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Rex The Vx Black Turbo Mid Life Refit

vxt fp04xde refresh

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#1 vxtmike



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Posted 01 June 2021 - 07:19 AM

So I’ve had my VXT since 2007 after two previous owners, it was on around 25k when I bought it (it was my first car at 22) since then it was my daily until three years ago, and I’ve loved it for all that time, trips to the alps, all around the uk (often loaded with climbing kit etc) and now it’s on 98k and apart from regular servicing endless abs sensor repairs and replacement and the odd sensor I’ve had no serious issues, it has been a car to use and it’s done this well.
so for the past couple of years I’ve been planning to get it resprayed but expenses such as moving house, wedding and a baby have postponed that, however I have now been put on gardening leave for my notice period between jobs so I have a 10 week window to get in it! This has made me realise that I should do everything I can think of under the clams before worrying about the respray.
on the to do list is:

  • new rad
  • new t7 heater
  • Suspension refresh
  • head refurb (valve stem seals)
  • vxr turbo
  • and no doubt endless bits and bobs I find on the way


#2 vxtmike



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Posted 01 June 2021 - 07:55 AM

And so it began I decided to split the car down the middle and simply do front clam work then rear clam so I don’t need both off at the same time.

Clam off - had issue with the bolt in the bracket below the windscreen on the drivers side managed or cut between the bracket and the clam so I have better access to remove this later


After some swearing I managed to remove the old heater


Then gave everything a clean


An advert for replacing your tow bar, mine came out in two pieces



New rad in ready to be fitted


Now onto stripping the suspension off- no noticeable corrosion around the bobbins I’ve given it some healthy doses of acf50 around those areas whenever I’ve had the wheels off, just some light corrosion on the bobbins themselves


Actually pleased with progress so far, a few sweary moments but not too bad


#3 Cavturbo


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Posted 01 June 2021 - 08:32 AM

Great thread. Following with interest

#4 hairy



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Posted 01 June 2021 - 04:46 PM

Good work! The insurance must have been painful for a 22 year old.

#5 vxtmike



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Posted 01 June 2021 - 05:24 PM

Good work! The insurance must have been painful for a 22 year old.

I remember my first year was around £1500 now it’s less than £200, one of the few benefits of growing old!

#6 vxtmike



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Posted 20 February 2022 - 11:11 PM

Sorry for the massive delay in uploading! My plan went slightly awry, things took longer to turn around and I ran out of time on my gardening leave, then I to get up to speed with the new job, anyway here is a fairly big update.


I got everything that would come off the front end and the rear suspension off and that was zinc primered and powder-coated (bonnet bracket, headlight brackets, springs. Wishbones, uprights etc.) and then all the suspension wear items replaced and it looks pretty damn tidy









there are sill a few loose ends to finish off, and I know I need to replace my front discs but frankly that’s an easy job for later!

#7 vxtmike



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Posted 20 February 2022 - 11:38 PM

This weekend me and my friend thought we’d make a start on the engine, the reason for me to look at this is it been noticed that the car sometimes smokes a little, mostly just an initial puff when pulling off. It has also been a bit marginal on emissions for the past few MOTs and the car is on nearly 100k.


first job was cold compression test:

1: 155psi

2: 160psi

3: 150psi

4: 155psi


warm compression

1: 130psi

2: 135psi

3: 130psi

4: 130psi


I was really happy with those results and seems to indicate the engine seems to be in good health

with the leak-down

1: 40%

2: 45%

3: 45%

4: 40%


While these numbers seem a little high I’ve learnt that the leakage measurement is actually fairly arbitrary between different meters and as a comparison a newly rebuilt z20let was around 30-35% on the same tester


All nice and clean under the rocker cover


After a lot of spannering and a little swearing the head was off




you might just be able to see some black marks through the silver ring of the gasket on the left here probably good the head gasket was being changed


I was surprised that the honing marks are still clearly visible after 97k miles!


the head looks good, all fairly clean and even.


All of the head studs came out without any issue which was a nice relief.


The turbo actually seemed in good condition almost imperceivable amount of endfloat, but it’ll still be replaced with a VXR unit while I’m here. 

I’m either really lucky with this engine or it’s an advert for regular servicing and running premium fuel and it looks like it hasn’t been burning oil for too long.


The head will go off to be skimmed, valve seals fitted and cleaned up later this week and should be back on the car in a couple of weeks, glad to be getting back onto this project after several months off, hopefully I’m on track to get it on the road for when the weather clears up!




Edited by vxtmike, 20 February 2022 - 11:43 PM.

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