Hi everyone, newbie here
I have just yesterday bought a 1.4 LS i 'phase 1' mk3 5 door in burgandy, but theres a few things i am wondering about it...
It is the 1.4 8v single point injection engine that it has, but considering it has only done 80k miles, it seems fairly flat, like it wants to go more but cant, its quite sharp and 'revvy' when sat still in neutral, and 1st and 2nd pull arent too bad, but 3rd isnt brilliant, 4th is even worse, and 5th, well, dare to drop below 50mph and it will NOT accelerate barely at all, i tried earlier, 50mph, then go, throttle, gentle throttle, half throttle, full throttle, doesnt make a jot of difference, and to get upto 60mph took at least 15 seconds if not more, you need at least 4th, or if not 3rd just to get it to pick up at a sensible pace.
I have had the air box out and the filter is all clean and new as is the oil and plugs, looks like she had a service quite recently, nice and clean everywhere it should be, plus the exhaust system looks relatively new, as does the cat.
So the first thing i did was remove the digestive biscuit 175/70/13 wheels and tyres and fitted a set of 15 inch 5 spokes wearing 195/50/15 maragoni zeta rubber that were on my previous car, an mx-5, which seems to have helped cornering as i thought it might, plus as the rolling radius is slightly smaller than the steelies which would help pickup very slightly in principal, but is negated by the wider footprint of the rubber.
The 2nd thing i did was fit the k&n induction kit, again from the mx-5 as its fairly new, and that had given me a fair bit more in the lower gears, 1st and 2nd are quite responsive now, but higher gears still dont want to know really, it still seems so, restricted.
All these observations are compared to what the mk3 i borrowed for the last week before i bought this car was like, kinda like a comparison between the 2 vehicles.
The one i borrowed being an L reg 1.4, but this was a bright red 2 door with front fogs, alloys as standard, power steering, elec windows, and a blue red and yellow badge (colours not necassarily in that order) on the wings, i have no idea what those badges signify, maybe this was a 'hotter' model of the 1.4, but i know it was still an 8 valve 1400, that was nice and sharp, and upon driving it i was convinced it must be a 1.6 or even a 1.8 as it went that well, but on lifting the bonnet and looking at the block i saw a 14, thus confirming it was definately a 1.4, yet it was a darn site nippier than mine, and had done over 150k miles as well.
The other thing im noticing is gearing, mine seems really odd, again, comparing to the other astra, and most other cars i have owned in the past, fords, rovers, a volvo 240, 3 nova's a mk3 cav, a mk2 astra, plus many other cars i have forgotten, so a few vauxhalls in my time too.
Just imagine, gears are 1st 2nd 3rd 4th and 5th yeah, but mine seem really long legged, so going through 1 to 5 in mine feels a bit like how going 1st 2nd 3rd and a half 5th 7th would feel (if gears went that high, i dont think im wording this very well) the ratios seem so far apart, from rough memory, going from roughly 5000 revs in 3rd, changing to 4th and the revs drop down to nearly 2500, which seems a really big gap, but again, the borrowed red astra may have had a shorter ratio box in, i dont know.
Oh yes, i knew there was something else, wheel bolts/studs...
I have always believed that you definately need to change them if you go from steel wheels to alloy ones as the seat angles are different, but apon scrap yard visiting today, i looked at 1 mk3 astra and 2 mk4 astras that had alloy wheels on, and all had the same exact standard wheel bolts as i already had with my steel wheels, so is this a myth, i know it was certianly a must on fords as i saw, more than once, fiestas losing pepper pot alloys and things because the owners had used those silly little 19mm nuts that have no collar on them at all that come with steel wheels and it had eaten its way through the nut holes, so bye bye wheels.
There are a few jobs i want to do on it, it has a leaky CV boot which will need attention soon, i have one scabby rear arch, but its luckily just the bottom 6 inches or so, just the small lip below the bodywork line near the bottom of the door, hopefully i can get a repair panel, chop out the old and get my mate (a much better welder than me!) to mig in the new metal, then i can fettle with filler, sand and spray in, the last burgandy vaux i owned (d plate nova) was an easy colour to match, so fingers crossed.
Then i would like to make it more phase 2 like, so clear indicators, oval side repeaters 'V' grille, smoked rear lights and the grey bit on the bootlid will hopefully be added, i may also fit phase 2 bumpers, if they will fit, (i know phase 1 and phase 2 nova front bumpers arent interchangeable, i dont know about astras) but if not i will just spray the bottom parts body coloured so it looks a bit smarter.
Sorry if i have rambled on a bit, i just wanted to explain in as much detail as possible, thanks for reading!