1997 Astra F Estate Project.

  1. Matt Thomson

    Matt Thomson Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    Been doing a bit more on the old bus and ended up cutting the 1/4 panel off. It's horrible in there.....
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    Much worse than I expected and you can't buy the whole panel, just the outer lip. Time to get creative.....
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    Had to make up the difference with sheet metal.
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    Used the original and only solid bit of metal to set the width...
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    Then replaced that once the rest was aligned and tacked.
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    A bit of hammering and bending and a few tacks...
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    Just to seam weld it up, fix a wee radius at the front to stop water from pooling and give it a blast with the linisher and it should be ready for some primer and fitting.....
     
  2. steviec_lj

    steviec_lj Rust Welding Professional

    Messages:
    2,108
    Location:
    Barnetby, N.Lincs
    I remember owning a 97 Astra Van, that the arse end fell out of on a speed bump.

    Removed the spare wheel well and welded the cover in the hole. Tailgate was patched, sills, rear valance, inner and outer arches, inner front wings, bulkhead and probably more.

    Might as well have bought a new van to be honest, there ended up being more repair/new metal than original..
     
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  3. Matt Thomson

    Matt Thomson Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    Lol.....aye, there are a few the same.....mine being one of them. Currently mine is more mig wire than motor....lol.
     
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  4. steviec_lj

    steviec_lj Rust Welding Professional

    Messages:
    2,108
    Location:
    Barnetby, N.Lincs
    From what else I remember, it went like stink being a 1.7td Isuzu lump, had the nads tuned off it..
     
  5. Matt Thomson

    Matt Thomson Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    Aye the Isuzu TD was a great engine. Never any hassle with them in all the years I worked with Vauxhall. If they did give you hassle it was dodgy starting from cold. Every time it was just the tappet shims needing set and away they went. Far superior to any of the Moby Dick diesels you get these days.
     
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  6. Cracking fabrication skills matey. Interesting making the template out of coke boxes when the cars were made from the coke tins. :D

    My BIL was workshop controller with Vauxhall in Bridgend South Wales and had been with them for over 15 years since serving his apprenticeship with them. Heard many stories about what went on in the workshops.

    I had a Mk1 GTE which had seen a few minor restos so was in good nick when I sold it around 10 years back. Even had the original under bonnet toolkit and the original 1.8. Sorry to clutter your thread.

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  7. Matt Thomson

    Matt Thomson Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    Awww.......that's stunning! I absolutely love the Mk1. Such a rare car these days. Maybe I'm a bit biased but the old vauxhalls are the best. I'd love to do a Mk1 Astra or Cavalier, but I reckon once I'm a bit better at this restoration lark. I'm tempted to go down the Corsa B or Calibra route to start with then maybe move on to something a bit older and more challenging. Having said that though, the hardest bit of this Mk3 of mine is trying to get body panels. They're either obsolete or crazy money. So far I've had them shipped in from England, Spain, Germany, Poland and Denmark. Some new, some salvaged from scrap motors, hence the masses of fabrication. Although in fairness I'm actually quite enjoying the fabrication bit, it feels like it's more of an achievement having made the parts myself, and more money left over to spend on other bits.........
     
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  8. I reckon Novas will be the next ones to start fetching huge money. The only problem is the SRs, GTE's and GSis were mostly shagged and the lowly models like the 1.2 merits are the next ones. I owned a few Kadet C's (1 coupe and a saloon) and I'd love another coupe but they're fetching £7k plus now. Imagine what the 1.9 Kadett GTE's and SR's must be worth. Mantas and Asconas alike!
     
    Matt Thomson likes this.
  9. Love the old vauxhalls.
     
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  10. Matt Thomson

    Matt Thomson Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    Awww a Manta!!! The car I was in love with as a kid. Last one I drove was a metallic brown 1976 Manta Berlinetta that belonged to my service manager. It was during his yearly weldathon to keep it on the road. I'm kicking myself as I bought and sold a lot of old trade ins for buttons. I'm really kicking myself as I gave away a car I'd bought for £12.50........ Never spared it a thought back then but now they're as rare as rocking horse Flip flop and worth a few bob now. It was a 1.6 Mk2 astra estate 3 door. Novas are already going for silly money. Did you see the Nova 1300 Irmscher Sport that sold a couple of months ago? ?
     
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  11. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    715
    USA-NY
    So what caused the rot to start so badly there anyway?...great work, very detailed bending. It looks like there is still a complicated set of bends to be done just inside the filler cap opening.....how does that all jigsaw in place?

    watching intently!


    JP
     
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  12. Matt Thomson

    Matt Thomson Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    The rot is well known there unfortunately, but its so bad in this case due to a mixture of neglect, age, missing splash guards and some very very shoddy repairs......or bodges rather. Any previous rust wasnt removed it was just patched and sealed over but continued to spread.
    The bending believe it or not was all done by eye and by hand. I dont actually have a proper sheet bender so i threw one together from 2 pieces of angle iron and a couple of threaded rods. The inside of the petrol flap is pretty much complete but the tabs there mate up with the outer section on the quarter panel and are the mounting points for the petrol flap. Hopefully shouldnt be too much longer till its all welded and dressed in to one panel then i can fit it permanently and put the quarter panel on. Its ground to a halt at the moment as I'm not happy with the grinding in the ridges and bends. Ive ordered a miniature grinder that's more like an electrical dotco so can use the roloc discs and rotary files to make it a lot tidier.
     
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  13. Pigeon_Droppings2 Member

    Messages:
    1,578
    Location:
    london
    Looks great...the fact it's done by hand makes it even more impressive.

    I'm the same....so far I've made do with a vice and bits of scrap iron to fashion my repair pieces. Have actually bought all the bits to make a bender but my project is currently at the paint stage so don't want to mess about with cutting and welding until paint is completed.

    I always wanted a mk1 GTE...as a kid it was the Ford vs Vauxhall boys :D.
     
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  14. Matt Thomson

    Matt Thomson Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    Lol..... It'll be a long time before I need to worry about the paint. It's going to be a full respray inside and out but I can't strip it to the bones till it's got an MOT. I need to drive it to the paint shop. It also needs to stay mobile as I'm about to start building a new brick garage, so it'll need to go outside once I start dismantling the old garage. Love the old GTE though. Stunning old cars. Apparently they're bringing out a new GTE sometime soon. I hope it lives up to its reputation as the SRi certainly hasn't.
     
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  15. My BIL sold his Black Mk1 GTE about 3 years back and it's now having a total bare metal resto back to original spec even down to the hot cross bun alloys. The guy reckons it'll be worth about £20k when done!!!
     
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  16. Matt Thomson

    Matt Thomson Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    I'd quite believe that. They're very sought after nowadays. Old vauxhalls are worth a lot of money. Just look at the guy who sold the Nova Sport for £70,000......
     
  17. slim_boy_fat

    slim_boy_fat Forum Supporter

    I know where there's a 1957(59?) Victor in black like this one - it's a 3-speed 'box but fitted at the factory as a special order with the Laycock de Normanville overdrive which operates on 2nd & 3rd gears, so effectively a 5-speed :thumbup:

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  18. Matt Thomson

    Matt Thomson Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    Looks nice. Can't be many of them around these days??
     
  19. Wallace

    Wallace Member

    Messages:
    6,102
    Location:
    Staines, Middlesex, England.
    We have a ‘78 2ltr SR Coupe here I have just dug out in a major tidy up. Stalled project, was rumoured to be a pre production Silver II Coupe.
     
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  20. You selling?
     
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