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1976 Opel Manta coupe. A long haul project. Engine running!


sutty2006
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On 3/16/2021 at 11:36 PM, Barry Cade said:

Wondered if anyone else knew,  seemed to be folklore in Opel circles.

Many years back, someone was restoring a Manta "A". 1973ish. Needed a front valance, so went to his local Vauxhall/Opel dealer. Dealer did a part search and found 3 left in Europe, as they had been out of production for many years.. chap says, get me all 3. I'll  keep a spare, and someone in the club will surely appreciate one.

Dealer puts an order in to Europe parts network, Europe parts network computer sees it as a fast moving part, and sends a message to panel manufacturer to keep up with demand and they press 500 new ones.  There's probably 495 sitting gathering dust somewhere.

 

Might be shite, but heard the story a few times.  Its the only new panel you can get for an early Manta so I've heard.. just wondered if anyone else heard the same story..

I asked my friend Paul about the Manta A valence panels and this was his reply:

Mike, this is what really happened. I went into Shannon’s Vauxhall/Opel dealer in Dorchester about 1991 and ordered a front valance and other stuff some of which came up as no longer serviced (NLS). I ask the storeman who I knew well how many valances were left he didn’t have that info back in them days. However he gave me a contact number for a guy at V’hall Luton who would know. I contacted Ted Horn at Luton who told me there was around 20 in their store and they wouldn’t be importing any more from Opel. I ordered the 20 from Luton through Shannon’s for £8 each plus 10% for Shannon’s. A month or so later Ted Horn calls me and asks if I would like another 150 as their stock computer had ordered them from Opel as no one had input the do not re-stock info. I bought them at the same price and sold them to the Dutch Opel Manta club as the uk club weren’t interested. Ted told me if I didn’t buy them they would have been scrapped.

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It's almost the exact opposite of trying to get genuine parts for the omega. Urgent rear brake pins.

Go into dealer.  None in stock. Can you get them. No. Why not? Nobody buys them? Why not? Because we don't have them in stock, so they've discontinued them. 

But if you had them in stock, you'd sell some? Yes.  And they wouldn't be discontinued? No. Can you actually order one? No. 

The Vauxhall parts department in Derby, would at least try to give you the part number so you could try Saab, Opel, Holden, Cadillac and Chevy dealers in other countries. 

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3 hours ago, Snake Charmer said:

I asked my friend Paul about the Manta A valence panels and this was his reply:

Mike, this is what really happened. I went into Shannon’s Vauxhall/Opel dealer in Dorchester about 1991 and ordered a front valance and other stuff some of which came up as no longer serviced (NLS). I ask the storeman who I knew well how many valances were left he didn’t have that info back in them days. However he gave me a contact number for a guy at V’hall Luton who would know. I contacted Ted Horn at Luton who told me there was around 20 in their store and they wouldn’t be importing any more from Opel. I ordered the 20 from Luton through Shannon’s for £8 each plus 10% for Shannon’s. A month or so later Ted Horn calls me and asks if I would like another 150 as their stock computer had ordered them from Opel as no one had input the do not re-stock info. I bought them at the same price and sold them to the Dutch Opel Manta club as the uk club weren’t interested. Ted told me if I didn’t buy them they would have been scrapped.

😆 thanks for that! I'd heard the story years ago and wasn't sure if it was just Manta folklore. 

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It’s been a monumental day today. I don’t know how long it’s been since this car had an engine in it. Minimum 13 years, maximum 31 years. Who knows. But after all this time it now has a 2.0 sat in the engine bay. My friend borrowed his dads car and trailer and we got the engine up to my unit tonight. And proceeded to get it chucked in. Not before putting the repainted sump in place with a new gasket kit. Tomorrow evening the wife will be taking me up to the unit so I can get the gearbox fitted. And I’ve no idea why my writing has a white background. 
 

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then I used the discovery to winch it up onto the ramps to make it easier for me to get the gearbox in place. 
 

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  • sutty2006 changed the title to 1976 Opel Manta coupe. A long haul project. Engine in!
9 hours ago, junkyarddog said:

Would it not have been a bit easier for you to bolt the gearbox on first?

Then fit them as a unit,fitting a gearbox from underneath ain't a lot of fun.

Not in this case. The CIH engine has no lifting points at all. I have a balancer but there’s no way of suitably attaching it to the engine. I had one chain through the engine mounts then another chain bolted to the bell housing to give me a stable angle. The 4 speed is a light gearbox, I’ve taken 5 speeds in and out this way so I’m no stranger to lying on my back with the gearbox on my chest! 

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47 minutes ago, sutty2006 said:

Slightly more done tonight. Gearbox fitted. Took the old remains of gear lever off and fitted a spare from inside the boot... there’s 2 in there....... engine now sitting how it’s supposed to. 
 

 

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Blimey @sutty2006 I would eat my dinner off the first pic. Well, obviously I couldn't because it's the wrong way up and, erm, gravity and stuff but you know

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7 hours ago, puddlethumper said:

Blimey @sutty2006 I would eat my dinner off the first pic. Well, obviously I couldn't because it's the wrong way up and, erm, gravity and stuff but you know

Well, it’s not perfect. Not like some folks projects I’ve seen, like that Granada that was on here... boy that is clean! Lying under this last night I could see a few holes in the floor so I’ve got to get the mig stick out again. 

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I scrapped a 2.0SR Berlinetta and removed the engine and gearbox by undoing the suspension and lifting the body off with two scaffold poles down the chassis rails, I walked it back over the engine like a wheel barrow. Easier to do with the front wheels off and the sump almost on the floor, lifting the valence high enough to clear the rocker cover was the hard part as I could have done with some help.  Using the scaffold poles and with the rear dampers removed I managed to get the shell bouncing on the rear springs enough to leave the floor! :-D

Suspension out with the engine and gearbox was the only way I could install/remove the V8 but that was much easier as I had no valence on that car under the spoiler.

I made a lifting bar back in the mid 80's for the CIH engines to use with an engine hoist, I forget what the chains went onto. I was given a good tip that works well with many RWD cars, lift the vehicles rear end up high so you don't have to push the gearbox down to get it in the tunnel. With a balancer it makes the job even easier.

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Some more work has been done today. Unfortunately no pictures as I was too eager to get jobs done. 
 

propshaft on

gearbox filled with oil

inlet/exhaust manifold on

genuine GM down pipe on

dizzy cap, rotor arm, plugs and leads on

heater blower lubricated and on

Found my wiper linkage up in the loft area. Then found a wiper motor in the boot of the car in a box. Looks new old stock. Can’t believe I keep finding parts id forgotten I’d bought years ago! Even found a pair of brand new rear springs n shocks! 

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1 hour ago, dome said:

I just hope it's not 8 years before mines going back together!

Can't wait to see this one back running!

You and me both. It’s been a long time coming. Problem I’ve had in the past is other projects have got in the way, I had 11 cars at one point. Enough was enough. I have 4 now. 2 mantas, a land rover and my Audi as a daily. Hopefully I can give this more attention and not get distracted. 

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8 minutes ago, Snake Charmer said:

Oh dear, does that mean I have to start one with the V8 Coupe I'm my garden? 

@sutty2006 Did you fit the propshaft spring?

Yes, yes it does!

Funny, I never noticed a propshaft spring when taking mine apart.

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  • sutty2006 changed the title to 1976 Opel Manta coupe. A long haul project. Engine running!

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