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#966053 - 25th Jan 2005 1:10am Phil_G : Vauxhall Nova Berlina
Phil_G Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 25th Jul 2004
Posts: 106
Loc: The Garage - Rebuilding
1989 Vauxhall Nova Berlina

Hiya


This car was bought by me as a bog standard and very Red 1989 Mk1 Nova 1200 'Berlina' which is a special edition tha netted me a 5 speed gearbox, tilt/slide sunroof, SR specification glass (green tint) but the rest bone stock merit trim.

First mod was the ever present K&N bolt on filter, followed by 15" TSW Alpine 6.5X15" ET45 alloys wrapped in 195/45/15 tyres, and then a full Janspeed manifold and exhaust system.


Thats how the car stayed for a while until august 2000 when the headgasket failed. Whilst having the car repaired i decided to have a full Bilstein Suspension kit fitted lowering the car by 60mm to cure a list to the drivers side (looked like the car had been single occupant for most of its used life causing drivers side springs to sag)

After a slight bump (it happens to most of us at some time or another) I had an SR bumper installed as the original narrow bumper got bent.

Cosmetically thats how the car has stayed since then. TBH im happy with how the car looks and i feel no need to change it for a bodykit (most of which dont fit or dont suit the car imo)





Come MOT 2002 and im told the front brakes need replacing so I elected to replace standard equipment with the Calibra 16v discs and calipers along with new (non braided) hoses, a HUGE increase in stopping power was afforded without spending stupid money (60 for two calipers and fitting) Discs and the pads themselves came free courtesy of the g/f who had had a 300mm brake conversion for the calibra and had 3K miles discs and pads sat doing nothing. After a precautionary inspection,all was installed and a new MOT issued.

THis car now stopped as well as it handles and again the modifications stopped, with me being happy with the car besides the persistant pinking that had plagued the car. The previous mechanic correctly diagnosed the problem in the distributor but effected a poor repair that gave trouble three or four times under warranty. At this point I sought the advice of a well respected local engineer and car enthusiast who repaired my distributor and its been spot on since.

To be continued!
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#966054 - 25th Jan 2005 1:48am Re: Phil_G : Vauxhall Nova Berlina
Phil_G Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 25th Jul 2004
Posts: 106
Loc: The Garage - Rebuilding
After 4 years of 55 horsepower i decided that I needed more power and started buying bits and pieces in the shape of Twin 40 webers, ported & polished head and a 276 courtenay cam. Later on again, i purchased a 1989 GTe Nova that met a hedge, its roof the road and ultimately its own demise. 100 swopped hands and i acquired the mangled wreck with a very strong anf FSH 98K mile 1.6i motor.



We bolted it all together







and it ran great for 700 miles (about when i joined the boards) and it blew up. Basically, I hadnt checked the head for a flat deck, (b)the jet of one choke blocked up and dettonated hell out of the cylinder and took the gasket and my compression with it



Due to work, time and financial constraints, the car stayed broken for the whole of the summer, whilst i amassed the funds to repair it.

December 04 came and after a precuationary strip of my replacment head i established some new bits were needed to get the stock spec. spare GTE head to standard.i had bought a new cam (this time of greater duration), new springs, lifters, 4 new valves (exhaust units pitted, two carburettor rebuild kits and cans of sundry carburettor cleaner etc.



Illustrates the valve seat area of No 1 Cylinder (top centre of pic) showing it had got quite dirty over the 14 years of use. Whilst bad, its repairable with a simple regrind using a valve stick and some coarse/fine paste



WIP shot



Clearly illustrates the benefit of patience and a little work - that is now ready to be re cleaned and freed of any grinding paste.

Thats as far as it gets, as atm im laid up off work with a bad knee and awaiting the decision of whether i need another (no3!) knee operation

any constructive commments more than welcome as well as comments for any technique errors.

trust me i wont make the same mistakes again, and those of you less in the know (like i was), either leave it to an expert or take more advice than i did, do research into the proper checks to make to second hand equipment and dont dive in head first. You WILL get burned.

Phil

PS: sorry its so long!
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#966055 - 25th Jan 2005 1:53am Re: Phil_G : Vauxhall Nova Berlina
Mark Online   Reading


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Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 21085
Loc: Wirral
WOW amazing, it just goes to show like you say,
a little patience and a little work
can really pay off.

Looks great mate,

So is it up and running now yeh?
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#966056 - 25th Jan 2005 1:58am Re: Phil_G : Vauxhall Nova Berlina
Phil_G Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 25th Jul 2004
Posts: 106
Loc: The Garage - Rebuilding
Not quite yet mate, having to go easy on my bad knee frown

Once it is running and the niggles ironed out/ carburettors set up i think i will waste some 98 octane and come over the wirral a bit more often and meet some of you guys


Phil
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#966057 - 25th Jan 2005 8:54pm Re: Phil_G : Vauxhall Nova Berlina
Meesh Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 26th Jul 2004
Posts: 3244
Loc: Neston, Wirral
Thats one clean Nova fella!

not a huge fan of them but when I see they've been very well looked after and the owners more into looking after it and "modding" it the right way instead of "chavin" it up, I do like em

Keep up the good work matey!

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#966058 - 25th Jan 2005 10:00pm Re: Phil_G : Vauxhall Nova Berlina
20vgolf Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 19th Mar 2004
Posts: 144
Loc: under the car
Well done that a nice looking Nova, had an SR myself when i passed (about 11 years ago)

Nice to see somebody taking the effort to re-build the motor themselves, and check all the internals etc, bet i flew on the twin 40s. Are you running a 4 branch?

Keep up the good work, and hope the knee recovers.

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#966059 - 25th Jan 2005 10:15pm Re: Phil_G : Vauxhall Nova Berlina
Phil_G Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 25th Jul 2004
Posts: 106
Loc: The Garage - Rebuilding
Hiya,

the janspeed manifold is a 4-1 design and yes it was bloody quick!

Phil

PS: thanks
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#966060 - 25th Jan 2005 10:58pm Re: Phil_G : Vauxhall Nova Berlina
20vgolf Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 19th Mar 2004
Posts: 144
Loc: under the car
Every considered throttle bodies?? pricey but give great power returns!

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#966061 - 25th Jan 2005 11:13pm Re: Phil_G : Vauxhall Nova Berlina
Phil_G Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 25th Jul 2004
Posts: 106
Loc: The Garage - Rebuilding
Hiya,

Reason i went for webers are

1) Ive always wanted them!

2) they give good power gains in their own right

3) whilst they do need balancing and adjusting, its easier to do yourself

4) my budget (beside the above) doesn't stretch that far!

Phil
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#966062 - 25th Jan 2005 11:50pm Re: Phil_G : Vauxhall Nova Berlina
20vgolf Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 19th Mar 2004
Posts: 144
Loc: under the car
Yep you can never beat the induction roar of twin 40s

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#966063 - 27th Jan 2005 7:50pm Re: Phil_G : Vauxhall Nova Berlina
Phil_G Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 25th Jul 2004
Posts: 106
Loc: The Garage - Rebuilding
hiya

bit of an update for you. Ive managed to get the valves installed into the cylinder head and the cam ready for modification (Needs a groove cutting in it so my distributor fits in) and thats about it.

Also got a pic for you of my instructions for the next stage







thats all for now folks

Phil
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#966064 - 28th Jan 2005 1:19am Re: Phil_G : Vauxhall Nova Berlina
jimbo4x4 Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 3rd Mar 2004
Posts: 2912
Loc: Bebington
Lol, like a lego kit! Good lookin nova mate, nice to see one that's so well looked after. Good luck getting it back on the road.

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#966065 - 28th Jan 2005 1:33am Re: Phil_G : Vauxhall Nova Berlina
Phil_G Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 25th Jul 2004
Posts: 106
Loc: The Garage - Rebuilding
Cheers Pal! With instructions like those, im going to need all the luck i can get :S


Phil
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#966066 - 28th Jan 2005 6:00pm Re: Phil_G : Vauxhall Nova Berlina
Whitterz Offline
Addict

Registered: 25th May 2004
Posts: 225
Loc: Deganwy, North Wales
Ive got to say it sounds and goes like the bollox this does,

Phil, u shudda had my 2.0 8v head
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#966067 - 28th Jan 2005 7:47pm Re: Phil_G : Vauxhall Nova Berlina
Phil_G Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 25th Jul 2004
Posts: 106
Loc: The Garage - Rebuilding
whitterz,

wouldnt of fitted mate - that head is physically too big for my block!


Phil
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