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Lacking any Merit: MK2 Astra estate now for sale

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101 replies to this topic

#61 OFFLINE   Skizzer

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 11:20 AM

If anyone can point me in the direction of a cheap Haynes manual for a Mk2 Astra I would really appreciate it, as there doesn't appear to be much that I can find online about doing jobs like this on one.


I've got a Haynes manual you can have - came with the stack of HBOLs that was in my Rancho. Pm me your address and I'll stick it in the post to you.
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#62 OFFLINE   danthecapriman

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 11:57 AM

That looks brilliant, I've not seen a mk2 for ages let alone an estate. Looks really good bodywise too.
I used to work on lots of these when I was in the garage, they were older cars then but still plenty around. I used to love them as they were so simple to work on but seemed to last pretty much indefinitely mechanically, it was just the rot that killed them off.
I regularly used to do a giffers hatchback one, he'd had it from new and it was immaculate. One of the very last ones on a J plate in red with the bumpers and plastic all polished up. It looked the dogs!
My mum looked at buying a C reg hatch as her first car too, I remember going to look at it with her when I was a kid. It was in that pale yellow colour.

Anyway, nice buy, get it pumped phat with wax and underseal!
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#63 OFFLINE   Pillock

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 05:15 PM

I remember the launch, my great uncle was an ex civil servant and used to get CSMA - their motoring magazine.
It had an article on the upcoming new MK2 Astra, I sat in a caravan in Sutton on Sea colouring in the black and white pictures with a burgundy felt tip.

I was 28.

Joke, didn't these launch on a B plate? I was 5 or 6.

The bumper grill combo was amazing, I know it was already on the Nova but it was the future.

Anyway, towards the end of the run my mum had a 1.4GL in white, lovely anthracite velour trim and electric windows. H plate from Neville's in Mansfield.
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#64 OFFLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 05:51 PM

I'd totally forgotten the odd dimpled steering wheel centre.

 

The bumper and grill looked like one unit, I can vouch for the fact they weren't!  One of the ones I had had previously rear ended something.  As a result the radiator grill used to jettison itself if you braked too hard.

 

Didn't realise that the base model Astra's shared the instrument panel with the Nova too...


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#65 OFFLINE   Nicola H

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 09:05 PM

I was a yts trainee at the long gone Vauxhall/Opel Emporium G.Wells & Sons in Strood back in the 80's when these came out and we couldn't sell enough of them,they were streets ahead of the mk3 Escort.

I remember back then the mechanics saying that the 1.3 felt nearly as brisk as the 1.6 (the 1200 engine was a dog that was worn out at about 70k miles though).

I think a 5 speed one would still be a perfect all rounder in 2017.

I must say well bought.

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#66 OFFLINE   Pillock

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 09:19 AM

I'd totally forgotten the odd dimpled steering wheel centre.

The bumper and grill looked like one unit, I can vouch for the fact they weren't! One of the ones I had had previously rear ended something. As a result the radiator grill used to jettison itself if you braked too hard.

Didn't realise that the base model Astra's shared the instrument panel with the Nova too...

The front end was one piece until the facelift in 1990.

s-l400.jpg

Then it was a separate bumper and grille.
4510016667_91572c2dd6_z.jpg

Was there a different dash on the base spec? The one in these pictures was the same as my GTE, but I can't remember if there was a spec below Merit
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#67 OFFLINE   Hooli

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 10:19 AM

What on earth is going on with that nova drivers side rear wheel

 

Normally due to a twat going sideways over a kerb & bending the rear axle. A mate once did that to both sides of a slightly* tweaked Nova when testing* the handbrake.

 

It was bloody daft that car. 1.4SR shell, 1.6GTE lump in stage 3 tune, Cav diesel gearbox for long ratios mated to a Calibra LSD. I was in it one day when it beat a then new Lotus Elise to 140 & was still going, not bad three up with toolkits in the boot. Bloody lethal mind, it ididn't handle at all, hence my first paragraph.


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#68 OFFLINE   bunglebus

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 11:13 AM

 

 

I noticed that although the car managed to heat up nicely whilst stationary, it started to run very cool after a few miles on the A14. I suspect the thermostat is stuck open, so will add that onto the list of things to deal with. 

 

I'd be interested to see how you overcome the running cold problem, both of the 1.4 MK3 Ashtrays my mum had/has do this despite new thermostats and temp senders. The thermostat is a bit of a pain as it's behind the cambelt - but you'd be changing that anyway right? I'm assuming yours has the OHC engine like the Cavaliers etc of the period.


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#69 OFFLINE   adw1977

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 12:29 PM

Was there a different dash on the base spec? The one in these pictures was the same as my GTE, but I can't remember if there was a spec below Merit

 

Merit replaced the previous "no name" base model.  I think it's just the instrument panel that the lower spec Astras shared with the Nova, not the whole dash.


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#70 OFFLINE   lisbon_road

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 04:38 PM

I was worried my MK3 astra was running cold and changed the sender and it ran hotter by the gauge. I think the heater is a better judge of the running temperature than the gauge. Ideally look at the temp through diagnostics but I can't get opcom to talk to my C14SE Astra....sorry getting off topic ...like the merit too, had a D plate as a new hire car but that's showing my age.
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#71 OFFLINE   HH-R

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 10:05 PM

Did all mk2 Astras come with the grey grille? Can't remember!

#72 OFFLINE   adw1977

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 11:17 PM

Did all mk2 Astras come with the grey grille? Can't remember!


Yes
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#73 OFFLINE   Lord Sterling

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 07:10 AM

These are great. Never had the pleasure of driving/working on one but did get picked up in one quite regularly when I loved in Brussels as a kid. Though it was a facelift one. Still great to see!
.31109980376_e6f01e6edd_o.jpg

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#74 OFFLINE   Brodders

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 08:17 PM

Thanks again everyone for the interest, still surprised by the attention this is getting.

Special thanks must also go to Skizzer for the Haynes manual, which will very useful for trying to work through some of the small issues on the car.

Bilt Hamber aren't open until the 3rd of January, and I have had little luck in sourcing some of the obscure items needed for this (if anyone has a line on where I could get a rheostat and a boot strut for a Mk2 Astra estate, please let me know). I didn't know before this that China Blue on an Astra is a different shade to China Blue on a Cavalier or a Nova, but apparently it is.

However I have had the chance to spruce up the trim and reverse the damage of 30 English summers on the bumpers. I think it has done wonders for the aesthetics of the car.

WP_20171228_004.jpg WP_20171228_002.jpg

Arse shot, as requested by DW

WP_20171228_001.jpg

After that, I went for a spin down to the shops, but got sidetracked driving it through the countryside, so it was dark by the time I got there. I didn't miss the opportunity to get a low quality shot of the Astra with its successor though.

WP_20171228_007.jpg

Anyway, role on the new year so that I can carry on with the more important jobs on the to do list
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#75 OFFLINE   Nicola H

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 08:19 PM

Yes

apart from GTEs   all the pre face lift cars had the one piece nosecone 


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#76 OFFLINE   lisbon_road

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 09:59 PM

If you look at SGS Engineering on the 'net, you will find loads of struts available at reasonable prices.  If you're skint (I have no idea...) then there will probably be one off something else that will do ok.  Mind, they need to be the right length; I put a Zafira one on an Astra hatch once, thinking 'that'll be ok' and walked into the slightly lower hatch one day.  Never again.


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#77 OFFLINE   Brodders

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 10:17 PM

If you look at SGS Engineering on the 'net, you will find loads of struts available at reasonable prices. If you're skint (I have no idea...) then there will probably be one off something else that will do ok. Mind, they need to be the right length; I put a Zafira one on an Astra hatch once, thinking 'that'll be ok' and walked into the slightly lower hatch one day. Never again.


Perfect, thanks for the tip. They are much more reasonably priced than I was expecting.
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#78 OFFLINE   Kiltox

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 08:29 AM

Amazing what a bit of trim cleaner/restorer does for a car
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#79 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 08:48 AM

Great stuff!
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#80 OFFLINE   BorniteIdentity

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 09:08 AM

Are you and £95pug venturing to the Woolpit cafe tomorrow am? If the weather is fair I’ll hope to bring the sierra.
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#81 OFFLINE   Brodders

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 10:43 AM

Are you and £95pug venturing to the Woolpit cafe tomorrow am? If the weather is fair I’ll hope to bring the sierra.


I will be there tomorrow morning, but will have to leave around 11:30 as I am dropping some family off at Stansted (if their flight isn't cancelled that is). I will drop Keith a line to see if he will be up for it anyway, hopefully he will be around.
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#82 OFFLINE   BorniteIdentity

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 10:52 AM

I will be there tomorrow morning, but will have to leave around 11:30 as I am dropping some family off at Stansted (if their flight isn't cancelled that is). I will drop Keith a line to see if he will be up for it anyway, hopefully he will be around.


Perfect vehicle for airport runs too! All that luggage space. Mmmm !!
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#83 OFFLINE   ProgRocker

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 01:44 PM

Nice Astra estate Brodders.:) The Cavalier wheel trims suit it imo.

Back in the late 1990s I hankered for a mark 2 Astra (or Rover 213). Bought an iffy Escort IV instead that needed welding come MOT time. FML.

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#84 OFFLINE   Brodders

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 10:20 PM

The insurance I purchased for this has now run out, so you now have the opportunity to own this prime piece of Autoshite gold.

Despite my best intentions, not much has changed since it was on eBay. I have cleaned it a bit, treated the bumpers and plastics to make it look a bit nicer and will be fitting a new boot strut if SGS get around to delivering it. I will be chasing them up on it tomorrow, but if it hasn't been dispatched and I get my money back I will knock £20 off the price of the car (as that is what the strut cost).

As mentioned previously there are a few issues. It idles a bit high when warm, the heater only works on setting 3 and it looses temperature when on longer motorway runs (however gets up to temperature nicely when sitting for a few minutes or driving around town for a while). There are also a few bits of rust and paint issues, which although are not bad for a 31 year old Astra, will need to be dealt with sooner rather than later to prevent it getting any worse. I will also take this opportunity to say that it is very difficult to find the correct paint for this car, so you will probably need to go to a motor factors and get them to make the paint up for you there, which is £25 at our local one.

However now the negatives are out of the way, I might as well say something positive.

It has an MOT until October 2018.

It had a full service in November, with a new cambelt and water pump. It also had a new set of tyres and exhaust at the same time too.

It drives very nicely. I haven't had the opportunity to drive it as much as I wanted to. Even though I wanted to use it to get to and from work everyday, I stuck with the Rover most of the time as it has heated seats, which are very nice in the weather we have had lately. However I have taken it to a local meet, driven it around town a few times and used it on a 200 mile round trip for a meeting in Milton Keynes, and can say that it took it all in its stride. The clutch is great, there are no worrying sounds from the suspension and it cruises at 65-70 much better than you would expect a bottom of the range, 4 speed Astra to.

Overall it is a pretty good car which could be used as it is with no real trouble, or with a little bit of work and about £50-100 could be absolutely superb.

I would ideally like to get my costs back for this, which altogether add up to about £440 (£420 if the situation with the strut isn't resolved).

If there is any interest I will nip over to the garage to get some more up to date photos in daylight, and it is taxed to get you home if someone buys it before the end of the month.

Thanks for reading

Edit: Just adding that it is located in Stowmarket, Suffolk
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#85 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 10:53 PM

Ace cars, these. A friend wanted to buy a Golf in about 1991, I suggested one of these instead because 1/ better 2/ estate/van available. We used to go to Rock City on Monday nights, the thing would wind it's way past 110 and sit there mile after mike, he grumbled the 4 litre Jaguar at the end of the decade was no quicker, North Yorks to Nottingham.

Loving the blue and simple-ness of this one, the bumpers will fade back in time for maximum effect.
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#86 OFFLINE   Dick Longbridge

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 11:03 PM

Damn, that's cheap. Roffle?!
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#87 OFFLINE   Brodders

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 08:19 PM

Damn, that's cheap. Roffle?!


If there were enough people interested it could go that way. However I think a straight up sale would be easier.

It would work out around £7.50 a ticket, so would probably take a bit of time to sell.
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#88 OFFLINE   BorniteIdentity

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 08:23 PM

It’d be nice to find someone who really wants it, rather than just someone who bought it for the price of a pub meal. I am sadly full, but its base credentials are appealing.
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#89 OFFLINE   Brodders

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 08:48 PM

It’d be nice to find someone who really wants it, rather than just someone who bought it for the price of a pub meal. I am sadly full, but its base credentials are appealing.


I do agree. Plus I would rather someone came, looked and then made a decision about buying it, instead of being compelled to take it away as they unexpectedly won it without even seeing it in real life, especially as this has a few niggles that might put some people off.
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#90 OFFLINE   BorniteIdentity

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 08:12 AM

Competition now hotting up in the ‘80s Astras in Stowmarket’ category.

Makes yours look even cheaper

758EE42D-541D-4E5B-AFB7-14EAC87EA0C8.jpeg
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