The Financial Mistake

Kev_mk3

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This is going to be long so go make a brew, grab a beer you'll need it!

Back in 2015 I was going all out on a saab engined mk3 astra estate to a very high show standard. The car was at the body shop about to be painted Switch (a rare vx220 colour) and it had been sat for 12 months with them at least just going no where. I went on holiday only for it to be cut short, I rushed to France and my dad sadly passed away meaning i was stuck over in France for nearly 2 months sorting things out.

My plan was, once I was home from my holiday to set to getting the car back take it elsewhere and paint it white again to speed things up and rebuild it with my dad as he wanted a project and thought be nice to do it together. This was now gone as he had passed away.

Once home I went down to see WTF they where up to and basically got told they didn't want to do it anymore. I stripped the car of what was left on it (hardly anything TBH) and scrapped it, sold all estate specific gear like shocks, etc along with big fancy turbo as I wouldn't need it. I also got rid of the gf so took my house on myself and sat back enjoying life, looking at it from a different perspective.



Now 12 months later now September 2016 I took my mum away for the anniversary of my dads passing & one drunken night I was sat on the wifi in the hotel browsing ebay. Now we all know this never ends well. It didn't. I woke up the next day to find I had won the below.

The car -

  • Last of the line 08/1997 Astra Arctic 1.6 16v in Champagne Gold
  • 55k on the clock
  • Full Service History
  • Old guy owner from new who then passed it onto his son who was also very old.















I got back from my holiday and the following weekend I made plans to get the train down to Vauxhall in London (how Ironic!) to drive the car home. Now this is where the fun began!




Strange place this -



I knew the car had a clutch issue so would be fun getting it back but factored this into my budget (yeah never give yourself a budget - you wont stick to it) So several trains later and a short car ride to the owners house I handed over some cash and was now the owner of a Mk3 Astra that worked again! I got on the road feathering the throttle as any force it just slipped, I had over 200 miles to go so had to go easy. First I stopped and filled the car with fuel, checked the oil and tyres off I went.

Slowly got onto the motorway and once In 5th I could just cruise on the inside late doing about 50/60 mph letting everything pass me as I was just trying to get home, not set a land speed record. After a hour I pulled into some services to have a pee & then got to look around the car properly.

First inspection -
- Someone had super glued a matt to the dash with this being pulled it ripped the dash apart ( I have a spare dash just a pain )
- Floor matt super glued in. Again pain in the arse as hole in the carpet ( I had spare black carpets just more hassle)
- Another aerial had been put on the roof for some reason rather than fixing the rear wing mounted one oh well cant do much about it
- Front door speakers or lack of. Looked behind the covers and someone had mashed the door speaker holes you'll see below and currently had nothing in it.
- Random holes in the boot like it had something stuck in the floor
- Radio had been cut out so that was going to be a mission of a job
- Air con didn't work. No big issue wasn't going to be used anyway.
- Passenger wing mirror hanging off
- Interior light housing cut to shreds for no reason
- Drivers seat was ripped and no support at all
- Last of all no sunroof. I thought it had one and had the last sun roof deflector in the UK waiting to go on. This really really annoyed me and still does! This was sold at a later date to help solve the issue.

At the services I removed the pollen filter as it was horrible and stank then I carried on anyway clutch getting worse finally got home in about 5 hours parked it up and thought what the hell am i bloody doing with another......................


This is going to be my FINAL one that I am telling you now.

Also worth giving my page a cheeky follow as I update all about the Astra, Swift and trips on it -

Soul Developments
 

Kev_mk3

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Here is the video log of my trip back - my hayfever was going mental hence the nose touching

 

Kev_mk3

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Below is the pictures of all the issues I found.































 

Kev_mk3

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Next day I decided to jack the car up get the wheels off and have a good poke about cleaning the arches out as currently it had years worth of dirt sat in them and I wanted to check for rot. Thankfully no rot, odd little rust patch nothing major though. Good clean later I set to with removing the rear bumper and trim in the boot as I wanted to rub back the rust patches as a drain cover in the wheel well was missing.




























Off to the internet I went to order the following -

  • Correct colour Paint
  • Drain hole cover
Also found some rare wheels for sale so bought them unexpectedly to ooooops :rolleyes:

Now having a fully rebuild Saab B204 I was thinking what to do next. I decided to replace the clutch on the car as it was £35! To then do a few bits and use it rather than start the engine swap and have it sit for ages.............................

Old was shafted -



in with the new





Taster of whats to come........




Car was tested around the block so about 100m and perfect working order now. Happy days :D Parked it up for the night to be washed the next day and put back in the garage.
 

Kev_mk3

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Week or so passed and a few parcels arrived.

First of all my new rare wheels.

These are Irmscher twin spokes but in 16". They came as standard on phase 2 GSI's in 15" but I imported these from Poland and would suit my needs perfect!












Next up was a new grill donated by a good friend Zoltan in Hungary from his old car







Also my new front brake discs arrived. 308mm J hook from Mtec. I got these as they are pre drilled for 4stud as I wasnt going 5 stud anymore like on the estate.









With the car being in my garage I jacked the back up and had a look at the bit of rust i found. Rubbed it back, etch primer then painted in body colour. Was like new when I finished :)







 

Kev_mk3

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So after a good conversation with Nige we decided what the hell it wont take to long lets just crack on and stick the b204 in the car it wont take to long surely - These are our famous last words :lol:

I set to chopping the front panel off, removed all the air con crap & chopped a few other bits out and then realised I had gone through the power steering lines ( thought they where air con hence cut them ) ooops. Oh well wont be needing them then!















I then did what any natural person would do and thats put the intercooler in place to make it look cool :lol:




Big pile of crap now -




Few more parcels arrived in this time.

Brand new calipers for my 308's, with Yellow stuff pads. I hate EBC products but these should be fine and got them cheaper than OEM so what the hell.









 

Kev_mk3

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I then went to Australia for a month over xmas and new year so nothing happened but as I couldnt sleep due to jet lag I was searching for parts again! I bought these off TomF as he had done sod all miles on them and he was moving to coilovers -

Gaz Gold adjustable shocks (also eibach springs)





Once home I stripped all the interior plastics to do a few changes to. Basically I painted them all black and you will see why later on.



Nige came around to remove the 1.6 as I had found a buyer for it...............Another mk3 member - Astranaut

Once out the way I got on with rubbing the bay back, priming and painting again. It isnt 100% perfect the match but it is bloody good for cans.





























Small difference in colour but cant tell in person

 
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Kev_mk3

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While I was painting the bay I collected my subframe, rear axle, front legs, strut braces & ARB's from the powder coaters as they still hadnt done them after a year and took them elsewhere. I got the main parts done black then the arb's done anthracite. Now I was in a rush for these so they said be 2 weeks. Once collected I wasnt happy as they let a new guy do some of them and TBH it wasnt good. They sacked him due to this but I needed them so took them anyway as we where going to put the engine in that weekend. Sadly that didnt happen as family things and parts didnt arrive so they could of re done it!













New Actuator arrived also from Asia :D



 
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Kev_mk3

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As we where meant to be fitting the engine Nige brought the lot over to mine in preparation for this. As you can see it is alot and well as i lived on my own at the time I put it in a safe place - The dining room!





I then painted my cooler black as it helps disperse the heat and looks more stealth









While I did that Nige removed some wiring that wasnt needed and changed to my new GM wishbones. Can see what the knocking I had was now..............






While things where drying out I rebuilt the front subframe with the Irmi front arb etc again naturally in my spare bedroom :lol:







I had a delivery of 4 x Nankang NSR2's but in the future these got sold on.

 
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Kev_mk3

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While I had all the trim out to paint it black I glued the c pillars back together as they had split due to the previous owner having some mega thick wood on them holding some 6x9's up.










We banged the bottom end etc all in and then went from there, I made myself useful buy painting various bits on show & found my opel badge for the rear.







 
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Kev_mk3

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I decided that I wanted the wheels refurbished so I took them to Platinum Coatings | Car Wheel Repair & Refurbishment Services next to the Trafford Centre in Manchester. Usually they do it same day but I left them with them. They did a amazing job so much so my daily bmw will be having the same colour when I get around to it done by them.

Pics below -













Since I have removed the tyres and sold them and fitted some toyos

29695143_798352490350357_3397356474197351478_n.jpg



I also painted more trims and set to on the roof lining using a spray dye. Came out really wll







29186665_792280237624249_6800170248868724736_o.jpg
 
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Kev_mk3

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As it was a nice day I decided to paint the brakes











 

Kev_mk3

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The head etc got fitted -



18221614_649959898522951_2842679567315934125_n.jpg
 

Kev_mk3

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Then the temporary cam cover got fitted

19905354_683125331873074_7997391623540892511_n.jpg

I have this wrinkle one ready to possibly go on -





 

Kev_mk3

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Loads more has gone on in the middle of all this but its basically good to go now minus sorting the exhaust, fitting the brake calipers & replace the sump as this one is cracked.

24210209_743374492514824_6066855451202011993_o.jpg



I have 2 spotless front sport seats fitted currently -



As the old seats where knackered.

looking forward to getting it out and using it but I am in no rush. I will update some more soon with the little jobs but thank you to Nige for all the engine work and help

This was going to go to VBOA but sadly family and life stopped this but It will be next year
 

reno

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So you coming to vboa next year then in this ;)
 

Kev_mk3

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So you coming to vboa next year then in this ;)
I was going to come this year in it but with things at home and the swift breaking royally didnt get time to finish it
 

Mr.Negative

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Wow, nice to see this update.... back with a mk3 again :) yay lol.

So what sort of stage are you looking at power wise on the Saab (or will be)?
 

Kev_mk3

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the engine itself is fully rebuilt, lightened, balanced, balance shaft delete with bigger injectors and map sensor etc its future proofed for big power but as it is I have 2.5" down pipe and exhaust so that will restrict it a lot. It will be at least 250bhp possibly up to 280/290bhp but this will be maxing the standard turbo. I want it to be reliable. I used Niges old corsa a lot and that was 210-220bhp that was enough so this will be a shock :lol:
 

TubaMagna8

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Nice, Really enjoyed reading this :) I was supposed to be editing pics from VBOA but got distracted hah, Look forward to seeing it in the flesh :D
 

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