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Mk3 Astra. Using glue on rear arches

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6.10am coach this morning from Southampton.  Can't complain really - it is comfortable, punctual and the driver was polite.  The seat at the back isn't the best choice as it is close to the loo and it all got a bit inky pinky after one gent ....anyway....we got to Victoria early which was good for me.

 

Then onto a train across London.  Who would ever drive to London when public transport is so much easier?  No issue with the train (actually it smelled a bit of wee wee, getting a common thread here lets move on).  

 

As I walked out of the station, Rob T was arriving in the Astra.  It looks great, a fine car with so few general bodywork defects.  Really clean inside too.  Rob makes a fine cup of tea and has to be a recommended Autoshite seller as far as I am concerned.

 

The journey back was no problem.  The car drives well, pulls cleanly and smoothly.  It is quiet as described and the radio does work Rob.  

 

I can find few faults.  The front shocks are past their best, probably original, but not dangerous.  It goes in a straight line and generally everything works.  The faults described before sale are either minor or absent.  

 

Now my dilemma.  I like this car but have as my current spare car an LS 1.4 DOHC which is frankly a bit livelier, and has fully sorted front suspension (new shocks, bushes, joints, wheel bearings).  Why have I bought another?

 

Well the P reg 1.4 DOHC isn't quite as clean generally.  It is a cat C and although well repaired many years ago, no-one could ever say 'there's no filler in this'.  

 

And of course Rob's car is £££ to tax being a 1.6.  What a daft rule.

 

But what tips my choice?  The colour.  I don't really like the gold colour of the DOHC.  Rob's is a really civilised silver with a hint of green. 

 

Anyone want to buy the 1.4 LS DOHC?  Low tax, recent cambelt, water pump, recon head, all that suspension work?

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MOT December.  New shocks front, bushes, track rod ends, wheel bearings, top mounts, ball joints and tracked.  Mostly painted.  Recon head, cambelt water pump aux belt last December, all good tyres, Nexen or Arrowspeed which I think is Nexen.  105K.  So £350?  

 

If it doesn't sell, I will probably swap the suspension in one lot to the other car and sell for the same £175 that I paid for the new one.

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Good news.  The Rob T Astra has a new MOT which it passed with no advisories and went through the emissions test easily, which is always a good sign.

 

I have fitted new NGK plugs and Delco leads, both weird bargains off ebay.  I have put in a new air filter, which was well overdue.  I have fitted the front suspension off another car, as the shocks, rear wishbone bushes and wheel bearings were all well past it, plus the tracking has been done (£10 cash, pizza for lunch at the local tyre centre).

 

I love the colour.  That's it really, drives great as well.  

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Vauxhalls from RobT really are a no nonsense affair.  Nugget, our ex-RobT Corsa B, has now been pressed into winter service after a thorough prep session and new arch trims.  Mike's supposed to be updating on that later.

 

Good luck with golden Astra.

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Done my first decent journey in the Rembrandt Astra up to Gloucestershire.  I've fitted the 15" alloys partly as the 14" steel wheels had one tyre with a puncture, one with not a lot of tread and a 13" spare.  It handles really well now and goes along very nicely.  I've also replaced the main beam/indicator stalk as that was doing odd stuff.  There is a pong of petrol which might be connected with a replacement petrol pump, as someone has fitted a new pump and bodged the wiring so the tank now vents from a hole in the top of the pump plate.  Time for a different correct pump I think.

 

All in all this is classic autoshite - a good car which has needed a stack of minor stuff which would cost about a million pounds from a garage but hasn't bothered me at all.

 

My daughter says that we should name the car 'Rembrandt'.  Not sure I can start naming cars.  My wife hasn't said a word about it since it appeared on the drive.

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Well.  Filled it up to test the economy and the stink of petrol was overwhelming.  Reckon it just pours out of the top of the tank where the wiring has been bodged, as the wires now come out of the tank frame with a big hole around them.  Went to Harry Buckland and only one Mk3 Astra (gasp) which was an estate so the floor under the rear seat doesn't seem to gave access to the pump.  I haven't blown it up yet, but won't be filling it up until this is fixed for sure.

 

I need the pump, and a length of wire with the plug as it has been cut off.  I do have another pump frame which I can sort out with the pump in the car though I do wonder if the pump is correct.  The car runs fine though so it should be.

 

Always a few things to fix.  The drivers door lock rotated constantly sometimes, which I think is due to some sort of sprung dogs in the mechanism not working right.  I've lubricated the door lock and it seems to do it less.  Perhaps with use, it will improve?  Was easy enough to do anyway.

 

The drivers door trim is a bit loose as it has broken away around some of the trim clips.  I've seen this before.  Am wondering how to screw it back discreetly, ie without massive self tappers everywhere.

 

It handles fine with the 15" alloys.  They are a larger diameter and top gear is hugely high, but I don't see a problem with that.  The car drives very well.  It pulls well but does not want to rev at all.  These single point injection cars are different to the MPi Astras for sure.

 

Still a great car :)

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Another 120 mile trip to work this morning, up the A34, M4, Severn Bridge and into rural Gloucestershire.  Running beautifully, can't fault it.  Goes in a nice straight line, cruises faster than I want to, not sure of the economy but I am not filling it up to avoid this.......so far so good.......

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Did the cambelt last weekend.  One hour, start to finish and £10 from Eurocarparts.

 

The crankshaft bolt head was tired and it was well stretched, but the kit from doing my wife's Zafira had two bolts......and the spare was correct.  Cool.

 

Rob said the belt had been done a couple of years back.  The tensioner and water pump looked really healthy but the belt, although probably ok for a while, seemed to have stretched.  No regrets.

 

Due to be put out to grass for a while as the weather improves, but I think it'll be back.

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