2003 Vauxhall VX220 2.2

So with moving house and the addition of a detatched garage that CANNOT become a half laundy room, I was on the lookout for a bit of a toy. I had a few criteria in mind:

- it had to be "reasonably" practical - in that I can take my kid in it without him dodging death
- had to be special enough that it wasnt just another car (i.e. my E36 M3 felt like a car, not a toy)
- had to be a project of course, no fun without getting the spanners out
- had to be fairly cheap but still look cool

Having owned an Elise in the past I knew they were a halfway house between a kitcar and a real car. Elises are now stupid money and really need a K20 to make them "go". A VX220 Turbo is a viable alternative. 200+ bhp in effectively the same chassis but like the Elise they are heavy money (12k +).

So, me being me looks for the cheapest possible elise/vx type car I can find. The unloved 2.2 NA VX220. 150bhp of finest custard skin pulling. 150bhp is lame these days with my daily (the Cupra) having twice that.

But hold on!

VX220 Turbo: 0-60 in 4.7s
VX220 2.2 NA: 0-60 in 5.6s
Leon Cupra 290: 0-60 in 5.5s

Its not awful. And hold on again, because unlike the boosty turbo that some people have issues with the NA can be supercharged for fairly humble money (£2k ish if you scrape the bits up). Then youre into reliable 220-250bhp territory with some bolt on mods and an ECU flash.

But anyway back to the car itself, Gumtrees first result in the sort from Price Low-High and haggled down again its a reasonable 7 grands worth. Off on saturday to pick it up from its garaged nest and hoon cross country over Scotland to the boat in the usual timed to the minute dash.

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GT_MAXER

RMS Regular
Messages
3,173
Location
Rasharkin-Co,Antrim
sweet **** you dont hold back. did you do that yourself, cut the bonnet and all? is this how the vx holds is there no actual catch and relase inside car? friday still on? ill be up against it but thankfully got my crap exhaust downpipe welded today to help until i get a brand new exhaust custom made
 

pablo

RMS Moderator
Messages
63,848
Location
Glengrimley
sweet **** you dont hold back. did you do that yourself, cut the bonnet and all? is this how the vx holds is there no actual catch and relase inside car? friday still on? ill be up against it but thankfully got my crap exhaust downpipe welded today to help until i get a brand new exhaust custom made

thats someone elses car just to illustrate the mounting point Gareth. I havent started mine yet :grinning:
 

svensktoppen

RMS Regular
Messages
25,444
Drives
Elise P* T5R
is this how the vx holds is there no actual catch and relase inside car?
The VX may be a little different but basically the same.

There is a central pin and catch at the wind screen end of the "bonnet", and a big central hinge at the front.

The catch is released by cable from the cockpit. The pin is spring loaded, so when the cable is pulled the bonnet is supposed to "pop" free. And then you lift it by hand and prop it up with a length of wood or an iron bar or whatever is at hand, lol :innocent:

Because the big central hinge is so floppy and the cable usually ropy, etc., that rarely works.

The "boot" release is the same basic mechanism and even worse. Usually the cable just snaps and then you have to dig your way in through the wheel arch to release the catch. I have an electric release at the back now, one of the first upgrades I did as the cable snapped almost straight away 😅 It's MUCH better!

It's all fun and games with these cars, Lotus basically did the chassis right and then blagged the rest 😅

Personality! 😎😁
 

pablo

RMS Moderator
Messages
63,848
Location
Glengrimley
strangely the boot release on the VX is absolutely perfect. never a hassle. the front though is a disaster. Original release handle is under the dash in the centre so you basically need to get in the car to open it. Really awkward and prone to breaking. I made a mod to move it to the door hinge which is handier and easier pulled but still not ideal as the door needs to be open to open the bonnet. And because it latches in the centre the side kinda flop free.

Some people do a single aerocatch in the centre in the OE position but that doesnt help the edges much
 

FM155

RMS Regular
Messages
4,568
Drives
Alfa 155
And you were thinking of changing that? Class wee lick of flame there too.
Plenty more fun to be had with that before you are done with it. (y) :cool:
 

pablo

RMS Moderator
Messages
63,848
Location
Glengrimley
So fixed a long running problem with the car at last. I like running a small spacer on the fronts and indeed I have to when running the Astra 16” front wheels which make up my federal rs-r track wheel set. But there has always been some vibration through the steering wheel when running spacers. I only noticed today that the spacer seems to sit perfectly on the hub but there is a tiny chamfer on the hub lip and while the spacer sits square it’s maybe half a mm proud of the disc so when the wheel tightens down it allows the tiniest bit of angle. Took the spacers off and ground a lip on the inner face and bobs yer uncle no more vibration.

over the moon because the fronts are lost in the arches and really suit a spacer.
 

weeloaney

RMS Regular
Messages
18,278
Location
Fermanagh
Drives
Mazda 3 MPS AERO

pablo

RMS Moderator
Messages
63,848
Location
Glengrimley
the worst part is the pin is too tall so had to modify it so it would sit closer and let the bonnet close fully

must see if I can get shorter pins (the locking end, obv you can just cut the bottom end off to suit
 

weeloaney

RMS Regular
Messages
18,278
Location
Fermanagh
Drives
Mazda 3 MPS AERO
the worst part is the pin is too tall so had to modify it so it would sit closer and let the bonnet close fully

must see if I can get shorter pins (the locking end, obv you can just cut the bottom end off to suit
Never seen any with a different locking end. But tbh was never fitting any where that was an issue
 

pablo

RMS Moderator
Messages
63,848
Location
Glengrimley
finally got a little time with the car to start into my christmas list :laughing:

First phase is to get the front clam off and tidy up some things:

Fit aerocatches to spare bonnet and paint it nardo
repaint clam (stonechips)
Remove bonnet pop cable
Remove front upper wishbones, fit variable rate steering arms and new balljoints
tidy up charge cooler pipes where they enter the body to stop them rubbing
tidy up front radiator mounting, cableties arent ideal :grinning:
replace big heater hose (carries air to cabin). Its bulky and awkward
fit new tow post and hook
fit proper abs module mount
grease front brake pipes from the abs unit (MOT guy mentioned them last year)
fit new carbon front splitters

Got to play with my new 6-ton press I got off amazon! love it :grinning:
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