"LeMons" Opel Manta turbo system, now slated for street use.
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Thread: "LeMons" Opel Manta turbo system, now slated for street use.

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    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter My location RallyBob's Avatar
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    "LeMons" Opel Manta turbo system, now slated for street use.

    This is one of those projects that has changed directions a few times. I started out with the intent of building a turbo system for a "LeMons" Opel Manta race car. The idea was to have reasonable power and low cost.

    In it's primary configuration, the total investment into the turbo system was about $37. Now, as labor is "free" under LeMons rules, I built everything from scratch and using as many old parts laying around as possible. The initial large investment was an old (maybe 30 year old) Rajay T04B turbocharger I got from Gary Farias. He got it at a swap meet with an old turbo kit with the intent to turbo his Opel wagon. Gary then bought the 3.0 24 valve engine and switched gears. I ended up helping Gary out with a few points on his wagon project and accepted the turbo kit as trade for my labor. The cool thing is, even though the turbo was old, it was virtually new. Zero end play and virtually no lateral play in the turbo. Looks like it was used maybe a few thousand miles at the most. Every bolt came right out, no rust either!

    I ended up building a turbo header from 1.25" schedule 40 pipe that was bent up for handrails, each piece had a 90 degree and a 45 degree bend. A local shop had a box full of them, they cost me $2 each. So for $10 in materials (I used 5 of them), I built my turbo header. For a wastegate, the one supplied in the turbo kit was a bit small for my needs. I ended up using one I got years ago for the Grassroots Motorsports challenge car a few of us were working on back in 2002 or so, IIRC. It's an Audi 5000 wastegate, and it only cost me a pizza for the friend who gave it to me.

    For the induction, I'm using a 45 DCOE Weber that has seen better days, but a rebuild kit will make it fresh and good as new. The intake manifold itself is made from a flange from an OEM intake and the rest is made from the scrap diamond plate aluminum from my utility trailer I built.

    Anyway, the initial intent was to throw the turbo system onto stock low compression longblocks and run them until they blow. But with the LeMons project lagging behind, I decided to finish the engine with a few extras, test it on my engine stand, then an engine dyno, and finally stick it into my street car.

    So here's a run down of what I'm using. The original engine from my 1972 Opel wagon, which had a blown head gasket, but only 82,000 miles. My plan was to deck the block and clean everything, then put the shortblock back together "as is" with the OEM parts.

    For the head, I decided to do a cheapy big valve head, as I still have parts left over from my C & R days which I will probably never use otherwise. Nothing wrong with the parts, they were just 'street' oriented parts, not racing parts. So the head is getting bronze guides, hardened exhaust seats, new 1.72"/1.50" stainless Chevy valves, titanium retainers and double springs (from an old racing engine), and a minor port cleanup...nothing fancy.

    I also have an old CR-150 camshaft which is .432" lift, 224° @ .050" duration, and 110° LSA. Nothing radical, but will help with the engine breathing and still be turbo-compatible.

    Granted, now with a freshening up of the engine the price has risen, but by the end of it all I hope to have an engine AND turbo system with about $650 invested, which makes a little over 200 hp on pump gas. That's the plan anyway....we'll see if it works out!

    During the mockup/build process on the turbo system:







    The turbo parts back from ceramic coating. I traded labor with the powdercoating shop owner (welding on his racing karts), so this was a 'freebie' for me.
    Last edited by RallyBob; 07-16-2014 at 12:40 PM. Reason: Spelling/caps.
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    E.G. Sauer 2/26/66 - 2/18/10. Rest in peace big guy...

    '70 GT 'Bonnie', '71 Ascona 4-dr turbo - winter beater, '71 Ascona 4-dr 'Turd' - rallycar, '72 Manta Rallye - hillclimb car, '72 Ascona wagon - 'Red', '72 Manta - caged street car, '73 Manta Luxus, '73 Ascona 2-dr, '74 Ascona 2-dr - Project X, '74 Manta Luxus - factory sunroof, '74 Manta ITB racecar, '75 Manta, '75 Sportwagon, '75 Manta - racecar

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    Fantastic use of parts. I look forward to seeing the dyno numbers for a cheap build.

    Are your Lemons plans caput?
    1970 GT - Why can't I find any of my nuts.

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    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter My location RallyBob's Avatar
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    Internally, everything looked perfect. Pistons, rods, bearings, rings, crankshaft. It all just needed a good cleaning. Block was honed and decked, then washed. There was some pitting and warpage on the deck from two things: Lack of antifreeze in the water, and overheating from when it was run low on coolant in the past.

    Crankshaft looking like new after a good washing. Perfect specs, no wear at all!


    I built a custom self-draining crankcase breather, knowing there would be a bit more blow-by with a turbo pressurizing everything. Looks funky but should do the trick.






    Audi wastegate back together. I made the wastegate manually adjustable at the same time, and ported it internally to reduce the chances for boost creep.


    The DCOE intake manifold after porting, shining it up, and adding a water injection nozzle to it.
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    E.G. Sauer 2/26/66 - 2/18/10. Rest in peace big guy...

    '70 GT 'Bonnie', '71 Ascona 4-dr turbo - winter beater, '71 Ascona 4-dr 'Turd' - rallycar, '72 Manta Rallye - hillclimb car, '72 Ascona wagon - 'Red', '72 Manta - caged street car, '73 Manta Luxus, '73 Ascona 2-dr, '74 Ascona 2-dr - Project X, '74 Manta Luxus - factory sunroof, '74 Manta ITB racecar, '75 Manta, '75 Sportwagon, '75 Manta - racecar

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    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter My location RallyBob's Avatar
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    I built one of my 5.5 quart oil pans, with trap doors, baffles, temp sender bung, turbo oil drain, and oil breather drain fitting.


    The block after being chemically cleaned. You can clearly see where the water was leaking out the head gasket, rusting the block!


    After wire-wheeling the block clean, in preparation for final washing with hot water and dishwashing soap.


    Primed in Rustoleum engine enamel.


    Painted in 'Grabber Green' Rustoleum engine enamel.


    Timing cover, which I previously prepared. I stripped out all the press-in plugs, tapped them for threaded plugs, and had it chemically washed. Then I glass beaded it, had it chemically washed once more, and finally washed it by hand with rifle brushes, and hot soapy water.

    NOTE: Unless ALL the plugs are removed, particularly the oil filter bypass valve, you will NEVER get out the oil sludge and glass beads from the passages. But if you want it spotlessly shiny inside, it's the only way to go.
    Last edited by RallyBob; 05-14-2014 at 01:07 PM. Reason: changed text
    My Flickr photos.
    C.R.L. 9/22/69 - 12/8/99, J.M.L. 3/3/43 - 6/15/04, D.M.L. 9/19/50 - 6/23/10
    E.G. Sauer 2/26/66 - 2/18/10. Rest in peace big guy...

    '70 GT 'Bonnie', '71 Ascona 4-dr turbo - winter beater, '71 Ascona 4-dr 'Turd' - rallycar, '72 Manta Rallye - hillclimb car, '72 Ascona wagon - 'Red', '72 Manta - caged street car, '73 Manta Luxus, '73 Ascona 2-dr, '74 Ascona 2-dr - Project X, '74 Manta Luxus - factory sunroof, '74 Manta ITB racecar, '75 Manta, '75 Sportwagon, '75 Manta - racecar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Unter Puff View Post
    Fantastic use of parts. I look forward to seeing the dyno numbers for a cheap build.

    Are your Lemons plans caput?
    I think they're just delayed. I don't think there's been any progress on the chassis in a while. No biggie, but every day I would walk past these parts and it just ate me up seeing it sitting there for over a year!

    So I decided to have some fun with it, and at the same time it should be sorted out for the LeMons car.
    My Flickr photos.
    C.R.L. 9/22/69 - 12/8/99, J.M.L. 3/3/43 - 6/15/04, D.M.L. 9/19/50 - 6/23/10
    E.G. Sauer 2/26/66 - 2/18/10. Rest in peace big guy...

    '70 GT 'Bonnie', '71 Ascona 4-dr turbo - winter beater, '71 Ascona 4-dr 'Turd' - rallycar, '72 Manta Rallye - hillclimb car, '72 Ascona wagon - 'Red', '72 Manta - caged street car, '73 Manta Luxus, '73 Ascona 2-dr, '74 Ascona 2-dr - Project X, '74 Manta Luxus - factory sunroof, '74 Manta ITB racecar, '75 Manta, '75 Sportwagon, '75 Manta - racecar

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    Oil filter pad. As long as the oil is changed frequently, no issues with deleting the oil filter bypass valve. The filters I use have a built-in bypass anyway!


    The forward unused dipstick hole was plugged with a 3/8" NPT stainless pipe plug. The main oil galley plug at the rear of the block was also previously tapped for a 3/8" pipe plug. I don't trust the press-in plugs! New brass 22 mm freeze plugs were fitted too.






    I refitted the oil sump pickup tube, loctiting the mounting bolts. I also put the dipstick guide tube back in, using a special tool I made for the job.


    Here you can see the drain petcock I fitted to the coolant passage. Below that, the new oil pressure tee I fitted. I use a stainless steel 1/4" NPT fitting into the block with an 1/8" NPT reducer. Then a steel T-fitting that has two female and one male 1/8" NPT threads on it. To the right is the aftermarket 20 psi warning light sender. To the left is an 1/8" NPT to -4AN adapter, which goes to a stainless braided teflon-lined -4 line going to a mechanical gauge. I don't trust the nylon or copper oil pressure lines, seen too many of them melt or work harden and crack!
    My Flickr photos.
    C.R.L. 9/22/69 - 12/8/99, J.M.L. 3/3/43 - 6/15/04, D.M.L. 9/19/50 - 6/23/10
    E.G. Sauer 2/26/66 - 2/18/10. Rest in peace big guy...

    '70 GT 'Bonnie', '71 Ascona 4-dr turbo - winter beater, '71 Ascona 4-dr 'Turd' - rallycar, '72 Manta Rallye - hillclimb car, '72 Ascona wagon - 'Red', '72 Manta - caged street car, '73 Manta Luxus, '73 Ascona 2-dr, '74 Ascona 2-dr - Project X, '74 Manta Luxus - factory sunroof, '74 Manta ITB racecar, '75 Manta, '75 Sportwagon, '75 Manta - racecar

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    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter My location RallyBob's Avatar
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    This was my great fustercluck on this engine (so far). While torquing the main caps, one of the threads within the block stripped out. At only 60 ft lbs! I've NEVER seen an Opel block do this! Anyway, once my anger subsided, I ended up tapping that one 12 mm x 1.75 hole out to 1/2"-13 threads. Ordered some high strength 12-point cap screws. They're a tad longer than the OEM bolts, but since the one that stripped out is the one with the oil pickup tube stabilizer bracket under the bolt head, it worked out okay. The bolt is only a few thousands of an inch larger in diameter, and the tensile strength was 170,000 psi versus the original's approximate 176,000 psi tensile strength. Far better than a 120,000+/- psi grade 8 bolt. Torqued it to 72 ft lbs and it held. Whew....


    All the fasteners were washed in solvent, then wire-wheeled. On any exposed fasteners, the heads of the bolts were painted.


    Front gaskets fitted, and timing rail and timing gear shelf bolted in place.


    I put a 2 degree offset bushing into the cam gear. The block was decked .010", and the head will be milled a similar amount. The cam already has 3 degrees of advance ground in.


    This engine had this weird feature I've never seen before. Instead of two dowels locating the timing cover in place, it had one dowel, and this one necked-down bolt near the alternator. I've literally never seen it in 30 years and hundreds of Opel engine tear downs. You learn something new every day!


    My Flickr photos.
    C.R.L. 9/22/69 - 12/8/99, J.M.L. 3/3/43 - 6/15/04, D.M.L. 9/19/50 - 6/23/10
    E.G. Sauer 2/26/66 - 2/18/10. Rest in peace big guy...

    '70 GT 'Bonnie', '71 Ascona 4-dr turbo - winter beater, '71 Ascona 4-dr 'Turd' - rallycar, '72 Manta Rallye - hillclimb car, '72 Ascona wagon - 'Red', '72 Manta - caged street car, '73 Manta Luxus, '73 Ascona 2-dr, '74 Ascona 2-dr - Project X, '74 Manta Luxus - factory sunroof, '74 Manta ITB racecar, '75 Manta, '75 Sportwagon, '75 Manta - racecar

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    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter My location RallyBob's Avatar
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    Buttoning up the front of the engine. The water pump is from a 1975 Opel. It's something I had in my barn for 15 years. Brand new, but damaged in shipping. It had a broken mounting ear. I welded on a new one, and then welded on a -10 AN fitting for the coolant hose. Cut down the threaded nub for the clutch fan as I'm using an electric one anyway. Good as new!


    The pistons sit about .007" above deck after machining. I also hand-notched the pistons with a die grinder and carbide burr to clear the bigger valves. No issue with notch depth, but the diameter of the valves hit the edges of the dish in the pistons.


    While fitting the oil pan, I ran into two issues. The oil pickup tube bracket was hitting my baffle plate. A little notching fixed that. The other issue was the dipstick guide tube not being in the right spot, and the dipstick not fitting thru the hole in the baffle plate. A light hammer tap cured that as well.


    Now the oil pan fits! However, since Mr. Murphy decided to visit me on this project, I willl wait until the head is in place before bolting the pan on for good. I can just see me dropping a camshaft bolt down the timing cover....




    Now we wait for the cylinder head to get back from the machinist.....
    Last edited by RallyBob; 05-14-2014 at 01:13 PM. Reason: added pics
    My Flickr photos.
    C.R.L. 9/22/69 - 12/8/99, J.M.L. 3/3/43 - 6/15/04, D.M.L. 9/19/50 - 6/23/10
    E.G. Sauer 2/26/66 - 2/18/10. Rest in peace big guy...

    '70 GT 'Bonnie', '71 Ascona 4-dr turbo - winter beater, '71 Ascona 4-dr 'Turd' - rallycar, '72 Manta Rallye - hillclimb car, '72 Ascona wagon - 'Red', '72 Manta - caged street car, '73 Manta Luxus, '73 Ascona 2-dr, '74 Ascona 2-dr - Project X, '74 Manta Luxus - factory sunroof, '74 Manta ITB racecar, '75 Manta, '75 Sportwagon, '75 Manta - racecar

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    Porn,

    This porn.

    The supreme court can't define it, but I know what it is.

    This is Opel Porn.

    And I love it....
    I'm just another Opel Rehab Failure.

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    Curious as to the compression ratio you will be running with the carb set up. Most excellent engineering going on here; I wish you the best in running her!

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    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter My location RallyBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNotigan View Post
    Curious as to the compression ratio you will be running with the carb set up. Most excellent engineering going on here; I wish you the best in running her!
    Mike, I'm not really sure yet. Once I have the head back from the machine shop I can get a better idea. These late model engines were rated at 7.6:1 compression, but I've measured them to be closer to 7.1:1. I lost a little compression enlarging the valve reliefs, but gained some back decking the block. With 1.72"/1.5" valves in an unmodified 1.9 chamber, compression usually goes up about 1/2 a point. But if I unshroud the chambers I lose some of that. My best guess so far is 7.5 to 7.6:1 true compression ratio.

    I will definitely calculate it before assembly.
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    E.G. Sauer 2/26/66 - 2/18/10. Rest in peace big guy...

    '70 GT 'Bonnie', '71 Ascona 4-dr turbo - winter beater, '71 Ascona 4-dr 'Turd' - rallycar, '72 Manta Rallye - hillclimb car, '72 Ascona wagon - 'Red', '72 Manta - caged street car, '73 Manta Luxus, '73 Ascona 2-dr, '74 Ascona 2-dr - Project X, '74 Manta Luxus - factory sunroof, '74 Manta ITB racecar, '75 Manta, '75 Sportwagon, '75 Manta - racecar

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    I've been messing around with a programmable electronic ignition kit for several weeks now and it's *still* not installed in my car and you whip this together in no time

    I hate you .....
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    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter My location RallyBob's Avatar
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by ggl View Post
    I've been messing around with a programmable electronic ignition kit for several weeks now and it's *still* not installed in my car and you whip this together in no time

    I hate you .....
    Not true. I built the entire turbo system in 4 days, but that was back in November 2012. It's been sitting on a counter in my shop collecting dust. Back in February or so of this year I tore this engine apart while cleaning my shop. Came up with a plan of action, then dropped everything off at the machine shop. I only put the block together last week.

    So it has taken a while! My incentive is that a friend of mine offered me free time on an engine dyno IF I can get it there before June 1st. At first I thought "no sweat", but I don't have the head back from the machinist yet, I still have to port it, assemble it, and install it. I also wanted to run the engine in on my test stand before bringing it to the dyno but 1) the engine isn't done, and 2) the test stand isn't done!
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    '70 GT 'Bonnie', '71 Ascona 4-dr turbo - winter beater, '71 Ascona 4-dr 'Turd' - rallycar, '72 Manta Rallye - hillclimb car, '72 Ascona wagon - 'Red', '72 Manta - caged street car, '73 Manta Luxus, '73 Ascona 2-dr, '74 Ascona 2-dr - Project X, '74 Manta Luxus - factory sunroof, '74 Manta ITB racecar, '75 Manta, '75 Sportwagon, '75 Manta - racecar

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    ....thx, I feel better now
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    I got you Bob!

    This engine had this weird feature I've never seen before. Instead of two dowels locating the timing cover in place, it had one dowel, and this one necked-down bolt near the alternator. I've literally never seen it in 30 years and hundreds of Opel engine tear downs. You learn something new every day!
    Hi Bob- I've seen this before- somewhere in 1972 they dropped the dowel pin and added the shouldered bolt with the same OD as the old dowel pin- thus retaining the locating feature of the dowel pin and! gaining the clamping benefit of an extra bolt to better secure the timing cover to the block. I suppose to firm up the area where the alternator bracket bolts on to... I don't really know everything- I first read about this in a Service Bulletin that is now over 40 years old!!! Ernie Bello
    Last edited by RallyBob; 05-15-2014 at 11:26 AM. Reason: fixed quote

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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by bello View Post
    Hi Bob- I've seen this before- somewhere in 1972 they dropped the dowel pin and added the shouldered bolt with the same OD as the old dowel pin- thus retaining the locating feature of the dowel pin and! gaining the clamping benefit of an extra bolt to better secure the timing cover to the block. I suppose to firm up the area where the alternator bracket bolts on to... I don't really know everything- I first read about this in a Service Bulletin that is now over 40 years old!!! Ernie Bello
    Interesting. At some point they had to switch back to twin dowels. All my newer engines are that way.
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    E.G. Sauer 2/26/66 - 2/18/10. Rest in peace big guy...

    '70 GT 'Bonnie', '71 Ascona 4-dr turbo - winter beater, '71 Ascona 4-dr 'Turd' - rallycar, '72 Manta Rallye - hillclimb car, '72 Ascona wagon - 'Red', '72 Manta - caged street car, '73 Manta Luxus, '73 Ascona 2-dr, '74 Ascona 2-dr - Project X, '74 Manta Luxus - factory sunroof, '74 Manta ITB racecar, '75 Manta, '75 Sportwagon, '75 Manta - racecar

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    Quote Originally Posted by bello View Post
    This engine had this weird feature I've never seen before. Instead of two dowels locating the timing cover in place, it had one dowel, and this one necked-down bolt near the alternator. I've literally never seen it in 30 years and hundreds of Opel engine tear downs. You learn something new every day!


    [ Hi Bob- I've seen this before- somewhere in 1972 they dropped the dowel pin and added the shouldered bolt with the same OD as the old dowel pin- thus retaining the locating feature of the dowel pin and! gaining the clamping benefit of an extra bolt to better secure the timing cover to the block. I suppose to firm up the area where the alternator bracket bolts on to... I don't really know everything- I first read about this in a Service Bulletin that is now over 40 years old!!! Ernie Bello
    I've seen it too. Weird, but I just thought, well, it's weird.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bello View Post
    This engine had this weird feature I've never seen before. Instead of two dowels locating the timing cover in place, it had one dowel, and this one necked-down bolt near the alternator. I've literally never seen it in 30 years and hundreds of Opel engine tear downs. You learn something new every day!


    [ Hi Bob- I've seen this before- somewhere in 1972 they dropped the dowel pin and added the shouldered bolt with the same OD as the old dowel pin- thus retaining the locating feature of the dowel pin and! gaining the clamping benefit of an extra bolt to better secure the timing cover to the block. I suppose to firm up the area where the alternator bracket bolts on to... I don't really know everything- I first read about this in a Service Bulletin that is now over 40 years old!!! Ernie Bello



    That bolt looks like my pressure plate bolts the first time I torqued them to FSM values. Live and learn.
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    Well, I'm still waiting for that cylinder head from the machine shop. Even tossed the guy another $100 towards the bill. No luck! Doesn't look good for my free dyno time anyway. Oh well.

    I did tidy up and assemble a few sub assemblies. A final polishing of some of the aluminum parts, followed by installation of various studs and hose fittings. We have the coolant lines to the DCOE intake, the brake booster fitting, the carb mounting studs, and the water injection nozzle.





    neuropel and Viny Charb like this.
    My Flickr photos.
    C.R.L. 9/22/69 - 12/8/99, J.M.L. 3/3/43 - 6/15/04, D.M.L. 9/19/50 - 6/23/10
    E.G. Sauer 2/26/66 - 2/18/10. Rest in peace big guy...

    '70 GT 'Bonnie', '71 Ascona 4-dr turbo - winter beater, '71 Ascona 4-dr 'Turd' - rallycar, '72 Manta Rallye - hillclimb car, '72 Ascona wagon - 'Red', '72 Manta - caged street car, '73 Manta Luxus, '73 Ascona 2-dr, '74 Ascona 2-dr - Project X, '74 Manta Luxus - factory sunroof, '74 Manta ITB racecar, '75 Manta, '75 Sportwagon, '75 Manta - racecar

  22. #20
    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter My location RallyBob's Avatar
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    The turbo compressor housing with boost gauge fitting added.



    Intake manifold shined up, and the wastegate actuator fitting added, plus a 1/4" NPT plug.



    neuropel and marto like this.
    My Flickr photos.
    C.R.L. 9/22/69 - 12/8/99, J.M.L. 3/3/43 - 6/15/04, D.M.L. 9/19/50 - 6/23/10
    E.G. Sauer 2/26/66 - 2/18/10. Rest in peace big guy...

    '70 GT 'Bonnie', '71 Ascona 4-dr turbo - winter beater, '71 Ascona 4-dr 'Turd' - rallycar, '72 Manta Rallye - hillclimb car, '72 Ascona wagon - 'Red', '72 Manta - caged street car, '73 Manta Luxus, '73 Ascona 2-dr, '74 Ascona 2-dr - Project X, '74 Manta Luxus - factory sunroof, '74 Manta ITB racecar, '75 Manta, '75 Sportwagon, '75 Manta - racecar

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