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Nugget the Corsa - 17/11 Winter Prep


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The incorrect trims are still sat here waiting for the vendor to respond to messages.  Had to raise it with eBay in the end because there wasn't any response so I've got a refund in action, which I didn't want to do at all.  Not sure what to do with the trims I have got here if I get a refund and the seller still doesn't get in touch.  I guess it means I'd have to get a Cavalier or an Astra to put them on.

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Im an old timer car enthusiast in my 60 s and end of last year bought a Corsa gsi for £ 550 with 5k of receipts following a rebuild, remap, big wheels, loud powerflow exhaust, bucket seats and wide wheels. I loved it, family thought id lost the plot but fun motoring on a shoe string with go kart handling. First and maybe last Corsa B but worth the experience. Had ten days ownership of an old Reliant Robin, now that appeared stone age motoring after a Subaru Impreza. Really like to have extreme opposites with cars sometimes hence owning the Rover 820.

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My new badges arrived and turned out to be precisely the right size and close enough to the original design to be acceptable. Tailgate looks much improved now.



The proper wheel trims arrived too. I'm always amazed how much difference the right wheel trims can make to a car, they've made such an improvement on Nugget's overall appearance that I'm very happy with them.



Hoping to be wheeling the Princess outside soon so Nugget can come in for paint detailing, it's just too cold to be doing it outdoors at the moment, especially with much of the work being fiddly stone-chip repair. I'll hopefully get more progress made on Nugget on Friday when I'm back at the unit again.

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Given the condition of the paint you'd think the car had done half the miles.  Usual bonnet leading edge chips and some flaking on the return lip.  Bit flaked off on the driver's door, seems to be common for Corsa Bs of five door flavour and the odd blemish that will polish out on the flanks.  There's plenty of lacquer left and a good depth to the paint so it should polish up a treat once I've finish touching in all the tiny little chips at least one giffer owner, twenty years and 100,000 miles have collected.

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@Hendry:  Just looked back at that Photobucket link to the badge.  There's no difference.  The one fitted is a domed plastic 'button' type with the chrome griffin on a black background.  It's not the later cut-out type chrome badge, but it does look a bit like that in the picture.

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Today, Mike removed the starter motor from the car.  There's some minor wear on the teeth you can immediately see so we're going to inspect the flywheel for damage to the teeth, it's pretty likely that's the cause of the weird noise at start.  The starter motor itself is a good Valeo item that looks new-ish.


The main reason the car was being worked on is that the weather was a bit milder, we had a bit of space (Princess evicted to outside and a cover again) it was decided to crack on with paint rectification.  First up, clear the mud out of the arches.



Have a good look underneath.  Front crossmember is in very good condition and the underside of the car is very tidy indeed with no work required.  There's one spot on the front chassis leg that could do with some fresh underseal but other than that it's very tidy underneath.



Mike had previously given the engine bay a quick degrease which improved things rather a lot, looks very tidy and will be an easy task to get it up to spec.



On with the paint.  I'd already poked the flakey stuff off and found the metal underneath was pitted but solid, no holes.  Return lip on Corsa bonnets always rots, something about the design of them, so it all got blitzed with the flapwheel before getting a couple of coats of primer.  I was going to put top coat on this and found that the nozzle on the can is utterly borked so I need to get that exchanged for a new can.  Annoyed me a bit too because today I was all set to finish the paintwork on the car.



Tidied up the scratches and got the touch-up kit out to prime the deeper scratches that weren't so evident in previous pictures.  You can just about make them out here.



The flanks of the car aren't perfect, but they are very, very tidy.  All of the doors have paint nibbles on the very edge that's taken the top paint off but left the base coat intact.  A fiddly repair that's time consuming.  There were a few stone chips but very minor and infrequent.





Cleaned back the driver's door corner.  Metal was very pitted but also solid with no holes.  Rust converter after cleaning it all out and a couple of layers of primer were order of the day here.  A very minimal skim of filler or even just high-build spray primer will resolve the surface which I'm really pleasantly surprised by as I was expecting the door to be a bit worse.



Trailing edge of the sill looked a little tender, when it was taken back the problem was a loose scab of underseal with again solid but pitted metal underneath.  This has since been blitzed, rust convertered and primed ready for stone chip, top coat and underseal to make it all good again.



At the front I found the only rot hole in the bottom of the driver's front wing where mud had sat and rotted it out.  The sill behind is completely solid and a neighbouring mechanic is happy to weld this up for me for a very agreeable price as I've got no welder gas at the moment.  Not worth replacing the whole wing, not that Caribic Blue panels come up that often in reasonable nick.



The other wing bottom is nice and solid.  Again, under the paint scab was rough metal but no rot to speak of.  As with the other areas this was cleaned, rust treated and primed ready to go.



Finally, same again on the trailing edge sill passenger side.  Really solid again with no issues on the sills.  Lovely.



I'm really pleased with this, I knew there was a chance I'd blitzed the scabs and find holes everywhere but instead I found solid metal.  What's caused the problem is a small stone chip that's let water to get in under the paint and make a mess of things, metallic paint making it look far worse than it was.


Progress on the paint is swift, touching in stone chips is fiddly but easy, well within my skill set.  I've yet to flat them all back and polish up and it looks likely that the repairs will be invisible as the paint is a really good match to the original.  I've got to finish the bonnet, the B pillars, front passenger wing and have a good look around the door shuts to check for anything I might have missed.


You can't really see it in the pictures, but in person it's such a big improvement to see bodycoloured door edges instead of nibbled paint back to primer and to see the tiny white dots on the flanks filled in.  I'm really pleased about this progress.

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That ramp is only really any use for inspection, most of the time we use axle stands so you can actually get underneath the car so it's going to be going to a new home so we can get the old 2 post lift installed in its place.


Once all the paintwork is touched in a machine polish is very much on the cards, the paint is good enough that touching in the stone chips is worth doing before machine polishing.  It will look super tidy when I'm done, but it won't be concourse.  Not even I can be arsed with concourse.

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Decided to make use of the mild weather and make some progress on the Corsa.  I was hoping to get the machine polisher to do its magic but the lambswool bonnet has gone missing.  It didn't mean I had nothing to do, there was still some lower door de-tarring action to undertake and I swear I removed enough tar to protect the Mary Rose.  I tidied up the stone chip repairs I'd already completed, one or two will need redoing but the majority have disappeared into the paintwork as I hoped they would.  I also gave the sides of the car a go over with cutting compound by hand since I couldn't use the machine polisher and it's helped bring the paint up brighter than I'd expected.


I'd already cleaned up the sill ends and got them primed, today I cleaned them up again and put the tiniest skim of filler on to smooth out the slightly pitted surfaces.  Top coat of metallic and lacquer saw them looking smart enough that you wouldn't know I'd even done the work.




I need to re-black the sills properly now to finish the job.



For a Halfords rattle can, the colour match and finish is really good, I'm actually quite proud of this.



This is the sill end that looked quite rough but wasn't, with some fresh matching paint it looks excellent now.



The other end of the same sill needed virtually no work before the top coat went on.  The wing bottom isn't painted as it is going to get repaired first.



This inner sill had worn through to the white basecoat, careful application of paint saw it blended back in nicely.



You may remember the B pillar was very badly scarred when I collected the car.  Plenty of careful sanding and masking saw all that in the past.  The matching damage on the driver's door got the same treatment.





The driver's door corner was the ugliest bit of bodywork on the car.  You wouldn't know it was even an issue now.



The return lip on the bonnet was finished too.  I couldn't do more on the bonnet without bringing the car down off the ramp so I'll tackle the rest of it later.  I also need to do a little extra sanding on the top side of the bonnet to make it look a bit smoother.  All in all, not a bad effort.






I couldn't do much more on the Corsa today and wanted to make use of the last few hours of decent weather so I turned my attentions to the Princess (see signature for more info).

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