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Old 04-05-2013, 09:40 AM   #21
romanster
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

I got lazy with the pics, the progress here only goes up to September of last year, and wow it's been almost 3 months since my last post. I'll get the rest of the pics up. Lots more planned too, it's gonna be a busy couple of months once it finally gets warm.

Totally up for a meet this spring, let's do it
...
Astra XR3 white
|Vauxhall VXR exterior conversion
|2010+ emblems
|Insignia VXR 18" rep wheels, Eibach SportLines
|BiXenon projector retrofit
|Blue interior LED conversion, OPC wheel/shifter
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:39 AM   #22
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

Picking up where I left off from my last pics, which brings me to September 2012.

I painted my V grille white, after modifying the emblem area. I had to fill the cutouts for the original emblem with JB weld, and sand it all smooth for my new-style griffin emblem. After wet sanding and polishing, the surface was smooth like glass.



Temporary emblem, it was a stick-on centre cap that came with my replica wheels.


Final new-style griffin emblem. It's a 68mm centre cap from Opelise. Because the original griffin was 70mm, I had to attach the new one with 3M tape. I painted the V in the flag black with a toothpick and a drop of paint.




The VXR grille is made for the 3-door euro bumpers, and doesn't fit our Saturn bumpers. I had to widen the slots in the bumper so that the clips on the bottom of the grille could line up. I also had to drill new holes in the top cross member, about 1" in front of the existing grille holes, and used the same screws. The VXR 3-door grille sits 1" farther forward than the facelift grille, and covers the washer fluid cap a little bit. It has to be done this way, or the grille won't sit flush against the bumper.



Next up was my tail light modification, to make the un-used bulb work as a secondary brake/signal bulb.

Stock clusters, with the new bulbs ready to go in.


Finished product.
Outermost bulb (the one that doesn't flash) is a red incandescent one.
Middle and innermost bulb now function as the brake/turn signal, and are LEDs for instant on-off operation.


Comparison with the stock cluster for bulb position reference.


How it looked on my 5 door.
...
Astra XR3 white
|Vauxhall VXR exterior conversion
|2010+ emblems
|Insignia VXR 18" rep wheels, Eibach SportLines
|BiXenon projector retrofit
|Blue interior LED conversion, OPC wheel/shifter
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:40 AM   #23
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

Next up was to do the interior blue LED conversion. I flew through this one, since it was my second time doing it. I put some white accents on the radio, I think it looks better than when I made my 5-door all blue. Also changed all the interior lighting to white LED bulbs.











I didn't like how unfinished the front end looked compared to the euro Astras that have the plastic spoiler, so I installed the bottom bumper spoiler from a Chevrolet Cruze, after eyeing one at my work parking lot. It looked like it could fit, so I went for it and ordered one, it was about 35 bucks if I remember right. Had to cut off a bunch of clips to make it sit flush against the bumper, then attached it with 4 trim screws in total. No problems to this day, it's held up just fine including a few scrapes on some steep driveway ramps.







And some pics of the car up to that point.









More to come!
...
Astra XR3 white
|Vauxhall VXR exterior conversion
|2010+ emblems
|Insignia VXR 18" rep wheels, Eibach SportLines
|BiXenon projector retrofit
|Blue interior LED conversion, OPC wheel/shifter
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:31 AM   #24
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

fantastic looking car! we need groupbuy on those Cruze front dam!!!
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:01 PM   #25
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

dont know if messaging is working for me yet cause i'm new.... but i really want to know how you changed the instrument lights. I want to do badly to mine!
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:43 PM   #26
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

Hey Jeff. Each part has to be taken out of the car, and disassembled down to the circuit boards. Then each tiny amber surface-mounted LED has to be desoldered, and a blue one (or any other color) is soldered in its place. Some soldering experience is definitely required! I knew my way around a soldering iron from modding game consoles. There are guys in the UK who make good cash doing the conversions for people who would rather not tear down their interior, but everyone has to learn somewhere, it's not thaaaat daunting
...
Astra XR3 white
|Vauxhall VXR exterior conversion
|2010+ emblems
|Insignia VXR 18" rep wheels, Eibach SportLines
|BiXenon projector retrofit
|Blue interior LED conversion, OPC wheel/shifter
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:03 PM   #27
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

Oh yeah, when I put on the Cruze front lip I had to take the bumper completely off (which on Canadian astras with the block heater means you have to pop out the foglight housing before you can pull the bumper away), so I removed the bottom grille and plastidipped the chrome U and the silver slats to match the VXR grille. It looked a little silly and out of place to have chrome pieces on the bumper, having the bottom grille black ties everything together a lot better. My initial plan was to cut a lower VXR honeycomb grille to fit and bond it in place, but I ended up finding the VXR bumpers shortly after.
...
Astra XR3 white
|Vauxhall VXR exterior conversion
|2010+ emblems
|Insignia VXR 18" rep wheels, Eibach SportLines
|BiXenon projector retrofit
|Blue interior LED conversion, OPC wheel/shifter
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:32 AM   #28
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

Interesting, I did not know of the Astra, non the less the conversion! Very nice work done!
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:47 PM   #29
exy
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2008 Astra XE
Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

What a great looking car!!
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:01 PM   #30
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

My girlfriend's Sonic has the same front air dam. I might steal it off of her car & see if she notices!
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:13 PM   #31
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

I believe this is the same lip :

http://www.newgmparts.com/parts/2012...er%20deflector

Trying to find it cheaper on ebay.

Cruze part number: 96832929.
Sonic part number: 96694779.
...
2008 red astra xr:
FK coilovers, Opel Grille, VXR intake,HIDs,LEDs everywhere,12" sub,shorty antenna, hard wired xm radio.

Last edited by 802astraXr; 10-29-2013 at 06:18 PM. Reason: Adding part numbers.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:20 AM   #32
romanster
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

Oh man this thread is out of date!! I gotta get the past 6+ months of updates on here!

This is the Cruze valence I bought:

http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/sk...Front%2C+Lower

When you get it, you'll see which clips need to be cut off, to get it to sit flush with the underside of the bumper. Then it's just a matter of centering it and start putting in self tapping screws as you go from the middle of the bumper towars the outside. I used 8 screws in total. The curvature of the valence is different than our bumper, but the ABS material is sturdy enough to put up with you forcing it into shape while you drill the screws in.

All in all, I think the OEM vauxhall or opel plastic valence looks better, since it hangs down a consistent amount all the way around the bumper, and actually matches the shape perfectly, but the Cruze valence is just much much cheaper to buy.
...
Astra XR3 white
|Vauxhall VXR exterior conversion
|2010+ emblems
|Insignia VXR 18" rep wheels, Eibach SportLines
|BiXenon projector retrofit
|Blue interior LED conversion, OPC wheel/shifter
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:27 AM   #33
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

Your car looks amazing Romanster.

Actually, spoke to Omar at QEW Collision recently...and he's of the same mind ...he loves the mods you've done as well !

Kudos !!

( Actually........my daughter LOVES white cars and just out of curiosity asked Omar how much it'd be to convert our Silver Astra to white like yours .....pricey, pricey pricey !!! ....NOT happening )
...
- 2008 Silver Astra 3dr ' XR ' 5 spd
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:34 AM   #34
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

Time for updates!

At the start of 2013 I started work on integrating a chinese DVD90 Navi unit for the Opel Antara into the Astra, phatfire6 has also been working on his. More progress and details to come, it requires a CID bezel (6.5" screen size) modified to fit this new 7" screen. The canbus systems are different between the Antara and Astra, so this unit cannot display BC info or recognize steering wheel controls. As such, I relocated the GID screen to the roof, to keep the BC info and warnings displayed.







More to come.


Onto the build progress!
Back in April I installed Eibach SportLine lowering springs, which dropped the car 50mm front and 30mm rear. I made a tutorial with the procedure here:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=191380

At the same time, I installed 8mm wheel spacers with longer bolts to bring out the wheels a bit. This is the maximum thickness you can get away with in a standard "disc" spacer. Our hubs have 16mm lips, so there is still 8mm of lip for the wheel. Any thicker, it's time for spacers with built-in lips for the wheels.










Bought a leather OPC steering wheel with blue stitching, and OPC turbo 5-speed shift knob from a fellow SaturnFans member, along with the OPC steering wheel trim and shifter insert. Cleaned them up and made them look good as new:





Old XR leather wheel, VXR trim, with my old VXMMI radio:



New OPC wheel, OPC trim:



...
Astra XR3 white
|Vauxhall VXR exterior conversion
|2010+ emblems
|Insignia VXR 18" rep wheels, Eibach SportLines
|BiXenon projector retrofit
|Blue interior LED conversion, OPC wheel/shifter
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:36 AM   #35
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

The shifter boot was in rough shape, so I ordered some new ones from UK. Dark grey leather with blue stitching, for the handbrake too. The color is a bit lighter than I was expecting, but it's grown on me. Black would have been too dark and out of place.















...
Astra XR3 white
|Vauxhall VXR exterior conversion
|2010+ emblems
|Insignia VXR 18" rep wheels, Eibach SportLines
|BiXenon projector retrofit
|Blue interior LED conversion, OPC wheel/shifter
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:27 PM   #36
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

looks great
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:54 PM   #37
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

Looking great so far. How hard was it to put the new shifter in?

-Jess
...
Astra XR 5dr (Traded for 2014.5 Focus ST)
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:18 AM   #38
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

Looks epic
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:12 AM   #39
romanster
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

The shifter was pretty straightforward to replace, I got instructions with pictures from the vendor I bought the leather shift/ebrake boots from. Swapping the shifter boot was a pain, the white plastic collar took a while to come off. The leather boots are thicker material than the stock vinyl boots too, so I had to trim some areas to make it fold neater at the bottom of the knob
...
Astra XR3 white
|Vauxhall VXR exterior conversion
|2010+ emblems
|Insignia VXR 18" rep wheels, Eibach SportLines
|BiXenon projector retrofit
|Blue interior LED conversion, OPC wheel/shifter
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:07 PM   #40
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Default Re: White Saturn Astra XR progress

Moving along, May 2013.

I upgraded my front turn signal and rear brake/turn bulbs to Cree 25W units, these things are BRIGHT! My last bulbs weren't very visible in direct sunlight, but these ones have the Cree chips in positions that use the reflector housings very efficiently. Pretty pricey for bulbs, but they work much better.



Rear lamps. The middle bulb is the 25W cree one. I'm using the outer bulb in parallel with the brake/turn bulb. The inner bulb (where the rear fog bulb would go) takes over for tail lamp duty.




I got OPC front and rear bumpers from a wreck yard in Germany in November 2011, and waited until the spring to get them repaired and painted. The rear one was in rough shape and had holes for parking sensors, but the body shop made them look good as new. Got all of the various fitting parts and bits and pieces from VXRshop, and mounted them up.

To fully remove the front bumper I had to disconnect the block heater cable from under the engine, pull it through the foglight housing, and route it back into place. I have it tied up near the horn now. I disconnected the marker lights, and taped up the connectors out of the way.

I also plasti dipped the VXR grille matte black, I was waiting to get it painted white to match.

I got the sideskirts and roof spoiler too, but didn't get a chance to mount them.







The rear stock muffler was removed, while I figured out what to do with the center exit exhaust. The rear license plate had to be cut in order to fit into the space for euro plates. I used 3M tape to hold the plate on. I drove the car for a few days without a muffler, it's not much louder, since it has the center muffler which takes care of the majority of the sound.

Got the bumpers mounted just in time for our June mini-meet in Mississauga Ontario. Nicolas_p owns the white vauxhallized Astra with white wheels, and the red VXR replica is phatfire6's, he drove up all the way from Maine!















...
Astra XR3 white
|Vauxhall VXR exterior conversion
|2010+ emblems
|Insignia VXR 18" rep wheels, Eibach SportLines
|BiXenon projector retrofit
|Blue interior LED conversion, OPC wheel/shifter
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