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Where to start. 

Maybe with the one that shocked me on how well it turned out? I'll give the shortest version of the story as I can. 

Got a tip from a friend about a 306 Rallye sat in a barn (it really was! 😂). When to have a look and declared it a mess and thought no sane person would buy it unless it was to break for spares. 

So I bought it on the spot! 

All that dust and pigeon crap lovelyness. Why in the hell to people get boners over barn finds!? 

Anyway. Mechanically it needed everything replacing.

But managed to score a cheap down at heel GTI-6. It was a striped out car that had an issue with not getting certain gears. Perfect! Gearbox woes were down to a short shift pivot extension being in the wrong place. Moved that back and could get all of the gears. Sweet. 

I stripped that car and scrapped the shell and spent the next two years on and off swapping over everything. Eventually to a point it was back to a running and driving car again. 

Clean pass on the first MOT too after being sat for so long 11 or 12 years? I don't know! 

Puts a big grin on my coupon. But is sat waiting for some better weather and I've a few jobs to do it. 




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Corsa B. 

Agh! Shouldn't of bothered. But I did. 

1.2 LS. 

Usual rot areas being sorted. I have lowered it, 15 inch wheels from an Astra Arctic. Some other wee mods (nothing crazy). Had done an engine swap too. The small block 1.8 out of an old Vectra B winter beater I had. Very easy swap, farmed out the engine wiring out. As I clean couldn't be bothered. 

Sat waiting for more attention from the hot snot machine. 





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Getting on the maybe more interesting stuff? 

My long term pride and joy. 

Bought on a whim. Plus I haven't seen another one like it for sale. 

Opel Astra 160iE. South African market only car. That how it came new. Body kit in all. 

It's needing a fair bit of welding. Been slowly collecting the panels I need. Like the drivers inner sill requires replacement. Fortunately stuff is still available. But it's not cheap and you have to wait for stuff to pop up. Usually in Europe. 



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I now have a new alternator for the Nexia. Arrived a day early too! 

Branded as  bosch exchange job too. But no need to send a unit back though. Ideal! 

In the mean time though. I've put the 306 back on the road. It only needed taxing to get it on the tar again. 

However it's got an issue too. It wobbles like a bastard at speed. Like wheel balance swapped the wheels front to back, still an issue remains. 

I'd like to get them checked but thanks to centreless wheels. Doing that isn't as easy now. 

Might check a few things first before getting out the parts cannon out. 

To cheer myself up in the short term. I managed to get an original radio for it. Well it took two damaged ones to get a useable unit. The face isn't the same. But we'll won't worry about it. 


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Nice fleet, love the Corsa B and the Astra. 

The spectre of rot is never far away on a Corsa B. Luckily you are a lot more capable than me ! Good one on the engine swap too, the wiring is what puts me off. I replaced the 1 litre sewing machine in mine with another when the original started knocking, it was only £50 and plug and play.

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Yeah rot on Corsa B's is a given. Hardly surprising really, all those lovely traps for moisture and shit to sit in.

Still have the rear chassis legs, that area behind the TCA that always rots out and the B pillars to sort. 

Sometimes just sticking in another 1.0 is the way to go. Gets the car up and running again and quickly. Engine swaps, can end up being a massive pain, that sometimes isn't worth it.

That said. The 1800 swap was very straightforward in terms of physically fitting. The original mounts, shafts and rad were swapped straight over from the 1.2 8v and anything else was easily available from other Vauxhalls. I side stepped the wiring by going to Gremlin Motorsport on FB and reused the start and charge loom from the original engine. Biggest pain was the fuel system. The X18XE1 uses a returnless fuel system I got around that by using a EFi Bypass fuel regulator.

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nice job on the corsa, as a fellow vaux licker, ive done my fare share of engine cnversions. best one i did was a 23k mile sport with a c20xe and wide ratio box, used the stock airbox, a/c and pas etc and it looked factory.   i also did a c18xe for a lad with a daewoo box that seemed to have close ratios for 1,2,3 and a wide 5th. that was a fun car. 

currently have a rio verde  gsi rep c14se auto sat here awaiting a b204 conversion. 

that astra 160i is rare as rocking horse, though there is about 4 200i's in the uk inc a turbo one....


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They both sounded fun! Those C18XE's were surprisingly good. Put out more power than book apparently.

A B204 would make a B rather a rapid wee beastie. Any pictures of it at all?

Funny you should mention about a Turbo 200.....

I got to park next to the 200tS in 2014 at Billing. Good pals with the current owner too. The chances of them both being saloons in the same colour 😂.



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yeah the c18xe made 149bhp on the rollers with nothing but a big silly cone filter and a decat. was a great everyday car. the owner worked out he wa getting 56mpg on the motorway!

no pic of the b, its pretty sad looking thing. i keep getting tempted by corsa c's theyre pennies here atm, and i used to have one as a young bloke. 

that 200ts was in total vauxhall years ago. lovely cars both. there is a 2.0 sport saloon near me, has the full irmischer kit on it and its a purple color. keep meaning to door knock it....

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  • JMotor changed the title to JMotor's Motors.

It's almost standard for it too happen. It's quite unsettling to hear, as you say it can go with a bang!! 

Soon as I seen the snapped spring. I instantly thought of using a set of lowering springs for an Astra I have hoarded and the wheels off the Corsa. 

But I kinda want to just sling another standard rear spring in and leave it alone more. 

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Went to go check on the cars today.

Wish I hadn't now. 

While checking over the Corsa. Found the windscreen is cracked! But no marks to someone has hit it. 

The fuck!? 

Stripped off the plastics and it turns out the metalwork on the lower windscreen surround has rusted out. Which when the grot has blown out, it put pressure on the good original GM screen and cracked it. 

Fuckin' bastard o' a thing! 

I didn't get pictures, but I will do tomorrow to show the problem. 

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Then depressed myself more. 

Looked at the drivers sill on the Opel again. 

Yep! Still looks like what it did last year when I took this picture. 

Been too much of a shitebag to tackle it yet. Because I really don't want to fuck it up. Even bought a good amount of inch box section to brace it up when I do grow a pair. 


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5 hours ago, JMotor said:

Went to go check on the cars today.

Wish I hadn't now. 

While checking over the Corsa. Found the windscreen is cracked! But no marks to someone has hit it. 

The fuck!? 

Stripped off the plastics and it turns out the metalwork on the lower windscreen surround has rusted out. Which when the grot has blown out, it put pressure on the good original GM screen and cracked it. 

Fuckin' bastard o' a thing! 

I didn't get pictures, but I will do tomorrow to show the problem. 

Fucksticks, thats a new one on me.

Rot is a constant worry with an old Corsa B.

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So might be worth a look on yours. Just to keep that area clean. Found a load of dirt about the push on rubber seal on the screen. 

Pretty sure that where the problem came from. 

I'll worry about it later. But it's something I could of done without. Think it'll nothing compared to fixing the back arch tubs. 

At least my welding skills are getting slightly better each time 😂

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Oof no I'm taking a year off from poking rust on my Corsa.

To be fair, when I found that the front chassis rail was basically thin air last year, I went through the whole lot in anger to see if it was worth saving but I didn't find any thing else. It might need a wee patch on the fuel filler pipe recess at some point but apart from that I think its OK. 

Still worry about it though!

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Great thread, love that era of vaux, from a time when cars were still very much something people could modify without needing to get too in depth and give themselves a useful power hike without trying desperately to tune up a 1.1!!!


Vauxhalls were masters of using the same parts bin for most of their popular models meaning home brew conversions were an easier option than they are today with even things like batteries on some cars requiring coding to work properly. Mental. 

I had a red 5dr version of that Corsa, bought from a mate in work who's dad had owned it from new but put 156k on it. Had the peppy 1.4 8v which was still like a Swiss watch. 

Needed a track rod end and a £20 plate for the mot. Seem to think I did the track rod with the wheel still on it was that easy? Body was proper pogweasled but buffed up superbly. I loved it but back then I was always buying and selling so passed it onto a really attractive, tall, slim redhead girl. 

Twas a really easy sale as the first words that caner out of her mouth were "I love it, I want it, can I take it now?".... No smuttiness, she just knew a good car when she saw it!!! 

Her daughter did pull the head off one of our sunflowers from outside the house much to my mrs disgust but she did get a row from her mum and was very sorry, poor girl.... She'd be about 25 now!!! How quick time goes. 

I was also a big Astra F licker as well, superb cars, far better imo than the escort and they just seemed to vanish overnight? 

I had a red gsi, redtop one not the later ecotec, on a j plate and I part ex'ed it for my cossie and £2000 as I saw it as an £800 car, between the two of them their  probably fetching £20k now ......fun times. I do still have the cossie though, no idea on the Astra. 

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1 hour ago, Split_Pin said:

Oof no I'm taking a year off from poking rust on my Corsa.

To be fair, when I found that the front chassis rail was basically thin air last year, I went through the whole lot in anger to see if it was worth saving but I didn't find any thing else. It might need a wee patch on the fuel filler pipe recess at some point but apart from that I think its OK. 

Still worry about it though!

That was what the corsa I had needed back in 2006/7 so yours has done really well. 

I had another back in 2011 but only a 1.2 16v which I bought as a non runner. 

£75 engine from the blue, few bits and bobs and what a great car, drove it back and forth to Scotland from Swansea  and 2 years with no issues apart from dirty brushes in the starter motor almost causing a,self inflicted, FTP.

That ironically had zero rust on a T plate. 

Still holds my record from Swansea to Aberdeen of 7.5hrs only stopping at Carlisle for a refuel and a piss by the petrol pumps. Great economy and range plus would sit all day long at 85/90mph......although I was gunning it a bit more that day along the M73 🤣🤣🤣🤣

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The starter was the only thing I forgot to change when I put a replacement engine in mine 3 years ago. The one on the engine is quite slow although it does still start it. It looks a pig to change in situ though, I had a war just wiring it back up. Helpfully* the starter on the old engine was the best part of it, I did keep it however.

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I love that Astra 160! Never seen one before. The mk3 Astra 1.4 estate I had was brilliant. Felt so well built, far more powerful than the paper figures suggested and basically took all the abuse thrown at it. Will have a life long admiration for the mk3.

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Thanks @vaughant and @Ian_Fearn

I have a particular love for the MK3's and Vauxhalls in general. Because I've always messed about with them since the days of getting for sweeties. 

Totally agree, they are very stout cars and an XE powered one is good enough to surprise a lot of cars even now. 

If it's any consolation @Split_Pin

I have to change the starter on the 306.

I'm genuinely thinking about taking the front off the car (again) as it's tight in there. But the joys of owning a french hot hatches. 

Oh. Got photos of the windscreen today. It's actually gotten worse since yesterday. 

Plus I think the dash might have to come out too. 

Fuckin awesome. Oh well. Future me can deal with it later on! 



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