dewismotorsport's Astra coupe


Senior Member
Well the time came to finally buy myself a decent car instead of bombing around in cheap s**tters :pmsl:
All though my last work bomber was a £100 Calibra 16v cost me £40 in bits to get it through an MOT and i've had a years hassle free motoring out of it only having to replace a CV joint and a couple of gaitors so not bad at all :nod:
Here she is in all her glory:



I took her for her MOT knowing she'd fail but on how much i wanted to know 3 pages later it was concluesive she was destined to be stripped and weighed in :cry:
Shame really as it was such a confortable car to drive and sat happily at 90mph on motorway (private one :p ) but now i'll be having her hassle free engine out as it's a DIS as well and things like equal length shafts etc out and selling any other bits before weighing her in and probably still get £100 back for her :clap:
So here's my new daily driver it's a 51 plate Europa blue 2.2L Bertone SE1 has done 72K and has FSH and 12 months MOT and is mint inside and out bar a broken filler cap catch but thats an easy fix, it's standard bar a tinted rear screen, matching alcantara handbrake and gear gaitor, some custom mats and full blue LED's which look really good tbh.


And my favorite part the black leather and blue alcantara interior


Planned mods are gonna be cosmetic to start with:
De-badged grill and boot lid
HID's (possibly, not driven at night yet, but anything like calibra definatly will)
Paint wheels (anthraite)
Fit coilovers and slam on it's arse
Fit some 19" snowflakes or BBS style rims (at a later date)
Back box or i'll make full system
not gonna touch engine as it's a daily driver (famous last words :pmsl: )
although would be tempted with a super charger kit :nod:
Gonna look after this unlike the calibra, I'll even wash it unlike the one wash the calibra got in a year :pmsl:

Couldn't resist buying myself a few bits, after some b*****d tried scamming me (VXR888, Samgsi, Frog or whatever you wanna call yourself), i went and spoke to Turbo Chris at CS autos and dragged him out of bed early on his day off (sorry mate) and bagged myself a genuine gsi bumper, Irmscher rear spats and a new fuel cap as mine doesn't lock properly

added bonus is there all in europa blue so don't need painting, will fit them when i shake my new years eve hangover off :pmsl:

Got round to fitting front bumper and fuel flap today
Bumper off

And new one on and a quick wash

Will fit rear spats tomorrow hopefully, just waiting on new grill and headlamp eyebrows and will order some tinted number plates also

got the car down to work and had a look around it on the ramp all seems fine, while it was up there i fitted the irmscher rear spats

then removed the Bertone badges from the sides as i'm not a fan of them

Small update as i'm still waiting on other bits to turn up but my grill arived today and was litrally a two minute job to fit, looks a million times better than the standard V grill :nod:

Couple more parcels turned up today, one had the irmscher heater dial surounds and traction control switch panel, still need to buy the loom for this though, all fitted

And the other had the tinted number plates in


Looks moodier with them on I think :nod:

Fixed another small fault from when I bought the car, one of the check straps on the glove box had snapped off and it's the one that's meant to turn the light off, so it's permanently on which ain't good :(
Ordered these off eBay there the newer type (top one, old one bellow) with two positions

Vectra C intake pipe turned up today, is a fair bit bigger than the original and a lot less restrictive

Was a bit of a tight squeeze to get the old one out but much swearing and brut force got it out, while i was at it i derestricted the air box as well, amazing how much s**te they put in it

Decided to change my CD player as it came with a crap Sony one, and the areial had come out the back so had rubbish reception, so i nicked the DVD head unit out of the corsa, the old one put up a good fight on the way out, i also removed the whole console as i droped my screw driver down the back :cry:

Made a hole in the bottom of the tray so that the ipod jack can come through

no photos of it all fitted as i forgot and was too tired :(

Ridiculously small update :pmsl:
Fitted the smoked side repeater much better than the clear ones

also got a photo of new head unit fitted up and as you can see previous owner did a full blue LED conversion

Called in at Taunton on the way home from work to drop an inlet off to Chip and while I was there got Leslie to mix me some paint up for the car as you can't buy it off the shelf :cry:

Can finally get round to painting the headlamp eye brows now, just wanna say a massive thanks to Chip and Leslie for treating me to the paint :clap: Nice one mate :beer:

Finally treated her to a decent set of wheels, bought these VXR wheels today and couldn't resist fitting them, 19's plus no coilovers is not good, so come pay day they'll be on order, and a set of shorter drop links

Also wasted £5 on a crap illegal immigrant car wash, car was still dirty so will do it again, serves me right for being lazy :nod:

Another small update, got round to painting and fitting the headlight eyebrows, got these to cover the cloudy tops of the lights

And just a tidy up mod done to the bonnet release catch as it stuck out and you could always see it when the bonnet was down so a quick bit of trimming and a modded catch later it's a lot better

Long time since my last update but i've been pumping all my time and money into my corsa so this has just been driven and thats it as this is just my daily driver and not my main project :nod:
I couldn't get the corsa ready in time for the spring action day at castle combe on saturday so i'm gonna take the astra instead, not good really as i still haven't got round to buying the coilovers nor have i done the traction control switch so ain't expecting much out of it :(
Seeing as it's going round track i treated it to a oil and filter change, i emptyed the oil and flushed it through with about 4 litres and then wacked some more oil in ran it for 5 minutes with a bit of load and then dumped that as well, glad i did as it was still a bit dirty, topped it up with new oil and it now purs really quitely :nod:
Also seeing as it's off round track i need to squeeze some much needed power out of it, so set about taking the exhaust off and removing the pre cat, amazed how blocked up it looked

Chain drilled it and then chiseled the rest out

Cleaned it all up before re fitting

Have to admit it's made a noticeable difference to how the car picks up so highly recomend it :nod:
on a slightly gayer note i clay bar'd the car the other day and it came up a treat, i'm not really a car cleaning type but was more than happy with the result, so today i washed it again and gave it a polish and hoovered it out to try and save some weight :pmsl:
It may not be fast round track but at least it will look good :p

Well just got back from combe and to say I had an interesting time on track is an understatement! I wasn't expecting much out the car and it certainly delivered....... Nothing! I nearly span it on the first bend (mainly my fault tbh) had a serious case of cold tires and lift off oversteer, managed to catch it with full opposite lock only for it to bite and go the other way full lock caught that but put the back tyre on the grass causing me to get a flat tyre unknown to me as I drove it out laughing to a very nervous looking passenger lmao
Carried on with the session finding the suspension wallowing at ever bend and massive brake fade within 3-4 laps, one lap tried braking for the chicane only to find they weren't doing what I wanted so decided to blank it and tell my passenger were going over the grass instead lmao
Result of my off

Safe to say i'll be putting some coilovers, decent brakes and tires before I even think about using it on track again :nod:

Some more pics from castle Combe
Early morning drive there

On the Vauxsport stand

Who needs rear wheel drive to drift :p



And the result of that little off

And a few of me blowing up the spare



One of my car going round a bend properly :pmsl:

Well haven't updated this for ages as I've just been using it tbh, spend all my money on the corsa project as this is just my daily drive :nod:
Mostly maintenance work really like aero wipers, changed the crank sense as the eml came on and changed the front indicator bulbs for mirrored ones as I hate the fried egg look :nod:
Bought a complete set of tyres off eBay as the front two ditch finders were almost bald and the inner edge was showing canvas in one place, managed to get a set of 4 used Nexen NX3000 235/35/R19's for £138 + £20 delivery :clap: I'd never heard of them so googled them and every review was positive so thought I'd chance it, 2 had 7mm and other 2 had 5mm so took them to get fitted and balanced

While I was there I got him to stick it on the ramp and do a laser wheel tracking for me

Can't believe how good the tyres are compared to the old ditch finders that was a mix of fullrun (worst tyre ever invented) and Kuhmo equally crap had no choice as they came on the wheels when I bought them :cry: In the dry they grip really well, not tested in the wet yet but hoping they'll be equally good.
The front brakes are on there way out as well so i'm upgrading to Turbo brakes as there bigger at 308mm instead of 280mm so I've bought a complete set of nearly new EBC drilled and groves discs, calipers and carriers and Red stuff pads so should have some confidence in braking now, will change the fluid to 5.1 while I'm at it. I still haven't lowered it yet :cry: Hoping to do that soon though as I hate how wallowy it is and looks crap as well.

Decided to treat her to a bit of TLC took a trip to see Ben (Nemisis) today to pick up a couple of new wings and a bonnet as so idiot has scraped my drivers side wing with there bumper so wanted to replace it and the other is just a spare tbh, will fit it once back at work next week

Ben was sound enough to part ex my bonnet for one of his as mine had a dent under the grill which has always annoyed me, so within 5 minutes we had them swapped over and was good as new

Such simple thing but makes a big difference, plan is to try and find a drivers door as well as it's had a dent repair before and now I know it's there it's doing my head in, once that's done it'll be a very tidy car again

Got round to fitting the new wing today was a really easy job tbh only one bolt that needed baby hands to get too :nod:

While I was at it I decided to cut down the plastic inner arch in preparation to lowering it

Well decided to upgrade my brakes as the standard 2.2 brakes are crap so sourced some gsi turbo 308mm ones managed to get like new EBC discs and Redstuff pads

Gave them a good clean up and removed the old paint before re painting them in heat resistant blue


All fitted up and blead will give them a good test tomorrow

Well the old girl is still serving me well chomping up the miles getting me between Plymouth and Coventry weekly :nod:
In way of payment for doing Robs exhaust I got to have his 2 1/4" stainless system off his mk3 Astra turbo was straight through with a bike rear can so gave him that back but bought a back box which was meant to be for a Astra coupe but wasn't as it didn't fit :cry: was only £20 so no dramas I just had to now make it fit, I wanted an extra silencer for the middle so had a look in the store and found a land rover back box which are very compact so used that

Removed the old rotten crap and the heat shield which was loose as it had come away from around the bolts

Modded the back box to fit

And removed some of the tail pipe surround to miss the tow bar and rear metal valence

All welded up and fitted


As you can see i have a tow bar, which me and Rich spent the evening fitting so that I can tow the corsa this year as its too expensive having to insure and tax etc when it's not used much on the road tbh :cry:
At some point I'm gonna make a plug so I can remove the electrics from outside the car, and I'll remove the ball and back plate and colour code the rest so you can't see it as much as they are a bit of an eye sore :nod:

Well it's finally happen.......


Treated her to some coilovers, got a good deal on some JOM so thought it rude not too :nod:
Fronts fitted up with the shorted drop links

On there lowest setting just to see what it looked like

Rears fitted up

Chopped the bump stops down and removed both top and bottom rubber platforms and also ditched the height adjuster

Had to remove the rear bumper bracket completely and some of the valence to allow for no srubbage

Then whipped out the tracking gear and reset it back to normal

Next time I buy tyres I will get 215/35/R19 instead of the 235/35/R19 just to allow me more space on the fronts :nod:

Treated her to a fairy liquid wash and a hoover as the car was filthy and changed the spark plugs while I was at it
Few pics




My favourite, have a new found love for the car again :nod:

Been having a few problems of late turned out to be a faulty alternator not kicking out enough power and then eventually dying all of a sudden causing lose of power steering and various other side effects whilest at speed on a dual carriageway :cry:
New re furb item was £149 :eek: But a quick scan of eBay found a recently refurbished one for £43 delivered :clap:

Nipped round to Rich's house as I have no tools with me and let the apprentice help fit it :p

Powered up and everything back to normal :thumb:

Still trying to cure my P0378 fault code, so far different battery, alternator, crank sensor, spark plugs and now coil pack

But still no change :cry:
Will give it a good service once back at work and investigate further with op com :nod:
Will also re gas the air con as its coming into the warm weather now :clap:
Finally got round to getting myself the TC loom so I can get rid of the intrusive TC :(


Senior Member
Went back to my car Monday morning after my drive back to work Sunday night to find I had a flatty :cry:
Found the hole so whipped the tyre half off so I could repair it

All done and back on the car, decided to take the wing off and fit my original wing back on as it was a better colour match than the spares I bought

I have removed the inner metal lip on both the front wings now as tyres would catch on them over bumps so hoping this will solve that

Also trimmed the last bit of bumper plastic at the rear which the tyre was catching on, and while I was at it thought I'd give the calipers a quick lick of paint to match the fronts

My new depo lights turned up today so fitted them (nice picture of the two cars)

Have always hated the chrome strip on the rear of the coupe just think it doesn't look right, weren't 100% sure how it came off so left it on and masked up and painted it in place, bit lazy really :pmsl:

And end result, just want to tint the top brake light and colour code the griffin badge now

Only a small update but quite a pleasing one, since fitting the 2 1/4" exhaust I always thought it was a little too loud for what I wanted and it seemed to have a drone at between 70-90 which is what it's normally sat at on the motorway (private one of course) so relieved another landrover of its rear silencer (free from work :thumb:) and welded that in

Has a much nicer burble to it now and seems a fair bit quiter :nod:
Also since removing the lips on the front arches I now don't get any scrubing, so really happy with that to say it has 235/35/R19 on a 8" rim :nod:

Well not much has happen to the Astra in a while, not had time or money to even look at what with the holiday to pay for :cry:
Well finally got round to checking the timing today, turns out its a bit off at the minute :pmsl:

Had my best mate strongbow on hand to cheer myself up though..... Mmmmm pear

On the look out for a new block and head for it now, already toyed with the idea of Saab lump or zlet but can't justify it for my daily tbh
On a brighter note I bought a irmscher bonnet extention a while back trial fitted it, just need to paint it now :nod:

Small update, finally got round to painting my irmscher bonnet extention, primered and painted it only for the paint underneath to react and start bubbling in places :cry: so had to strip it right back to the plastic

What primer I had left

And what paint I had left, few coats of lacquer and job done. Not the greatest and could of done with some more filler primer tbh but ah well

Fitted it on, had to adjust a wiper as it was still visible but quick fix. Not 100% sure about it yet maybe it will grow more on me but annoyingly I can no longer see the end of the bonnet so parking should be fun :pmsl:

Hoping to get a call of the guy I'm buying the engine off and I'll hopefully collect that this week fingers crossed and dropped in next week finally as I've been using hire cars since so be nice to have my own car back really :nod:

Went and picked up the new engine last night, has done 82k with fsh so will swap my ancillorys over and my gearbox and see which clutch has te most meat on and sell what Evers left over to make some money back

Will start to remove the old engine Monday and hopefully have it all running sweet in no time :nod: Have really missed driving the car tbh, will be like getting a new car all over again as its been 5 months now :cry:

Made a start on stripping down the engine as plan is to only use the tall block and gearbox as they guy assures me it don't crunch or whine etc so will leave the box on as its done 18K less miles than mine, I totally stripped the loom off as its had one repair so would rather keep my known working un molested loom on and swap all my new sensors and cleaned up throttle bodie, new alternator and plugs, I've ordered oil and filters for it and will change the gearbox fluid as well while I'm at it :nod:

Have been slowly ticking over on the Astra after work, gonna be honest its a lot fiddlyier than whipping a xe or let out like I'm used to and can do in my sleep, it just seems to have everything connected via clips and brackets to get loom off and not wanting to break anything has been a lot slower than I thought as tbh its a learning curve these engines. With everything possible removed in the bay/front end time came to whip the b*****d out, decided against using the 2 tonne jack and got the man sized one out :pmsl:

Out she comes! Decided to take engine out the top as opposed to dropping the subframe as the ramps were being used

The track rod ends decided they didn't wanna come off so my mate angle grinder persuaded them :nod: So got on the blower to get some new ones dropped down as well as the correct size air filter and auxiliary belt

I have now basically swapped every known working sensor over and all pumps, water pipes, brackets, engine mount and alternator over as every thing is slightly different on the Vectra B lump even the inlet manifold has a extra vacuum but that's just gonna get blanked off tbh. Was all ready to look at dropping it back in when I noticed the gearbox casing is different as well! FFS :cry: Will see if I have free time tomorrow and that will be swapped and I'll pick which clutch has the most meat left and swap them.
Difference in gearbox

Changed gearboxes and clutches over and re assembled

All ready to be dropped back in

Car decided to test my patients by chewing the thread up on the cv joint :cry:
Luckily I had a spare calibra one which is the same in my corsa track spares box

All back in and lubed and bleed up

Bumper and bonnet back on time for the start up, turned car over and its a non starter :cry: Cranks, sparks, fuels but zero compression :cry:
Have tried some oil in bores but still no change, have put some redex treatment down the spark plug holes as it might be the rings have closed up, also may be that the lifters are empty so valves are not sealing so will give I tow Monday and get it running again hopefully :nod:

Well time for a much needed update :nod:
The engine I put in Astra had no compression so decided to bin that off and get a replacement, luckily at work there was a range car that was destined to be shot up and blown up so saved it, 94k sweet runner with no knocks rattles or smoke

Engine out

Strip down on the Astra began


Once on the deck I swapped all my parts over and made a best engine from all 3 engines

I can now do these engine changes in my sleep :pmsl: All up and running and back on the road after 7 months of being broke :eek: Really need to find more time for my own cars in future :nod:


Although its been off the road I have still bought a few bits for it, so got myself some flocked A, B & C pillars off Prey and the quality is top notch and highly recommended by me, they look a million times better than the horrible beige ones

Also bought myself a central arm rest and its one of the best mods of done makes the drive so much more relaxing

Well this is over due an update, generally just used the car as it's my daily bomber and just replaced stuff when needed really, first up was new rear tyres went for a slightly narrower 225 instead of the previous 235 as it just gives a slightly bigger gap from the arch

Next up was a air con re gas free from work
Dropped the front a bit more
Then this weekend just gone I had to change the slave cylinder as it had started to leak and stopped the clutch from working, so used this opportunity to change the timing chain as it was due, so decided to whip the engine out and do it all on the floor so it was easier to work on
Timing chain and balancer shaft is certainly a lot more complex than a c20xe/c20let like I'm used to doing
Bought a full kit which included everything from chain cogs, oil squirter and even brand new bolts all genuine GM parts for piece of mind
All timed up but after a few various rotations could never get the coloured chain marks back on the timing marks after much swearing and head scratch and probably 10 re fits I found out it's not a square engine so will never line back up buts as long as the crank and pulleys are all in there right places and the number 4 piston is at tdc then the chain links are irrelevant
All back in and running sweet decided to change the front wings over as I'd bent the lip on one of mine and also changed the anti roll bar drop links, bleed the brakes and clutch just need to re has the air con and it's all good.
Even treated it to its 3rd wash of the year! :eek:

I wasn't aware of the problem and just assumed that's how they were meant to be (never taken one of these engines apart before). I have two dead engines in my workshop and stripped the covers off them to confirm I had infact got a knackered balancer shaft chain tensioner! So nicked one off the spare engine
Whipped the old one off
Good one on the right:
God knows how long that has been like that all seemed to work fine and all marks lined up fine! Quite strange really but all fixed thank god.
Big thanks to Vocky I owe you a beer if I ever bump into you :thumb:

Just been using the car as a daily runner but with a track day booked at Abingdon and wanting to potential break my spare track (project pikey racing) I described to do it in the coupe, wanted to give it a full service first and replace anything I thought might be on its way out.
First up went the VBOA spares day and picked some vectra b alloys up for £30 the tyres were no use to me so binned them and fitted my spare set of R888's which were almost new, gave them a quick dust over as prefer black wheels
Fitted for the drive there
Next mod was to final fit the traction control loom, easy job and now fully switchable
Next up was a full service and change the brake fluid for a higher boiling point one and a inner CV gaiter
I managed to sever the wires on the abs so had to buy a new hub ;-(
And finally the rear wheel bearing had a bit of play so I changed that too, dust shield fell apart in my hand so just binned it
On the morning of the track day this was what we were faced with when driving onto the airfield
Few hours lost but once sun was at full strength it cleared up and was a loverly day, had a great day, and despite having the least powerful car there I wasn't the slowest by far and had good fun hunting down the quicker cars.
Only mods car has:
Standard engine but with pre cat removed and 2 1/4" exhaust from car back.
Turbo brakes with EBC discs and red stuff pads
JOM coilovers
Car handled well enough but with some body roll, plan is to get some 400lb front springs and a rear anti roll bar.
Had great fun battling with a 240bhp supercharged lotus exige, he had the legs on me on the straight but I caught him through the bends and later braking.
Here's the video:

Been buying some more parts to try and improve the car a bit more, ideally wanted some carbone Lorraine RC6 pads but they don't make them for the turbo brakes so settled for the yellow stuff ones, treated it to braided lines as once fluid was hot you could feel the rubber bulging at the brake pedal, also going to machine the coil over platforms slightly to accept the 2 1/4" id coil over springs which are 350lb so hopefully a good bit higher than the standard JOM ones, I've also snapped a helper spring so they will be going into the bin. Also bought some stainless reducers as I've got a 100 cell sports cat I used to use on my Corsa so will replace the Astras one with that as want to keep it mot friendly.
Before the track day I had fitted a gear shifter rebuild kit, basically half a ping pong ball and a bit of turned down alloy but it's cured my horrendous play so happy days
Also gonna blank the EGR valve off so need to make myself a plate like so


Thanks, been on here about a year but only just used to browse and look for info. Site seems to have got a lot busier now and the new layout is brilliant.
It certainly has picked up quite a bit over the last 12 months again, which is great. It's projects like these which inspire and keep bringing people back (y)

Dave Gilbert

Senior Member
looking good, good read, i love the leather alcantara interior(i want 1 for my mini) i have mk2 gte front seats in it at the min(y)

Dave Gilbert

Senior Member
u should take them out then (n give them to me for my mini)n get sum adjustable 1s like my vectra and my corsa they go up n down aswell as forward n backwards (y)(y)


Senior Member
Finally got round to fitting the new discs and pads, I think I may have got them a bit hot at Abingdon, and I'm fairly sure I got every penny of my money's worth out of them
New stuff fitted and braided lines added
While I was at it I rolled my arches as the 19's have now gone back on
All bleed up and already a noticeable difference, even treated it to a fairy liquid wash


Senior Member
Decided to strip down one of my spare dead engines, turned out the chain wasn't timed properly so had smashed all of the exhaust valves
Which in turn has smashed all of the rollers on that side
While I was in there I removed the balancer shafts and cut them down ready to be installed into my current engine when I next have it in bits


Stupid Bollocks
Decided to strip down one of my spare dead engines, turned out the chain wasn't timed properly so had smashed all of the exhaust valves
View attachment 49354
View attachment 49355
Which in turn has smashed all of the rollers on that side
View attachment 49356
While I was in there I removed the balancer shafts and cut them down ready to be installed into my current engine when I next have it in bits
View attachment 49357
mere flesh wound :) an easy fix it was more likely the chain was left to long and it jumped causing the damage :)
nice work on the cut shafts


Senior Member
mere flesh wound :) an easy fix it was more likely the chain was left to long and it jumped causing the damage :)
nice work on the cut shafts

Yeah pistons are salvageable, and head will be re useable with new valves and rollers. I have another spare dead engine so may build another good one out of the two dead ones. They didn't want to come out but after making a adaptor for the slide hammer they came straight out. :)