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  1. #1
    VXR newbie zafriaGSIking's Avatar
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    28th October 2018

    Default Putting a Zafira GSI back to peak condition

    Hiya Chaps.

    Not sure if there is any Love for Zafira A GSI owners on here...but thought Id say HI and make my 1st post.

    Cant seem to find any GSI related forums, perhaps there is just less GSI's about?

    I purchased my Zafira GSI in arden blue recently, its old, and i havent owned an old car for a good 5 years having come from a much newer Mazda 6 Sport 2.5 and my aim is as a rolling restoration. I want to bring it back to its former glory by making good all the mechanical and cosmetic, whilst i enjoy the cheapness of parts and practicality of the "rocket bus" (we now call her, and yes i have two kids)

    I have a background in cars, most of my experience is with GM either SAAB or Vauxhall/Opel and have rebuilt many engines. My last project was a 95 Aero that I eventually had to abandon due to space constraints (a motorbike replaced that love for a while)

    Anyway, here is a list of problems & issues I am currently solving with the rocketbus.

    Cambelt Cracked, needs replacement
    COMPLETE, new belt & pulley kit fitted along with replacement new water pump.

    Coolant Temp Gage erroneous reading
    COMPLETE, new sensor fitted.

    Cam cover leaking large quantities of oil
    COMPLETE, investigation found excessive use of silicone sealant as an alternative to using the correct gaskets. Sealant cleaned off, and genuine GM gasket fitted, In addition to this the one-way breather valve was missing causing the cover to be pressurised by the turbocharger adding to the problem, a new genuine GM valve was fitted in accordance with GM workshop procedure.

    Oil filler cap weeping oil
    COMPLETE, replaced filler cap O ring with a new item.

    Overwhelming smell of Petrol Fumes in car
    COMPLETE, investigation found incorrect fuel filler cap had been fitted from an alternative manufactures vehicle. The correct genuine GM item has been fitted which has solved the issue.

    Brake warning message on information display indicating low friction material
    COMPLETE- New brake pads & wear sensors fitted.

    Air intake oil vapour hose cracked & leaking oil
    COMPLETE, genuine new hose fitted in accordance with GM workshop procedure.

    Crankcase oil vapour hose cracked & leaking oil
    COMPLETE, uprated long-life silicone hose fitted in accordance with GM workshop procedure.

    Hesitation/Jerking on boost between 2k-4k RPM & Excessive oil contamination to the rear part of the engine
    COMPLETE, This was caused by a number of factors..

    1. Hesitation- Incorrect spark plugs fitted-The car was fitted with Bosh Super 4 Plugs, these are incorrectly gapped and the air charge from the turbocharger was blowing out the spark at medium rpm high boost situations. Due to the design of the plug unfortunately the gap cannot be adjusted. The correct NGK BKR6EIX plugs have been fitted and gapped to GM OEM Specification of 0.7mm.
    2. Jerking- Incorrect performance enhancing modification. The car was fitted with a Bailey Aftermarket atmospheric dump valve, these valves are unsuitable for this car as the z20let engine utilises a mass airflow sensor to meter airflow and make the correct air-fuel ratio adjustments. This was removed, along with the boost pipe and replaced with a factory spec silicone long life boost pipe, and put back to a closed-loop air metered system, as spec.
    3. Oil contamination- The rear of the engine was being sprayed and coated with oil from the atmospheric dump valve, indicating a possible oil blow by issue with the turbocharger. The removal of the Dump Valve solved the oil contamination issue, and the rear of the engine has been degreased and cleaned.

    Excessive oil blowby from turbocharger
    COMPLETE, During investigation of the oil contamination at the rear of the engine, and dismantling of the boost pipe and aftermarket dump valve assembly, large quantities of oil were present in the charge pipe. In addition to this, the car blows out blue smoke on the overrun on occasions, and externally there is an oil leak on the turbocharger housing as it smokes when hot. There is also minor crack in the exhaust manifold causing a slight exhaust blow by. The only solution is to replace the whole turbocharger & manifold unit.

    Unsettled TURBOCHARGER Boost Pressures
    COMPLETE, boost pressures do not remain consistent, boost comes on and tails off, then comes on and tails off whilst boosting. Possible cause is defective vacuum lines, boost solenoid, circulation solenoid or even a combination of all three. As the turbo needs replacement anyway a whole overhaul of the system is recommended on fitting of the new turbocharger.

    Excessive Oil Consumption
    COMPLETE, The car is continuing to suffer from excessive oil consumption, the culprit it seems is the turbocharger. The valve stem seals may also require inspection but on inspection of the spark plugs there is no indication at this stage of valve stem seal failure. It may be advised to replace the valve stem seals anyway as it is part of normal service interval and there is no indication of it ever being done.


    Cooling system Pressure Leak
    COMPLETE, expansion tank hose secured with incorrect fastener (zip tie) the correct size stainless steel jubilee clip was used to secure the pipe & the system now holds pressure.

    Audio System, driver door speaker not working
    COMPLETE, the speakers had been upgraded to Infinity tweeters and drivers. Unfortunately the drivers door speaker connector was loose and corroded. This was re-crimped and sealed with ACF 50 to prevent corrosion.

    Corrosion noted in the following areas
    1. Rear hatch- The rear glass may have been replaced at some stage and the process of removal has broken the rust protector seal letting water to build up and corrode the recess. This will need to be treated & repaired
    2. Small spot of corrosion on divers door sill- Needs further investigation.
    3. Brake lines have some corrosion, these need to be treated with rust-stop in the immediate term, & possibly require replacement in the near future.
    4. Spare wheel frame is badly corroded and needs replacement, failure of the frame is a big concern.

    Air Conditioning
    NEEDS ATTENTION, The air conditioning system is not working and requires a service from a suitably trained technician.

    Climate Controls
    NEEDS ATTENTION, Broken centre air vent. These are badly designed and use a metal fin in the middle of the vent which is secured to a plastic hinge. Replacement of the whole dashboard binnacle is required to solve this as its all one unit.

    And that's it so far.......

    Looking forward to updating everyone on progress.
    Last edited by zafriaGSIking; 25th November 2018 at 11:21 PM.

  2. #2
    VXRed blooded CoolStory's Avatar
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    21st July 2018


    Wow that is a big list!

    Any pictures?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    VXR newbie zafriaGSIking's Avatar
    Join Date
    28th October 2018


    Yeah i have pictures, but cant seem to get them uploaded

  4. #4
    VXR enough Woody's Avatar
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    16th December 2013


    As above, a BIG list and welcome aboard VxRO mate
    Woody's Vx Ice Addons
    UK/Eire Distributor of the Comfort Unit and Video Accessories from www.PepaS.cz designed to enhance your Headunit & Display - Adds Additional Data and Reversing Camera & Media.

    CD70 Aux In Retrofits and CID 3 Line Firmware Updates.

  5. #5
    VXR newbie zafriaGSIking's Avatar
    Join Date
    28th October 2018


    Thanks guys.

    Yeah its a big list. The biggest concern at the moment is that turbocharger. I am ordering a new unit from Courteneys and will be fitting it this month, it needs to be done this month as the car smokes like an indian chief and its got its MOT due in decemeber..

  6. #6
    VXR newbie zafriaGSIking's Avatar
    Join Date
    28th October 2018


    Well I purchased a brand new turbocharger from Courtenay's a VXR upgraded unit, and fitted it over the weekend, the smoking issue has been resolved and the car pulls much smoother than before and doesn't smell like an old banger...So update the list...

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