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Jon

Hi from NZ!

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Hi,

I'm Jon, originally from the UK but now living here in NZ. Been here a few years and been through a few interesting older cars (and still own quite a few of them!) but the one I thought I'd never have the chance to own over here is this:

 

41204520851_12ee9ddb8b_c.jpg

A 1983 Cavlier SRi, imported into NZ in 1986, so still pretty solid, if you ignore the questionable repair on the driver's door (which I do).

 

41159390962_e5cb6e0826_c.jpg

It's solid enough but has a few niggling issues I'd like to sort out over time. But it's nothing that stops it being used, which is great. I grew up with the 1983 Cavalier estate my folks owned for over 20 years, so it's really nostalgic!

 

26331301777_de44375102_c.jpg

Driver's seat has seen better days but that's pretty standard, I guess. Dash top is badly cracked from the harsh NZ sun.

 

26331322047_c0c668b6a8_c.jpg

Engine bay is pretty clean for a 35 year old car. I'm not a detailing freak, so it'll do for me.

 

Anyway, I am looking out for a few bits, as of course they're non-existent here. Got a mate coming out from the UK next month to visit, so wouldn't mind posting a list of stuff, if that isn't too rude for a newbie? Maybe someone's got some spares available?

 

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Welcome to our site. Put a list up and see what happens!

I had an 83 SRi same colour as that so fond memories. A couple of SR around but that colour as a SRi is very very rare here now.

That seat has had a hard life :) What's the mileage?

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Interesting about the colour - was it discontinued early on for the SRi? I had a feeling mine's quite an early SRi, with the rear wiper that parks on the nearside. The seat isn't pretty but it's still plenty supportive enough. Did they use these seats on the Astra GTE? Trying to work out why mine have back tilt levers on the sides.

Mileage is 42000-ish, so I guess 142000. It's a bit weird trying to drive a car with a MPH speedo in a country with KMH speed limits, as the km markings aren't that great. Plus, the speed limit here is 100kmh, except for a really short bit of brand new 110kmh highway nearby, so the 5 speed box is quite high geared for local conditions. I don't drive it hard though, as I've got some hot hatches for that kind of thing.

 

Here's what I'm looking out for, at the moment:

Bonnet release cable

Bonnet release handle (the bit under the dash - mine's a bit of old coat hanger at the moment and is useless)

Standard early front grille - I've never really liked the ones with the aux lights in.

3 grey window winder rubbers - I've got two but only one stays on.

Windscreen wiper stalk - mine works but is quite sloppy and the washer only works on full speed wiper setting.

One seat back knob to tilt the rear seats (one of mine is broken)

Centre caps for the alloys - well, it doesn't hurt to ask.......

A set of brake flexis - mine are OK but I'd like some better ones, or spares at least.

 

I bled the brakes on mine after replacing a bit of pipe and the braking performance is OK but the Haynes manual it came with mentioned using a one man bleeding kit. What does everyone else use? I've never had issues bleeding brakes on other cars with a bit of plastic pipe and a jam jar but then I've never had a Haynes manual tell me I need to use a specific bleeding kit. 

 

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Awesome to see one on the other side of the world, as far as i know all of those seats have a tilt on them

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Mine isn't the only Mk 2 Cavalier in NZ - there was a 1981 GL hatch up for sale just after I moved here but I couldn't buy it at the time and I guess it's dead now. There's a late CD hatch here too and an Ascona GT, which I think was brought here new for someone who worked for Opel, when they still sold cars in NZ. 

 

Then there's these two in Australia, which I found photos of online:

800px-1984_Vauxhall_Cavalier_SRi_sedan_(

 

 

1983_Vauxhall_Cavalier_wagon_(7401030478

This is identical to our 1.6L estate I grew up with, except this one is a diesel. Amazing to think that someone's brought those Aussie panels back to Australia!

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there is a guy on here henri who has a red cavalier sri hatch in australia somewhere as well, he might even have two cavaliers now i cant remember.

 

lucky as the Camira (one version of) estate looks like a chinese copy of a  ford sierra at least the cavalier has a better looking front

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Plastic pipe and a jamjar are great when there is someone to push the brake pedal, the kits are intended for one person operation. There are two types of kit here. The  £6 one that puts a one way valve on the pipe into the jamjar (but they sell you a plastic bottle) which is OK but you can't see when the bubbles stop or the colour changes. The other £20 one puts air pressure into the system using the spare tyre as an air reservoir and is brilliant as you just open the nipple and out comes the fluid. It comes with an inline reservoir for fluid but I use mine straight onto the master cylinder reservoir and keep checking not to empty it.

Prices approx.

Edited by GreyDJ2

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The colour is Aquamarine Blue and was used on the SR/SRi from their introductions until Autumn 1983 when the SRi was revised and got red stripe bumpers and the close ratio F16 gearbox. At that time the metallic blue was changed to Helios Blue till it ceased production in 1988.

Not sure when the rear wiper changed over but I think it was in 1982. Where was yours made?

The VIN number should break down as WOL0000 then probably 86 or 87 (Cav hatch), then C for 1982 or D 1983, then 5 or 6 Antwerp or V for Luton, then sequential vehicle number

 

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 I thought I might have a couple of the bits you needed but as I started hunting round I found more. So, from your list I have:

- a new grill but with some minor storage scratches £20

- a good hatch wiper switch £10

- set of new brake flexi hoses, do you want all 4 or just the fronts? £10 each

- with the winder rubbers is that the slightly squidgy round bit at the end or the whole arm?

- bonnet release cable and integrated handle. £15

Can put up photos if needed. Assume Paypal payment and delivery (extra) to UK.

Anything else :)

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I think I've seen that red Australian SRi Paul, as I had that colour in mind when looking for photos online. I did actually buy a Camira wagon not long after moving over here but it was a project just too far for me, so it sat around in a mate's yard for ages before I gave it away, sadly. That's not the first time that'd happened but maybe more of that story some other time...

 

Got to say I'm feeling very welcome, so thanks for all the help so far! GreyDJ, interesting info on the brake bleeding - from what you say, it sounds like I might benefit from a pressurised system, so good to know. It saves me having to drag a mate over to help, or getting my wife roped in to either pump the pedal wrong, or miss some bubbles etc. Some things are best not shared with the other half!

Interesting info on the VIN but I am a little bit concerned. Mine tells me it's made in Belgium, D for 1983, has a 6 for Antwerp and is colour code E 221 and S 59 - I'm guessing because it's two tone? The only bit of concern is that it's 84 coded, not 86 or 87 - I don't want to have a ringer, done 30+ years ago! I guess there's not a lot I can do either way, though.

The Aquamarine blue does go well with my Commodore, which is nice!

35260731810_2c03df4eda_c.jpg

 

On the spares note, I'd love to take:

The grille

Hatch wiper switch

Bonnet release cable and handle

I'll double check for a local source of flexis, as I have one or two further ideas up my sleeve. I'm looking specifically for the little rubber window winder ends, which make winding down the window a painful experience when they're missing! If I had to take the winder arm too, at least it'd mean I had a spare, as NZ sun does degrade plastic quite badly. I don't have a paypal account any more but do still have a UK bank account, though I have to get it un-frozen, as I haven't used it in a while! That said, I know of one or two people in the Milton Keynes area, who may be able to pick up and pay cash, which may make things a whole heap easier your end.

 

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Sounds good to me, give them my phone number 07769 938946 and I'm John and I'm in Giffard Park.

I have 4 handles that I am cleaning up that you could have as many of as you want either whole or just the ends, either way £2 each.

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Perfect! If it wouldn't be too rude, I'd take all 4, as it's things like broken winders that make and old car feel old to others. If it's OK, I'll need a few days to sort out my UK account but will certainly take you up on all those bits I mentioned. Should know about the brake flexis by then, too (I'd like all 4).

Thanks again! 

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that commodore is cool, anymore photos please? i have a lot of love for the older holdens

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15 hours ago, Paul said:

that commodore is cool, anymore photos please? i have a lot of love for the older holdens

 

I do indeed! It was the first car I bought when we moved here in 2010 and cost me about £850, which wouldn't buy one now! That said, it's not entirely standard....

 

Here it is back when my garage was A LOT tidier. 

34838614993_55110e0ff9_b.jpg

It's one of the very first station wagon Commodore's made (1979 - the saloon was launched in 1978), from the first month or two of production, so is one of the oldest about. No power steering and was originally a 202 motor (3.3L) with a 4-spd box.

 

34838466773_ba7352d246_c.jpg

I love the standard steel wheels on these early ones and the chrome trim rings work well, as do the large section 8 ply van tyres that a previous owner ran. The chrome sill strip are stone protectors, which are a period mod.

 

34806362284_a8128c802a_c.jpg

Another period mod is the diesel motor it had - a Nissan LD28, 2.8L straight six. Sounded like a bag of bolts from inside but the exhaust note from outside was great  - like a Datsun 280Z mixed with a tractor. Very slow but quite good fun to keep things going in traffic - you really had to drive this thing and not lose momentum.

 

35647808515_dfb0978416_c.jpg

What's going into it - a Holden 308 (5 litre) V8, with a Toyota 5 speed manual (the box in the photo is a Holden Trimatic 3 speed auto, that came with the motor). The engine's had some work to make it nice and reliable but I just need to get everything put together now and then certified - modifications like this need to be checked over by a 3rd party in NZ, before they can be put back on the road. Shouldn't be too difficult, as I'm not reinventing the wheel. Plenty of people modify cars here, so it's probably easier than a VOSA inspection, for instance.

 

35260723100_4cd25662f9_c.jpg

How it looks without the sills on, which is how I'll keep it when it goes back on the road. Basically, this is what a Vauxhall Royale estate would have looked like!

 

 

35647661555_6381eb3f8c_h.jpg

Interior is of course very blue and has a little bit of woodgrain but it's not a patch on the amazing interior of a Royale! 

 

Anyway, hope you don't mind the non-Cav content, though I'll keep things on track with a photo of my rough Camira, which I didn't do anything with, before giving away....

35608053326_220f12b613_c.jpg

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was starting to get worried then when i read diesel, glad a proper engine is going in

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It's a JB Camira, the first series.

34806317774_585fb9df95_c.jpg

Registered in 1985 but they didn't make it far into 1984, so I don't think many JB wagons were made before the front end was changed to the JD model. I do regret letting this one go now but storage was coming to an end and no-one was really interested in taking it on, so it was given away locally to someone I don't know and I'm guessing it went straight to scrap. Would love to be proven wrong though...

 

35608051306_d65f6d04da_c.jpg

This is how bad the rust got, after 30 years! Show me a tailgate on a Cav estate that's been out all weathers and is still that solid.

 

5 hours ago, Paul said:

was starting to get worried then when i read diesel, glad a proper engine is going in

I'm new around here, so am a diesel powered member anyway!

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    • It's a JB Camira, the first series. Registered in 1985 but they didn't make it far into 1984, so I don't think many JB wagons were made before the front end was changed to the JD model. I do regret letting this one go now but storage was coming to an end and no-one was really interested in taking it on, so it was given away locally to someone I don't know and I'm guessing it went straight to scrap. Would love to be proven wrong though...   This is how bad the rust got, after 30 years! Show me a tailgate on a Cav estate that's been out all weathers and is still that solid.   I'm new around here, so am a diesel powered member anyway!
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