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After many a long year of occasional contribution on here I've probably got enough old shite on fleet now to do something I should have done yonks ago and start a project thread.

The story so far.........

I had an 02 CRV for 6 years and it performed faultlessly as an car taking everything in it's stride. The only issue with it was the 25mpg it returned but as I worked close to home that wasn't an issue. Cue December last year and a new job saw my commute go up from 4 miles a day to 32 miles a day.

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By March I was drowning in green shield stamps so  bought the mighty diesel disAstra from Davehedgehog of this here parish. Shown here on the only off-road parking and only second car parking space I have. The garage contains a few motorbikes so I've always stubbornly stuck to a single car rule so I don't have to move motors to get bikes in and out. More on this detail in a bit.....

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A combination of broken motorcycles needing worked on, a bike trip around the Baltic and work meant that I soon realised that I had no time to prep the disAstra for its MOT  at the start of this month. It wasn't worth enough to pay to have the work done so I decided that the poor old thing would be scrapped in favour of a replacement motor.........

The mighty Volvo (V70 D5) was purchased from Ma & Pa forddeliveryboy of this parish and migrated north of the border back to it's natural home.

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Three days after being pressed into commuting service the mighty volvo suffered a (badly) sticking caliper and much burning brake smells that had to be stripped and rebuilt before work the next day. Sticking piston at that so the whole thing was off and the brakes had to be bled afterwards. Two and a half hours in the pissing rain was a bit character building especially as the still MOT'd (by 3 days) and taxed (but not insured) astra was sitting on the drive. Decision made, insurance checked and a soon to be taken out Admiral multi-car policy will see me with two cars on the fleet again. I could have used one of the bikes but motorway commuting in the pissing rain on two wheels is no fun. The volvo needs an MOT in december so having the astra back on the road will take the pressure off getting that done if it needs work and the weather is bad.

And so as the volvo continues to provide daily service, project astra revival starts. Known MOT work needed is frilly arches,  broken number plate and front discs and pads so nothing major. Thus far the arches have been sorted without resort to duct tape.

After a bit of prodding.......

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And after the angle grinder was let loose surprisingly it was only the return lip that was rotten so the welder was broken out to lash on some roughly cut fresh metal.

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Linished off filled, sanded and primed. Note the use of a farmfoods brochure pulled out the bin being used as masking paper for extra shite points.

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Followed by a near perfect colour matched (*) top coat....

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Well I had black on the shelf and it's good enough to stop the primer soaking up the water so that'll do for now.

Hoping to get brakes and MOT sorted in the coming week so more to follow soon (hopefully).

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52 minutes ago, davehedgehog31 said:

Glad to see the Astra living on, it's definitely with the right person. 

Has it been OK to you after it's fuel jettisoning issue early on? 

It hasn't missed a beat once all the initial issues got ironed out. Still has many issues as with any old car so we'll see what the MOT man says but I'd like to see it live on for a bit yet. Even though wafting around in the Volvo is comparative luxury and great fun I have missed the utilitarian charm that only a base spec diesel astra can provide 😂

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21 minutes ago, davehedgehog31 said:

Glad to hear it, felt like a bit of a knob after it's incontence but had no way of knowing. 

They're great cars, the fuel economy was stupendous. 

Definitely nothing for you to feel bad about. Lets be honest it's hardly surprising a £300 car developing a problem is it. I think you just lucked out more than anything during your ownership  being able to run it without having any problems.

Just imagine if Cavcrafts 12,000 mile astra (in the for sale section) was a diesel estate. We'd need to organize a last man standing cage fight to select a winner there'd be so many of us queuing up to buy it 😅😅😅

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Get in............

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Had to use a garage I'd rather have not gone to as my favoured one was fully booked all week. Outcome not as bad as it could have been. Front subframe although not crispy is very rusty so mild concern as to what the testers hammer would find but it held up to scrutiny. Also windscreen wipers look to have been moving gravel at some point as the screen is quite scuffed right in front of the driver but again nothing mentioned. Advisory for front damper was a desired outcome as the oil on both front dampers was removed with brake clean/TFR/power washer the night before! Advisories for rusty springs, can be ignored. Fail was from an broken headlight that wouldn't adjust. It was secure and did work ok so I missed it in prep. I had the garage replace it and felt a little drybummed that they fitted a new Vauxhall part instead of a pattern one. Never mind for £160 it has a years ticket now and I have a backup car to take the pressure of the Volvo's up and coming MOT in December. Celebrated by splashing out £12 on a new set of mats and putting a spare wheel (with very borderline tread depth) back in the boot. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Was going to leave the advisories on the astra but the parts are sooooo cheap that I'll probably do them when I have some free time. When it's not pissing rain and once the Volvo has it's MOT renewed that is so that'll more than likely be some time off yet.

Talking of the Volvo, yesterday with 5 minutes to spare before a thunderstorm I decided to replace the wiper blades and made an arse of removing the old rear breaking the plastic retaining clip on the arm  rendering it scrap. A replacement was duly ordered off ebay and tonight I decided to remove the old arm in preparation.

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Remove plastic cover to reveal very vulnerable looking washer jet. Have brainfart and think removing said jet for safe keeping is a good idea(*). Snap washer jet clean off after applying almost zero force. Arsebiscuits!

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After much wrestling the arm came off and the alloy fur sticking to the spindle was cleaned off. Now insert self tapper to expertly remove the plastic remains of the broken jet.

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Deftly pull remains of jet out with pliers. Arsebiscuits part 2 as the brass delivery tube comes with it. Only once the remains of the plastic jet was burnt out the tube with a blowtorch could the comedy of errors came to an end with the successful re-insertion of the tube. Everything was then tested and found to be still working. 

New washer jet ordered off ebay taking the parts spend (so far) to replace a single wiper blade to around £35. Not one of my more cost effective repair sessions!

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I'm about to put a new pair of shocks springs and top mounts on my Astra 1.7

The nearside shock is a Monroe unit that doesn't look that old to me, I'm fitting a matching new pair of springs, mounts and shocks so it will be surplus. All the other 3 shocks are knackered but the front nearside has had a shock and spring at some point recently.

I ll check it once its off and bung up a pic. Yours for postage, or shitely from dunstable.  

 

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Quick update from Monday. How long does it take to shampoo the velour interior of a Volvo Estate?? All day that's how long! Decided to go full valet on the barge and the whole carpet and velour palace of an interior got  a going over with the carpet shampooer. That, rebuilding the rear wiper arm (see above) and cleaning all the door checks took me a whole day. Thanks to the miracle that is HEATED VELOUR front seats (seriously do seats get any better) it only took a couple of drives out sitting on a towel with the car set to "maximum sauna" to get the front seats dry again.

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As is the way with autoshite though you do all that work and immediately something else is dangled in front of you that is even more appealing! Potential fleet movements up and coming so watch this space............. In other news the disAstra continues to function perfectly as "an car" so is definitely staying. No car ever represented value low cost motoring more than a MK4 diesel Astra.

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Heated velour sounds immense. Especially on days like today, first windscreen scraping of the season this morning. 

The Astra continuing to car as always then. My polo was very much acquired to fill the gap left by the most car-like Astra. Its very similar feeling. If it proves to be as good on fuel I'll be delighted. 

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The Astra is set to be the mainstay of the fleet again you'll be glad to hear. While the Volvo is an awesome car to drive I find it's a bit frustrating as a daily. My commute is a mix of congested motorway and city and that's at odds with the Volvo's natural habitat as a high speed cruiser. I have found that I drive like a bit of a knob at times in the Volvo because I'm constantly wanting to stretch it's legs and the outside lane is always full of people who are getting in my way by daring to drive at the speed limit! By contrast the Astra is smaller, content to sit at 50-60 without making you frustrated and has better all round visibility thanks to not being burdened by the thick pillars etc that come with Volvo's obsession with tank building and crumple zones. 

I never intended to have 2 cars but since man maths and autoshite logic say it's worth while I'm going to have the Astra as the cheap to run daily commuter and a "Sunday Best" and backup commuter No 2 car. The Volvo is going to be moved on now as I've agreed to but another car from a mate of mine to fill the No2 slot. Arrival is a few weeks out for now so all I'll say is that it's petrol and has a lot of GLF about it. Watch this space...........

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Astra fettling time.......

Check out my sexy new gear........

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... lever and handbrake gaiters. £10 and and half an hour to fit both. These and the £12 set of tailored mats have really transformed the interior into a nice place to be.

I've also swapped out the remaining two alloys for steel wheels and added a set of gen-yew-ine Vauxhall trimz. While I did like the look of the original alloy wheels old alloys are just a never ending source of rim leaks and slow punctures in my experience. This and the steady supply of mint steels with new or nearly new tyres coming up on facebook marketplace for around £20 prompted the move. Just one more to source to go in the spare wheel well which is currently filled with an alloy. On the subject of tyres Landsail can get in the fekkin sea (no pun intended). One of the alloys that came off today had one of those POS tyres on. Three quarters of the tread still there and massive deep cracks between the treads so straight in the scrap pile. 

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While I had the rear wheels off I checked out the springs which were an advisory at the recent MOT for being rusty. Rusty they are but rotten they are not. Just no paint and surface rust all over so I'm pronouncing them good. You can buy new rear springs for £13 a pair delivered on ebay but I recon that they'd probably snap before the current rusty (probably original) springs would.

While swapping over the spare wheels I whipped out the boot carpet which has now been shampooed and  is currently propped up against a radiator in the house to dry. One step at a time the car is getting better and better so I'm just keeping chipping away whenever I can. Having said that if I could pay £2K for an absolutely mint sub 100k mile example I would jump at the chance. Absolutely brilliant cars for what they are.

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