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Old 10-08-2008, 08:35 PM   #1
HeavenlyDetail
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HeavenlyDetails 3 month Nurburgring Detail...

This is my 3 month journey with my new Vxr Astra Nurburgring start to completition.

For those wishing to view sections and not the continual thread here are the links or follow on for the full thread..

Correction day 1... http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...ad.php?t=81808

Correction day 2... http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...ad.php?t=81807

Correction day 3... http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...ad.php?t=81806

Engine bay design and build... http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...ad.php?t=81805

Engine Bay fitting... http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...ad.php?t=81804

Tuning and Mods... http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...ad.php?t=81803

Interior Detail... http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...ad.php?t=81801

Ice Install day 1 and 2... http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...ad.php?t=81800

Ice Install day 3,4 and 5... http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...ad.php?t=81799

Ice Install day 6,7 and final results... http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...ad.php?t=81795

Vxr Nurburgring Final Results... http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...ad.php?t=81794


Well what can i say about the Astra Vxr Nurburgring Edition....

My journey started when the vxr brand manager asked me to Vauxhall HQ to view the new Limited Editon model and to view my thoughts...

Arriving at Vauxhall Headquarters i was quite excited as i had not seen one in the flesh...



Reception is astounding with waterfalls wither side of the front reception...




I met Dougie and was lead down to the area where the car was being held...

This was build number 1 of 835 and 95% the same as the production version would be..















Specifications of the Nurburgring over standard guise are as follows...

The Nurburgring Edition named after the car’s spiritual home, where much of its pre-production development was carried out, includes many never seen before specification items.
Priced at £20,995 on the road, each individually numbered Astra comes with exclusive all-white paint finish, lightweight white 18-inch 18-spoke alloy wheels and Dunlop performance tyres. Other exterior features include dark tinted rear windows, carbon fibre effect mirrors and B-Pillars and distinctive chequered flag body graphics to further emphasise the car’s incredible performance.
The Nurburgring Edition comes with the same 240PS, 2.0 Turbo engine as the Astra VXR, with each UK-specification car also coming provided with a Remus Sports Exhaust system.
The Nurburgring Edition theme continues inside, with carbon fibre effect detailing on the door trims and fascia, complementing the Piano black centre consule and trim.
Each car comes complete with exclusive leather trim with the Nurburgring circuit graphic embossed into the Recaro front seats and an individually numbered plaque showing each car’s build number.
Cars can be ordered at all Vauxhall Retailers from Friday 7th December.

SPECIFICATION
Based on the Astra VXR, the Nurburgring Edition will feature (in addition to the VXR specification)
Glacier White Exterior Paint
Lightweight White 18-inch 18-spoke Alloy Wheels
Dunlop Performance Tyres
Carbon Fibre effect - Exterior mirror covers
Carbon Fibre effect - B Pillar covers with Nurburgring circuit graphic
Carbon Fibre effect - Nurburgring Edition Side-sill covers
Carbon Fibre effect - Interior Trim
Exclusive Leather Recaro seats with Nurburgring Circuit embossed into the headrest.
Dark Tinted rear glass
Chequered Flag Body Graphics
Remus Stainless Steel Sports Exhaust

Overall i was impressed and left on a high and contacted my dealer when i got home...

Now i paid around £18,100 if i remember correctly for my last vxr and now it was 15 months old and had 4 bald tyres so i was surpised when the dealership Astons in Melton Mowbray offered me a part exchange of £16400 which meant only a £1700 change over price for a standard Nurburgring so it was a no brainer....I like to think that the upkeep of my car washed every 3 days and never ever outside overnight combined with a constant 5 layers of wax on at any time influenced this decision of which i was informed it was....The car sold straight away to a new owner...My old car did have a reputation as possibly the cleanest vxr on the planet which i was proud of..

http://www.autoblog.com/2007/03/23/n...prehensive-ca/

And the original blue vxr detail

http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...ad.php?t=25400

Moving on 4 months and the day came to pick the car up from the dealership....I gave her a full detail the day before leaving and waxed her up ready for the new owner and drove to Melton Mowbray for the exchange...I had a tear in my eye..



Once inside i asked the salesman if i could have half hour on my own with the new car so i could fully inspect it...



Once the salesman had left i inspected the car then got my Paint aDepth Guage out and measured the paintwork on all panels to ensure that no accidental damage had been done and that no panels had been blowed over as i would have rejected the car instantly , i cant have that....The car was in good condition although i did spot a couple of blemishes and a bit of a sticker on the window which i queried but i knew it would come off so i left it..

Signed and sealed and i left a happy man...

Now i have big plans for the Nurbrgring and have spent the best part of 3 months inbetween designing and making bits for the car ready for it now it had arrived... The engine bay took 3 months to design and make , and the Ice install took about 60 hours aswell and all will be revealed later...

Correction Detail Day One.

The car was presoaked in Citrus degreaser and left for 2 minutes...





Then the car was sprayed off to get rid of the grit that had sprayed up the sides as i didnt really want to snow foam until this bad contamination had gone for fear of scratching the sides as it runs down...





Car then snowfoamed









and left to dwell for 5 minutes



and sprayed off





It was at this stage i decided to de-badge the car so i could clean behind it well and make sure it was clean ready for correction











Now the car was ready for washing...I decided to wash in pure reverse osmosis water zero ppm in the dunk bucket and 50/50 pure and hot water in the shampoo bucket...Shampoo used to day is Chemical Guys Maxi Suds II and a pure sheepskin wash mitt which i thought id try after over a year using a special silicone free sponge and obviously grit guards in both buckets...Wheel brushed used are my 2" , 1.5" and 1" sheepskin drumsticks..



Wheels first and sprayed with Mequiars apc diluted 4:1 and Autosmart Tardis for internals which manage a good job on delivery wax..



Swissvax Whell Brush used for wheel faces and nut enclosure









Water today not too hot and car washed







and sprayed off



Now the car is washed i decided to clay the car off as there has been a case of bad contamination on the Nurburgrings , tiny orange fallout spots not uncommon on new white cars but hard enough to remove without clay...Polyclay used today



A typical example of the contamination



Clay lube is maxi sudsII diluted 1 litre zero ppm water to 1 cap full...





Contamination cleaned with clay



and removed



Edges of all the graphics clayed



Clay bar after the bonnet



fairly clean....

Car then resprayed off



Buckets and water thrown and refilled and re washed







50 litres of Ro water used today on the car





and poured all over the car





then to aid with drying the car is quick detailed with Mequiars Last Touch





The car is then dryed with an Aquatouch drying towel





The car is then taken into the garage for inspection...

My two friends Paul Dalton aka Miracle and Macca my photographer decided that it would be a good idea to photograph every panel and document it so i had a photograph of every panel incase of dealership problems and as a record of what each panel looks like from new before correction...This was then saved to the Applemac..



Car also inspected with lighting and 3m sungun aswell to try and find defects..







Now i then spotted a problem on the roof which i was really unhappy about...A small paint blob about half a mm in size but none the less its there probably a spit from the spray gun...







This is magnified quite a few times



and after discussion we realised that without looking really hard it was not visible to the eye without knowing it was there so i accepted it as rejecting the car now would be difficult...

A couple of scratches were found



and a couple of spots that had to be removed




The rest of the car is inspected





before all the panels are measured for depth...





The highest areas were roof and bonnet at 160 +/- 3 microns



The lowest points were the door sides



and the average was round 140 which is common for vxr,s



Now the correction starts , we both chose our weapons of choice and make a start...

Products used today were a combination of sonus fx1 and 2 pads , megs polishing pads and 3m 80349 and Menz ip.



















Trying to work on defects is so difficult on this colour and although its hard the car is quite badly scratched but impossible to photograph for viewing..



The bad scratch is worked on with 80349 but moved upto fast cut plus because its quite deep....A total of 2 microns is removed getting the scratch the best possible...















We then call it a day and have a large pizza....

Last edited by HeavenlyDetail; 16-04-2011 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:35 PM   #2
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Correction Day2

Starting the next day i had to finish off the correction work around the car..

Continuing with 3m extra fine compound and a fx2 pad







I was quite surprised how easy under good lighting it is to see the swirling yet so difficult to photograph

checking the panels for heat



and buffing off as i go along







Now all lights front and rear and windows are also machine polished as i think this makes all the difference













every square foot checked once corrected for any remains of marking or swirls...



which you can see here before



So worked on these areas quite alot around door handles which is quite bizarre since this is normally quite a bad area on most cars but this is new???







The worst areas were the plastic bumpers and trimmings...

This is the boot section , horrendous i think for new...



So slow speed worked carefully due to composition of bumper and heat generation



one pass



2nd slow pass



Result



Now the other thing i hate about cars from dealers is they pack too much grease onto them wiped by finger...I like grease in the joint of the part but not external as it plays havoc with my cloths when waxing or sealing around the area and for my every other day washes...



so as much grease wiped off as possible



then Menzerna final finish applied to a very very soft bristle toothbrush and only used on close call areas of hinges





then once settled wiped away using coton buds





and buffed up



Last parts of car corrected like rear spoiler etc



then car paint guaged again although i think the level of correction involved it would be difficult to determine the amount of paintwork removed probably only 1 micron i would think as guage struggling to get an accurate enough reading from then to now..



The whole car is now corrected and onto final finishing

















Final finish is making all the difference to the white and i firmly believe it is such a critical stage that sometimes is missed out as ip and 80349 can give lsp ready finishes...









Now the first Last Step Product i want to apply to this car is Zaino Z2 pro....

I have made a decision based on protection for the car due to Vauxhall paintwork being easily stone chipped that i was going to apply quite a few layers of this after i saw this photo on Zaino,s website..



So even though i fully appreciate that white is never going to benefit from the looks like any other colour it is a personal goal for me over 3 weeks to apply 51 layers 3 layers per day with the zfx kit..

I am hoping that the car will then be protected enough ready for my Wax of choice Swissvax Crystal Rock the best wax ive personally ever used... Speaking to Paul of Miracle Deatil i decided to apply 3 layers at the end for the wetness and overall look i am trying to achieve , i could have gone for one or the other but i never do anything by halves and Paul fully appreciated what i am trying to achieve..

So i now decided to give the car a full Isopropanol wipe down mixed 50:50 with Evian spring water..









People often ask why this stage is neccesary and i really think that to get the best from possibly the best sealent in the world it needs to have a perfectly grease free and clean area so that the molecules once catalysing can bond to and the cleaner the better and more chance of a thorough lock.



Ok so 1 fl oz of z2pro poured into the bottle



and 5 drops of the flash curer





and shaken for about 1 to 2 minutes so that it is thoroughly mixed



and applied to zaino pad



and applied very very thinly across the car







now i like to work with the contours of the car with this product and work front to back on roof and bonnet and top to down on doors and sides

this is also applied to the wheels









and wing mirrors



and headlights infact everything as i got carried away with it...

This is left on from 1 hour to well however long you want really dust dependant

and removed






Last edited by HeavenlyDetail; 10-08-2008 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:36 PM   #3
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Engine Bay

Ok when i decided to purchase the Nurburgring i also decided to do something a little bit different and celebrate the car through the engine bay....I decided that the way forward for me was in chrome , one off pieces and personal to me...I knew that i needed the help of some people so started asking around for guys that come with good recommendations for what they do...

I had a vision in my head of what i wanted so it was basically get it down on paper , make it out of cardboard to fit mm perfect then get it fabricated , engraved to how i want it then sent away for chroming....

I guesstimated this would take me about 12 weeks in total so i got started by speaking to fabricators and decided on a guy who has done work on some show cars Deon Customs....Luke Deon is a guy who works with a passion for what he does like i do on detailing so i knew after speaking to him at the start he could make the parts i wanted...He said he could fabricate anything within reason as long as he had the dummy to work from or failing that would make them himself from my engine bay but i decided i wanted to be involved aswell so we spent many a night makeing parts and checking them with him...

This was the initial photoshop that my tech Macca did for me from what i described i wanted and this was the basis of my engine bay now...




I decided to make a part for everything under the bonnet and it started quite simple and got more complex..

This is the break fluid reservoir , although there are examples of this out there i needed to make these in mild steel due to the chroming process and engraving as you cannot chrome stainless which is what 99% of the covers are made from..











The fuse box covers





shock tops



Battery Cover









Now the trickiest part of this was the air box cover due to its size , complexity and the fact it had finage on it..

I had to check it was ok with Vauxhall to strip the finage off to make a solid area for me to replicate +3mm.

Finage stripped off and smoothed down..






I then started to replicate it as best i could....I will say it did take me 7 hours in the end to get it exactly right for Luke to replicate it with a snug fit..

















and finally fitted exactly in position in the car (old car of course whilst waiting delivery)





The part was labeled up alphabetically and stripped apart for the individual parts to be made and welded together....I also informed Luke that i wanted no external welds , this was very important to me along with straight lines and circles no curves...For maximum light reflection..

This is what Luke came up with ready for chroming..







The quality of the part was astounding and im really pleased he had come upto my expectations of what id been told he could do...

This is the battery cover along with the Nurburgring design i wanted which DRJ-Media had designed for me...



One part of the fuse box cover and engraved again to follow the lines of the Nurburgring Edition bodywork..





Brake Fluid Reservoir Cover




and in position



this was one of the other really tricky parts the transfer pipe....It was tricky because i was adamant it was engraved to match the rest and that meant it had to be engraved then rolled and made along with the sensor housing welded onin exactly the correct place along with the correct bore for the sensor to fit into...



I think i must have made about 10 trips to Luke to ensure all was perfect ...

This is all the parts Deon Customs made for me ready for shipping off.....The large square frame and circle are for the ICE install later on.




Now the next part of the engine bay was more specialised and i needed someone with some serious equipment to help me out so contacted Blacksheep Design who said they could help.....I explained my project and what i was looking for and asked for some ideas to be batted about and gave a jist of my thoughts.....I wanted all the caps to be replaced and made in aluminium as they would chrome differently to mild steel and give a more shiny look than steel which is what i wanted basically a juxtaposition of colours all on the hue of chrome..

These were 2 things i wanted incorporated in my design , the track and a wreath like the drivers used to wear which i always loved..





So first things first i wanted a new front badge to replace the Vauxhall one so we talked and came up with 2 ideas....





My build number i had requested was 600 so i decided i liked the ring logo but asked for the build number to be incorporated in this and he did me proud....

This is what he came up with at first





then refined to the exact specification i wanted and made ready for chroming.....



And this is it fitted



i could have gone down the resin filled route but i like it clean and shiny...



The next part was the oil filler cap and he came up with this for me after a few designs...



The next part was the washer bottle cover , power steering cover and break fluid reservoir...We agreed on a plain track logo and this is what he produced...





Now i really liked these but it was niggling me that i just knew his work was so good i really felt it was a wasted talent on just these so i changed my mind and asked him to let me see what he thought and he came up with this...



and i think this looks a lot better and more intricate....



Now the next part had played on my mind for a long time and i must have spent over 10 hours trying to find something that was personal to me... I ended up with a biblical quote after speaking to a few people and their thoughts , im not sure of its actual existence but i originally thought it was from the parable of the sower but it may have been created by a new day version of the bible....

The following was engraved on my heatshield...



and positioned by DRJ-Media for me




The next stage was to celebrate Manuel Reuter,s lap time in the Nurburgring so i had a top made for both sides of the shock tops...

Name and car on left




and lap time and speed on right




Next part was a couple of designs till i was happy...I wanted a plaque on the airbox cover to show who i was and Blacksheep designed this for me which was before my build number had been confirmed...




I asked for The Great White to be added as per the advert in the national press for the Nurburgring




which i loved and he got on with it....



Last but not least rear badge i wanted was designed and made as per this



and a little plaque for the guys including my Tuner under my bonnet




Now the very last bit i wanted which took some serious effort was the fuel cap as i really wanted to incorporate everything i could think of in this.....He blew me away with this and this is it in its glory all made with the rear for the filler cap fitted and such craftsman ship.....All chromed aswell....




Now the last stage the chroming was a tricky one because i have heard some bad stories about some chromers and i needed a first class company for the effort i had put in.....I spoke to various Harley Davidson shops and the name Protech Finishing cropped up on more than one occasion so i contacted them and they agreed to do my engine bay for me....

I am not totally clued up on the exact procedure but it was done in various stages....

Brake Fluid cover





and then chromed



Ok a run through of the parts finished

Air Box




Top Hat




The Crossover




Fuse Box Cover







Transfer Pipe





Brake Fluid Reservoir





Heatshield





Power Steering Cap





Petrol Cap









Airbox Plaque





Oil Filler Cap





Shock Caps





Vauxhall Front Badge





Battery Cover








Thankyou Plaque








everything ready to be fitted





Now you didnt really think i was gonna fit this lot without a little buff up did ya

Ok 3 layers of zaino z2pro with zfx added








left for an hour then buffed off



and they came up even better than i could imagine plus engine bay protection

















now totally ready for fitting......

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Old 10-08-2008, 08:38 PM   #4
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Engine Bay Fitting


Now all the components for the engine bay are finished its time to fit them all...

First of all the crossover section is to be removed as this really stops most of the components from being worked on...







then the rocker cover is removed as i have a new one delivered from the bodyshop








the new one has been professionally sprayed to a shade i wanted to get a good juxtaposition of colours under the bonnet between my hoses and the chrome....I just didnt think white would highlight the colours well enough








and while the crossover was off the heatshield was fitted aswell





Brake fluid reservoir and cap fitted





and tops





and then the braided breather pipe fitted








Now the spark plug cover looked like it had a bit of flake in it so i decided to polish it up and see if i could work on it....


The cover was cleaned then hd-cleansed for a nice oily wet finish





and buffed off





the results are nice








Next oil filler cap put in place





and fuel rail fitted





then the black tophat removed to be replaced with the new chrome one





so now the back end almost fitted





Next was the transfer pipe which had been the hardest part to make , VX Racing hoses fitted and ready for installing








Jubilee clips all zaino z2pro,ed aswell x 3 layers





and hoses fitted





The chrome crossover is then refitted








Battery cover fitted





and 2 fuse box covers





Now the Air Mass Meter i knew would spoil the overall effect of the pipework running across the engine as it connects pipes with a large plastic part in the middle so i had a replica made to slot into place replicating a chrome interconnect and after 4 attempts it fitted perfectly and was bonded into place





Next an ITG Performance air filter was placed into position in place of the standard paper one





and the airbox cover and pipework was completed





Air Mass Meter connected up to give the straight through pipe , chrome look








Now one last detail i wanted to change was the Vauxhall Griffin on the front of the car so removed the front grill






and removed the Griffin








which left a plastic circle which needed drilling to fit the new badge through as the new badge had been made for me with a backed locking plate





new badge checked for fit





Locking plate fixed into position and locked





and new badge fitted








So after 5 hours my engine bay was fitted


BEFORE







AFTER



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Old 10-08-2008, 08:39 PM   #5
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LAST STAGE PRODUCTS........


Now the time has moved on quite a bit because i have been applying 3 layers per day since the 29th of May when i originally finished the correction....

My goal is 51 layers which i knew would take approximately 3 weeks being done correctly...

So after the initial layers this is layer 15 going on on the 5th June





and buffed off





and then 13th June and onto layers 39

















and then z8 detail spray for the extra blingage...






Now the most obvious question anyone is going to ask me is did it make a difference and at what stage and i will be totally honest....I didnt see any improvement after about layer 7 or 8 but i know it has helped with protection and being white i think i have probably got the worst colour to show it anyway....


Zaino Z2pro













Now moving onto the 23rd June i have completed the zaino layers and time to put the wax on being Swissvax Crystal Rock formulated by Paul Dalton of Miracle Detail and Swissvax Europe one of the oldest if not the oldest hand wax producers in the world.... They have worked together in tandem to produce i think the best wax available to show the contours of a car in every aspect.....

The wax used today came from a £10,000 Daniel Swarovski Ltd Edition one made especially for Paul and elite customers of Pauls that would so wish to purchase one..... It has been commisioned by Swarovski and the box is a work of art......










Inside the crystal it has been engraved and the attention to detail is phenominal







Takeing a very small amount of crystal Rock i massage it into my hands to warm it up







then gently apply it to the bodywork








working with the contours of the car





I find hand waxing very therapeutic and i also believe that for the ultimate finish hand waxing does give a little extra as after doing cars by pad and hand i feel the catalyst takes place better due to the heat between wax and bodywork and better bonding is evident.....







When applying wax by hand i think everyone applys it differently but i find personally for me a flat wipe then herringbone works best as ive been taught as it smoothes the surface and gets maximum spread then the herringbone part makes sure every square inch of the bodywork is applied to a multitude of times to ensure no area is missed....











The crystal Rock is left for about half hour before being wiped off











Bonnet buffed off to leave a real wet carnauba look i simply love









































3 layers of Crystal Rock is applied and to be honest the finish is the best i think possible on a white car with no clearcoat......This has been a major experiment for me to try and achieve something from a bare base and im over the moon with the results along with a good amount of protection i can build on every 2 weeks for the cars life as i did with my last one......


After Crystal Rock






Now what is the difference between the two videos of Zaino and Crystal Rock , well quite simply speed......The Zaino although doing the same job has an element of sheeting in it and the water dispersion is slower than the Crystal Rock which drops off uniformly and at high speed whereas Zaino seems to have a more frictional surface.....This is evident when driving at high speed as when the car was zaino,ed i could see the beading on the bonnet moving up with the wind speed but with the Crystal Rock it was virtually non existent.....Lets remember here though that these are two totally different chemically formulated products and vast differences in price and each has its own characteristic......They both do what they do well....



Hi-Def Video of Paintwork...


YouTube - VXRMarcs Nurburgring No:600

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Old 10-08-2008, 08:40 PM   #6
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Tuning and Mods...

Ok its quite a simple one here , there are only a handful of guys who touch my car when it comes to bolting bits on and off and tuning.....They are 2 Vauxhall techs Daz and Macca and Thorneymotorsport in Milton Keynes who professionally race in the Dunlop Sportmaxx cups with Bmw m3,s , Astra and Corsa vxr,s and Daz who works on my car is the Thorneymotorsport Corsa Vxr Race Technician...

http://www.thorneymotorsport.co.uk/racing/

They have put in excess of over £1 million into this operation so the level of service and knowledge of Bmw and Vauxhall tuning is at the highest level..

REAR TRIM

First port of call is the chrome strip across the boot....I wanted something to look slightly more agressive and in keeping with the colouration of the car so decided to go white as nothing really on the car is chrome its all black and white...

I had a custom badge to repace the Astra wording which reads Nurburgring Edition 600 for my build number...




The rear trim was sent away to Crash Care Centre in Hitchin , Herts who have taken care of all my projects over the years and again their level of work from parts to full resprays is excellent....

http://www.crashcarecentre.com/

They sent the part back with a weeks turn round....

And the rear fitted






and from behind





Wheels


Now from the offset the wheels concerned me....I am a fan of the colour on the car being white but what concerned me was simply the aftercare of them as i clean my wheels at least 4 maybe 5 times a week and to do these took me 90 minutes from start to finish ....

Ok wheels removed from car



Transport wax still evident as i had not attempted to remove this on initial detail as i knew wheels were coming off ready for layering up...



Wheels then All Purpose Cleaner cleaned inside and out to remove the transport wax











especially around wheel weights where i am really fussy





I then decided i would Hd Cleanse and Zy...mol Concours the wheels once fortnightly so i used this wax as it looks fab on white and leaves a real wet appearance especially when looking through the spokes...








Waxeft for about 5 minutes and buffed off





Some nice reflection shots inside...

















Callipers also cleaned aswell and hand waxed with zy...mol Concours although i have a set of AP Racing brakes to go on shortly but its irrelevant as they are on here for now.... Inever ever use acidic wheel cleaner on my brakes as this dulls the calliper paintwork.











Jetseal left for about 1 hr and buffed off








Suspension


Ok while the wheels were off Daz changed my suspension over for me...

I wanted Eibach Sportlines for the car as i get around a 40mm drop and i like the stance of the car....Springs also waxed in 2 layers...

















Wheels

Ok we are jumping forward in time slighly here as to be honest the wheels were starting to stress me out.....I cleaned them non stop day after day but the nature of the paint on them like a china effect actually made them impossibly to keep clean .....I was having nightmares about the colouration of them after only 100 miles so scoured the web for ideas.....I decided after seeing a Lambo Murcielago that i lved the effect of the wheels and the way the light bounced off them.....I spoke to a specialist who advised me to go for a traight of chrome combined with a silver overlay and dark shadowing so thats what i went for......I asked for faces to appear light yet innards to be dark to trick the light on them into covering inside with shadows yet make the edges appear light...

My car was left for a week with them











The result they achieved for me after many test sprays was superb











to give me this effect , not black or white but a juxtaposition of colours depending on the light available








Exhaust


Ok exhaust...

Now the limited Edition Nurburgring comes with a full Remus sytem but its just too xr3i for me plus looks like a huge sausage roll sticking out the back so i dumped it and put a full Milltek on it ....

Car on left Remus and right Milltek...





My Milltek was fitted








and needed a slight adjustment to get it mm perfect as i cant bear that old mm out look








and then 2 weeks later i realised a new rear end had been made without vxr on but Milltek Sport

So after a kind word with Mr Thorney he helped me with a new designed one and it was fitted....








Exhaust was zaino z2pro,ed although im not sure it will last long but ive given it a go...


Rear Anti Roll Bar

Ok one thing i am always conscious of is the rear end twitching slightly at high speed especially when cornering hard so i invested in a Whiteline RARB.





I wasnt too happy about the packaging especially when i read this...





So everything prepared and rubbed down and keyed...





then wrapped





and primed in 4 fine layers





4 coats of gloss white applied





and 2 clearcoats





everything then Zy...mol Hd Cleansed





buffed off and 4 layers of Collonite 476s applied for its durability





and then its ready for fitting




















while we had the rear wheels off i wanted the hubs redone as i spotted a tiny little brown stain which had been bugging me so Daz did them then pressed the brakes to cut a nice line around the disc which happened when i drove home..









Brake Porn

Ok brakes.....I have always felt the brakes on the vxr are well capable of stopping the car but seeing as im tuning now i realised after a recent event of nearly giving the car a facelift that i needed big brakes.....I have waited for ages to get a set of AP,s and luckily i sourced some off a friend..







These were then sent away to LeeLee of Crash Care Centre and told him to conjour me up some Brake porn so he duly obliged...My only criteria was blue to match rear oems and bold...well pleased with the results and after initial spraying etc all hand done then clearcoated..













Once all hand edges etc tidied up and finished he sent them to me...wow!!!!





While Daz got on with stripping the fronts i decided to give them the 6th layer of Jetseal 109














Jetseal left for an hour





and buffed off








they looked fantastic





and then fitted to car











ThorneyMotorSport Stage 2


I decided now the car was kitted exactly how i wanted it i would get it mapped.... I decided on stage 2 not stage 3 simply because i didnt want a intercooler fitted.....The reason for this is one i dont want the front bumper removed incase it gets slightly marked and two i would have to modify the engine bay which i am happy with....




Inside the heart of the business








vx220





Car then had data read and placed on the rolling road in shootout mode...














Temperature today not brilliant but ok...





Daz then reporting car data to Superchips who in conjunction with Thorney motorsport have written the maps for the vxr range either downloadable from any Thorney Motorsport Performance centre or via Bluefin the handheld unit which plugs into the cars port under the hand brake...





After my initial run the standard Vxr Astra is 237bhp and mine running with full Milltek gained 251bhp on the road in standard Nurburgring guise.





The Stage 2 map is then downloaded and car run on the rolling road...











Very pleased with the final results of 280 bhp and 320 lb ft torque and i can really feel it pulling like a train on the road , a very progressive map with superb pull through all the range....

My cars personal Tuning Build Number to corresponde with my bhp as requested..





The car on final run...


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Old 10-08-2008, 08:40 PM   #7
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i see a monster thread coming... looking forward to it. (nice car, btw.)

clearly, I wrote this before seeing the rest of it. I am speechless.... outstanding.

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Old 10-08-2008, 08:40 PM   #8
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Interior Leather and Vinyl


Now the interior was gonna be difficult on this car due to the limited edition leather seats and being neated i really didnt want to start ripping them apart as yet....I have quotes for carbon sides and back seats and also to change the leather but keep existing heat pads etc but i wont be doing this for at least a year .....

I did decide i needed some embroiderry doing on the car though so i got together with Dave of DRJ-Media and he came up with a small design for me that he felt could be incorporated on the rear parcel shelf and also a carpet for the boot to protect my new install....

Steve at classic car services did me proud again and had the rear shelf trimmed in matching leather and embroidered the same as the carpet so i was well pleased....It also had my build number i requested 600 in the centre...











Next onto the cleaning and maintenance of the interior and prevention of leather fade or cracking in years to come...I have always used zy...mol for this to be honest because the finish Treat and Leather gives is second to none..

First of all i hoovered the car out and then Mequiars apc worked on the vinyl panels to ensure they were clean before treating them...





I used Zy...mol Vinyl on the plastic parts because i love the sheen it gives and the way it darkens it up slightly...




I will continue to do this everyday for 5 days the same as my last car to build the colour up slightly from the grey it is...

The whole of the boot area is then wiped over



and inside the rubber seals brushed out



and rehoovered




Then the rubber seals in the boot are treated with Aerospace 303 a uv fade resistant milk that feeds the seals and prevents drying out...



This is applied




Next the interior of the car is brushed out











and vinyled











and then buffed off to a beautiful sheen











Now all the interior plastic has previously been z2 pro,ed so it was case of wiping with Z8 to get the Piano Black up and nicely shiny













Next is the leather...Zy...mol Treat is used for this and i have previoulsy used Zy...mol leather cleaned the seats and door cards to make sure they are spotless..





All the leather is wiped over after i have left the heating on for half hour to open up the pores so the leather can breathe and allow the milk to penetrate...




Slight darkening which i love and after 2 treatments the colouration is better and deeper





The rear shelf is also done





then the whole car is wiped and buffed up to a lustrious sheen









Interior Lighting



Now one thing i seriously am unhappy about with new cars especially Vauxhall is orange lighting.. I decided before the car turned up we had to have a Burg Day and arranged for 3 cars to be ready for my good friend Daz better known as vxrcourt3 the lighting specialist to come down from Cleethorpes for the day to change everything over...

He has mastered the art of doing this safely and is possibly the only person i would trust on my car electrically to do a job like this....This is generally expressed as anyone who can solder can do it but i beg to differ...I have seen work by authorised auto electrical companies try to achieve this with the canbus system and have seen the outcomes aswell....

So we all arrived early and waited for Daz to arrive from his hotel











Daz got to work on my car and started to strip the interior














Due to haveing a double din he had already done my radio headunit supplied with the vehicle as i had sent it to him previously.








All my centre console was now stripped out





Next was the speedo and instrument section








All stripped this included doors and roof aswell





Daz then set about stripping all the individual parts








and the instrument section taken apart





to reveal all the Surface Mount Diodes





Daz then marked all the smd,s with a small pen to show the correct polarity.








This is one area many people fail when doing this as they break the wafer thin ribbon to the screen





All apart and ready for soldering











Now i have to be honest these smd,s come in 3 sizes and i thought they were small but they are ridulous...Daz uses a special soldering iron for his due to the fact they are miniscule....one slip and the circuit board is a goner...




This is a typical example of the size of some of the smd,s as you can see between the two red arrows.....Now imagine trying to solder that onto a circuit board....Daz has very steady hands and the risk of a new £700 instrument panel should he slip....This is why trust him and no one else....











Checking each one as he goes before and after...all 120 of them.

















Once it is all finished everything is fitted back together










and checking before i set off...(This is his normal driving position..)





and all back together...time taken 4 hours


Typical Vauxhall Before








And after on mine






















And my friend videoed over my shoulder for me to show in absolute darkness whilst driving how good the lighting is..

Total Darkness Video


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Old 10-08-2008, 08:41 PM   #9
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Ice Install Day 1

Now the ICE for my car was really a situation where I knew what I wanted but didn’t want to go down the route of giving the car to someone and them just doing it, I wanted a professional OEM look for it and advice on what to get etc... I wanted a SQ setup not SPL and everything to be fitted discreetly and no max power builds anywhere with masses of fibreglass and NOS bottles..

I could have gone with the likes of some of the big names in installation like Sonic Frontiers, Plush or SQ+ but I really wanted this to be a project that had an OEM look and to be done by someone who wanted to do it for passion, so I contacted a guy who I had seen across a few forums and by word of mouth from Mercedes and who had been in the ICE game for over 20 years, a guy called BasilD .......... His installations, that I had viewed prior, were exactly what I was looking for, so we agreed a plan where by he would do my install and I would make sure for the next few years his car would glow and bead like a mutha...

We started by meeting up and chatting about what I was after in terms of Sound and look and from there Basil made numerous recommendations to me. I already had a few bits and pieces and Basil recommended some good matches to go with it.......

I was quite lucky in that I have a Diamond Audio Reference Series D7056 - 6 channel amp that would power the whole system enough for me...



I did actually strip this down and clean and wax the chrome surround wearing an anti static wristband, and the amp has come up well bling.. I actually used ***** Destiny on this.





Now, this is the gear I have minus all the Dynamat Extreme soundproofing for my install..



List of equipment in the picture above:



· Front components: Rainbow CS 265 P Van Phase - Profi Vanadium Line 6-1/2" Phase 2-Way Component System

· Power/earth, remote wire & fuse block: 4AGW JL Audio kit (XB-PCS4-1)

· Audio interconnects : 3 x JL audio Premium 3.66m/12ft (XB-BLUAIC2-12)

· Speaker wire: 70ft JL audio Premium (XB-BLUSC12)

· Amplifier: Diamond Audio D7056 6 channel amp

· Headunit: Pioneer AVIC-HD3BTII (2 din: DVD, Sat Nav, Bluetooth, HD disc)

· Sub: JL Audio 10W3V3-4

· Rear speakers: CDT Audio CDT CL-6EX - 6.5" Coax Speakers

· Fascia Kit: Connects2 Double din fascia Kit (CT23VX05A) (includes cage)

· CANBUS Steering wheel control adapter: Connects2 (CTSVX002 & CTPIONEER)

· Subwoofer Grill: Auto Acoustics (custom design by me)

· Amp cover: 8mm Clear Perspex®



So starting up in Leicester at 1pm the car is slowly taken apart....





All seats, trim and interior removed























the car is then totally empty











The very expensive penny tweeters (below picture)











and the wiring loom running down the sides of the car, not very neat, Basil informed that this would all be tidied up, as like me, it makes him feel ill looking at it...





Now this I was really upset about, although you couldn’t see it as it was under carpet it was there.....I asked Basil if it was possible to get to this after the ice install was done, so I could get it re-sprayed over as it ruins the white...Absolute vandalism of my car when building...





We discussed soundproofing and Basil basically said if you don’t soundproof it’s a waste of time because it so important. After sitting in his car I could hear why...The bass is so much deeper and outside noise is at least 50% quieter......We decided to Dynamat Extreme the whole car, except roof as I was not concerned about this, plus it was a serious amount of work...

Basil started to run the cabling



The power supply cable from the battery is run in braided nosing and then covered in corrugated/split tubing (in the engine bay only) and run through the bulk head, using an new rubber grommet in an existing rubber grommet...





Everything braided and run down the side sill in OEM cabling ducts







Next onto the sound deadening, which started as dusk set in









The Dynamat® Extreme is heated up with a heat gun to make it more pliable and easier to stick down. The backing peeled off and it is stuck into place







it is then rolled onto the surface using a Dynamat roller to ensure it is stuck on properly.











Now this took a good part of the day and by time we got to the soundproofing it was getting dark.....Basil has got a reputation as a hard methodical worker but I didn’t realise that meant 3am in the morning, which is when he finished for day 1....to be honest I fell asleep at 12 which is when my last photo was taken.....



















I came to the conclusion Basil is either very passionate like me or a Broadmoor escapee.



This upset me terribly and I asked Basil to allow me to remove it before continuing which he did.....Phew!











nice 10 p speakers







end of day 1











Day 2

Well I woke up at 8am and Basil was already in full swing. He said he only slept for 4 hours on average and had restarted so after yesterdays 14 hours he was off again....

He had been busy







The whole of the car was almost done including under the carpet and the sides









Now it was my turn to get involved, as Basil wanted me to mask up the wheel well ready for fibreglassing later on in the day, if we got time...







This basically involved using masking tape to tape up the whole wheel well so that it could be waxed and fibreglassed and then lifted out. Like greasing a baking sheet I suppose.....







While I did this Basil continued to Dynamat® the front of the car and inside the doors











I continued doing the well till I was happy with it







The inside of the doors was then finished and the difference when tapping the outside of the doors was amazing....









The wheel well was taped in masking tape to make the Sub Box enclosure, so that it would sit snuggly in the well and free up space in the boot, as I was adamant I did not want a sub box in the boot taking up space...



The rest of the wiring then had heat shrink applied to the ends of the braiding and checked for absolute length











Now it was time for the rear speakers to be fitted but not connected up...We spoke about this and I know Basil spent over 15 hours testing various makes of speakers with my set up and sub to match up the equipment. Big thanks to Car Electronics for putting up with Basil at this stage. http://www.carelectronicsltd.co.uk/



I also know that the result was that we went for a very neutral sounding set of CDT’s in the end...



CDT Audio CDT CL-6EX - 6.5" Coax Speakers

Model: CL-6EX (6.5" Coaxial)

Midrange: 6.5"

Mounting depth: 2.5"

Crossover: separate in-line 12 dB.

Tweeter: 3/4" silk dome Tweeter for perfect imaging

Power handling: 90 watt

Frequency response: 60Hz-20kHz

Sensitivity: 91.3 dB.

Impedance: 4 Ohm

The rear speakers has a foam ring applied to ensure a airtight seal













The speaker wiring was then fed through the car from the rear to the front doors, ensuring that their was sufficient length and cable tied into place every 4” to 6”











and all the original Vauxhall wiring was tidied up and cable tied and wrapped







and then neatly put together and cable tied to look how it should look, professional and organised







The flies loved my roof landing bay....lol







The front of the car was then concentrated on; mainly the doors and dynamatting now that the insides had been done, time for the (inside) outer layer of the door





















And the door finished with my original 10p speakers fitted back on so I had some sounds until the ICE install is finished....







My Bluetooth module is then fitted and the wiring run for my Bluetooth microphone behind the headlining and down behind the front A pillar trim. Visible is the tensioner for the Curtain Airbag....











Now when Basil started doing the fronts I asked him if he could take 15 minutes so I could get rid of all this behind the door as it would drive me crazy knowing it was there...Horrible sticky glue from the original weather seal.. grrrrr,,,.....







So he did for me...







So fronts now complete and time for the head unit to go in...

I got a very, very good deal on a Pioneer 30gb HDD Double Din unit (AVIC HD3II-BT) for the car....I wanted this over the Alpines etc due to it having almost all the modules built in as well as steering wheel control compatibility, which is a problem with some after market Double Dins....This was done via a module by Connects2 and the Pioneer was now fully versatile with my car....The £0GB music jukebox built into the Pioneer also swung in its favor

http://www.pioneer.co.uk/uk/products...3BT/index.html

I also wanted hands free voice recognition so I can phone via voice and change tracks etc so this was my first and only choice really...















now the Pioneer is installed using a Connects2 fascia Kit (this includes the correct 2 Din cage to fit the Astra) just the crossovers to fit on the doors and day 2 is finished









Total time taken today 10 hours...

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Old 10-08-2008, 08:42 PM   #10
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Day 3 (I was not present)
So before I arrived for the next phase of the build, Basil had progressed with the sub enclosure.
So after the initial mould was taken of the wheel well using 4 layers of fiberglass (chopped strand) matting, it was time for the rest of the enclosure to be built. 2 pieces of 16mm MDF were bonded together for extra strength and glued into the fibreglass mould to make the one side of the enclosure. A channel was cut into the second mdf layer (more later on the reasons for this) and the hole for the binding posts cut out.

This was then fibreglassed into place using three layers of chopped strand matting either side of the partition and the inside of the enclosure was Dynamatted for extra deading.



Another 3 layers of fiberglass matting was laid on top of the Dynamat© for extra strength.



Black spray paint was sprayed on the front of the MDF to enable Basil to look for any areas that had not been covered properly with fiberglass.

The top cover for the sub enclosure and the amp rack base where then marked out on MDF and cut out.

Time taken: 3 hours

Day 4
Ok back to Leicester today for the Sub Box enclosure to be finished...
Well the weather when I arrived was not with us today , showers and a typical British summer really for this time of the year...
First off Basil wanted to run the portion of the main power wire in the engine bay in corrugated tubing

and the ends were heatshrinked.

and the gold terminal was attached and connected up to the battery, with the fuse holder mounted securely on the firewall

Oooohh! Can’t resist a beading shot on Zaino...


The weather had now picked up dramatically and Basil set about finishing the sub enclosure which he had progressed with (as detailed in day 3)...While not show on Day three the cover for the Sub enclosure had been attached and sealed... It was now a case of trimming the edging to tidy it all up.


and slotted home... Exactly how I wanted it, maximum sound, minimum lost space. (Before anyone mentions what about the spare wheel the VXR’s has no spare wheel only, tirefit)


A small curve was then cut out of the centre section to allow the spare wheel clamp to still fit and secure both the parts from the center...very clever..


A perfect channel was cut which is the attention to detail I like about Basil, most people chop off the centre section but Basil used it to our advantage, even though we probably lost 2 hours on the build. The reason for the channel was to allow the centre spike to run thorough so that the sub enclosure and the amp rack could be fastened down

The rear part of the under section build is placed to get measurements


This is the base for the amplifier, which will be hinged to allow access to the wheel well, for my emergency accessories and tyre inflation system...Notice the uneven surface of the amplifier base. It is like that as it follows the contours of the floor exactly.



The Amplifier is then placed into position ready for the section to be made to secure it and sink it slightly...

and the sub chrome ring placed where we think it’s at its best position

The sub frame is then made for the amp

and completed

and seated

I then asked if we could just spray a small amount of black around the edging just incase when illuminated any wood was visible

The hole for the sub is then cut out



and placed to make sure the fit is correct

I ordered a special carpeting for this as I wanted very good quality which didn’t fluff and after 2 months it turned up....The sub enclosure was then trimmed

spray glued


and fitted



the centre section is cut away

and the speaker binding posts secured into place


Acoustic wadding was placed inside

and the sub was secured into position



The lower rear amp section was then trimmed



Amp seating cut out


and seated in position

Time taken today is 6 hours



Day 5
Ok, Basil came down today to get the rear lower section finished and wired up ...

Now, I asked to have some pockets built into the lower section, to keep my various parts I normally have rolling around in the boot. So Basil worked out some ideas for me....We agreed on a section for parts on the left and the right would just be a support, as this was not needed...
I needed to make some templates, to make the parts required

Basil had already made the lower left section




and the parts were made
Everything, although being covered, was glued and screwed into place





and then fitted around the sections completed already



This then all needed trimming, which we shared


The fabric was stretched and glued into place


and completed one side

and fully trimmed and placed into position

and the hinged section to show accessibility into wheel well


The amp is then secured into place

and now totally secured

Now it was time to start getting the wiring ready for the amp and to get the cabling neat and tidy, as this is Basil’s forte. The cabling was cable tied to cable holders (which where bonded to the car) every 8 or so inches and routed to the correct side of the amp for connection.




Time taken today 9 hours
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