Tag Archives: vauxhall

One hundred and ninety…

Another 10,000 miles in the Cockroach…still not a squeak.

Target? 250,000 🙂

190,000 miles

Borg Key AKA eBay Flip Key Fail

So you’ve got an old Astra G AKA Mk4 and you’re jealous of the Astra H/Mk 5 dudes with their fancy schmancy flip keys and you see a Flip Key Conversion kit on fleabay and you spring for one.

You get him in the mail, take him to your Go to key cutter buddy then and spend 20 minutes trying to get all the tiny pieced assembled on your kitchen table. Satisfied you run out to your car ‘flip’ the key and feel all cool.

Fast forward less than 12 months, you go to flip your key and it doesn’t quite come out, but with a bit of goading it flips out and off you go. Repeat this process several times and what you are not noticing are hairline cracks in the monkey metal shit that the hinge is made from until one day >>SNAP<< the whole thing snaps off in your ignition.

Luckily for me I was at work and quickly rigged up a Borg Key bodge – Mini Mole Grips to attach the key, door remote zip tied into plastic bag and immobiliser chip zip tied into front section of bag….yes it will get me home where I can spend 20 minutes swapping all the bits back into my old style Vauxhall key body that I saved…

Lesson? Avoid the cheap shit on eBay

Astra Borg Key

Final piece of the jigsaw

Been collecting body parts for the Astra for the last two years and finally the last piece of the jigsaw has been found…a GSi Turbo front bumper, complete with grilles and fogs.

They are getting quite scarce now and command some fairly serious money as a result so this was a good find. The rest of the collection comprises of side skirts, rear bumper and rear boot spoiler, along with the already fitted steering wheel. Next task now is to find a Paint Shop who will colour match these to my car (or blow everything over…)

Astra GSI bumper

Astra GSi bumper


I suppose I am OCD about some stuff, probably quite a lot of stuff actually!!

Anyway, since I’ve had the Road Angel I’ve also been using a Griffin PowerJolt in the car. It’s a true 10 watt USB Charger giving 5 watts per port which packs quite a punch. I’m tempted to swap him out for a Scosche Dual USB Car Charger which really does kick some ass pushing 12 watts (2.4A) but so far I’ve had no problems.

The idea for the PowerJolt was so I can run the Road Angel Gem+ and a TomTom at the same time using USB charging cables or run the Road Angel Gem+ and charge a SmartPhone or BlueTooth headset without switching cigarette lighter adapters all the time…less clutter.

The next problem and the reason for this post was the mess of cables now hanging around in the car so I set about running a charging cable directly up under the Road Angel location on top of the center console through the dashboard.
This turned out to be quite an epic as the ICE had to be pulled out and disconnected, Center Console partially out, ashtray, lighter facia and Glove Box all out just to run the USB cable.

It looks neat and tidy though so I am happy with no more OCD twitches…

One Hundred and Eighty…!!

So…The Cockroach…the car that refuses to die, has rolled across the 180,000 mile mark without even a whisper.
He’s never broken down, is on the original clutch and most of the original exhaust. Sure he eats through ‘consumables’ like tyres, brake pads, oil, filters, sensors and is now on the second battery from new but other than that this is one neat car and I love it 🙂

180,000 miles

For Kevin

Kevis is a work colleague, not based at our site but he drops in every once in a while. Months and months and months ago he started asking me about the GSi Turbo steering wheel I had behind my desk.
I said “Oh, that’s going in the Astra soon”

Weeks would pass, Kevin would drop in again and joke about the steering wheel still being there. Then months passed and although he called in he stopped asking about the GSi wheel.

I’ve been called a Sloth with bike builds, in fact someone once said glaciers move faster than me and now I come to think of it even my niece calls me Gary The Snail.

So this is for you Kevin…..IT’S DONE 🙂

Old one off…

‘New’ one on

Gaitor Aid

My leather gear gaitor (which turned out to be fake leather halfway thru this task) has been with me for 168,000 miles so I guess owes me nothing. He was starting to get very tatty around the top though so 10 minutes on FleaBay later and I’d scored a new, real leather, replacement.

In fact it was a twofer deal and I got a handbrake gaitor thrown in the bundle too. Not in a big rush to change him though as there’s lots of aggro involved and my current one is still fine.

I found a neat ‘How To’ online that helped this task immensely and it was all done in a little over half hour (20 minutes spent trying to stretch the new gaitor over the gear knob…)

Before & After shots 🙂

Stop The Pigeon

I’m not a violent person and these days I go out of my way to avoid killing anything that walks, crawls, flies or slithers but every now and again there is an unavoidable situation….and this was one.

I do a LOT of miles in my car, most weeks 500+ and on this occasion a 1000+ miles in one week and I never engage in any acts of roadkill, in fact wild things rarely even try and sacrifice themselves so I should consider myself lucky. This is a good thing as the front of my car has now been rebuilt several times..

Anyway’s I was on the home commute, doing round 80mph when this Wood Pigeon (Brainus Smallus) tries to take my Astra on, suffice to say it was all over rather quickly and the view in my rear view mirror looked like someone had just put a King Size duvet through a garden shredder…!!

When I got home I discovered the full extent….pieces of skull wedged in small crevices with pieces of flesh still attached…..brains all over my bumper, bird crap on the splitter and feathers?….well EVERYWHERE in the engine bay, in my AC radiator, my coolant radiator.

Two hours of hot water, Chemical Guys Maxi Suds II and Dodo Juice Tropical Red Mist later and you would never know I played Stop The Pigeon

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