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Discussion Starter #281
Nothing so tasteless as those ebay links! I have a brand new Cupra R Splitter - the ground clearance will be higher with it versus the old double-rubber-underguard.
 

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Nice, and looking forward to seeing the result. Either a good guess by me or you have written something before - I have a very good memory for posts and a bell rang.

I'd only got as far as Knutsford when the first blasted request to pull in came. I didn't think of their impossibly high kerbs in the parking bays and heard a sickening plastic grind. Fortunately, it was the black splitter and not my new white bumper. No visible bother. Pondering those Chineebay rubber jobs with a 3M strip. Spanish parking is "reverse until you hit something" routinely and my Modus often needs the grille reassembling.
 

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My Modus looked like that when I parked at the beach in Fuengirola. Damn seagulls. Enjoy the show and take your camera-phone.
 

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Discussion Starter #285 (Edited)
Well, the show came and went. Didn't really take many photos as spent most of the day just chatting to the guys in the Volvo club. Other than that, it was... well just another day really. Christ, life really has become empty.



In other news the Combo will be getting the painted front bumper fitted on July the 10th.
 

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Along with the splitter? I assume you're sorting that while the bumper's off. I would have liked to have done the Blitz grille swap before my white bumper went on, but the grille was too big for a suitcase.
 

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Discussion Starter #287
I'm guessing Blitz means the Opel logo? Always wondered what it meant.

The splitter's already on, and I've got lots of photos of the process. I was tossing up whether to post the photos of that now or at the same time as actually fitting the bumper.
 

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Yes, Blitz=lightning so the "Opel Blitz" is in place of the Griffin. I know, back in the heyday, people would de-badge and buy Blitzes "because German. = Better, right?" but mine actually is an Opel and having Griffins on it just makes it look like a spare parts mishmash (which it is turning into, tbf). The previous owner had the sense to go to the trouble of putting the Blitz cam cover and airbag on when he transferred a low miles engine and leather steering wheel, but the SXi alloys have the Griffins (not very visible but they irk me to the point that I look at a neighbour's old Opel Astra with the awkwardly-shaped centre caps and wonder how long he'd take to notice a midnight switch). My summer alloys were easier to Opelize but even those caps cost more (£7) than the wheels did. Silly to be that obsessive, but I am.

Glad you're keeping a record. Despite my impatience, it's probably better shown all-in-one; although that's quite a lot of pics. I assume the splitter needs/ed spraying?
 

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Discussion Starter #289
I'd just replace the rear badge with a Vauxhall badge and be done with it, then they'd all match on the outside at least :D

Not as many photos as you'd think - the modifications were fairly easy to make once I was familiar with what to do and where to cut. Nope, the splitter is staying unpainted black to match the wheel arch trims. I figure it'll stand out more if it's not colour-coded, too.
 

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Good call on the splitter to wheel arch. Wasn't sure that you didn't have a used one in 90s Leon Yellow, though.

I've coughed up for the Blitz grille from a Barcelona breaker, now, so I'll go ahead (truth be told, I'm probably as "It's an Opel" snobby as Kevin in the Toys R Us carpark with his carbon fibre ebay Blitzes). With UK plates, I get enough people going to the wrong door to have a word with the driver, a Vx griffin would make it worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #291
Never realised there was a yellow one - all the Cupras I've seen came from factory with black plastic splitter. Ah well it's irrelevant anyway, I got a brand new one off eBay from a VW specialist (in other words, a deluded masochist).
 

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I dare say you're right about the splitter not being body-coloured (at least as standard). Here around Malaga, the sight of a yellow Seat Leon in the rear-view means "here comes a major league A-hole who sent off 10 Kinder wrappers to get his license, flashing you to get out of the way, then immediately pulling into the inside lane and slowing to 40kph because he's just noticed a bend coming up."

I thought it was just me, but an English journalist/broadcaster who's lived here for decades wrote much the same thing about (red, in his case) Leon drivers. The XR3i of 21stC Andalucia.
 

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Discussion Starter #293
Oh, I'm indiscriminate. I call all VW owners masochists, because they own some of the worst cars on the road without even realising it. People fail to realise that a Golf does literally nothing that a much cheaper Astra or Focus doesn't also do. At least the Skoda variants are (well, were) reasonably priced.
 

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Yes, one of the last hire cars I got before settling on my own Spanish car was the current Fabia (but the old 1.2 turbo petrol rather than the 3-pot litre). Apart from its crashing low-speed ride (not a problem at highway speeds. Interestingly, also commented on by the journos so not a figment of my imagination) it was a really good supermini. I actually considered it or the even newer (and related) Ibiza as the 2nd hand car market here is sharky and overpriced. Hard to justify the Ibiza as a >€2,000 (or 18%) better car and, of course, the Polo didn't rate consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter #295
You get literally nothing extra with the VW variant. You buy the Seat because it looks good and you buy the Skoda because you can't afford the Seat. Or you buy a Japanese car because it's better than both.
 

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IIRC, the Fabia was €12.5k (not even incl warranty, that comes extra in Spain) plus some worth-having extras and the pov-spec Ibiza (much better looking) around €14.5k but with add-ons either unavailable or higher-priced. At the time, the Polo was unlaunched but expected to start at €16k. Totally ridiculous, and even the "but it holds its value" is no more true than of the other two until maybe 10-12 years down the line when people will stump up maybe €500 more 'because VW'.
 

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Discussion Starter #298 (Edited)
The Facelift; Part One

As I mentioned before, I got hold of a white facelift front bumper for my van (cheers to ozsubrosa for finding it). I got around to fitting it today.



As expected, I couldn't very well just leave it at that, could I? Having seen a few tutorials on here, I decided I wanted a splitter - from a Seat Leon/Ibiza Cupra R to be exact.



First up was to get this splitter fitted to the bumper, since Seat weren't exactly thinking of twits like me using their parts on Opels. So, I removed the old two-piece under-guard and got the bumper set up on a platform. In my case, the platform was two 25 litre drums standing on two old steel wheels from a Volvo 240. That old Swedish brick is useful even when it's locked in a garage!



Next was to modify the splitter so that it would fit. The centre slits were belt-sanded down to around 1 cm and a squared-off recess was cut into the beginning of the curved section at either side using a hacksaw and then sandpaper to smooth off the edges. Most of the fixing clips/notches were also cut off.




Onto securing the splitter. It was slotted into the desired place, and two small guide-holes were drilled into the underside of the bumper, between those two centre slits. Large self-tapping screws with washers were then put in to secure the splitter.



From here it was pretty self-explanatory - I simply used 6 more small self-tapping screws, 3 for each side, working my way down to the wheel arch.





It's not unreasonable to say it looks a little sloppy but there aren't many people who're going to get on their hands and knees to check whether this splitter is meant to be here or not. As you can see the Seats have longer front overhangs than the smaller Corsa/Combo, so the ends had to be cut off and then sanded smooth to line up. Once that was done and the centre grille insert was put back in (fell off during transit), the bumper was ready. At this point my new phone decided to be useless and crop the left quarter of the photo for no reason.



With that done, it was a case of waiting until I had time and space to fit the bumper, which shall be detailed in the next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #299
The Facelift; Part Two

So, that brings us to today. I had a day off, so seemed like the perfect time to head over to Shaun's (where there was room, versus on the side of the road) and fit the Combo's new face.



As usual, the screws that secure the wheel arch trim to the edges of the bumper sheared the plastic housings. Other than that, it was all fairly trouble-free for me to do myself.

Once again, my phone decided to be a waste of space and money, cropping the next photo for no reason. With the pre-facelift bumper off and a post-facelift bumper going on, the plastic guide brackets had to be swapped. You can just about see the old round one, held in by one screw.



At this point, I used my old phone for photos, having started getting into my usual unhinged rage at modern technology. So, with the guide bracket out, I was left with this.



Naturally, I couldn't very well leave it looking like that, so I broke out a spray bottle of water to wet the panel, a spray bottle with some APC, sprayed the panel with that and then agitated with a paint brush before rinsing with the water bottle and then drying with a towel - well it didn't exactly have to be perfect, I was never going to break out the snowfoam for this one!



With that cleaned, the new guide bracket wet on.



I next set about cleaning the bumper bar and the surrounding painted components with the same method mentioned before.











Fitting the new bumper was quite literally a reverse of removing the old one - there wasn't much worth taking photos of. Thanks to a mixture of being alone (imagine that) and my general incompetence, it was a complete faff to get the bumper into the new guide brackets, but after bringing the van indoors to stop myself passing out in the cloudless heat, and some more rage-fueled cursing, the bumper was on. So, all that's left is to show how it looks!





On closer inspection, the paint finish is crap, annoyingly. It's the wrong colour, has utterly atrocious paint runs and spots where they've just completely missed - this bumper almost certainly came off a random Corsa and was shoddily resprayed, despite being advertised as having come from a Combo SE. So, sooner or later I'm having it done properly - so much for spending extra for a good bumper.

Still, from more than a few feet away, I'll admit it looks pretty damn good. I should be washing it and waxing some time this week, I'll share photos when that happens.
 

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Welcome to the white-bumper club. With your fancy splitter, I shall have to swap over soon to my Blitz grille to regain some bragging rights. The camera, like mine, gives the impression that all is perfect so I'm slightly put out for you to read that it's a bit smoke and mirrors. I worried about how often the same '11 plated SE was used to sell a white bumper by them (I think they're using the same for a £150 pitch this time). It's business, but not ethical business, if they're bagging cheap Cs (one guy listed at £5 and even £1 with no bids, I advised him to put "Aruba Blue" in the title and he finally got a sole £1 bid) and spraying them. The least they could do is make a less discernible job of it. Mine had a clear (and weirdly cube-shaped) dent in the area under the nearside h/lamp and an undeclared one on the o/s cheek but it was a straight-from-a-van job, and £50 even then (+ they left me waiting 4hrs while they jollied off to collect more scraps).

I have to say, I regret not getting the facelift bracket guides before mine was put on. Vanessa's bound to point out that my bulge is rather more noticeable than yours.

Most worthwhile cosmetic to do on a Combo; I hated my bobbly grey front with a passion.
 
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