I attended the Meguiar’s Motorex 2014 car expo today and I must say I was impressed by the amount of quality builds on display. Although all very centred towards the muscle car V8 types there were also a few exotics on display. I didn’t get to see any hot hatches (I probably didn’t try very hard to find them thou) but there were a few Japanese imports. Overall a good show and an impressive selection of cars, but I was disappointed that there were not more customised hot hatches on display. The only ones were in the audio section with massive sound systems sticking out of the boot and in the paint / designer wrap display part of the expo. Below are some pictures of cars that stood out for me. I tried to take different pictures of cars on display, I didn’t see the point of taking untold pictures of Commodores or classic Fords as they were in abundance. The ones that stood out for me were the unique cars that you don’t get to see too often.
This Studebaker was excellent, I like the lines on this classic, the unique curved nose was a standout for me, it looks so much like a beak of a hawk. Excellent lines, excellent paint and so low.
This beasted out 69 Toyota Corolla was so cool, I wish there were more of these types of cars being done up, but I do live in Melbourne where the only 2 brands that matter to the majority of car enthusiasts are Ford and Holden.
Another classic, this one was left raw with no paint. Very cool.
The cleanest engine bay I have ever seen
A couple of cool modern Jap cars
What cars? Who cares about cars?
A fully sick Capella
And I got to meet Karen from RPM Jewellery, a talented lady with loads of great jewellery on display, can’t wait to get my Opel ring.
It’s been a long time between write ups but I have had so much going on that I have spent so little time on the car. I was also unemployed for a month which was a bit of a stress but I finally found a new job which was such a relief when you have bills and a family to take care of. It kinda left no time for the car. I also got a company car – a crappy Ford Falcon station wagon so I have hardly driven the Astra in months. It’s a good thing I guess as I have not bought petrol for weeks now, the company car came with a fuel card so I’ve been driving that petrol guzzling jalopy around everywhere – Thems the perks.
I have been training more now that I am running my own school – that has been taking up a lot of my time as well. I am really enjoying training others in the Kung Fu style I have dedicated my spare time to for the last 15 years. I get a lot of pleasure in seeing people improve with time and having the same passion for Choy Lay Fut as I do. I have a few students who are really appreciating the hard training I dish out to them every week. If they keep coming back I must be doing something right.
I made a new website for the school, you can go visit it here
and you can visit the google+ page here
If you are in the west of Melbourne and want to learn a traditional martial arts style come down to my school and join us. The first lesson is free so there is no excuse..
I am intending to visit MotorEX this year as it is going to be held in Melbourne – I can’t wait to see all the customized cars to admire the amount of time and work people put into their machines. I will also get a chance to visit my favourite car related jewellery designer “RPM Jewellery“, I’ll be finally picking up one of those tyre rings I wrote about almost 2 years ago.
Hopefully this is just the start of me writing again, there’s just not enough time in the day.
I started working on the brakes yesterday with a friend and only got the front ones done when the usual Melbourne weather turned dark and rainy. It makes it much easier and faster when there is an extra pair of hands working with you as things just seem to get done faster. Changing the front brake rotors and pads was pretty straight forward, only hitch was having the right size allen key to loosen the bolts holding the caliper to the rotor – so off to supercheap auto we went – this is a given when I work on cars, there is always a last minute stop to an auto shop to buy something, today we got a set of allen keys, some brake anti squeal compound and got back to work. I fitted some RDA slotted rotors to replace the OEM ones which came with the car when I bought it, I doubt if they had ever been changed as the bolts holding the calipers in place were so tight we almost used a full can of WD 40 just to loosen the bolts.
Today we started working on the rear brakes, again the bolts were so tight but with a bit of WD 40 and perseverance we got the bolts off, nothing a bit of brute force and leverage can’t overcome. Once the bolts were off everything was easy to put back together until it was time to push the piston back in so that we could get it over the new brake pads (which were twice the size of the old ones) – no amount of force on the G-clamp seemed to work so I went onto www.opelaus.com to search for an answer – needless to say you needed a special rewind tool to wind back the piston while pushing it back in – SO AGAIN off the supercheap we went – the tool was relatively cheap at $15.95 and much needed for this particular job.
It was a strange little thing – you fixed it onto an extension and then onto a rachet which made the rewinding so so easy – seriously I cannot recommend this tool enough if you are going to do your own brakes, especially the rear brakes. We got it all done today so now with the bedding in.
Well I got most of the priority work done so this week I may visit some wreckers to see what other bits and pieces I can get for the car, I have spotted an Astra turbo in a wreckers recently so I may go out and check if the leather seats and door trims are still there, if I can pick them up for cheap I may have yet another project to do. I also bought a set of headlights on Ebay, the Audi style ones with the DRL strip on the bottom, I will be waiting eagerly for these to arrive.
this is the way I use the spanners to loosen really tight bolts
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.
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
So it’s that time of year where you are meant to get presents you actually want and not just socks and underwear. As you get older Christmas time does not feel like it does when you are a kid – when mum and dad would get you what you wanted and it was great to wake up in the morning and open up all these great gifts. Nowadays I am lucky to get anything, not that I really care because for me it is time to spend with family and now I play the role of gift provider for my kid who gets everything during Christmas. She gets gifts from both grandparents, aunties, uncles and even the neighbor next door. I on the other hand get nothing. So this year I decided to get myself some goodies – well they are more for the car than me – but you get the gist.
(1) I finally got the front spoiler sprayed up because one of my readers mitfaka suggested that color coded parts look the best – I was going to carbon vinyl wrap it but I do agree it does look good. The spray painter did a great job and I can’t wait until all the Christmas shenanigans are over so that I can spend some time putting it on the car.
(2) I finally bought the Remus exhaust I wanted – It was the Powersound Sports Exhaust. It has a brand new valve control system from Remus which allows you to tune the power and sound to your individual requirements. Very easily, you can decide how high the power and sound level is set at. I have it closed at the moment and the sound is great – It has a deeper growl than the stock exhaust without sounding too loud.
(3) I also got new pedals – New MOMO pedals
I also bought more stuff from Jom again and hoping it will get here sooner than later. Last time it took a month so I’m thinking it will be here by the end of January. Well I hope everyone has a good relaxing break during this time – I hope you get everything you want and if not well do what I do and buy it for yourself…. lol