Archive for the ‘ General ’ Category

Well that was unexpected……

After fitting another UEC, the non start issue where the fuel pump was not getting a 12v feed appeared to have been solved. Certainly for around 4 months, until it reared its ugly head again.

With a direct feed to the pump, the pump ran so again no issue there with the fuel pump itself. So the next thing was to remove the UEC and take a look. Upon inspection, X2 pin 56 in the UEC (fuel pump feed) was showing signs of corrosion which was not there previously. Swapping the UEC to another car proved that the UEC was not at fault and was working fine, which then suggested an issue within the wiring somewhere. Luckily Vauxhall/Opel factory wiring diagrams make it easy to identify what goes where within the UEC and associated plugs. Read more

Rear Braided Brake Lines

Some images for reference for installation of braided rear brake lines on Astra H, in no particular order.

Piano Black Facia Upgrade

Once you go black, you never go back! Time to freshen up the interior.

Piano Black trim was introduced from 2007.5 model year onwards and gives a much cleaner look to the interior. The car is a 2007MY (identified by the VIN) but had silver facia from factory. Whilst a few of the other trims also changed in the factory built cars with piano black interior, the existing trims still work well with the piano black so there is no need for them to be changed.

So  having collected the necessary parts from various sources including a few second hand parts and a couple of brand new ones, it was time to change from silver to piano black.

There are plenty of pictorial ‘how to’ guides online, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel here (it is basically remove six T20 torx screws in order, remove stereo, heater controls and panels, swap over the switch panel in the main facia and refit the black panels), so a couple of pictures of the piano black parts, and a before and after will suffice.

These trim panels can be quite expensive new, unless you know where to source them from, so buying used is often the most cost effective option. The heater controls and stereo are the most expensive parts, followed by the steering wheel stereo controls.

I tracked down a set of heater controls, stereo controls and lower steering wheel panel (blank no vxr logo), CD30 head unit, gear lever panel and storage tray second hand over several weeks looking round for ones in good condition. The lower steering wheel panel with the vxr logo is not expensive so may add that at a later date.

The main 2 switch facia panel and the anthracite centre vents were sourced brand new as they were about the same price as second hand ones kicking about eBay.

To save having to replace the screen and head unit, a head unit that had been divorced previously was bought so it could be coded in to the existing screen using Tech2. The last thing I wanted was a stereo and screen that were paired together, supplied with no code and not divorced. There are plenty of head units kicking round eBay that are not divorced and many head units supplied with screens coded to each other so you have to replace both items. Personally I prefer to stay away from anything without a known code. Providing the code is supplied even with paired units, they can be reset and then recoded using the original vehicle security code, which makes any potential future diagnostics much easier.

Part Numbers as used (RHD):
Facia Panel 2 Button RHD (non keyless entry): 13250668 (Production Number: 13141094)
Centre Vent Anthracite: 13249995
Heater Controls: 13308176 (Production Number: 13308173) Various Idents including: GJ4 NC3
Trim Panel (Gear Lever): 13250636 (Production Number:13166385)
Steering Wheel Stereo Controls: 93190342 (Production Number: 13251120)
Lower Steering Wheel Cover Plain: 93197879
Lower Steering Wheel Cover VXR: 93193200
*Storage Tray (RHD): 13250645 (Production Number: 13133278)
*12v Charge Socket: 13110430
*Cover: 13249341
* the storage tray, cover and 12v socket can usually be sourced second hand as a complete unit.

For the sterring wheel controls, it is often cheaper to buy a second hand wheel with the black controls alreadfy fitted, especially if you are not worried about the VXR lower cover.

Silver Facia

Silver Facia

Piano Black Facia

Piano Black Facia

Nankang AR-1 Tyre Information

The latest information:

Nankang’s latest MSA approved tyre is on its way…

The new NANKANG AR-1 will be available in 15″ to 18″ in the first phase, with more sizes to be added over the coming months

The AR-1 is looking to be a faster, more refined track tyre, aimed at the track enthusiast who is hunting lap times.

With only one compound option and with all tyres being produced with 5.5mm tread depth, the AR-1 is positioning itself in amongst the greats of the track tyre market.

Though the AR-1 is a List 1C tyre (for 2016), it has recently achieved EU tyre labelling meaning it could easily fit in amongst the MSA List 1B tyres for 2017.

RAC MSA Tyres List 2016

The RAC MSA 2016 Approved Tyres Listing:

PDF Icon

RAC MSA Blue Book Section L Tyres 2016


RAC MSA Blue Book Section L Tyres 2016

Tailgate Struts

The original tailgate struts had become somewhat tired and were failing to lift the tailgate only supporting it when fully open. Not the end of the world on a track car but on occasions annoying when the tailgates shuts itself on you!

Due to the use the car gets it was difficult to justify buying new at £24 each for aftermarket items, let alone hwat genuine ones would cost and I did not fancy buying non branded cheap eBay parts. Searching round a little used pair came up from a 2008 car for £10.99 delivered. Ideal and a very simple swap over in seconds.

It is worth noting that 3 Door Hatch, 5 Door Hatch, Van and Estate have different part numbers.
3 Door: 13220159
5 Door: 24463829
Estate/Van: 13122695

This should help identify the correct parts.

Tailgate Strut 3 Door

Tailgate Struts 3 Door – 13220159

Standard Springs

Standard Astra H VXR Springs are identified by the ident codes CT on the front springs and ST on the rear springs. Worth knowing if a set of factory springs are required to return a car back to standard.

Standard Springs

Standard Springs

New Nankang Track Tyres AR-1

A new tyre from Nankang, the AR-1 is due to be in the UK very soon, which has made its way onto the RAC MSA Permitted Tyres List 1C.

Already on order I cannot wait to try a set.

Nankang AR-1

Nankang AR-1

Intermittent Non Start……

An intermittent fault is somewhat tricky to diagnose and identify the cause until it becomes a permanent fault! So an intermittent non start was going to be entertaining to find as it could be electrical or fuel related. Additionally until rectified it meant trackdays had to be put on hold for obvious reasons.

After three weeks or so of using the car daily and having the non-start occur a couple of times, it eventually became a permanent non-start. Finally that gave me something to look for. Eliminating the crank sensor (they are occasionally prone to failure), as a crank signal was still present during cranking, it turned out that there was no fuel at the rail, and the fuel pump was not working.

Checked and tried a second known working fuel pump relay, not that. Removed the housing to check the pump in the tank; with the pump out of the tank, 12v from a second battery and the pump ran fine. So the pump was ok, which was good news as I have never seen a failure of an aeromotive 340 fuel pump to date. Next check all the fuel pump wiring in the housing, all ok.

Initially bridging/bypassing the fuel pump relay in the UEC (Underhood Electrical Centre) and the pump would run, so next check through the car loom from the UEC to the pump and the wiring all checked out ok for continuity. Also checked the 4 pin plug under the car next to the tank, in case it had suffered from corrosion.

So could it be the UEC? Fit another ‘slave’ test UEC, programme to the car, and fit the fuel pump relay and turn the key. Fuel pump primes and the car fires into life.

So problem solved, a fault within the UEC. Originally fitted with a UEC with Ident GR, a secondhand UEC from a 2010 car within the same Ident range (Ident LP) was sourced from a mate who runs a breakers for £50 which has since be fitted and programmed to the car and all is well.

Uunderhood Electrical Centre:
Vauxhall/Opel: UEC Part Number: 93184656 Ident GS Production Number: 13206746
Also Services Idents: GR GT GU GX GY GZ HA HB HC LM LN LP LQ LR

When sourcing a second hand unit ensure it has been correctly reset on Tech2 (or similar) for reprogramming.

UEC Ident LP

UEC Ident LP

Inlet Manifold Support Bracket

Kind of does what it says on the tin! Made from a piece of 25mm wide x 4mm thick steel bar, zinc primed and finished with satin metal protect paint. A slightly stronger bracket to offer some additional support to the inlet manifold. It fits between the mounting point at the back of the manifold and the OE metal plate which is the mounting bracket for the vacuum store and is bolted to the lower rear of the block.

Inlet Manifold Support Bracket

Inlet Manifold Support Bracket

Astra VXR Sprint.....

%d bloggers like this: