Day 3 - D-day - do or die
Woke up early this morning (well early as can be for a day off) to meet my next door neighbour to retrieve my 'show car' from his drive where hes kindly let me park it whilst the salvage project has been going on. Popped into Vauxhall to drop it off for its MOT and service and met up with Soulman who was gonna drive me back to mine to carry on with the salvage project. I decided to stop off in Halfords to pick up some touchup paint, rustcure and some waxoil to spray on the underside of the slam panel and inside of the wings and then onto the petrol garage near me to grab what was gonna be our brekkie / lunch for the day.
Back at home the kettle was put on with the obligatory first cup of coffee to get us motivated. Now I have to confess I did put the wings on when i collected them from Don Paul because a) I had nowhere to put them and b) i wanted to see what they looked like. I also part fitted the 2 headlights who I got off a forum member called 'Williams' (was nice to meet you and the headlights are superb). But i broke it all down back to the bare front end so I could treat the bright spots on the front end where I had drilled off the old slam panel. A little bit of rustcure was dotted onto these points and once dryed a coating of ultra blue from the touchup pen. When the fun could begin. Ian removed the wings I had fitted the other day so the slam panel could go back on and be bolted on properly. All the bolts were coated in the new paint to keep with the colouring of the front. Something didnt look quite right when the slam panel had been fitted, I had forgot to fit the crash cans and the front impact bar!. So the bolts off again and this lot was then refitted. All torqued up and ready for the next stage.
The old bonnet came off and was blumming heavy (as Soulman was squeak) and was discared onto the grass. I can see why people say the gas strut would bend the new style bonnet, that because you can barely compress the strut by hand and the new bonnet is so light you can light with just a finger or two. The new bonnet was offered up to the hinges and roughly bolted into place. The new bonnet stay bracket would have to have been welded onto the inner wing but Glynn told me a tip to get around that, cut off the old stuf and drill the hole out and then fit the new parts. All went to plan and the new bonnet stay in place. Additional parts of the bonnet where fitted like the plunger and the bonnet catch. The pull cord which release the bonnet was fun to do... There 'was' supposed to have been a clamp which holds the outer cable in place but we hadnt seen that since the old panel was removed! So bright idea, I had a look at the vectra b and they looked very similar. So it was removed and fitted to the slam panel, cables ties now hold the vec b cable in place until replacements arrive! (I wont mention Soulman dropped the metal clip down into the engine belly tray though!)
Another slight snag was that we were some u-clips short to attach the wing, well approx 6 of them, but didnt notice this till too late to order them the night before. So the poor old vec b became a donor vehicle again, with most of the wing fixings removed and fitted onto the new one. The two wings were offered up and very carefully they were lined up properly (as we could). They are about 95% spot on with a little bit of tweaking required.
Soulman started to fit the wheel arch liners and there appeared to be quite a bit of cursing going on with one of the fixings under there, so I decided to leave him to it and pop riveted the bumper guides onto the wing, and then start on the other headlight which was left, the other one was fitted just before Soulman got down to doing the wheelarch liner. With both headlights in I did the last wheelarch liner and personally couldnt see what all the fuss was about lol, all my clips went in nice and easy!.
The bumper was a bit of a pita to do with us assembling it in the wrong order which didnt help matter much. With the bumper rebuit and the foglights now attached it was time to fit the missing piece of the jigsaw. The bumper offered up quite nicely and fitted ok. Its only fitted on with 2 screws by the wheelarch for now as i require access to fit the airbag impact sensors on the slam panel when the final one eventually turns up.
Theres a little snagging list of stuff to do like the back end of the bonnet near the windscreen sitting too low, theres a different type of bracket for facelift cars which could be the problem or the hinges have dropped down when the car impacted in the crash, some bonnet rubbers needed to be ordered and fitted but nothing too much now. The bonnet is in black still as it was collected tuesday evening by a colleague at work for me. The bonnet was in mint condition when it arrived at my local Vx with not a mark on it, why the other dealer had problems I dont know (reminds me not ordered courier to pick the one up yet). Its in for its MOT on wednesday and then an appointment will be made for a VIC test so will keep you updated when its all passed, then its gonna be off to Don Pauls for bonnet painting and then the whole car to be mopped. I'll post up final pics when its all cleaned and snagging list is done in a few weeks.
So thats more or less it for the project thanks for reading its been really fun doing this and BIG THANKYOU to Soulman for all his assistance and hopefully I may do another salvage car in the future or help someone else do one!