The holiday break is nearly over for me – I can say that I spent it quite productively, I got a heap of small jobs done to my car and I am happy enough with the way the car is shaping up. Over the last few weeks I have spent a few days here and there tinkering with the aesthetics of the car, all the things I wanted to do have been accomplished. I’m pretty happy with all the jobs I have done, however small they may be it has made a difference to me. It has made my car a bit different to the 100s of others out on the road and to me that is what counts. Along the way I have learnt a few new things, and I’ve also learnt to do it right the first time around (or else face the consequence of having to do it again).
So for now the front spoiler is done, I also replaced the washer jets with Insignia washer jets (the ones that fans the water out as opposed to the stock Astra ones which shoots out two streams of water). I also finished spraying the rest of the centre console today so now I have a colour matching centre console with the rest of the centre pieces and given the car a good cut and polish.
Now to save up money for the real things I have to do – which means having to go back to the grind of work. There are a few more things I would like to do to the car – actually I can’t really say that, I’m always finding other things to do to the car… lol. But the most important thing would be to do the brake rotors and pads very soon.
Well now – the Christmas shenanigans are over, the food has been eaten, the gifts unwrapped, the relatives you don’t really want to see has gone away again for at least another year, it was time to do some dirty work. It took me a day to finish attaching the front spoiler to the bumper – it has added a sportier look to the car but now I have already decided to look for a whole new front bumper….lol … it was bound to happen… as soon as I attached it I was already thinking that a whole new bumper would look better than what was on it. I found one on Ebay Australia from a local dealer which looks pretty good and is relatively cheap ($400). To me it looks like a Chinese knockoff of an OPC front bumper but it does look good thou. I would have to replace the grills for the fog lights as my car didn’t come with them.
All this being said it will have to get in the back of the queue thou as I have to really get the rotors and pads done first. Luckily a friend will be helping me out so I will be able to save some money on labour. Looks like the front spoiler will be staying on for a while (or until it falls off during a drive..lol). I won’t go into what I used too much – let’s just say I used a hell of a lot of double-sided tape, a bucketload of Sikaflex and 2 screws at the ends to hold it in place. The Sikaflex adhesive bonds really well and I hope it will hold it there – I just have nightmare visions of the front spoiler falling off on the freeway as I am doing 100 km/hr. OK so here are some pics.
Overall I am pretty happy with the job, it was my first attempt at putting on something like this to a car. It does make a little difference to the look and as soon as I get to lowering it, it will make the front look sportier. It could have been a bit better as one of the corners keeps popping out, I don’t think it will fall off but it is just a bit annoying that the rest of the spoiler seems to sit fine and just one corner keeps lifting from the double-sided tape. It only lifts up slightly but to my eye it annoys the hell outta me. I can’t really do anything about it now as the adhesive has set and if I were to take the whole spoiler off and restart again it would mean another couple of days trying firstly to get the Sikaflex off and then re-bonding it. No thanks, it will do for now.
So what’s next on the list??? Well before I get back to work I really want to spray the centre console the same colour as the car, this will mean at least a days work of ripping out the centre console, priming it and then spraying it red, wait for it to dry and then re-mounting it. I will have to wait until I have enough funds for the rotors and brakes, then I can start thinking about the suspension. I also want to get angel eye headlights and after that I think I will be done with the car (for a long while anyways).
On a side note my daughter gave me this for Christmas – she’s a good girl I have trained her well..
Meguiar’s Paint Restoration Kit
Bought a front spoiler for the car a few days ago from a wrecker. It is a genuine GM front spoiler made of ABS plastic (and not a cheap fibreglass copy) that was fitted on some HBD (Holden by Design) Astras as well as SRIs. I have had my eye on it for a while – it was either wait to get a whole bumper from either a HSV Astra or a Bertone Cabriolet OR get the front spoiler – fit it on and live with it for a while until I have enough cash to get the front bumper I wanted. After some haggling the spoiler ended up costing me AUD$150 – not bad considering that it cost $500-700 brand new. It was painted blue which made me think that it came off a HBD Astra as most Astras I have seen with the same front spoiler was left unpainted in the raw black state. Anyways I bought it on Friday and spent most of the weekend sanding down the blue and puttying up all the gutter scratches. I then put a coat of primer over the putty and let it set for a while. About an hour later I sanded the primer down again with wet and dry and then re-sprayed with primer again. This time I’m leaving it to dry overnight. I must say that the scratches and dints in the spoiler are mostly gone as 2 coats of primer plus the putty has done a good job filling in all the holes. I will probably work on it again on Tuesday (being a public holiday here in Australia) but I’m in 3 minds: (1) I could take it to a panel beater and get them to spray it the same colour as the rest of my car. (b) just spray it black so that it looks more stock or (c) carbon wrap it with some 3M Di-Noc wrap. I’ve been dying to wrap something so maybe I will do that first. I am going to inquire at the local paint shop anyways to see how much it will cost and then decide from there. Below are some pics of the spoiler with primer on it, I have still got to sand it down with 1200 grit and maybe re-spray one final time – (coz I am pedantic like that)
All the scratches and dings have been masked by the primer and putty