I bought this Vectra in Bristol with a full years MOT in May 2013 only to find a whole host of problems lurking underneath when I got it back. On trying to reject the car via Trading Standards (who were more than helpful) the Company disappeared and I was left with a wreck/scrapper/shed.
Do I scrap it or fix it? You know the rest...
More content being added soon (15th Jun 20)
Feb to May 2014
Using a £20 Bluetooth OBDII reader and the Torque app on an Android based tablet, it was easy to diagnose the Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF sensor) was a little sporadic, didn't allow full power and brought up a fault code (which I can't remember now). This sensor was around £280 from Vauxhall, ouch!, but definitely needed. I decided to take a look at the fault and saw why these are so expensive; there is a thin film hot sensor in the air stream, where I believe these can be damaged by too much oil on certain air filters or debris hitting the sensor (don't run the engine with the filter removed!).
Next came the driveshafts, I decided to buy the CV joints and shafts separately and assemble it all myself, good experience I thought... I was wrong. Plus these only lasted a couple of years.
Cheap diagnosis, Expensive fix.
The leaking front shocks needed to go along with broken springs, although the Koni STR shocks, new springs and drop links took the budget this month. So, some reconditioning was needed, where the top mounts were stiff and rusty; these were rubbed down and de-rusted by electrolysis (18v at 4.5A for around 1 hr), then dried and painted. Plus the bearings and races were cleaned,
de-greased and re-lubricated with Sapphire 2 bearing grease.
I decided to replace the standard shock to hub carrier bolts with hardened cam bolts too (these are still on the car, June 2020), where they allow you to easily set up the camber without all the hassle. Then it was setting up the camber, toe and steering to the vehicle's center line with a home-made rig (amazingly it passed a full laser check). Then it needed some custom made temporary exhaust mounts (these lasted over a year).
A modified bike spanner is a must for drop links ;-)
Some Early Repairs
Don't judge a book by its cover!
I did exactly that when I purchased my GSi in May 2013. Take a look through the pictures (paint 1000 words). Bought for £3995 from a garage in Bristol only to find many problems lurking underneath. The company (not LTD) disappeared overnight when I tried to reject it. Not one to loose £4k, I decided to make this a long term project. Please check all cars thoroughly and the company selling before you commit to buying a used car ;-)