Tag Archives: leather

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 🙂

More Leather!!

Been on the hunt for one of these for a while, an Irmscher Leather Armrest. Neat for stashing various items in to keep the cockpit clean and uber cool for that relaxed driving posture when out on the open road.

As with all Irmscher products its very well made and very well designed, you don’t lose access to the rear passenger ashtray (even though I don’t smoke) and it doesn’t screw up access to the handbrake, unless you are into doing handbrake turns (I’m getting too old for that shit now).

Piece of cake to fit, set some pilot holes with the Makita Cordless and used a quarter inch drive ratchet with Torx bits to drive the fixings home 🙂




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 🙂


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