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Newbies California

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Hello, I'm new here. I got myself a 1993 1.4 California with MOT till Dec and tax till the end of April for £350. Its done 101k miles but the bodywork is (what I reckon) is fairly clean for its age.

There are a few problems which if anyone could help me with would be a great help (see after the photos).

I only got this car as a runaround till September when I move to Australia for 12 months, so I dont really have any plans for it except to keep it clean to help me get my money back when I sell it.

I am not a newbie to forums, I have been on Ford forums for years and have been a staff member on EscortEvolution for around 4 years or so. I also run a local car enthusiast site. Bit of car history for you, I have owned nothing but Fords, a few Fiestas and many Escorts ranging from the mk4, mk5b and mk6. My last project was a 1.8 Si Escort which got treated to many track oriented mods which helped the car when I took it to Donnington and Silverstone.

I love motorsport and have been to many events such as Le Mans, Britcar 24hr, Renault World Series as well as countless rallies in Grizedale, Wirral and Blackpool.

Well, I feel I have given you plenty of info about me so will get back to the Astra. Here's some photos I got the day after I bought it.

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It does have a few problems, only small things and niggles. First is a squeeky engine mount that makes a funny noise whenever I apply or lift off the accelerator. The windsreen has some scratches on where the wiper has been rubbing but hoping they can be polished out. The car did have a standard tape player fitted that didnt come with a radio code, so I whipped this out and replaced it with a Pioneer unit, however I cant pick up radio stations, guessing this is due to the aerial being broken off (if this is causing the lack of signal, is it an easy fix?).

Small niggles include the bulb behind the clock half of the display being out and also no bulbs working for the heater controls (bulbs or fuse?).

I am hoping that this forum can help me sort out the little problems as it seems quite a busy place, so one of you must know a thing or two about Astras lol.

Anyway, hi :fingerdance:
 
Looks tidy! My gf has one of these but red :)
 
Wecome to the site, glad you ditched the

F: fix O: or R: repair D: daily

and welcome to the world of vauxhall ownership, we love them but they can be just as bigger pain in the ass.

On the subject of your radio signal it will be because of a broken aerial, they are a bitch to change as you have to remove the boot interior trim on normally the N/s rear wing area. A new manual one can be had from Halford for 18 quid as I have just replaced my own one but any more advice please post in the help forums and im sure someone here will be able to help.
 
Thanks for the welcomes, the car has been well looked after, bodywork isnt perfect, but looks good when polished.

Wecome to the site, glad you ditched the F: fix O: or R: repair D: daily

Wondered how many post it would be before the Ford hating :P lol

I am not worried about removing the trim, might get down to a scrappy and get a second hand one if I can.

Another problem I noticed, the headunit I put in, when ever I turn off the ignition, when I next use the car it has lost all of its memory, meaning that the power to it is cut off, anyone know of a simple fix?
 
thats a tidy looking car for the money m8, welcome to the club
 
It does have a few problems, only small things and niggles. First is a squeeky engine mount that makes a funny noise whenever I apply or lift off the accelerator. The windsreen has some scratches on where the wiper has been rubbing but hoping they can be polished out. The car did have a standard tape player fitted that didnt come with a radio code, so I whipped this out and replaced it with a Pioneer unit, however I cant pick up radio stations, guessing this is due to the aerial being broken off (if this is causing the lack of signal, is it an easy fix?).

Small niggles include the bulb behind the clock half of the display being out and also no bulbs working for the heater controls (bulbs or fuse?).

I am hoping that this forum can help me sort out the little problems as it seems quite a busy place, so one of you must know a thing or two about Astras lol.

Anyway, hi :fingerdance:

Welcome to MK3OC fella. Looks like you got yourself a bargain there. The aerial is very easy to replace, they're not too expensive to buy new or you might find one in a scrap yard. The astra's have a slight design flaw which is that the heater panel is constantly illuminated, so the bulbs usually are blown by now. You can replace them with LEDs instead which are brighter and last longer, plus you have a choice of colour. Just search the forum, there's a guide on replacing them about somewhere.

Another problem I noticed, the headunit I put in, when ever I turn off the ignition, when I next use the car it has lost all of its memory, meaning that the power to it is cut off, anyone know of a simple fix?

For some reason on these astras, the switch live and permanent live are the opposite way round to most cars. Most aftermarket headunits have bullet connectors on the red and yellow wires which let you swap them over easily. If you don't have them, then you can cut and solder or crimp the wires.

Do you plan on doing any other modifications to it?
 
Thanks for the welcomes.

Well the whole point of me getting this car was as a cheap runaround while I broke my Escort for parts and saved for my Oz trip, so dont want to spend money on this Astra...

...However I am sooo tempted to do a few things lol.

If I find myself with spare cash I was thinking of a cheap 40mm or so drop and some 15 or 16 inch steelies painted white and loose the orange.
 
Well clean mate, you'll want to mod it eventually they never stay standard long!!
 
If I find myself with spare cash I was thinking of a cheap 40mm or so drop and some 15 or 16 inch steelies painted white and loose the orange.

:nod: that will look ace.

btw the aerial is not too hard to change... i didnt take any interior trim out because i did mine when i swapped my rear lights over for gsi ones (a cheap mod btw that looks good) its just a bit fiddly sticking ur hand down behind the trim to get at the fixing point but other than that its straight forward
 
I managed to get hold of a Haynes for £4 on eBay, so can start sorting out the problems, just need some days off work now.

I am tempted to mod, but should really, really save my money lol. Still, can do free mods, if anyones offering ;) haha

I can put up photos of my old Escort project if anyones interested?
 
Well, bit of an update, sort of.

I have done over 500 miles in the car now and have built up a list of faults I want to sort (some of them I have already mentioned).

  • No aerial, so no radio
  • Headunit looses power when ignition turned off
  • Small leak in the boot I need to find and fix
  • Rear washer jet not working
  • Driver window is very stiff when winding down and up
  • Annoying squeek coming from engine bay, makes a hell of a noise when lifting off and applying accelerator
  • General interior creaks
  • Airbox intakes are a bit of a state
  • Dash light behind clock out
  • Dash lights behind heater controls are out

I'm sure there are more that I will find, but that list will keep me busy for a while.

Also took the car out for a bit of a recce for a navigation scatter I am planning with my local club today, lets just say the brakes got a pounding to the point where they were smoking a fair bit. I was shocked to find they were not vented! Might have to look into sort that out haha

Another thing, the water temp, where does it usually sit for you guys? Mine very rarely goes above the first white mark (except for today when it was reaching 95 degrees after being pushed).
 
Well, bit of an update, sort of.

I have done over 500 miles in the car now and have built up a list of faults I want to sort (some of them I have already mentioned).

  • No aerial, so no radio
  • Headunit looses power when ignition turned off
  • Small leak in the boot I need to find and fix
  • Rear washer jet not working
  • Driver window is very stiff when winding down and up
  • Annoying squeek coming from engine bay, makes a hell of a noise when lifting off and applying accelerator
  • General interior creaks
  • Airbox intakes are a bit of a state
  • Dash light behind clock out
  • Dash lights behind heater controls are out

I'm sure there are more that I will find, but that list will keep me busy for a while.

Also took the car out for a bit of a recce for a navigation scatter I am planning with my local club today, lets just say the brakes got a pounding to the point where they were smoking a fair bit. I was shocked to find they were not vented! Might have to look into sort that out haha

Another thing, the water temp, where does it usually sit for you guys? Mine very rarely goes above the first white mark (except for today when it was reaching 95 degrees after being pushed).

Looking good mate, what did you take the pictures with?

also,
  • No aerial, so no radio - easy fix as above
  • Headunit looses power when ignition turned off - is it an aftermarket head unit? might be that you need to swap the red and yellow wires over
  • Small leak in the boot I need to find and fix - could be broken rear washer jet pipe
  • Rear washer jet not working - as above
  • Driver window is very stiff when winding down and up - re-grease window rails
  • Annoying squeek coming from engine bay, makes a hell of a noise when lifting off and applying accelerator - check engine mounts,suspension and bushes etc
  • General interior creaks - good old vaux :)
  • Airbox intakes are a bit of a state - clean
  • Dash light behind clock out - easy to replace bulbs, do a search been covered lots of times
  • Dash lights behind heater controls are out - not as easy but still a DIY job, as above do a search as been covered lots :)
 

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