Ok so I have finally got the headlights and the carbon fibre wrap on the hood.
It took a couple of hours to apply, firstly I had to wash the hood and then clean it with some isopropyl alcohol. The wrap was relatively simple to apply onto the hood, it was the first time I had tried it on such a big area but with some help from a friend we did an OK job. The wrap was the 3M scotchprint brand and was really easy to work with, bubbles came out easily with a bit of heat and re-applying the wrap. I guess I will leave it on for awhile to protect the hood from stone chips and scratches, apparently it has a lifespan of 3 to 5 years so I guess it will stay for that long (or until I sell the car or it dies). The good thing about it is that with a bit of heat the wrap comes straight off.
I also spent a few hours putting on the Audi style DRL headlights on. It was also very simple to attach, I did not have to do any soldering or cut any wires, all the attachments were supplied with the headlight kit and all I had to do was plug it in. The only thing I had to do was to pull the headlight levelling motor from the original headlights and put it into the new ones, everything else was pretty smooth sailing. My only complaint is that the headlight doesn’t fit exactly like the OEM ones. I’m pretty happy with them thou, they do add a little difference to my car as compared to the sea of Astras out there. I haven’t checked the lights at night yet so there may be further issues with the lights. The LEDs look great thou at dusk.
Well it looks like I have done as much as I can for the moment. Now will be saving up money time so that I can get the lowering suspension kit I wanted as well as maybe the rest of the Roose Motorsports silicon ancillary and breather hose kits.
I have not had any time up until now to do things to my car – so with the 2 weeks of holiday time I have I am going to try and do as much to the car as possible. There’s a big list of things to do which hopefully should not take more than a few days. Today I am going to change the rocker cover gasket, change the rad pipes to the silicone ones I bought months ago and re-fit my air intake pipe with a new bellows I bought (which should make it sit better).
The first thing I did today was the rocker cover gasket, after removing the engine cover I unplugged the coilpack and removed it. It was then an easy process of removing all the pipes and screws that held the rocker in place.
That was the easy part – the hard part was actually prying the rocker cover loose, it felt like it had been welded on, I sprayed some WD 40 on the seal and then tried to cut the seal with a blade, after some effort I got the cover off, needless to say that took a good 30 minutes trying to get the rocker off. So then I proceeded to give the cover a good degrease and clean.
After the clean I decided to re-spray the cover just because I had some left over high heat spray, so bang it was done.
While the cover was drying I thought I would do the rad hoses as well as the new bellows I got for the air intake feed, I drained the rad and ripped out the bottom and top hoses, the top hose was no problem but the bottom hose was a bit tricky as there is not much space to work with. I had to cut the old rubber hose as it was well and truly stuck to the pipe and then proceeded with replacing the hoses with silicone ones. I think it looks quite good.
I then placed the new gasket into the rocker cover with some silicone sealant and waited for it to dry. In the meantime I started working on the air intake bellows, no pictures of that as it wasn’t that interesting. Anyways I let about an hour go by before I placed the rocker cover back in place and bolted it all down. Hopefully this will stop the engine from leaking oil onto my spark plugs.
For anyone attempting to change their own rocker cover gasket I would suggest that you try and use a blade to cut the seal away before carefully lifting the cover off. It may take a while but it can be done if you persevere. Also give the cover a good clean with degreaser especially around where the gasket sits. Clean all the oil out and put a small amount of gasket sealer around there so that it will hold the new gasket in place while you are trying to mount it back on the engine block. It’s all pretty straightforward stuff but if you do the simple things it will save you a headache in the long run. Changing the rad hoses was easy but make sure you drain the rad first or else you will have coolant all over the car. Also remove the bottom hose first because if there is any leftover fluid it is better it come out from the bottom rather than the top hose where it will go all over the engine. All very common sense stuff really.
Tomorrow I will be doing the brakes and if time permits putting on the strut bar I bought ages ago – stay tuned for more pictures.
I finally got my finances back in check so I went on a mad buying spree for the car. Firstly I got new Brake Rotors for the front and back. I will get some pads later on, I will probably get those at the local auto store as I can get a discount at one of them.
Secondly, I also splurged on an Armster Armrest from the UK.
I don’t know why the car did not have one in the first place so I decided to get more storage space and give myself some small creature comfort at the same time.
Thirdly, I found a few leaks in the car, the most worrying one was the bottom radiator hose which began weeping after 4 days of extremely hot weather, I have tightened the jubilee clip which seemed to have stopped it for now but I decided to get some new hoses anyways, so I bought some silicone hoses from Roose Motorsport.
As soon as the parts arrive I can get on with the job of giving the radiator a good flush, replace both top and bottom hoses and also fixing a slight leak with the rocker cover gasket. When I changed the sparks the other week I noticed that 3 out of 4 of the sparks had a film of oil on them, this is clearly an indication that the gasket on the rocker cover is at it’s end. So off to LMF Vauxhall I went and ordered a new rocker cover gasket as well as a few other things.
Well it seems I will be busy doing car things in the next few weeks. I really enjoy doing things myself as I find it not only a learning experience but a rewarding one. You get to learn about cars as well as be safe in the knowledge that you have done the repairs and/or servicing yourself and not rely on a mechanic who can say they have done this and that when they have not, and also know that the parts you have used be what you wanted to use.
Stay tuned for more pictures as the parts get to me.