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Old 12-07-2020, 05:16 PM   #41
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Maybe buy a long 1/2" breaker bar and the appropriate socket for your lugnuts.

EDIT - We also have a grey foam round piece that drops on top of the tire at the back third. It is about 18" long x 3" deep and follows the tire circumference; I think it keeps the hatch floor flat. Not really necessary. You see it here although I think it should be moved 180*.


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Old 12-07-2020, 06:38 PM   #42
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Scored a jack set with the missing pieces on ebay. The listing says the nut wrench is missing, but it looks like its in the bottom of the foam in the photo. Either way I needed the foam housing more than anything. Came out to 56 bucks with tax and shipping. I also picked up a driver seat a few weeks for 125 bucks. I started the cleaning today as well. Got the new driver seat shampoo’d as well as the trunk lining. I also cleaned out the spare tire well and detailed all the components. All of this will be up in my next youtube video. I’m starting on the carpet tomorrow. On a side note, how do you remove the front seats? I saw the torx bolts in the back of the rail but I don’t see any in the front. It almost looks like the carpet goes over the seat track.

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Old 12-07-2020, 06:58 PM   #43
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

I think that foamy piece was worth buying as it makes everything tidy, tight, and silent. I can't tell if the short lugnut wrench is included in the photo; I needed a 25" breaker bar to remove my lugnuts lol.

This UK video might help with seats; your seats and airbag connectors might be different. I might disconnect the battery for an hour before removing any airbag gear but look for GM's procedures

https://youtu.be/Sfh86fEunPs?t=590

Also, the Astra has trick back seats. You can fold them down flat. There also are hinges at the front/bottom of the back seats, which allow you to pivot the closed seat bottom/back forward 90*. This gives additional room in the cargo area. To access the bonus feature, I think you just fold down the seatback, then pull the loop (located where the seat cushion meets the rug) and pivot the seat & seatback forward.

When returning the back seats to position, be VERY careful not to pinch the back shoulderbelts with the seat clamps. That is difficult to unclip.

http://www.astra-h.ru/folding.html

This russian site has awesome tips and upgrades, including better windshield washer jets (Buick), noise and creaking mods, etc. You can just paste the address into google, hit enter, then select "translate" and google translates everything.

http://www.astra-h.ru/

Last edited by AstraFasta; 12-07-2020 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 12-08-2020, 11:43 AM   #44
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Thank you SO much for providing that link on the rear seats! I've owned this car for damn near 12 years and could never figure out why those latches on the front edge of the back seat exist.

Using the directions on the web link, I gave it a try. I will say, that's a bit of a hassle to gain not much more space, and leaves you with a detached back seat squab to deal with. This was clearly (as they stated) not intended for frequent use, and there's still a significant difference between the height of the seatbacks and the height of the trunk floor, but I suppose a little space is gained.

I rented a Chevy Spark when I was in Australia a little while ago (badged as a Holden), and assumed the process would be similar - in that car, there's a latch that lets you fold the seat squab forward and down toward the backs of the front seats, allowing the seatbacks to fold flat. That made a lot more sense and required a LOT less effort. That little runt held a TON of stuff for its size.

And as you can imagine, 12 years of use (with two kids) means I discovered a bit of vacuuming that needs to be done...
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Old 12-08-2020, 12:43 PM   #45
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Quote:
Originally Posted by tackepj View Post
Thank you SO much for providing that link on the rear seats! I've owned this car for damn near 12 years and could never figure out why those latches on the front edge of the back seat exist.
Indeed it is awesome. The change in cargo volume is minimal but...the change in cargo dimensions can make a huge difference in some situations.

BTW I think you need to remove the rear headrests before the trick fold.

This video explains it better than I did
https://youtu.be/apFWaNqlGQs

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Old 12-08-2020, 03:19 PM   #46
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Mgg4591,
Is that a 2004 Chevy Suburban you used to haul the Astra home with?
The rear view of the roof rack seems to indicate the 2004 model.
Ask me how I know.
Anyway, very nice Astra, enjoy.
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Old 12-09-2020, 06:56 PM   #47
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
Mgg4591,
Is that a 2004 Chevy Suburban you used to haul the Astra home with?
The rear view of the roof rack seems to indicate the 2004 model.
Ask me how I know.
Anyway, very nice Astra, enjoy.
Yea its a 2004 Tahoe. 236,xxx and counting!
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Old 12-24-2020, 04:59 PM   #48
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

wow! What a nice price for a cool low mileage Astra!

For the headlights, I'd recommend wet polish them with 800 grit followed by 1000, 1500, 2000 and finally 3000. If you can get higher than 3k, do it. Then polish with a good polisher compound like meguiars.

Alternatively, you can do as I did, which made them look 5x better than wet sand+polish. I clear coated them with a can of 1k clear by Spraymax after wet sanding them. The depth of the transparency is lovely!

2k Spraymax clear is more resistant to chemicals though. Either choice will be great. It's been several months since I clear coat them, and they have endure the hard UV rays of the summer and cold winter thus far.

Start with 800 grit, then 1000, 2k and finalize with clear. Make sure it's warm before you do this. I think the can calls for temps around 60F or higher, otherwise you'll get ghosting and other defects. So, avoid clear coat them in cold temps.

Great purchase!
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Old 12-28-2020, 07:37 PM   #49
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I’m finally just about done with the interior resto, and I just finished swapping the airbag cover today as well as installing a stitch on cover. I absolutely love the quality of this, I just hope it holds up. I found it through some advertisement on Instagram which was marketed for an Opel Astra. The wheel from JFS just came today but I didn’t get home to unbox it yet. I’m going to see how this cover holds up then swap the wheel out accordingly. I’m wrapping up the video tomorrow then I should have it up for the weekend.
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2008 Saturn Astra XR 5 speed 67,xxx
2004 Chevy Tahoe Z71 241,xxx
1986 Chevy Camaro m6 gen 4 LS swap
1986 Pontiac Trans am 6l80e gen 5 LT swap
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Old 12-28-2020, 11:05 PM   #50
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

That steering wheel cover looks great. Could you provide a source?
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Old 12-28-2020, 11:54 PM   #51
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Mad Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Quote:
Originally Posted by AstraFasta View Post
That steering wheel cover looks great. Could you provide a source?
Yea here it is:
https://www.eastdetailing.com/collec...31149557710951
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2008 Saturn Astra XR 5 speed 67,xxx
2004 Chevy Tahoe Z71 241,xxx
1986 Chevy Camaro m6 gen 4 LS swap
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Old 12-29-2020, 01:01 AM   #52
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Thanks for the link. That is a nice looking cover. Nice job sewing it on also.
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Old 12-29-2020, 05:10 PM   #53
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Thanks, it feels really high quality as well. Does anyone have any experience with this headunit? I like the fact it looks oem, just not sure how good it is.
http://www.carnaviplayer.com/saturn-...ead-unit-p-934
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2008 Saturn Astra XR 5 speed 67,xxx
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1986 Chevy Camaro m6 gen 4 LS swap
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Old 12-29-2020, 05:16 PM   #54
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Also the interior is pretty much complete. Video is rendering and I should have it up late tonight.
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2008 Saturn Astra XR 5 speed 67,xxx
2004 Chevy Tahoe Z71 241,xxx
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Old 12-29-2020, 05:59 PM   #55
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Awesome!
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Old 12-30-2020, 02:18 AM   #56
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Video is up! Next project is the exterior.
https://youtu.be/rCssb7yHotc
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2008 Saturn Astra XR 5 speed 67,xxx
2004 Chevy Tahoe Z71 241,xxx
1986 Chevy Camaro m6 gen 4 LS swap
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:16 AM   #57
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

That was an awesome video! Now I understand why the spare tire parts were missing. The wet vacuum action was satisfying also.

Also note some of the sound deadening and interior squeak tips on the Russian Astra site I recently linked.

Did you see the other new Saturn Astra video series by Pine Hollow? That car had a lot of codes to resolve!
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Old 01-25-2021, 02:10 PM   #58
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Just a little update! I found this website carnaviplayer.com that offered a stock looking head unit for the astra that is totally plug and play while retaining the infotainment screen and steering wheel controls. They're straight out of China but the quality seems pretty good, and the interface is very smooth. Customer service was also very quick to respond through email.I put a video out on it today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgLm...ature=youtu.be
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2004 Chevy Tahoe Z71 241,xxx
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Old 01-25-2021, 04:06 PM   #59
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

That radio is so well integrated with the Astra main screen and steering wheel controls! There are a lot of "inelegant" solutions on the forums and youtube; one guy put the Astra screen on his roof which was creative.

***There is a cool OBD gauge option for 6 gauges to show on the screen!

Radio looks nice with the interior and basically updates the electronics to 2021.

I removed the radio just cutting 6" of coat hanger and bending to a U-loop; didn't need any fancy metal work or gizmo.

Maybe you could put the backup camera under the 3rd brake light for better viewing?

I think the bulb warning is resistance added to system. You could probably design some alternative sensing & power system but that would be a bit of work.

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Old 04-26-2021, 12:30 PM   #60
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Just a little update, Iíve driven the Astra a little over 4,000 miles since I got it. Iím averaging 28-30mpg, about a 50/50 highway city split. Just did the second oil change on it, and for the most part the miles have been problem free. Iíve been getting a check engine light on and off for the downstream o2 heater. I have a replacement sensor, just havenít had a chance to install it. Unfortunately I still havenít gotten around to doing the exterior cleanup and detail, but it should be happening soon.

Also over the weekend I noticed my steering went to crap. The alignment was always good, but recently I noticed the steering wheel was slightly off center. This past weekend it has gotten even worse and I started feeling driveability problems. When I hit the brakes the front end would feel like its sliding or floating, and the steering wheel would recenter itself. No weird noises and the car didnít pull, just the wheel was off center. Well I finally limped it home and a little before I arrived the traction light came on. I found some time to check it this morning when I found this..

So apparently I must have hit a pothole hard enough to not mess up the rim or tire, but break the control arm. Does anyone have a recommended replacement to go with? If theyíre cheap enough Iíll probably change both.
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2008 Saturn Astra XR 5 speed 67,xxx
2004 Chevy Tahoe Z71 241,xxx
1986 Chevy Camaro m6 gen 4 LS swap
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