Archive for the ‘ General ’ Category

Engine Bed/Subframe Bushes – Astra G/H and Zafira A/B

Front End Improvement for Astra G/H and Zafira A/B.

Poweflex have engineered a solution to replace the factory engine bed/subframe bushes in Astra G/H and Zafria A/B which can be prone to failure and contribute to vague handling. These stiffer engine bed bushes help improve the front end feel of the car especially during turn-in and cornering. By removing the flex in the subframe bushes the handling is improved giving a more positive feel to the front end.

These Front Subframe Bushes feature two polyurethane top-hat style bushes that makes for simple installation and durability. The bushes house a stainless steel sleeve and are supported by zinc coated steel washers at each end for increased support under load.

Poly bushes will be resistant to corrosion and the addition of a stainless steel sleeve should help prevent the bed bolts from seizing into the bushes, which can happen with the factory bushes.

Suitable for Astra G, Astra H, Zafira A and Zafira B All Models.

These new bushes replace OE part numbers 90498689, 9223022, 9223023 and 13107328 used across the model ranges.

The application of corrosion resistant materials, robust design and the Powerflex Lifetime Warranty ensures the subframe need not be removed again once fitted, unless removal is required for other service work to be carried out.

These bushes are available in Purple Series 80 Shore Road Spec material for vehicles that are mainly used on the road and also Black Series 95 Shore Track Spec material that suits vehicles being used in Motorsport or predominantly on the track.

Purple Spec: £22 each

Black Spec: £24 each

6 bushes required per subframe.

Professional installation is recommended. The ideal time is when the subframe is removed to allow access to the gearbox or clutch.

Engine Bed Bushes - Purple Series

Engine Bed Bushes – Purple Series

Engine Bed Bushes - Black Series

Engine Bed Bushes – Black Series

Astra H VXR K06 Conversion

One of our recent jobs was this Astra H VXR, brought in to have a K06 turbocharger fitted (complete with an uprated recirculation valve), along with our CSRacing Full Height Front Mounted Intercooler. Whilst in our workshop it was also converted to Evans Power Cool 180 Waterless Coolant.

Already fitted with a 70mm exhaust system it was onto the rolling road for mapping and full set up. During mapping the mid range and top end boost was reduced slightly due to the 70mm exhaust system giving more back pressure than a 76mm system and also because the engine did not have steel rods or uprated valve springs. Once the ignition timing and fuel were optimised we saw results of 304 point something bhp (so nearly 305bhp!) and 341 lb ft torque. With a 76mm system estimated gains are 305-310bhp so this particular car is making good power on a 70mm system.

There is still some in reserve to come for this car once it has a 76mm exhaust system to help with back pressure reduction as 310bhp+ is more than possible, with potentially even more should an inlet manifold, steel rods and uprated valve springs/shims be fitted.

Astra H VXR with K06 Conversion

Astra H VXR with K06 Conversion

KW Clubsport Coilovers 2 Way Suspension

We have just taken delivery of a KW Clubsport 2 Way Coilover suspension kit for our Astra H Sprint track car, which will be fitted over the coming weeks and set up prior to its first outing in 2015.

Here’s a preview:

KW Clubsport 2 Way Coilover Kit

KW Clubsport 2 Way Coilover Kit

KW Clubsport 2 Way Coilover Kit

KW Clubsport 2 Way Coilover Kit

KW Clubsport 2 Way Coilover Kit

KW Clubsport 2 Way Coilover Kit

KW Salt Test

What makes KW so good? Apart from their build quality, assembly process, attention to detail and technical support?

Their durability and resistance to rust, meaning KW coilovers continue to work, unlike cheaper competitors where spring perches corrode onto the struts making adjustment impossible.

All KW coilovers are made using high quality and perfectly matching components and materials. So both their renowned racing applications for international motorsports benefit, but also your KW coilovers for the road.

All KW coilovers, Variant 1, Variant 2, Variant 3, Street Comfort and the adaptive KW DDC coilovers from the KW iSuspension range are made from stainless steel. Whether the strut or the trapezoid thread or the vehicle-specific connections – KW only use stainless steel. KW stainless steel “inox-line” coilovers in conjunction with corrosion-resistant springs and elastomers stand for a long-term driving pleasure.

  • Highly corrosion-resistant
  • Unsurpassed quality
  • No signs of wear at the adjustment mechanism – also during long use
  • Trapezoid thread in stainless steel eases height-adjustment
  • Perfect look – permanently
  • High load tolerance

How resistant to rust are the KW coilovers “inox line”?
KW wanted to know precisely and therefore worked together with the Fachhochschule (University of Applied Sciences) Esslingen. The chemists and engineers of the FH tested the KW coilover struts made of stainless steel. So in total nine coilover struts from six different manufacturers went through a quality check.

The image shows the results which speak for themselves:

KW Salt Test Comparison.

KW Salt Test Comparison.

1984 – 2014 30th Anniversary

30th Anniversary Advert:

2014 30th Anniversary Ad

2014 30th Anniversary Ad

30th Anniversary Picture Montage:

2014 30th Anniversary Picture Montage

2014 30th Anniversary Picture Montage

Gold Plug Magnetic Sump Plugs

Gold Plug Magnetic Sump Plug

Gold Plug Magnetic Sump Plug


Gold Plug manufactures Magnetic Sump Drain Plugs of the highest quality. Constructed from a 303 Stainless Steel body that houses the strongest, highest temperature, N45SH Neodymium magnet available.

The magnet is secured in place with a proprietary 2 step process and will never come out. Advancements in technology and materials means Gold Plug is continually evolving and at the forefront of technology.

The strong Neodymium magnet collects any swarf or wear particles missed by the oil filter. These particles are abrasive and potentially damaging to the engine. The magnet will hold any collected metal firmly, unaffected by temperature variation until the oil is changed.

Magnetic sump plugs are a proven product and even used by some manufacturers as standard, examples are available on the market today however few match the quality of Gold Plug and those that do are very expensive.

  • M14 x 1.5 for most Vauxhal Sumps.
  • High Quality Stainless Steel.
  • High Temperature Neodymium Magnet.
  • Collects particles which are not filtered out by the oil filter.
  • Simple to Fit.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Includes Sump Plug Washer

Some Vauxhall/Opel engines using M14x1.5 Sump Plugs:
X18XE X20XEV X25XE X30XE (FWD)
Y26SE
Z10XE Z12XE Z12XEP Z14XE Z18XE Z18XER Z32SE
1.6 Turbo: Z16LEL Z16LER Z16LET
2.0 Turbo: Z20LEL Z20LER Z20LET Z20LEH
1.6 Turbo: A16LER A16LET A16LES
A16XER

If you are unsure on your particular fitment please check with us.

Price: £15.55

Insignia VXR Remap

We had this 2009 Insignia VXR with us recently for ecu remapping and full set up. It had covered about 55,000 miles and had already had the second cat removed by the owner, with the pre cat still in place.

Mapping and set up resulted in 348 bhp and 396 lb/ft torque, up on a car with a remap and standard exhaust with both cats still fitted, with gains of almost 100bhp and 100 lb/ft torque throught the mid range.

Insignia VXR

Insignia VXR

Cylinder Head Rework.

We were asked recently to carry out rework to a pair (obviously) of 3.2 V6 cylinder heads; porting, polishing and gas flowing to improve the efficiency of the heads to maximise potential gains.

They were sent to us by the customer after they had been removed from the engine:

V6 Cylinder Head Before Cleaning and Rework

V6 Cylinder Head Before Cleaning and Rework

V6 Cylinder Head Before Cleaning and Rework

V6 Cylinder Head Before Cleaning and Rework

And after cleaning, rework and a reface to the heads:

V6 Cylinder Head Cleaned and Reworked

V6 Cylinder Head Cleaned and Reworked

V6 Cylinder Head Cleaned and Reworked

V6 Cylinder Head Cleaned and Reworked

V6 Cylinder Head Cleaned and Reworked

V6 Cylinder Head Cleaned and Reworked

Corsa VXR Engine Build

This low mileage Corsa VXR was booked in with us recently for an engine rebuild. It was a very late car with a B16LER engine.

The whole process starts with removing the engine and gearbox from the car, separating the gearbox from the engine and then stripping the engine down to a bare block and head. The block is then rebored and honed to suit an oversize 79.5mm forged piston and to achieve the correct piston to bore clearance. Once it is fully cleaned the block is then rebuilt with new forged pistons and rings, steel rods, uprated ARP rod bolts, new big end bearings, new gaskets and head bolts. On such a low mileage engine (4k) the main bearings, timing belt, tensioner, pulleys, oil pump and water pump were all as new and could be refitted. On higher mileage engines we recommend that these are replaced as necessary. As necessary the valve stem seals are replaced and the valves reseated. If either of the block or head faces need refacing this is carried out at ther same time as is additional balancing work if required.

Once the engine is built back up with its ancillaries and timed up, it is refitted to the gearbox and then fitted back into the engine bay. Engine oil, suitable for running in and coolant are added and the engine is then run up and road tested. We recommend the addition of Evans PowerCool 180 Waterless Coolant as part of an engine rebuild.

It takes approximately a week for this type of work to be completed.

Here are some pictures of the process:

It’s been a while…….

since we have found some of these on a car, but occasionally it still happens.

Transport Blocks

Transport Blocks

They are the transport blocks which are fitted in between the front spring coils each side, especially on lowered cars, which prevent the springs from compressing keeping the chassis height higher allowing for lowered cars to be moved onto and off transporters more easily and to help the front valances clear better preventing damage. Thay are however meant to be removed by the dealerhsip when the car undergoes its PDI (Pre-Delivery Inspection) for obvious reasons……..

Vectra VXR Mapping Session

This Vectra VXR came to us for mapping having already had an Insignia VXR Turbo unit and an intercooler fitted. The cats had also been removed prior to its visit. Once in our rolling road bay, a set of uprated injectors were fitted and then the car was mapped and set up on the rolling road, achieving excellent figures; 329bhp and 406 lb ft torque. These numbers were about what was expected from a car running a factory water radiator, in between our Stage2+ (320-325bhp) package and our Stage 3 (340bhp) package (which also adds an uprated water radiator) .

More details on Vectra VXR tuning on our >>>> main website <<<<.

Vectra VXR on the Rolling Road

Vectra VXR on the Rolling Road

Astra VXR Rolling Road Health Check

It is always useful to have a car checked from time to time on the rolling road, as it can show up potential running issues.

We had this Astra H VXR Nürburgring brought in for a health check on the rolling road this week, due to it feeling ‘down on power’ after a manifold swap by the owner, so running it up and datalogging it should highlight any issues.

We carried out an initial check over of the vacuum pipes, recirculation valve and actuator just to make sure nothing physical was at fault which could cause a problem. The ecu was also checked for any stored trouble codes, again to see if there was anything that could cause a running issue.

Running the car up on the rolling road whilst datalogging found the turbo to be down on boost, making less bosst pressure than expected  and resulting in 255bhp and 290 lb ft torque down on what is expected from a Nurburgring with a remap.

Additional checks were carried out to the boost hoses and intercooler fittings, which showed no leaks or issues.

After further runs, the turbo was shown only to be capable of making a maximum of 20psi overboost, and unable to make the required boost at peak power (around 5,700rpm), so identifying the root cause of the problem to be a failing turbocharger.

Astra VXR Health Check

Astra VXR Health Check

Corsa VXR Blue Edition – Stage 2

We had this lovely low mileage Corsa VXR Blue Edition with us recently.

Corsa VXR Blue Edition

Corsa VXR Blue Edition

If it was feeling ‘blue’ before it arrived, it certainly wasn’t when it left, after having a full 3″ exhaust system fitted, NGK iridium plugs, a panel filter, large bore inlet pipe and uprated recirculation valve followed by ecu remapping and a full set up on the rolling road with datalogging and map optimisation.

Corsa VXR 3" Exhaust Fitted

Corsa VXR 3″ Exhaust Fitted

Achieving 223 bhp and 238lb ft torque runing on 99 Octane V Power Nitro+.

Which Oil? Engine and Gearbox

Valvoline SynPower 5w-40

Valvoline SynPower 5w-40

Engine Oil:

One question we are often asked with regards to turbocharged engines is which oil should be used?

There are many choices of oil on the market, and different people will give you different answers as to which is best and why.

For Pre-2011 Vauxhall/Opel cars the OE spec for oil is LL-A-025/LL-B-025 (Petrol/Diesel). For 2011 on models this spec has been replaced by GM Dexos2™ spec. Dexos2™ spec oil is backwards compatible.

Our advice for pre-2011 Vauxhall/Opel petrol 2.0 Turbo and 1.6 Turbo engines fitted with K03/K04/K06 turbo units is to use a high quality fully synthetic engine oil with a viscocity of 5w-40 for fast road and track day use, which meets or exceeds API:SM SN/CF and ACEA A3/B4 classifications. This can also be used in engines fitted with Garrett or similar turbo conversions.

Our suggested choice is Valvoline SynPower 5w-40 Fully Synthetic Engine Oil which we run in our road and trackday cars and which we have also run in Astra H VXR race cars without issue. Amsoil European Formula is another suggestion for high quality oil; one of many oils available.

It is suggested for engines used for hard use that oil temperature and useage are constantly monitored which will identify if a different grade of oil is required.

2011 onwards engines require a high quality oil meeting Dexos2™ spec.

The key is to use a high quality fully synthetic oil and to keep the oil in turbocharged engines changed regularly. On modified cars it is sensible to ignore the extended drain intervals that manufacturers suggest and stick to more frequent changes. Oil that is changed regularly keeps an engine clean. Our recommendation is 5,000 mile change intervals for a turbocharged engine, especially for cars experiencing hard use, but at worst 7,500-10,000 miles.

Valvoline 75w-90

Valvoline 75w-90

Gearbox Oil:

For manual gearboxes such as F20, F23, M32, F40 we suggest the use of a high quality fully synthetic gearbox oil, viscocity 75w-90.

Our choice is Valvoline SynPower TDL for fast road use or Amsoil MTG 75w-90 for fast road and trackday use where higher gearbox oil temperatures may be sustained.

Again with gearbox oil it is always worthwhile considering regular oil changes, especially on the M32 gearbox where a 20,000 mile oil change will do no harm.

Pagid S Performance Brake Pads

Pagid S

 

Street Legal Pagid S Performance Brake Pads.

 

Pagid S Sports brake pads have been specifically designed for high performance brake system usage on public roads, but it is no secret that their origin is the race track and where they truly belong. High friction, low fade characteristics and low pad wear over a wide temperature range make these pads ideal for use on public roads, track days and in club racing. R90 Approved for EU road use.

Now In Stock for Astra H VXR and Zafira B VXR

Also available for Astra G Turbo, Astra H 1.9 CDTi, Astra H 2.0 Turbo, Corsa D VXR and SRi 1.6 Turbo

Pagid S Performance Brake Pads

Pagid S Performance Brake Pads

Astra VXR Sprint K06

Built specifically for use as a track day car, this car was previously a Stage 3 car producing a useful 292bhp and had been fitted with our 3″ full exhaust, CSRacing Intercooler, Pro Alloy Water Rad, Wavetrac LSD, Alcon 4 Pot calipers with 356mm alloy belled discs, 292mm Rear Brake Upgrade, Whiteline Rear ARB, DAP Road Springs, direct route hose kit and Pro Race 1.2 alloys. Building on the track day specification, other modifications have included Recaro Pole Position Seats, Rear Cage and Sabelt Harnesses.

Astra VXR Sprint

Astra VXR Sprint

After a few engine changes including K06 turbo rework, Courtenay Klasen Inlet Manifold, Steel Rods, Turbosmart Actuator and Recirculation Valve and a few hours mapping on the rolling road we achieved a respectable 336bhp and 355 lb ft torque, all useable on track increases through the mid range and top end, with the ability to rev to 7,500 rpm.

Before and After Graph:

Stage 3 K04 v Stage 4 K06  Astra VXR

Stage 3 K04 v Stage 4 K06 Astra VXR

Courtenay Sport at Trax 2014

A few pictures of our display at Trax 2014, Silverstone Circuit Sunday 7th September.
Thank you to everyone who came along on the day and for some fantatsic cars as part of the display.

Cambelt and Timing Information – Z20LEx Engines

Useful Gates Technical Information for Cambelt Timing on the Z20LEx 2.0 Turbo family of engines; Z20LET, Z20LEL, Z20LER and Z20LEH (Astra H VXR). This is not a ‘How To’ guide but additional technical information for those with enough mechanical competency to carry out a cam belt change.

Cambelt Change Cycle suggested by the manufacturer:
Z20LET :: 4 years* or 40,000 Miles*
Z20LEL :: 8 years* or 80,000 Miles*
Z20LER :: 8 years* or 80,000 Miles*
Z20LEH :: 8 years* or 80,000 Miles*
*Whichever occurs first.
Notes: The cambelt (timing belt), plastic inlet roller and tensioner are common between all the engines (i.e. the same parts). The only different is that the LEL/LER and LEH kits use a metal exhaust roller (LET uses a plastic exhaust roller). For this reason we suggest a 6 years* or 60,000 Miles* change cycle as best practice. Always use a new tensioner retaining bolt (torx head) with the LEL/LER/LEH engines.

What is Needed……
A good toolkit with a good selection of sockets, allen head sockets, male torx sockets, a 15mm spanner (or similar) to release tension on the auxiliary drive belt and a 17mm ½” drive socket and ratchet (makes turning the engine over to check tension much easier). For the later engines a very high quality T40 Male Torx ⅜” drive socket, and a ¼” drive E10 female torx socket (a slim one) is useful for removing the timing belt cover bolt next to the tensioner once the tensioner is in the ‘rest’ position.

Do not forget a suitable Camshaft Locking Tool (widely available).

On the later engines the cambelt tensioner retaining bolt has a very shallow torx head and if you are not careful the socket can slip and/or chew out the head of the bolt. We suggest akways replacing this bolt when fitting a new belt kit (often the kits are not supplied with the tensioner bolt!)

Remember the tensioner is tensioned ANTI-Clockwise!! We see far too many incorrectly tensioned cambelts.

Torque Settings (for reference):
Toothed belt tension roller to oil pump: 20Nm
Toothed belt guide roller to cylinder block (exhaust side): 25Nm
Toothed belt guide roller to cylinder block (inlet side): 25Nm
Toothed belt cover – upper part to rear toothed belt cover: 6Nm
Toothed belt cover – lower part to rear toothed belt cover: 6Nm

When changing the cam belt always check the water pump and replace if in any doubt, especially on later engines where the change cycle of the cam belt is longer.

Gates Technical Data Sheet on how to time up the engine:

PDF Timing Information

PDF Timing Information

Note: You will need a PDF reader for this file

Timing Belt Diagram Z20LEx

Timing Belt Diagram Z20LEx

Note: E&OE. The above Technical Guidelines are provided for information only. We accept no responsibility for any loss (consequential or otherwise), damage, injury howsoever caused relating to persons undertaking their own repairs. If unsure please seek the services of a professional.

Mapping Session Astra H VXR

Rolling Road mapping session to optimise software settings on this Astra H VXR, which has had some hardware alterations since it was first mapped. Before and after mapping saw gains of between 12-34bhp and 5-20 lb ft torque.

Astra H VXR on the Rolling Road

Astra H VXR on the Rolling Road

Astravan Z20LEH 2.0 Turbo Conversion

A 294bhp Z20LEH engined Astravan in for a service, MOT and some additional TLC. This van has a huge spec including Quaife LSD, Astra H VXR brake set up (front and rear) with uprated discs, CSR Intercooler, 76mm Full exhaust system, 80mm AFM and VXR injectors, uprated clutch and flywheel, a B8 damper and Eibach spring kit, rear ARB and Revolution Millennium Alloy Wheels. We carried out the coversion on thsi van several years ago now and it is still kept in immaculate condition.

Z20LEH Astra Van

Z20LEH Astra Van

The Courtenay Sport Blog

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