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Old 08-26-2019, 09:38 AM   #1
vlacaria
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Location: Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
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2008 Astra XR
Default Maintenance Questions at 130,000km

Hey Astrans!

I have a few questions regarding some regular/not so regular maintenance on my Manual Transmission 3dr XR. (Original Owner, 2008 model)

Question 1)

What should I know when replacing shocks?

I need to change shocks front/back. I am still on the stock set and my brother wants to slap me upside the head for not having replaced them as of yet. We noticed the other day that it was finally time to do this, but the ride is not horrendous so this isn't something dire. I have a really good mechanic, but I would like to source the parts for this (This seems to be an issue). I don't mind going after market, but prefer OEM so long as I'm not getting fleeced that badly. Would like any recommendations on how to tackle this.

Question 2)

What should I know when replacing the timing belt?

I am planning on changing the timing belt as well. This seems pretty standard in terms of finding the part, but any helpful notes would be appreciated.

Question 3)

When launching in 1st gear, the car rumbles ever so slightly. What could this be?

This only happens in 1st gear launches, and I've noticed no other issues when shifting up/down, or launching from in 2nd gear if I am slow-rolling. I've been driving stick for 10 years now and have never felt this rumble until just yesterday. We are speculating it could be clutch-related, but guessing on motor-mounts too. It is more pronounced when I am launching up-hill.

I will be getting the problems diagnosed but wanted to come here first for some initial direction.

Only other issues with the car included Flex-Pipe stuff (common), coolant level warnings (common), and bolts rusting through the heat shield (common).

I will be reporting back with answers as to help build our knowledge on the topics, so your responses will not be in vain.

Thanks!

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Old 08-27-2019, 08:43 AM   #2
maschinenbauer
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2008 Astra XE
Default Re: Maintenance Questions at 130,000km

Welcome!

I haven't done shocks yet either, still researching which ones to buy. Here's a good thread on that:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=228934

Your car is ready for timing belt. 10 years or 75,000 miles is the recommended interval. I did mine at 85,000 miles. However, I have not read any instances of timing belt failure for this car on this forum, so you are probably safe to take your time to shop for the right mechanic or schedule time to do it yourself. It took me 4 hours. Replace the timing pulleys and tensioner while you're in there. The water pump is driven off the accessory belt, so you don't need to worry about it.
Here's a good how-to: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...ht=timing+belt

Does the rumbling feel like a forward-backward oscillation? Or is it just an engine noise? It probably has to do with the dual-mass flywheel the manual cars have. The flywheel on our cars is actually two pieces connected by a torsional spring, to dampen engine vibrations. But at low speed, when launching, if you bog the engine too low you'll feel it.

...
'08 Astra XE 5-speed
'72 Chevrolet El Camino
'31 Ford Model A pickup

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Old 08-27-2019, 03:53 PM   #3
JFS
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Maintenance Questions at 130,000km

Hello Vlacaria,

I recently replaced my rear shocks. In my case, there was nothing left for the shocks to impart, they were that bad. I should have made a video of how bad, because holding them like an American football for a kick, I could push them down in a couple seconds with just two fingers.

I also did not think things were so bad, but I can assure you that whatever is happening with handling and comfort in your ride is all due to your springs, your rear shocks are toast at this point.

If anyone else reading this is in the same boat regarding having never replaced your original rear shocks, then you would benefit from purchasing anything that fits compared to what you have now.

I am a crazed individual and just put $1.6K into the suspension of an eleven year old, 93K car, but I am smiling a lot more while driving these days. I will post more to the suggested thread this weekend.

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Old 08-28-2019, 08:50 AM   #4
maschinenbauer
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2008 Astra XE
Default Re: Maintenance Questions at 130,000km

Yes, a summary or guide of which shocks/struts you bought would be amazing! I am nearing that project very soon.

...
'08 Astra XE 5-speed
'72 Chevrolet El Camino
'31 Ford Model A pickup

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Old 09-04-2019, 03:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Maintenance Questions at 130,000km

Quote:
Originally Posted by vlacaria View Post

Question 3)

When launching in 1st gear, the car rumbles ever so slightly. What could this be?

This only happens in 1st gear launches, and I've noticed no other issues when shifting up/down, or launching from in 2nd gear if I am slow-rolling. I've been driving stick for 10 years now and have never felt this rumble until just yesterday. We are speculating it could be clutch-related, but guessing on motor-mounts too. It is more pronounced when I am launching up-hill.

I will be getting the problems diagnosed but wanted to come here first for some initial direction.

Only other issues with the car included Flex-Pipe stuff (common), coolant level warnings (common), and bolts rusting through the heat shield (common).

I will be reporting back with answers as to help build our knowledge on the topics, so your responses will not be in vain.

Thanks!
My bet is this ....

Quote:
Clutch chatter is the sudden shudder that occurs when a faulty clutch disk or clutch component is initially engaged. This shudder or vibration may vibrate throughout the entire vehicle. It's often the result of worn or contaminated clutch components.

...
1999 SL2 MT (287,130 km @ 10/2019)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

:canada:

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