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Thread: This will be a bit of a novel...

  1. #1
    Ex Vec-C Admin Ian-Highlander's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Insignia Tourer

    Trim : Elite

    Engine : 2.0 CDTI (160ps)

    Year : 2010

    Default This will be a bit of a novel...

    Been meaning to start one of these since this "diary" forum went up but really couldn't bring myself to go through everything I've done to the car and try and document it all (again)

    But thought I should make the effort, so, I thought a thread with pics of each stage finished and links to other threads of mine showing the full detail of each stage would resolve that, so here goes (this may be a bit of a novel, sorry)

    I bought the car (2.0T SRi estate) brand new in May 2004 and it was delivered to the dealers in August and I collected it on 1st September (so I got a '54 plate on it instead of an '04 one). I ordered it with quite a few factory options so it was built for me as there were none in stock anywhere with the right options fitted.

    Factory options fitted were:

    Electric tilt/slide sunroof.
    Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
    Electric powered tailgate.
    Front and rear parking sensors.
    Twin audio system.
    Roller sunblinds in rear door cards.
    Tinted rear windows.
    Roof rails.
    Ultra Blue Metallic Paint.

    Total paid for the car was £22k including the trade in for my old Vec B (which I hated and was glad to get rid of).

    This was it sitting on the dealers forecourt waiting for me to pick it up.





    I was under strict orders from my then partner (Kerry) that I wasn't allowed to modify it (she knew what I was like) so I ended up buying another second hand Vec C as my play thing (a lot of people on here will remember my old ex-police '03 plate 2.2 moonland grey SXi saloon) and the estate stayed standard for the first few years of its life.

    I won't go into the history on the grey saloon as I don't own it anymore, but I did love that car.

    This is the two together just after I'd bought the second one.



    Then Kerry and I split up back in December 2008 and I agreed that she could keep the estate as it was bought as a family car and the kids were staying with her. However it was agreed that if she ever couldn't afford to run it I would get it back rather than it be sold. My life moved on, Amy and I started seeing each other, quickly moved in together and got engaged and I didn't really think much about the old estate, that is until early to mid-2010 when my ex started making noises that she couldn't afford it anymore and I started getting my hopes up that I may get the car back. Near the end of September 2010, I gave Kerry the saloon and she used that to trade in for an Astra she'd been looking at and I got the estate back (un-taxed and un-MOT'd). The two years of being used as a tool/not being cleaned and having kids in the back constantly had not been particularly kind to it and it took a hell of a lot of time and effort to get it back up to any kind of standard. I stripped the inside out and Amy attacked it with shampoo and hot water and lots of it whilst I went round repairing any bits and pieces that needed doing that I could do there and then, she was a bit of a sorry sight. On top of that, there were all sorts of errors showing up (all four tyre pressure sensors triggering, parking sensor system failure warning, bulb warnings etc etc), I pumped the tyres up, replaced bulbs and generally sorted all the issues apart from the tyre pressure monitoring system error. It passed it's MOT the next day with two advisories for low tyre tread on the front but other than that was fine and an hour later she was taxed and road legal again.

    Pics in this thread here http://www.vectra-c.com/forum/showthread.php?t=119291

    We took a spin down to see Dean & Ian a couple of days later and Dean kindly diagnosed the problem with the parking sensors (passenger rear sensor was faulty) and enabled the heated seats and rear electric window options for me at the same time. Dean also gave her a full service while we were down there.

    After a couple of mad cleaning sessions and a fair bit spent on replacement plastics inside, she was starting to look better on the inside but the outside was in a sorry state...

    Step in my two heroes, Bob & Khalid, on the 7th October 2010 the two of them drove up to Stevenage and spent about eight hours going over every square inch of the cars paintwork with DA's with pretty amazing results, there were still a couple of small dings in the paintwork that needed respraying but most of it was starting to look like a decent car again.



    At the same time as they were doing this, I also fitted the rear electric windows and chrome fog surrounds.

    More pics in this thread here http://www.vectra-c.com/forum/showthread.php?t=119863

    On the 9th October 2010, the car was taken up to MIJ in Walsall for it's new exhaust system.

    The end result was this



    More pics in this thread here http://www.vectra-c.com/forum/showthread.php?t=120093

    One thing I'd noticed since having it back was that the sunroof was leaking, again this was through lack of general maintenance and the seal had just rotted. I made a quick call to my local dealer to discover that you can't buy the seal seperately, you have to buy the entire glass panel complete with seal attached at a TRADE price of £450. Having made my mind up that I would just use some mastik to sort the leak, I posted about it on the forums in disgust and sol pointed out one he'd seen on Ebay that looked kosher.

    My original thread is here http://www.vectra-c.com/forum/showthread.php?t=119562

    I double checked all the part numbers and contacted the Ebay seller to confirm it was new and came with the seal and sure enough it was and it did. Expecting it to go over my limit (we'd decided we couldn't afford it but we'd pay up to £150 if we had to for it) I sat and watched it carefully eventually winning it for the grand sum of £32.98 delivered!! Turns out the seller was a Vauxhall dealer and sure enough it arrived a couple of days later.

    On the 18th October 2010 I decided to have a go at fitting it, it was a bit fiddly, but easier than I thought it would be.

    Pics in this thread http://www.vectra-c.com/forum/showthread.php?t=120709

    Come the 25th October 2010 and I'd bought the next thing on the list, a set of Angeleye headlights, after a mix-up from the suppliers (sent me Corsa-C ones initially) I had them and fitted them on the 1st November.



    Finances then took a bit of a plunge as Amy lost her job and spending on the car went on hold for a while so we could get sorted and get through Xmas and New Year without going bankrupt.

    Told you this would be a serious novel, that's chapter one "2010", I'll type out chapter two "2011" shortly, this could take some time, if you made it to the end of this post you've just wasted a good few minutes of your life
    Last edited by Ian-Highlander; 18th January 2012 at 11:00.
    "Doing a good job here is like wetting your pants in a dark suit, you get a warm feeling but nobody else notices"
    Maptun Tuned 2.0T Estate - click HERE for mods list.
    Brentwood 2012: Winner, Saturday Show. Hull 2012: Winner, Best Estate. Hull 2013: Winner, Best Estate & Runner Up, Best I.C.E

    Now Gone, bring on the Insignia (now "Teapot" Tuned)...

  2. #2
    Regular Member Ziggy's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Saab

    Trim : 9-3 Vert

    Engine : 2.0

    Year : 2000

    Default

    Cant believe youve only had it back since mid 2010 Ian. Feels like its always been part of the family. Its a real credit it to you and amy.

  3. #3
    Full Member Jay Kay 313's Avatar
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    Default

    Stunning mate
    Astra Estate SRi XP 1.7 CDTi 100

  4. #4
    Regular Member DSmiddy's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Signum

    Trim : Elite

    Engine : 2.8 V6T

    Year : 2005

    Mileage : 50000

    Default

    wow Ian thats quite a read

    Great job though the car looks great

    Nice getting a car back to looking its best, just not nice on the wallet

  5. #5
    Forum Moderator soulman's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vauxhall

    Trim : Astra Twin Top

    Engine : 1.9cdti

    Year : 07

    Default

    nice read Ian ............can't believe ive had mine for a year now ...
    alots been done in that year ,
    hmmmmm do I write a diary ?? lol

  6. #6
    East Scotland Regional Organiser signumboy's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Signum

    Trim : Design

    Engine : 2.0 Ltr Turbo

    Year : 2004

    Mileage : 38000

    Default

    I might try doing a diary some day but to cram seven and half years into type it my turn into a novel

    Good reading Ian i seem to recall quite a bit of it from your posts through the years more so the part where you got you're motor back

  7. #7
    Regular Member ben_3.0v6's Avatar
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    Default

    Im lookIng forward to chapter two already althought I'm pretty sure I know most of it as I have followed most of your threads last year about the stereo install, signum interior, boot spoiler... Etc....lol!

    Oh did I just give away the story line! Lol

  8. #8
    Ex Vec-C Admin Ian-Highlander's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Insignia Tourer

    Trim : Elite

    Engine : 2.0 CDTI (160ps)

    Year : 2010

    Default Chapter 2 "2011 begins"

    So, moving into 2011...

    2011 turned out to be a busy (and expensive!) year for the car, mainly because I was making up for lost time I think

    Anyway...

    Over the Xmas holidays 2010 Caveman_Nige asked if anyone would help him out doing his major upgrades on his engine. Bob, myself and Amy said we would, so two days running (three for Bob as we couldn't make the third day), we drove from Stevenage down to Southampton and (in the freezing cold and rain) between us got all the work done to get Nige's car pretty much up and running.

    Pics here http://s293.photobucket.com/albums/m...view=slideshow and here http://s293.photobucket.com/albums/m...view=slideshow

    As Nige was removing the 381cc injectors (stage 3 requirement) to upgrade to 630cc (stage 5) and I'd mentioned I was hoping to get mine re-mapped if I could ever afford to get everything, Nige offered me his old injectors in thanks for helping him out with the upgrade work which of course I gratefully accepted I then took the plunge and bought the K&N panel filter I also needed and after Amy just telling me to get on with it or shut up, we decided to just stick the re-map on the credit card and be done with it.

    So, on the 26th January 2011, we trundled down to Neo Brothers for the re-map and came away with a prototype hacked Saab 9-3ss Maptun stage 3 map installed and a "Maptuner" (hand held PPC for removing/adding the maps). The difference in the car was immense, it was totally different and drove like a wild animal compared to before. I'd been told the map "should be good for 235bhp" (was in for a little disappointment there as they were used to the Saabs which give a lot more power with the same engine lol).

    As it turns out the initial map was awful, despite my first impressions that it was amazing, it really wasn't, sure it drove well, felt like it had loads of power, but as we found out at the East region rolling road day, it was truly awful. The car managed a peak power of 187bhp and the AFR was so bad in places that it was causing detonation. A quick phone call to Neos and emailed them all the graphs over and they sent them on to Maptun (I'd accepted this was a prototype and would be trial and error a bit when I bought it and they had promised to keep tweaking as was required). A few days later and Nick at Neos phoned me to tell me there was a new map available for me to download so, I synced up the Maptuner, dropped the new map on the car and took it for a "lively" spin. It wasn't as aggressive, but it was a hell of a lot smoother, was boosting better and felt like there was a lot more power right through the range. I booked an appointment on a rolling road to get it checked out and a few days later when I went, it made 212bhp, thats getting better.

    The main comment the rolling road had (apart from saying the heat would be affecting it anyway as it was 26 degrees in the workshop) was that it was getting starved of air at very high revs and that he felt it would pull quite a bit more power if that could be addressed.

    Well we can soon sort that out



    Since then the map has been replaced with the official Maptun retail stage 2 map (the equivalent of the old hacked stage 3 I was running). At the next rolling road day, I ran both maps and the new map gave a 10bhp and 20lbft improvement over the old one (although both were down considerably as I had a small boost leak I didn't know about). I haven't run it on a rolling road since then, but with everything fixed, it "should" now be running around the 220-225bhp mark in theory as there's about a 10bhp difference between the two maps and the old one did a verified 212bhp. So over all I'm pretty happy now. I had initially planned to go to stage 4 or 5 but decided to spend the money doing other stuff on the car which will be detailed in this thread.

    Anyway, moving on...

    Come the end of March (took me a couple of months to pay off the re-map) I started looking around again at things on my "to do list". When I noticed Drinky post up selling a set of illuminated sunvisors on another forum I bought them off him, fitted them the day they arrived and fitted white LED's into them.



    In April I took voluntary redundancy from the company I'd worked at for ten and a half years, as a result I walked away with a very tidy sum of money indeed, allowing me to clear the credit cards, pay myself my wages for a couple of months off work and stick some away for future projects once I had another job. Knowing I had this lot handy, I couldn't resist dipping into it a bit and a few things followed.

    One thing about having the sunroof is you can't have the sunglasses holder (the motor for the sunroof sits where it goes), it's only a little thing but I really missed not having it, a quick hunt around at other options and I found these on Ebay. They just replace the front grab handles, so I bought one for each side. They arrived on the 4th April and it was a 5 minute job to install them.



    On the 11th April, sat at home on my own while Amy was at work, I got bored so took a spin down to Waltham Cross to visit the guys down at Neo Brothers and came away about three hundred quid lighter having bought these. A full set of Maptun branded boost and water silicon hoses for the Z20NET engine.



    I fitted most of these on the 12th April, apart from the bottom turbo hose as I didn't have axle stands at the time and didn't want to work under the car without them. Bob very kindly offered to come up on the 13th with his and we fitted the last hose and then Bob gave the car another going over with the DA and set about polishing up the turbo heat shield.

    Pics in this thread here http://www.vectra-c.com/forum/showthread.php?t=135161

    17th April we had one of our detailing/fixit/BBQ meetups at our place and one of the people that turned up was Mark the Cabby in his new VXR estate. He happened to mention that he was going to sell the wheels on it soon as he had another set that were being refurbished. These were the 19" diamond cut anthracite VXR wheels that I'd set my heart on and it was too good an opportunity to miss. The second he stuck them up for sale, I messaged him telling him I'd have them and on the 6th May we drove down and did the deal and I came home with them (two with tyres, two without). I ordered a full set of Neuton NT5000's from Neos which arrived the next day and was all ready to get them fitted when I noticed one of the wheels was cracked. I phoned Cabby and despite it being entirely my fault for not checking them when I was there (he'd asked me to and I'd just accepted that they'd be ok as it was Mark), he immediately got on the hunt for a replacement. Not only did he find one, but Mandy drove half way accross the country to pick it up and he initially refused to take any money for it (I eventually gave him half what I sold the cracked one for). Top people Mark & Mandy and thanks again

    On the 16th May I booked a mobile fitter to come out to me, they took out the TPMS valves and put standard valves into the old 17" wheels and fitted the TPMS valves and Neuton tyres to the 19" ones and re-balanced them all for the paltry sum of £60 which I was more than happy with. Finally my princess had her new shoes and I was a happy bunny.



    More to follow soon as I can be bothered to type it up.
    Last edited by Ian-Highlander; 18th January 2012 at 12:38.
    "Doing a good job here is like wetting your pants in a dark suit, you get a warm feeling but nobody else notices"
    Maptun Tuned 2.0T Estate - click HERE for mods list.
    Brentwood 2012: Winner, Saturday Show. Hull 2012: Winner, Best Estate. Hull 2013: Winner, Best Estate & Runner Up, Best I.C.E

    Now Gone, bring on the Insignia (now "Teapot" Tuned)...

  9. #9
    Ex Vec-C Admin Ian-Highlander's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Insignia Tourer

    Trim : Elite

    Engine : 2.0 CDTI (160ps)

    Year : 2010

    Default Chapter 3 "The saga continues"

    On the 9th May 2011, I finally got round to fitting the Maptun boost gauge that I'd had sitting around for ages (I tend to buy things and then not fit them for months )

    End result...



    More pics and details in this thread here http://www.vectra-c.com/forum/showthread.php?t=137331

    As most people that know me know, I'm not a fan of this carbon fibre vinyl craze, but the one place I do think it does look really nice is on the door pillars and as the plastic coating on one of mine was peeling anyway I orderd up some textured carbon fibre effect vinyl.

    On the 17th May (my birthday) the weather was lovely, I was sat at home alone as usual during the day back then as I was making the most of my redundancy and Amy was at work, bored of sitting in the garden doing nothing, so decided to have a go at these.

    End result...





    More pics and details in this thread here http://www.vectra-c.com/forum/showthread.php?t=137888

    Moving on to the 23rd May and once again my boredom got the better of me and I decided I'd had enough of the clear, white, basic looking rear lights (the facelift SRis come with tinted rear lights, the prefaces didn't). I'd ordered a can of tinting spray a week or so earlier which had arrived, so onwards and upwards, another job off the list done.

    Before...



    After...



    More pics and details in this thread here http://www.vectra-c.com/forum/showthread.php?t=138382

    Then on the 15th June I had my first accident in 20 odd years, completely my own fault, pulled out into someone that I just hadn't seen because of traffic to the side of me with this being the end result...



    Seriously un-chuffed bunny and really annoyed with myself for doing it (am dreading my insurance renewal this year although thankfully I have full protected no claims which is something) but every cloud has a silver lining and all that. It meant the bumper would have to be replaced and the bumper, wing and bonnet would be re-sprayed getting rid of all the little dings, stonechips and marks that were still on them. As this much was being done anyway, I paid the company seperately to re-spray the other front wing and the rear bumper, basically making the outside of the car as near to perfect as it can be (apart from a couple of marks on the roof where my ex never wiped off bird poo and it's degraded the paint).

    Obviously because of the above, I was without the car for a week or two, so moving on to the 9th July and I finally caved and decided to try the angel eye halos with LEDs after having said I'd never fit them because I preferred the yellowish look.

    For some insane reason, not thinking and blatantly not properly awake, I ordered a pack of ten LED's and sat and waited for them to arrive (forgetting I needed 16, four per halo). On arrival and realising what a tw4t I'd been, I decided to fit them in one halo each side which would mean I could actually compare them as well as still be legal until the second batch arrived.





    I actually drove around with it like this for about a week, while waiting for the others to arrive, but by then I was a convert and have had white LED's in them ever since (including another upgrade that comes later on).

    More to follow, are you getting bored yet?
    Last edited by Ian-Highlander; 18th January 2012 at 13:27.
    "Doing a good job here is like wetting your pants in a dark suit, you get a warm feeling but nobody else notices"
    Maptun Tuned 2.0T Estate - click HERE for mods list.
    Brentwood 2012: Winner, Saturday Show. Hull 2012: Winner, Best Estate. Hull 2013: Winner, Best Estate & Runner Up, Best I.C.E

    Now Gone, bring on the Insignia (now "Teapot" Tuned)...

  10. #10
    Regular Member Cruize's Avatar
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    Default

    Stunning mate.
    Very interesting to read too.

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