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Project Sport Hatch

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What hoe chaps

As promised I said I would do a build thread to a fashion - its been almost 10 months since I took possession of this thing so ill start from the beginning (always the best place to start isn't it)

Since the oil pump failing of my mk4 Astra rally car and its subsequent rehoming - I had a space in the unit for a new toy, I didn't go out with a particular car in mind, I just spent an awfully long time perusing the usual haunts for used cars, in the hope for something that I took interest in.

I viewed some cars that were 'optimistic' in description, some that were complete basket cases and then others that after viewing just didn't give me much enthusiasm towards it

Anyway - long story short - I had a few mates keeping there eyes peeled and I got a tag in a for sale post on Facebook - 1980 Vauxhall Cavalier Sport Hatch - up until this point I had never heard of one - looking the pics I saw a manta with a Vauxhall badge - in reality im not far wrong

I went to view it with the pretence of just satisfying my curiosity - got chatting to the gentleman who was selling and he had a whole fleet of old mk1 Cav's, Chevettes,  a Velux, a Cresta and if memory serves a Magnum in for paint in his garage

It was torrential rain so I couldn't get right under it to see what was going on, but what I saw on the surface wasn't bad for a 39 year old Vauxhall, that had been left for 15 years, it started it ran, it moved under its own steam, everything about this car screamed retro - whats not to like.....right?

This is the bit where my heart took over my head slightly :PI knew the car had generated a bit of interest so I was torn, I went away to do some maths and research on what he had told me was wrong with it and the next day I called him up, agreed a price and then that was it...that weekend I was picking it up - I had just picked up the newest and oldest car I had owned - baptism into classic car ownership if you will....

 

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Ill have to do this bit by bit due to the pictures being limited 

Some more from when I went to view

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Borrowed a 14ft ivor Williams to go fetch it on the back of my Shogun, it was remarkably cosy on there, literally just had the back wheels on with the front bumper touching the front of the trailer.

Hauled it back to my unit to get stuck in and show off to anyone who cared to look, took my lad to give it his seal of approval

Drove on the trailer under its own steam, bit smokey on the drive up the guys driveway but I put that down to either sticky rings from being stood so long or maybe valve stem seals - wasn't too worried at the time as it was a new toy. I was looking at this through the world most rosiest tinted glasses ever lol, full of enthusiasm.

It fitted quite snug into our unit next to Lee's Nova that he had restored - very similar story to mine although he knew a bit about old school mechanics - at the point of purchase I had little to no involvement in anything with a carb apart from the odd lawnmower so another part of this was a learning mission for me

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Time to get started on it and do a full recce as to what work was needed to get her legal - it was never going to be done in a weekend to be fair, wheres the fun in that :P

So job list was mounting up thick and fast:-

  • Remove towbar and electrics - who ever wired this up went hell for leather and really did over wire everything lol
  • Exhaust Blowing - minor understatement - exhaust from the downpipe back was knackered - didn't realise how bad it was until I got under it on the ramps
  • Fuel tank leak - this turned out to be slightly more than just the one leak - all the breather points were wafer thin and needed repair
  • Welding - I will upload more pics a bit later of what was needed
  • Lighting - rear lights were spurious and front lights weren't working at all bar a sidelight on drivers side

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If you wanna loose your rear fogs, you can fit bulb holders into rear of light cluster, need a cone cutter to drill light cluster, small bit of wiring! Job done, another wee job, if you want to change, totally up to you. 

You can also get your rostyles banded,a different oem look,  but again up to you! Great so see another project thread. 

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So it was home - list of jobs growing every time I looked it :P

When I picked it up it was running from a small jerry can under the bonnet - I assumed this was to stop and stale fuel in the tank going into the car before it was run up etc etc etc ...checked all the pipework to the tank and all seemed good on quick inspection - so plumbed it all back to the to the fuel pump, stuck a jerry can of unleaded in and went to spin her over see if she would run - started up the button - fantastic! My happiness of a quick win of a simple fuel clip on the pipe was shortlived when I got round the back of the car to see the fuel I had just put in coming back out directly in line with the tank strap 😮 - so alas I know knew why it was running off a jerry can lol

Drained it off and took the tank off the car to show the true extent of the rot on the tank but my mate Lee was adamant he could do something with it - so he cracked out the lead and soldered all the holes up on it - what an absolute legend! Its not as Vauxhall made it but it works! I will have to go through my phone to see if I can find a picture 

Next plan to attack was the exhaust system - it came with the cherry bomb type tail pipe on it but you could see that it was leaking everywhere it possibly could be lol so I took the old tail piece off as it was rotten, this being a budget build - I was trying to do everything on a tight budget so I thought ill make my own tailpiece :P - so with a plan of attack in m head I pootled off to the workshop at and did some crude plans to see how it would look - then welded it up - painted it in black and fitted it 

While it served a purpose I felt it wasn't quite shiny enough - I do like a shiny exhaust :D so I acquired a 3" rolled out tip off a friend and welded that on, the centre section just needed the link section sorting out so it didn't leak - so I crudely made a link pipe to stop it blowing with a view to getting it welded up at a later date - so 2 jobs a fair success although one needed revisiting at some point 

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17 minutes ago, ®evo03 said:

If you wanna loose your rear fogs, you can fit bulb holders into rear of light cluster, need a cone cutter to drill light cluster, small bit of wiring! Job done, another wee job, if you want to change, totally up to you. 

You can also get your rostyles banded,a different oem look,  but again up to you! Great so see another project thread. 

Banded rostyles are definitely on the agenda for the future - had these wheels not come up at the price I got them for I would have entertained doing that

Where do you drill the light cluster? had really bothered having them there but I know the passenger side unit is tired and the casing is cracked - its still on the to source and fix list

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Next on the agenda - an issue I had been a bit anxious about looking at was taking the bright work off the arches and sills to see what the verdict was, I knew that there was welding needing (its 39 years old who was I trying to kid :P) started on the passenger side - this was the better of both sides - by a country mile - some plates would be needed on the rear tub round the mounting - and the end of the sill would need replacing 

Drivers side was a bit erm….worse....the chrome sill plate came off with little to no effort along with 3/4 of the outer sill 🤣 - im laughing about it now as It was at this point I knew it was either commit or take the hit and run.

I had a mate of a mate come have a look at it for me and he gave me a very reasonable price to sort both sills, the tubs on both sides as they had both gone and arrangements were made to take it to his workshop after Christmas

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Drill into the back of the reflector, next to reversing light, you can buy bulb holders with led bulb online. Easy job, tidys rear end up, and makes it easier cleaned etc. Mine had fog light switch on dash, job done! 

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Just remove a reverse light put a red bulb into it and wire you fog light to that 🤔

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Posted (edited)

As above but make sure your fog light is O/S 😀

Edited by ANDY ABBOTT

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18 minutes ago, ANDY ABBOTT said:

As above but make sure your fog light is O/S 😀

Good thinking 😁

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