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Domes shonky autos-4 weeks, 4 MOTs 2 down, 3 to go!


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38 minutes ago, Snake Charmer said:

The radiator support is the killer for needing height to go forward with the engine or back with the car. I only did it that way at the time as I had no hoist and gave me the idea to fit the V8 that way to cut the minimum out of the sump pan. 

If the springs are SR pack originals they are really long and need care to remove them. First one I removed was on my '80 Ascona SR, I undid the bottom balljoint and lowered the arm expecting the spring to come out easily and it stayed put. I had no spring compressors so I tied a rope to it and pulled from a distance, the bloody thing came out and chased me up the road! A friend borrowed the correct Vauxhall tool to do his and the chap explained carefully how to use it safely as he had lost his thumb doing one. Most I did after that I would jack the car under the wishbone to load the spring up then hit the coils with Oxy-Acetylene to soften them, the uprated and lowered springs are much shorter and come out easily. From memory they were 400lb fronts and 170/200lb rears for road cars, still rode quite nicely too.

You have the luxury of block paving and a cover, I built all my cars up until this century on an uneven cinder driveway in all weathers!! :-D  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you with the vinyl roof around the front and rear screen tops, I have taken a couple off and found them rotten. :sad:

Good knowledge, thanks!

You made me go and rip the rest of the roof off, as much as I can without taking the screens out.


There's a tiny hole here at the top of the rear screen, the only one I could find so far...IMG_20210518_140652.thumb.jpg.e3365a49e214f6ed1fad43bea7218931.jpgIMG_20210518_140655.thumb.jpg.296306ee3b47d6c0c55c3de992cede66.jpg

The screens will need to come out  anyway, I'm not looking forward to doing that 🙈

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I still have my fingers crossed! Screens are relatively easy once you remove the silver trim, last time I used a trim tool to push the rubber inner lip back over the body flange then apply even pressure to push the screen and rubber out. Trick is not to twist or push in the corners and take your time.

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You’re right about front springs, they are hateful things to change! I remember stripping a front axle on my bench, undoing the lower ball joint while I was stood behind the shed door at arms length. When it came free, the axle bounced off the table, something hit the door, something hit the roof, and something dribbled down my leg. 😂

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2 minutes ago, sutty2006 said:

You’re right about front springs, they are hateful things to change! I remember stripping a front axle on my bench, undoing the lower ball joint while I was stood behind the shed door at arms length. When it came free, the axle bounced off the table, something hit the door, something hit the roof, and something dribbled down my leg. 😂

Hmm, I'll maybe relocate the subframe temporarily and undo the ball joint with the weight of the car on it.

Either that or send the grinder in through the coils before I strip it down. Bit brutal but it'll be getting new suspension anyway.


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33 minutes ago, Honey Badger said:

Do you think you could shoehorn a 350z drive train into the manta, might be be more affordable than an S2000?

I'm sure you could but I'm set on the idea of a Manta that looks like and sounds like the original 400 road/rally car, so that's big capacity high revving 4 banger.

I think waiting til the end of the summer and sourcing a 2006 on (NC) 2.0 MX-5 is the way to go. It's the same as a Ford Duratec so has good aftermarket support. Further down the line I can upgrade it to a 2.5 for most rortyness

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A wee bit more progress happened yesterday. Firstly, I removed the trim from the windscreen seals to store them. The screens will come out at some point, the screens will go into storage and the trims will get painted black before they go back on. 

I had a visit from @320touring who graciously offered to help with getting the engine and subframe out from under the car and into the garage.

Working on the driveway this was going to be pretty tight so an extra brain and set of hands was most helpful.

I had the rear of the car as high as possible to aid getting the engine out. With the engine crane being used to lift the front of the car it was necessary to pull the engine and subframe out to the side, but there wasn't a lot of space to play with.

Before lifting the shell with the crane here's where the engine sat.



Look a the concentration on my face, and this is before it got exciting!


Up she goes. It was now necessary to spin the subframe round 90 degrees to fit the engine through the gap in the wheelarch



It was slightly* nerve-wracking as the shell was wobbling around a bit as we started to try and maneuverer the subframe out. Surely a professional like me would have made sure he disconnected everything?


Oh. Yep, that's the fuel line...

Once chopped things went more smoothly. Engine was out and moved to the side of the driveway. 




We lowered the shell back down onto axle stands at the front and refitted the rear wheels and dropped the back end back on to the ground. This meant we could push the car back a bit to allow us to wheel the subframe into the garage. 


Sorted! A quick clean up of all the crap underneath the car and it was lowered back down onto axle stands at the front.

Neil was rewarded with a shot of my Range Rover on the way back from the chippy. Feel free to send him links to L322s for sale now...



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  • dome changed the title to Domes shonky autos-Manta Magic. Strip down continues-engine out!

It was a hoot to get up and be able to help on this.

Its an honest old tub and ideal for what @dome wants to do!

I've never really paid much attention to them previously, but upon close inspection, they do have some very cool styling, and I think it'll look amazing when done!


re the L322 I DONT WANT ONE 

(ok, maybe I do)

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9 minutes ago, sutty2006 said:

Can you get a picture of the end of your clutch cable for me please? I’m not entirely sure how the end of the cable attaches to the pivot arm in the box..... thanks! Great work by the way!

Does this help?


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33 minutes ago, dome said:

Does this help?


Yes and no! That’s what I was expecting, but the car has a different end on it (not threaded) and the new cable I bought years ago is identical 🤣


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On 5/17/2021 at 6:27 PM, Barry Cade said:


That pic makes my eyes water.. many many years ago,3 cars up in Tam Muirs yard, I was in the back seat of a Manta, nose broken and blood all over my  Fido Dido T shirt.. 

That was before I learned when you are removing a steering wheel,  leave the nut on a few threads..


I watched the man across the road do the exact same thing on a Sierra about twenty years ago. I'd been having a fag out of my bedroom window so had a ringside seat as the debacle unfolded. The wheel took forever to loosen but when it did finally crack off he was pulling hard enough that I could see the vein in his neck, and he had one foot braced against the dash. Man, did the next bit all happen fast... 

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I’ve been hit in the head several times by steering wheels. Every time I think “leave the nut on next time” but I never do.

I think I like the danger of it all, but like Russian roulette. “Can I get out the way fast enough?” Of course, the answers always no. 

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52 minutes ago, Barry Cade said:

Manta/cavalier off?

3 laps of Kirkcaldy prom. 22.00 hours. 1 year from today.. 

Suitably dressed. Shell suit and sambas

Winner takes pinks 😆

It's funny you mention the shell suit, have you seen the video for the new electric Manta A they made?

There's some shell suits in there too...

Funny, to me growing up it was all about the wide arched rally cars blaring through the forest, it was much later when I became aware of how they were viewed on the continent. 

They made 2 feature films in Germany basically taking the piss out of Mantas and Manta owners

Manta Manta and Manta Der film, both shell suit heavy.

I'm definitely getting a (fake) foxtail for the aerial though!


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56 minutes ago, juular said:

Bloody hell you are cracking on with this. Nice work!

Hardly, not touched it in over a week! 

Motivation has been a bit low with shite weather and work being a pain.

I've also been chasing cheap mx5s as I'd like to get the engine choice settled once and for all.

Your Volvo thread shows me what's possible though! Any tips for someone about to get into doing bodywork repairs outdoors?

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1 hour ago, dome said:

It's funny you mention the shell suit, have you seen the video for the new electric Manta A they made?

There's some shell suits in there too...

Funny, to me growing up it was all about the wide arched rally cars blaring through the forest, it was much later when I became aware of how they were viewed on the continent. 

They made 2 feature films in Germany basically taking the piss out of Mantas and Manta owners

Manta Manta and Manta Der film, both shell suit heavy.

I'm definitely getting a (fake) foxtail for the aerial though!


I spent a lot of time in Germany in the 80s, so was party to the Manta scene at the time.  I remember being taken to see a BMW M1 in a 1.9 S/R , first time over 100 in a car, sideways whenever possible. 

Volker,  you were a nutter, and have a lot to answer for... I remember him being particularly proud of the little splitters that sat on top of the wings. 

The next year I went over, he had a CX GTi.. but thats another story..

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  • dome changed the title to Domes shonky autos-Live Collection...
  • dome changed the title to Domes shonky autos-4 weeks, 4 MOTs 2 down, 3 to go!

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