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1976 Opel Manta coupe. A long haul project. She moves!!!


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12 minutes ago, dome said:

Excellent! Bet that feels good after all this time?

feels awesome. Just need to find a set of coolant hoses now and I can get it cooled and ran in. Still plenty to do!


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Not a lot happening at the moment. I found what looks like a coupe exhaust in my shed, centre and back box. Think I saved this off the auto coupe I broke years ago. It’s a tad rusty, but nothing that can’t be welded up. Can’t get a nos exhaust, mainly sportex systems on eBay. And I’m not paying Powerflow close to 500 for a new exhaust. So I’m going to restore this one as best I can. 


as you can see, some bits are rusty but the whole thing seams to clean up well with a wire wheel on a 240v drill. 





Then I realised my welder is up my unit. Bugger. Oh well. 

hoping to go up tonight to do a couple of jobs, retrieve the welder and take the fuel tank out and bring it home, a guy I know can clean and test them. 

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3 hours ago, sutty2006 said:

They do sound good these 4 banger CIH engines I must admit! 

If my memory serves me correctly, a Weber, filter and twin downpipes with 2" twin box system was around 110hp.

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So a little work done tonight. Fitted the clocks. All good. Then found a spare Rev counter, balls. Not taking that out again, fuck it. It can stay a spare for now. 



fitted radiator and top hose, just need heater hoses and a bottom hose then I can put some coolant in it! 


also put a P clip round the fuel pipe to keep it secure. Taken fuel tank out so I can get it cleaned out. Breather pipes all shot so that can be done at the same time. 


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So last night’s dig through the boot came up trumps. A NOS Walker back box, identical to the one fitted (also Walker!) so only need to fix the centre box now. 



I have a friend that runs a fuel tank/repair/radiator repair business. He’s volunteering to clean and test the fuel tank for me one Saturday…. Thought I’d pull the level sensor out, I can start cleaning the gunk out myself. There’s a thick layer of gunk at the bottom! BD6EFF4F-24FA-42AA-BD03-38166FF34D50.thumb.jpeg.ced7bc7373c32b1078532bbd004c7337.jpeg


then all the breather pipes can be replaced as they’ve gone rock hard and fallen off. 


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So I’ve filled it with TFR, wheel cleaner and water. Jet washed the living shit out of the inside of the tank and left it for a few hours half full of water. Then drained it out. Made a new gasket out of fuel proof rubber for the level sender. Made it from card first 









and fitted the breather hose, but it turns out it’s a foot too short. That’s 2 metres of breather hose and I’m a short a foot lol. 

also binned the old silencer. Wanted to keep it and fix it up as a spare but it fell to bits hammering it off. 

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Can you re-use the bends and buy boxes? My V8 system was designed to use an off the shelf 2 3/8" rally system, they came with a Cherry Bomb style bullet rear silencer and a large oval mid box. Sounded great, but when the boxes rotted I retained the bends and added new silencers.

This didn't go to plan, I ordered the biggest and longest back box to fit in the space and an oval centre box. All done the old way (old school) from magazines and the bibles (catalogues) over the phone.

My mistake was Ye Olde pipe/tube measurement conundrum, I had a 2 3/8" system which is 2 1/4" bore so I ordered 2 1/2" boxes thinking they would be 2 3/8" bore and slip nicely over the existing tubing. Wrong! They were 2 1/2" bore so I had great fun sleeving them and as they were straight through expected them to be noisy. Far from it, they were really good, sounded excellent and made the car much smoother.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Small amount done on this today. Had to fix the water coming up through the rocker bolt thread hole.


So I cut about 3/4mm off the end of a bolt, put a slit into it and cleaned the hole. 



sealed it with flange sealant. Then sent it home. 



then I re did the timing and now it runs pretty perfect. 

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On 29/06/2021 at 22:00, sutty2006 said:

That’s 2 metres of breather hose and I’m a short a foot lol

That's what you can expect when you measure metric hose with an imperial tape measure.

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More work done today. Mrs sutty took me up to the unit and left me there until this evening. Thought nows a good time to get the rear seats in place, but what’s that at the bottom of the inner rear arches? Rust? Never! Oh…….





bummer! Same both sides. Better sort that out now. Start on the other side then. cut out the grotty bits. There is a seat belt mount here, which has a bung in it. I decided to cut that out and leave it out, as a 76 car doesn’t need rear seat belts. 

new section in place


I hate underseal



but onwards we go! 


made it a bit stronger then used the hammered effect underseal….


Bit of stone chip on that and it’ll be grand as owt. 
view from inside, also now sealed. 


mrs sutty suggested I fit rear seat belts…….. thanks. Good job I kept these 


rear end raised up for now. I can sort out the rear brake pipes and fuel pipes now. 


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Also got the rear lights working. Including hazards which you can see currently in the “off” part of cycle. CB78FA8F-361C-4972-B568-49D0127034EA.thumb.jpeg.ff0248f5bf2d3dccf00ef1a13202fc87.jpeg

and refreshed the coil. The black box (transducer?) is known to have a heat sink paste between it and the body, so that’s been cleaned and reapplied. 


and there were no seatbelts, so that’s had to be rectified with some seat belts I took out of one I broke over 10 years ago. Glad I kept those!


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  • 4 weeks later...

Not done a lot on this recently. Just been too busy now I’ve got my driving licence back. Pain in the arse. Managed an hour on it tonight before I go back to work tomorrow. 

fitted the early rocker cover that I had powder coated (after cleaning all the sand out of it!)


found a vacuum advance pipe at home so that’s been fitted. And cleaned/fitted the heater hoses donated by Dome of this parish. One may need changing as it’s a bit meh but for now it’s good enough to test the matrix. 

just need a nice filler cap to complement that engine now. 

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  • 2 years later...

Been a while since I’ve updated this. 

done some work on the spare wheel well and fitted the exhaust 









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Once I’d put a layer of zinc galv primer, black spray and then stone chip over the bare areas, the exhaust could be fitted and secured in place. 




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The passenger side rear belt mount hole was rusty so that got deleted. 





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I’ve had a pair of New Old Stock rear shockers on the shelf for a very long time, so they’re getting fitted. they feel a bit weak. But never mind. 





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I need to renew the cylinders, so I’ve knocked the drum off. I was expecting it to be seized solid but it wasn’t. 


No bear in mind, I’ve never removed these drums while I’ve owned it. So potentially been in there for 34 years. The shoes actually look ok, probably asbestos aswell, neat. 



so at first glance, replace the cylinders then give everything a clean and freshen up. Winner. 

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7 hours ago, Matty said:

Sounds like my a series with that bloody cam in it!

Yeah the timing is out. I’ve just eye balled it with the ear lobes for now. Need to find a timing light to do it properly once I know everything is in the right place. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a little problem with charge, or lack of it. 

I fitted a spare regulator of another alternator and it made no difference 


so I buggered about with the earth wire from alt to block. And got some lightning from the charger whirler. 



after shutting it down, then restarting, no charge. At all. 

so I made a new earth wire up



fitted that, still no charge. Cleaned every connection up possible. Still no charge. 



so I moved my theatre of operations into the dashboard. I pulled the top cover off and pulled the bulb out of the back. Looked ok. Seen it work once. But while I’m here, I’ll change it!



full steam ahead! 



volt gauge now displays charge, light works, and even my oil pressure light works now!






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My first Manta was a 1976 and the alternator had a separate regulator mounted on the inner wing, it was kept it as a spare and ended up on my Ascona. I went to start the car one day, the starter lumped over twice, stopped and a big puff of smoke came out the left side of the bonnet. Big panic!

Turned out the engine earth was loose and used the regulator earth instead, easy repair and luckily no fire. I just ran the reg of my 1976 car through DVLA, last taxed December 1985 which ties in with delivering Christmas cards when it was written off by a drunk driver, the rear lights were under the parcel shelf against the fuel tank.

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I still have a couple of the replacement voltage regulators for the rear of the dash cluster the club had made..just in case.

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