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Vx220 Turbo Calypso Red Diary!


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#1 Bigt

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 05:46 PM

So this is VX number 2 for me having owned a Star Silver NA aroun 9 years ago, its fair to say it left a lasting impression! I was after a second car/weekend toy and looked at various different 2 seater options (S2000, Boxster S, Eilse, 370Z) but just couldn't ignore the VX.

 

On Christmas eve last year a good friend of mine bought a Calypso red NA which he kindly let me have a drive of and the seed was planted, this was followed quite quickly by another mutual friend who bought a black VXT which was mint; the seed began to grow. With talks of a euro trip next year to Austria to watch the F1 along with a few UK road trips this year I was desperate to own another car. I was decided that this time round it should be either a Turbo or Supercharged VX having owned the NA previously.

 

Spent many many hours on the internet looking at various examples for sale, spoke to several people on here about their cars and cars they knew of. My criteria was quite open really, as standard as possible, sub 70k miles and other than that it just came down to money.

 

I spotted my car about 10 days ago but had issues reaching the seller but in the end we touched base and after numerous emails back and forth we spoke on the phone and I was pretty certain this is what I was looking for.

 

Originally registered in 2004 by Vauxhall themselves it was used for PR including being wrapped in Union Jack colours and bearing the registration number DE51 RED. It was then sold onto its first private owner who's details I don't know, however it then fell into the hands of Boss VX on this very forum and its developments and journey can be plotted quite nicely through various topics, including a collision with a UPS van which meant 4 months off the road whilst associated parts were gathered for the repair. During his ownership it was breathed upon by Courtney and taken to Stage 2, heated seats were fitted, along with heated windscreen and VXR surround so there are some nice touches to the car.

 

Around 4 years ago it was sold on to the owner who I bought it from, Kev top guy, he loved the car and carefully looked after the mechanical side of things between Back On Track and Matt Bentley and only covering limited mileage in the car and owing to a house renovation project he needed to move the car on.

 

So bought by me last Fri it now sits on my drive and already I have dived in and started cleaning, titivating and fettling with the car. As I said mechanically the car wants for nothing (except a clutch) and its where I want it, no desire to tune it anymore; 243bhp is plenty fast enough and the theatre that accompanies that power from the whistling turbo, to the hissing recirc Forge valve and finished with the burbling and popping from the Miltek exhaust on over-run is sublime and exactly what I was after.

 

No other car on my list could have provided the experience this car does for such (relatively!) small outlay and running costs.

 

The car is on 65k miles and had a full service including cambelt around 300 miles ago, new MOT in April with no advisories so it really is a case of fill up and go. For me though I am quite OCD and there are lots of little bits I want to do and tend to, hoping to restore the car to its near original condition; well as much as I can do for a 15 year old car!

 

So initial pictures of how it sits currently -

 

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#2 Bigt

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 05:51 PM

So today I started with an interior strip out, seats out and deep clean/degrease which I always get a lot of satisfaction from doing; forgot what a pig the front passenger side seat bolt is!!!!!! An hour of cussing and scraped skin I finally got it out! Going to the local fasteners tomorrow to source a regular bolt to refit to make any future removal MUCH easier!

 

So seats out and the cockpit was treated to a thorough hoover and dousing of G101 which was agitated with a tooth brush before being rinsed and dried off - the sun did a good job of this to be fair!!! Seats have been cleaned and washed down and tonight I will treat to the Gliptone twins which will feed and condition the leather.

 

Pics from todays job -

 

Found this little lot under passenger seat!

 

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#3 Bigt

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 09:03 PM

This car has generated a lot of chat with neighbours/dog walkers/people on the estate. 
 
A chap stopped this evening and said ‘you don’t see many of those, is it the diesel one?’ I am not sure they did a VX220D but he was happy, chatted to me for a time before wishing me well and continuing on his way.
 
So this evening I have been de-greasing the little finickity areas; badges, side repeaters, panel gaps, door handles etc. It’s amazing what builds up in these places, G101 and a tiny soft detailing brush does wonders. 
 
It’s getting washed properly tomorrow before a run out with friends on the Mendips and I bite to eat at a nice pub. 
 
No pics of de-greasing stage as it was getting dark but it will certainly improve the overall look when cleaned tomorrow.
 
I did clean and condition the seats tonight with the Gliptone twins and they look better and smell incredible, I forgot just how much they rejuvenate tired leather.
 
In this pic the seat on the right has been cleaned and conditioned and the seat on the left is as it was - 
 
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Both seats cleaned and conditioned -
 
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I need to find a temporary repair to improve the look of the drivers bolster until I sort the re-trim out, perhaps there is something out there I can source to 'patch' it and take your eye away from it??
 
Si  


#4 smiley

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 09:48 PM

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#5 Bigt

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 10:14 PM

Brilliant!! That takes me back to younger days......

Si

#6 Bigt

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 04:53 PM

So last night I met with friends at the bottom of Burrington Coombe on the Mendips, it had been raining most of the day and was drizzling when we arrived, but pleased to say all roofs were off! Its amazing how you dont get wet with the roof off on these cars, it wasnt until we stopped at traffic lights we realised how much it was raining!
 
So we headed up the Coombe and across the top of the Mendips, 3 VX's and an Alfa 4C; what a sight that was in my mirror. Even though it was wet under foot the cars inspired so much confidence, although it was clear that with my upped power traction was an issue!
 
We had a good spirited drive across the Mendips and stopped at a lovely pub in Litton, roofs back on and inside for some amazing food and to chew the fat. After dinner it was back in the cars and back towards Chew Stoke and where we started in Burrington Coombe and the drive was amazing! These little cars darting around the lanes, lovely sweeping bends and little straights for a burst of acceleration - this is EXACTLY what I was missing.
 
I got home about 10.45 and felt amazing, if I put the car away now and don't do that again for 3 weeks it really wont matter because it was a brilliant evening, out with friends all enjoying the same thing.
 
Heres a pic, my wife said 'thats a mid-life crisis right there!' -
 
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#7 Bigt

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 04:59 PM

Cant work out whether I like the red 'v' on my car?!? Jury is still out for the minute, I like the idea of perhaps having it black to match the windscreen surround and with a wheel refurb in the pipeline it could also tie in with that but not 100%.

 

Car performed faultlessly with the exception of traction in 4th! But we soon adapted to each other. The heated seats fitted by Boss VX were AMAZING and the others weren't overly happy about that little mod......

 

Talk of some trips to various shows, Austria next year for the F1 which would be incredible in the cars! Really pleased to be back in a VX, I washed it this afternoon and covered it over with the outdoor cover I got with the car and feel quite smug knowing its all clean and waiting for its next outing like an obedient dog!

 

Si



#8 kpf1grandprix

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 10:15 PM

Good read. Makes me want to go out for a drive 😂

#9 Bigt

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 08:13 AM

So not much to report over the last week or so, mainly because it has been half term and I have been entertaining our daughter. I did find an old thread about a replacement grommet for the aerial which has perished quite badly on my car, the eBay listing had expired because it was several years old however it did divert me to a 'current' listing. I ordered one up, followed the guide popped the new one in hot water to make it flexible but it was the wrong one!

 

Back to the drawing board on that front, if anyone can link me to one that fits I would be obliged.

 

Sorting through the paperwork for the car I found a nice graph (everyone likes a graph!) from Courtney when the Stage 2 was done. 

 

243 BHP - 

 

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272 lb/ft -

 

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I also think it may be time to remove the paint protection film, it has been on there for 9 years and they recommend fresh around every 3 years, its also preventing me from getting a consistent finish across the car as the rear half polishes up lovely but in comparison the front looks dull. Trying to work out the best way of doing it - I am petrified the paint is going to come off with it..........

 

Si



#10 kpf1grandprix

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 09:15 AM

I used this one and fitted fine. Item 401280915111

#11 Bigt

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 09:27 AM

That was easy! Thanking you - just ordered one so will get that fitted as soon as it arrives.

Si

#12 kpf1grandprix

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 09:56 AM

That was easy! Thanking you - just ordered one so will get that fitted as soon as it arrives.

Si


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#13 -Dab-of-Oppo-

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 11:22 AM

Looks like Courtenay reined back your map a bit to protect the (oem?) clutch. A healthy stg 2 should be capable of making about 10 horses more and over 300 ft-lbs of torque.

#14 Bigt

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 01:29 PM

Really, its proper quick so another 10bhp and 25lb/ft of torque must be incredible!!!!!

 

Took it out for a little run today, no real reason just because I wanted to! Lol! Been away for a long weekend at Brands Hatch and last week was half term so with the exception of our run out last Weds eve its just been sat under its cover. I loved driving it today, didnt go far and didnt go fast but thats not the point; I still felt like I had driven it.

 

Did have the ABS light come on and off today, not sure why that is, so will need to investigate that.

 

Si



#15 -Dab-of-Oppo-

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 03:20 PM

You’ll feel the difference for sure but to me its far from incredible. My car is sitting at about 253bhp and 306ft-lbs and TBH it often leaves me wanting and does not really cut it in this day and age IMO. 350-400bhp would keep me entertained I reckon!

ABS light is most likely an intermittent faulty connection on one of the hub sensors. Check the wires on each wheel for signs of corrosion etc and spray the connectors with contact cleaner. Also sometimes if you light up the rear wheels when driving it can throw a temporary wobbly, if a simple restart has turned it off I wouldn’t worry.

#16 Bigt

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Posted 04 June 2019 - 05:37 PM

Interesting you say that, drove a friends Golf R recently and yes it was quick but so so sterile - I can drive the VX at half the speed and have double the fun and it is certainly quick enough for me as is. I guess everyones different and depends what you have driven/owned previously but 350-400 would be very interesting, I should imagine there would be some traction issues!

 

Thanks for the tip on the ABS wires, I am doing a wheels off clean this week so will be sure to check them all and give the a clean and squirt of WD40 at the sametime.

 

Si

 

 



#17 Bigt

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 05:35 PM

So when I bought the car it came with an outdoor cover made by Cover Zone which was a bonus as at present I don't have a garage, so for longer periods of time, particularly in the winter time. Sadly somebody previously had made a hole for the aerial rather than simply unscrew it before fitting the cover, over time that hole had enlarged and the edges had started to fray.
 
I contacted Cover Zone and dealt with a chap called Rob who couldn't have been more helpful! Customer service was excellent, he asked for dimensions of the hole and advised they would create a self adhesive patch for the inner and outer of the cover allowing me to patch the hole and continue using it. I paid £5 incl postage for the patch which arrived today and was exactly what I needed, cover removed from car and spread flat, you can see the hole here -
 
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Here is the inner patch which is a slightly stronger material than the cover itself, the outer patch was identical material to the cover - 
 
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Refitted to the car its absolutely perfect - 
 
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Today also saw me manage to replace a really manky looking and pretty badly perished aerial grommet, the weather had got the better of it and it was no longer a concentric circle and was split as you can see -
 
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The new one was a perfect fit and with a little stretch, popped over the aerial base and looks 100% better - 
 
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I have also made contact with a couple of people regarding having the dashtop retrimmed in an alcantara style material, nothing wrong with it how it is but on a sunny day you get quite a glare from it so watch this space!
 
Si


#18 Bigt

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 07:43 PM

So had a couple more little deliveries today, first up was a front lighting upgrade. When I had my NA it was one of the only things I think I changed having found the stock lighting so poor at night particularly around the rural lanes where I live. So i jumped on the net and ordered up a set of super slim HID lights for the main beam lighting, didn't bother with full beam as I remember the 55w output of these was as good as any full beam.

 

Whilst the lights are off I have also purchased LED indicator bulbs to increase the visibility when indicating as with the car being so low and stock bulbs quite low powered I am convinced people don't always register! They are quite big in the body so hoping they will fit through the holes?

 

Lastly I will be fitting some OSRAM LED sidelight bulbs to compliment the main beam HID kit, again its mostly about visibility as I spend a pot of time driving with sidelights on hoping I stand out more to people.

 

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Secondly I located a copy of the CAR Magazine which rated the VX220 Turbo Performance Car Of The Year 2003 against some heady competition, this little purchase was mainly due to having found a rear windscreen sticker within the paperwork that came with the car so thought it might be nice to have a copy to along with it, also interesting to read the article 16 years later!

 

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Will crack on with removing the lights and fitting all the new lighting next week so will report back with that update.

 

Si



#19 'Buchos'

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 11:49 AM

……..Secondly I located a copy of the CAR Magazine which rated the VX220 Turbo Performance Car Of The Year 2003 against some heady competition, this little purchase was mainly due to having found a rear windscreen sticker within the paperwork that came with the car so thought it might be nice to have a copy to along with it, also interesting to read the article 16 years later!

 

...heres a couple more mags to collect :) 

Attached Files



#20 Bigt

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 06:45 PM

Lol! Wow the full collection!!

Been a little quiet on VX front as been working since Sat, with weather warnings afoot I have it a clean and covered it over until the weekend when I am days off again.

I have ordered a brand new ‘long’ dash plate as I would like to return this car (visually) to stock, going to have the heated seat switches moved either to further under the dash and into the middle or on the front edge of the centre console in front and just below gearstick.

The heated windscreen doesn’t work and as it’s looking like this will be replaced with an OEM one anyway due to the shabby looking surround I can lose that switch/hole too.

Si




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