The Evolution of my SE4 over nearly 12 years (Pic Heavy)

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The Evolution of my SE4 over nearly 12 years (Pic Heavy)

by DanSE4 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:03 pm

Been meaning to do something like this for quite some time now but never seem to find the time, being as it's a relatively dull Sunday afternoon I guess now's the time!

All started back in early 2003 when my old, faithful 1993 Cav SRi 16v (C20XE) with lunar mileage finally gave up the ghost on a trip to my folks house some 125 miles from me. I managed to limp it to their doorstep but it was pretty much game over for it so I found myself stuck there! Grabbed a copy of Autotrader with the intention of looking for the cheapest thing I could find with t&t just to get me home & get me by until I could sort something else out. Being male I instantly skipped the bargain cars section & went straight to the colour "Sports" section & spotted a nice Calibra SE4 just around the corner. Always liked the Calibra since I was a teen & at this point they were falling into budget. Wasn't too sure about going from an XE to an NE but thought I'd check it out anyway.

It was fairly standard, the only additions being the BK158 17" alloy wheels, 40mm G-Max springs, a K&N 57i induction kit & 'Taz' decals in the rear quarters (wasn't keen on those but they grew on me & are now very much part of the car) & had 62k on the clock.

I was hooked after one viewing & a test drive so a quick phone call to the bank & I secured it for £2,750 & a debt lol!

The only early pictures I have of this aren't in digital format & I don't currently have a scanner to sort those but I'm sure you all get the picture.

Anyway, it served as my daily for several years & I kept it in good shape. It was garaged by the former owner for the 4 years he owned it & I have a garage too so I know it's been garaged for at least 16 years of it's current 20 year life so the body & under body condition has always reflected this.

Didn't really have any plans or aspirations for it & in 2005 I had a light front ender in it. Managed to pick up a bit of a wreck locally for £200 but it left mine looking a bit sorry for itself as I had to replace the bonnet, n/s wing & few other bits from the donor car.

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My mate had already painted the wing in preparation but as with matching any metallic paint it really needed to get to his body shop to get everything blended. That's when I started with some initial 'styling'.

Rather than just paint the bonnet, blend the wing etc I ended up fitting Mk2 Astra GTE bonnet vents & colour coding the bump strips & practically the whole car got re-sprayed.

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Ended up with this in early 2006.

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Over the next couple of years (was still my daily drive) I continued with a bit more personal styling, some preventative maintenance, & anything else that I felt like throwing at it!

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Which is when some of you first met it at Trax in 2008.

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Not long after that came the addition of a roof spoiler.

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At his point I came unbelievably close to selling it as although we had the Vectra GSi Estate as a family car, my Calibra was still in daily use & I had a right phobia about ruining it by driving it on our crappy roads every day!

The Vectra GSi had planted a thought in my mind though, I was becoming tired of the C20NE in the Calibra & really enjoyed driving the 2.5 V6 GSi. I quite fancied the idea of a 2.5 V6 in the SE4 but I really needed the ability to fund a daily drive so I could 'semi-retire' the Calibra & mess with it at my leasure.

This happened in late 2009 when my finances took a turn for the better & I could insure the Calibra as a second car whilst transferring my NCB to another daily drive. Ladies & gentlemen, I present to you the epic Ford Mondeo!!! LOL

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For £50 it had 6 months t&t & considering I caved the front end in during the snow we had a few years back, that car actually saved my Calibra from being sold so I do have to thank it (& Andy for selling it to me) lol!

I then bought a 1996 Vectra GLS (X20XEV) off my Dad who'd owned it from new so that served as my daily drive for a couple more years while I concentrated on doing something with the SE4.

2011 saw the beginning of the real transformation starting with a bodykit.

There was a certain Mag Blue V6 on here that always inspired me from seeing it at Trax (RobbieV, obviously) but I wanted to get mine to somewhere near that without spending too much but making sure I made the absolute best with what I could get hold of without blowing my overdraft through the roof.

This should roughly show you the 'mix & match' bits I picked up & how doing things very methodically (& having a good painter to hand) can see results without blowing the bank. I really don't give a flying f*ck that 2/3rd's of my bodykit isn't genuine Reiger, the results speak for themselves!

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The above paint job cost me £250 & a few beers to my mate. 8)

When it came out of the paint shop I had this.

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So, I had a pretty looking 2.0 8v but that was it, it was still a 2.0 8v & I couldn't be having that for much longer so the 2.5 V6 conversion thoughts turned into a plan.

Lots of homework later I realised that the only way to truly do this properly was to take an entire Calibra V6 as a donor & swap every f*ucking loom over as I went along plus Christ knows what else (yes, I know it's possible to make a V6 run in a non-V6 shell but if you want everything to work then you really need to do it properly which means full V6 wiring, makes life a lot nicer when you do more as will be covered in a bit).

Got myself a nice donor V6.

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Then proceeded to do all of this (sorry, I could write up everything I did on this but that wold be a whole other topic & that's one I really don't have the time for right now).

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The addition of some 288mm M-Tec disks drilled to a 4 x 100 stud pattern & a bloody long story was finally complete!

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Here I was!

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A few more personal touches.

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My enjoyment of the 2.5 V6 (very much so in comparison to the NE) was quite short lived when I bought this as a daily drive.

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I really don't give a flying monkeys what people think, a 2.0 litre diesel producing 163bhp & 251lbs torque made the 2.5 Calibra V6 (my bloody toy) look stupid & feel slow. Just to add insult to injury, my missis bought this about 6 months later.

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That was the icing on the cake, 254bhp of 6 cylinder German engineering & my 'toy' was now the slowest car in the house!

I had to do something & the only thing to redeem some "Man Points" was to go down the Z32SE & F28 route............so I did!

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So, here I am with a Calibra SE4, 3.2 Z32SE converted with an F28 & many other good bits.

Lets see where I may or may not go from here! :)

If you've actually got this far, thanks for reading & believe me there's so much stuff I've left out as I really don't have the time to list everything that's ever happened on my Calibra! :lol:
Last edited by DanSE4 on Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Evolution of my SE4 over nearly 12 years (Pic Heavy)

by Allys Cally » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:40 pm

good write up Dan :wink:
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Re: The Evolution of my SE4 over nearly 12 years (Pic Heavy)

by v6 steve » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:42 pm

well done mate a lot of hard work has gone into your se4 :clap:

you seem to have missed out the best mod that you have done to it tho .........club calibra.net window stickers best mod out there for any calibra lol
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Re: The Evolution of my SE4 over nearly 12 years (Pic Heavy)

by DanSE4 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:51 pm

v6 steve wrote:you seem to have missed out the best mod that you have done to it tho .........club calibra.net window stickers best mod out there for any calibra lol


LOL!

Don't worry, I will add some of those. I know the internal ones are available so I'll sort a pair of those out soon. :wink:

As with all of your projects, I know this write up has only scratched the surface but I've got Gigabytes of pictures through both engine transplants, close ups of wiring etc plus all the other sh*t I had to go through to make it all work each time so if anyone has any questions about anything I've done to mine & how I made it all work then please ask.

I'll help wherever I can & provide pics if I have them! :)
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Re: The Evolution of my SE4 over nearly 12 years (Pic Heavy)

by Scoobytoo » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:55 pm

There's a few hours of hard graft
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Re: The Evolution of my SE4 over nearly 12 years (Pic Heavy)

by craigyboy » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:59 pm

Good enjoyable thread Dan ,well done :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: The Evolution of my SE4 over nearly 12 years (Pic Heavy)

by DanSE4 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:14 pm

Scoobytoo wrote:There's a few hours of hard graft


Just a few mate lol!

Would be kind of interesting to get our SE4's together when yours is complete for a bit of a photo. One original & one completely Bastardised!
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Re: The Evolution of my SE4 over nearly 12 years (Pic Heavy)

by Scoobytoo » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:43 pm

DanSE4 wrote:
Scoobytoo wrote:There's a few hours of hard graft


Just a few mate lol!

Would be kind of interesting to get our SE4's together when yours is complete for a bit of a photo. One original & one completely Bastardised!


Maybe Billing then ?
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Re: The Evolution of my SE4 over nearly 12 years (Pic Heavy)

by DanSE4 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:00 am

That is a must! :D
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Re: The Evolution of my SE4 over nearly 12 years (Pic Heavy)

by cal16v » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:41 am

What an amazing transformation over such a long period. The pics show more than you think... like the little bits that never usually get mentioned.
I don't get the grief over the non Reiger bars but each to their own. They're very similar to what I chose for mine :lol:

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Re: The Evolution of my SE4 over nearly 12 years (Pic Heavy)

by DanSE4 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:30 pm

I may as well keep this as an on-going project thread now as there's still plenty to do & add as I go along.

So, I woke the old girl up from hibernation today,

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Charged battery in, first turn of the key & it started like it'd been sat for 5 minutes & not 5 months! 8)

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First job of the year was to get the alloys off as they're going off for a refurb & a new paintjob (this week hopefully).

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Had a mix 'n' match of wheels to stick on for now, what a look LOL!

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Then back in the garage to hide until it's got nice, new shoes to go back on.

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If everything goes according to plan I'll have those back plus 2 new tyres by next weekend. MOT due on the 21st so will just be doing the usual pre-MOT checks before that along with a basic service. Got a cracking price on the insurance this year (that's also due this month) so should then just be a case of tax at the beginning of April & start on a few things after a few plays!

Need to replace the injectors with the blue Omega ones I have (still in the bag from where I had them ultrasonically cleaned at the end of last year) & I also need to replace the rear exhaust manifold, with a bit of luck Mr Kerr may actually come back to me on that one at some point. :wink:

Then it's a case of a major tidy up!! :D
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Re: The Evolution of my SE4 over nearly 12 years (Pic Heavy)

by Gargi » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:11 pm

well done mate a lot of hard work has gone into your car. :dance:
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Re: The Evolution of my SE4 over nearly 12 years (Pic Heavy)

by rich30mex » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:18 am

Well done Dan it looks great pal
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Re: The Evolution of my SE4 over nearly 12 years (Pic Heavy)

by DjWhitelion » Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:58 am

man this car looks great. good work :D
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Re: The Evolution of my SE4 over nearly 12 years (Pic Heavy)

by DanSE4 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:33 pm

Dropped the wheels off today! :D

Ended up opting to use the Bodyshop/MOT/Service centre next door to where I work. Know them all well in there & got a decent enough price for cash (plus I'd rather pay them than someone I've never used before).

http://www.wbmsc.co.uk/

Should get them back next week, in the meantime I can sort out my idea for the centre caps as I can't get replacements for the BK decals in the middle anymore (confirmed by an email to BK Racing). Could go one of two ways lol! :wink:
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