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  1. #1
    TheDumbAss's Avatar
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    TDA's 2008 Saturn Astra XE

    How did I end up getting an Astra?

    I've been looking for a 3rd gen manual Saturn SW for awhile.
    Getting in 2 hit and runs (they ran I didn't) did a number to my 2000 SL2 so that moved up my time table and lowered my minimum requirements as I kept looking for a wagon. But expanding to include nice first and 2nd gens. 2nd choice being an Xb worth having in my price range. 3rd choice a 4cyl VW wagon or possibly a focus wagon if I saw the right one. Found a 3rd gen wagon that was overpriced for the vague craigslist ad. And same color as my SL2... Found a gold 94 SW on craigslist that looked great and was a decent price that had slowly been droping for awhile. I contacted the guy several times trying to setup a time/place to see it. I received ~8 words total from him. The last time right before I contacted the guy with the Astra.

    I noticed this Astra pop up on craigslist. Looked great inside and out, 5 speed, 133k miles and $2400.
    Then I saw it was posted agian the next day, and again the next, and again each day...

    Now an Astra wasn't on my list... Even through GM screwed the US and themselves on them, I wanted one since they were announced. I could bore you explaining why but what is important is that I did. (It's a long story involving related cars) I just considered them unobtainium at this point and also not good enough to be an 'if I won the lottery' car.

    A concern with these is that it is a 2 year only car that sold less thant 20,000 units in all of North America 8-10 years ago. And sold through a brand that no longer exists. Considering the age, it is hard telling how many of those that sold are already off the road and crushed for one reason or another. With such a small number out there, where am I going to get parts from if I need them? I almost didn't call the guy because of that.

    Well, I know this car was sold all over the rest of the world. Likely a couple million total. I looked it up and parts are redely available from europe right on ebay. I could get all the way up to doors and hoods if I really needed. There are even some aftermarket mod parts... So, I'd have all that still available, though parts would cost more and be harder to return. There are videos on youtube similar to richpins to fix various common things like his to help me out as well. (already watched a few)

    So, that actually just makes it I'd have something that is unsual in America rather than actually rare. I like unusual cars. So... I decided it was worth calling the guy.

    .
    .
    .
    The test drive...
    .
    .
    .

    I text the guy and and responded immediately. He was very responsive and we met ~1hr later ~45min from my house.
    I took my ex's 11yr old son with me. I got there and it is a Chinese guy with a girl about 11 as well.
    His english wasn't great and the kid translated some of it. So good he brought her.

    I checked the car over good. First thing, I pointed out how bad the headlights were. All fogged over (I've seen far worse). Then started pointing out scuffs and scrapes. Found one of the tail lights is cracked and will need replaced. I looked at that with a sour face and pointed it out. Same while looking at a (very minor) dent on one fender.
    Looked around inside... someone has been in it with muddy shoes... (otherwise looked flawless except the shift lever boot... more on that later)
    Confirmed the gauges looked correct and checked the lights worked all around. Popped the hood, checked the oil, and had (what I thought was) a decent look around looking for leaks and any issues. On the timing cover is a sticker saying the timing belt was replaced at 114k and is due at 214k (~80k away) so that means a major preventivitive was completed not long ago. Showing it likely had an ok service history.

    Nothing deal breaking up to that point at all really. Just things worth pointing out to mark down the price.

    I asked the guy if I could actually test drive it. We shuffle in and something happens that should have stopped me...
    He said 'its hard to get into first' then proceeded to show me that Reverse is next to 1st. Then that you had to push the shifter weird to get it there. He lifted up shift boot so he could show me the gear shift mechinisim and I saw what was going on with the shifter when going into first. I saw that it definitely wasn't doing what it was supposed to there.
    But, for some reason, that didn't detour me.

    He ended up having to shift it for me several times on the test drive... each time I was cringy about 'is this a good idea' while also thinking about that mechanisim... I quickly became aware that it was likely just needing an adjustment and at most just needed some linkage parts. 1st to 2nd was fine if I didn't wander in neutral. 2-5 were perfect. The clutch felt great. I asked the guy if it was newish. After some translation, he said he didn't know.

    His direction for driving had us on a long relatively straight road with few stops and 50mph speed limit. It has 138HP but is heavier and had 4 people so it felt slower than my SL2. The car is quiet overall. Not much engine or outside noise. No suspension noise, drove straight, and rode smooth.
    All this time, I'm looking at the gas gauge on E... I say 'Im going to stop for gas' and the girl had to translate.
    I was going to put in $5 myself but the guy hopped out and put $20 in it. I later found out the gas door release is broken. (I actually have a receipt from a shop saying they 'disabled' it.)
    I hopped out and popped the hood. Looked for issues and leaks again.
    When he got back in I asked for someplace with curves to test the steering. The girl had to translate again.
    He lead me to a parking lot where I did some low speed figure 8s.Testing lock to lock movement basically. It felt great too with no play.

    That damn shifter though... and I complained about how 'I dont know what is wrong with that or what needs done to fix it, but what he is saying is normal, isnt. Could be nothing or something seriously expensive. I didn't know.' the whole drive. (true, but I was increasingly sure it was something simple)

    We went back to where we started a way with more stops and rougher roads. The brakes got more of a workout and I asked him about them. He gave me a story about how it doesn't get driven much so the brakes are a little rusty. That his wife can't drive it because it's a stick and they have another car. What I felt what I'd expect from a few months of rust on rotors around here.

    .
    .
    .
    Haggle
    .
    .
    .

    We got back to the place we started. I have a hell of a time getting it into reverse to back into the spot.
    He says "'I have 3 more buyers to see today."
    We got out. I walked around the car looking really concerned.
    I tell him I'm going to have to go call a few people. I called my mom and told her about it. haha. Told her what I was going to offer and about how high I'd go. And verified I could park it at her work if I did buy it.
    I made it look like I called and texted with several people.

    When I was done I went back to him. With a look of pain on my face, I said 'would you take 1800?' I fully expected him to say no. I think it let him know I wasn't going to be close to his 2400 ask but may get close enough to be worth negotiating with.
    Of course he gave a shocked and slightly annoyed 'no, I cant do that'
    I said 'So, what can you do?'
    He said, 'well, I originally had it listed for $2700' to which I responded by looking at him like he was crazy. (I didn't see it listed for that)
    'and I had someone come look at it. But they didn't buy and' some stuff I couldn't understand. 'so I post for $2400. I need to sell it.'
    I said, 'so, what do you want?'
    "I could do 2300. It's a very good car," He said.
    I cut him off and started listing all the stuff that is wrong with it again. And saying that none of that was visible in the pictures or listed in the listing. And the shifter... "If I knew about that I may not have came'. With more of a pained look, I told him "$2000"

    With much more back and forth he dropped to 2200. He kept pointing out how good of a car it was. I kept pointing out the issues and how much I would have to fix to make it 'right' again. I threw in that I had my car for 9 years and 'took excellet care of it up until the wreck' (not exactly true) because I was trying to appeal to any sentimental value the car may have to him. Turns out there was none. But more on that later...

    Finally, I see he isn't moving from 2200 and I wasn't going to make the move to 2100 though I would have paid that if he asked.
    He kepts telling me about how he has 3 other buyers looking that day.
    I told him, 'If none of them want it for what you're asking, and you want to come down more, call me.'
    And shook his hand.
    Their phone rang again and he said 'see, thats one of them now.'
    I said 'Its not a bad car, but with the problems I can't do 2200.'
    He tried to stop me and talk me into the 2200 a few more times but I said, 'you said you have other buyers. You can call me if it doesn't sell.'
    He walked over the girl. She had the phone and probably told him the message.


    I got in my car. The kid got in. I started it and we sat a second. Then I started to back out. Guy kinda runs up and flags me down to stop. He says '2200' again.
    I repeate why I cant. And again about how I took care of my car. He points out my broken passenger mirror hanging inside my car from it's turn signal lights... I told him 'that is recent. From the accident that is paying for this new one.' (a bit of a stretch but also true)
    He says 'ok... 2100. I dont have a lot of time and need to sell it.'
    I gave him another pained look. This guy just showed his desperation by flagging me down. I'm going to push it.
    '2000' I said through the pain... I have it here... and flashed the cash.
    He gave me a pained look back and said "2050... I just put gas in it for you."

    My response... "I can do that."

    .
    .
    .
    SOLD
    .
    .
    .

    So, we figured out the logistics of where I was going to keep the car (I was ~45min from home) and how they were getting where they needed to be. etc...
    They followed me to my mother's job ~1/2 way. My mom got a quick look at it while we were there and gave it a thumbs up.
    From there, I drove him and the girl in the Astra to a Chinese Grocery store. We had a little conversation about him moving from china 7 years ago and bringing his wife and some of his children. He ends up having to shift into first once or twice on the way.

    I'm seriously thinking about "what did I just do? This was a terrible idea!" at this point.
    Dropped them off at this shady looking strip mall chinese grocery. He filled out the title and we made the final sale in that parking lot.
    Drove the car back to my mother's job with no plates since he took them and I forgot to grab mine.

    Dropped that car off at my mother's job and drove the SL2 home. Once home, I started researching the shifter issue. Found the likely part solution is ~30-50 USD shipped from Europe.

    This car is going to be a headache. Hopefully it is worth it. Haha

    First day pics in the next post. There is more to the story though. I'll add that later.
    Last edited by TheDumbAss; 04-14-2017 at 12:36 AM.
    2008 Saturn Astra XE - New DD Build Thread
    2000 SL2m - Scrapped... used to be DD + Fun w/ a system (pictures fixed Jan 2017)
    1995 GMC Sonoma ext cab 4x4 - Beater work truck - Selling
    2000 Ford F150 Supercab 4x4 - Work truck + wife's daily.

  2. #2
    TheDumbAss's Avatar
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    1st day.
    2017/04/08


    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
    Last edited by TheDumbAss; 04-16-2017 at 05:11 PM.
    2008 Saturn Astra XE - New DD Build Thread
    2000 SL2m - Scrapped... used to be DD + Fun w/ a system (pictures fixed Jan 2017)
    1995 GMC Sonoma ext cab 4x4 - Beater work truck - Selling
    2000 Ford F150 Supercab 4x4 - Work truck + wife's daily.

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  4. #3
    rubensw2's Avatar
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    Sweet deal!! Looking forward to some awesomeness

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J321AZ using Tapatalk
    Buy it, Build it, Drive it, Break it, Fix it

  5. #4
    TheDumbAss's Avatar
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    So, the next day my mother came and got me at my place and dropped me off at the car so I could drive it home. This time I had my SL2 plates so it didn't look as illegal as it was.

    I forgot to mention that the car had check engine lights during the test drive. We had stopped at AutoZone and I had the codes pulled. Evap solenoid and exhaust crank position sensor. ~100 on Rock Auto or closer to $400 from a dealer. When they pulled the code they didn't clear it. So on the way home I stopped and got a headlight repair kit and had them do the codes again. She said their new scanners can't clear the codes though.

    Got home and began really looking the car over. Looking at the shifter issue more, I found that the whole console had been removed at least once and wasn't completely secured. Likely from someone else trying to find/fix the shifter problem. Looking at it closer and remembering the bits of videos I saw of the linkage, I realized the issue was definately not in the console.

    Looking at the linkage and playing with it by hand, the linkage itself didn't have the play the videos suggested but that didn't mean it wasn't bent or still worn. Or maybe there was a way to adjust things on that end. While looking under the hood I realized several sets of wires were not routed correctly and some wire retainers were broken. I found one where the loom was rubbing against the rubber of the driver's side's inner CV joint. there was a tower next to it with a broken retainer at the end. Only reason it could have been there was those wires so I re-routed it away from the axle and zip tied it in place.

    Knowing I was going to research that more, I decided to go ahead and refurbish the headlights. I got the 3M kit and saw it jumped straight from 3000 grit to rubbing compound. I grabbed a 5000 grit pad just to make things extra smooth before going to the rubbing compound.

    Pulled the grill.
    Tried Pulling the headlights and found a mounting tab was broken on the driver's side lens. And another bolt was missing completely.
    Found that I had to pull the bumper to get the lights out... and found the bumper is zip tied underneith. This isn't a racecar... those shouldn't be there. Another 'thing to fix eventually' added to the list.
    Finally got off the lights and got to work polishing them.

    Turned out great IMO

    Only did the passenger side that day. Finally Did the driver's side yesterday.




    After a post on Saturnfans trying to verify my shifting issue and a solution, I found a video pointing out how to properly adjust the shift position on the linkage after replacing the linkage. You put the trans in neutral and play with the linkage until this button on the trans goes in and stays in. Then you position the shifter so the whole in the plastic of the reverse lockout mechanisim lines up with a hole on the guide and drop something in there to hold it together. Double check that the button on the trans didn't move, and tighten down the shift rod to linkage connection.

    Well... that didn't work for me. After trying exactly that several times what I ended up having to do was manually put the trans into 5th then put the gear shift about where I thought 5th would be. Then tightened it all down. And, that worked. I have all the gears now. Reverse is still hard to get to but I also know it is supposed to be since it is right next to 1st. I'm not sure the lockout is 100% right... but it is completely drivable now.



    And the linkage from underneath. I had to go buy a couple torx sets to get the right (T-47) bit.


    Yesterday, I finally got the car registered, polished the other headlight, put it all back together, gave it another onceover, and began driving it.
    Shifts great. Gears are really short even compaired to an MP3. So, it will take some getting used to. Runs really well. I can't find a single thing that doesn't work. Definitely some little things that need addressed eventually, but I can run it as is no problem.


    Last edited by TheDumbAss; 04-16-2017 at 11:58 PM.
    2008 Saturn Astra XE - New DD Build Thread
    2000 SL2m - Scrapped... used to be DD + Fun w/ a system (pictures fixed Jan 2017)
    1995 GMC Sonoma ext cab 4x4 - Beater work truck - Selling
    2000 Ford F150 Supercab 4x4 - Work truck + wife's daily.

  6. #5
    TheDumbAss's Avatar
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    Couple little side stories...

    I didn't realize this until after I already paid and dropped them off but... I think the guy I bought the car from may have owed some dangerous people money.

    I noticed when we met that his teeth were bleeding and his face/jaw was puffy. While it did continue to attract my attention, I didn't make anything of it at the time.
    The car was listed suddenly and aggressively. Popped up out of nowhere and was then posted daily (I think maybe even twice a day or two).
    The girl who was with him had the phone. Every time they received a text I could hear the concern as she told him what it said and he responded. I know essentially zero chinese so I don't know what was actually said. If he said anything to me about it, he said 'um, uh... that is another person about the car' or similar.

    After the test drive ended, the first thing he said was that he had 3 other buyers lined up to see it. But I shot him a lowball and after we couldn't come to a price we agreed on, I went to leave. He chased me down and caved to a price that was even less than I was prepaired to pay. He said he didn't have much time and didn't want to deal with the other buyers.

    He and the girl both seemed more relaxed after I agreed to buy it. And the Chinese grocery I took them to looked the like kind of place that would have a gambling room in the back in a movie.
    Also noticed a bit of a limp as he was walking toward it...


    Story 2:
    While looking to find a solution for the shift issue, I found other minor problems. It got to the point where I actually said 'I wonder if the transmission has been out for some reason'. Absolutely no signs of a major accident causing everything that was wrong.

    Well, there was a decent stack of paperwork that came with the car. In there, I found the guy I bought it from bought it March of last year. I have a Jiffy Lube receipt from February of last year with the owner before him's name on it. Mileage was 132,778 I bought it at 133,4xx... so less than 1k miles in the last year. Which just makes the fact the Chinese guy had it at all even more weird...

    Looking through that paperwork more, in Sept 2015 at 128k the clutch was replaced. (AH HA! That explains a lot) It was almost $1300 for parts and labor. Parts were half of that. They tossed in an oil change and for some reason a starter.

    So why would someone drop 1300 on such an important part, put 5k miles on it, then sell it to someone who wouldn't drive it?
    I think the shop screwed up and he sold it out of frustration. The shifter problem being the most obvious symptom of such...

    Investigating the shop a bit more, they used to be decent with a bunch of positive reviews. In 2015 things nosedived. Now, the BBB says they have been closed for awhile and they have an F raiting.
    I'm thinking they screwed over several customers and this owner may have sold his car out of frustration. Possibly after a lawsuit. The Chinese guy may have bought it expecting an easy fix and quick flip but couldn't figure it out.

    Before that, the receipts show the guy took decent care of it. But it is also obvious this stack is far from complete.
    He bought it Oct, 4th 2010 with 36061 on the clock from a Kia of East Syracuse New York. for 8820.00 9721 after tax, inspection, and registration.
    Multiple oil change receipts (looks like he didn't keep all of them) for 'premium synthetic' changes
    Titled in Indiana in 7/12/14

    Also in that paperwork is a receipt to "Check out repaired wiring in the left rear door harness" and "Disabled Fuel Door Actuator"
    I've found in my wonderings since I got it that there were some wiring harness issues. I've seen photos of wires that were exposed (as if stripped) inside of the cable sleeve. That noted previous repair is probably from that. The fuel door I didn't notice was disabled but did find the actuator solenoid tied up behind an access panel in the hatch. I'll probably try to figure out what is up with that but the fuel door does stay closed as is.

    I looked up this previous owner on Facebook. I found several people with the same, somewhat uncommon name. A little more investigation I found one in the area the receipts said he lived. Verified further by finding connections to New York. Sent the guy a couple messages asking if he used to have a Saturn Astra and saying I would like to talk about it if he did because I just bought it. I can see that he saw the messages but he hasn't responded... which could be for a lot of reasons. But, I think if it wasn't him a simple, 'no. it wasn't me' would be simple and obvious response.
    Last edited by TheDumbAss; 04-16-2017 at 11:54 PM.
    2008 Saturn Astra XE - New DD Build Thread
    2000 SL2m - Scrapped... used to be DD + Fun w/ a system (pictures fixed Jan 2017)
    1995 GMC Sonoma ext cab 4x4 - Beater work truck - Selling
    2000 Ford F150 Supercab 4x4 - Work truck + wife's daily.

  7. #6
    6S Moderator S.Bretz's Avatar
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    As far as i know the astra was a one year production car. The didn't sell many of them so when the 2009 model year rolled around they sold the 2008 left over inventory.

    Just pray you dont have any issues with the contol modules. They are expensive and a bitch to get all sync'd up at times. Other than that they where good cars. The xr's handled pretty well too.
    -6S Resident Mechanical Forensics member #001.
    1995 SC2 Turbo 3.6L DOHC, 6sp manual, Ford 8.8 rearend running on MS3x.
    1998 F-250 5.4L triton...stock.

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  9. #7
    TheDumbAss's Avatar
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    Numbers we really low for 2009. I think I read somewhere that they may have sent some back to Europe even.

    These do seem not be known for electrical problems. Hopefully all the gremlins​ have worked themselves out of this one in the last 9 years. Receipts show at least one thing has been addressed.

    Being an XE, the hanging is not as good as an XR but is still rather good. Even on snows in the spring. Better than is needed for it's horsepower... But a mild drop is in the plans which should make a big difference. My floor jack was not far from full extension when it reaches the frame rail as is.

    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
    2008 Saturn Astra XE - New DD Build Thread
    2000 SL2m - Scrapped... used to be DD + Fun w/ a system (pictures fixed Jan 2017)
    1995 GMC Sonoma ext cab 4x4 - Beater work truck - Selling
    2000 Ford F150 Supercab 4x4 - Work truck + wife's daily.

  10. #8
    siris's Avatar
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    Lol I have to run the car up on boards, just to get the jack underneath the frame.
    72 Charger: pissed me off, on jackstands.
    95 SW1m: Dohc swap. DD. I can haz boost?

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  12. #9
    TheDumbAss's Avatar
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    32oz yeti style tumbler and an old Moto X as examples of how tall this thing is. The tumbler fits under the floor but not quite the frame rail.

    There are crossover SUVs that sit lower...

    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
    2008 Saturn Astra XE - New DD Build Thread
    2000 SL2m - Scrapped... used to be DD + Fun w/ a system (pictures fixed Jan 2017)
    1995 GMC Sonoma ext cab 4x4 - Beater work truck - Selling
    2000 Ford F150 Supercab 4x4 - Work truck + wife's daily.

  13. #10
    TheDumbAss's Avatar
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    Got this and a couple other things for the price of shipping. Received it all yesterday.


    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
    Last edited by TheDumbAss; 04-21-2017 at 02:24 PM.
    2008 Saturn Astra XE - New DD Build Thread
    2000 SL2m - Scrapped... used to be DD + Fun w/ a system (pictures fixed Jan 2017)
    1995 GMC Sonoma ext cab 4x4 - Beater work truck - Selling
    2000 Ford F150 Supercab 4x4 - Work truck + wife's daily.

  14. #11
    TheDumbAss's Avatar
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    Lets see... Since I last updated this I had a rear pad go from a little noisy to eating the hell out of the rotor.
    Found that the actual auto parts stores do not have rotors available online or in store. So, ordered some random ones from Canada that turned out to be rather nice. Heavy and well machined with what looks to be a good anti-corrosion coating. Ordered TRW pads for all 4 corners and Brembo rotors for the front (though I think I'll be taking those back since it turns out my fronts are plenty meaty still)

    I had an adventure trying to replace the rears. Stripped one of the screws that holds the rotor on. The caliper brackets didn't want to come loose. I was working at my mother's new house without the majority of my tools due to forecasted rain that never happened. Had to drive on a bad pad/rotor another week but was able to take care of it all last Saturday without too much more issue.

    Since the car came with snow tires on factory steelies I had been searching craigslist for some used replacements. Randomly expanded my search outside of my area and found some mid 2000's Opel Vectra C 7Jx17 ET41 rims which would fit the car perfect. Not sure how/why these ended up in the US. But messaged the guy and setup a time to meet.

    Drove the ~1 1/2- 1 3/4hrs each way to get them. The guy I got them from was really cool. He's in his 50s and is Opel crazy. He still has his first car which is a 71 Opel GT he restored in the early 80s. Car looks great. He got the rims when he bought his 75 Opel Sportswagon he is resto-modding into a Daily Driver. The lady he bought it/them from didn't know much as they were her husbands who had passed. But, they won't fit either of his cars. His oldest son has an Opel Manta that was his first car. He has another that he is now building into a Euro Rally spec car... He kinda flipped when I explained to him how my car is a rebadged Opel. (turns out it is possibly rarer than his Opel GT with only 1/5 the number sold) Talked to him for an hour. He showed me his cars but looks like I only got pictures of the GT.

    He had the rims listed at $300 OBO but I let him talk himself down to $270. I was happy to pay it.

    Got the rims mounted on the car after redoing the brakes... then when I was airing up the tires one sprung a leak. So, I need to get that fixed.

    And... Pictures:



















    Last edited by TheDumbAss; 05-08-2017 at 05:06 PM.
    2008 Saturn Astra XE - New DD Build Thread
    2000 SL2m - Scrapped... used to be DD + Fun w/ a system (pictures fixed Jan 2017)
    1995 GMC Sonoma ext cab 4x4 - Beater work truck - Selling
    2000 Ford F150 Supercab 4x4 - Work truck + wife's daily.

  15. #12
    awelch37's Avatar
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    That's a nice Opel GT if the underbody is clean (no rust). I have not seen one since 1979 when a high school friend bought a used one that was also a '71 I think.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  16. #13
    TheDumbAss's Avatar
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    A few pictures that make the car look a bit cooler than it actually is.

    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
    2008 Saturn Astra XE - New DD Build Thread
    2000 SL2m - Scrapped... used to be DD + Fun w/ a system (pictures fixed Jan 2017)
    1995 GMC Sonoma ext cab 4x4 - Beater work truck - Selling
    2000 Ford F150 Supercab 4x4 - Work truck + wife's daily.

  17. #14
    TheDumbAss's Avatar
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    Let's see, it's been awhile since I updated.

    Last fall I went to Detroit and bought a bunch of parts.
    A set of factory 17s with some 2 season old Michelin ice X.
    Factory rubber floor mats and hatch liner.
    A wrong generation Opel Astra grill. (It works. Just took modification to fit)
    leather wheel with stereo controls (controls don't work. Need enabled on the computer. Need a code I don't have for that)
    Touch screen stereo that is special made to fit like stock.
    All for $900. Girlfriend didn't say much after I showed her the cost of the tires new.

    Car made the 5hr each way trip no problem. Girlfriend went with and we made a weekend of it. Went to an old car show at the Henry Ford museum thing.

    Put that stuff on before winter came. Was not as happy with the icex as I was with the Firestone Winterforce I had on my sl2 but they did the job.

    Turned out the stereo is win CE instead of Android like I hoped and am looking at getting a new one.

    Spring rolled around and I got new all season summer tires on my Opel rims. Not what I wanted but discount tire did a $100 upgrade over what I wanted for the same price. Continentals forget what kind off hand.

    Took a 10hr drive to Arkansas no problem in May. Rear spring broke a coil off while there but made it 10hrs back home again no problem.

    I had the stock lowering spring option (XR only 10mm shorter than XE) already at the house. So, since I was forced to do the work I gathered the parts to do it all.

    Moog LCAs
    KYB rear shocks
    Moog top mounts and bearings
    Moog bumpstops and bellows
    Cheap front wheel bearings (name brand were over 250 each)
    ordered Koni struts from the UK
    Brembo front rotors
    TRW pads (which turnout to be very dusty)
    Metal Delco swaybar end links to replace the destroyed stock plastic ones.

    Spent way too much for all that but shouldn't have to worry about any of it for a long time.

    Ton of work later and it's all swapped. No noticable difference to the ride hight but it feels so much better.

    Last thing I did was debadge the hatch. Only Saturn logo left on the car is the airbag. Trying to decide if I want to pay for an Opel one.



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    Last edited by TheDumbAss; 08-30-2018 at 12:35 PM.
    2008 Saturn Astra XE - New DD Build Thread
    2000 SL2m - Scrapped... used to be DD + Fun w/ a system (pictures fixed Jan 2017)
    1995 GMC Sonoma ext cab 4x4 - Beater work truck - Selling
    2000 Ford F150 Supercab 4x4 - Work truck + wife's daily.

  18. #15
    TheDumbAss's Avatar
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    Couple recent pics

    Sent from my LG-H870 using Tapatalk
    2008 Saturn Astra XE - New DD Build Thread
    2000 SL2m - Scrapped... used to be DD + Fun w/ a system (pictures fixed Jan 2017)
    1995 GMC Sonoma ext cab 4x4 - Beater work truck - Selling
    2000 Ford F150 Supercab 4x4 - Work truck + wife's daily.

  19. #16
    TheDumbAss's Avatar
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    Well...

    Was stopped at a stop light and looked in the mirror. Saw another vehicle coming at me. Went to try to make evasive moves and saw them wiggling and about to do the same so I stopped and watched.

    That car wasn't able to stop in time and I watched it drive off into the ditch and finally stop more or less in line with my car in the grass to the right.

    I was still watching that car when... Boom. I was rear ended by a different car. You can see the tire marks from the first car in the grass in the first picture.

    Unlike my last few wrecks, the other guy was nice and did what he was supposed to. Got all his info and have already filled a claim with his company.

    He said he was confused by what the first car was doing and watching to make sure it didn't flip. Then looked back and there I was.

    Looks worse than it is. Should be a relatively easy fix. Might actually have a shop do it though since parts availablity is an issue.



    Sent from my LG-H870 using Tapatalk
    2008 Saturn Astra XE - New DD Build Thread
    2000 SL2m - Scrapped... used to be DD + Fun w/ a system (pictures fixed Jan 2017)
    1995 GMC Sonoma ext cab 4x4 - Beater work truck - Selling
    2000 Ford F150 Supercab 4x4 - Work truck + wife's daily.

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