Pimp My Ride – Astra interior upgrade

Amongst (many) other vehicles I have owned seven Land Rovers over the years but have also had a Vauxhall Astra obsession for a very long time and have owned several: Mk1 estate, 2 x Mk4 LS estates, a 1.7 CDTi ECO4 Mk4 and my current baby a Mk4 1.6 SXi Dual Fuel.

Duel Fuel is working out kinda neat with this whole Global Recesssion thing as I can fill the LPG tank for £30 and get around 360 miles out of it (not to be sniffed at!!). Of course I would really like a 200BHP GSi Turbo but I have a long commute for work and the petrol bill would suck so I have the SXi Dual Fuel to be ‘sensible’.

I’m very attached to this one and have done over 150,000 miles in it, we’ve been through all sorts together and now and again I show it some love, this time with switching the cloth interior for a set of Full Leather from a Bertone Turbo Coupe, complete with heated front seats 🙂

Switching Astra interiors is relatively easy if you have the right tools – a good quality Torx set (T40 and T50), flat blade screwdrivers, phillips screwdrivers and a wrench for the battery terminal.

First and foremost disconnect the negative terminal on the battery, this is required as the front seats have electronic Pre-Tensioners linked to the Airbag system (that need taking apart) and this will freak out the ECU, lighting up your dashboard and requiring a visit to your local GM/Vauxhall garage to have them reset stuff with their OpCom…

Disconnect your negative terminal

Now you can start ripping stuff out.

Rear seats ‘before’ shot 🙂

Detach ‘hidden’ brackets for seat back on both sides…leave the spring tensioned bracket attached.

Seat belt mountings, left and center (T50 Torx)

Check out all the detritus under the seats from years of having Mountain Bikes in the back…

Rear mounts for seat back (T40 Torx)…stuck under the chassis for the LPG tank!

So that’s the rear seat back and bench out, plus the seat belt mounts

Time for the new leather seat backs to be fitted to the old brackets….then the new bench

Front seats. Remove the two rear T40 Torx, lift the seat from the back and tip. Disconnect the Pre-tensioner (pull out the orange lock pin and squeeze the black tongue) under the seat and slide it out from it’s housing.

Remove the lower front seat belt mount (T40 Torx) and out come the front seats

Reverse the sequence and re-connect the pre-tensioner into the new seats, in go the new fronts…nice eh?

Just need a good clean and some leather restorer to detail them now 🙂


  1. Our experience with Astra’s across the pond is limited to a poor rendition of the MkII sold as the Pontiac LeMans but manufactured in Korea by Daewoo. A horrid failure that one. Then the MKV was here for about 11 minutes as the Saturn Astra until GM pulled the plug on the Saturn brand. That was a nice little car that died off too soon.

    GM has never quite figured out how to sell its European compacts and subcompacts in North America.

    Those Recaro’s look awesome.

  2. Saturn Astra XR is what we have here as the Mk5 or Astra H….didn’t realise they were not available over there.

    It’s weird about the US & Compacts as the roads here are starting to fill up with baby little (horrible) Chevrolets like Sparks and Aveo’s…..


  3. Hi, can you please help me with advise – how to disconnect wires under the front seats!!!! I just don’t get it… sorry! Saturn Astra XR 2009. connector looks like yours on photos!

    my email:

    • Hi, I think from memory there was a Purple clip, it was quite tight. I no longer have this vehicle so I cannot check. Best thing is post up on a Forum. Sorry I cannot be of more help

  4. thanks any way.

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