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Project Bridget - 1.4 16v Sport

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  • [Corsa B] Project Bridget - 1.4 16v Sport

    Hi all, I started this build thread over on AC and the time has come to transfer it over.

    "Bridget" is at present a 1.4 16v (x14xe) Corsa B Sport I bought back in March 2011 after my original Corsa, a lowly 1.0 12v 'Sting' edition, suffered a seized engine following a front end shunt and subsequent repair.

    This is how she stood back in March 2011...

    Click image for larger version

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    And this is how she stands as of August 2013...

    Click image for larger version

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    My current plans are:

    Paint and fit GSI body kit, Irmscher rear valance, third brake light spoiler and M3 mirrors (In Progress)
    Tint and fit GSI fog lights (Upcoming)
    Replace tailgate and repair/respray rust spots (Upcoming)

    Fit Vectra B three spoke steering wheel with audio controls (In Progress)

    Install auxiliary fuse box (In Progress)
    Wire in sub and amp (In Progress)
    Install kick panel courtesy lights (Upcoming)
    Upgrade to remote central locking (Upcoming)
    Wire in Vectra B steering wheel audio controls (In Progress)
    Divert additionally installed wiring through auxiliary fuse box (Upcoming)
    Assemble and install fog light loom (Upcoming)
    Repair wiring on heated passenger seat (Upcoming)

    Strip down, rebuild and install c20xe + F16 gearbox and ancillaries required for it to run

    Refurbish spare Cavalier slab
    Fully underseal chassis (Upcoming)

    I've often had to work with a limited budget but the plan is to build up an OEM+ Corsa that's a bit of a sleeper. In the last two years I've put a fair amount of effort into this project and so I'm always happy to receive comments, criticism and feedback on the progress, and modifications, I've made.

  • #2
    List of Completed Modifications
    (To be updated)


    • #3
      Not long after buying the Corsa I swapped out the standard x14xe airbox for a cone filter.

      It didn't end well...

      The glue that holds the end of the filter in place melted due to engine temperature. I was driving along when all of a sudden I heard it fall out of the engine bay and bounce under the car and away.

      Needless to say a fix was needed so I de-restricted and drilled the x14xe airbox before refitting it, fitting a shiny new strut brace and removing those God awful chrome wiper arms the previous owner defaced the car with!

      I then swapped it out for another cone filter and cold air feed set up that I ran with for some time.

      And yes, that is my blood on the cold air feed. The sodding thing cut me as it was going in!

      I also fitted a Corsa C sunglasses holder because I'm cool like that. Oh and wind deflectors! Personally I think that Corsa Bs with wind deflectors look much nicer.


      • #4
        Next came an experiment with eyebrows as they'd suited her arden blue predecessor.

        They didn't last long! I also noticed that I had one valeo headlight and one depo; a replacement was in order.

        My attention then turned to the clocks. It's apparent that a previous owner was a heavy smoker; care to guess how I know this?

        Those should be white!

        Needless to say they were quickly replaced with plasma dials whose fitting was my first real bit of automotive wiring beyond fitting a headunit!

        I much prefer this method of lighting and the fitting process was ridiculously simple; I'd recommend it to anybody wanting to change their clocks.


        • #5
          When I bought the Corsa I was aware that the drivers side electric window wasn't quite right; if it reached a certain depth it would drop into the door completely and need to be retrieved by removing the door panel. It also dropped a good inch or so from the top of the door when fully raised.

          On investigation I found this:

          That's definitely not in the Haynes manual!

          I'm assuming that the chunk of fence post was there to hold the bottom of the electric window assembly in place as it's cog was missing several teeth. The fence post was removed and a new electric window motor assembly riveted into place - a surprisingly simple job!

          The tailgate was then debadged although due to rust creeping in beneath the glass it's going to be replaced when I figure out how to swap the looms over.


          • #6
            A raft of OEM+ modifications followed including:

            A Tigra scuttle panel - much nicer than the standard Corsa B ones!

            Astra G side repeaters which, again, I feel look much better than the standard Corsa B orange ovals.

            And one of the best bargains I've ever got from eBay...

            Four absolutely immaculate Cavalier slabs for a grand total of 65 including postage!

            Once some proper sized rubber was put on to them I realised just how well the project was starting to come together.

            The next addition was an Irmscher style backbox; although it's not all that visible in this photo...


            • #7
              Spot the issue in the following picture:

              As you can see I have a rather mashed brake line! As far as I can work out the new backbox bounced around and burnt through the line...

              I was approx 124 miles away from home when I noticed the brake warning light come on; I checked the fluid level and saw it was low so topped it up and the light went off.

              I then drove back home to Leicester.

              For me that was a drive at "the speed limit" on the M4, M25 and M1 during which the warning light came back on. It was the next day I found the hole in the brake line when I lost all braking capacity whilst in stop-start traffic. I dread to think what would have happened if I lost it whilst moving freely...

              Long story short though a friend of mine who makes a living out of mechanic work made up a new line to replace the holed one and routed it away from the backbox to prevent a repeat.

              I feel very lucky!


              • #8
                Following on from my bargain Cavalier Slab purchase I scored another winner; a complete, cream leather Calibra interior for just... 35!

                It had wear in all the places you'd expect it to but for that price I really couldn't complain!

                I got round to fitting them with the help of my brother (occupying the drivers seat and getting in the way...) and some mates to speed the process along; I was genuinely impressed at how easy the interior is to fit!

                Then in went the new recirculator panel and the heated seat switches from a Cavalier as the Sport already had the heated seat wiring present. Bonus!

                Unfortunately something was bound to go wrong with how easy the fitting had been; when removing the driver's seat I heard a crunching noise and, on investigation, found a rather rotten floor panel... After pushing all the rust through and cutting out the dead metal it turned into a rather large hole...

                Thankfully my aforementioned mechanic friend is also rather handy with welding!

                A bit of sealing and the repair was golden!

                This meant my attention could finally turn to the rear seats!

                The rear seats were modified using the Corsa's backing plates; they're not perfect and could do with tidying up to be honest. In the above picture the rear bench is still on the Calibra foam and is absolutely massive!

                Eventually I got round to sorting this out by removing the leather from the Calibra bench and tying it over the Corsa's.

                It fits much better but required a fair bit of use before it didn't look all saggy like it does in the picture below. It's still one of my favourite modifications to date.


                • #9
                  The next change to the Corsa may not be to everyone's taste but I like them; they're a bit of a vanity thing I think but not having to faff about with a bonnet stay makes things easier/quicker at times...

                  Unfortunately I have, on occasion, forgotten that not every Corsa bonnet I open has raisers fitted... I've often surprised myself with a loud bang once I let go of said bonnets...

                  To redeem myself though I did a bit of real modification and fitted an Omega estate variable wiper control stalk.

                  I feel rather smug with the variable control in light drizzle that doesn't require the full intermittent wiper speed


                  • #10
                    When deciding on what headlights to go for due to the odd headlights I mentioned earlier I decided to go for an old favourite of mine; a nice set of angel eyes.

                    I had a pair of these fitted to my previous Corsa but they were ruined in the front end shunt so a new pair had to be purchased; to be honest I think they were totally worth it.

                    I also fitted black door cards to better suit the cream seats; unfortunately it took a bloody long time to source a matching pair for the rear.


                    • #11
                      After having issues with the cold killing my battery I bought a new one and wrapped it in a battery bag from a Vectra; problem solved.

                      Parcels have also been turning up for me quite regularly since purchasing the Corsa...

                      This was one of the more expensive ones!

                      A stainless steal 4-1 manifold; I just wish I'd had it heat wrapped before it was fitted. Perhaps one day I'll get round to removing it and wrapping it; it does look nice and at home though. I also had a decat fitted to the Corsa; she makes quite a nice raspy noise now!

                      I also went out and acquire a new tailgate, two new wings, a spoiler with a third brake light and some stienmetz 'm3' style mirrors. The mirrors only cost me 5 so if when I fit them I don't like them it's no big loss...


                      • #12
                        As I seem to have a bit of an affinity when it comes to wiring things in to the Corsa I decided the next logical modification would be an electric sunroof; thus a motor and switch from a Vectra was sourced, bolted in to place and wired up.

                        Unfortunately the motor burnt itself out and, as I couldn't be sure if my wiring was to blame, I went and picked up a second one which, luckily, still had the original Vectra wiring in place. This one worked perfectly

                        I also used the time spent doing the sunroof wiring to wire in and fit some illuminated sun visors from the same Vectra.


                        • #13
                          The first major handling upgrade for the Corsa was one of the more expensive purchases I'd made for her; coilovers!

                          The standard shocks came off easily enough...

                          But undoing them to release the top mounts etc took a few casualties...

                          They do look nice in place though

                          When we fitted the new rear springs I had no idea how low the front would go; gave my new stainless manifold quite a scrape

                          After it all though I had some quite nice lows...

                          But alas; for my stainless manifold these lows were a bit too much on some of the speedbumps (read: mountains!) I face on a daily basis so the coilovers needed winding up a little!

                          Then, naturally, I had to get the tracking laser-aligned as the Corsa was incredibly pigeon-toed! 20 a pop for tracking though so can't complain at that!

                          I also had to use 5mm spacers all round to stop the wheels from scrubbing; this led to me buying one of the most useful tools I have ever owned!

                          Seriously, that little alignment bar is a God send!

                          Unfortunately I made an amateur mistake... One that I really should have considered and that caused an incident that could have been much, much worse

                          The wheel-bearing on the passenger side was failing as well as the track-rod end; this caused a hell of a lot of vibration through the wheel which, when coupled with the fact that I was using 5mm wheel spacers, caused the standard bolts to wobble loose and, eventually, fall out as I turned a corner.

                          My brake disc took the impact and dug up a two metre stretch of road...

                          Thankfully the only damage done was some ruined pride, a bent wing and a snapped arch trim. I didn't even scratch the Cavalier slab that went bouncing off into the distance!

                          A replacement trim was ordered along with some longer wheel bolts and fitted on to one of the wings I had knocking around, then masked up and painted.

                          Snapped off arch for comparison to new paint.

                          Job done!

                          During the wing replacement I had my mechanic friend replace the wheel bearing and track-rod end - as some of you eagle-eyed lot might notice peaking out from behind the Cavalier slabs the brakes were also upgraded; but more on that later...


                          • #14
                            Purchased a few miscellaneous items for the Corsa before any more major modifications following the wheel loss scenario...

                            Vectra B chrome door handles.

                            GSI front splitter (already have a GSI front bumper, fogs, skirts, jacking covers and L-pieces from my previous Corsa; just missing the arches now!)

                            A map light from, I think, a Vecta. Not actually too sure now...

                            And a dash mat which is about as rare these days as rocking horse manure!


                            • #15
                              So during the replacement of the the track-rod end and wheel bearing the Corsa was treated to a set of Astra GTE brakes. 54 from eBay for the complete setup!

                              Unfortunately it wasn't long before they started to cause vibrations under heavy braking! On investigation I found a slight leak behind the calliper; a quick tighten of the nut and the job was a good'un. I also bought some new front tyres as my part-worns were looking a bit spent.

                              A few months later the problem came back and we found that the calliper on the drivers side wasn't closing properly; in the end I bit the bullet and bought new callipers and discs. The problem hasn't presented since; just need to get the hammerite out now to remove that shine!

                              The brakes are a fantastic upgrade and really make a difference! Why Vauxhall fitted the 1.4 sports with such small brakes I'll never know