Alright gang. If you've read my other thread on here you'll know all about this but I've just got around to writing a proper advert for it so here we are. This is going to be a LONG READ, so make yourself a brew, or get someone to do it for you if you're one of life's success stories.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: This is my 2005 Vauxhall Astra SRi Turbo 200 + Exterior Pack (catchy name, innit), I've owned the car since last September/October and in that time I've covered approximately 6000 miles in it. It has the 2.0 litre Z20LER petrol engine, which I believe is a sort of cross-over between the Z20LET motor used in the old Astra GSi and the full mentalist-spec engine from the later Astra VXR. When they brought out the VXR this Turbo 200 model was killed off so it carries the distinctions of being both quite rare and the most powerful five-door Astra to date.
- Starts, stops, goes left and right and also backwards should sir require. Mileage is about to click over to 119k.
- MOT until March 2019. Only advisories this year were rear tyres getting low and front exhaust minor leak of gases.
- I serviced it just before the MOT. Filters, plugs, correct grade oil. Approx 1500 miles ago. I also replaced a leaking rocker cover gasket which is a common Z20 foible. Oil level hasn't moved a nanometer since.
- Cambelt and water pump done by Vauxhall Eastbourne at 91k in 2015. Invoice to confirm.
- The PO also said the clutch had been changed around the same time. Although no paperwork to confirm that.
- The six-speed 'M32' type gearbox is in fine fettle. These can give trouble on Astra and Vectra of this era but this one seems very happy. No baulking, crunching or whining in any gear.
- No signs of any rust that I can see either above decks or below.
- Turbocharger seems very healthy. Boosts when it should, doesn't do anything it shouldn't.
- Has a cat-back stainless steel exhaust system fitted from legendary chavvy pipe-bending outfit POWERFLOW. This is a good thing because the OE exhaust system is specific to the 200hp model and is either NLA or eye-poppingly expensive from Vauxhall (can't recall which). Anyway, its not noisy or annoying, and gives a nice bassy tone and a satisfying WHOOMPH! on gearchanges.
- Goes like fuck. I don't know if its been chipped or hacked or interfered with by a laptop-wielding ECU whisperer, but its an overtaking weapon. I had a Vectra GSi a while back and this feels like it would kick the shit out of that.
- Has oodles of history, invoices from Vauxhall and such like to show it has been looked after well through its life. Original manuals, 2 keys etc.
- Taxed to get you home, obvs.
What's not so good?
- The main issue with the car is that it is running hot. The previous owner helpfully fitted an aftermarket temperature gauge as Vauxhall didn't bother. When I first got the car it would run at around 85-95 degrees when cruising, and 100-110 when under heavy load or in traffic. One day I was blezzing along on my way to work when I got a LOW COOLANT warning flash up on the dash. I was only about 1000 yards from the office and it wasn't overheating so I free-wheeled it into the yard and after a bit of investigation found a split top hose. I was about to go away for work so I parked it up for a week or so whilst the top hose was on order. I got a new hose from Vauxhall and boshed it on about a week later but when I started the car up, it was chucking a bit of white/grey smokiness out from the exhaust. Not plumes, but it was defo there. By this time I had needed to swap the insurance from the Astra to another car to commute in, so I couldn't test drive it further than up and down the car park it was being kept in which was never going to get any proper heat into the engine, but even if I ran it for twenty minutes, it was still a bit smokey.
I didn't want to keep swapping cars on my insurance because Lloyds charge £25 a pop (WANKERZ). So I dropped the exhaust at the centre section in the hope that any liquids contained within would drain out, I left it alone for a week and then slapped a day-insure on it, put the exhaust on and went for a spin. And lo, not a wisp of smoke to be seen! Temp was holding steady and no LOW COOLANT warnings. So I then put it back into service as my daily runner. However, all is not as well as I thought, a couple of days later I pulled out to overtake some slower traffic and noticed the temp gauge creeping steadily up. Since that day, it has been running alright but it now seems to run at anything between 90 and 105 degrees on the open road and will creep up in traffic or under load. The highest I have seen it go is 120 degrees in traffic, but I have been consciously avoiding traffic hotspots. It doesn't seem to actually overheat, the temp light doesn't come on and the fan cuts in at around 120 degrees and will slowly bring the temp down in traffic. But I'm sure it isn't right, it wasn't like this before the top hose malarky.
So whats wrong with it? The short answer is I do not know. If I'm being totally honest, I think it could potentially be the head gasket starting to let go. But that isn't a given. I haven't had it tested professionally. The oil is clean, the coolant looks a little murky but that just be where I stirred up a bit of crud from the system when I did the standard-procedure "bleed it with a hosepipe" when I did the top hose. The coolant level seems to be holding steady and it hasn't at any point so far overheated or been hot enough to trip the temp warning light. If the PO hadn't fitted the temp gauge, I probably would never have even known about it. That being said, it might not be the head gasket, the oil is nice and clean and the white smoke has not made a reappearance in the 500ish miles I've done since I saw it last. There's an invoice in the file from Vauxhall saying that they have flushed out the rad on this car before as it was blocked. They don't say what it was blocked with mind, but it could be something to do with that.
Fuck me this is dull to read! Anything else?
- Yeah actually, there's a miss around 2500 RPM which is most likely the coil pack. Vauxhalls of this era seem to suffer badly with them failing.
- There's a bit of a rattle from the N/S/F. They didn't pick anything up on the MOT but I reckon (based on absolutely NO in depth checking whatsoever) that it is most likely a drop link. It sounds like a drop link.
- One of the door trim panels is inexplicably blue.
- The fuel range computer thing is a fucking liar. Apparently all early models of Astra 'H' are like this, ignore it.
Surely you could get £1500 for this if you fixed it?
Yes, I probably could. But I don't currently have the space, the tools or the time to get stuck into this right now. My life is currently an infinite loop of work trips and sorting out my house/garden. I paid £1350 for it, but I'm willing to take the hit and move on with my life. It's a nice car and has real potential but it ideally needs someone with more 'hands-on' experience with spanner twirling than me to get it back to its best.
Can I drive it away?
You can. But if you live like 200 miles away I'd recommend you drive it in the evening when its cooler, take it easy and have some breakdown cover. It hasn't boiled up on me, but my commute is 20 miles each way and I've been driving it very gently. I don't know what it would do in a twelve mile tailback on the M6. If you're in the Orkneys or something, I'd say you'll want to shiply it etc.
WHATS UR BEST PRICE M9 TAKE IT 2NITE?
It's £695. Which would make it by far and away the cheapest SRi 200 for sale in the UK. It may well be the only one for sale in the UK actually. Included in that price will be a decent Bosch second-hand alternator I found in my stash which is correct for this car. If a shiter buys it I will also include a new head set to help you along as I think it is likely to need one sooner or later.
The car is located in Hastings, East Sussex. If there is anything I've missed let me know. I will roffle if enough interest but someone will have to talk me through it as I've not done one before!
It will be available from next Friday. By which time I should have my E36 on the road.
Thank you for reading my drivel. Photos to follow in a minute.