1990 Astra GTE 16V Champion

November 2016 – A wide arch Astra – who would have thought it?  This was also one of Brian’s cars and was mid-refurbishment at the time I acquired it.


This car started out life as a standard GTE Champion edition, meaning it was painted in the Bordeaux Red metallic, fitted with the Recaro leather interior and 15″ cross-spoke style alloys.  In approx 2005, it was in good condition, had low mileage but had the wide arch kit from Irmscher fitted, BBS split-rim alloys fitted and a full Safety Devices roll cage fitted.  Undoubtedly a show car, Brian liked this one as it was a little bit special and had had a lot of money spent on it over the years, but he soon tired of the roll cage and set about removing it, which of course meant a certain amount of upheaval as many parts have to be removed to give access, including brake and fuel lines.

Job List

1) Replace all rubber fuel lines
2) Investigate and recommission the service brake – done! (Front calipers seized and replaced)
3) Replace ABS loom (some lines cut, I’ll reinstate them) – done! (Easier to repair the loom)
4) Secure all fuel, brake and ABS lines under the car to original clips – done! (Mostly using original clips)
5) Plug cage mounting points and seal – done! (Floor holes plugged with stainless steel bolts and sealed, as welding here would wreck the rubber underseal)
6) Spot weld rear seat mountings to floor and inner arches – done!
7) Replace cambelt – done! (Full OE kit fitted)
8) Refit all trim – done!  (Amazingly nothing was missing and nothing was broken)
9) Tighten front tie rods – done!
10) Refit front anti-roll bar links – done!
11) Oil change (current oil is new, but…) – done!  (Vauxhall 10w40 semi-synthetic used)
12) Refit remaining removed parts under bonnet – done!  (There was a lot here as only at MOT did I find out the steering rack gaiters needed replacement, which explained why a lot of it had been removed)
13) Replace rad fan thermostat switch – done!  (Wiring was pretty scruffy round here, so I re-wired it more tidily)
14) Replace one front wheel bearing (I have a note from Brian, with a new bearing and drive flange). – not done!  (I can’t find anything wrong with either front wheel bearing, so will see how it goes for a bit.)
15) Replace steering rack gaiters – done!  (And what a horrible job that was to do!)
16) Replace fuel pickup pipe flange seal on fuel tank – done!

I’ve taken a few more photos of it as I got it.  The interior isn’t completely refitted yet, but the car looks very complete and I’ve not found anything missing so far.  Click HERE for the ‘as I got it’ photos.