooth, and well they'll don't have tight tolrences like newer cars.

Here's a pictire afterwards with the timing fixed and a picture with the 'fresh' SXI alloys on it. And that door trim on the back door falling off. Yes and it needs a wash :lol:.

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I found a bloke online who can remake 'Classic Car' plates so I got the original 'Horns of Stockport' remade for the car and finally got some boot badges for it :cool:.

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Getting there with it. I've booked it into that show at Brands Hatch "Vauxhall Valves" hope to meet some of yous there, I've got the car also booked into the paint shop at the 3rd week in March to get the scuffs on the bumper sorted and the scabby arches sorted. As for the oil leak I've got vairious gaskets I've ordered cheaper in a set, went for Victor Reinz, Another cambelt kit, new header tank for it and few other bits n pieces to tidy it up abit.
 

TubaMagna8

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Some good progress there! I’m currently doing the mantzel power box on mine, they’re such a strong engine. But if it where to go bang for what ever reason, I’d be tempted by the x25xe or even seeing if the newer 1.4 turbo would fit.
 

astranaut

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Can I get a link to the number plate guy? As mine came from Horns of Stockport as well and I've been looking everywhere for someone to reproduce them :) I take it your plate ends NNB as well? :)

Wheels look great as well, really suit the mk3 :)
 

GLS_Astra

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Can I get a link to the number plate guy? As mine came from Horns of Stockport as well and I've been looking everywhere for someone to reproduce them :) I take it your plate ends NNB as well? :)

Wheels look great as well, really suit the mk3 :)
He’s called “360-gt” on Facebook from slough, give him a message top bloke. My plate ends in UFA.


Some good progress there! I’m currently doing the mantzel power box on mine, they’re such a strong engine. But if it where to go bang for what ever reason, I’d be tempted by the x25xe or even seeing if the newer 1.4 turbo would fit.
I did ponder on a X25XE as I was offered a Calibra with a rotten shell but good running gear, decided in the end not to. I’ve got a ZLET in my shed that I could use with a F20 but think I’ll leave that for something else. I like how it drives now, and already got the hooligan Corsa VXR :lol:.
 

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Looking really good!even if the cambelt was done not long ago would still change it for peice of mind the tensinors always wear out and hit the end stop which causes rattling or tap noise when warmed up! Was the belt itself ok as they can wear the edges away if slack on the cover itself? Any car i get the cambelt kit gets changed even if it was done month before as you just shown you never know who has done it or done it rite!!
 

GLS_Astra

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Looking really good!even if the cambelt was done not long ago would still change it for peice of mind the tensinors always wear out and hit the end stop which causes rattling or tap noise when warmed up! Was the belt itself ok as they can wear the edges away if slack on the cover itself? Any car i get the cambelt kit gets changed even if it was done month before as you just shown you never know who has done it or done it rite!!

The cambelt it self was like new no feathering or chewed edges, tensioner and pulleys are also like new. I’m still gonna change them regardless, it’s a gates kit that’s on it atm, used to really rate gates stuff, but I’m starting to be put off them, last cambelt I done was on a 2l diesel Audi Q3 and the tensioner included in that was utter pish.

it was tight, belt had plenty of tension on it. Be fine just now, it doesn’t go far much atm. I’ve got the bits ordered though.
 

GLS_Astra

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Update: 19/06/2022

Bit of progress has been happening. Car went to the paint shop to some of the niggly bits tarted up mainly the back arches, they were just surface from stone chips battering off them etc. Got that done he even tidyed up my inner arches for me top bloke.

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Was time to get the engine into a suitable state where I could drive it. Previous I mentioned it had a pretty serious oil leak with the belt bringing it with it and splattering all over the place. So all the bits I've been collection since was time to get it stripped and built back up. Really it only needed a sump gasket and oil pump gasket at a push, but me being me while I had the time I decided to go all out and change almost every gasket apart from taking the head off, Auto DOC would've loved me, 300 quid on seals and bits of plastic n rubber. So away I went, I spent a entire weekend doing it, taking my time and also using that Haynes manual I've had since I was 8, 13 years later it came in handy....never would've thought that :biggrin:.

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This is be probably about half way through I stopped and done something else and had my tea then carried on. By this point was about 11 oclock at night, least I had it mostly stripped ready for the morning to clean up. As for the surfaces etc I mostly used a scotch pad and brake cleaner, I do wish I got pictures of the afterwards as I had them mint, took a bit of time mind you.

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Normally I'm a rough ass and don't use cambelt locking tools, but this one when it was set at TDC on the cams they were under spring tension, so I compromised :lol:.

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Once put back together, I got it running, just filled it up with water just now, and got everything up to temp. Ran sweet as, no funny noises, and No leaks either, chuffed to bits. Once I was happy I changed the header tank and filled it with some fresh coolant and bled it up. This was me half way through changing it, Not bad for the age of it, was the orignal header tank, but fresh one would look smarter.

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The car at the time ran out of MOT, I would've made it if the painter wasn't so busy with other work but these things happen, I knew the car needed a pair of front discs and pads, the hand brake sorting and some brake pipes that need attention. Admittly this isnt way to go, but I've got some Cupro Nickel Kunifer brake pipe for it, but didn't really have the motivation to change them at the time, So I just covered them with rubber hose, If my tester questioned my excuse was gonna be "it was to stop them chafing" but wasn't bothered. I wanted to keep at all green on the MOT History, as it was all green apart from 3 fails in its life.

And voilà passed!:thumb:

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GLS_Astra

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Not quite show time yet for it, but I'm getting there. I decided to take it on a long run, to the Vauxhall show in May, car did me proud, total of 550miles and never missed a beat, quite comfy too. Good to look around getting ideas for mine, fair play to all the people that went very clean builds majority of them. Big fan of the Saab boys, one Red MK3 with a 4x4 conversion with a Saab bombing down the strip and the bangs you could feel hit your chest 1/2 way down the strip :lol: .

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Engine conversion for it is still crossing my mind and making a really clean sleeper for it but I'd imagine that's winter time project. Oh yeah and my bonnet liner I got from "U pull it" in Edinbrugh I finally got that on and cleaned up, finishing touches that counts, not lot of folk like them, but I felt like it looked odd with out it, but yeah anyways it's on.

I took it a spin for pictures today too, after a gave it a wee wash of course :cool:

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My next thing for it is a exhaust, atm its got bits of exhaust on it, a cheapy centre section which is starting to rot and Banging Sportex back box. I've got my eye on a Piper exhaust for it, same what's on Andy's Pineapple Yellow MK3, I think they look smart and also lowering springs and shocks. would look good lowered 30mm or something not too drastic, and shocks they are the orignal ones on there and the car is bouncy as hell, on the verge at the back where you could bounce it off the ground if you tried hard enough. The door trims I've left off for now, I'm growing on the look with out them, However If I cross paths with a decent Genuine set I'll probably stick them back on I'd imagne.
 

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