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Old 06-15-2017, 08:32 PM   #1
Kilo702
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Default Aftermarket anything

Hey I recently came upon a 2008 astra xr, I was wondering if there was anything I could do to add to the performance (from what I read there isn't much but, for what there is I'm trying to do it correctly). Also anything for outside appearances (which again I understand it would have to come from Europe but I just need to be pointed in the right direction of where I should get it from).

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Old 06-17-2017, 12:25 AM   #2
TDA
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

Performance...
I doesn't seem like there is much for our 1.8L I've seen some nice looking catless exhaust manifolds. There are some tweaks that can be done to the stock air box. Beyond that, I've not seen anything.

Over in Europe they have a 2L Turbo that gets all the performance love.

I'm sure someone has put a turbo on the 1.8 somewhere. I just don't think is much else in the way of bolt ons. Someone else here likely knows more.


Body wise...
Lowering, body kits, various hatch spoiler extensions, or importing the OPC or VXR front and rear end and their related bits.

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Old 06-17-2017, 03:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

All I've been able to do is Cold air intake and performance exhaust. The intake is a closed box K&N with an oiled filter. My exhaust was custom made cat back with secondary cat delete

...
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18" Team Dynamic MonzaR rims
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Old 06-17-2017, 03:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

The only real options open regarding significant increased HP would regard a NOS installation. The gaskets and components of most cars should be able to handle a 15-18% increase in HP through NOS, but determining just where you are in getting this kind of power delivered is the problem. Not very many of us have access to a dynamometer. 18% of 138 would be an additional 25 HP and that would be significant. These products are not so car specific. On the other hand, it is really difficult to know if the kit you are buying from Ebay.uk or Ebay.de is going to be compatible with our 1.8 l engines. And if it does not work out, sending it back is all on you.

In the 1990's, a doctor friend of mine was the president of the very large Monterey County Miata Club. He had two Miatas he ran at Laguna Seca and was kind enough to invite me several times when his club had track day there. At one point, there were over 45,000 Miatas registered in this one county in California. It was like 1975 with VW bugs in Berkeley, Madison, or Ann Arbor; they were everywhere. You would see them as the second or third car in 3-4 driveways in a row. Anyway, the impetus of the story is that large numbers of Miata owners had NOS systems installed, and the settings for the kind of boost you wanted were shared on bulletin boards of the early internet and on handouts at meetings. You did not need that much equipment or a dynamometer, just the ability to follow instructions a large number of people had already figured out. Unfortunately, there is no such body of information for us. This 15-18% golden standard rule is what I remember, as well as those always wanting 40-50% more boost. To this end, I also remember people abusing NOS and throwing rods, cars catching fire, cars blowing up, and cars exploding in the garage and destroying a good part of the house. Funny how these things always seemed to happen to guys under 25.

I believe that most cars already have too much engine for the chassis and brakes. I am of the mind that for our vehicles, we do not have that problem, the car is balanced. But since there are so few options for improving our engines, the focus should still be on better brakes, suspension, and tires. Note that there are many postings on guys running different sets of tires depending on the time of year. Okay, so I may be a hypocrite, especially if you are aware of my recent post increasing the size of the air intake of my car, but this is about the only adaptation I plan to make to the engine, with the other being to switch to the Valvoline track coolant formulation (anti-corrosives only) so that my engine cools better and I get rid of the Dexcool formulation. It never freezes here and I may get a few ponies extra because water only cools the engine better than 50/50 of any coolant mix. It does not freeze here and I drive the Santa Cruz Mountains hard when it is in the 90's.

Instead of concentrating on the engine, we should think about how the first people who brought 45-60 HP Triumphs and MG's to America in the late 40's and 50's. They kept speed by being able to turn hard without oversteer/understeer and being able to brake late.

Rx:

Firm up the chassis, better the suspension, purchase premium brake components and tires.

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Old 06-18-2017, 09:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

Hi JFS,

Thank you, muchly. I've been wondering what to do to increase power, but was so happy to read your post. Yes, the car is rock solid and well balanced and my philosophy has always been about handling. That's one big reason I bought an Astra, after all. Maintaining speed through the corners, rowing the gears smartly is just as good and kick-ass fun. I think it's called performance driving. How could I forget that? Improving grip and braking performance is also safer and cheaper. Leaves a few bucks left over for some aesthetic improvements, too.

...
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2008 Saturn 3dr XR (to be Opelized) - OK, it's my daughter's

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Old 06-19-2017, 12:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

Thanks for the compliment.

You Canadians on here seem pretty nice to us, despite the fact that our American Coors Beer Company destroyed many of your national treasures. I'm thinking Molson Brador and others.

Anyway, I have to say I completely forgot about an ECU reset/reflash/remap, mostly because such an upgrade is really not practical for me, given the reach of the Nazis at the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Never minding the fact that organization is responsible for destroying more groundwater in fifteen years than all of the mining, oil industry, farming, and integrated circuit heavy metal pollution done in the history of California.

http://abc7news.com/archive/7286029/ (ten year old story, they find more every month)

The couple threads I have seen mentioning a North American Astra reset/reflash/remap seemed inconclusive, but I would be glad to be wrong if somebody could disabuse me. In any case, what I know of the procedure is expensive, and I would need two chips. One for driving, and one for smogging.

Geez, makes a guy understand why VW took the gamble.

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Old 06-19-2017, 01:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

If you are looking for chassis and suspension upgrades, you have a few different items available to you.

If you want to keep your stock shocks and get some lowering springs eibach offers in NA their pro lines and in the EU they have the Sport lines. The sport line lowers the car about an even 2" all around, and I think the pro line was somewhere from 1-1.5". You could also easily source out some coilovers for the astra.

Whiteline US offers uprated bushings for the control arms, adjustable front swaybar links and rear sway bars (1 adjustable and 1 solid)

As for brakes and such we are limited to getting better compounds and upgrading to stainless steel lines. You could get some Big Brake Kit shipped over but there is nothing available locally.

On my astra I have coilovers, upgraded tires (ultra summer - Michelin Super Sports) EBC slotted rotors and ceramic pads. I also have the Whiteline upgraded bushings, adjustable front links and the adjustable rear sway bar. All theses make a huge difference in handling, theres very few cars that can keep up with me in tight twisty roads and tracks.

...
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18" Team Dynamic MonzaR rims
Eibach Sportline, Whiteline BHR75Z swaybar and EBC Rotors
CD30 Mp3, Insignia jets, vxR surround, sharkfin antenna, Spoiler, Tint

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Old 06-19-2017, 07:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

[QUOTE=JFS;2245036]

Thanks for the compliment.

You Canadians on here seem pretty nice to us, despite the fact that our American Coors Beer Company destroyed many of your national treasures. I'm thinking Molson Brador and others.

Hey JFS,

You're welcome. No worries, General. I'm not too bummed about that, there's so much consolidation in the drink industry, it can take the auto business to school. Only the local microbrew is your guarantee of citizenship. I particularly enjoy Alexander Keith's amber ale, from good ol' Nova Scotia. It's one of Canada's oldest breweries. Uh, yeah, it's owned by Anheuser–Busch InBev. I can only wonder what it's doing to my "precious bodily fluids."

Nicolas_p,
"On my astra I have coilovers, upgraded tires (ultra summer - Michelin Super Sports) EBC slotted rotors and ceramic pads. I also have the Whiteline upgraded bushings, adjustable front links and the adjustable rear sway bar. All theses make a huge difference in handling, theres very few cars that can keep up with me in tight twisty roads and tracks."

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. That and the tasteful improvements you've made. Just right. If only I could do that beautifully lit dash. I'm hoping to turn my Astra into a car show regular with all the stuff I've learned here. Not a garage queen, a rip-snortin' driver's car.

...
Kind Regards,
C152
2008 Saturn 5dr XE (Opelized) Astra
2008 Saturn 3dr XR (to be Opelized) - OK, it's my daughter's

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Old 06-20-2017, 08:13 AM   #9
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolas_p View Post
As for brakes and such we are limited to getting better compounds and upgrading to stainless steel lines. You could get some Big Brake Kit shipped over but there is nothing available locally.

On my astra I have coilovers, upgraded tires (ultra summer - Michelin Super Sports) EBC slotted rotors and ceramic pads. I also have the Whiteline upgraded bushings, adjustable front links and the adjustable rear sway bar. All theses make a huge difference in handling, theres very few cars that can keep up with me in tight twisty roads and tracks.
For brakes, I was sort of looking at the possibility of getting the larger brakes from Europe. Not a 'big brake kit' but the larger factory ones. Just not sure if it is really worth the effort. I know there are multiple sized discs available over there in 4 and 5 lug varieties. (obviously, the 4 lug would be a downgrade and require new hubs at minimum on all 4 corners) Pretty sure I was finding we didn't get the top spec but the next step down. At least on the front. Looking at the prices online, it looks like importing stock calipers, rotors, and pads are not much more expensive than stock replacements here.

Happen to know if anyone actually did that? Or am I off on my info and we DO already have the top spec?

I know at least stainless lines to replace the rubber are on my list of plans. They made a world of difference on my S-Series.

Also curious what coilover setup you went with.
I need to replace my struts somewhat soon. The rear shocks appear to be factory as well. Already planning to lower it. So the price jump to some of the cheaper coil overs isn't really all that huge. Just not 100% set on that being what I want to do.

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Old 06-22-2017, 08:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolas_p View Post
All I've been able to do is Cold air intake and performance exhaust. The intake is a closed box K&N with an oiled filter. My exhaust was custom made cat back with secondary cat delete
Do you have a product number on the k&n filter by any chance or a link?

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Old 06-22-2017, 11:30 AM   #11
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

Quote:
Originally Posted by TDA View Post
For brakes, I was sort of looking at the possibility of getting the larger brakes from Europe. Not a 'big brake kit' but the larger factory ones. Just not sure if it is really worth the effort. I know there are multiple sized discs available over there in 4 and 5 lug varieties. (obviously, the 4 lug would be a downgrade and require new hubs at minimum on all 4 corners) Pretty sure I was finding we didn't get the top spec but the next step down. At least on the front. Looking at the prices online, it looks like importing stock calipers, rotors, and pads are not much more expensive than stock replacements here.

Happen to know if anyone actually did that? Or am I off on my info and we DO already have the top spec?

I know at least stainless lines to replace the rubber are on my list of plans. They made a world of difference on my S-Series.

Also curious what coilover setup you went with.
I need to replace my struts somewhat soon. The rear shocks appear to be factory as well. Already planning to lower it. So the price jump to some of the cheaper coil overs isn't really all that huge. Just not 100% set on that being what I want to do.
I had always heard that our front brakes are larger than those in Europe. That was a reason that we could go no smaller than 16" wheels. I think you could try some more aggressive pads first, depending on how much improvement you need, unless you are more worried about fade for track use. 60 to 0 braking isn't spectacular , but it's not bad at around 125-130'.

...
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Old 06-22-2017, 06:16 PM   #12
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

The K&N part # 57S-4900.

I'm currently using a set of used FK coilovers but looking to order some Eibach Super Streets for next summer. The FK are good but I'm looking for something that's not as rough driving on the roads in Hamilton and Toronto. For cheap coils they have been through a lot and are still in good condition

Our front brakes are one size down from the top. Where the top size is 322mm we have 311mm (something close to that), without changing to a stronger caliper and brake compounds you won't see any noticeable difference in between the two brakes. Now if you were able to get a set of APracing (VXR racing) brake which uses a 345mm 4 pot setup you would be doing great. There is also a company that manufactures adapters for the rear to use saab 9-5 vented discs.

...
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18" Team Dynamic MonzaR rims
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Old 06-22-2017, 11:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolas_p View Post
The K&N part # 57S-4900.

I'm currently using a set of used FK coilovers but looking to order some Eibach Super Streets for next summer. The FK are good but I'm looking for something that's not as rough driving on the roads in Hamilton and Toronto. For cheap coils they have been through a lot and are still in good condition

Our front brakes are one size down from the top. Where the top size is 322mm we have 311mm (something close to that), without changing to a stronger caliper and brake compounds you won't see any noticeable difference in between the two brakes. Now if you were able to get a set of APracing (VXR racing) brake which uses a 345mm 4 pot setup you would be doing great. There is also a company that manufactures adapters for the rear to use saab 9-5 vented discs.
So, the FKs are a little stiff?
I'm hoping for something a bit stiffer than stock but not too much and obviously lower. Thinking coilovers mostly for the option of lifting it back up in the winter since I plan to keep this as my daily for awhile.

I should probably dig through http://www.astraownersnetwork.co.uk/ and see their impressions of various options before buying any.

I just double checked... ours are 308mm up front. Its 322 for the Astra VXR over there. And it looks like the 345 from the Vectra VXR is an option as well. But it looks like neither VXR option is exactly bolt on or cheap. Looks like the 308 is the go to upgrade for cars with the various smaller sizes they had over there with the bigger ones being considered dreams or overkill.

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Old 06-23-2017, 09:43 AM   #14
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

Like nicolas said, upgrading the stock pads and rotors is more than enough for what our cars "need", but big brake kits can sure add to the visual bling. Just be glad they didn't spec our cars with the basic 280mm front as they did overseas!

Front brakes, yeah the Astra VXR 322mm and Vectra 345mm are popular oem swaps over there, both require the corresponding brake lines. People are shocked how much unsprung weight the huge Vectra calipers can add though. Those can still clear factory 17" wheels by the way, but some may need a 5mm wheel spacer to be safe.

For north american availability, the 345mm Vectra setup is the same as available on the Saab 9-5 TurboX models. A lot of Saab owners have also done the front Cobalt SS 315mm Brembo caliper/rotor swap, a setup which should also bolt on to the Astra.

Also available as bolt-on kits are the 330mm Cobalt Wilwood, 343mm AP Racing, 330mm and 355mm K-Sport. A custom setup was done using 6 piston RS6 Brembos and 390mm rotor in the factory 19" VXR wheels. And more using custom brackets for Porsche Brembo calipers.

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Old 06-24-2017, 08:07 AM   #15
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

How about anything exhaust wise you guys would recommend , I know there's universal fits but, like I said I just want to-do it right. Btw thanks for all the help and replies you guys I really appreciate it

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Old 06-24-2017, 09:29 AM   #16
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolas_p View Post
All I've been able to do is Cold air intake and performance exhaust. The intake is a closed box K&N with an oiled filter.
This is one point I will disagree with Nicolas!

These engines are EXTREMELY sensitive to any dirt on the ThrottleBody or MAF. Yesterday I cleaned both after 20k miles. Both looked spotless to the eye; but now engine runs much smoother.

Due to those sensitivities, I think several people here had issues with the K&N filter. Do a search on this board and the internet for more info. To be clear I would not recommend the K&N or any oiled filter for the Astra.

My recommendation is to get a good MAF cleaner (no substitute!) and clean the MAF. Clean the ThrottleBody. Clean the airbox. Install a high-end air filter (like a WIX) and frequently make sure system stays clean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kilo702 View Post
How about anything exhaust wise you guys would recommend , I know there's universal fits but, like I said I just want to-do it right. Btw thanks for all the help and replies you guys I really appreciate it
The exhaust flexpipe tends to wear out after ~5 years. If yours has not been replaced, replacement will reduce exhaust volume a lot and allow exhaust to perform properly.

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Old 06-24-2017, 07:47 PM   #17
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

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Originally Posted by AstraFasta View Post
This is one point I will disagree with Nicolas!

These engines are EXTREMELY sensitive to any dirt on the ThrottleBody or MAF. Yesterday I cleaned both after 20k miles. Both looked spotless to the eye; but now engine runs much smoother.

Due to those sensitivities, I think several people here had issues with the K&N filter. Do a search on this board and the internet for more info. To be clear I would not recommend the K&N or any oiled filter for the Astra.

My recommendation is to get a good MAF cleaner (no substitute!) and clean the MAF. Clean the ThrottleBody. Clean the airbox. Install a high-end air filter (like a WIX) and frequently make sure system stays clean.



The exhaust flexpipe tends to wear out after ~5 years. If yours has not been replaced, replacement will reduce exhaust volume a lot and allow exhaust to perform properly.
My astra is fairly new (should've specified) bought it at 16,000 so the exhaust shouldn't need to be replaced I was was just looking for after market options, I don't really want to mess with a cat delete or anything. But as for the air filter I was hoping to have something like that k&n but with what you said kinda makes me want to stay away from it. Do you think if I clean it regularly it will be fine?

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Old 06-24-2017, 10:14 PM   #18
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

I don't know.

What is certain is that the MAF sensor and ThrottleBody are hypersensitive to dirt; when dirty, the car runs a bit rough and will eventually throw off several codes. When clean, the car idles and runs smoother.

Also saw several posts here and in europe relating to problems with K&N style air filters.

Not sure how well the MAF sensor cleaner solution can clean off contamination from K&N oiled filter; check out the boards here and elsewhere. I'm having enough trouble keeping things clean with top-tier dry air filters. . .

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Old 06-24-2017, 11:01 PM   #19
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

Quote:
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I don't know.

What is certain is that the MAF sensor and ThrottleBody are hypersensitive to dirt; when dirty, the car runs a bit rough and will eventually throw off several codes. When clean, the car idles and runs smoother.

Also saw several posts here and in europe relating to problems with K&N style air filters.

Not sure how well the MAF sensor cleaner solution can clean off contamination from K&N oiled filter; check out the boards here and elsewhere. I'm having enough trouble keeping things clean with top-tier dry air filters. . .
I've had my K&N filter in my car for over 5 years now, it threw a CEL when I first installed it but since then I have been cleaning my MAF sensor every time I clean the filter 10k km cycle. I also clean the throttle body once a year. I should add that I under oil my filter for this exact reason, where K&N states the filter should almost be red when it's freshly oiled mine is a redish grey. You could always get the K&N system and switch out the filter for a dry foam filter like AEM.

I'm now at 192,***km with no engine issues whatsoever

...
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18" Team Dynamic MonzaR rims
Eibach Sportline, Whiteline BHR75Z swaybar and EBC Rotors
CD30 Mp3, Insignia jets, vxR surround, sharkfin antenna, Spoiler, Tint

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Old 07-07-2017, 01:23 PM   #20
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Default Re: Aftermarket anything

I was wondering if you guys would recommend anything for the headlights and taillights, as in a specific products.

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