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Saving Gsi 26477

Discussion in 'Vectra Diaries' started by stevie16v, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. stevie16v

    stevie16v Active Member

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    Back in September I was on the hunt for a GSI after selling my two wheeled crotch rocket. Realising I'm not invincible any more I thought I'd have a bit of nostalgia and go back to my younger days. I had 2 vectra b's and a C but could never afford the insurance on a v6. Decided it would be a winter project with the money from the bike getting used for it.
    Anyways, I set about hunting and spoke with someone down south, He gave me a full description of the car and I set off on the 500 mile round trip to put it on the back on my mates truck. When I turned up it was clear things weren't quite as had been described but on the outside it didn't seem to bad. Bodywork looked good but it was peeing it down making the black paint look pretty shiny.

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    Got it home and set about fixing her up.

    First thing that frightened me was the 2 illegal tyres on the back plus the completely knackered rear suspension plus a snapped front spring.



    So, spent a bit of time replacing all the suspension opting for bilstein and 40mm lowered eibachs including the rose bushes and trailing arm bushes (I poly bushed these).

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    I rubbed back as much of the rust as I could aswell. The under side wasn't in the best of condition. but wasn't rotten enough to scrap it. It is saveable.

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    Whilst doing the suspension I noticed the bleed nipple on one of the rear callipers was snapped off, so contacted the local scrappies that I'm friends with, he by chance had a vectra in and told me to help myself as it was getting crushed anyway.

    So new caliper on and bleed nipples all round. Thought I'd replace the rear brake lines too.
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    After that I thought I'd start tackling a little bit of bodywork.
    Both rear arches where rusting through, instead of cutting and welding in a new panel I treated the rust, a bit of filler and some paint. I spent quite a while on it and made sure it was neat. Turned out quite good.
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    The rear bumper was slightly deformed, once I got it off it was clear it had been in a bump at the back, nothing major but enough to bend the brackets. Tried to sort the bumper but it was scrap, again scrappies to the rescue with a new bumper but its the wrong colour so it'll be painted in the future.

    Whilst I was at it I got the machine polisher on the the back quarter, Evo 3 compound on a medium polishing pad and it came up shining. Plenty of work lies ahead though!
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    The weather started going downhill so I brought it in to the garage and set about getting rid of the silly sports exhaust on it, It sounded terrible so I opted for a standard centre section and swapped the back box with someone for a gsi twin pipe which I'm quite happy with. What I wasn't happy with was the fuel pipe which had melted on to the exhaust, this could have very easily been fatal. I was particularly annoyed by this point as the seller had told me the car was in good driveable condition. 2 knackered tyres, knackered suspension (MOT fail) and then this. I'm a qualified vehicle examiner so well aware of what is legal and not.
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    Next was setting about the engine finding the oil leak I discovered :(
    Looks like it was the rocker cover gaskets, so they got swapped over with oe ones.
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    All the intakes where taken off and cleaned too as there was some oil and it was blowing a bit of blue out the back (I started panicking, hoping it's not valve stem seals!)


    All back together and she seemed to be running clean.

    Timing belt and water pump time, a spare half hour here and there and got it all back together. During the process though I took out (and still do at the time of writing this) the coolant bridge and thermostat because I noticed the water wasn't circulating around the engine and back in to the expansion bottle. It is pretty dirty too.
    I've started taking out the oil cooler cover too but I need to get under and take the pipes off of behind the oil filter housing so I can remove and inspect the thing.

    I've got a fair bit to go but hoping to get the engine running sweet the next couple of weeks.
    It'll be MOT time after that and I'll arrange for any welding to get done, I can't do this myself as I'd probably set the house on fire.
    I'm going to drop the rear subframe and get it powder coated and then I'll look at doing the front but seemed like quite a big job and I don't have much space in my garage.

    Paint will be last probably as well as tidying up the interior :)

    Buying a project is something not to be taken likely, this has been my first car but I've done numerous bikes. Had I hunted about a bit more and done some more digging I could probably have picked up a slightly cleaner one which isn't as much of a money pit, but It's giving me plenty of work to get on with and it's my hobby I guess. For anyone buying one, just remember you don't really have a comeback with the seller.

    I'll keep updating the thread as I go along but I'm hoping to get it as near mint as possible :)
     
    #1 stevie16v, Nov 26, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016
    clarkey, RADB02, garybaldi69 and 2 others like this.
  2. NeilGo

    NeilGo Well-Known Member
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    Good progress and should be in great condition when you're finished. Bit more of a project than you first thought but at least another B saved and in the right hands.
     
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  3. H

    H Well-Known Member

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    nice choice of motor bud..

    great work
     
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  4. stevie16v

    stevie16v Active Member

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    Finally got the bloody radiator out, thats taken about 3 night with a couple hours each night. If I ever get my hands on the muppet who worked on this car before I'll throttle them. They seem to like the (excessive) use of tie wraps and routing pipes the wrong bloody way!
    Anyway, Gave it a good flush through, there was a lot of rusty crap came out. Whilst I had it out I thought I'd pop the oil cooler out just to check it. The area around it was covered with rusty water but thankfully that's all it seems to be. Pressure tested it using an air line and...my finger. No sign of leakage from the elements itself so all appears good. I'll need to start putting it back together bit by bit...and hopefully remember where everything goes. I'll be replacing all the spring clips with jubilee clips to make any future repairs easier.
    When I get it all back together I'll be putting a flushing agent through it with pure water, running it through with just clean water a couple times then fresh coolant in. I'll be setting about cleaning all the grease and crap off the fan housing and engine block. I can't find any other oil leaks so I'm assuming it was purely down to the knackered rocker gaskets running down the block. Might not get it all done this week because I've got stuff to do for a course next week so it might end up lying for a week. Would be good to get it back together though and make sure it's running :D
     
  5. samson100

    samson100 Well-Known Member
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    Keep.up.the good work,sounds like there's plenty to do.
    Think most of us vectra owners have gone to great lengths to make our cars good again,and as long as ur not to bothered on cost well worth it in the end:):):)
     
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  6. stevie16v

    stevie16v Active Member

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    I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that it's going to cost more than I'd liked but on the other hand it could be a worthwhile investment. Who knows what value they'll command in a few years
     
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  7. samson100

    samson100 Well-Known Member
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    I spent a fortune doing mine stripping it down and rebuilding and modding it,maybe not to the extent of some other members but still put endless hours into it and enjoyed the end result.
    Becomes quite a hobby lol:)
     
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  8. tubbz2015

    tubbz2015 Well-Known Member

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    Keep up the good work mate and i wouldnt bother with replacing the spring clips on the water pipes mate i tried that and my rad pipe blew off once it built up pressure :(
     
  9. stevie16v

    stevie16v Active Member

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    Do you mean with jubilee clips they blew off? It'll be a bitch to try and put the originals back on
     
  10. tubbz2015

    tubbz2015 Well-Known Member

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    Yh with the jubilee clips it just blew off so i just put the spring clips back on i use water pump pliers to put them back on its easy with them :)
     
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  11. samson100

    samson100 Well-Known Member
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  12. garybaldi69

    garybaldi69 Administrator
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    Some good work there mate, would still love a gsi project.....maybe next year.

    Keep the updates coming as this could look stunning once completed
     
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  13. tubbz2015

    tubbz2015 Well-Known Member

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    Theres a few gsi's on ebay and a few on gumtree mate if your wanting to get one :)
     
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  14. garybaldi69

    garybaldi69 Administrator
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    Something I could be looking at next year, got a holiday in ten days then buying my house and then maybe after that
     
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  15. tubbz2015

    tubbz2015 Well-Known Member

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    Hope you have a good holiday mate and theres no rush for 1 there will b plenty around still when the time comes mate :)
     
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  16. stevie16v

    stevie16v Active Member

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    Managed to get out for a couple of hours this morning to start putting things back together. The thermostat is a PITA, I just hope the rubber seal is sitting correctly. The front pipe which goes in to the thermostat feel a bit loose but it's seated fully home, hopefully it doesn't start leaking. The coolant tank and pipes are in a serious mess, I think it was running the original coolant. I've currently got the expansion tank soaking in bleach in the sink to try break down some of the crap, I've already tried brushing it with an old toothbrush and rinsed it numerous times and it's still thick. Hopefully by the end of this week I'll be able to get the engine turning over again. Going to have fun flushing the cooling system through!
     
  17. tubbz2015

    tubbz2015 Well-Known Member

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    Coming along nicely by sounds of it mate keep up the good work will be worth it wen its done :)
     
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  18. H

    H Well-Known Member

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    some good progress...

    but we need more pics
     
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  19. stevie16v

    stevie16v Active Member

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    The pics just now are pretty crap and look like every other GSI engine. The good pics will come once they're worthwhile :)
     
  20. NeilGo

    NeilGo Well-Known Member
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    Agree that the spring clips should remain but if you can get the right tool, they should be easy enough to put back on.

    Would be great to see some progress pics and they don't have to be perfect or the finished article but they don't half make a progress thread a more enjoyable read.
     
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