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3,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Decided to pull together a progress thread, about time considering I've been on AON for a few years now!

Started off with my Star Silver 1.6 16V G, which I've had for over 6 years now. Here she is in all her glory

Mods are:
Powerflex Polybushed front arms
Eibach Pro Kit 30mm drop
Bilstein B4 dampers
GSi Wheel
Alpine HU with Focal 165VB speakers
Irmscher spoiler
Irmscher double D backbox

Nothing else apart from general maintenance and looking after her. Got close to 182k on the clock now and the only 'major' things that went wrong in that time are the EGR, coil pack & 2 dead batteries!! Can't complain at all.
Girlfriend is the custodian now :lol: but I'm still keeping on top of it all.

Then back in July last year, I picked up my Silver Lightning VXR. Wanted one for ages, with a bit of spec and it had to have AFL's.
Was looking at black or silver as I didn't want one of the 'brighter' colors. Then I came across the Silver Lightning.. ooosh had to have it!

52k on the clock when I got her and she came with the following:
Sight & Light
Parking Sensors
18" Snowflakes
Power Fold Mirrors
& 100% factory standard :D

Couple of photos the day I saw her:

The day I picked her up, driving back down the A1 and boom.. ploom of blue smoke out the back. Turbo was dead :(
Got recovered back home & the next day the garage picked her up, took it back and replaced the turbo.
Unfortunately for me, they put a re-con unit on and this was the start of a whole load of crap to go wrong :(

Within a week, there was oil leaking. Phoned the dealer and they wanted me to bring it back to them. 100ish miles away and didn't give me any option to use another garage of my choice. I politely refused and proceeded to replace the oil return gasket.
5 different options later and it was still leaking!

- Replaced it with Vxl's metal gasket - leaked!
- Replaced it with the CDTi gasket - leaked!

- Replaced the whole oil return pipe with silicone o-ring - leaked!

- Tried some extra non setting gasket maker - leaked!
- Oil restrictor bolt - leaked!

Gave up and took it to Vxl and they said the oil return was loose? Tightened it and guess what? it leaked.
After Vxl had had the car over 3 separate times and failed to fix the fault, I gave them some grief and made them replace the turbo and voila. problem solved.
Unfortunately the warranty company wouldn't cough up as they said they don't cover seals, but they cover mechanical failure. Both Vxl & myself found this to be a get out from the warranty as the seal formed part of the mechanics of the turbo. Anyway.. that problem was sorted.

Being the inquisitive type I am, I decided to dismantle the old turbo and found that the refubishment was crap, they had missed out one seal on the exhaust side. :/

You can see where the oil was leaking from:

Then I went to get some new rubber as the Yoko Prada's on the car were awful. Complete rubbish IMO.
Swapped all for for Michelin PS3's and the difference was night & day :)
Managed to make £100 on the old tyres on eBay :)

During this time, I fitted some Insignia jets. Much better than the twin jet rubbish.
And ultimately set about keeping her clean & well protected.

Wanted to change the sidelights to match the crispness of the AFL so upgraded them to LED's from HID's Direct



Much better :)

Ended up getting the wheels refubished too as they were in a sorry state:

From this:

To this:

VW Reflex Silver was the color used and it only cost £180 for all 4. Heavenly Bodies in Peterborough, ran by Neil. Top guy and his work is excellent

Apart from a full service including gearbox oil change with Fuchs & a new cambelt, that's about it for now. Got no real plans for any mods as I just want to keep her factory fresh :)
Well maybe a CD70 Navi ;)

Will be sorting out the rippled seat bolsters at some point, should be an easy fix.

Comments welcome :)

3,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cheers pal :)
Nah the jets only took about 10 minutes and a few cut knuckles :lol:

Forgot to mention some of the other changes too...
Front wiper linkage replacement as it was hitting the a-pillar. Got a new unit of eBay for £50! bargain :D
Had to change the front steering knuckle & lower wishbone too as the previous owner twatted a curb and bent it knocking out the camber!! :shrug:
Luckily it hadn't damaged anything else! Probably explains the condition of the wheels too

I've pretty much found every fault and had it fixed as I'm a bit of a perfectionist. All it needs now is the front bumper respraying as it's stone chipped and Neil @ Heavenly Bodies will be doing that for me. Once that's done, I'll probably get it wrapped in that clear film as there's a place in town that does all sorts of cars (Paintshield)

Couple more photos

And one with my mates Civic Type S after a Sunday b-road drive :)


41 Posts
thanks for the info on the jets.

Geez, sounds like the prev owner did not really give a ***** about the car.... :( based on problems you listed....
Glad she is in much better hands now! (Y) :cool:

3,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ant we need a catch up it's been a while. Be a decent excuse for some more pictures as well.
Agree pal, it's been a good few months now. Let me know when to be fair, I'm free most weekends :)

Very nice pair of Astras. Keep up the good work.
Cheers buddy. It's harder work now the mrs is driving the old G :lol:

Very cool Ant :cool:
Cheers Matt, would be good to meet you some time pal, you're only about an hour away!

3,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Small update today. Got some Osram Nightbreaker Unlimited H7's through for my main beam bulb, the old ones still worked but they were horribly yellow. I wasn't able to get my hand in the small flap in the wheel arch so it was a bumper off jobbie.

Headlights out

New bulb going in

Quick check before putting it all back together

Before, these were standard Osram bulbs

After, not much of a difference on the camera, but they do look better in reality.

3,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Unbelievable what you have to do to change bulbs! Such a risk of a slip and a scratch. Looks good tho' Ant.
Tell me about it Rich, utter pain as the flap in the wheel arch is big enough for one hand but you need 2 in there to hold the base of the bulb & holder! Ahh well, only took about 20 mins start to finish.

Martin said that he's looking to set up another meet sometime so keep your eye out for it :)
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