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Discussion Starter #504 (Edited)
Today, this happened:







Yoink! Roll on the summer!

The beast is out of hibernation, all systems seem fine. I was in a good mood and the sun was out, so I thought I'd have a crack at a common failing of Mk2s of a senior age; that of the sealing foam around the vent flaps degrading. Not surprising really after 20 odd years. So, first release the pocket above the glovebox, and loosen the centre side of the speedo surround, then remove the 4 screws (2 behind the vents themselves) and wiggle and jimmy the centre vent surround out, taking care of the clock/ fuel computer:



It's quite well designed in that the centre support there simply pops out, then so does the flap itself:



Ooof, that's spooged:



Clean it all out and then, amazingly, in the stash of random pieces of foam I've been collecting for the last couple of years for this very job, I find two bits that look tailor made:



I cut a slot out of the middle:



And feed it around the slot in the edge of the flap, then trim to fit and form a nice seal against the vent tube:



Then removed it and glued it in place with some sealant. Nice! I also did the same with the 1.3 whilst at it. The edge ones are in a similar state, but as this one is only really a problem as it blasts ice cold air in your face in winter and screams like a banshee, the end ones can wait for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #512 (Edited)
Bit of an update. I got home from 7 weeks away on the trot, fully expecting to take the GTE to the September Combe meet. Oops, no MOT. So I thought I'd just leave it hibernating till next year. So I finally took the ECU loom out to examine it for any damage. Been meaning to do this for years! This is becuase although the engine runs OK in a broad sense, it sometimes bog down a little when cold and seems to sort of hesitate between gear changes unless you're at WOT. Also the idle is a tad lumpy. Keen readers of this thread will know I've tested or replaced all sensors, dizzy etc and had the inlet then the head off to check everything is in good health. With everything looking good the loom was the only thing I'd not looked at.
As usual with '90s Vauxhalls, I found the wiring to be of excellent quality and in almost perfect condition despite 23 years in service. I buzzed out everything anyway and found it to be fine, annoyingly. But I had a plan anyway. Looking at the loom laid out on the dining room table it's amazing how the wires themselves are routed. For example, 12V in a big fat red cable comes from the battery, throught the black box above the injectors, though this and into the car where it's joined to another fat red with a smaller spur off to the ECU itself. The other fat red then runs right back through the black box again then out to the 'fuel pump' relay. When this is energised, it sends 12V down a thick red/ blue wire that comes down into the black box again to power the injectors, AFM and lambda, as well as a spur off to the pump. Then grounds do a similar jig but never make it back to the batetry as they're all joined in the black box and then out in 3 wires to the fuel rail securing bolts.
So, my plan was, where the thick reds pass each other, I simply stripped a section of insulation off and soldered them together, in theory so the high power stuff doesn't have to pull current so far. Likewise I joined all the ground wires together along with a pair of new wires which I then ran direct to the battery. You can see here how I did the ground wires, and the proximity of the two fat 'in' and 'out' red wires:



Next I salved a pin from an old loom:



Because if you ground pin 20, the ECU ignores the lambda:



So I inserted the pin into the vacant space in slot 20 and tapped into a ground wire, but I looped it outside of the tape near the main connector so I could snip it if it made the car run worse:



I figured as the CAT was removed yeas ago (I killed it on a long run to Plymouth) and it's only required to pass the non-CAT 3.5% CO at idle, a little more fuel might smooth out things a little.
As I said, the loom was pretty much immaculate, so I just tidied up the tape holding it together and removed some of the larger pins, like in the FPR connector and cleaned the pins up. Before:



...aaaaaand after:



Lastly the fuel tank vent valve, which is meant to open above idle to allow fumes from the tank to be drawn into the engine has been playing up and clicking randomly. It was un-plumbed years ago when the charcoal canister I think blocked and the tank got sucked in on itself. I removed the pins from the connector and twisted a 30Ohm, 1/2 watt resistor between them and taped it all up. This is so I can revert back to the valve itself if the resistor won't fool the ECU.
So the acid test was a good 60 mile round trip to the New Forest for a spur-of-the-moment MOT test with Dave, purely for the hell of it. I got a good passm with a slight mention of a tiny bit of drag on the o/s front wheel. Idle emissions were 2%, so that's all OK and no fault lights at all.
As for the running now, I will say this. IF YOU DRIVE A C/20XE YOU MUST CARRY OUT THESE MODS IMMEDIATELY!!!11
Seriously it's that good. No more bogging down from cold (it had sat for 2 weeks as well), and the idle is dead smooth with no juddering or spitting like before. It's also now possible to trickle along in traffic. Keeping it smooth at low revs was nigh on impossible. Now it's lovely. I'm sure it's got the 5-6 BHP that was always missing back, too. What a transformation!
I will throw some rent on it beginning of December and really enjoy driving it now I think!
 

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pleased to hear that this minor electrical wire bridging improved your car's idling and acceleration response. I guess wires being routed in and out and branching off were creating volts drop and possibly causing instability and poor running, I remember back in 1991 when my Opel Manta GTE went in for a service and I was given a replacement car which was I am sure was exactly the same shape as the your GTE 16v, but I believe the replacment car was GTE 1.6L 8v, and I made a trip to Bolton and back the same day, and I was really impressed with its lightness and handling and it flew! Sadly I only used it for a couple of days.
What was most impressive about that car was its engine that liked revving swiftly and the response was just as swift and very impressive acceleration compared to Manta GTE. Vauxhalls made leaps in their engine designs since the days of Viva and Victor!

BTW, thanks for your help and advice, my Calibra I did a round trip of 60 miles, and a total mileage of 80 since the new head gasket change, with absolutely no issues, runs smoother than it has ever ran, perfect, so far keep my fingers crossed, but i just need to check my timing belt tensioner if it hasn't moved from its set mark, before I hit the rev limiter, at the moment I am limiting it to 4000rpm before changing gears.
 

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Discussion Starter #517
I jacked the GTE up high on axle stands in September with a view to replacing the brake lines. I removed the under tray and found oil everywhere. Bizarrely the gearbox sump bolts had loosened. Nipped them back up and checked oil level. Hmm, will keep and eye on that.
Really, really couldn't be arsed for some reason. I mean really. So I pretty much left it like that all over the new year, so it's now out of MOT. I think I got inspired a few months ago and took the wheels off to make a start on patching the corners of the rear wings where I knew there was rot. I found this:



Yes. Both spring seats were totally hanging. So while Benn was around with his welder, I thought I'd have a go at welding and the associated gubbins myself, for once.
Off with the old spring seat:



Patch chassis:





Whilst there I found the rear 1/4 of the driver's sill was soft, so I went nuts with the grinder and sliced it all out and stuck a huge plate in:



Quite chuffed with that really. Solid as. Meanwhile Benn had cracked on with the other bits:





He bought me my own helmet for my birthday, too. Saves having to borrow his. Red one:



So with two helmets, Sharon and I could crack on with making new spring seats, with the nipples cut from the old ones:



And finally, stuff painted in black underseal is REALLY hard to take pics of, so this'll have to do:



Back on her feet now and a trundle up the road and back confirmed I'd forgotten just how bloody quick it is! Annoyingly I've stripped the thread from one of the driver's rear wheel bolts. Years ago I tapped them all with, er, the wrong M12 thread. All the others are OK. I think I've got a spare in the shed. I hope! Then roll on MOT! Then I'll really try and replace the brake lines this year...
 

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You did really well making the spring seats back up. Just like i had thought of doing.
Annoys me that there the holes i miss drilled in the chassis leg bit tho! All good fun tho, your weldings got alot better too.

Glad you like the helmet too, saves us sharing sweat and that..lol eeww.
 

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Discussion Starter #519
Thanks. :)
As I said, I stripped the thread from one the rear wheels on refitting.



Deffo no thread there! Which is odd as the wheels have been on and off loads of times. Anyway I forgot that on the tapered bearing hubs, the disc IS the hub. Crap. You need to be prepared for some pikey-level parts usage here. I found a pair of old but barely used discs in the stores. Noice!



No really it's fine, just cobwebs and that. And then it hits me the reluctor ring is on the disc hub, but not this one. Suddenly I remember a few posts about new discs not coming with the reluctor ring, and them snapping when removal was attempted. A few thoughts of getting the other disc repaired went through my mind but dismissed quickly. No choice but to go for it:



Access isn't brilliant, but I take my time and gently coax the ring off on one piece!



Result! I'm not too excited yet as I still need to transfer the wheel bearing races. I told you this was a tad pikey. I know both rear bearings have covered less than 10k miles as the previous owner replaced one and when that didn't stop the droning noise it added to the reasons he sold it to me for £175 nearly ten years ago! I replaced the other just after purchase.
So I set to with removing the races:



Again a bit iffy, but this method works for me. Got them out OK and for refitting I actually have a half decent "press":



It's better than it looks, maybe. Anyway all went smoothly from here in between texts to Benn to see if discs are available with rings on, which they aren't. So the GTE is now ready for MOT which I'll get booked in as soon as my trusted MOT place can squeeze me in.

BUT WAIT! I have more exciting news. There are some GTE Holy Grails such as headlight protectors, engine undertrays and non-drooping head linings. I'm very lucky in that I have those 3. One of the others must surely be the Irmscher 15" alloys; I think the only other 'legit' alloys one can fit to a GTE? Well, here we go then!



Some outstanding luck came in the form of a nice chap Benn knows from PNG having a clear out of some 56! sets of wheels and Benn's dad driving from the south coast to Nottingham meant he could drop in to Derby to pick them up for me! Good price too and they're in decent nick. Obviously they'll go straight to the wheel man to be perfected first before they touch the car, with new rubber. All the same, I couldn't resist:







Really chuffed, it's going to look its best ever at the VBOA rally this year! :)
 
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