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Andy's awful autos: PLAS!


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So with the success of the grill fitted and not showing it's tongue. (Not sure if I like it or not) i Decided to tackle the wiper linkage. like most Vauxhalls it's a common issue and every Astra that enters the local scrappy had the linkage swiped, replacement linkages are not cheap online but Luckily I was first to start stripping today's Astra and with the lack of part numbers on it compared to the original I'd say it's one that'd been replaced before. 

The existing linkage worked but it squeaked annoyingly. And there was this issue




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So one wiper off, but the other would not budge. Soaked in so double tt, but nothing. Whacked it, jiggled, offered sexual favours. Nothing. 

Without the arm off the scuttle trim was going nowhere so i made a small slit so I could get it off around the spindle then I could unbolt the linkage and wrestle with the wiper arm off the car. 



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Linkage removed, scuttle area wasn't too bad but there was a build up of shite, so a scoop out and a spray down of g101 with a bit of scrubbing got it cleaned up.

Stuffed the new wiper motor linkage assembly in and gave it a test. No more squeaking and it's solid as a solid thing. 

Still being a stubborn jerk the wiper arm needed a puller on it to get it off.




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Can you handle it? Yes, yes I can. 

So my local scrappy just rounds to the nearest note usually, tenner , twenty etc etc. I usually try to get a few bits to get my money's worth. Like most cars the Astra didn't have a grab handle above the drive so I took one off whilst I was at the yard. They have no screws at all and just clip in.

So now I have a handle I'll probably never use, unless I start exiting the car like BO and Luke?  Deputy Enos stands no chance against my MPG's. 







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Deep 30mm socket purchased, new pads and discs. I already had new pads but as I didn't trust the disc that had got mighty hot and for less than £20 A new pair got chucked on. 

Once remove , the wheel bearing was indeed a bit fudged. if it got a bit too warm or is just past it's best is unknown. But the scrap yard bearing was perfect luckily. So that was left on the new hub/carrier/shock mount thingy. 

The track rod end looked to have previously been walloped on the threads and put up a fight, of course it inevitably started to spin when it got right to the top of the threads.  Arses. 

Mr angry was put too work to carefully peel away the nut, everything was then given a quick clean up with the wire wheel and wanged back on. Job jobbed. 








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As others have mentioned this is a cracker of a topic. A great read and just the kind of content I'd struggle to find anywhere else on the web.

It seems like these were all over the place a couple of years back and then somehow disappeared all at once, nice to see someone putting some effort into looking after one.

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1 hour ago, JoeyEunos said:

As others have mentioned this is a cracker of a topic. A great read and just the kind of content I'd struggle to find anywhere else on the web.

It seems like these were all over the place a couple of years back and then somehow disappeared all at once, nice to see someone putting some effort into looking after one.


Vauxhall central Around here (next to luton) there are bloody loads still knocking around. Where I park it at night is behind another silver mk4, and over the road is another with matching zafira, few more round the corner. At work there's three in the staff car park and one over the road. 

From home to the workshop I will see 8+ easily. 

Handy for stock at the local scrappy!



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  • 2 weeks later...

Condensation and my inability to leave things alone had me looking for later/sportier model astra 'smoked' headlights. I like darker headlights (demonstrated below with my disco fitted with disco2 headlights).

I had kept an eye out for a pair cheap and found some on eBay for £18 delivered. They was not really a bargain tho as one appears to be missing an adjuster and they had been spray tinted black! I thought they looked a bit dark in the listing.  With the front end pulled off the lights were fitted then some wet sanding and rotary polishing was required to get them back to standard. 

I'm a bit undecided if I like them or not, i prefer them over the silver lights, but with the car being such a slab of light silver they look a bit out of place, and almost look a bit aftermarket if that makes sense. Dunno.







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The tyres on the ecto4 consist of two winters up front about 2/3rds worn , one of which made an annoying squelch noise when driving and the rears are mismatch "new" tyres from a part worn place up in Leeds. 

The winters are date coded 2007 and one of the "new" rears are 1999.  The other I can't find a date on. 

So my friend John picked me up and fitted a pair of the shitters favourite, uniroyal. Not sports but experts, it seems 175/80/14 is not a sporty size. Who would have thought? 

Cost price on the tyres and I supplied him with a new tub of tyre soap for fitting them. Win. 

The tyres were fitted to the wheels i had previously picked up from the scrap yard as the wheels on the car are really heavily corroded resulting in the ability to knock large chunks out of the back of the rim it didn't make sense to use them for new tyres. 

Shark skin technology bitches. 







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After fitting the tyres i decided to take the undertray off, I've previously jet washed and scrubbed the underside of the car due to the car being clagged in mud and grime. Shell wise the car seems fine but lots of the bolt on items are heavily corroded?.  I assume it spent some of its life in a wet or mucky enviroment. The undertray was full of crap. 

Having read about rusty subframes on these cars before and with the bit I could see not looking too good i got the old dolop up on some ramps (that previously belonged to father-rew purchased about 40 years ago and used to maintain his moggy before the wheel fell off and then his waterlogged mk1 cav, a strong history of shit cars for father rew)

Like most cars the ramp incline is too steep and hits the bumper ,so some far too thin pieces of wood were used to reduce the angle on the dangle. Handily the yard is on a hill so when on ramps the car is actually level.





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Those Rainexperts are great, I used to use them on 14" MX5 wheels as the Rainsports aren't available in the correct size for them. Good choice.

Bad times on the subframe. That doesn't look too clever at all, fingers crossed you've got the skills/enthusiasm to sort it after all of the work you've put in so far...

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Logically on a car like this it would be the end of the line with a visit to the bridge.

Luckily for this fine steed, I'm not logical when it comes to my own jalopys.. So Wednesday I'll be at the scrappy, I'd previously checked some of the subframes as i had a suspicion that this subframe was a bit shite, and on the cars they had there they all looked fine.

I wonder if the car has been someone's winter beater at some point as there's alot of corrosion on some of the suspension components. Used abused and put away wet. 



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So today a mate and myself went for a jolly to the scrappy.  A few Astras to pick from but the ideal candidate was under a vectra, so one of the guys there forklifted it off and shoved the Astra on top of an over head frame/rack that they use for stripping the cars before the crusher and left us too it. I could have bought a subframe on eBay but this was cheaper and I got many spare bolts and now know how the subframe comes off. 

The new frame will be degreased and painted before fitting next week. The price was £25 quid but after borrowing a grinder to cut the exhaust and the help of digging the car out taking a car off the rack and plonking the Astra up there I paid £40 for it as the help was appreciated. The cost of a frame on eBay seemed to be about £50+ so this is still a good price. 

A BINI was releaved of its headlights and rad fan for my mates mini whilst we was there. 





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