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Discussion Starter #1
First of all hello everyone, I'm new to the forum.

I own what has been a great car, an Astra 1998 2.0L 16v diesel estate. The car has had only two owners, my mum and then me. It broke down last Christmas and I came close to sending her for scrap -but I just couldn't do it. She'd never let me down and has ran and ran and ran with little work done to her. At the age of 18, the car has needed a lot of work completing and of course the old enemy rust has set into the chassis.

The last time I restored a car was some 32 years ago -XR2 MK2 and to be honest I had little memory this time round of where to start. There's lots of great advice on this forum which I've read as a guest -thank you to those who contribute and share their experiences regardless of the cost personally.

First stage: Correcting the engine problems. Loose hoses, missing clips dirty MAF sensor and oil leaking out of the side of the engine bulkhead due to a missing part ?? . New glow plugs (when removed the old ones had no tips left ...ahem) battery replaced and a new EGR valve, oh and vacuum circuit reconnected (somehow the pipes were dangling free). New drive belt fitted and oil filter and oil change and new fuel filter and new air filter (to be honest I don't think these had been changed even though it had been serviced -they weren't just dirty they had holes in them...the filters that is). No fault codes after that and runs like a rocket. Air conditioning not working currently. Still some jobs to do but these can wait for now.

Second stage: Cutting out the rust on the chassis and plating and welding -nightmare anyone who thinks this is easy is in for a shock. Molten metal and gravity do not mix...take heed!

Rear passenger side (rust up to springs) before repair:
20170807_153023.jpg



Post repair:
20170822_193419.jpg


Now for the sills

20170822_172902.jpg



Still lots to be done but thought I'd share my project with the forum, will post more


Regards


Simon
 

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Plenty to keep you going there.
We like photos on here.
I know what you mean about gravity, got the burn marks a plenty!
I kept a pair of Corsa Bs going, mine was a 1995 model and the girlfriend's was a 1998.
Sold mine on 3 years ago and hers 2 years back. Both were still getting through the MoT each year but costs and more importantly for me get to the point where eventually we decided to sell and get something newer.
I still have an old car, but only 11 years old now!
 
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Yes, I also know what you mean about gravity & molten metal.
My worst experience was when a spark went into my ear, I could hear it sizzling but couldn't get to it.
Luckily no permanent damage done! Always used ear plugs after that when welding under cars.
 

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Been there too. Most from rusty old cars when there's loads of spatter going on. Decent coveralls needed, and a baseball cap with the peak removed to save the hair.
It makes me chuckle when people come to me for 'tiny' welding jobs; "It'll only take you 5 mins..."
I think you'll find by the time I cut back to good metal that 2p sized hole will be about a 6" square.

Nice job on the resto, by the way.
 

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Hi Braz
Welcome to the forum!
Looking forward to seeing photos of all aspects of your restoration. A long long time ago i restored a mini from a heap of rust to a nice decent car. The only part that was intact was the rear subframe, which was handy because you could see it through the bottom of the rear storage pocket lol. Lots of welding, new panels and a lot of time and effort and it looked good. Mind you i
I worked at a main dealer so full access to tools, llifts etc was really handy!
Good luck with the resto and dont forget the photos!

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys, I am thinking that I am slightly mad doing this, but I can't stop now I've started, and I can't wait to get this car back on the road and drive her.

I think my worse burn from welding is in my armpit -DON'T ASK!!

Yes people think welding in tight spaces is a quick job, not to mention making the plates to fit tight for a good weld (minimal porosity). I need to post a pick of the drivers side rear chassis, that was worse before and after the spring I think I used 3mm steel plate on that (I just use something that I have to hand suitable at the time)....I'm lucky my dad owned lorries and when he died he left two sheds full of tools and other amazing stuff I have never seen before.

I'm on annual leave at the mo so can take my time, today I just had another poke at the drivers side rear sill, in cleaning the metal so I can see where the rust stops it almost fell apart (ahem well it has actually), will post pics tomorrow and the new plates before welding. I have 1mm and 2mm steel plate ready so I haven't bought a new panel -waste of money as only one end about 20cm length. The only problem is the inner rusty plate marries with the chassis and cutting that out is a night mare without removing the outer shell.


Regards

Simon
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
This is my youtube video on rust inspection same car -anyone who is watching who has no experience PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS -take your car to a garage that can inspect your car safely for rust and carry out the welding safely!!!!

Hitting the underside of a car with hammer might find you being hit by something very heavy and also something potentially sharp causing serious injury. The video is shown to highlight the problem of rust, and does not assume you (the viewer) to know how to SAFELY inspect the underside of a motor vehicle.

Here's the link:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The shed light is on and plates are being grounded down tonight.........lets see what happens tomorrow o_O
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I can only say don't drink and grind...one too many beers while making the first plate last night...ahem :whistle:

Anyway, its a disaster. I've cut away the bad metal and then poked around the main chassis that runs along side the sill -that's gone as well. Back to the ideas board for now. I will probably have to drop the fuel tank and do a further assessment of the damage before welding any plates in. The actual sill is a nightmare to repair as I didn't realise its a double structure and the rust has swept through most of the end of it.

Here's the pics from today before cutting -the holes just get bigger lol

20170826_154212.jpg


20170826_154205.jpg



And finally the main chassis that has thrown a spanner in the works, this has also rusted through just above the vent hole

20170826_154200.jpg



You can see the fuel tank to the left. I never knew until today the fuel tank is made of plastic -did anyone know that lol? Anyway any welding near this means it will need to be removed, BUT on a positive note it means I get to check the bits I can't normally see o_O
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK know when your beat.......after further inspection this job needs an experienced professional welder, there is no way I can weld upside down like an experienced welder on this job -main chassis is gone and I need to get this car MOT'd PDQ.......so its a balance of cash available to spend and long term solid fix = professional welder, its still worth the money

Simon :notworthy:
 

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sorry if this sounds harsh but to get that repaired properly & to make it last will not be cheap , may well be better off putting your money into a younger car . rot is one of the worst things to repair as you never know how far it has spread until you get the grinder in .
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
hello Cav TD gls

No your not being harsh in suggesting scrapping, that's fine I think any owner has to have their limits on how far they go. However, restoration means restoration it doesn't mean a new car pops out of the end of your drive when you decide the restoration stops....wherever and whenever a restorer decides that!

On the issue of buying supposedly 'younger second hand cars' in the hope they are road worthy. Well here is a thought, I spent a £1000 on my 1998 Astra and I know what's wrong and what's right with her in comparison to spending say £4000 on a car I don't know......which investment would you go with if you were wise?

Finally I spend £28 000 on a new car and loose £4 500 plus on day one as soon as I road her plus I buy a production line hiccup.....not uncommon these days.



All I need is a car that is robust, runs well and gets me A to B, it doesn't matter if its a GTI or a turbo Porsche or an 18 year old diesel astra estate -the speed limit on A49 is the same....60mph....and believe me at 06:30 am on the A49 to Shrewsbury the fast new cars end up just in front of me at the Shrewsbury junctions all the way from Cheshire......not a lot of gain for a lot more money!!

You must always remember the car companies who sell new cars are asking a big commitment from you and they don't care about what you buy. I popped along to an Astra car sales place recently and turned up in a 53 plate restored Nissan X-trail Sport-X (restored by myself and it was gleaming) - I got mugged trying to walk in to collect parts I had ordered for my beloved 18 year old astra because the sales rep mistakenly thought he could make me part exchange. Second hand car sales don't care if the car runs or not, they sell what on the outside looks good but underneath can be a ticking time bomb


However, you may have a different viewpoint ??
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I forgot to mention the mobile welder is £30 per hour......to be fair will probably take three hours to cut the plates and prep, welding will take about 20 mins.......reckon about £100 give or take
 

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That's fairly cheap for the welder. I'd rather someone else got molten blobs of steel down their neck for that money.

I agree with what you say above - you know the car, you know what has and hasn't been done (especially now), they're cheap to run and insure.

I know they're horrid, and I know it's a ripoff Honda Accord with a square arsed boot - but I had a thing for Rover 620 D's years ago and they rot too. Owned 4 and regretted it every time I PX'd one for something 'better'. They were cheap, cheapish parts, great on fuel, easy to work on (except the inboard front brake discs = what a sh1t idea), cheap to tax and insure, loads of car for little money in GSDi guise. I'd have a Rover 75 D Connoisseur if I didn't need 7 seats.
 

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I assume this is happening because is one of the first series of astra g? As soon after lounch they started doing galvanised chassis so should not be like that even almost 20 years. What you posted i never encountered before on a G... and trust me when i say i would rather not meet so many... Anyway fair play to you as you rather fix then through away, pretty much the same here, it has to be really bad in all aspects to give up on the G
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hello Everyone....

I have news.....

The first welder I got in touch with suddenly decided he didn't want to be contacted anymore, so I went on to find another .....and luckily I found a professional welder who was really mobile and keen to do the job.

He came out to see the car got under her and looked at the points I'd marked and agreed but also he would check the rest of the chassis. Original quote was £160 for welding at the point of the home visit.

He came and collected the car and took her to his welding shop and completed the work in two days, but there was more welding to be done......total cost £260. Welding completed and car returned home. I have since been underneath her to inspect with my hammer and an impressive job has been done, plus a good amount of undercoat applied.


If anyone is wondering N871BUD this car was manufactured in 1997 and sold on a 1998 plate, so she missed the changes.

Anyway she is back on the road, still needs some work doing....but she drives exceptionally well
 

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Discussion Starter #17
next job is the front cross member needs to be changed.

A small bump left this damaged. I originally paid £350 for this job to be done 4 years ago, but didn't check the job when I left, a week later the front bumper started to come loose, so I looked under the bonnet to find the old cross member in place and a lot of plastic ties that weren't there before.........my own fault....I should have checked before paying and leaving and asking to see the old part.

A new front cross member un-primed and un-painted should set you back around about £35. Anyone new that is looking to replace on this model of car, they are bolt on (no welding required), however you do need to fit new bolts and tension accordingly (I think 110 Nm but please check this).....also since the bump have the tyres being wearing on one side??? Might need wheel re-alignment after replacing the cross member
 
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