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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

So i needed a temp car for 6 months or so while my 9000 Aero undergoes full body and chassis restoration.

Ive been keeping an eye on FB market place for a while for any bargains that might pop up. Friday night a 2008 Astra 1.8 SRi caught my eye and had a crazy low price of £1200.
Went to look at it on Saturday, plugged in my Tech II and did a full scan. Issues were 2nd gear hard to change. Blowing exhaust. And the car was so dirty on the inside it nearly made me puke !.

Made the guy an offer of 1k, and he accepted.
Spent the entire weekend cleaning it. Took all the seats out. Cleaned all fabrics and carpets with our carpet cleaner. Did the drivers seat 4 times !.
Then a really good wash and paint decontamination. Wheels off, clean the arches out, and chassis wash too.
2nd Gear issue was the gearchange needed adjustment, and the exhaust was a joint coming apart. So all free fixes !.

Next weekend im going to do a full service and brake fluid / clutch fluid change and then it will be on the road.
Hoping it will cope with my 800 miles per week. Should do as it seems to be in really good shape. Its all factory standard and has fully documented service history from day one.

So here it is, my £1k bargain.

Seats before wash.


Seats after wash.


Engine.
Connected up to GlobalTIS and done all software updates to engine, abs, traction control computers etc. So now its bang up to date.



Headlights sanded down with Wet/Dry. Then mopped for about 15mins each.


Post wash and detail.






 

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The brake fluid change can improve brake pedal feel significantly.

Use premium full synthetic oil for best VVT performance. That makes a big difference IMHO.

The spark plugs tend to wear quickly on these, killing the coil pack. So at least replace the spark plugs which is a very easy job indeed.

Clean the throttle body / butterfly. Clean the MAF (use special cleaner only). Get an air filter for the engine.

I would change the cabin air filter. Better AC air flow for the summer. Plus, if a clogged filter kills the fan resistor pack, that is very painful to remove.

The drop links are early failure items and easy to change / cheap; the metal ones are higher performance IMO.

If you are looking at suspension work, the outer tie rod ends and strut mounts wear rather quickly. And springs tend to break, so those items would be important changes.

If the timing belt has not been replaced, consider a full kit. Replace the accessory belt whilst there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The brake fluid change can improve brake pedal feel significantly.

Use premium full synthetic oil for best VVT performance. That makes a big difference IMHO.

The spark plugs tend to wear quickly on these, killing the coil pack. So at least replace the spark plugs which is a very easy job indeed.

Clean the throttle body / butterfly. Clean the MAF (use special cleaner only). Get an air filter for the engine.

I would change the cabin air filter. Better AC air flow for the summer. Plus, if a clogged filter kills the fan resistor pack, that is very painful to remove.

The drop links are early failure items and easy to change / cheap; the metal ones are higher performance IMO.

If you are looking at suspension work, the outer tie rod ends and strut mounts wear rather quickly. And springs tend to break, so those items would be important changes.

If the timing belt has not been replaced, consider a full kit. Replace the accessory belt whilst there.
Yup i have all the kit to do a full service this weekend. I have Shell Helix Ultra 5w/30. All bosch filters and the correct NGK R spark plugs.
Im an ex Saab master tech, so i know DI well. The Dephi system on the Astra H is a copy of Saab DI from 1991 to 1998. GM took the patent from Saab when they acquired them and the Ion sensing technique for knock sensing.

I have a cabin filter too, it was so cheap so why not.
Where is the MAF on these ?. On my wifes Z18XE its a separate unit in the intake pipe. But cannot see it on the XER.

PS. Timing belt and pump done in 2017.
 
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Oppps. All European z18xer engines might not have a MAF. It is on top of air intake just before the throttle body for North American models. Forgot about that.

Didn't know GM took that Saab technology but knew Saab had similar engines. My Saab mechanic was familiar with the z18xer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oppps. All European z18xer engines might not have a MAF. It is on top of air intake just before the throttle body for North American models. Forgot about that.

Didn't know GM took that Saab technology but knew Saab had similar engines. My Saab mechanic was familiar with the z18xer.
There is something inserted into the throttle intake pipe. I thought it was a temp sensor.
Will take a look when i service it on saturday.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Didn't know GM took that Saab technology but knew Saab had similar engines. My Saab mechanic was familiar with the z18xer.
The only SAAB engine that is similar / the same is the B207. Which is the same GM Ecotec used in later Astra VXR's.
Other than that, the SAAB B202, B204, B234, B205, B235 are nothing like a GM engine and are an original Saab design. Heavily over engineered. Standard 2.3T's can go to 317BHP without even being touched. Just remap. Change injectors and turbo and you can go up to 500.

I do a lot of remapping for the Astra and Corsa Saab conversions.
www.thesaabclinic.co.uk
 
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There is something inserted into the throttle intake pipe. I thought it was a temp sensor.
Will take a look when i service it on saturday.
Yep It'll be an IAT sensor,the early 18xer's had a MAF,later ones an IAT
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
right.. and what solution did you use on the setas/ did you agitiate it with a brush and then soak up?
Its just some RugDoctor stuff i had left over from when i did the house carpets last.

Yes i used a brush lightly on the surface and continued to Spray, and Suck at the same time until you can see that clean fluid is being pulled back out of the material.
 

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Its just some RugDoctor stuff i had left over from when i did the house carpets last.

Yes i used a brush lightly on the surface and continued to Spray, and Suck at the same time until you can see that clean fluid is being pulled back out of the material.
Interesting.. i might get that given they let you hire it in morrisons and use it as a wet vac in my cars to give it all a clean in summer
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Servicing day today.

Got off to a bad start as it would seem someone previously had snapped 2 bolts on the cam cover and they are integrated, so i could not change the gasket for now.
New cover on order. Luckily they are dirt cheap.

It had a K&N air filter fitted that i was not aware off, and the restrictor was still present in the air box. So Restrictor removed and new paper filter fitted.


Oil filter was imploding. Odd as documentation notes service done in December, but this filter looks much older than that.


Pollen filter was dated 2008, so the original. Needless to say it was fully blocked and absolutely disgusting.

So full engine service complete with all new filters, spark plugs, Shell Helix Ultra. Gearbox oil done with
Millers Oils TRX Synth 75w-80 GL5 Fully Synthetic. That was so much fun getting the mini-sump off and trying to catch all the oil!.
Throttle body cleaned. Gear linkage re-aligned, now gears are sweet !.
Service light reset and all adaptions cleared. Ready to hit the road on monday and start doing 800 miles a week.

 
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Servicing day today.

Got off to a bad start as it would seem someone previously had snapped 2 bolts on the cam cover and they are integrated, so i could not change the gasket for now.
New cover on order. Luckily they are dirt cheap.

It had a K&N air filter fitted that i was not aware off, and the restrictor was still present in the air box. So Restrictor removed and new paper filter fitted.


Oil filter was imploding. Odd as documentation notes service done in December, but this filter looks much older than that.


Pollen filter was dated 2008, so the original. Needless to say it was fully blocked and absolutely disgusting.

So full engine service complete with all new filters, spark plugs, Shell Helix Ultra. Gearbox oil done with
Millers Oils TRX Synth 75w-80 GL5 Fully Synthetic. That was so much fun getting the mini-sump off and trying to catch all the oil!.
Throttle body cleaned. Gear linkage re-aligned, now gears are sweet !.
Service light reset and all adaptions cleared. Ready to hit the road on monday and start doing 800 miles a week.

Normally best to get engine nice and hot when doing rocker cover so that thr bolts dont snap... not sure if u did on a cold engine

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Normally best to get engine nice and hot when doing rocker cover so that thr bolts dont snap... not sure if u did on a cold engine

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
Cold engine. But irrelevant anyway as they are already snapped. You can see in the picture with the air filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hmmm i see.. what was wrong with the gear linkages causing you to align them again?

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
One of the issues that the seller noted was that it was impossible to get into 2nd. He was saying it needed a new gearbox.
But i had already picked up that if you lifted the reverse gear lever it would go into 2nd easily. So kept quiet and didnt let on it was an easy fix. So easy to align on these Astras too, really impressed with how easy it was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well my first day of driving done. 263 miles at an average of 42.2mpg. Brilliant !.

After driving a 324bhp 460NM Saab for the last 3 years im surprised how flexible the Z18XER is. Its very torquey at low RPM and pulls in 4th around town with no issue at all. Even changing into 5th at 1500rpm and it still pulls without complaining.
It is very different to the Z18XE in my wifes Elite model.

The SRI Chassis is also really good. Ive thrown £3.5k in suspension parts on my Saab 9000 and it drives with amazing pin point accuracy. And yet the Astra H SRI is not far off it in capability. So again im really surprised.

These are great cars !.

PS: Does anyone know what the rev limiter is set at on the Z18XER ?. Ive taken it to 6200 and didnt hit anything.
 
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