Daily Pontiac Astre project

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Daily Pontiac Astre project

Postby Joey » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:06 am

Hey There,

I am completely new in these kind of cars so this forum helps me to learn a lot about them.
First of all to explain my project:
I live in the Netherlands where the weather is bad, we get salt on the roads in the winter and gas prices are really high.
Still after driving my new lease car for almost 5 years now I had it with all the beeps and digital accessories and I want to drive something stylefull again.
Therefor I bought a 1st owner 1975 astre from arizona.
The car is completely rust free and looks really nice.
The paint has it's age but that's also something I like.
This is what I will do with the project to make it a daily driver (about 40.000 km a year).

First I'm going to find a decent engine with enough power to cruise long distances. My thoughts right now are a mercedes 300D turbo or a newer BMW 530.
These engines are quiet economical and produce between 150-200 HP.

Next I'm going to upgrade brakes and suspension. already ordered a set of s10 spindles and rear axle including the brake master cilinder.

The paint of the body will be polished by a professional and after that it will be clear coated.

Underneath the car and all the corners and arches will be cleaned, stripped and treated against all the element.
The good thing about living in this country is that they sell a lot of good products for body treatment.
This will be a terrible job but will keep the car nice and rustfree troughout its life.

If you guys have any tips on engine choice or other parts let me know

Joey

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Re: Daily Pontiac Astre project

Postby hammerdown7 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:22 pm

Looks like a great starting point, congrats!

Dick
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Re: Daily Pontiac Astre project

Postby Kenova » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:19 pm

That looks like a good car to start with. It is surprising what can be done with weathered paint with today's detailing products.
When it comes to choosing an engine you will want to use something that is common in your part of the world, and the same could be said for the transmission. Most over head cam fours will fit but an OHC V6 or V8 would be a tight fit.
I am always amazed how popular North American vehicles are in Europe (like your Astre and that GM pickup in the background).
I noticed the previous owner went through the trouble of widening the rear wheels. What size tires are on them?
Good luck and keep posting.

Ken
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Re: Daily Pontiac Astre project

Postby Joey » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:03 am

To be honest I haven't even noticed myself that the wheels were widened.
I'm going to pick the car up on the 5th of september then I can make some more detailed photos.
The choice for the engine has been pretty much made up.
It will be a mercedes OM606 turbo diesel.
This might not be so common in the USA but over here there are tons of cars.
The good thing is that these engines can run with an older diesel pump so I won't be needing any electronics or stuff like that.
Besides a little controller for the automatic 5 speed.
The engine I will buy is setup at 225 HP and with some turbo adjustments can be pushed to 500HP.
But since I want it to be a daily for lot's of mileage i'll keep it around 225-250HP.
Also because I just want to use the guts of the S10 in the stock rearend and not mess with that too much.
As soon as I've started this project I will update with some photos.
Just one question, if I want to order parts like control arm bushings and stuff like that I can order everything from a vega or monza right?
If I enter the pontiac astre on rockauto I find half the stuff as if I search on the Vega or Monza.
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Re: Daily Pontiac Astre project

Postby Kenova » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:04 am

Joey wrote:Just one question, if I want to order parts like control arm bushings and stuff like that I can order everything from a vega or monza right?
If I enter the pontiac astre on rockauto I find half the stuff as if I search on the Vega or Monza.

They are virtually the same car, other than a few cosmetics.
With 225 - 250 hp. and a five speed you will have a fun little driver.

Ken
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Re: Daily Pontiac Astre project

Postby hammerdown7 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:35 pm

You won't be able to use the insides of the S10 rear end in the Astre if it has the stock rear axle. The 1975 Astre came with a 6.5 rear axle, the S10 has either a 7.5 or 7.625 depending on the year. In 1976 the Vega/Astre rear suspension changed from a four link to a torque arm design, all Monza/etc. came with the torque arm. See this site for some answers, http://www.v8monza.com/rearaxle.htm

You can use the entire S10 rear axle if it was from a 2WD, it is just about the same width as the Astre axle. You would need to take the trailing arm mounts off the Astre and weld them as well as the coil spring mounts onto the S10 axle. The S10 used leaf springs, that is the reason you would have to use the coil spring perches.

Dick
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Re: Daily Pontiac Astre project

Postby Monza Harry » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:58 am

hammerdown7 wrote:You won't be able to use the insides of the S10 rear end in the Astre if it has the stock rear axle. The 1975 Astre came with a 6.5 rear axle, the S10 has either a 7.5 or 7.625 depending on the year. In 1976 the Vega/Astre rear suspension changed from a four link to a torque arm design, all Monza/etc. came with the torque arm. See this site for some answers, http://www.v8monza.com/rearaxle.htm

You can use the entire S10 rear axle if it was from a 2WD, it is just about the same width as the Astre axle. You would need to take the trailing arm mounts off the Astre and weld them as well as the coil spring mounts onto the S10 axle. The S10 used leaf springs, that is the reason you would have to use the coil spring perches.

Dick

And at that power level in that car, when you add the rear upper control arm mounts switch to the taller ones that everybody uses to correct the geometry. I'll see if I can find a link to a thread with more info. This will be needed as the original set-up would allow wheel hop, and that rear won't live long at that power under wheel hop. Keep us posted nice start you have there! Harry
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Re: Daily Pontiac Astre project

Postby Joey » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:59 pm

Thank you all for your great responses.
I already bought parts of a 96 s10 (2wd) so I can exchange the spindles, brakes and master brake cilinder.
I also bought the 2WD rear axle.
Is it possible to buy the rear control arm mounts/ trailing arm mounts somewhere or do I really have to cut them off the old axle?
Might be easier if I had an extra pair to keep the OG axle as back up.
@monza harry - if you could find where i can buy those longer rear upper control arms that would be great.

Edit: I just found a 1978 monza spyder at a wrecking yard near by. Are there any main parts that are worth having in stock?(ofcourse no engine related . parts) I already emailed for the rear axle.
Is the 1978 rear axle better/the same as the s10 rear axle? And is this bolt-on?

Thank you
Joey
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Re: Daily Pontiac Astre project

Postby NVEGAR8D » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:34 pm

Hi Joey, I would get the Monza rear as you will get bigger brakes and check to see if it's a posi unit. The rear s-10 axles likely won't interchange with the monza or vega rears they probably have 26 spline and the s-10 axles might have a 28 spline to them. If you can find a mid eighties s-10 pair of axles, they had 26 splines and the brake drums also fit the monza parts. The studs are , i believe metric on the later axles.
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Re: Daily Pontiac Astre project

Postby Joey » Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:12 am

Thanks,

So is it better to get the spider Rear axle instead of the s10?
The s10 would need welding of the brackets.
The Spider is a 78 that came with a V8

S10 is €250,- the spider axle €450
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Re: Daily Pontiac Astre project

Postby hammerdown7 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:44 am

The Spyder axle would use the torque arm so you would still need to move the upper brackets from your Astre axle to the Spyder axle.

Dick
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Re: Daily Pontiac Astre project

Postby Joey » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:01 am

Owk Thank you. But as I understand I can still put the guts of the s10 into the spyder axle?
With a little machining for the langer bore?
That way I have 5lug at the Rear and don't need to weld on the brackets.
Or do you think that I gain not so much with this and would rather just weld brackets on the s10?
Is the torque arm a big avantage?
Please note finding these axles (like a 80s s10) is Really not that easy here in europe.

Joey
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Re: Daily Pontiac Astre project

Postby hammerdown7 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:32 pm

The torque arm design greatly reduces the tendency for axle hop if not completely eliminating it. The design includes a panhard bar (or track bar) that locates the axle side to side and it attaches to a bracket mounted inside the left rear fender well. The front of the torque arm mounts to the rear of the transmission but can also be modified to mount to the rear transmission crossmember.

torq-arm.jpg
torq-arm.jpg (19.7 KiB) Viewed 1034 times


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Re: Daily Pontiac Astre project

Postby Joey » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:50 pm

Thank you,

I'll guess i'll get both rear axles and make one out of m next to the car.
If the 78 axle has that much more advantage I might as Well go for it.
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Re: Daily Pontiac Astre project

Postby Monza Harry » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:54 am

Joey I did a quick search and these came up: https://www.google.com/search?sitesearc ... gws_rd=ssl All may not be on point but a good start. I'll try and add as I can. Harry
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