1997 Astra F Estate Project.

  1. Matt Thomson

    Matt Thomson Member

    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    One part I am particularly proud of was the front jacking point/outrigger. You can't buy them so fabrication was the only option. Made it from the shelf from the locker I had......
    20180204_232145.jpg
    It's a real mess but I managed to bash it back in to some sort of shape....
    Made some card templates and gave it a go...
    20180204_162018.jpg

    Had to make it from multiple parts as I don't have a stretcher or shrinker.......

    20180204_165352.jpg

    Then had to make the flange around the outside.

    20180204_232134.jpg

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    Looks reasonably close.....

    And the finished article for comparison with the original.......

    20180205_143134.jpg
     
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  2. mylesdw

    mylesdw Member

    Messages:
    704
    New Zealand
    Great work! How did you do the stamped holes?
     
    Matt Thomson likes this.
  3. steveo3002 Member

    Messages:
    5,448
    cambridge uk
    what did you use? never heard anyone complain about epoxy and in my experience it sticks like nothing else , even when split on chrome etc it sticks like glue
     
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  4. Matt Thomson

    Matt Thomson Member

    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    I cut the holes about 3/16" undersize with a stepped hole cutter. I used an outer bearing ring from a phase 1 clio rear wheel bearing. I sat the metal on the bearing in the centre of the ring and used a tapered oil filter socket which was about 1/16" smaller that the bearing. Then comes the technical bit...........
    I whacked the socket through the hole and in to the bearing with a 2 lb rubber mallet. Hey presto.....swaged holes....
    Just thought of it when rummaging through my toolbox trying to figure how to bend it evenly.
     
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  5. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    2,802
    Location:
    london
    Great work....I tend to agree somewhat about epoxy paints. If the prep is spot on then they are amazing...if it's less than perfect then results can be...unexpected! It isn't an issue with the epoxy paint of course...it's down to my less than ideal prep conditions!

    I've been using Dinitrol rc900 which is a rust converter and primer...I then scuff it and epoxy over the top. I did this on a car around 5 years ago and it seems to have worked well....plus I'm thinking if the epoxy chips off then it won't just be unprotected steel underneath as the Dinitrol leaves an epoxy primed surface (according to the tin!)

    Great work on the hole cutting...water pump pulleys are also great too for the same purpose :laughing:

    Whatever is said about epoxy....it's far far better than POR15 at sticking!
     
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  6. bricol Member

    Messages:
    1,190
    N.Yorks, UK
    I used the car for ten years everyday - sandblasted areas it's still stick like really sticky to a woolly blanket. Areas I wirebrushed, both power and hand, it had separated, leaving a gap for water to get in between. The paint was still stuck to itself, and was nicely smooth on the side originally on the metal.

    Areas painted with conventional paints on wirebrushed areas were a lot better - still stuck on well. it had chipped in areas, so not as good as the epoxy on the areas prepared as the paint people instruct.

    I still using epoxy (Jotun), but everywhere I use it is blasted.
     
  7. steveo3002 Member

    Messages:
    5,448
    cambridge uk
    fair enough , mines been great compared to por15 which peeled off in sheets , i try to avoid wire wheeled prep when possible
     
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  8. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,128
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Great work on the patches Matt, looks like uou are making good progress. You are also making me feel inadequate over how long I take to get things done.

    Bricol one of the issues with preparing rusted or good steel with a rotary wire brush is its polishes the steel and makes a worse surface for the paint to stick to.
    Sandblasting gives a nice rough angular funish which is perfect for paint to stick to and that's what you need to get as close as you can to.
    Bristle blaster brushes and the like although rotary are designed to work more like a needle gun and tend to give a rough angular finish.
    Failing that good sharp flap discs work well to achieve a good key.
    I've had exactly the same problems as you with Galvafroid, and now try to blast or spot blast as much as possible.
    It's easy to blame the paint but usually issues are down to preparation or application.
     
  9. slim_boy_fat

    slim_boy_fat Forum Supporter

    Join the Club :ashamed:
     
    Matt Thomson likes this.
  10. Matt Thomson

    Matt Thomson Member

    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    Lol... don't get me wrong, this project was already started in another thread so I'm not getting on that quickly...
    Between working dayshift/back shift, running the kids to stables, swimming, rugby, doing karate and what seems like an endless run of shouts and training I'm only getting Monday and Friday after work on my dayshift, week, Saturday and a bit of Sunday...wife permitting, so I've been on it since the middle of January. Add to that the difficulties of getting body parts as they all seem to be obsolete, makes things even harder. Currently I've had parts shipped from England, Spain, Germany, Denmark and Austria..... Thank god for online shopping or I'd have been screwed....lol.
     
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  11. plum loco Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    north west england
    Nice work,love it.
     
    Matt Thomson likes this.
  12. Matt Thomson

    Matt Thomson Member

    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    Thank you guys. I wondered if I was being overly critical of myself and I always feel my welding looks a little untody until its ground down smooth. Can't seem to leave a really nice bead. I have no problems on the heavier stuff. It looks not bad..... Screenshot_20180328-222135.png
    But the thinner stuff seems to be hit and miss. I tend to favour stitch welding but it doesn't always turn out the same.....
    Sometimes it's not bad....
    20180203_183540.jpg

    Other times its a bit splattery....

    20180217_160708.jpg
     
    jpmillermatic likes this.
  13. mrdom Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Devon, England
    Brilliant effort, my first car was a 1992 Astra 1.6 Si Hatchback, obviously not the best car ever and it had a few years and miles on it by that point but I loved it. To be fair with 100bhp and not a lot of weight went as well as was probably wise for a first car.

    I've got a 1991 Toyota MR2 that I'm currently trying to decide what to do with and need inspiration as i don't really know what i'm doing (its not even too bad to be fair it just got left on my drive when i had my first kid 3 years ago, the MOT ran out and its not really moved since (i couldn't bear to get rid of it when it had to be swapped for a car with back seats).
     
    Matt Thomson likes this.
  14. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,128
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    What welder and size wire are you using? I find 0.8mm is better for the thin stuff but I'm no expert.
    Stitch welding is the way to go, it keeps the heat down which reduces distortion.
    I'm assuming you are butt welding these patches? If you can get to both sides try putting a length of copper- flattened copper pipe or even better lightening conductor or flat bar, to have something to weld against. It allows you to put a bit more heat into the weld and really cuts down on the grinding.
    If the welder is very fickle check the liner and tips and the wire tension and make sure the wire is clean and rust free.
    I have a Auto Star 190 that's probably had only 20kg of wire through it and at times I would happily put a match to it other times it welds ok, but never very good.
    I should buy a nice inverter but can't justify it (yet)
     
    Matt Thomson likes this.
  15. Matt Thomson

    Matt Thomson Member

    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    Nice one mrdom. Was that the last of the mk2 astra or the first of the mk3?? I liked both. I get quite nostalgic when I see any of the old Vauxhalls as it takes me back to my apprenticeship days....lol.
    The mr2 sounds good though. I liked the older shape like that. They're getting rare and definitely worth getting back on the road again....

    Dcal, I had started on the 0.8mm but it was flux cored. It was doable but a real pain so I went with gas and solid wire. Started on 0.8 mm and tried 0.6mm and found with the argon and the thin wire I was getting some fantastic looking welds. It was using a Clarke weld 100EN turbo. It was a cheap one i picked up on Gumtree......
    It did the trick till I had to use 1/4" plate to make the jacking point. It wasn't up to it so I decided to try and repair my welder I bought about 15 years ago and broke down so I never used it again. Long story short it was the numpty who fitted the liner had it catching the feed roller causing it to surge, after a 2 minute fix it was working perfectly. It had more than enough power as it's a Sealey Supermig 180. So now I use the Sealey for the heavier stuff with 0.8mm and the Clarke weld with 0.6 for the thinner stuff....
     
  16. mrdom Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Devon, England
    Mk3 same as yours, at the time my best mate who had a bit more cash that i did had a brand new 1.6 mini one, and he was never happy that the astra would out run it by a mile on a straight run (those minis are much heavier than you would think)... course it didn't fare so well on the bends or slowing down, but you can't have everything.

    I was well pleased when i got it that it had a 12 disk cd changer taking up the whole of the glove box. When that inevitably packed in i was stuck with the tape player and i only had one tape... fortunately it was AC/DC - back in black so i just listened to that continuously for about 6 months.

    I loved it at the time because it was my first car but I don't think id want it back. My real lost love though is another 90's vauxhall, more or less. I had a 1994 Monterey (Izuzu trooper) and i really miss that car, I was gutted when i had to give that up due to rust (it was mechanically pretty good and it was before the days when i had the tools and might have attempted chassis repairs). I keep my eye out but finding a half decent one (or a trooper) isn't easy now.
     
    Matt Thomson likes this.
  17. bricol Member

    Messages:
    1,190
    N.Yorks, UK
    [QUOTEIt's easy to blame the paint but usually issues are down to preparation or application.[/QUOTE]

    Yes, that's my point. Paint is excellent, but you have to follow their instructions to make it work properly. I cringe when I see piccies of it put on smooth steel.
     
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  18. Matt Thomson

    Matt Thomson Member

    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    I liked the look of the early ones, Especially with the square mirrors and plain grille. I must admit I was a great fan of the Monterey. It was a nice motor. Those were one of my favourite motors to PDI because obviously the 4x4 had to be checked and tested too......much to the annoyment of the valeters....lol. As for the dodgy CD player.....
    Your choice CD is proof if impeccable taste in music....
     
    mrdom likes this.
  19. mrdom Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Devon, England
    I drove my monterey around Europe several times and mostly ran it on vegetable oil. Room to sleep in the back with the seats out, it was brilliant. If I wanted one now I'd probably have to buy a rusty one and fix it up.
     
    Matt Thomson likes this.
  20. Matt Thomson

    Matt Thomson Member

    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    I'l be honest, I've not seen one in years.....
     
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