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Thread: My Astra Coupe Turbo - K3FUS

  
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    My Astra Coupe Turbo - K3FUS

    Edit:
    My story of Astra onwership would not be complete without pics of my first Astra, my MK1 GTE turbo, I'll let the pictures do the talking!

    Billing or (Max Power Live - Brands Hatch) 1997:


    Cromer Cliffs 1997:




    October 2004, time to sell my Mitsubishi FTO, it had given me 3 ½ years of fun and looked the business, but the power never matched the looks.



    Why did I buy an Astra Coupe turbo? The answer is simple and probably the same one as many other owners, it looks great, it’s quick and has tuning potential, plus being an ex Courtenay employee the choice was an easy one. What wasn’t so easy was finding one that was in good condition that was fitted with the extras I wanted. Leather was a must and I didn’t want silver as they are too common, like most used cars I stumbled on a 51 plate coupe, breeze blue with the ½ leather interior and an Irmscher grill. The only problem was it was over 100 miles away in Scunthorpe, but I had to have a look, luckily the seller was willing to meet me ½ way in Sleaford, now I know you should not buy a car at a petrol station, but we shook hands and a week later she was mine.



    What abut the FTO?, it was sold within 4 days of being advertised and is now in Fife, a young lady drove over 300 miles to buy it as she liked it so much in the pictures, a year later and she was still enjoying it.

    Like most Coupe turbo owners I kidded myself that I’d not modify it, but no one else was fooled! The first things were small ones, heater rings, air filter & pipe, boost & volt gauges, some Lexmaul rear lights and my private plate, K3FUS, was moved across.



    Then a SMIC was purchased for £200 second hand along with a CS2 remap, I told you being an ex Courtenay employee was going to be an advantage, I was very happy with the results, the car was much more responsive than before and mush better than my old Calibra Turbo.



    The modifying bug was still there, I’d always liked the GSI front bumper and after missing out on an SRI Turbo one I took the plunge and ordered a new one. Following its 2nd paint job, the original colour match was awful. I also got the engine cover painted and fitted some angel eye headlamps, but we’ll come back to them later.





    In August my ex-wife replaced her Street Ka with a TT coupe, this was the excuse I needed to throw some more money at the coupe, what with its 1st anniversary coming up. I booked the car in at Courtenay for the CS4 coupled with the first VXR turbo, water injection, a full Miltek system, sports cat and cat removal and to finish it off some Eibach springs. Now I was really smiling and the car’s performance was superb, but two things bugged me, firstly the standard wheels and secondly the SMIC.




    In October I replaced the wheels and sold the old ones on, I kept 17” wheels as the roads in Norfolk are not kind to bigger ones.





    Then I fitted the FMIC, 5 hours of hard work, cups of tea and a chat to Matt Smith. As the air pipes were off it was time to fit some black and blue silicone ones, the engine bays was blinging now.



    Winter had arrived and anyone with angel eyes knows that you need HIDs to see any thing, not a problem I paid £170 for a kit, but they were nothing but problems. My patience with them was wearing very thin and eventually I took the HIDs out along with the angel eyes and fitted some silver headlamps. I know some people call them “poverty spec” headlamps, but I never liked the tinted ones on my car.



    Like most Coupe owners my standard 4 CD player stopped playing some discs, I have a habit of being in the right place at the right time and this landed me a brand new Kenwood MP3 head unit for…………….£72! who needs a CD changer?

    Then the unthinkable happened, I nearly sold the coupe………why? I wanted a VXR. The deal was going to cost me £9000, not a small amount of money. The more I thought about it, I had an order form completed on line for the VXR, the more I could not justify the extra money the VXR would cost compared to the difference in the two cars. Finally I made my mind up, yes the Coupe was going to stay for a couple of years more.

    I always like the Irmscher rear bumper trims, but they always seemed to be expensive for what they were. LMF to the rescue, finally I had bought some and fitted them and they transformed the look of the car.



    Well that’s nearly the end of the story concerning what my car looks like, but remember the HIDs? Even though I had removed them it still bugged me so I bought a new kit from Genuine Autos for £118 and guess what……..they have worked a dream ever since, and yes they have passed an MOT in the standard headlamps.



    Is this the end of the tale, err no, I finally got my hands on some VXR injectors and recently I had them fitted along with the low torque CS map, now the coupe’s a real killer on the road, but still has the manners of a lady.

    So what for the future, I’m going to say that’s it, but some how I know that the clutch and fly wheel will need changing at some point and you know what they say….”well if you’re doing that then you might as well…………..”


    Tell me what you've done, not what you're going to!

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    Here's a tech sheet for the car as it stands......

    Tell me what you've done, not what you're going to!

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    Change of head lights this weekend:

    Tell me what you've done, not what you're going to!

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    During the course of owning and modifying the coupe I have added water injection.

    Originally it was fitted before the SMIC, however when that was changed for the FMIC I fitted the jet just after the map sensor:



    However the Z-Let does not favour water injection a lot so I have added some jets behind the no plate so the FMIC gets a face full too:





    I can select which jets I use with some valves:



    Plus I can turn the system on and off inside the car and when it's turned on run the pump by pressing a button (you can see the buttons to the left of the T/C switch).

    Tell me what you've done, not what you're going to!

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    I have fitted several different gauges since owning the car, originally a boost and volt meter in the bottom din slot, then they were joined by an AFM gauge:



    Since then I have replaced the volt and boost gauges with different ones and moved them to the top of din slot and the stereo to the bottom:



    The gauges are more visible in the top slot and it's an easy job to do.

    The speedo and rev counter now illuminate blue, courtesy of some LEDs, not an easy job to get right:



    I have also fitted an inlet air temp gauge, it's finally ended up near the T/C button.

    I'm about to fit a shift light to the car:

    Tell me what you've done, not what you're going to!

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    The coupe's had 4 sets of head lights in 2 years and 2 sets of hids, not all at the same time I may add.

    Naturally it came with the original lights fitted:



    The came the black angel eyes (who didn't have them?):



    But the hids kept playing up so they went in favour of some chrome "normal" lights:



    And then I fitted some hids to them:



    Finally I have some tinted shark eyes with hids:



    These are by far the best lights and hids I have had on the car

    Really I have had 5 sets of lights if you count the chrome shark eyes that I ordered, however they were for vauxhall wiring so I had to change them:

    Tell me what you've done, not what you're going to!

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    What does 2007 have in store for the coupe, I'd like a lightened flywheel and clutch and some big front brakes, otherwise I like what I have.

    Tell me what you've done, not what you're going to!

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    Courtenay had an open day Saturday at their new workshop, naturally the rollers were in action so on the coupe went and the results were:

    278.5 BHP
    300.5 LbFt Torque




    Here's my car on the rollers:

    Tell me what you've done, not what you're going to!

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    Father Christmas delivered the shift light as expected so today I fitted it.

    There were only 3 wires to connect: switched live, earth and tacho feed, all of which were picked up from the multi plug behind the dash:



    Tacho = green
    Live = black
    Earth = brown

    Once you are happy with where you have mounted the unit (you need access to the top) then you need to set it up. Again this is easy as there is a digital display on the top of the unit to help you. Mine is set so the big red light comes on at 6150rpm and the first green one at 5000rpm. There's no reving the car with this unit, you tell it when to illuminate the highest and lowest lights and it sorts out those in between:



    The lights come on sequentially and really catch your eye, the stall warning flashes them all when the revs drop down too low (how the picture was taken).

    You can also adjust the brightness of the LEDs.

    All in all it took less than an hour to fit and is a great little addition to the car, my only complaint is that it does not look very elegant, but it certainly does the job well.
    Tell me what you've done, not what you're going to!

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    The VXR 322mm brakes are fitted, not a hard job more of a dirty one!

    The only thing you can see if the caliper is now blue, of course the discs and calipers are bigger than the standard coupe turbo ones, but only the the trained eye.



    Fitting the brakes is easy, but not quite a straight swap as the flexi pipes also need to be changed due to a different banjo fittment on the caliper. Lady luck smiled as no bleed nipples were stuck and no bolts rounded off.

    The brakes are better than than the orginals, I was doubtfull, but the bigger pads coupled with more leaverage through the bigger disks have made the conversion worth while.

    I also took a couple of other shots today before it rained:




    These are the first shots I have take of the car as it stands with it's shark eye headlamps.
    Tell me what you've done, not what you're going to!

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